Everything He touches, changes

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.

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8 thoughts on “Everything He touches, changes”

  1. I always find what we do with our hair and our thoughts about it to be utterly fascinating! I’ve thought about veiling, but ultimately decided against it (no gods or spirits ask it of me, plus I don’t think there is any sort of tradition involving veiling or head covering among Cree or Ojibwe people… possibly the Metis or French, though, but I’m not 100% sure, so no inklings there either). Maybe in religious practice, in the future. Still have to percolate those thoughts. 😉

    I know what you mean though, about feeling the freedom of so much weight off your hair when you cut it! About two or so years ago I went from hair almost half-way down my back to a pixie cut in about six months of working up to it. I am starting to grow it out more now though, although I don’t think I will ever have it to that length again. Heh.

    I have been sorely tempted to dye it again, though. I spent about a year as a red-head (I’m naturally a dark brown), but the increasing amount of bleach required to go to the shades I wanted pretty much fried my hair. I’m thinking of using a red henna now, which would be much more natural-er (?) and more gentler on my hair. I’ve been tempted to make it a spiritual thing, actually, inspired by Ms. Graveyard Dirt’s past posts on the practice (http://www.graveyarddirt.com/newsprint/archive/cat_bride.php you have to scroll down a bit to see the entries I’m referring to, with the henna box and her hair 🙂 also, nsfw!). Although, a bit opposite (red in the winter, darker in the summer).

    Sorry for the long ramble. I guess I had more thoughts on hair-stuff than I thought! 🙂

    1. *g* Hair stuff IS fascinating, and I have more thoughts on what to do with mine that I thought most of my blog readers would be interested in. Guess I was wrong. 🙂

      Interestingly, the biggest proponents for my covering my head have been Frigga and the Ladies I work with (various spirits of the dead from medieval Europe, all of whom lived at a time when married women did not venture out of the house without their heads covered, and when elaborate head dresses were a sign of status). And the spirits are more insistent than Frigga on this point, but then I’ve found the dead to be more insistent on the trappings of particular time periods than the gods are, in general. The fact that ultimately I owe my allegiance to Odin before all others is why I can decide to not do it EVERY day.

      I may end up growing my hair out a bit, but I’m going to keep thinning it and not let it get to quite that length again; it had gotten to be painful! I was actually toying with the idea of going a little shorter even, but we’ll see.

      I think it’s quite appropriate to make how you wear your hair, whether or not you cover it, and how you adorn and color it into part of your religious practice. For a lot of ancient cultures, the head symbolized power, and the crown chakra is for many of us a conduit for our deities. I’ve read Ms. Graveyard Dirt’s blog before and love what she’s done with her bride/harlot practice. Another dimension to this, for me, is that I had short hair when I first married Odin and I thought it would be significant to cut it again as our 10th anniversary approaches (this coming December) and then, perhaps, grow it out again by our 20th anniversary (though never quite that long again! my neck just can’t take it).

  2. It’s difficult to remain mindful of something that we do every day. I’ll admit that, while I think of Poseidon while donning my scarf in the morning (er, depending on how late I’m running; sometimes the thoughts are more like “come on, just stop slipping, I don’t have time to retie you, damn it!”), because I wear them every day, it’s not always the touch-stone reminder of my faith that I’d wish it were. It does help when people comment upon it (even if they’re rude comments) because it bring mindfulness back into my thoughts.

    I love your haircut, by the way. It looks very fetching.

    1. *blush*

      I’m particularly bad at letting things that are supposed to be spiritually meaningful turn into habits. And as long as you can stay at least partly mindful about it, I think it’s fine to let it be a habit, but apparently I need to keep changing things up a bit in order to do that.

      Plus, He does enjoy having me reinvent my appearance from time to time…

  3. Hi.

    I found your blog through Soli’s.

    I’m curious now, what is Frigga’s take on veiling?

    I like the idea of veiling myself. I haven’t done it as of yet. I’d like to start veiling for religious practice first and see how that goes, before veiling any other time.

    1. Hi there!

      I know of many people who veil only during religious practice. It’s a very useful too for protecting the crown chakra and maintaining a spiritual focus, especially when out in public.

      I can’t really say I know what Frigga’s take on veiling is in general, though I do know one other person who has been asked to veil at least part time by her. For me, Her interest in the practice has to do with my status as a godspouse, and because covering my head helps me to remain more even-tempered in public. Like many spirit workers, I am very easily influenced by the thoughts and emotions of others and many times this can tend to make me cranky. Veiling helps to shield me psychically as well as providing me with a constant reminder of who and what I am and what sort of behavior is expected of me. I have a post going into ore detail about all of this here.

  4. Vesta is the main impetus behind my veiling, and She has lately been pushing me to consider other aspects of my appearance and what those aspects may signal to other people. Also, I feel the same way about my veiling signaling piety–on days when I don’t wear a style of headcovering that normally points to a certain faith, people still treat me very politely and I can see them trying to figure it out.

    1. Odin is challenging me, at this point, to find alternate ways of signaling that–since no one will ever look at my veils and think of Him anyway, LOL.

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