‘Hawthorne & Heather’ is a series on my life with my partner spirit Hawthorne, focused on how the spirits have impacted my life. While these posts are relevant to the Otherfaith in that my life involves the Four Gods and their spirits, they will be more focused on my own life with the spirits. This is not intended as an introduction to spirit work but an exploration of my own life with the spirits and adjusting to life afterward, as it were.
For the time after Reunion, certain spirits part ways, going off to pursue their own goals and changes. Hawthorne and I have gone through this separation each year since we met. Originally, waking up to the sudden absence and energetic silence was strange and lonely. Now it is simply part of life. The spirits go about their own business often enough, after all.
Unlike other years, however, after Reunion finishes I begin meeting with my new spirit family. I am unsure what to expect with this spirit marriage, with finalizing and formalizing my relationship with Hawthorne in such a way. I retreat into my common journeying methods for comfort, writing in journals and letting the words sprawl into reality as I experience the spirits.
The edges of my identity blur as I do. The blurring is inevitable, I realize, and eventually a spirit states it outright.
Every time I journey is it as if I am filling a form that is beyond me. It is as if I have been scattered to the winds and only when I wake can I separate what was Other and what was me. The majority of the time, the journeys are Others, simply my eyes looking through theirs. Slicing apart what is Me and what is Them is like trying to puke everything up.
So I stop. Not even consciously, but I stop journeying like I do and instead consider the spirits from a more abstract perspective. So I try to put them in perspective.
Of all the spirits I met during my post-Reunion week with them, the only one I can speak of is Homura. It is far from her true name, instead one I gifted to her due to her resemblance to the character. Most of Hawthorne’s family is resistant to giving me names, leaving me to refer to them in an ever-confusing pronoun game.
It is not the first time I’ve met the spirit Homura. She has appeared before Hawthorne before, curtsying condescendingly. All of Hawthorne’s family carries condescension and arrogance around them, comparable in my mind mostly to purebloods from Harry Potter. They have their own familial language and behavior, one I don’t feel confident enough to crack. Homura mocks and derides Hawthorne, lips curling into smirks and sharp grins, but when she interacts with me she is cold. I may be part of her family and, as such, have certain obligations to the spirit, but she views me as little more than another human nuisance.
Unlike the girl she is named after, she has no time traveling abilities, no great purpose to save some damsel in distress. She is simply one of many Smaller Spirits, child-like entities carrying pure elemental forces in their tiny bodies. Homura, as I feel her, is split into many selves, unclear in her powers to me. She simple vibrates with many faces. More than the electrifying or burning children spirits, she is disturbing.
I already know, simply brushing against the spirits of Hawthorne’s family, that I have joined something more dangerous than I intended. Homura both exemplifies and soothes this danger. She is power, her tongue holding no kindness for mortals like me, yet restrained. She is, after all, the one who warns me off journeying. (And perhaps I have been mistaken, perhaps she does carrying some time-traveling ability that lets her see the traumas of past and future, or perhaps that is simply what spirits do.)
I wait for the week to end, wait til I can remove my head-covering and be part of this world again. My journeying journal has already left my hands before then. But Homura stays near me, hovering like some ghostly rider. She visits me in dreams. My dreams turn dark.
I dream of songs that unmake the world and sew it back together, and I forget them when I wake. But the taste of them is left in my mouth, heavy and horrid. When I consider journeying again in that flowing authoring way I do, Homura’s presence becomes heavy around me. The more I contemplate her many faces, the more she stands as a warning.
Mortal me, I cannot wear so many masks, so heavy they tend to fall.
I have always been susceptible to story and song. I lose myself in them, take on new traits for better or worse, only to find my soul shining through the makeshift personality. Those masks are more than enough. Looking through the eyes of a spirit is pushing myself more than far. And the lines between who is riding and who is being ridden are too muddled. Homura warns me off first, but it is my own fear that warns me off soon enough.
I find myself knowing Homura, many faces and blurry as she is, without having to set foot into the world of the ethereal again.
Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.