It happened October 2011.
Weeks before it happened, I was sitting in my Archaeology of Ancient Egypt classroom waiting for class to start. We had a few minutes, people were still trickling in, and the professor had only just arrived. As I waited, I was playing with my necklace, wondering if I should replace it with a ankh instead, a symbol that was more “appropriate” for my work with Anubis.
The pendant I had then was a crescent moon I had bought at, of all places, an anime convention years before. I had gotten it at the time because I was searching for something, though I didn’t know what exactly. I’d heard of Wicca by then and it made sense. Well, more sense than Christianity, at any rate. So when I stumbled upon the jewelry booth in the back of the convention, I picked up the moon and asked how much. It was steeper than I had anticipated, but it felt right in my hand, so I went home with it.
It was good silver, tarnished in just the right places, and had a tiny star in the middle, a pentacle. It was a symbol I recognized from my research of Wicca, one that seemed to make sense to me. It was protective to me.
And then I didn’t wear it for the longest time.
It just didn’t feel like the right time. I bought it, so I had it, but wearing it just wasn’t right yet. It was about a year later that I picked it up and put it on, rarely daring to take it off unless the chain was showing wear or my neck was getting sweat rash on hot days. I was happy wearing it, happy to have something like the crosses I saw everywhere. It gave me a sense of belonging, though I knew no one else who was following even a remotely Pagan path.
Originally, when I wore the necklace, I saw it as a connection to Artemis. I’d admired her more than worshiped or worked with her. (The idea of working with a god never really struck me until much later, when I realized that that was what I had been doing with Anubis for all those years. To me, Anubis was an older brother that I talked to when I had no one else, someone whom I could ask for help and he would do what he could.)
It was sitting in that classroom waiting for my professor to set up the day’s PowerPoint that I had a realization: my necklace was not for Artemis.
It was for Anubis. It had always been.
I remembered my research paper on Anubis and Osiris, how Anubis was associated with lunar imagery, most notably the moon or lunar disk. It had seemed odd then, something that was more anecdotal than a note of inspiration, so I filed it away until that moment. I nearly cried in the middle of the classroom, so overwhelmed by the feelings that I had. He’d been with me more than I knew for so long.
And then the days passed, the weeks went by, and soon we were in October. October is my favorite month of the year. It’s the time autumn is the most colorful, the time that all the Halloween stuff I love all year long is finally in stores, the time that ghost stories and horror movies are on TV all day. I love it. I didn’t always get to celebrate Halloween the way I wanted to, but that year, I had plans. A friend of mine, The Boyfriend, and I were going to visit the corn maze the next town over. It was a “haunted” corn maze after dark, and that’s what we wanted. Something a little scary, a little exciting, a little spooky.
So we went, we had a good time, and we came back to my apartment to hang out and watch a movie when I realized something was missing.
My chain slithered from my neck and to the floor as I took off my hoodie, landing in a silver mass on the carpet. My pendant was gone.
I searched my clothing, my room, thinking it had gotten tucked in my shirt or my hoodie or hell, even my bra, or been accidentally flung across the room when I pulled my hoodie off. The car held no sign of it. It was not on the walkway, the stairs, the entrance to my apartment, the parking lot.
It was just gone.
I looked at the chain that had once held my beloved moon and was shocked to see it had snapped almost dead center and in the thickest part of the chain. Broken, just like that. There was no way that could have happened, nothing that could have caused it. I began to shake and then sob, The Boyfriend clutching me. He knew how much it meant to me, had an idea how much it hurt to have it gone so suddenly, so dramatically. I was sobbing like my heart had broken and, in a way, it had.
Later that night, I remembered The Boyfriend’s previous visit the week before. We had been laying in my room, talking in the middle of the night, when I suddenly sat up and stared at the door to my room. It was darker there, like a mass had suddenly taken up residence there. Tall, humanoid, with a long face. I knew exactly who it was: Anubis.
And he was angry.
I still don’t know why he was angry, but the majority of it was at me, with some targeted at The Boyfriend. I tried to ask him why he was upset, what was wrong. It was nothing like I had ever seen before, nor experienced. And then, he was gone. The Boyfriend seemed concerned. It’s a little weird, I’ll admit, to have your partner suddenly sit up in bed and stare at the door like someone’s trying to get in. I didn’t think much of it afterward, figuring that Anubis would come back to me and let me know what was wrong, once The Boyfriend was back in Milwaukee. But he didn’t. And then the corn maze happened.
We called the farm, went back the next day and searched, leaving information on its appearance and how to contact me. They never found it.
I was broken. Abandoned by my god. I felt like I had died and was simply going through the motions, a zombie of sorts. Randomly, I would tear up and have to excuse myself to cry alone. Meetings with my Pagan student group were hardest. Everyone spoke of their gods and spiritual experiences, but I never spoke of mine. I had no idea how. Finally, it got to be too much and I set up an appointment with my spiritual adviser to get advice on what was happening to me. She seemed a little surprised at my situation, but she had gone through something similar that summer at Pagan Spirit Gathering. I won’t detail what happened to her, though. That is her story.
Weeks passed and I began a downward spiral in my spirituality. Nothing made sense anymore, nothing I did fixed it. I prayed, I shouted, I sobbed, but he was gone. He was gone for a long time.