It was Epigominal days, 2002. I remember the sun outside, the beautiful tent with alters set for each of the Egyptian deities being honored on these, their birthdays, on these, the days between the years. Part of the ritual that day was to be a possession ritual of/for Isis, Goddess, Mother, Lover, Healer, Magician.A woman had been chosen because, well, in all honesty she looked like Isis. Almond Coco toned skin, wavy kinked black hair, eyes deep as wells. They began ritual prep early that day, and being a guest at the event, not a participant, I did not see them bathe her, prepare her body, dress he in finery. I did not see them apply makeup to this living statue.

I was there though when the horse, this vessel, this woman, was seated on the throne of Isis. To one side the priestess of Isis stood in her own finery, and then suddenly, my brain shifted. I walked away from the ritual and off to the kitchen.

I prepared a tray of sweet meats, dried fruits, multiple types of chocolate. I filled a pitcher with beer. I lowered my head and with cut through the throng, to find myself kneeling to the side of the Goddess and offering up the tray and the drink. Those eyes. The nod of acknowledgment. The half smile that was a deep thanks that spread from my bones on out.

I horse, or become a vessel for deity or spirit possession very rarely. There are certain courts of other that fit will in my flesh suit fully, but many do not. Each of us has our own blessings. I have felt my own Patron, Bear, slide into my skin and ride me, watching swordsmen from the woods. I have been ridden by honored dead as a way to connect with the world for last times, a last rite worthy of those taken too soon. A handful of the lower and upper courts have walked in my shoes, or danced and debauched nude using my hands and lips and other gifts. I have felt the whisper of others come through me, automatic writing, oracular words that I have no memory of saying, eyes that click through long enough to communicate a stop to those acting in their name.

But during that Epigominal days ceremony I understood what one of my real gifts is. It is the reason I trained for so long as a Slave in the BDSM community, why I felt an odd obsession since an early age with formal service and being a butler.

When a spirit larger than a breadbox (my own slang for “likely not the dead, basic this plane spirits, or things that we expect to be here”) appear/descend/ascend, my training in service hits the front of the brain. In very large cases, such as Isis, no thought at all takes place- I go into formal service for whatever was not planned for by the ground crew, handlers, or folks working the possession in conjunction with the horse/vessel that the God/dess is riding in. It is my own equivalent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer getting cramps when vampires are nearby- when large spirits and deity descend, fully, I can sense it through my own change in behavior- even if it takes a few moments to sometimes realize what I have done or what I am doing.

It also sometimes means that even when I can’t see the Spirit or Deity, I can still tell if it is, well, real. I am honestly Norse pantheon blind. I have seen a handful of possessions in this pantheon, and can’t “see” Them. And they rarely see me for that matter. But I can tell if my brain shifted. I can tell if the vessel is still the vessel. The moment the shift from shadowing or aspecting is crossed into full possession, most of the time I can just taste it, feel it, or my brain just goes to this other place and the files are re-shuffled to the front. This is of course hilarious when I had other plans.

It’s these things that make me wonder why as of late I have been called to enter into bottoming, submission, and formal space dedication again. I have been building sacred sexual spaces, (re) learning libation systems, picking up new divination tools, connecting in very academic ways with folks who do more formal service to their deities. I have been having intense solo experiences with prostration, lowering, and being called to types of play that though hot, have not historically been my thing per se. Or have not been my thing in some time.

Yes, I am a piggy creature who enjoys a variety of experiences, but much of this rings to something more emotionally and spiritually profound. It has the taste of my Patron, and can smell Her fur. As if I am downloading new knowledge and practicing, because a wave is coming, and soon (in a cosmic sense of soon, not sure on time line.) I will need this, I hear in my bones, I will need this.

I needed my Slavery as a tool in advance for my own God-Slavery to Bear. I needed to know how to choose wines to be able to choose wines for Hera. I needed to be able to be a lube boy to be one for Baphomet. I needed to know how to do many other things for other callings.

So what is this work for then, I find myself asking when no One else seems to be listening. Who or what is this break between the waves heralding? If I serve as Page for Deity, hold space for Spirit, then what is this thing I feel in my spine echoing in my flesh?

I close my eyes and stand at Hir side. Curling horns and hooves hitting the pebbled path.

I close my eyes and see wings and eyes, peacock feathers wrapping around me.

I close my eyes and see… and see white. See color. See black. See nothing. Taste Her fur under my lips.