Teo Bishop had a post a while ago about love in modern polytheism, and while it caught my eye I also didn’t feel compelled at that time to think more of it. More recently, I stumbled upon another post by Teo – this time about myth, meaning, and application of that in our lives.
I find myself at an interesting crossroads concerning the issue of meaning, as well as the meaning of love in the mythologies I’m writing. There is a whole category of myths that I write called the Romances because they all focus on, obviously, romance and relationships (specifically, in the stories I’m writing, they refer to romances between women and also include great achievements by female spirits). More narrowly, I’ve been working intensely with Dahlia, a spirit associated with oceans, leather, and adventure. From her ultimately tragic love with Corliss to her slow companionship with Grace, she has been teaching me about love in many forms – and how her stories relate to my life (and the lives of my friends!).
When I first began interacting with her (starting with a question of why I was getting pirate and ocean imagery thrown at me every moment of the day), I thought she would be a light-hearted spirit, but of course that was foolish. I should know now to not underestimate the entities and energies I work with. When Dahlia came, she seemed to wag her finger in front of me and snag my arm, dragging me off to oceans and islands I hadn’t thought existed.
Around the time she came to me, I’d had another interesting interaction with a separate spirit – this one, however, had informed me in no uncertain terms that I would have to see her first as a spirit, as a friend even, before writing any stories of her. That had stuck awkwardly with me. Always, I ask myself, “What is the meaning of this? How is this applicable? What does this spirit mean?” Doing so keeps me grounded and away from running into a land where I am just playing with sockpuppets in my head, but it has also gotten me in a bit of hot water with a variety of spirits – just as if I were to ask all my friends, “Well, what meaning do you have in my life?”, the question is remarkably rude.
And then Dahlia came, and she practically said, “Watch and learn.”
Watch and learn how to balance joyful relationships for the sake of a relationship with the deeper meaning all of our relationships – between humans and spirits and animals and plants – have. Watch and learn how to handle love. Watch and learn that sometimes the biggest meaning a moment can have is that it makes you happy. Not everything has to be a complex lesson.
It’s funny that, in giving up my relentless pursuit of ‘meaning meaning relevance relevance relevance’ I actually found stories and spirits that meant more than I could have ever imagined.