Done and done.

By this time this evening, I will have passed through the ceremony needed to give my assent to the Lwa who have offered me the opportunity for maryaj Lwa. I will likely be home or on my way home to decompress before heading into work with the weight of what I’ve just committed to on my head and shoulders—a lifetime of service to my Lwa, ritual celibacy on particular days, and some binding agreements to Manbo and her house.

It has been a week of mental preparation and taking care of some practical matters that I needed to put to bed before I entered the temple. I took care of one of those matters today—getting some simple divination done to ensure that all things regarding the maryaj and me accepting the proposal for such were as they should be, and I got a resoundingly positive [possibly the most positive I have had in a long time] message back from my diviner. It is super good and it will be super good for me.

Earlier this week, I approached who I call my fairy olorisha—the santera who so graciously gives me guidance on matter related to my Father, Eshu/Eleggua. I asked her is she could consult Him for me to make sure that He was onboard with me doing maryaj and that all was well with Him in this matter. She went to Him for me on Monday, which is His day, while I had my own small shrine to Him lit up with a candle and fresh offerings.

His response was also positive, albeit in a very Eshu manner. The most prominent reason that He wants me to do maryaj is because it is going to save my life. Literally, this is going to keep me from dying. This isn’t at all unusual in Diasporic religions—many people initiate or go through particular ceremonies to maintain their life or the life of someone in their immediate family. I knew my health was tied up in this, but I wasn’t aware that the situation was so severe. Of course, it’s not the only reason I’m doing maryaj Lwa but it’s a really, really, REALLY important one that has come to light in the last week.

If I wasn’t to do it, there would be a much larger, much more expensive, much less ideal intervention required to keep me alive and, given that this option has been illustrated as much less idea for a variety of reasons, there’s no telling how alive I would want to be at that point. One of Eshu’s gifts is that He sees all paths and knows all outcomes, and chooses the best one to reach the desired goal, so maryaj in this sosyete with this manbo is the best possible choice to make given what the situation is.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I am not terribly happy about this. As I said above, I knew my health was tied into why I need to do maryaj [thank you, Lwa, for making that clear], but I had no damn idea that the stakes were so high. The reason that I am being pushed to commit to this now and go through the ceremony to solidify that commitment is because my health is going to get pretty challenging fairly quickly and the ceremony will grant me some manner of protection against that. I have no idea if I will have to do the actual maryaj ceremony as quickly, but I’m hoping not simply for monetary reasons, but if They say it needs to happen immediately and the money falls out of the sky, I’ll be going to the proverbial chapel as soon as I can.

I’m not very scared about this, surprisingly. I think I would be more scared if They just told me that I was going to get very ill and perhaps die, period, but I have been given the solution to the problem. It’s not that I am suddenly going to be in the best of health, but whatever is wrong with me won’t kill me [just like Manbo said in her reading] and the Lwa will work for me to get me with the best doctors and treatments for whatever ends up being wrong. My health has been getting steadily worse over the last few months and, as someone who has been deeply affected by a variety of as-yet-unexplained symptoms, the possibility that there could be a divine shove into finding me a label for what is wrong is a bit exciting in a terrifying sort of way. I don’t want to be sick, but if I have to be, I’d rather be sick in a known way that can be treated. That’s what I’ve been praying for lately—if I have to be ill, please let the doctors find what sort of ill it is so that it may be treated in whatever manner works out to be best.

I believe strongly that I wasn’t supposed to know this in great detail—it is one thing to know that your health is tied up in a particular ceremony, and it is another to know that not doing the ceremony could kill you. As a friend mentioned today, if I had known this was a reason I was presented with the proposal, it would have created a biased environment—how could I possibly say no to such a thing if I knew from the get-go that I would die without it? The Mister is all about fair play, so it’s no wonder that this couldn’t come out until I had already made up my mind and told Him what I planned to do. I also don’t think He wanted me to be unnecessarily terrified, either, which would present another sort of pressure in making a decision.

However, my Eshu cuts like a knife and, if I can count on Him for anything, I can count on Him to give me the straight shit—to tell me things plainly and bluntly in a way that I can conceptualize, even when it hurts like a motherfucker. I didn’t ask Him about it until recently, but I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have heard this from him any earlier, either. In true Eshu fashion, I received this news from my fairy olorisha while I was in the middle of dealing with two separate and complicated situations a half an hour before I needed to leave from work. I had eight hours to sit and stew on this before I could throw myself at Him to cry and, by the time I got off work, I was too damn tired to cry. Instead, I went home to sleep and had another Lwa dream, of course.

Once I knew what the score was and what was riding on this maryaj, the Lwa got really, really busy. I have had more dreams this week about Them than I have in the past few months. I got instructions on some magical work that needs to be done, one of my Lwa stepped forward in a way that has necessitated Manbo going to Him to ask what it is that He wants, and Damballah gave me a gift wrapped up in a lovely white box, which is a bit perplexing. I’m not sure what to make of all this yet, but I’m working through it in hopes that it will make sense sooner or later.

I’m exhausted, in all senses of the word. I sat with my Lwa this morning after giving Them plates of fruit [for Rada and Petwo] and spicy chocolate [for Ghede] and told Them so—that I felt like I was running on empty and was basically rushing from one emergency to another without feeling much reprieve from the inherent stress of that sort of living. I told Them what I need to do what all of my divinities want from me—the bare necessities being stable and affordable housing, a stable job that pays all my bills with a little extra and with good benefits, and for my car to run reliably—and asked that They help take care of that while I get busy trying to keep my health in line as best as I can. I’ve spent this week evaluating what I need to do to streamline my life in such a way that I can be sick without everything falling apart and working to assemble my new team of providers, as some of my old providers weren’t working out. That has taken most of my energy and focus, and I’m feeling pretty low from it. Also, because this is my life, I’m down with some sort of cold again, which is perversely fitting—I am going through a ceremony to maintain my life because my health is going to go to hell and I am sick.

When I called Manbo earlier this week and told her about the divination from my fairy olorisha, she was quick to tell me that this wasn’t out of the ordinary and that my Lwa were lining things up to protect me, which I knew but it was nice to hear. In her no-nonsense way, she told me to stay calm, take some deep breaths, and that we would pray about this so that things don’t get so bad. My nerves are mostly because I feel like I’m signing a contract without knowing what the fine print says and because I hate signing blank checks.

But, I trust Manbo, I trust the Lwa, I trust Eshu, and, moreover, I trust the Mister, Who has clearly been working for years to make all these pieces fall together—I met the person who brought me to vodou ten years ago and first got told that I needed to meet the Lwa almost four years ago. I am continually floored by Their care and love for me and how hard They work to make sure my life turns out as best as it can with what there is to work with. There will be no repaying Them for what They have done, are doing, and will do for me because the debt is insurmountable. I don’t understand why I deserve all these things—I am so very small and will exist for only a blip in time, and They are so very large and will see forever—but I am grateful and can only hope that my devotions convey how very blessed I feel for having Them literally preserve me.

Modupe Eshu for loving Your child enough to wield the sharpest, most painful knife. Mwen di mesi nan Lwa for offering Your protection and care to this outsider who bumbled about for months before getting the message. I kiss the ground at the Mister’s feet, He who blesses me so completely despite my flaws, failings, and ripe humanity.

I am so lucky, so blessed, and alive to see another day.


~ by Alex on February 21, 2015.

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