My mother gave me the birth name of Jeremiah. She had told me that he was known as “the Weeping Prophet” and that he was who she needed in her life at the time of my birth.
This was an apt naming. I have always felt or suspected that I feel emotional reactions much more… deeply… than others. As a child I had to learn how to suppress my emotional reactions. People found them unmanly and disturbing. I cried a lot, in private, where it couldn’t be used to concern-troll or ridicule or discredit me.
My mother needed a man in her life that didn’t follow the toxic kind of masculinity that she had always been abused by. She put that thought out into the universe and named me after an archetype of that. Perhaps the knowledge of this shaped my identity more than anything else that came after. She had always told me that I was meant for great things, and that I would have an important message to convey. She encouraged my art and writing (when it didn’t disturb her) because she wanted me to find my medium.
My mother is a witch. She was a Christian witch then. She is more universal in her beliefs now. She has rejected religion and Christianity and instead follows her own path or “spirituality”. Witches are those of us who have perhaps due to the traumatic genetic memories of our ancestors, have a keen insight into systems around us, both natural and artificial. It is instinctual, and emotional, and informs our behavior and response to the world both in action and personal presentation. Recent studies have suggested ties to phobias found within our DNA. Ancestors who survived traumas that nearly killed them may have passed on phobias and perhaps other coded information as an adaptation. It would then make sense that there would be those of us who come from long lines of families who experienced intense cumulative trauma and adaptation cycles and survived to pass on these phobias and perhaps even… other memories… to their decendants. Intelligence and mental abilities run in families. The important thing to note is that our ancestors had to survive these traumas to pass on their altered DNA. My mother and I come from a ling line of … survivors. We all do really, and some of us are hyper-aware of it.
I have lived with anxiety and depression my whole life. I have built characters of myself with which to compartmentalize the causes of my anxiety and sorrow while I try to figure out what their cause is. The man that I had to create to live in our culture had to explore how to be a man while not expressing unacceptable emotions at socially inappropriate times. I had to channel anxiety into aggression , lest they think I am scared and weak, I have had to bury sorrow within me and find the few people I felt safe with to express it to privately, lest people think I am too emotional to be rational. I had to create an identity that can appear sociopathic to those outside of my inner circle.
The Witch cursed me to live as a werewolf, which is exactly what lycanthropy was considered to be during the werewolf trials that often coincided with witch trials, a witches curse. I view werewolves as a kind of witch metaphorically, shapeshifting is also a shamans art incidentally, linking shaman to witches as well. I created a fearsome exterior to hide the humanity within and go on the hunt or to battle.
Or to evade. I wrote in a previous blog about how I felt hunted as a teenager. But for my particular combination of circumstances and humanity I could have been the suspect of a horrific news story myself. Had I not enough of my mother within me to guide me things may have ended up very much worse. The parts of her she gifted me with gave me the ability to express myself dramatically in art and identity instead of blood and violent action. She gave me my fight too, my rebellion. You can only muzzle “inappropriate ” emotions for so long before they become inappropriate reactions.
I spent the life and death of my manhood cycle, named Jerek, learning how to have relationships. I spent it networking all over the east coast and Midwest learning masculinity from transmen, sex workers, artists, geeky boys, dudes, and punks. I spent it as a creature that needed to understand why masculinity could be valued so highly and yet be so hurtful to the soul. I spent it gradually weeding out behaviors that hurt people unnecessarily and refining how to fight in appropriate ways at appropriate times. I spent it learning how to be a wolf, and run packs. I spent it learning how to have and marry a mate, and then mourn them and the safe parts of me their passing takes away. I’ve had to reconfigure myself as a new kind of man after each death. This last time I emerged whole. I don’t really think of myself as a man anymore. I am two forces in balance and perpetual negotiation.
My mother and I talked for a long time the other night in our respective languages, I spoke of consciousness and archetypes, she spoke of spirituality and humanity. She let me know she supports me and that I have a home with her should I need it in my travels. We have come to all of the same conclusions about life and balance, the aesthetic of our preferred language is just a different hue.
My mother has always been my sun, my light. I like to believe that I’ve always been her moon. That’s how she designated me.