I have epiphanies on a semi-regular basis. And just because they happen that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m able to discuss them at the time of the dawning realization. For example, this particular entry has been in my drafted entries for almost a month now. I guess it’s about time I talk about it.
So, while reading I was nose-deep in the book, Voodoo in Haiti by Alfred Métraux, I had one of those almost kick-in-the-face dawning realizations that can happen. I placed the book down, that day, and began searching for the ex-husband rage ball that I can honestly say is still quite gone. (By reflex, for days and weeks after I realized it was gone, I looked for it. I still look a little bit now, but mostly it’s been overtaken by other things. The rage itself is gone… other things are in its place, I mean.) While looking for that rage ball, my eyes fell across the pale blue cover of the book and that’s when it dawned on me. No matter what we may have tried, my relationship with the ex-husband was intrinsically doomed from the start. Doomed. Doomed. We could have done the therapy thing and everything else anyone would have recommended for us to remedy our situation, but it didn’t matter. Or, it wouldn’t have mattered, really. My religious choices would have gotten in the way.
I think this is also, kind of, borne out in what has happened between myself and the Christian friend I had falling out with. I already knew, prior to our issues, that Christianity can be a kind of crazy thing when it comes to pagan religions. And the crazy thing tends to be miscommunications and misunderstandings. I had already started to go through all of that with my ex-husband. So, I kind of knew what could and probably would happen between my Christian friend and I. I still tried because, you know, dumbass me thought that loving and friendship was more important. However, let’s be honest. When it comes to things like religion, it really doesn’t matter what the hell the back drop is: shit is still going to get fucked up a time or two. Again, I can’t help but point emphatically at my ex-husband’s and my fantastically delightful arguments about my “crazy witchcraft.”
The ex-husband considered himself a Christian for the entire time I was with him. If he didn’t self-identify with the term, then I supplied it. If he claimed that he was “open” to new ideas, I knew he was lying. What it came down to was that Christianity had grabbed a hold of his soul when he was very, very young and it would never let go. Either he would keep holding onto those ideals and beliefs or they would come back and smack him in the face as a clear reminder that he belonged to Christianity. On the face of it, that’s fine. However, it would have caused so many arguments in the interim between us. We could have done everything possible to save ourselves but it would have gotten in the way. He was thoroughly a man of the Christ and I was so thoroughly a woman who just wasn’t fucking interested.
I can remember the fights we would have whenever the Sister and I wanted to “do things.” If we wanted to hold a circle, we had to kick him out of the apartment. Otherwise, he would sit and stare and make snide remarks. Now, let’s keep in mind that this is after he “found” Taoism and was professing that he “practiced” it. I’m not really sure how open-minded Taoism is, but the fact that he would mutter obscure witch-related quotes from the Bible at me after one of our “witchy nights,” I have to assume that Taoism wasn’t really where his heart was at the time. Call me crazy, but when you hear “thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live,” often enough, you kind of figure that the person doing the quoting believes what they’re saying. Some of the better Bible quotes I heard were, ” ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ ” –Leviticus 20:27. And I also got, “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.” –Leviticus 19:31.
And the complete and utter ridiculous arguments we had about Tarot cards… Ungh.
That was actually a pretty bad fight. It may surprise people, or not, about how very determined and angry they can get when you start talking to them about “divination tools.” When I brought the first pack of cards in, they went missing. The argument to my buying them went something like this:
“You are not bringing Satan’s tools into my house.”
“We’re living in my mother’s house; try again.”
“That Satanic shit isn’t coming near my room.”
“Guess again, fucktard, because I already bought them.”
This devolved into a large argument of mythic proportions. The moral of the story is that he threw them out on me. So, I bought a second deck, which went mysteriously missing within a week of my owning them. I went out, immediately, and purchased a third deck. This one was the Pyramid Oracle and I explained to him, very sweetly while caressing his mint, collector’s edition, leather-bound The Hobbit what would happen to his most beloved of possessions, from the book in my hands to the $500 sound system, should my $15 deck go missing again. Lo and behold, that deck is still with me to this day.
These arguments continued throughout the years that we were together, but we always hit an impasse.
I can remember the worst argument we ever had about it. I’m going to tell it because I haven’t actually gone into any details about some of the messier fights we’ve had, even though I really should, and this should illustrate how bad things would have gotten between us if we had stayed together and religion got into the middle of things… as I don’t really doubt would have happened.
A little back story, though… The ex-husband used to do Warfare Prayers. I had to have this explained to me by the person who got him into this, but let me just tell you, it’s fucking legit. In effect, the people get down and they do a whole lot of prayin’ and hollerin’ for whomever they are praying for. I’m not really sure if the prayers are for everybody or if they’re for specific people. All I know is that he got really heavy into this kind of a thing when he moved in with his best friend and his parents, who did it. Or at least, the mother did. The second he told me about his Warfare Prayer days, I kind of backed up a second and took a long look at him. I mean, what kind of person just sits around and prays everything away? And why? And how much shit could you really fix?
During one of his bouts, prior to moving in with his best friend and the parents, he decided he wanted to take on all of the horrors of his then-girlfriend, now-ex-girlfriend’s life. This is the very girl who he used to refer to as “The One Who Got Away.” He did this during a Warfare Prayer stint of his. What ended up happening was that the girl ended up living a very happy and eventful life without him around and his life turned to complete and utter fucking shit. He would always point out all of the horrible things that happened – and yes, I believe his prayers were answered here – and I would always say, “Well, what kind of fucking idiot are you to ask for her pain on top of your own?” This was one of those moments where I would tauntingly tell him that you always get what you ask for, whether you realize you know what the hell you’re committing yourself to.
Obviously, he didn’t realize how bad things could or would get. And he suffered for that.
After that, he spiritually shut down everything. He shut down himself in a spiritual way, but he also did it out of fear of what more could be coming at him. These spiritual shut downs included homes, cars, and people he was with. The guy is incredibly strong-willed, charismatic, and all of this is tied in with how strong he is on other levels. (Just ask Dusken and The Rose Bell how strong he is when he wants to be.) Anyway, everything that would be normal to me was shut out. In other words, all the visits and feelings of my father’s presence? Gone. I just thought it was because I had moved out of my mother’s house and that’s why he wasn’t visiting me as much. WRONG.
One day, I came home from a haunted viewing of the college I went to. I ended up seeing an old man who reminded me of Father Time. This guy thought it would be nice to follow me around because I could see him and he wanted attention. I warded this guy off because I wasn’t ready to work with dead people. (I laugh at this now. Oh, man… how stupid was I.) Anyway, I had to tell him about it because, you know, I was pretty shook up by the whole experience. And you’re supposed to tell your significant other about that kind of a thing. When I told him about the old man following me around, he flipped out and went fucking insane.
“I knew I should have fucking shut down this house, but it was clean so I fucking didn’t. Now, I have to do that and it’s been a long, hard day at work!”
I was completely at a loss here. I had no idea what he was talking about. He had never talked to me about “shutting down” a house before. What did that all entail, anyway? So, when I asked he told me that in every home, he shut it down from any spiritual contact because of his forays into Warfare Prayer and all the Nasties they pray at. And I just lost my fucking shit because that explained why my dad hadn’t been around the entire fucking time I had been with this guy. It explained why I had felt at a spiritual nexus all the time but was unable to ever push past all of that. It explained why everything that I worked in, believed in, and wanted was always just out of my grasp because he made it not happen by will alone.
It went from bad to worse there and all I can think is that…
The final break would have been our differing religions if we had stayed together.
This is one of those kicks in the gut that are difficult to sort out. At first, I just thought I was being slightly delusional or that I was over thinking this. Sure, here I am reading about voodoo as a practitioner of sorts looking for more information, but there is no telling that I would have picked this religion up. There is no telling… and then I heard someone suck their teeth, tsk-tsk in my ear and I knew. It really didn’t matter when or how the finding ended up happening, but the voodoo part probably would have happened anyway. That’s one of those parts of my pre-planning that my soul did and didn’t bother to warn me about. So, now with Papa Legba clicking his teeth at me, I couldn’t help but think about how it would have ended.
Tears and snot.
I don’t know if it would have been worse if we dissolved everything because of religion or because of what actually ended up happening. How is that for odd?