Fet Guédé 2013 (SVP).

Note: though I took pictures to share, Bawon has indicated I am not allowed to do so.

On Thursday, I watched the Wild Hunt roll through the neighborhood, on its way to wherever they go when it’s their time to be on the prowl. A novel and strange experience, but not wholly unexpected. As everyone else I’ve ever spoken with during this time of year has mentioned, the veil is thin. It’s this time of year when we can better feel the dead around us as well as interact more readily, I feel, with certain spirits. So, it wasn’t all that surprising as the fog began its lazy stroll across the road, impacting our visuals of the world around us that I began to notice the telltale signs of the Wild Hunt as well. I glanced at them surreptitiously so as not to draw attention to myself and continued with my evening.

There is something about the statement, the veil is thin, which speaks to some people on a very fundamental level. I think that there are some places in the United States where it’s almost standard for those of us more aware of other to feel this veil and to feel its thinning. I don’t remember feeling this way in Texas, though I lived on the coast and it was quite common for the fog to roll in. However, I never had a moment where I watched the fog rolling in on those early mornings, way up in the fifth story of the building I worked in, and thought to myself, ah, the veil is thin now. While I’ve only lived in two separate areas of the country, and so can’t possibly comment completely regarding different areas and the feels within, I can say with assurance that the veil and its thinness is something innate to the northeast, at least, and it’s something I’ve come to expect around this time of year.

Leading up to that thin veil, all manner of things can and do happen. I saw a 7-foot owl sitting on the side of the road last week. A little while later, I saw a black dog with pure white eyes slink out from between the cattails that line one of the more rural roads I drive down daily. He watched me drive by and then loped off into the fog that was gathering. I saw a forest spirit, similar to the spirit shown in Princess Mononoke, poke its head out of the trees lining the back lot of the parking lot at work and wink at me before walking away. I’m not shocked or surprised by any of these events, and if they happened to anyone else living in this area and feeling as an intense a connection to the other as I have, I don’t think they would be surprised either. When I mentioned, in passing, any one of these events to any of my pagan/polytheist/other aware friends, they would all just kind of nod and say, “Yep. The veil is thin.”

As that veil thins steadily, I find it far more easily to communicate with the lwa. They love this time of year, if my conversations with both Papa Legba and Bawon Samedi are any indicator on what the other lwa are thinking and feeling about this. They have both indicated that they don’t have to… try as hard to get my attention around now. While I’m more in tune with Papa Legba anyway for various reasons, Bawon has said to me, “It’s so easy now. I don’t got to wait.” What he meant, of course, was that he didn’t have to wait until I was listening carefully to him or until I was dreaming to get my attention. And I don’t have to consciously focus on him in order to make that feeling that is specifically Bawon to come to me. I can see him running around – not literally, he says running is “uncouth” – with his cylinder hat and his purple-and-black pin-striped tie, his golden skull tipped walking stick by his side.

Bawon was very much with me for most of the day on Saturday. Sometimes, it can be kind of disconcerting to feel a man in a severely cut undertaker suit sitting nearby and just offering you the glimmer of a smile when you realize he is watching. It’s even more disconcerting when that glimmer turns into a full-fledged shit-eating grin. The reason, of course, is because the promise in that grin is something you aren’t entirely aware of. What is it about this man and his smile that makes both my heart skip a few beats and pound faster? It doesn’t matter. The promise in that smile was of everything I was hoping for and things I couldn’t even name. And that was what was so disconcerting about it. I knew he was telling me secrets with those magnetic, fiery eyes and that grin, but what were the secrets? It wasn’t just the hopes and dreams I have for celebrations with him, but also all the unspoken words I have when I think of him.

Disconcerting seems like such an innocuous word for a being like him. But it fits.

While waiting around for the night to flow and the fog to roll back in, I ran some errands. I had to get peppers. For the last two years, I’ve been wanting to make a 21-pepper rum. Unfortunately, my money stores are not infinite – not like the Bawon’s eyes – and I was unable to get a full twenty-one. Besides, the decanter I was planning on putting these things in to make that rum didn’t have a very large opening, so I had to carefully size the peppers as I chose them. I was able to get seven that I felt would fit in the glass skull I had chosen. I added two more to the count so that I could leave them in offering later that night. Bawon was very much there as I chose the flowers I wanted to place at the graves of Bawon and Maman and very much there as I was choosing those peppers, but he was curiously absent when I chose the rum.

I guess the brand didn’t matter as much as the size of those peppers…?

Later, I spent a good deal of time on the phone discussing the metaphysical nature and desires of human souls. This was unexpected, but wholly appropriate for the night in question. I got a kick out of it, after I waxed philosophic to a sixteen-year-old for nearly an hour. While it’s incredibly draining to have to tap into a knowledge base that you’re not entirely sure how you managed to tap into in the first place, but it was thoroughly entertaining. Well, perhaps not to me, but definitely to a certain man in a cylinder hat and with a purple-and-black pin-stripe tie. Afterward, I felt like I had been drinking pea soup laced with rum for about two hours and had the headache and cotton mouth to prove it.

I poke fun at my mother-in-law, who voiced a deep fear of being in cemeteries at night. That was a little strange and oddly unexpected, as well. I frankly don’t understand why people are worried about entering cemeteries especially at night. I suppose this is a genetic fear in some, a sort of residual horror relating to either a childhood trauma or the belief in hairy spirits, ready to rip your throat out. All in all, it exasperates me at the least and irritates me at the worst. I told her I would bid hello to all the spirits partying on her behalf and I think she was both interested in what I was planning on doing as well as fearful on my behalf. I still don’t quite understand this fear or this interest. It is what it is, to me. It’s just something I do and something I do well. Also, aside from possibly being arrested by police, I’m probably safer in a cemetery, even at night, than I would be at work in the middle of the day, surrounded by well-intentioned guardians.

Per usual, I drove right by the cemetery. This is actually becoming a part of the ritual for Fet Guédé, so I really shouldn’t say “per usual.” What normally ends up happening is that I’m looking so hard, in the dark, for my turn off (that I take regularly since I tend this graveyard multiple times a year) that I miss that turn off. So, I ended up taking a large loop around and watched the fog roll across the road as I drove by. There’s something very calming about this drive, honestly, and something even more so when I can watch the fog crawl across the road. I don’t know why I enjoy mist and fog as much as I do – but I really fucking do. There’s something alive and magnetic about it when it’s strolling casually across the landscape, seeking with its white-gray fingers to enter every nook and cranny of that landscape. It’s both beautiful and haunting to me, but all in all, very calming and meditative.

I ended up at the cemetery later than I normally go.

I packed up my parcels and set off to spend time with Maman and Bawon. The cemetery was quiet. Many of the Guédé had spent their day, enjoying what time they could and doing what they needed to. Sometimes, they tell me what they do for the day. And sometimes, they just let me spend quality time with Bawon and Maman. Bawon dominated the area with his presence, looking and feeling larger than life, so to speak. Maman was a shadow in the background, watching over her children as she is often wont to do. She gave me a wink in greeting and a smile in response to my nod in her direction. We don’t get on much as my services are mostly dedicated to her husband, but she lets me complain to her when I think I’m feeling overwhelmed or if I feel like justice isn’t being done. She’s good like that and she says I’m good for her husband… whatever that may mean.

Upon arriving, I bowed to the two gravestones that are Maman’s and Bawon’s before sitting myself down. I felt, deep down, an ululating cry beginning to form in my throat, but I had to bite it down. In my mind, I allowed it free reign to caress the graves around me, to bounce off Maman’s tree and shatter across the night. But this cemetery has neighbors and is quite visible from the road – letting out yells didn’t seem like a good idea to a white woman, wearing white from head-to-toe and trying to best to remain as inscrutable as possible. I chattered at the tombstones and made pepper rum. I giggled as the rum already in the bottle shot all over my hand with each additional pepper and giggled as the scent of rum dissipated faster than it should have. I had nothing to wipe my hands off save my white dress – and I decided against using it as an impromptu napkin, thank you very much – and wondered if Bawon was licking it from my fingertips. Whatever the reason, the rum disappeared and the peppers found a new home.

I felt another cry deep in my breast and bit it back while I pulled out the Tarot of the Dead. Each year, I try to do a reading for myself and attempt to puzzle it out later. I haven’t puzzled out the two readings I did for myself yet, but that’s mostly because the Devil card showed up in both and I’m none too happy with that. I’ve decided to leave off on that until much later. Or maybe, never at all. All that matters is that I did the reading and found everything about it very unsatisfying and very sad. It made me feel like I’ve been living in bondage for so long and I keep getting to the point where I’m almost there and then I get sucked back into that bondage. Nothing I can do about all of that, really, except ignore the readings I did and move on with my tale.

Afterwards, I decorated the two gravestones with pretty autumn-esque flowers that I had brought with me. Maman was given the brown, yellow, and red ones. They made a happy little daisy chain across the heavily slanted stone that is hers. Bawon’s gravestone has little scrolled sides and I placed his flowers on either side of those scrolls. He received purple and red. He laughed at the choices I made. I kept a single purple flower for myself, which I placed in my hair. He said it made me more beautiful than I already am. I told him he was a liar, but left the flower there.

When I felt that my time was through – I was getting bone tired from being up so late and from that talk about souls earlier – I stood up. Bawon asked for one last dance before I left. And we slow danced to the patter of my heart.

The Fet Guédé that I celebrate is by and large definitely not canonical in any sense of the word. No possessions to speak of and definitely not enough food left behind. However, it works for me. He says it works for him, too, and there are days where I feel like it’s not quite a lie he tells me. Other days, of course, I doubt everything I feel and think and say with him. But, on that evening and even now as I recount it for whomever may be reading, I realize that those words are true. When I think on those true words, I think that he is only saying them as a suitor will say anything to the woman he courts. There is no denying that Bawon has a silvery tongue and beauty can be spewed from it right along with the nasty. But today, right here and right now, his words ring true in my heart. And I know that my intent, my devotion, is enough for him.

Besides, his wife says I’m good for him.

Fet Guede Tarot Reading.

What have we here?

A quick note about the Tarot of the Dead. They use different words for the usual Tarot suits everyone is using to seeing. I figured I should probably explain what each of them are as I didn’t change the names of the suits to make sense to outsiders. The reels are pentacles; coffins are cups; pens are wands; and pistols are swords.

So, on Friday, I ended up doing a kind of generalized Tarot reading when I was at the cemetery. I wanted to do a very generalized kind of thing, asking what I could expect in the upcoming months. I don’t think I was so specific as to how many months or within a year’s time or anything else. I think my intention was a focus on my religious work in regards to going back to work for the temp agency and all of that kind of thing. (I can’t tell you how worried I am that this job will be like my last job and kill my religious working. That worry, however, is probably a good thing because it means I’m less likely to fall into that trap… right?) Since I don’t really recall what the fuck I was thinking when I was doing the shuffling, I’m going to have to piecemeal what the hell this reading says.

To begin, before I got into this reading specifically, the Moon card jumped out at me. While usually most Tarot readers will assume that a card jumping out has some inner meaning that needs immediate attention, I normally don’t. This is because, usually, when this happens it is because I miss-shuffle or I end up fucking up in mid-shuffle. This time, however, I was in the zone that I get into when I shuffle through my deck when the card jumped out at me. So, I studied the card thoughtfully. Of course, I know the generalized meaning behind the Moon card: intuition. Obviously, there’s more than just paying attention to my intuition here. In Tarot: Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis, he has almost an entire page attributed to the Moon card in its positive aspect. The second paragraph, I feel, is particularly warranted in my current life.

The Moon card suggests you are entering a period of fluctuating moods and uncertainty during which you must confront unconscious forces in order to proceed. That which has been invisible or secret is coming to the surface. You can make good use of your creative talents in writing, art, drama, acting, psychology, and psychotherapy. Travel, especially over water, is possible. You notice how ingrained patterns from the past are affecting your current behavior. Expect the uncanny.

Part of this descriptor has already begun to make itself manifest. I have been consciously aware of past patterns affecting me in negative ways to this day. (As evidenced by how much the ex-husband and his shit has been coming out in the last two months, eh?) However, it’s not just a set of following old patterns and trying to break them, however that is part of it. It’s also seeing how many of my past decisions can be mirrored in daily events, monthly events, and so on. Another aspect here is the “invisible or secret is coming to the surface.” I feel like that, in particular, has to do with my recent astral shenans that I haven’t really been discussing in detail. (Not that I don’t want to but as far as remembering goes, my memory is at its infancy.) In going to the astral, a lot of past life stuff is coming out to be worked through and dealt with in some form or another. Talk about secrets coming to the surface…

Now, as to the reading itself…

I chose to use the spread that came with the deck. I honestly don’t know what it’s supposed to signify, or didn’t at the time I was doing the spread. It seemed like a good idea to just stick to the deck and its suggestions while freezing my ass off. A three card spread, I felt, wouldn’t give me as much information as I looking for. It’s entitled The Pyramid Spread and the cards’ placement meanings are: 1. you; 2. actions and events; 3. unconscious forces and emotions; 4. outside forces; 5. knowledge and beliefs; 6. possible course of action; 7. possible course of action; and 8. outcome.

The card that signified me was the Knight of Reels reversed. The generalized meaning behind this card, in a nutshell, is financial instability. And that really does describe myself and my family at the moment. With me just getting back to work (and for a really low rate) as well as with TH out of work again, things are shaky at best. I have been feeling like the foundations are rather shaky when it comes to our finances and I keep putting off necessary purchases (like food) until I absolutely have to. (Currently, out financials are more shaky because of silliness from the department of transitional assistance, but that will be sorted out soon enough.) When we get into more depth with this card, we see that it talks about feeling uninspired and reaching a sort of impasse. More specifics contain apathy, listlessness, depression, dull, and lifelessness. All of these aspects currently describe myself, my emotions, and what it seems like everything will always be to perfection.

The next card for “actions and events” was Page of Pens, also reversed. A very generalized overview of the card is about bad news, frazzled, dismissals, and exasperation. When we get into more depth here, we have to see that it’s not just communication and blackmail going on here (which I have been experiencing lately), but it also talks about a general downturn in events. Nothing is working out, everything looks bleak, and everything results in leaving me feeling drained and apathetic. This is true in so many current environments in my life that I don’t even know how to begin to convey how frightening it is.

The third card was Six of Coffins reversed. A generalized interpretation of this card in the reverse is that there will be rough waters ahead. While normally, we would just assume that this part and parcel to the two cards already displayed, we have to also keep in mind that this has to do with the unconscious forces and emotions as opposed to physical happenings. The descriptor in the book I mentioned above talks very seriously about taking the easy way out of a situation, not being able to put troubles behind you, and feeling stuck in an unchanging and difficult predicament. In the realm of emotions, I have to assume this is in more relation along with the emotional aspect of past mistakes and decisions that I’ve been noticing recurring are still affecting me. This goes hand-in-hand with the last card along the lines of feeling like I’m “stuck in a rut.” It’s not just the decisions and the blah of my reality, but also the emotional upheaval and re-living of those past instances that keep deterring me.

Next, I receive the Justice card in the “outside forces” area. This is a fairly obvious card in its general interpretation: fair outcomes and being judged. While this card could have to do with legal proceedings, which would make sense in its spot in the reading, I think it has more to do with having to look more equally at all possible decisive outcomes. I don’t tend to do this. I’m very much a “this is the way it is” kind of person and I stick through it. If I weigh my options too much, then I end up dithering until I can’t make a decision. If I don’t weigh my options enough, then I end up being miserable and unhappy. (FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS.) I think that a lot of rapid fire decisions (about career, mostly) will be coming up in the next few months and I have to weigh those options neatly and concisely instead of letting fate or the gods or whomever or whatever take control.

The fifth card of my spread was the Seven of Coffins reversed. (I was in a big reversed place, I guess.) This area is about knowledge and beliefs. The general for this one is persistence is rewarded as well as the fog lifts. Considering the place of this card and it’s more localized reading, I have to take this as a direct commentary on my religious practice. I’ve spoken in my Fet Gede post about being scared out of my wits about going back to work and its relation to what my religion will look like. I’ve talked repeatedly in this blog about how much my religion suffered while I was working at the hellhole that fired me for bullshit. This card, to me, is about deciding how much religion plays a part in my life and where this will take me. It also talks about needing to be decisive about it. And while I’m pretty sure I know what the decision regarding my beliefs are, I’ll not get into it right now. (That will come up in a work-related post all on its own this Friday for the PBP.) Suffice it to say, I need to be decisive and firm in regards to both my income, my future, and where my religion plays a part.

So, the next spot is one possible course of action and that card was the Five of Pistols. So one particular outcome, this one, is pretty negative. This talks about being so concerned with winning (or as I could place it in my life, money) that I end up ignoring everything and anything to make that money. In effect, the card, to me, reminds me very much of the materialistic jerk I was when I worked for that ex-company. While I do miss not being able to buy books whenever I feel like it or not needing to rely on family members to help buy food or clothes, I have something to admit. All the books I bought, I never read as I didn’t have time. All of the clothes I bought myself, I never wore because I was always in work uniform or pajamas. I never got to see the clothes I bought for my son because I never saw my son. And while I am currently subsisting on PB+J, I’m probably losing weight whereas I could eat quite a bit when I was making the money. What it comes down to is how important is having the money if you never get to use it to buy things that benefit you?

The seventh card is another possibility. This card was the Knight of Coffins. This one talks more along the lines of an actual person, but the person it talks about is a sort of dreamer. I tend to associate this card with creativity and spirituality. It’s not a matter of dreaming, per se, but a matter of being able to live in all the worlds a human feels comfortable in (creative world, mundane world, religion world, spiritual world, astral world, and so on) and being able to mold that into a cohesive unit. (As if the astral world would ever easily mold into what we desire!) However, whenever I look at this knight and his horse of sea foam, I have to sit there and think about the possibilities. To me, this card talks about following my hopes and dreams. This card talks about getting into gear and doing the things I’ve always said I would: visit Salem for the first time, write a novel and publish it, work on an intro to Kemetism book, etc. While I may not discuss them frequently, I do have a lot of dreams for myself and my future.

The final card is supposedly the outcome and this one was Star reversed. (I told you, I had a lot of reverses in this reading.) This card is pretty much a happy card in either position, however in the reversed position, it just means that the hope and that is discussed in its upright position are a little delayed… but they will happen. In this case, I tend to view it as a very generalized outcome because I get the feeling that it is possible I go with possible action from number six as opposed to possible action of number seven. It’s all a matter of weighing out all of the possibility, as Justice warns me to do, and figuring out where to go from there.

Fet Guede 2012 (SVP).

I have a confession to make. Fet Gede is rapidly becoming one of my favorite holidays. Now, one could assume, if you don’t know me and you haven’t been reading this blog long, that it’s the generalized excitement behind the celebrations. There is food and drink, revelry and possessions, dancing and thrills. The thing is that I enjoy my Fet Gede because they’re full of peace and solitude. I don’t belong to any societies and I’m incredibly solitary, wallflower-like in my general practices. (I’m sure being a part of a group is great, but I’m just not the social creature in real life that this blog makes me out to be.) What I really love and appreciate is my personal freedom as a solitary and what I really enjoy about Fet Gede is that it’s just like my grave-tending only about 1,000 times more concentrated.

Leading up to Fet Gede this year, I decided to do some ancestral dinners. I was going to do the dinners from October 30th through to November 2nd. However, I also started a new job this week. That made it difficult to see through everything I had been plotting out. What I had initially intended was that my dinners, or Dumb Supper, would get progressively more ornate until November 2nd when everything I could think of would be unleashed. As I said somewhere, starting a new job while also trying to hold rituals and festivals is time-consuming and incredibly draining. Since I’m still trying to get the swing of this new job, I decided to tone down my initial ideas for this year’s celebrations. I ended up going with smaller and simpler. And in the end, I feel like things really worked out to my advantage.

On October 31st, prior to taking my four-year-old trick-or-treating, I had a mini-Dumb Supper. I had actually bought a black table cloth for the occasion and initially, I was going to have a kind of buffet style dinner each night across my entire kitchen table. Due to time constraints, money constraints, and the fact that my energy levels were flagging after a long day of taking claims from the survivors of Hurricane Sandy (yeah, it’s just a job but incredibly exhausting, hearing so many awful stories all day long), I decided that my buffet style was a great idea. However, this year, it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I rearranged PL’s altar to place the meal.

I came barreling into the house to hurry up and prepare the meal. I had a lot of things to see done and felt like I didn’t have enough time to do it in. I preferred to be asleep by nine-thirty before I go to work because I want to be as rested as possible to [not] help the people calling in. So, I hastily prepped and created a meal fit for the ancestors. I took pork chops and let them sit in milk before placing them in bread crumbs. Aside from that, I chose easy prep extras for the meal since I didn’t have the time or energy to be more ornate about things. The ancestors received the first scoops and pieces of the meal (a kind of play on “the guests get first dibs” I suppose) before I ate my own plate. I placed the dinner plate on Papa Legba’s altar, although I can’t honestly say why I decided to do that. And it was a bad decision as my bigger and fatter Dachshund managed to snatch the pork chop off the plate… but not until after I got back from trick-or-treating. I assumed it was a sign the ancestors were finished.

The next night, I knew better than to place things on Papa Legba’s altar. However, I also had more planned for it, so it wasn’t like I would have been able to use his small table for it anyway.

Not as hastily done as the last one.

I finally pulled out the table cloth I had bought specific to the purpose. I smoothed it across my kitchen table before getting dinner going. While TH ended up making the stuffing wrapped within baked chicken breasts with bacon on top, I did the rest of the thing. (So, not as much prep for me this time around. Heh.) I pulled out some of the leftover sweet corn and soaked them in a butter sauce. I spent a good portion of my afternoon, after working, baking larger than usual snickerdoodles, which is why TH ended up making dinner. (Due to oven malfunctions, not all of them came out looking as lovely and delicious as the two shown.) After I had pulled the first scoops and pieces and snickerdoodles for the ancestors, the rest of us ate so that I had enough room to set things up for the ancestors later.

The full complement of offerings were vast and varied. I was pretty much just going off of gut reaction as to what I wanted. I chose a mug of ginger tea, a glass of red wine, some rum, and some tequila for the beverages. The candles were either things I had bought previously and had on hand or items that I had purchased specifically for the ancestors (namely, the large white candle at center). I lit a cone of sandalwood incense this time around instead of frankincense and myrrh – sometimes, you just have to switch things up. I also added the agate pyramid I have, my dish of shells (which has an image of a trilobite on it), as well as the graveyard dirt I had dug up on the anniversary of my father’s death. Feeling like I had made a pretty picture (you tell me) as well as feeling like I had done some good, I left the candles to burn all night. (TH blew them out after I fell asleep, apparently.)

To round off my three days of celebration, I went to one of my local cemeteries to leave offerings and, if Maman and Bawon were pleased, get some dirt in return. I went to the very first cemetery I ever did grave-tending in. It’s one of my favorites, actually, which is probably because it was my first grave-tending gig. There is just something very peaceful and happy about the cemetery that leaves me feeling more content than usual after a grave-tending. While I couldn’t go around and clear up as much as I would have preferred (because of how cold it was and how dark it was), I felt like I left the Gede in that cemetery with some seriously good vibes.

To start off my evening with Fet Gede, I went about getting ritually purified. I don’t usually do this for some of my smaller rites, but when it comes to my larger aspects, then I actually pay attention to the whole shebang. While I was initially going to be wearing a white dress along with a white scarf in my hair, I decided that it was much too cold to pull that off. Honestly, I go back and forth on whether or not I should dress appropriately. However, one of the very few things that I honestly believe is that the gods and spirits aren’t too picky when it comes to clothing and attire. (So, I ended up going in warm pants, a comfy T-shirt, and sneakers.) Now, when it comes to ritual purity, I do this because it makes me feel good. I really can’t comment on the impact it may or may not have for the ancestors themselves or the gods. I should mention here that ritual purity to me is showering, meditating, and shaving off all excess hair on my body that is not on my head. It also requires braiding my hair.

I brought the leftovers from the night before to leave for food to feed them. I also left some water, of course, to feed their souls as well. I managed to buy one of the last fall flower bouquets from one of my local gas stations. I really enjoyed the bouquet, actually, and was almost sad that I was going to break it up. There was a pumpkin in the center of the bouquet that I was planning on keeping, but the Gede snagged it from me instead. I brought along the white, glass-enclosed candle that I had used the night before to be left behind. I also brought my standard grave-tending kit since I wanted to do a Tarot reading at the grave of the Maman and Bawon of the cemetery.

I just pulled out the cards for the reading, but I haven’t actually gotten around to deciphering the reading itself yet. I’m going to post a picture of my reading here, of course, but a more in-depth commentary on the spread will show up some time this week.

Before I went about setting up the offerings for the Gede, I did ask permission to harvest dirt from the Maman and Bawon of the cemetery. I figured if my spade could make it through the dirt without hitting anything, then I was being given a yes answer. The spade went through the grass and topsoil like butter on both graves. Thanking them profusely for the gift they were giving me, I filled up two small jars with my dirt. I honestly don’t know what I’m planning to use them for (anymore than I know what my father’s grave dirt will be for) but I’m pleased that I have them. They were very giving, too; much more than my father was. I was able to fill up both jars to nearly overflowing.

To finish up my evening, I did give my thanks to the Gede, both the big lwa I was standing in front of as well as all the ones in the graveyard. I did end up saying something like, “On this exciting Fet Gede eve feast upon the offerings I leave.” I’ll admit it: I’m a rhyming dork when it comes to these kinds of things. And no, I don’t know why.

Prior to this spread, the moon card jumped out at me.

The giving nature of the Bawon and Maman.

Chicken, bacon, corn, flowers, water, and candle.