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Author Topic: Devotional hair practices  (Read 1928 times)

savveir

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Devotional hair practices
« on: August 28, 2013, 12:52:30 pm »
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?



For the past year or so I've had niggling push to cut my hair. This isn't a small thing, my hair is around 30 inches long. At first I thought I'd sell it, then decided I might try to donate it... More recently I've realised it's needed as some sort of offering. The impression I get is that my cut plait will need to be kept as an offering/bargain/contract for a period of time. I don't know how long that will be, or if I'll be keeping the hair short during that, or what I'll do with the plait after said period. It's all still a bit fuzzy.
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yewberry

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 01:12:03 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?


The swallows get all the family hair in the spring (well, not my husband's, because his is buzzed and the swallows aren't really interested).  It's specifically a devotional to the local land spirits--helping them raise their young (soft bedding) in exchange for fecundity on my micro-farm.  I only cut my hair a couple times a year, so it's usually longish by the time spring rolls around.

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 02:18:02 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?


I, um, deliberately don't? For religious reasons.

I have waist length hair that is dark brown going silver: one of my initiation names translates as 'silvery' which means that dying it is, perhaps, missing the point in stupid ways for me. (I was already starting to go silver when I took the name, but knew what I was getting into there.)

I do use hair for particularly major offerings - when I got my 3rd degree, and was asked to bring things for ancestor offerings, I cut off a small segment behind one ear and spun it into yarn that went into those offerings, for example. But limited hair, so not a thing I'm going to do often.

I do also generally wear my hair loose for major ritual things (and some less major) and very rarely wear it loose at other times: it's a personal ritual trigger for me.

(I do suspect that there are circumstances in which I would hack it all off: a very specific kind of mourning that is not likely to be part of my life any time soon, but that I know is a setting in which 'cut it all off' would be relevant.)
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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 02:20:55 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?

 
I just had a first ritual hair-cutting over this last weekend for one of the festivals I celebrate (Procession of Neit). I was content with the outcome of the ritual, and I will be making it a part of my DO list. I haven't decided what I want to do with the hair that was cut. I am weighing the different ideas I have.

veggiewolf

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 02:32:33 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?

 
I, like many Set worshipers, have my hair dyed red.  I keep it red (varying shades and depths) through use of a professional on a monthly basis - otherwise, it would be completely silver at this point.  

I am also growing my hair again which feels like it might be a spiritual thing but I've not had confirmation of this.  It's currently longer than it has been in almost a decade.  And, just to add some weirdness, lately I cannot relax until I've pinned it up.  I have no idea what that's about.
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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 02:57:01 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;120345
I, like many Set worshipers, have my hair dyed red.  I keep it red (varying shades and depths) through use of a professional on a monthly basis - otherwise, it would be completely silver at this point.

 
I am currently struggling with this. The only red I like my hair is like my mother's, a very light natural redhead shade. The upkeep to maintain that shade makes me nuts (I do it at home, as I am not fond of finding hairdressers) and I've been trying to teach myself to come to terms with my natural shade, if I can't manage to actually like it.

I've never felt compelled to cut my hair for religious purposes, or to use it in any particular devotion or working. This thread is making me consider a prayer to Hetharu to recite when doing my hair in the morning, as I often don't bother with makeup, and I want to kick the habit of just combing it and putting in a wet side braid. Hm.
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Elani Temperance

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Devotional hair practices
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 05:38:25 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?

Whenever I am outside of the house, or inside the house with anyone other than my significant other, I keep my hair bound, and usually up. This is a religious thing, but not so much a devotional thing. As a Hellenist, I draw a lot of inspration from ancient Athens, where anyone outside of close family members would ever see a woman's hair undone. Arguably the only male who ever saw the hair of an adult woman undone was her husband. I find a lot of beauty in this. My girlfriend is not religious, but we have talked about this practice of modesty so she is the only one who sees my hair loose, and we both find it adds something special to our relationship.

When I started out in Hellenism, I used to pin up my hair solely for ritual, as wearing the hair down was considered either a part of funerary rites in ancient Hellas, or as part of a rite to the Underworld deities. In the Eleusinian Mysteries, unbound hair was miasmic (attracting spiritual pollution). My current practice was largely fueled by these practices and wearing my hair bound almost full time to avoid miasma was logical for me.

I am now at a point that I get highly uncomfortable when caught with my hair undone by someone who is not supposed to see me like that, and tend to bind my hair as one of the first things I do in the day. There are 'emergency hair ties' everywhere around the house.

As an aside, I tend to veil during large rites, but only as a form of decoration for my hair. I don't veil outside the house, and rarely do it for my daily household worship, unless the mood strikes me.
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ALiteraryLady

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 09:27:46 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?


 
I don't for devotional reasons mainly because I've never been asked by any deity that I've ever worked with to do so. I've read articles about how some devotees to Frigg will veil themselves while working with her, but I personally don't get the "need" to do so when I honor her. She doesn't seem to mind and I don't mind if other devotees to her do veil, it's their choice.

For the record, I do have very short hair :). I found that when I cut my longer hair to a short bob (and then shorter and shorter as time went along) right before starting high school, that in that specific moment it held more importance to me (and also meant that my mom couldn't put in spiral perm rollers in my hair anymore) than my hair has in any religious ritual or working. Also, my hair is very, very bone straight, so having lots of it on my head would drive me nuts. I'm also the kind of person who looks at her boyfriend and wishes that I had the fortitude to take clippers to my entire head, versus just the back of it.

I haven't thought about using my hair in any spell working, so who knows, perhaps later down the road I may, like Jenett, weave some into yarn for a ritual or other kind of working.

Sobekemiti

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 02:03:00 am »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?


Sobek certainly likes me braiding/plaiting my hair for Him, though I don't do it regularly because it hasn't been requested of me (yet). There isn't one single style He likes, just that it's braided or plaited in some manner. I think if I could get away with dyeing it green or blue without jeopardising my chances of getting a job, I probably would do that too. I used to dye it a dark navy blue years ago, but my hair's too long now for my mum to dye it for me so I'd have to get it professionally done, which I can't afford right now.

Isis and Hekate have both requested I veil for them, and I braid and cover my hair for Them during rituals. I'm still thinking about covering my hair fulltime, which They've both asked me to consider. Being genderqueer, and not keen to misrepresent myself or appropriate things that aren't mine, I still haven't found a way to do it that works for me that I would be willing to do in public. Maybe when I figure that out, I'll start dyeing my hair blue, so it'll be covered up.
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Materialist

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 08:53:56 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?
What do you do and why do you do it?


I only cover my head during sacrifices, because that's the way it's been done for thousands of years. My reason, and this could also be the original reason, is as a mark that I'm in a liminal state, bridging cosmic boundaries between life and death, plant and animal or whatever.

veggiewolf

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Devotional hair practices
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 09:15:00 pm »
Quote from: cymrudraco;120387
Sobek certainly likes me braiding/plaiting my hair for Him, though I don't do it regularly because it hasn't been requested of me (yet). There isn't one single style He likes, just that it's braided or plaited in some manner. I think if I could get away with dyeing it green or blue without jeopardising my chances of getting a job, I probably would do that too. I used to dye it a dark navy blue years ago, but my hair's too long now for my mum to dye it for me so I'd have to get it professionally done, which I can't afford right now.

Isis and Hekate have both requested I veil for them, and I braid and cover my hair for Them during rituals. I'm still thinking about covering my hair fulltime, which They've both asked me to consider. Being genderqueer, and not keen to misrepresent myself or appropriate things that aren't mine, I still haven't found a way to do it that works for me that I would be willing to do in public. Maybe when I figure that out, I'll start dyeing my hair blue, so it'll be covered up.

I love the concept of dye as covering.  It reminds me of using wigs for the same pupose.
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PhantomQueen

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 06:16:00 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?

 
I have had my hair cut before.  I tend to go in spurts where I have my hair long (middle of my back), then I get the request of having itcut.  I've noticed that it tends to be at times in my life when one chapter is closing and another starts, so it's a bit of a chopping off of the dead/crappy bits.  It's been about a year now since my last cut (a bob).  It's past the awkward stage and is not quite shoulder length.  It's time to grow it long again, and I've been told to quit with the hair colour already!  Morrigan seems to like the grey threads that are appearing...

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 11:26:47 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?




I used to have very long hair...I cut it bob-length a few years back. I offered the remains up to Persephone but I keep it short in honor of Dionysus. I do dye it, but for purposes of vanity :) although I love the suggestion of dying hair as a form of veiling!

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 01:45:42 pm »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?



For the past year or so I've had niggling push to cut my hair. This isn't a small thing, my hair is around 30 inches long. At first I thought I'd sell it, then decided I might try to donate it... More recently I've realised it's needed as some sort of offering. The impression I get is that my cut plait will need to be kept as an offering/bargain/contract for a period of time. I don't know how long that will be, or if I'll be keeping the hair short during that, or what I'll do with the plait after said period. It's all still a bit fuzzy.

I've being dyeing my hair black for several years now (was black-haired as a toddler but am now a brunette naturally) out of aesthetic preference (My wardrobe is all black too) and I feel like it has become part of my spiritual practice now because of my work with The Morrighan and I think it marks me out in a group.

It's currently mid-back length, I got it cut two weeks ago from belt-length. I was growing it out because I felt it was right to do so but it became too unmanageable and broken so I chopped a chunk off. XD
I prefer to keep it long and while I haven't felt the need to make an offering of hair so far, I haven't ruled it out for the future :)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 01:46:40 pm by Oíche »
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Turningtides

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Re: Devotional hair practices
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2013, 12:17:30 am »
Quote from: savvy;120332
Do you cut, style, colour, cover etc. your hair for devotional reasons?

What do you do and why do you do it?



For the past year or so I've had niggling push to cut my hair. This isn't a small thing, my hair is around 30 inches long. At first I thought I'd sell it, then decided I might try to donate it... More recently I've realised it's needed as some sort of offering. The impression I get is that my cut plait will need to be kept as an offering/bargain/contract for a period of time. I don't know how long that will be, or if I'll be keeping the hair short during that, or what I'll do with the plait after said period. It's all still a bit fuzzy.

 
This example I have not done myself, but I observed it by my best friend whose grandmother was slowly succumbing to illness a few years ago.  She has beautifully thick hair that grows incredibly fast.  She doesn't call herself pagan, and would probably say she is a cultural Catholic. However, during those times that her grandmother was struggling or suffering very hard, she would get her hair chopped off at the salon. Outwardly, her hair would go toward making natural wigs for women who'd lost their hair.  But for her, she saw that giving up her hair was an offering to strengthen her grandmother's spirit.  And I can definitely say that at least the two times I was aware of her offerings, her grandmother rallied once more.

I also have a question: what are people's thoughts about covering/offering hair when it is stated in one's path versus being called to cover/offer hair?  As for my own practice, right now I'm getting into the mindset of crocheting a headscarf/cowl(?) to use, part as offering to the deities and also to wear when I pray/do charshu (the Canaanite term for magic). I feel odd because the guidelines of this path, Natib Qadish, call for covering one's head when working with the deities. Honestly, I haven't felt the mental nudge to do so, and so far my prayers/communing with Them seems to work fine.

Thanks for any advice!

Turningtides

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