Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil

After telling on myself via my blog post about my terrible case of spiritual bitchface, I’ve sort of sat still in some regards. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, not a lot of writing, and a lot of staring at altars and shrines.

I got my ass back in the saddle like I intended to by lighting up the Lwa’s altar and plopping down in front of it for a come-to-jeebus talk, of sorts. I apologized for being largely absent and very neglectful since May, and explained to Them why. First, what They see is what They get—I am nutty in my own ways and when I am under stress, the first thing to go still is my spiritual practice and doubly so when that stress is directly related to the comings, goings, and demands of the Unseen. It’s super dysfunctional and not helpful to me at all, but I am at heart an introvert and my processing time usually involves me in my metaphorical blanket burrito not talking to Anyone or Anything until I either figure shit out or pull myself together enough to be able to deal with Grand Central Station in my living room.

I also got really, really honest with Them in a way I haven’t before [though I suspect They knew what was on my mind anyway] and said aloud some things that I had been scared to before and haven’t talked much about with other people. Namely, at Fet Kouzen, more than one of Them told me They want me to kanzo/initiate due to the sort of work I need done on me. This isn’t news, really—it’s been a tickle for the last year or so and I have steadfastly refused to entertain the idea.

I was not happy then about this and am still not happy about it, and told Them so. Further, I told Them that I have zero desire to kanzo at the moment, have never really wanted to do so, and the idea makes me want to run screaming for the hills. I also told Them how generally pissed the way They couched Their desire has made me. I got the exact same line about how I needed to do the thing to help me, preserve my life, and protect me when maryaj was proposed, and I said yes to that because it felt like the right thing to do and my other divinities agreed.

Now, though, I feel fucking double crossed and like I have had the rug pulled out from underneath me. I agreed to one thing to address this problem and now the problem cannot be addressed that way and needs an international trip, a whole lot more money, a few weeks off from work, and a binding commitment to people and community? Nope. I logically know that this is very likely NOT a double cross and I am not being toyed with, but my logic talk the rest of me into this at ALL.

So, I’ve been pissy and distant while I fight the impulse to throw all Their stuff in boxes and put it on the corner in an effort to save my persona washing machine, but I’m trying to quell the pissiness so I can at least fulfill my responsibilities in a helpful and non-confrontational manner. Going to Them in full-on bitch mode won’t get me anything but push back and I need that like I need fifteen more divinities moving in.

I’ve had a lot of outside divination in trying to sort out what is going on from the perspective of my other divinities and none of it is particularly heartening because it sets me up between a rock and a hard place in terms of what the ripples of my decisions will be. Eshu says that kanzo is the best and fastest way to protect me against some things, but that there are other ways. I haven’t asked what the other ways are yet, but if it involves initiation into other religions, I will be punching air in frustration.

A big part of the issue right now is that I don’t have enough information. They dropped this on me at Fet Kouzen and then Manmi was basically unavailable between then and when she took off to Haiti for the summer. I’ve basically been left to dangle and spin on my own, which is nobody’s fault—it’s just the way things are. We have a lot of talking to do when she gets back about how far the Lwa would want me to go and, if that’s still not palatable to me or would affect my other divinities in ways I don’t like, what my options are. Things are too cut and dry for my taste and the moment and I know that there is a middle ground somewhere—there always is and the Lwa are nothing if not eager negotiators—but I can’t find it until I have more information available to me. I thought maryaj would be the middle ground as it often is, but that’s apparently not so.

The other thing that is really leaving me less than happy is community response. This all unfolded in such a way that a lot of people were privy to what was going on directly before the fete, thanks to some really illustrative dreams, and during/after. The absolute assumption has largely been that of course I am going to kanzo and I don’t like it in part because I haven’t made a decision yet and likely will not for quite awhile. I also don’t like the idea that I am going to create social discord if I say no. It’s not my problem if people get ass-y if I decide not to kanzo, but I really like the friends and community I have and don’t want to lose them. Like, they’ve already been telling me things about what I would need to do in life after kanzo and I just don’t fucking need to know. The less I know in that arena, the better—knowledge is dangerous to have. None of this is malicious at all and I haven’t spoken up about it because I haven’t had the opportunity to. I’m not angry or anything, really, but am just feeling put upon.

A piece of the peer pressure is really interesting in an exhausting sort of way. No one can find any record or even word-of-mouth account of any trans person being initiated as their appropriate gender, ever, and this is a Big Deal. Manmi’s house is rich in anthropologists and people who study vodou professionally and they’ve all been digging for me to see if anyone in a legitimate lineage in Haiti or the US has ever done this before, but there is absolutely nothing to draw on. I’ve been corresponding with an anthropologist who has specifically studied queer folks in vodou in Haiti and she’s got some work forthcoming, but there is really no history to draw on or anyone to talk to.

I hate this in particular because I hate being in the spotlight and I hate being anyone’s first anything. My anthropologist vodou friends are excited and I understand why, but I very much am NOT. Manmi has already said that if I kanzo, she would absolutely make me as a houngan, but I don’t think she has any idea what she is getting into—the blowback for her in Haiti would be huge. I brought this up to her and she basically said she gave not one fuck, but I’m not sure she understands exactly what it would mean.

My plan right now is to do nothing new and to move forward as quickly as I can manage with the maryaj in the hopes of taking some of the immediacy away from everything. I am in the middle of a huge life-changing job search that is going to relocate me back to the city and closer to Manmi. It sort of dropped on my head as an excellent idea a couple weeks back and I have run with it because I have been super stagnant and financially busted where I am now. A lot of the jobs that I’m qualified for in the city come with a significant pay raise, which would let me pay for maryaj and associated stuff in a much more expedient manner than I am able if I stay where I’m at. The idea of moving back to the city I used to live in/near excites me and gives me a sense of joy and happiness that I haven’t had in awhile, so I am trusting that this is the right decision and will pan out as it needs to.

Even in my pissiness, I am grateful. The Lwa have done so much for me, as have all my divinities, and I am lucky for Their presence in my life. One of my sadnesses right now [that I’m not sure is based in reality] is that I am afraid They will be hurt or ditch me if I say no to kanzo and that would be heartbreaking for me. I don’t think the leaving is likely, since I have promised to marry Them and They promised to marry me, but my neurotic and addled brain always reverts to that when things are complicated.

I hear the Mermaid’s song, though, and feel the ebb and flow of Agwe’s tides. He is ever-present and His cool and gentle presence relieves the heat that screams in my head. Manmi’s Dantor brought me to cool water once, too, and held me to Her chest, telling me* that everything would be okay and I would be okay. Despite my pervasive bitchface, I believe that. There is no crisis of faith, just displeasure on my part, and it will be tempered by water, Their love for me, and my own will not to be a fucking bitch at all times.

Big things are on my horizons, on all sides, and the path is as yet unseen but the adventure is on and I have the tools to rise to the challenge. I love and am loved, and, at the end of the day, I am content with that.

*Some Dantors speak—usually the young ones who are very tied to Haiti, apparently.

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~ by Alex on July 27, 2015.

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