Dreaming of Ginen in 2015

In Haitian vodou, ‘Ginen’ is the name given to archetypal Africa, where ultimately all people and all spirits and divinities come from. Ginen is where the Lwa reside, a realm anba dlo/under the water where They make Their homes and where, eventually, all souls return, at least for a time. Lots of songs in vodou reference longing for Ginen—to be able to go where the spirits reside and where life is perhaps not as hard as it is in there here and now. It’s not that hard to imagine why this might be a common theme, as Haitians have often lived rather hardscrabble lives under colonial or dictatorial rule where widespread poverty and a natural disaster has ripped families apart and tumbled homes. Everyone needs something to hope for and Ginen, where the water is cool and sweet and the Lwa are smiling, is that something.

In the past few weeks, I have felt a tug on my heart and soul that, after quite a bit of discernment, has turned out to be a sort of longing for Ginen of my own. I am not Haitian and have not faced that challenges that many vodouisants have, but the idea of being able to go to a place where my divinities walk among Their people like my neighbor walks down the street is tempting, as is a space where the complexities of my life are not nearly so complex. I am hungry for Ginen, and I can’t wait to get there.

Part of this is because it was identified to me that, if I do accept the proposal of marriage from the Lwa who offered it, it has been pointed out to me that I will need to go to Haiti. That won’t necessarily solidify the marriage—if I accept, I will likely be married to the Lwa here in the US—but it will do all sort of other things for me. In some ways, being able to go to a physical place where some of my divinities are deeply rooted would be a hugely gratifying experience. It is tempting to believe that going to Haiti would make my life easier, but I am not naïve enough to believe that to be true—the ground will not sing and the palm trees will not bow to me when/if I step off the plane there. If anything, it will make my life more complicated. Still, though, it will be warm there and that’s enough to send me running for my suitcases in the 10 degree weather we’re having right now. A trip to Haiti is not happening right this minute, though, so it can go on the backburner.

Part of this longing is because things have been really complex. 2014 was not a bad year, but, as with the year prior, it was a complex year. It was a year of rapid development and fast growth with all the associated growing pains, and I am happy for a new opportunity to continue the work I’ve begun with a fresh slate. I could use a mental vacation, but that isn’t coming for awhile.

2014 was the year of laying down a steel framework. I spent an astounding amount of time working on personal issues that I didn’t even know existed. In a lot of ways, it was a slash and burn of the land to get ready to plant stuff that will actually grown instead of rot all the way down to the roots. The Mister judged me fit to do a lot of this and my Father decided that it was time to break out the tough, painful love and so I got to work. I also reaped the benefits of that hard work via the Mister sending me to His family so that I wouldn’t be lonely and Eleggua bringing some of His friends around to help out with the undertaking of ‘whip My kid into shape’. There was a milestone anniversary with the Mister in there and also the proposal of maryaj Lwa not that long ago to round everything out. Not insignificant stuff.

After the framework is laid out, it’s time to start building. 2015 is set to be the year of becoming where the shape of the framing begins to get sussed out, and I’ve already started on that. All of the non-traditional divination I’ve needed for myself has been completed, so I’ll be speaking with Manbo this month about what maryaj Lwa means in context and what the bigger picture means for me. That is going to be a big spiritual process no matter how I cut it, so I’m sort of buckling the seatbelt in the back of the van and holding on.

The other major project is something I haven’t really mentioned on this blog at all. I have meant to several times, but the right words have never come together and so I put it off. Almost a year and a half ago, I was released from the taboos surrounding a medical transition related to my gender. The reasons why I had the taboos and was not allowed to pursue transition are many, as are the reasons why I was released from those taboos [and this probably merits it’s own blog post..], but it all came to a head back in February and again when my Father cornered me and laid down the directive that I be whomever I am no matter what that is. I decided in the early spring that this meant that it was time to pursue a medical transition which, for me, will mean hormone therapy, chest reconstruction, and weight loss.

I have struggled with what to write about this decision, if I write anything about it at all, because I both strongly believe that my gender and gender presentation is personal to me and requires no explanation and because I have equally as strongly written about how I do not believe I [or anyone else] must medically transition to live as their true self. I still believe this, which makes it a very complicated conversation and that is compounded by the fact that I am the weird trans* person who doesn’t really do the dysphoria thing at all.

I’ve started doing work on preparing my life for a medical transition—speaking to my boss and my employers and investigating what lengths I am going to have to go to in the hopes of compelling my medical insurance to cover at least some of the cost of the various medical interventions I’ll need. 2014 is going to be some definitive action on this, though—I’m hoping to begin testosterone therapy within the next six months and figure out how I can manage chest reconstruction before 2016 arrives. I’m scared to death, but I’m also Eshu’s kid and I know that He will help grease the wheels in His own way.

And here I am. It will be January 1 when this posts and I will have a quiet day—I will head to St. Anthony’s shrine to make offerings and leave petitions, visit my Father at the crossroads with coffee and coins first thing in the morning, feed all of my divinities something tasty for dinner, and do the yearly divination for myself in the hopes of gaining insight as to what is coming down the road. I have no idea what the challenges will be, but, no matter what the calendar brings, Ginen will continue to call my name and I will dream about warm weather and my feet touching the ground where some of my divinities were born.

May your gods bless you as much as mine have bless me and may 2015 stay sweet on your tongue as the days pass.

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~ by Alex on January 1, 2015.

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