It is a common misconception that all masks worn by people in modern society are meant to deceive others; a judgement made from a place of selfishness, for it is an alarming trend to only interpret the actions of others through the affect those actions have on ourselves.
This unfortunate lack of understanding has plagued spiritual circles with the notion that masks are worn to hide soul, that the practice of wearing a mask is not only deception, but soulless.
In spiritual circles, the mask should be seen as it is; something other.
The mask belongs on the altar of the magician, in the crane bag of the Druid, and in the medicine bag of the Shaman.
It is an accoutrement of those who shapeshift and seek to understand the Underworld and realms beyond sight, those places viewed only with our other eyes, journeyed to through meditative trance and personal journey work.
A mask is akin to the veil itself, indeed it is no coincidence that the etymology of Veil from the Latin vela, plural of velum is “sail, curtain, covering,” and from PIE root *weg- (1) means “to weave a web.”
When the traveller seeks wisdom from their ancestors or Gods they seek to pull back the curtain, to glimpse a measure of understanding beyond what we can discern on this physical plane, and further, to discern that great web of interconnectedness that pervades time, matter, and space.
The mask is a physical incarnation of the veil, it can and should be viewed as sacred, and in the wearing of different masks, we can learn lessons through the eyes of others; be it ancestors, animal guides, spiritual entities and even Gods. It allows us to think and feel expansively, beyond the scope of our own experiences.
Such a instrument can be key in understanding, in empathetic exercises, empowering us with the attributes and wisdom of the particular mask we have chosen to wear.
The mask is ritualistic, in wearing it we give life to an action of sacrality; we perform physical acts loaded with spiritual significance, and in this process of transformation we give ourselves over to the energy of other-worldliness – we become what we believe ourselves to be.
“I wear a mask so I can write what I feel instead of what I think I should feel.” – Atticus
To remove the outward expectation that is placed upon us everyday is a powerful tool, and not without danger, it can be addictive to step inside a mask and find ourselves transported outside of the confines of who we believe ourselves to be. We can lose definition if we are not careful, if we are not sure of our physical incarnation and what that means. We have to tether ourselves that whilst we are infinite, we are also singular, and that these two components exist simultaneously within our being.
To step through the Veil wearing a mask is described in mythology as being invisible, as belonging to a place and not being discovered by the denizens of whatever realm one has travelled to. Such myth suggests that the realm in which we incarnated within leaves an imprint on us, marking us, identifying us as belonging to this Earthly plane.
That we can astral travel beyond that is a freedom of soul path-working, and protection of that soul is often the wearing of a mask.
How ironic it is then that such a powerful magical apparatus is dismissed in spiritual memes as being untruthful, when in fact the mask allows us to go beyond a limited form of truth seeking and finding something infinitely and expansively worthwhile.
Many blessings, Starlets