Ayiti Foto Konbit

Posted in Haiti, Uncategorized with tags , on November 23, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Invisible Mirrors/Miwa Yo Envizib

I was made aware of this project to create a refreshingly positive collection of images of Haiti made by young Haitians via a recent article by Alexandra Fuller on the National Geographic website:  ‘Showing Haiti on its Own Terms‘. The article itself gives a very clear “nutshell” overview Haitian history that is unusually free of outrage, sentimentalism or sensationalism. And many of the images are great too!

okap_0025-1.jpg

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Deciphering shoe dreams, and medium messages

Posted in Dreams with tags , , on October 31, 2015 by cheshirecatman

shoeRecently I had another one of my shoe-themed dreams. This one started out where I was watching TV in the master bedroom of my condo with an estranged relative, F. Then we leave the bedroom, and we are no longer in my condo but instead find ourselves wandering around Southcenter Mall (a mall south of Seattle). It’s the early hours of the morning and still dark–I have to catch a bus for work soon.

F and I are looking for a Starbucks, but in the dream the only one was in a separate building. I’d have to walk to the other side of the mall and across the parking lot, and there wasn’t enough time to do that. As we are walking and trying to decide what to do, we find ourselves in a basement corridor with a concrete floor. There is some sort of ritual going on. The people are dressed in white and look like Vodouisants, but this ritual is not one I’ve seen before. We are told to take off our shoes and walk through a wide but shallow puddle of water on the floor.

We do, and on the other side of the puddle the corridor opens into a small storeroom. Our shoes and socks are supposed to be there, but (of course) I can’t find mine. We walk through the mall and outside, where F decides to go catch the bus. The dream ends where I am still at the mall, wondering how I am going to get to the bus stop and work with no shoes.

This theme of losing my shoes has been present in my dreams for the past few years, and I think I finally figured it out. It has to do with the phrase, “hand you your walking papers.” See, I am fascinated with the other side (the afterlife) and sometimes I really long to be there. I am probably a little obsessed. And the shoe dreams are basically saying, “Not yet.” I don’t get my walking papers. I don’t get to leave just yet. I really should obsess a little less and focus on the work at hand.

Also recently, I had a brief session with my medium friend Tracy. I took the opportunity to ask Puck if he was the source of the two recent cat paw sensations I’d felt, and before I could even get the full question out of my mouth, he said yes. Silly wonderful cat.

Also, apparently I have quite a group of beings watching my back now, which I credit to Kanzo. They let me know that I am progressing well along my path, although sometimes I feel like I am swimming in molasses when it comes to spiritual progress. I will take their word for it, as they have a better view of things than me.

Voodoo practitioners mourn the death of leader Max Beauvoir

Posted in Haiti, Vodou, Voodoo with tags , , , on September 16, 2015 by cheshirecatman

“Max Gesner Beauvoir, the “Ati” or supreme leader of voodoo, Haiti’s traditional Afro-Caribbean religion, died Saturday afternoon, aged 79.”
Video posted on the Daily Mail site

Houngan Max Beauvoir, August 25, 1936 – September 12, 2015

Posted in Haiti, Vodou with tags , , on September 12, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Today Houngan Max Beauvoir joined the ancestors. He passed away at 1:00 pm at Le Peristyle de Mariani, founded in 1974 in Mariani, Haiti.

An interview from 2010

Levoy Exil – Saint Soleil’s Vodou Mystic

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2015 by cheshirecatman

Ran across this article on Haitian artist Levoy Exil:

Cameron Karsten's Imaginarium

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Levoy Exil is an artist. He’s from Haiti. He lives in Haiti. He is a visionary with deep roots into the mysticism of Haitian vodou. “I have revelations when I’m asleep. In black and white. The black is the body, the white is the spirit. I sing the song of creation to Damballah. I offer him blue, white and mauve. There are lines of dots all around the shapes, in relief. There are dots of light. The red is part of the body. It’s also a symbol of goodness, and it’s good for healing too. Damballah is a snake, made up of all colors.”

Levoy is an original member of the famous Haitian artistic movement called Saint Soleil, which began in 1972. Inspired by vodou religion and the cosmological energies called loa, or vodou spirits, St Soleil (Holy Sun) grew from the peasant mountainsides outside of Port-au-Prince into an…

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Cat visitations and repeating patterns

Posted in Animal communication, Animals, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2015 by cheshirecatman
Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

Snowman and Puck, in the 1990s

I had two visits from my late cat Puck recently. The first time was last month. I was resting on top of my bed, facing the wall, when I felt the distinct sensation of a cat paw touch my leg. I turned, fully expecting to see Luna looking at me from the edge of the bed, but nope. She was sleeping near the foot of the bed, on the opposite side. Smiling, I said, “Hello, Puck.” Then I was inspired to write this blog post.

Then yesterday, while I was sitting at my computer desk, I distinctly felt a paw bat my elbow. Again, I looked down expecting to see Luna, who was nowhere in sight. I think Puck was reminding me that I still hadn’t edited and posted this.

His first recent visit got me to thinking about cats, breeds of cats, and how I’ve come to have the cats that I  have now.

The first really special cat that came into my life was Clive, a hard-of-hearing flame point Siamese. We were brought together via another cat in my life, a domestic gray and white shorthair named Jay. It was Jay who became friends with Clive, and I would see them playing together in the backyard of the triplex I lived in with my mother. Eventually, I became friends with Clive. He was eccentric and highly intelligent—he understood the concept of doorknobs, for instance, but could not quite get enough of a grip on the thing with his two paws to actually open the door.

Sadly, I only had him for a few years. I came home from work one day to find him dead on the bedroom floor. I had him autopsied (and kudos to the wonderful vet and vet tech who stayed late to perform the procedure, and never even charged me–yup–they did it for free) and the culprit was heart failure. I missed my eccentric blue-eyed boy for a long time.

Flash forward a few years and Anne and I are living together for the first time. We are sharing a crappily built mother-in-law unit in Queen Anne. We have our first Schipperke (the scary territorial Lucy) and I realized I needed to have a cat again. However, Anne at the time was severely allergic. So, after some research, I narrowed my possible choices down to either a Sphynx or a Devon Rex.

Not too long afterwards, a Devon Rex kitten was posted in the classified ads of the local paper (this was before I had a personal computer or internet access at home). As fate would have it, the breeder was a customer of the company I worked for at the time. He brought baby Puck into the office.

Baby Puck was not at all what I had visualized my future cat looking like. I’d hoped for either a black or a white cat, and he was sort of a pointed champagne color, and very skinny looking because his adult fur had not grown in yet. But the moment I held him, I was in love. I asked a co-worker who was also a cat lover if she would like to hold him, but when I went to hand him to her, Puck leaned back into me as though he did not want to leave my arms. That moment sealed the deal–he was mine.

Moving forward a few years, and Anne and I were living in separate apartments in the same building. I was at a different job, and took the bus up north to Bothell. On the way home, my bus traveled right by a small pet store and, lo and behold, in the window—flamepoint Siamese kittens! I still missed my Clive and so made it a point to stop there the next day.

And that’s how I found Snowman. I think he may have been a kitten mill cat, as he developed health problems early on. Personality-wise, he was not much like Clive. While he shared Clive’s high intelligence and talkative nature, he was not particularly goofy. Snowman was loving but also very no-nonsense and stoic. After some initial bickering, he and Puck became the brothers they were meant to be. It was with these two cats that I realized how much I loved these two particular breeds.

Flash forward again to 2008. I lost Puck to cancer, and it was heartbreaking. Perhaps I should have waited longer, but I decided to begin searching for another Rex after learning from my animal communicator that my next cat would be a female. I find Luna, and although her personality is not as outgoing and in your face as Puck’s, she and I gradually developed a bond that is just as deep and intense (I think of her as Puck’s little sister now). Luna and Snowman developed a love/hate relationship–I think they did care about each other but Luna was a young goofball which irritated the no-nonsense older Snowman. Then, in 2013 I lost Snowman to cancer. I resolved that, because I am not a man of great financial means, I would stick to just one cat.

But then in late 2013,  I got a message from Tracy, my animal communicator, asking if it was me who had said I was looking for a Siamese. I told her no, it wasn’t. And then she shows me a photo of Casper. Casper is built like Snowman but something about his eyes reminds me of Clive.

I was sorely tempted to say yes but decided to wait, telling Tracy to see if others were interested in him. When no one came forward, Tracy generously offered to drive Casper from Gig Harbor to my home. He was very bold and immediately stepped out of his crate, looking around our condo like he owned the place. There was a lot of friction and some all-out scary fighting between him and Luna at first, but they are gradually getting more used to each other.

The interesting thing to me is that, in spite of my plans to stay with one cat, Casper found his way to me. And now I once again have a Devon Rex and a flamepont Siamese. I think of them as my alien and my mini white lion. And we have a Schipperke again too, the much nicer Stella. And so the pattern repeats itself.

Ask and receive, in which the Lwa work with what is already around you

Posted in Legba, lwas, Vodou with tags , , , , on July 26, 2015 by cheshirecatman

I had the opportunity to sign up for an online class related to my various spiritual practices. I really wanted to take this class, and it was being offered at 1/3 of the usual price. I still could not really afford it and hesitated, knowing that it would make finances very tight for the next couple of weeks, and that I would have to postpone some bills. With a resigned sigh, I said to Legba, “If you think it would be good for me to take this class, any financial help would be appreciated.” The discounted price was only offered for a very limited time and I was up against the deadline, so I took the plunge and registered for the class. This was last Saturday (July 18). That same day we had a grocery delivery scheduled.

Now, Anne and I are city dwellers, and have not owned a car for over a decade. To reduce trips to the grocery store (and to avoid having to haul heavy items like cat litter on the bus), we regularly use a grocery delivery service. We select a delivery time, usually in the evenings or on a weekend. Most of the time the service delivers on schedule, and even when they are late, they are good about letting us know. In the 3 or so years we’ve been using them, I’ve only had to call them about late delivery a handful of times.

Grocery expenses add up quickly, and last weekend was one of the larger orders we’ve placed (over $200). So, the scheduled delivery window came and went, and about 15 minutes afterwards, I phoned the company. The customer service rep was very courteous and told me that they had been having a lot of delays that morning. She briefly put me hold while she tried to contact the delivery driver. When she was unable to reach him, she apologized and said that she would immediately refund our order. She then said that if the driver did show up we could keep the groceries free of charge.

What? I was kind of floored. Our deliveries have been late before, and I’ve never been offered a full refund. The downside: if the groceries failed to show up, then Anne and I would need to go shopping that day and I would be either hauling cat litter on the bus or ordering from another delivery service. I was really keeping my fingers crossed that the delivery showed up.

And it did, only about 30 minutes late. Which was not a big deal to me, and I would have been fine without a refund. We just wanted our stuff. As it turned out, we got over $200 worth of groceries for free, which was wonderful and kind of weird.

And then I remembered my comment to Legba. And realized that my share of the groceries came up to around $135, which was about the same amount of money that I was lacking to pay for the class and my bills. Whoa.

I also thought about how he brought about this windfall using situations that were already at play in my life. Not that the Lwa can’t bring results from unexpected sources, but I think they are practical and have no qualms about working with the tools most readily available.

So Saturday evening, I lit candles and thanked Papa. Ayibobo.