Or how I believe my religion is strongly informed by my neurology. If I was neurotypical I’m not sure I would be Heathen today. It starts back at the beginnings of my memories, in a world where plants could read my mind and colours and vibrations swirled about be, captivating me. Nature was alive and I was a part of it from the moment of my birth.
I would sit outside before a thunderstorm and let the electric stink of the air and the hot vibrations of the stormy air current wash over my skin. Sitting in a bathing suit on the hot driveway until it began to burn. A memory of a single blade of grass, illuminated a brilliant green from the summer sun, I reach out to touch it and it slices my finger. My sun-sparkled drop of life-force leaked out of my finger. Mother Earth was alive and she talked to me. She talked to me with the storms, with the sounds of the trees, with the grass beneath my feet. She talked to me when I slowly dragged my hand past my eyes and followed the coloured tracers as they chased my fingers and dissipated, an intense indigo.
The same indigo and deep, rich colours swirled around people and in my head, flashes and splashes whenever I listened to music, the more indigo the better. Earth was alive. The rocks were alive(I felt crushing sorrow and despair at the thought of the loneliness of a single rock), music was alive, the bark of the trees breathing their secrets into my hands. The sun itself was a living being. Each of them watching me and knowing me. I came to know the forest in the dead of night better than any place on Earth as I walked it’s cragged and winding trails and felt the roots of great white spruces press against the soles of my feet. What I could not consolidate in sight, I could feel. I could navigate the forest without my sight, without a compass, without a map; relying solely on my sense of touch and smell, relying on Mother Earth to guide me.
When I grew older and started school, the september sun heated the rocks beneath my feet and the sand that ran tickly through my fingers, though autumn’s wind chilled my skin(I would not wear a coat, clothing was wrinkly and unpleasant enough without those wrinkles being pressed into my skin, leaving indents of physical struggle). I was afraid of worms, until I kneeled on one and it squirt blood, as hot and red as any that leaked from my own flesh. The worm as as alive and feeling as I was. I was entirely enamoured with the world, the living world, almost supernatural in its pulse which vibrated and pumped strongly against my own skin and into my own blood.
At eight years old I laid on my back in my bed, the moonlight shining in through my window, and I silently prayed to Mother Earth. I knew one thing in this world and that She was here, and her pulse was my pulse. Then I met my first friend, and then her step mother, an Ojibwe Wiccan woman, proud of her heritage and attuned to the same Earth I was. She began to teach me. I began to spend hours and hours in the library surfing what was then a very very slow internet. I found Wicca and I found Mother Earth as my first God.
The Moon was my second. My friend and I sat beneath an apple tree on the night of the full moon, chanting our Wiccan magick, a poorly paced rhyme. The moonlight cast a blue hue over the whole earth and the breeze tickled against my skin, the same way my own hands could as they stroked my skin until it became unbearable and I scratched it off. It entranced me the same way too. Beside us, the Earth’s pulse could be heard from the dull roar of the river that fed the waters of a minnow farm. I felt illuminated, fully exposed, fully alive. I was connected with the great Goddess of the Earth and her Moon. The Moon was alive and he sung to me.
Alone again I focussed my intent into my magic, my fingers dancing in front of my eyes with only candlelight to guide them. The age old chant, “pick a pock a peek a pou”, alliterative and pulsing like that same blood of the Earth, trickling out of my mouth and I sensed it. Indigo swirled around my dancing fingers. My own colour is indigo. I run one index finger between the fingers on my other hand, buzzing and tingling, entrancing me. Soon the smells of oil, wax and incense would surround me like a heady fog, imbuing my magic with even more power. I capture the light of the moon in a little painted jar. I captured the life of the forest in a yellow bucket(a small clam, minnow fry, a snapping turtle).
The Thunder was my third God. While drifting into sleep with the sounds of a storm clattering outside my window, the swirls of indigo and shades of blue sparking my brain, I dreamt of the Thunder God, a strong, red-bearded man with large arms, leading me to an alley way in the rain, it’s petrichor burning my nostrils. He claimed me in my dream. I have followed him ever since.
I was born this way, Autistic and bound by some stroke of luck, or Wyrd, to become a Heathen, a Pagan. Is there magic in the world? I would say there is; there is magic in the way I move my body and the way I connect to the world around me. There is magic in the unique way someone like me thinks and sees the world, sensate, tactile, physical, rhythmic, continuous, colourful, real. I am indigo. It is my colour.