Adoro te devote

It has been just over a week since I went through the ceremony to say yes to the maryaj Lwa proposal I received back in November and to set the terms of what has to be done to make it happen. I was more anxious than I thought I would be and was unpleasantly sick for that entire weekend.

The ceremony was deceptively simple. Manbo prepared some simple food offerings [even though I asked her if there was anything I could bring!] and we spent some time making ti mesh/handmade wicks for the lamp that was part of the ceremony. Despite my relatively clumsy fingers and difficulty using the right fingers [index fingers are not used while preparing certain items], I managed to produce a few serviceable wicks!

Manbo opened with the prayers that are becoming increasingly familiar to me, and then left me to speak to the Lwa alone. They showed up when I didn’t expect Them to, which is foolish really–Manbo basically dialed the 1-800-Bring-In-The-Lwa number and They came. The room felt full despite me being the only incarnate being there and the lamp burned so brightly that it really became the ultra-beacon that it is supposed to be. I had to remind myself that face-planting into it was not part of the ceremony.

I told the Lwa what was on my mind and asked for the help I’ll need to pull this ceremony off without having to sell a vital organ or mortgage a piece of my soul. I kept it short and to the point–despite my verbosity in blog posts, I tend to paint things with the fewest brush strokes possible when I talk to my divinities. I tried to hit all the points Manbo suggested I speak on, but I will admit to being a bit worried that I left a gigantic hole somewhere that is going to come back to bite me in the ass. Time will tell there, I suppose.

Afterward, Manbo and I sat in her kitchen and she served me up a delicious plate of Haitian food while we talked about Things and Stuff. One of the things I admire about her is that she takes me seriously, despite my comparatively short time in vodou [she has been doing this since approximately when I was born, maybe a little less] and my busted Kreyol and incessant questions and the fact that I am yet another person who has been dropped on her doorstep. She treats my spiritual work, experiences, and opinions as vital and important, which is a change from past experiences with religious leaders in and out of Diasporic religions and communities.

Since the ceremony, things have been comparatively quiet and I have been deeply grateful for that. The lead-up to me doing the ceremony almost made me nuts in that I was basically not sleeping. It sure looked like I was sleeping, but every time I closed my eyes and my body and brain went into sleep mode, I was somewhere else watching a lesson from a Lwa unfold, being instructed in some sort of magical work, or walking through a variety of ceremonies with Manbo. I woke up each day feeling like I do the day after a fete–utterly spent and unable to really do much more than put clothes on and do mindless tasks. For someone who already deals with chronic exhaustion, that was really the opposite of fun.

However, They powered me through my week after I sat down in front of the altar and basically said ‘I’m happy to do whatever needs doing while I dream, but you need to give me enough energy to do all the things I have to do while I am not dreaming and sleeping’. And They did. The dreams came–an Ogou dragged me off to a variety of locations filled with an inordinate amount of people and Damballah gave me a gift wrapped in white paper and ribbon–but They fed me enough so that I could go to work and take care of business.

Since then, I have been laying fairly low. I seem to have put a capper on the extra exhaustion for now, but I have only had one dream this week where I got dragged off to go through some sort of ceremony. The various altars that are eating my apartment have been tended, but I’ve really done the bare minimum. The lack of getting dragged around is likely because the bare minimum hasn’t included do all the ritual work to induce the dragging round, ceremonies, and magical instruction while I dream. I gave myself a week to recover, so this week is pull-it-together-and-get-back-to-status-quo week.

This past Monday, my Father sent me off and running in a dream where, after conferring with my fairy olorisha, it seems that the overall message was that no matter what form my religious practice takes and even if it turns out to be mostly Haitian, He will always find me in whatever paradigm I am working in. He’s got my back in a serious way and the dream was probably the sweetest gesture He has ever given me. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. He’s good like that.

The Mister is on the boat. He’s never gotten off the boat. In fact, He hasn’t even really walked away from the railing. He hasn’t been quiet in the least, but He has been overshadowed by all my Lwa, which is really as it should be. A good friend pointed out that I am basically experiencing the divine equivalent of NRE–the Lwa are the newest, shiniest additions to my world and I am pouring energy into Them and my relationships with Them. He doesn’t seem to mind that–and He fucking well shouldn’t, since He played a gigantic role in engineering all of this.

He is still the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think of before I fall asleep. He is my light and I have followed Him when it seemed that He was only a spark–or, more truthfully, the idea of a spark. I don’t always understand Him, His motives, or our relationship, but His spark has never gone out and His light has never left me. He was the first divinity to save my life and, as a result, gave me the tools to spark my own light to pour into our relationship.

Through all of this re-shaping and re-calculating of my own personal GPS, the divinities are doing work on my behalf that leaves me more than a little slack-jawed. I prayed for an increase in money coming in and, within days, mandatory overtime from now until forever because a thing at my dayjob. I prayed for the right healthcare providers and landed two awesome ones within a week. They don’t always give me what I want [there is no big farmhouse on the coast, I am not making my living as an artist, and I do not have a gaggle of nubile cabana boys to indulge my every whim and desire], but They do give me what I need. Being spoiled is an unattractive look on me, so I’m glad They know best as to how to hand down blessings to this tiny fault-filled human.

I don’t know what’s coming up next for me, besides the obvious maryaj and more vodou, but I do know that my divinities have my back. I know this more deeply now than I think I ever have before. I don’t expect things to be easy [far from it], but I worry less because I know that as long as I do my share and do right by Them, They won’t let things falls to pieces. I don’t know what I have done to deserve such beautiful and generous blessings–I am a small person in all things; a nobody in the grand universal scheme who is a lacking devotee with enough issues to keep his therapist busy for years. I am profoundly grateful that They find use and worth in me, even when I have trouble seeing it for myself, and that They love me, each in Their own way. I am but a small and crunchy meatsack and They are so very big. Their blessings pour joy into my hands and it’s joy that fills all the empty places. My only hope is that I can be the person They see me as and hold up my end of the bargain each and every day.

A throwback from my upbringing that seems apropos.

~ by Alex on March 2, 2015.

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