So…on Thursday after work I cut my hair. Before I went in to the salon, it came down past the center of my back. Now, it grazes my collarbone in front and is a bit shorter in back–kind of an angled bob, razored to thin out my super-thick hair. (Pictures are coming soon!) The weight of my hair was not at all good for my cervical arthritis, putting too much strain on my neck (which always hurts, anyway), and I probably should have done it a while ago. It feels much better. (I collected most of my shorn hair, which weighed four ounces–and that was only what I actually managed to gather! The strands are more than six inches long; I should spin them!)
The haircut opens up the opportunity to re-examine my veiling practice. At the very least, I will need some new coverings that will work with my shorter hair, since I no longer have the weight of my hair to help hold my coverings in place. (I’m looking forward to fall, when I can wear hats and my knitted kerchiefs!) I still intend to veil most of the time, but even if I end up continuing to do it every single day, as before, Odin wants that to be a conscious decision that I make everyday, not something I do out of habit. (No pun intended.) He wants the way I present myself to be a considered choice, an act of sovereignty–an increasing theme with Him, though not a new one. Since I represent Him (regardless of whether the people I interact with everyday know that) He wants all aspects of the way I choose to appear in public to be governed by my awareness of that, and by mindfulness.
Of course, I still have Others weighing in on this (including Frigga), so the urge to cover when I leave the house continues to be strong. There is so much tradition as well as practicality behind it, and Odin is not against my doing it by any means; He just wants it to be a choice rather than a crutch. Yesterday for the first time in five months I went to work unveiled (partly to show off my hair, I admit) but I was wearing a scarf around my shoulders and I had to pull it up over my head on the bus to shut out the chaotic thoughts and energies of all the people nearby. In addition to being a shielding tool, veiling also serves as a way of distancing myself and signaling my religious peity. (Even if people don’t know the details of said peity.) I’m not giving it up, just agreeing to choose it rather than simply defaulting to it.
On the days when I decide not to veil, I am considering other ways to set myself apart as being not mundane, such as wearing tiny braids with charms or feathers in my hair, or crownlike headbands. I am also considering getting a streak of dark blue dyed in my hair, in honor of You Know Who–which, of course, has traditions of it own behind it.
I have noticed already, by the way, that I am far more of a bitch when not veiling. Which isn’t always a bad thing.