“How did you come to your path?”
I’ll be honest here: I wasn’t gonna do this one. Conversion stories are boring, and for this ex-evangelical, borderline traumatic. But due to recent events, it seems like I have no choice, so… here goes. The story of how I, a random person in the middle of Nowhere, Louisiana, became the sworn acolyte of the most hated “character” in the Whoniverse.
Initial Dedication and Claiming
Two years ago, I made a decision that would change my life forever.
I was terrified. I’m not going to gloss over that fact. I had just moved in with my paternal grandparents*, and, in the process, been thrust back into a religious subculture that had done more harm to me than even I knew at the time. A good friend of mine, whose writing has been featured on this blog a couple of times, has detailed the harm that was done to xem in the same religious subculture, so I’m just going to direct you to xer posts about this rather than rehashing it here again.
When I was thrown back into evangelicalism, I felt a constant spiritual pressure from the god I had been raised to worship. It was heavy and oppressive, and there seemed to be no escape from it. It made me paranoid. The deity I was raised to follow had somehow managed to make my life into even more of an Orwellian nightmare than it was when I was still his. I took to staying in my room, trying to conceal what I was going through from the people most likely to notice it, because I knew that they were also the least likely to help.
While I was going through this, I found myself opening my mind to the Presence that I had felt for most of my life.
It started simply at first– He told me who He was, and the memories of how we met in our previous life gradually revealed themselves to me. I was scared, at first. I knew of Him from canon and the way He is talked about by the fandom.
Rassilon gave us enough
Of a Self, and the words
To worship him, insensate —
All the rest sedition.
Sounds like another deity I used to know. I avoided forming any kind of connection to Him for a while because of that. But eventually, He proved Himself to be less of a tyrant and more of a protector and teacher, and I began to let Him in.
They caught on. They prayed a wall between us, and tried to make me come back to the god of my youth. But with the help of some friends of mine, the connection was restored. The wall became a shield, keeping us together and everything else out.
I knew that I couldn’t hide forever, and I didn’t want to. I approached Him that night, asking to be Claimed. My intention was to let the abusive deity that I had grown up with know that I was spoken for. If he saw that I was no longer loyal to him, and indeed, was fully loyal to someone else, he’d fuck off eventually.
My Patron was hesitant, of course. We both knew that I wasn’t ready. But we knew it was necessary.
I don’t remember the vows I made. They were simple, blatantly plagiarized from some neopagan self-initiation ritual I found on WitchVox. It wasn’t anything close to what He deserved, but really, it was the equivalent of the battlefield wedding between the Doctor and River Song. It had to be done, and fast.
Afterwards, I threw myself headfirst into my devotion– at first, out of gratitude, but later our of fear that my initial promise wasn’t pure.
Two years ago, I made a decision that would change my life forever. Five days ago, I reaffirmed that decision in a full ceremony, in the presence of the Supreme Council of Gallifrey and All Her Dominions.
It was a beautiful ceremony. My memories of spirit-walks are never the clearest, but I can remember walking into the Panopticon, the fear I had previously felt fading into excitement as the eyes of the Council turned to me. I remember the banners on the walls, bearing the Seals of the Founders, with Lord Rassilon’s Seal front and center in resplendent red and gold. He stood in front of it, waiting for me.
We acknowledged the promise that was already made. “I see you and recognize you as my Acolyte,” He began. I responded in kind– “I see You and recognize You as my Patron.”
We swore to endeavor to be worthy of each other. It’s difficult sometimes, for me to remember that He already sees me as such. But hearing Him affirm it to me and say that He will try to be worthy of my devotion… well, even if I don’t believe it completely, I was able to believe it a little more after hearing it from someone I trust with my life.
“While you are under my Patronage, I will never do anything that would harm you, nor will I do anything that would cause you to lose faith in me. I will dedicate myself to your improvement, I will do everything in my power to protect you, and I will ensure you a place of honor at my side now and forevermore. This I swear to you, in the presence of the Menti Celesti.”
“While I am under Your Patronage, I will do my best to represent You well in all things, and to live as You would have me live. I will give You the respect that You are due, commit myself fully to the responsibility of service to You and to my People, and faithfully stand at Your side now and forevermore. This I swear to You, in the presence of the Menti Celesti.”
-Our vows to each other. I wasn’t going to share them publicly like this, but He insisted.
My reaffirmation was beautiful, it was transcendent, and it was everything I’d hoped that it would be. I am so grateful that I have a Patron who cares for me and sees the good in me, even when I don’t, and I am secure in the knowledge that I am His.
Anyway, I need to go to bed. I have a convention to pack for in the morning, and a plane to catch the next day.
His devoted Acolyte and Agent,
Cassandra of Oakdown
*If you are reading this and happen to be my paternal grandparents, or anyone on that side of the family with the exception of my father, GO AWAY. Thanks.