[TL;DR: I’m retiring the name Poseidon in association with my Beloved. I’m retiring names entirely. Wanting to be respectful to traditions and cultures that are tied to Poseidon, and to other Named Beings is only part of the reason, and if I’m being honest, a small part of the reason. Mostly, it’s getting in my way, and keeping me anchored. Beloved, I will call him. Lord of the Depths, I’ll name him. Beyond that? Not so much, anymore. May this enable me to be carried by his tide, rather than strangled by it.]
[also, I’m inconsistent with You/you, in regards to Him. That’s because, I’m inconsistent with my decision with how to refer to him/Him. That hasn’t changed in two decades; it’s not likely to.]
I asked for this.
To pretend anything else is to lie. I stood before You, before the sacred space I’d kept for You for so long, and I begged for this. “Take me deeper into Your mysteries,” I pleaded, and clung with all my might to what I’d known of You. Poseidon, You’d given me, all those years ago. I wrapped my hands around the name, clutching it to my heart, with no regard for how it fit. Fit it did, for a long time. Under this name, You taught me to love. You took a being mired in apathy, shattered the shell I’d buried myself in, and taught me what it was to be exposed, to be vulnerable, to find strength within.
Compassion didn’t happen over night, and compassion-for-self was even longer in coming. I accepted the name You gave me, and even if I didn’t rush headlong into Your stories, I did eventually seek them out, I did eventually incorporate them, in my own way, into a tradition I would build with you. For you. With you. I discarded what did not suit. I discounted the ties a people might have to a being, ties I would never know, could never know, would never understand, because this name You gave me I did not ask for, and I would not deny. You are not your stories. You are not the cultures that would claim you, and I did not pretend to be what I was not. Compassion comes slowly. Empathy and understanding, also.
“Husband,” You gave me, when I asked for it. Wife, You responded in kind, and these became akin to names, another layer added to Poseidon, a permission, in essence, to name you Beloved. This tore me apart, tore us apart, because I would not bend, in my stubbornness, in my youth, I had to be broken, a bone healed wrong and needing to be re-aligned. Stronger, perhaps, because of it, though with a weakness in the line of the break. Stronger, perhaps, for having that weakness. Patience is gained in the healing, but usually only in hindsight, usually near the end of the process.
El, you hinted at but did not speak. Yam, you danced around, and oh did I close my ears to that. Matsya, you said, and it felt like coming home, until it felt like being cast adrift. Narashima, you chanted at me. Vishnu, you said, and all the rest of His fell in line, to varying degrees. I seethed, and I set aside, and I backed away. “Poseidon,” I pleaded, but it was like grasping the sand that’s being pulled out by the tide, eroding under my feet and falling from my hands no matter how tight my grasp.
Our history I wrapped around myself. “Poseidon,” I insisted, and I wrote. I had experience, did I not? I had our history, my dedication, continuity. Steadfast, I called you, and then, missing the point entirely, Poseidon.
She reached out then, didn’t She? Forget Him, forget that for now. Come. Rest. Heal. She held me, the Mother of All, and kept you at arms length. Diva, I called Her, because I sought to reconcile with Matsya, with Narashima, with You. I bided there a time.
“Poseidon?” I whispered, and You reached for me, showing You’d never left, because You never leave. The certainty that others, that outsiders had of o/Our connection moved me, and wounded me at the same time. You came when I called, You held when I sought You, but there was a strain, because again, I was not bending, and You did not want to break me. Or, you thought it not needed. Or, your patience was wearing thin. Or, You knew what was coming and you sought not to pressure me. All of these. None of these. How can I know?
I stripped away the visual history of Poseidon worship from our space. I placed a Vishnu icon. I tried. I tried, but that never took. So I stripped those away, moved the space, outfitted it with the cloth that predates all other imagery. I went back to the basics. A candle. Images that evoke rather than invoke, for You are always with me. The collection of touchstones were packed away. The shrine became a workspace, a words-space, and here we are.
Vishnu, but not. Matsya, but not. El, Yam, Narashima, but not.
Poseidon, but not.
“Don’t take the name from me,” I begged, years ago now. How much I identify with being a Poseidon devotee. How much of my ego is bound up in that. It is what I’ve called myself for longer than I’ve called myself anything, aside from a writer. I’ve shared so much of my path with You for others to see. I’ve written about it. There are booklets, even. “Poseidon,” I clung, and tacked it onto the end of my name, for I am yours, I will always be yours.
Take it. It gets in the way. You are Poseidon, but you are not. You always have been, and you never were. We are more than our names, all of us. Jolene, people call me, and they have different ideas of who that is based on our relationship, me and them. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Wife. Poseidon, I speak, and people decide something about You, about me, about us. It has been useful shorthand, all this time, but it begins to get in the way.
My Lord of the Depths, Husband of my heart, my Beloved. Be as You are. Be who you are. Take me deeper into your mysteries. Poseidon is an anchor point which holds me back. I release it. Let me be adrift. Let this wave carry me as it will.
I do not surrender; I throw myself into Your arms in eager anticipation, and know I am caught, I am held, I am loved. You are my Lord of the Depths. Let me be part of your spell upon the world.