Hair and my lack of it.

So I shaved my head down to skin for the first time in a very, very long time. It was probably more than a year ago when I last did it. I shave my head primarily because I like it, but it’s also a Mr. Mister thing, as, for whatever reason, he really likes it, too. I was recently told that He was frustrated that I hadn’t been doing and that I needed to do it whenever I cut my hair, as a devotional act.

Were it up to me, I’d buzz it down with the clippers and leave it because I’m lazy and don’t want to deal with a razor every other day. However, it pleases Him so I guess I’ll be doing it a whole lot more often.

I have a strange history with my hair. I’ve almost always had short hair, which was a battlefield when I was a kid. My paternal grandmother the hairdresser insisted that I would be a better girl with longer hair and that argument consistently went horribly. She eventually convinced my mother to allow her to perm my hair[!!] and that was a horrible, Little Orphan Annie experience. When I finally had enough autonomy to say I didn’t like it anymore, I got all the awfulness cut out of it and had regular hair for a long time. I occasionally tried to grow it longer but that never went well.

The day I moved away to school, I hacked most of my hair off with a pair of scissors in the bathroom and horrified my mother the next time she saw me. That kind of became par for the course; when I have big life changes, I attack my hair first. Of course, I don’t have any now so there’s nothing to attack.

The first time I shaved my head was about six years ago at the first Beltane gathering I went to at the Farm. I got the message loud and clear that I had to shave off my much-loved mohawk and, while I was upset at losing my hair, I was kind of excited at the big change. So, on the last day of the gathering, a friend shaved my head for me and another friend shaved it down to skin as best we could outside under the sun. I kept the majority of my hair and gave some of it to the friend wielding the clippers. It was a lesson in humility, as I was far too concerned with outward appearances. Unfortunately, that lesson didn’t stick at the time.

Of course, that was the weekend I met the guy who became a lot of Work and he h-a-t-e-d my shaved head. Like, big time hated it in a major way. I left it shaved for a week or two and LOVED it but he was way more important to me at the time than my own happiness. So, me being me at the time, I decided to grow back my mohawk which, in hindsight, was probably the wrong decision but I made it anyways. I remember the person who shaved it back in for me asking me at least three times if I was sure. I should have taken that as a sign that something was not quite right, but I am dense as hell sometimes.

I didn’t cut my hair again for almost three years, save for shaving the sides so the mohawk stayed a mohawk. The guy I was dating at the time told me he would leave me if I ever shaved my head again, so I didn’t. That was another massive waving red flag that I swallowed and ignored.

I didn’t mind the mohawk too much, though I did keep wanting to shave my head but I was met with outside resistance each time. I bleached it and dyed it all sorts of colors [my favorite was purple fading to pink] and grew it super long.

The first thing I did when we broke up was shave my head. We had The Conversation [he cried, I sure didn’t] and, fifteen minutes later, I was in the bathroom with the clippers. I think I was sealing the deal and making sure there was no going back, as he apparently found me even more unattractive than usual with a shaved head. I was also getting rid of the relationship. Someone once told me that hair holds spooky stuff and that makes a lot of sense to me. In that vein, it makes sense that I had the absolute compulsion to get rid of my hair and whatever it was holding.

I still have my hair from that time in a neat little ziploc bag with all my spooky stuff. I don’t know what I want to do with it yet, except maybe burn it like I did with most of my hair the first time. I haven’t really had hair since then, except for a short time this winter when I let it grow as long as I could before it drove me completely crazy and I buzzed it all off again.

Now shaving my head is a devotional activity and it feels good to do it. It’s something that doesn’t really cost me any money, doesn’t take too much time, and doesn’t have me doing anything that really costs me out in the real world, like with school or my job. I get plenty of funny looks and a lot of questions from little kids, but I’m pretty sure I’d look weird even with hair.

I think it’s interesting how many neo-pagan people have stuff going on with their hair. There’s been the recent thing about head covering and veiling, which has been pretty interesting to follow [see Covered in for more on the subject]. I know people who are not allowed by their Deities to cut their hair, for whatever reason. I know a few other people who have to shave their heads, too. I find it fascinating that so many of us have stuff about our hair.

I guess I’ll keep shaving my head as long as He wants me and probably if He stops caring, as well. I’m pretty sure he wants me to shave off most of my body hair and I am very much not in favor of that, so we’ll see. Maybe I can negotiate myself out of that, but I doubt it. Boyfriend once dreamed Him as a lawyer and that’s probably pretty damn accurate. I see Him as the chairman of the board with me as the boy who runs around trying to get everything done while the Boss is kind of amused. I never win with Him, ever. He knows exactly what buttons to push to get what He wants and there hasn’t been a situation where He hasn’t gotten it. I will say I’m not doing something or I put it off and the next thing you know, I’m going through the motions wondering what the fuck just happened. He’s a bastard like that.

Anyways, hair. I have none and probably won’t for quite awhile.

~ by Alex on August 17, 2012.

3 Responses to “Hair and my lack of it.”

  1. Good thing is, you have a head that’s shaped nicely for shaving, like Patrick Stewart and Avery Brooks. 😉

    I’m not allowed to cut my hair yet, although I’m now allowed to style it any way I want/need to. (During training I had to wear it in braids or loose, period.) I’ve read Covered in Light; it’s interesting, and tempting to try. But no covering for me.

  2. Contrary to your situation, I grew my hair out for three years because Himself asked me to. It wasn’t a demand, but I did it to make Him happy. Then I couldn’t take it anymore because I have really bushy hair, and I had that same friend with the buzzer cut off almost all of it at Beltane. Himself pouted about it, but I said I’d grow some of it back eventually, just not into the massive shock of hair it was before.

    And yeah, nearly every spiritworker I know has some hair-related thing going on — either spirits telling them to do this or that with it, or else they wear their hair a certain way to express some part of their Work or their role. So you definitely aren’t the only one 🙂

    At least you look good with a shaven head, like Fala said. I look like a fencepost, and there’s a weird fold in the back that looks really odd when uncovered. Probably won’t shave it again 😛

  3. I too have hair stuff going on – it’s pretty much as long as I can grow it because I feel more myself that way, and my daimon also likes it that way too, but I also braid it in some fashion every single day (for 3 years now) in honor of one of my spirits, and tie things in the braids for ritual. I also stopped dyeing it at Their insistence, even though I’ve gone gray fairly young. They tell me I’ve earned those white hairs.

    I do think that hair holds stuff, spiritually speaking, and that can be both good and bad. Certainly cutting it can release a lot of that. I always ritualize the times I cut my hair (just a trim every few months), to use that mojo of letting go…. it occurs to me now that I could probably even make a good guess, based on hair growth rates, as to what part of my past I’m releasing when I cut off an inch or two.

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