Every 6 months I perform a Rebirth ritual in accordance with my Shadow Work. Like clockwork I wait until my Husband goes to sleep, I take my shower, and I perform my ritual. Each time, the same deity assists me. Each time, something new is required of me, and I give it willingly.
I never talk about my personal beliefs in any significant capacity when it comes to religion. Ultimately it was Tumblr that taught me not to through various means… But working with Cailleach has been interesting.
It didn’t start out as a religious affair. Instead it was something unwanted that was thrust on me by a combination of circumstance, associates, and other factors. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, but I was never really all that upset by it. She would come and go when she pleased- mostly only bothering me when the person who accidentally bound me to her didn’t do what she wanted her to; weird Tummy Telepathy, 1 am alarms on watches whose batteries are dead, and other occurrences have been a normal part of my life for a while.
It was her, even, that I called to later when I needed help getting out of an abusive situation- and her that I’ve been indebted to after I broke that oath. Since that moment, especially, she has had an important place- a place of high honor and esteem- in my Husband and I’s house even if her and I only had a working relationship and my Husband never interacted with her; she played a large role in our engagement, and I long ago promised to always at least have a Shrine in my house in her honor (true to my word it was the first item to be erected when we moved into our new place last May).
Originally when I started performing the Rebirth rituals, it was out of a desperate need to find myself. This, too, was not religious at first- but like Cailleach does, she wound her way into it and became the one I called to during ritual. She has been firm, and stern, but willing… It never comes without a price, though, and she is (as I discovered on my own) well known for her cruelty when it suits her.
Last night our relationship changed irrevocably, however. I gathered my items for my usual 6 month Rebirth ritual and began the process. I was told in no unclear terms, though, that something would have to happen; that something would have to change for me to continue on this path; that in order to get what I wanted this time and continue working with her in the future, I would have to take a leap of faith without a safety net and do something which I would never be able to revoke.
That change was that I was to become a Dedicant, bound in blood for life… Not only to the Hag, herself- a deity that I had already broken one Oath to.. But also (by her orders) to Brighid, a deity I had never even approached or encountered before… And I would, of course, have to do embark on this path with no real or tangible knowledge of the Irish pantheon or its traditions- which, albeit, was something of my own fault. Still, it was one hell of a leap.
I never thought I would become a Dedicant, let alone step foot into the realm of formal worship after my relationship with Hathor proved to be short lived and Kemeticism wound up not being right for me spiritually… Hell, only last week I would have laughed at anyone who tried to tell me that being Dedicated- a large and very important Oath to me- to a Deity (let alone two) would be not only something that I would consider, but would enthusiastically do at 2 am one Friday morning in January, without a second thought… And yet here I am now, bound in blood for the rest of my life.
I thought that the two people close to me who had relationships with these Deities would kill me. Despite all of my advice to others (which, in part, comes from my own repeat mistakes), in my own practice I tend to be a walking encyclopedia or exactly what not to do when dealing with the Gods. I was wrong, though. Neither of them seemed very surprised at all. In fact, they were happy; proud of me, even.
“It fits”, they say, that “Cailleach and Brighid work for you”; “You are the amalgamation of things that are pretty and nice- and things that some might consider dark and harrowing”.
I don’t regret it. I certainly did not plan it and for those who don’t know me it might seem out of the blue or accidental (my own jokes probably contributing to that)… But I don’t regret making this decision, mentally exhausted and half out of my mind at 2 am after losing yet another friend in rather manipulative circumstances; I don’t regret taking a leap of faith without a safety net and no guarantee that it will be worth it… Because it does fit; I feel as if I am home at last- where I was meant to end up… As if this is the culmination of two years worth of intensive self discovery- all the puzzle pieces finally fitting into place so that the picture is revealed.