Time for some maryaj photos!

I was looking at some of my pictures from the wedding (more coming soon, as soon as I meet up with my sister, who juggled her camera and my camera during the wedding because she is a saint) and they make me giddy with joy, so time to share! I’ll explain as best as I can what is going on in the picture, but don’t hesitate to ask questions–I am SUPER HAPPY to talk about my wedding!

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Under the sheet with Damballah, the first spirit I married. When he arrives, he falls to ground and slithers like a snake, so he slithered across the temple on banana leaf mats that were laid in front of him and we lay together in front of the table/altar. He is always covered in possession, for privacy and cleanliness. When we want to greet him (or marry him!), we go under the sheet.

This pictures is really touching because so many family members are there to help and witness. This is what family does.

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Exchanging vows, led by the pret savanne/’bush priest’/priest who can read the traditional Catholic prayers. He is a wonderful guy who got almost all the way through Catholic seminary before the spirits snatched him up. When it was time for Damballah to assent to our wedding vows, the microphone was placed in front of his mouth and he hissed right into it, which is one of the most inadvertently hilarious things I have ever witnessed a spirit do.

This marriage took a LOT out of me–I had some sort of weird trance-y passe/pass through going on the whole time. I was definitely there, but my body kept moving like Damballah’s does–he rocks back and forth when he arrives, and my body kept doing the same thing. When we were done, I came up feeling like I had been under for hours.

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Salye/salutation Agwe. A priest is saluting Agwe, the Admiral and owner of all the oceans, with the goal of calling him into possession.

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Agwe in possession and I am getting all the kisses. Like, I got kissed more that night than I have been kissed in at least a year or two. Behind us are the marenn/godmother and parenn/godfather for the marriage–the witnesses who sign our marriage certificates with us.

When we went to sit at the table, Agwe was NOT HAVING me in a regular size chair–he sits in a backwards ti chez/small chair when he comes in possession, and he demanded I have a small chair, too, and that it be close enough that we were practically on top of each other.

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Signing the marriage certificate, with Agwe draped over me. When he wasn’t feeding me or whatever else, he was draped over me. It was a huge departure for how I usually see Agwe–he is essentially royalty, and he comes as such. Very regal, very reserved. He was here to collect his husband, though, and so I got him wrapped around me for the entire time.

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Agwe’s bottle of Moet has already ejaculated all over me, and here he washes my head with the rest of it so that I achieve full-on wet rat status. The basin collects various things all my husbands and other spirits want included in a bath I will have after the wedding.

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Agwe loves my marenn/godmother a LOT and so she got called over for some special blessing. I have got wet rat status on lock–in addition to an entire bottle of champagne and a lot of water Agwe washes me with, it was also a million degrees in the temple, to the point where cool liquid on my skin was steaming. But, I am stupid happy in this photo, and so is he.

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A surprise appearance by Ezili Freda! She and I have grown a really deep and surprising (to me) relationship, and she decided to come to the wedding. We did not marry, but she sat at the table with me and we fed each other and she did some work for and to me. I have a lot of love for this lady.

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Agaou and I having some cake after we get married. The first thing he said to me when he was settled in his chwal was that he chose me to marry and that he expected big things from me. Agaou falls outside the ‘standard complement’ of masculine lwa we marry in our house, and so he was an unexpected husband. He has become a huge part of my life, though, and is such a compelling spirit for a variety of reasons.

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Ogou Sen Jak escorts me and the marenn for the marriage to the table. On the other side of me outside of the picture is the parenn. I didn’t know either of them, but Sen Jak did and he selected them specifically.

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I wore the hat and got more kisses. It was like being on this really important date. I felt so weird with everyone watching me kiss my husbands. I have gotten shy in my old age.

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Sen Jak parades around his new husband and enjoys his paparazzi. All of the spirits that I married that stand up and walk did this, in a sort of ‘look at my new hotness’ kind of way. It was very much like being on the arm of a CEO or the president–we would parade around and they would stop and shake hands and greet the crowd, and then we would inevitably dance at the drums for a bit before they decided to leave. It was really wonderful.

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Ogou Feray approaches the table with me and the godparents for our marriage on his arms. He arrived in the same chwal that held Sen Jak. Sen Jak left the head of his chwal when we were finished at the table and the chwal stood up to leave and got no more than three feet from the chair before Feray arrived and threw his chwal across the temple screaming and howling. Sen Jak came hot, too, in ways I haven’t seen Sen Jak before. Both of them were incredible to be next to.

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‘I will cut your tongue out if your mouth betrays me or your mother’. Spirits are no joke. When Feray made this point, he shoved his chair back to make sure I could see exactly what he was doing and exactly what he meant. Loud and clear.

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Feray does some work with me and his machete.

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This is one of my favorite photos from the wedding. I am getting all the kisses again, while my mother looks on. Feray had just explained to her, at length, how much he loves me and it made her blush, just a little. He had been there quite awhile–he stayed the longest out of all my husbands–and people had taken a Prestige/beer break or wandered out for air, so it was almost a private moment, or as private as it is going to get in the middle of a temple full of people.

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It wasn’t going to be my wedding without Gede showing up. We don’t marry the dead, but sometimes they get rings in recognition of relationship and there was no way in all of Ginen that I was going to get away with not giving my Gede a ring. He had told me months prior that he wanted three rings for the dead, and I said absolutely not. What did I end up with? Three rings for the dead–one for him, one for a personal Gede, and one for Bawon, who is also not married but asked for a ring anyways.

Gede showed up directly after Ogou left the head of his chwal. He likes to do that in general, and particularly likes to do it in the head of this chwal in particular–if Gede wants to show up to a party and this priest gets possessed, he will almost always show in his head directly after another spirit leaves. He dragged me in front of the drums, made me banda with him, and then humped the hell out of me before exchanging rings. I was a little put out because I had brought an outfit for him, too, but that’s just how Gede rolls: he does what he wants.

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Simbi Andezo and I getting hitched. Like Ogou, Simbi is a family and so marrying Simbi is really marrying all Simbi. Andezo happened to step forward in the moment. He arrived in two chwal–the first arrived and literally cartwheeled his chwal across the drum platform, culminating with him with his feet way up in the air while people pulled his shoes off, and then the Andezo above arrived screaming and whirling around the temple before settling down with me.

In the midst of his screaming and heat, he was incredibly calm, peaceful, and tender. I often experience Simbi in a variety of ways–as a master sorcerer working in the background, as a healer, and as a just judge who is also willing to be an executioner if necessary–but this was a new way: incredibly still and focused on what was right in front of him. By this time, it had begun to pour outside–practically raining sideways–and some water was coming into the temple. He washed my head with rainwater, which was incredible, and then very carefully selected which finger his ring was to go on. Most of my other husbands simply put it on the traditional marriage finger, and left me to switch it around for the next marriage, but not Simbi. He chose the pictured finger and did a lot of work on that finger before sliding the ring on. The ring he wanted was fairly unusual–my other rings are very masculine, both by design and by the input of the spirits and the one he insisted on is gorgeous, but more feminine than I would have chosen for myself. It makes a lot of sense, though–Simbi is a very liminal spirit and I am a liminal person. It was also very interesting to me that, for my wedding, he chose to come in a female-id’ed person. Spirits will come in whomever they choose and it is quite common for women to mount masculine spirits, but it is quite interesting here given the ring shenanigans.

There is one more husband who I do not have any pictures of, since he was not able to attend the wedding for a whole bunch of reasons, but there is a wonderful story that is the subject of an upcoming post that will get written as soon as I can stop getting teary (in good ways) over it.

These pictures are so happy and joyful for me. I hope that comes through.

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~ by Alex on September 9, 2017.

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