The topic of veiling among polytheist/pagan women has been coming up a lot lately. It even hit the Pantheon blog at Patheos. You can read that post to get more of a general sense of why some of the women cover their head. It’s a fascinating area for me, especially since I’ve been doing this for over a year now. Some months ago I did join the community Star referenced in her post, and in the recent weeks it has exploded with membership.
So why do I cover? It started with Pantheacon 2011. The chronic stress and anxiety I had developed in the months previous led up to me feeling in a very fragile state by the time I got to the con. Things turned in to an odd mix of mental state. While I had been feeling very “cement head” for a while, I simultaneously felt like I was also a little too open and aware psychically. Warding and personal protection only did so much to help. So I took some of the dreadfalls I had with me (lengths of velvet cut to appear as if I am wearing a wide headband and had funky falls) and wore them for a lot of the con. Upon returning home to Connecticut, I decided to go shopping for a scarf to cover my head regularly. This helped a lot with helping me to feel calmer and more centered. It also helped me to deal with big crowds of people. I’ve never been too fond of huge crowds (but not quite agoraphobic), but with my head covered it became much more tolerable to be out and about. I was picking up less impressions from people and overall felt more calm and present in my body.
The kicker was going to New York City not long after I returned to the east coast. I attended the Pompeii exhibit at the Discovery Times Center, head all wrapped, and picking up impressions right and left from the objects in the exhibit. The portion with the casts of people who had died in the eruption of 79 AD was both heart-breaking and illuminating. The former because I felt such empathy for what had happened to these people. The latter was because I felt like I was picking up stories from the people who had died. I do still remember one, but my current knowledge of Roman history would have to be buffed up a little before I could do it justice with my own words.
Me with my head wrapped, taken a few weeks ago.
To achieve the look I have in the above picture:
1. Get a long rectangular scarf. You can find them easily in stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.
2. Fold the scarf in half lengthwise.
3. Wrap around the top of your head and knot at the base of your hairline.
4. Take the tails and wrap them around the front of your head, tucking in the ends. I highly recommend doing this if you’re going to wrap your head like this. I find having the scarf hanging down affects my center of gravity.
Currently there is only one time when I cover my head, and that is for work. It turns out to be the place where I find it most needed. It keeps out all the stuff I don’t want around me and acts as an additional shield. Wrapping the scarf around my head has also become its own morning ritual. The scarf acts as a boundary (a theme I am going to work with more when I go back to my B posts). It is a tangible reminder that while I walk in this world, I am different from the people around me. With this, I am less likely to forget that there is more to life than just the annoyances which seem poised to take over my reality on a daily basis.
I would like to get some new scarfs, and perhaps some alternative head coverings like snoods. The time may be coming when I want to come more often.
This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.