(Remember? A three-part story arc… of my life.)
I think walking down the path of voodoo and going it alone is pretty courageous. This could just be me, tooting my own horn. And maybe that is the case, but it’s so easy to fall into groups and societies in the realm of voodoo that to be a solitary practitioner takes more than just some gumption. It takes balls. I’ve got the balls, about the size of your head, and I’ve got the temerity to go this alone. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not stopping now and then (EVERY DAY), thinking about how much I’m going to fuck up. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off, freaking the fuck out because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. It’s like every book contradicts every other book I own. It’s frustrating for those of us that have decided solitary was a way to live and what we want in our lives. We can turn to others for the information (and I do, often!) but in the mean time, I’ve made a decision.
Solitary. (Yes. I see the irony that I am now going on about how wonderful it is after my last post in which I went on about how hard it is.)
I’ve been laying off of the Lwa lately. This hasn’t been a foreseen or forethought of act. It’s been something that’s been coming up as time has gone by. Maybe it stems from cutting myself off from voodoo contacts or maybe it stems from the uncertainty and the fear I tend to feel when I think about what I’m trying to create here. Or, maybe it’s just their way of letting me know that I need to back off. It could be a myriad of things, but I think the big point here is that, as someone who was voodoo-craving, I threw myself into something that I didn’t understand. I was gung-ho and excited. I was listening to others instead of myself and while I’m not a big listener to the whole “gut instinct” or “what feels right” portion of my brain, I do need to find out where this is going. And while it was nice, for a while, to hear what other people had to tell me, it wasn’t required. What I do know is that I do need to take the time necessary to step back and go, “What am I doing? Where is this going? Why is this even necessary?”
I’ve backed off.
A clear-cut course was coffee because I know coffee, I know how to make it, and I drink it like it’s going out of style. This is one of the biggest connections I have with Legba. I don’t give him anything fancy; I don’t have a French press that I can pull out to make him the “good stuff.” He’s satisfied with my various blends that I concoct out of mixing various flavored blends together. Every morning, I get up with the intention of giving him a steaming, hot cup of coffee. It’s nothing new and it’s simplicity. While the gods may require or demand more attention and more forethought, I can simply get up and shuffle my way into the kitchen to hit the “on” switch for my coffee maker. And I know that I have crafted a connection with a funny, little old man (“LITTLE?!??!” he says.) who has come into my life with unknown purposes and unknown reasoning, but who makes me laugh at his little ploys and his sarcastic commentary about Sekhmet’s incense.
The thing about this Lwa is that he craves little. I’ve never had to go out and do anything for him. I’ve never had to lay down before the altar and call to him. I’ve never had to worry about him not being there, from the get-go. He always has been. Whenever I have felt bereft and alone because I felt that no OTHER™ was walking beside me, I was being silly and daft. This spirit has made himself quite content in my home. Even when he’s not around to sip of his coffee or to partake of his chocolate, he’s around somewhere. I can always feel him just a little bit in little ways and while this is new, heady, exciting… it is something that I should have always known. Yet again, I was too taken with others and their thoughts on things. Yet again, I was too focused on what other people had to say about my relationships with my Lwa. It was too much and my brain got full. I think it was this act, more than anything, that made it feel as though he was missing from my life. (Illness helped, too.) It’s at this moment as I write this, I realize that I’m being silly in lots of ways.
He doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t want anything. Just a little time, a little attention. And he swears, one day, he may just show me the world.
I think it is this spirit more than anything that has begun to teach me that it’s the little things that matter most. I’ve always had so many large ideas in my mind. I’ll mention this again in another post, but suffice it to say that I’ve always thought the biggest and baddest was the most important thing. I wanted to get him a cane and I wanted to create a box with a gate in it, amid a grassy field with flowers and maybe a little toy dog. These things were sweet and wonderful and they were thought of in the moments when I thought that expression was in things. But, it’s not the point to the relationship we’re crafting here. The point isn’t to lead me down a road into a realm of voodoo with Barons and Papas and Damballah making big appearances. They’re as liminal as he is; on the outside and an occasional mention is valid. But daily? This isn’t something that I live because this is only a small portion to what I’m crafting here. It was Legba… silly, happy, amused Legba who let me know all of this.
“That’s all for them. You’re different,” he says.
And I am.
Recently, I was reading a blog post about all of the things that others have to say about voodoo. There’s more to it than that, but the point is that I commented on this post and I said, “This is why I’m relying more heavily on UPG than anything else.” And it was at that moment that this whole situation and blog entry began to make itself manifest. It was at that moment that all of this began to make more sense. Ideas and thoughts aside, it was that moment that I began to more clearly see that I was listening too much to outside sources and not enough to the inside sources that matter.
I refer to myself, often, as spirit-blind. What I mean by this is that I don’t see ghosts, Lwa, gods or feel them very often. I get little glimpses and little feelings on occasion. I was told by someone who, obviously, that wasn’t quite so true because I was seeing and feeling Legba. And on the one hand, she was right. I was seeing and feeling him in little bits and pieces. But it wasn’t the fact that I was merely claiming to be spirit-blind that left me only little portions of him (although that was a part). It was also being too busy to listen to what my heart had to say that made it that much harder to forge a connection with him. I was reading the books and getting confused. Then, I was asking for advice and getting more confused. And I let that confusion knot up and bind me more strongly than anything else I’ve said, done, claimed, believed.
The biggest thing, I’ve been told, is that I need to forge forward with an open mind. That’s the biggest thing he has to say to me. Yes, there’s more to it than all of that. But, the rationale that I cling so tightly to isn’t just me living in reality and being able to write things off so simply (as I say it is). It’s the inability to forge along on my own that has left me so… so… desert-laden. It’s left me able to travel that Sahara without a bottle of water and survive. An admirable trait, I suppose, but it makes these things that much more difficult to create. And that’s the point.
So, it is with coffee, UPG, and with an open mind that I begin crafting my voodoo life.