Seven months ago, I wrote a blog post about ancient Hellenic hairstyles. As part of that post, I shared my personal choice in how I wear my hair, and why. In short: I always wear my hair tied up in some way, unless I am home alone with my partner. I am also growing my hair out. I veil during major religious 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. While I addressed this in part in that blog post, the seven months that followed have brought some more clarity to the practice and when I was asked to explain why I bind my hair last night, I figured I would share the message with you.

Me in preparation for the Elaion PAT ritual for the Kourotrophos on 23 August:
hair tied up, veiled and wreathed.
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, at last for women. In the Eleusinian Mysteries, unbound female hair was miasmic, and the practice carried on outside of the walls of Eleusis as well. My current practice was largely fueled by these practices and wearing my hair bound almost full time to avoid miasma was logical for me. 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 inspiration from ancient Athens (as the most evidence of Hellenic life survived in that city), where no one outside of close family members and female serfs 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. Not only is part of me reserved just for her, for me personally, it is a way to show that I am solely hers. We are now at a point where my girlfriend sometimes offers tips on how to do my hair or does it for me, and I can see in her that seeing me with my hair undone is starting to be a noticeable event in our household.
Seven months ago, I was at a point where I got highly uncomfortable when caught with my hair undone by someone who was not supposed to see me like that. Now I am at a point where I actively make sure this never happens. Binding my hair--even sloppily--is one of the first things I do in the day, and there are 'emergency' hair ties everywhere around the house. As we live in an apartment building with a shared hall-space, housemates can simply knock on the door. We always call them in with a shout. My girlfriend now looks at me first to see if I still need a second to grab an emergency hair tie, or if my hair was already done up.
Having progressed into Hellenismos well over a year ago, a lot has changed for me, and by extension, for my girlfriend. I wrote before that, when I still practiced Eclectic Religious Witchcraft, it was easier to live around my religious practice. I never did my rituals when she was around, and I didn't have a very strict daily practice. It was an issue she could turn a blind eye to. 

My progression into Hellenismos has made turning a blind eye pretty much impossible. I have a strong daily practice, I read, research and write a lot about it, and I have most certainly changed since I started practicing. Letting go of many conventions from my Witchcraft days has freed me from a lot of shackles I was unaware I was opposing at the time. The transition has been fluid for me, but my girlfriend in an incurable theist, and she worries for me a lot. She worries that I am spending too much time on a construct--if you will--that does not exist. From her point of view, what I do must be nuts.
We have been more open to each other about this lately, with a couple of long talk--sometimes difficult ones--where we have managed to find some common ground to continue on from. I doubt she will ever fully understand my religious practices, but she is making her peace with it because she can see how much peace and joy my religion is giving me, and how I am letting go of so many struggles because of the clarity it brings me. It's good for me, and for that reason alone, she will support it.
The way I wear my hair--partly for her, partly for the Gods, in equal measure--has so far acted as a bridge. It helps her find beauty in something she inwardly opposes (i.e. religion), and it helps me show her that the household, the Theoi by extension, and she are the things in my life that matter most to me. Binding my hair has been acting like a glue lately, to show my girlfriend where she fits in with this dramatic change of devotional focus in my life. Binding my hair has helped us get closer, and that is very special to me. It's why I continue it when my scalp itches, when I am having a crappy day and do not want to bother with my hair, when I frantically look around for a hair tie when the doorbell rings. Binding my hair brings the two most important things in my life together, and I will not give that up.