An empty sack cannot stand up.
So, I read about three pages of The Haitain Vodou Handbook before it dawned on me why it was vodou. If anyone actually has read this and is paying attention, you’ll remember this post where I was completely cryptic and unresponsive to queries about my cryptic responses. I’ll clarify before I start spouting out my bullshit with these sentences taken from the Preface:
Vodou isn’t a religion where you sit back and listen to someone else talk about divinity. It’s a faith where divinity comes down and talks to you. The lwa are quite happy to make their needs and their wants known to you, and to offer counsel and protection in exchange…
…Vodou is a religion where the sacred and the secular are intertwined. Many Western traditions draw a distinction between the sacred and the profane. People go to church to commune with the divine, and then they go about their daily business without thinking about God. This is not so in Vodou. The lwa and the saints are a tangible presence in every vodouisant’s life. They are present in wind and storm, river and ocean, marketplace and brothel… and once you get to know them, you will find them present in your daily life as well.
Yep. That pretty much was a light bulb inducing moment right there. I had another light bulb inducing moment with the next paragraph:
“In the Western world, we tend to think of religion as a choice. On the contrary, among many Vodouisants, there is a belief that the lwa choose you.”
And it was like, “Oh. I get it now. I see what you’re trying to tell me.”
Sekhmet is the one pushing me in this direction and that’s because there are some forms that vodou are practiced that I need to learn and understand. A lot of it is entirely different from what I had come to believe was necessary to maintain a relationship with my specific divinity. And with all of the learning that I’ve been having in the last few days, I realized that she never wanted that and this was the only way she could figure to tell me. And, also, apparently, she feels that I need to meet a few of the lwa. (That will come later.)
So, there I was for months and months making offerings to my goddesses. I had Hwt-Hrw and I had Sekhmet. The two of them were content with my mechanical machinations for a while. It was Hwt-Hrw that fell off the communication scale first. I think it was because she knew that I was half-hearted in my offerings and that what I was doing wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing. Sekhmet, of course, as my primary was pretty much told, “Get this one ready. She’s not ready for me.”
And that’s when Sekhmet took a turn in silence. I don’t know if she was being stand offish because she had to think things through or to find a way for me to learn the things that she wanted me to learn or simply to sulk because I embarrassed her in front of her sister. I don’t really know the specifics about all of that, but I do know that she came back with a vengeance, screaming: DUMBASS! GET INTO VODOU! GET IT NOW!
This is the part where I wonder if she came up with all this new learnings on her own or if one of the lwa approached her before approaching me.
What I’m taking from all of this is that I don’t have to do things the “good old fashioned way.” There is a reason why it’s called “old fashioned” anyway. I think what this is trying to tell me is that divinity and spirituality should be ever changing and ever flowing, which is exactly what vodou is in its entirety. It’s had to survive extermination in many forms as well as be accessible to peoples who make the poor in America look rich by comparison.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you know, take things as they come.
And, you know, learn more because, apparently, Papa Legba wants my attention.
But more on that later.