I have been working on a companion book to Rose Petals. It doesn't have a title yet. This frustrates me because I feel like all of my projects must be named. It is an almost ritualistic element to my writing, I'll confess, but it feels necessary so I do it. This current project has me stumped. It is a book of daily meditations that takes one through the Filianic calendar year. At the head of each page is the date according to the Filianic calender. Then a quote is presented (usually from the Gospel of Our Mother God but there are some from my forthcoming book of mystic experiences). After this is a brief meditation. At the bottom of the page is the corresponding Julian calendar date. As of right now, I have two of the months finished and a third near completion.
About that book of mystic experiences, it focuses strictly upon my encounters with Dea. I've had visions of her since around when I hit puberty. I didn't talk about them when I was a kid for two reasons. One, I was terrified that I was going to be declared insane and shipped off to a mental institution. Two, I didn't know of anyone else ever having this kind of experience and it scared me. It was a very strange thing to go from the profound sense of connection and ecstasy that came from Dea's touch to the stark terror that I was going to be considered raving mad almost immediately after. I still have times where I get scared of being declared insane.
To say the least, the gods laugh at me for this. While I struggle with mental illness and I have been declared disabled due to it, I have official documentation to say that I am not schizophrenic or have dissociative identity disorder. Between this documentation and my medication, I have plenty of things to hold up and say "This is why I am not hallucinating things." I still struggle with that fear, though. From what I have been able to determine, others who are god-touched have the same struggle. This heartens me and leads me to believe that perhaps my experiences with the gods are normal, or at least as normal as they can be with the range of deities I interact with.
The book about my mystic experiences is titled Drowning in Light. The title really captures for me what it is like to experience Dea's touch. I feel as though I can not breathe, though I can perfectly well. I am blinded by the brilliant light that fills my vision. This light also fills me with warmth. It is not the terrible sensation of burning alive that some would describe as much as it is like being outside on a hot summer's day in the direct sun. Additionally, I feel as though I am in some sort of liquid, as though I am in a deep, deep pool of water, if water were made of light. The first time this happened, I came out of the trance laying prostrate on the ground where I had been just sitting up against a tree. It was a jarring thing to discover myself laying on the ground when I knew I had been sitting up moments earlier and having no recollection as to how I got that way.
The other visionary experiences have not been quite as overwhelming as that first one, but I still have times where I find myself in a position that I have no memory of getting into. I've been told that when entranced, I sometimes shudder. There have been occasions where I was entranced and my eye color changed, but that was a little different then when Dea puts her hand on me. That time, I was acting as a medium. Almost every time I have acted as a medium, I don't remember anything about the experience. When I have visions from Dea, I may not remember what happens to my body but the vision remains burned into my mind.
I started studying the experiences of Catholic saints after I heard about Hildegard von Bingen. The more I read, the more I saw my own experiences described, though with a distinctly different deity. During the brief period (about 1 year) that I was seriously considering converting to Catholicism, I had two visions sent to me. One was from the blessed virgin Mary. The other was from Jesus himself. (I'll talk about them later this week, they're actually kinda interesting.) The message from these visions were that Catholicism was not the path I was to follow. That lead to a year of silence on the spiritual front.
Going from having visions and hearing the gods and the dead speaking to you to utter silence is a horrid experience. In that period of silence, I stumbled about desperately wanting to have back what I had taken for granted. Thankfully, it did come back. But it was a harrowing experience to have that silence there. The memory of it stays at the back of my mind and reminds me not to take for granted what I have now. Because it can be easily taken away.