Strip Away the Ugliness.

Ten moons ago, Osiris came to me as if in a dream. It felt so real as he stood before me, gloriously beautiful and full of rot. He said to me, “we need to speak upon the moon.” When I opened my mouth to give him my patented, what the fuck, he waved my protest away and said, “not now. Later; after the New Year. We’ll speak of the moon then. And nothing before then.”

This promise or threat proved a breaking point for others. They whispered the mysticism of the moon and asked me to join. But I declined and it was a fight. My promise or the longed-for threat was more important than the moment they wanted me to join in on their moon activities. Contrary to popular belief, my promises to the gods are more important to me than I may let on.

As the New Year came, the moon came into focus but nothing came of it and by then, eight months later, I had mostly forgotten about the moon and Osiris. I think he liked that; he murmured in my ear that it was nearly time to begin and I stared at him like a fucking idiot because I didn’t remember the threatened promise of lunar discussions or the fight with my friends that happened later. He laughed when I remembered.

I asked TTR about it. Who else to turn to when Osiris comes back around really? They told me that I should probably figure out what the moon means to me. I told them it’s a rock in the sky. I repeated this to Osiris who seemed unamused with this answer to the question. Almost guiltily, I googled about the moon and got way to many hits from Wiccans waxing poetic about the moon. I stopped googling it; full moon was coming anyway.

And then as I watched that globe in the sky start to get steadily larger, I was reminded of the almost erotic poetry that I would have cross my dash on Tumblr in the early days. The poems evoked so much raw emotion that I was often made breathless by it. But when I looked at the moon, I found nothing erotic or lovely. Merely a rock in the sky that was growing steadily larger.

It Doesn’t Mean Much

When I was very small, I thought the moon was an eye. It might have been God’s eye. It could have been the single eye of a Space Cyclops. Maybe it was just a Space Ogre who had his second eye stabbed out in battles past. I could picture the second eye covered by a matte black eyepatch with a scattering of stars across it. I liked this theory better than the science behind it. It was more to me than what the science teachers talked about anyway.

The Space Ogre or God took forever to wink down at me. A whole fucking month. I liked the idea of the creature whose eye the moon was living in a different wave of time. Where a wink down at me took 28 days to complete. It was just a second to them but a whole month for me. That image eventually disappeared but I can remember loving it for all it was worth when I was little.

Later on, during my first heady days of “fuck the patriarchy” without knowing that’s what that was, I decided it had never been a man in the moon. That didn’t make sense to me even then. The face in the moon seemed friendly and there was the kewpie doll mouth that seemed to suggest a smile if you looked at it long enough. Seemed more in keeping with a woman; they’re friendlier and less scary usually than men. Women would smile even just a hint of one while men made me uncomfortable.

No, I had decided back then; the person in the moon, the one who had its face peer down on me on full moon nights, was not a man at all. It was a woman and she could hide secrets like every other woman I knew. Maybe she was helping me to hide mine, or maybe they were someone else’s secrets. That’s why there was the hint of a smile when her face was full of pale white light. She was hinting at something that I’d never truly know the truth of.

It Doesn’t Mean Anything At All

With Osiris’s dour expression on my mind, I grabbed a book for about $10 that kept showing up everytime I would Google about the moon. When it came, I stared at the cover and kind of shook my head. I continued to shake my head when I read the introduction and skimmed a few pages ahead. This was probably not what we were looking for.

But Osiris seemed to disagree. I had the impression of someone shoving me towards the book, as though this new age drivel mixed with lunar science and magical practices was what was needed. But why? Simply because I refuse to do any real magical undertakings? Only because this has long since been a disappointment in every way to me so why fucking bother? He wasn’t saying and I was just annoyed.

I began compiling a list of lunar festivals for the new and full moons. I compared their names with the generally accepted beliefs that the new moon is for growth and the full moon is about realization. The festivals didn’t line up quite so well and I asked Osiris what the fuck was the point in this, but he didn’t answer because it’s still a little too early for him. So I’ve stewed on the answers and eventually lost the book in a mountain of other books that don’t interest my depression brain.

I refused to pick the book back up, but mostly found that the idea of reading didn’t interest me. (See above: depression brain.) Eventually I caved and pulled it back to the top of the TBR pile and then tossed it into my purse for reading in my off time. I was lying to myself. It’s been in my purse for the better part of a month, ignored. Osiris has been conspicuous only by his silence on the matter.

Sweet Surrender

I spent most of the first October moon cycle, staring up at the moon each night with a sort of confused wonder. When it didn’t speak to me as I kind of hoped it would, I would go back inside and ignore it. And as the next and final full moon of October rose high in the sky, I looked forward to my time with Osiris while simultaneously dreading it. The moon. The Mysteries. They were coming for me and I couldn’t hide from both for much longer.

When I had found courage, I pulled a deck of cards out for the first time since May and asked Osiris what he wanted me to focus on for The Mysteries. Was there an overarching theme, or a specific subset for me to be focused on? And he said, “you.” I didn’t throw the cards in a fit of rage, but I could have. Sometimes, I don’t actually give vent to my first impulses as much as I might want to.

And… oh. Didn’t that seem a little funny now? After the very personal conversation with TTR about matters directly related to, well, me? A conversation that ended with me picking up a book on their suggestion that both scares me and intrigues me to read? It could just be me projecting on Osiris, a misinterpretation of cards in conjunction with that conversation, but probably not.

I picked up that stupid moon book and read the next section. I had to stop when I got mid-chapter. It asked me a simple question that I had no answer for. My hands were shaking as I bookmarked the page and I threw the book back in my purse. That question was the heart of my conversation with TTR and Osiris’s direction for The Mysteries.  I could feel it pounding at me like a little moth’s wings when it’s been captured in a glass jar.

Be the One to Fall

I’ve approached The Mysteries in the past as a metaphor for Osiris. The days and festivals associated with it are, well, about him anyway. But as I turned the question of the moon book over in my mind and the book I bought over in my hands and replay my conversation with TTR over and over again, I began to see why I should take front and center.

I was told once that I am a house without much work put into it. That reading haunts me sometimes, but the Mambo wasn’t wrong. She knew what she was seeing with a surety that I could never have myself. And while I’ve come to realize the overall message – as harsh as it was to hear – has never really changed. A nice veneer is, well… nice. But the interior is where you live.

I don’t think my ideas for The Mysteries are wrong. Osiris hasn’t come swooping in to tell me to fuck off with my bullshit, so I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track here. The ideas are just recycled ones anyway. If it was important the first time, the second time means it’s no less important since it’s an establishment of tradition now. I’ll do it all with my usual “lol idfk what I’m doing” flare and it will either be exactly what he. Er. We need. Or it will be an abject failure that requires investigation and a deep post-mortem later.

In the interim, as I build up to the 14th of November for the start of The Mysteries, I’m looking at the answer Osiris gave me when I asked him what to focus on this year. And I’m trying to figure out how this will look beyond just The Mysteries. My ideas look, unsurprisingly, like self-care and shadow work. The comments from the peanut gallery are nonexistent, which I’m taking as tacit approval.

Here’s to a self-imposed exile of sorts, filled with joy and suffering, wonder and sorrow, pain and growth.

Sweet surrender is all that I have to give.