Archive for lightning

More comments on Rigaud and a must-read blog post

Posted in Animals, Legba, Religion, Sekhmet, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by cheshirecatman

I  am preparing to do some spellwork tomorrow. I haven’t done spellwork with Sekhmet before, and had pondered the idea of pairing her with  Legba for this effort. After discussing it with a friend, I decided against it for now, at least until I’ve worked with her more.

So today I am reading Rigaud’s book on the bus and come across his list of lwa/animal correlations. I find that Legba is correlated with white sheep and lions.

Riguad also writes that “Quebiesou is an ancient Legba.” I originally read about Quebieso (also spelled Hervioso) in Sharon Caulder’s book “The Mark of Voodoo” and then proceeded to be nearly struck by lightning. Twice.

Again I am reminded why my gods are my gods and I receive a few more glimpses of a larger picture. And I’m thinking that Legba and Sekhmet may be compatible in future endeavors.

I am feeling excited and a little anxious about my spellwork tomorrow and, as if on cue, I come across a wonderful and thought-provoking article on The Witch of Forest Grove’s blog. I highly recommend reading it:  Fear and Doubt

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Lost pin and synchronicity

Posted in Agwe, Ogoun, Vodou with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by cheshirecatman

The week following the session with my animal communicator/medium friend, I thought a lot about the thunder and lightning association. According to some of my books and some websites, Ogoun Badagri is associated with thunder and lightning. That got me wondering if he is the Ogoun I should be serving instead of Balindjo.

The following week, I decided to wear a pin decorated with the veve of Ogoun Badagri on my hat. Last weekend I went to a movie with a friend, and when I got home I noticed, to my disappointment, that the pin was missing. I cannot help but wonder if he is trying to show me that he does not walk with me.

I am not sure if Ogoun Balindjo also has a thunder and lightning association, but I know he is associated with water. Perhaps I am serving the right Ogoun after all. As I’ve mentioned before, he is a member of Agwe’s crew, and Agwe seems to be strong with me.

More conversations with the other side

Posted in Agwe, Animal communication, Divination, Legba, Ogoun, Psychic, Religion, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2011 by cheshirecatman

On Thursday March 3rd, at 3:30pm, I had another session with my friend and animal communicator/medium, Tracy Ann. I love these sessions with Tracy, not only because I get to converse with loved ones who have crossed over, but also simply because I love the woman herself.

Back in January I’d been feeling very depressed. Then I realized the reason why: it was the anniversary of Puck’s passing. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone for three years. Unlike two other cats I lived with who crossed over years before Puck, the passage of time does not seem to affect how often I think about him (daily). It had been a while since I’d last spoken with him, so I decided to set an appointment with Tracy.

As the session began, Puck came through immediately. Tracy said that his presence was so strong that it was almost tangible, as though she could reach out and touch him. Puck said that he’s been busy working with, around and through me, and that things are starting to move faster. I was not sure which things he was referring to, but I am guessing he means life in general. I certainly have been feeling that time has sped up lately, and have had problems keeping up with it and accomplishing the things I need to get done.

Puck said he’s been moving through our place fast. He showed Tracy an image of him running through the condo. This was interesting, because a couple of weeks before that, while Anne and I were eating dinner, I thought I saw a small cat-sized figure rush by my feet in a blur of movement. (Both of our cats were upstairs at the time, in the bedroom with the door closed.)

Puck said there are surprises coming my way (not bad ones). Tracy saw these as gifts. Puck said that I won’t have a lot to do; to just sit back and relax. He also said that he’d been waiting for me to call him [through Tracy], but knew I was waiting for the right time.

When I asked Tracy to tell Puck that I love him, Puck sighed and replied, “You always say that.” I had to laugh. Animals don’t need to hear things verbally the way we do. They know we love them by our actions and our emotions. The fact that he is so sure of my love that I don’t have to tell him means a lot to me.

Via Tracy, I also talked to Snowman and Luna (our two cats), as well as a few other animals who have crossed over.

I talked with Anne’s late father, who kept showing Tracy a gold key on a gold chain. Both Anne and I are puzzled about this, and hope the meaning will become clear later on.

I talked to Marie a little, asking some questions on behalf of Anne’s mother. Most of that conversation is for Anne’s mother only, so I won’t go into details here, but it was nice to know that Marie is doing okay.

When Tracy asked me if there was anyone else I wanted to talk to, I reminded her of how Legba first spoke to me through her in one of our sessions. I asked her if she would see if he had anything to say. Instead of approaching him directly, she asked if there was anyone who wanted to say anything.

Almost immediately, she began hearing a drum. A big, deep, bold drum. She thought it had a Norse sound (as opposed to a Native American sound, which she is more familiar with). I thought perhaps she could be hearing African or Afro Caribbean drums, which can be very powerful. She was not sure about this though, as she is not familiar with those styles.

Tracy got the sense of thunder and lightning, which prompted a joke on my part about the time I was almost struck by lightning on my way to work. Her voice got softer as though she was speaking from a distance:

“But you call it to you. Lot of power. Interaction. Be careful what you say. We are always listening. Gotten better at that. Tempest. Temple? Storm. Drive or need got stronger. Storm. Within you, calling the drums, rhythm. That calms the storm. Gonna be your challenge. Emotions will rise that you are not used to. Challenge is taking charge, being master of emotions. Your last, final test/hurdle.

“Be aware you are not thinking too much about it. Become instinct. Natural. Turn hand right side up. Has to become second nature and it will. You will get too in head, too nervous. You’ll be able to do it. Like mastering spitting.”

The spirits were laughing now. Tracy hears the drums again–not Native American—bigger. She thinks of a clan sitting around one drum, bigger, rhythms like a heartbeat. “Listen to heart beat in drum. Way of calling all ancestors. Have that wild magic. Wild magic running through veins. You understand that. Are able to call it as well. Start practicing that. If it starts to feels too heavy, call on feminine energy.”

Regarding the feminine energy, Tracy sees letters. A name?

H E R M O T PH E

(Letters probably in that order, but there may be other letters in between. If anyone recognizes this name, please let me know.)

At this point, Tracy heard the sound of an opening door upstairs in her house, although when she briefly went upstairs to check, her dogs were not barking and were relaxed.

Tracy then sensed another name: “Odin, Ogen?”  She heard more drums, hearing them along with storms. Storm clouds, announcing someone. Association with thunder and lightning. I thought immediately of Ogoun, and then of Agwe; both have been associated with thunder and lightning. Tracy did not think Agwe seemed right.

Now here’s an interesting note: This session, although it started late, was scheduled for 3/3 at 3:30pm. When we were originally scheduling the session in early February, Tracy said she liked those numbers.

Last week, a local Ifa practitioner sent out a group invitation for a service for Oggun (the Yoruba equivalent of Ogoun). The service was scheduled for March 3, at 3:33.

In closing, I just found out that there is a Rada fet next Saturday. I am not 100 percent sure that I am going as I write this, but I hope to attend.

Two contenders

Posted in Agwe, Divination, La Sirene, lwas, Mermaids, Ogoun, Religion, Spirit Guides, Therianthropy, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by cheshirecatman

I am still unsure of my met tet, but at the moment have narrowed it down to two strong possibilities: Agwe and Ogoun. This will not come as a surprise to my regular readers as I’ve mentioned them before. As I reflect on this throughout the day, I constantly flipflop between these two. In the last tarot reading I did for myself, an Agwe card crossed over an Ogoun card in position one of the Celtic Cross layout–Agwe countering or “blocking” Ogoun. Either one could be the met tet; both are powerful influences at work. Both are associated with thunder and lightning, so either one could be responsible for my close encounter last December. (An interesting side note is that encounter happened on December 18, birthday of both Keith Richards and Brad Pitt, both of whom are under the sign of Sagittarius. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. More on this later.)

There is no doubt that I have a nasty aggressive side to my nature, and being Therian makes my relationships with people strained at times. I am also highly empathic by nature, which counterpoints my antisocial tendencies in a way that sometimes strikes me as highly ironic. These traits I would categorize under Ogoun’s influence.

Yet there are some interesting correlations between Agwe and myself. I’ve listed some of the more interesting ones below. These could “just” be coincidences; however, a good medium friend of mine often comments that, in her experience, there are no coincidences.

  • Agwe is sovereign of the seas. My birth sign is Pisces.
  • Part of my full name includes a reference to water.
  • His colors are blue and white. I’ve had dreams where the color aqua blue is highly significant. I also have one spirit guide who announces his presence with the color royal blue.
  • Agwe is said to live in his ship by day and descend into his watery realm by night. I am nocturnal by nature.
  • He is the protector of sailors and fishermen. My mother’s people were traditional hunters and fishermen.
  • His wife is La Sirene the mermaid, his cousin is her sister La Balene, the whale. I sculpt mermaids and, as a child, had a lot of dreams about whales and living in an oceanic world.

I was discussing this via email with Mambo C today, and she wrote: “I’ve seen a possession by Agwe accompanied by actual thunder – kind of reminds me of a very Jupiter energy.” I did some quick online reading about Jupiter and found this page. I’ve quoted a few paragraphs below, with the text that resonated for me in bold:

The sign that Jupiter rules, Sagittarius, is the explorer. On one level, Sagittarius is described as being very good at business and administration. Another level is the freedom of Sagittarius, exploring new lands, cultures and adventures. A cliché phrase associated with it is “don’t fence me in.” On the highest level Sagittarius represents the spiritual explorer, delving into new thoughts, beliefs, philosophies and religions. They are able to take in so many points of view and experiences because the power of Jupiter is working to expand consciousness. In the older systems of astrology, before the discovery of the outer planets, Jupiter ruled both Sagittarius and the sign of Pisces, the energy of the artist and mystic. So not only is it associated with the fire and light of Sagittarius and the sun, but the mystical waters to be explored by Pisces.

Colors associated with Jupiter are blue and purple. Many relate the power of Jupiter to the power spiritual sight and spiritual light. The brow chakra, or Anja, is the energetic center of the body, usually portrayed as indigo or purple. The third eye is not the only place where the energy of Jupiter can be found. In medical astrology, Jupiter rules the liver, since it is the largest planet and the liver is one of the largest organs. Metaphysicians note that liver problems are often created through unresolved anger. When one is in the expanded consciousness of Jupiter, anger can be resolved. Only when you are blocked to the expanded consciousness of Jupiter do you hold anger over the long term. Jupiter rules many of the liver herbs, such as dandelion.

The gods of Jupiter are the sky gods and storm fathers. Jupiter himself is a Roman god of thunder and lightning, highly identified with the Greek Zeus, the leader of the Olympians. Although a third generation deity, he leads his brothers and sisters in victory against the Titans and creatures that roam the world, ushering in a new age. Though Zeus in later myths is painted in an unflattering sexist tone to the modern reader, the ideal of this godform is the wise and guiding king. To the Sumerians, Marduk led the fight against the dragon creature Tiamat, creating the world and a new age. In Egypt, the god Amen-Ra, the embodiment of Ra as ruler on Earth and often depicted as a pharaoh figure, is the Jupiter archetype. Unlike the Greeks, the Egyptians saw the Sun as supreme and elder, giving sway to other figures, such as Amen-Ra. Tarranis of the Continental Celts, relates to Zeus, as being a strong storm god and heavenly figure. Modern Celtic practitioners also look to the good father god of the Tuatha De Dana, the Dagda as a Jupiter figure. His cauldron is ever abundant and none leave it hungry, representing the power of abundance and nurturance in Jupiter energy. In Norse myth, the all father and tribal leader is Odin, though many associated Odin with Mercury images, because he is the magician and traveler. Thor, on the other hand, the God of Storm and Lightning, is strongly linked with Jupiter magic. In fact, the day of Jupiter, Thursday, originates from Thor’s Day. Magic involving the power of Jupiter is strong when done on Thursday.

I am seriously considering asking Mambo Racine of the Roots Without End Society to do a met tet reading for me. Now, some people are skeptical about the accuracy of distance readings, but  for people who are skilled working with energies, distance does not seem to present a problem.

In the meantime, I’ve narrowed my list down to two “contenders” and am at peace with that for now. Regardless of who my met tet is, I am grateful to have both Ogoun and Agwe walking with me, and will continue to serve them as I progress in Vodou.

Dream analysis, met tet and metaphysical bookstores

Posted in Agwe, Divination, Dreams, La Sirene, Legba, lwas, Possession, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by cheshirecatman

On Thursday night I decided to take Houngan D’s advice about communicating with specific lwa.

Thursday is Agwe’s day, so that morning I dressed in blue (his colors are blue and white) and wore an Inuit pendant with a whale design on it. That night, before retiring for bed, I lit a blue candle for him and meditated before his shrine for a little while. Then I put a glass of water and his card from the New Orleans tarot deck on the shelf next to the bed where they would be near my head. And I went to sleep. And had some crazy vivid dreams.

In the most interesting part of my dreams, I was with a group of people in the parking lot of a grocery store. At the edge of the parking lot was a low-lying tree. A dark-haired woman sat in its upper branches. She had large colorful wings.

I really don’t know who the woman is or what she symbolizes. I have been reading a lot about Damballah, the snake lwa. During his possessions, he sometimes makes his devotees climb trees. Some books compare him to Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican winged serpent god. However, this dream image could simply be related to the sphinx. When I was going through the New Orleans tarot deck to find the Agwe card, I did see a sphinx on one of the cards. When analyzing dreams, a good starting point is to separate the “junk” from the meaningful symbols. By “junk,” I refer to the images that are randomly based on something you encountered during your waking hours. So, in this case, I am not sure if the image is important or not.

I am starting to think that Mambo C’s suspicion that Agwe could be my met tet may be correct. Between the near brushes with lightning, the two appearances of the dark-haired young man (once in a dream and once in a vision), and my own temperament (similar to his–a dignified exterior with deep emotions beneath the surface), it just feels right. And this isn’t a case of me trying to force the pieces to fit together. As I go about my day, I just realize certain things about Agwe or myself that make this fit seem kind of obvious, almost as obvious as Legba’s first appearance to me (see Dogs and Dreams of Water). And the fact that La Sirene and Erzulie were both prominently in the reading Mambo C did for me. It would make sense for them to be present if their husband is there. And Ogoun in his Balindjo aspect is a member of Agwe’s crew on his ship Immamou, so it would also make sense for him to appear in the reading. I could be wrong about this, but we’ll see. Before my reading, when I desperately wanted to know the identity of my met tet, Agwe never crossed my mind.

On Saturday my girlfriend Anne and I spent a pleasant morning/afternoon running errands and shopping. One of the places we visited was East West Bookshop, one of my favorite Seattle spiritual/occult shops (the other favorite is Edge of the Circle Books). After selecting a book on holistic cat care, I fell into a conversation with a woman who volunteers at the store as part of her service to her church (an eastern religion church). It turns out she is also a realtor. I really liked her energy and may call her when Anne and I are ready to start looking for a home. We shook hands and I asked for her business card.

The reason I mention the bookstore encounter is that after we got home, during dinner, my right forearm started to ache and reminded me of the pain I had at the Fet Gede, although this pain was much milder and only in my right arm. This pain could be from mundane causes, but I am wondering now if the realtor is also some type of energy worker. If she ends up being our realtor, I want to ask her.

Unraveling the mysteries of personal lwa and the blue dress

Posted in Art, Divination, Dreams, La Sirene, lwas, Religion, Therianthropy, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by cheshirecatman

Last Sunday I went to Mambo C’s house for a met tet reading. For those of you new to Vodou, a person’s met tet is the “master of their head,” a sort of Vodou guardian spirit. At any given time, a number of lwas may be with a person, but the met tet is the one you are born with.

Prior to my reading, the mambo had to finish up an interview with a student from out of town. The student had arrived 90 minutes late, so the interview ran late as well. As it turned out, we had only a very brief time to do my reading. The tarot cards had been laid out and Mambo C had barely begun reading them when Houngan D arrived. She had not gotten a clear impression of who my met tet was, although she had identified three lwa who were around me.

We discussed the reading a little with Houngan D, and he suggested I try working with Azaka, the lwa of agriculture. Houngan D asked me if my family had been farmers. I had to reply that they were not, as far as I knew. However, I never knew my father’s family (the Chinese side), so it’s possible some of them might have been farmers. I thought about Azaka, and did not have strong feelings one way or the other. Mambo C and I  never did get back to the cards that day, but she left them laid out on her dining room table and told me to give her a call later.

By the time we resumed the reading on Monday via telephone, Mambo C had carefully gone over the cards. While she was still not sure about my met tet, she did provide me with some interesting information.

La Sirene was very prominent in the reading, although the mambo did not think she was my met tet. However, this made me very happy, as it meant that La Sirene acknowledged my service to her. Erzulie was also present, although a little less prominently.  Also very prominent in the reading was Ogoun, the warrior lwa. The reading indicated some conflict between masculine and feminine energies, possibly related to the relationship with and between my parents. I found it interesting that the mambo saw this in the cards, as I grew up raised by a strong single mother with few positive male role models around, and certainly none who were around for any significant amount of time. She thought that the Ogoun energy manifested in the skill involved in sculpting, and the Erzulie/La Sirene energies manifested in my artistic abilities. She also thought that Agwe might be indicated, as he is married to both Erzulie and La Sirene. Both Ogoun and Agwe are associated with thunder and lightning, which reminded me of my close encounter with lightning back in December. On one website, Ogoun was associated with solitary predators, including panthers. Erzulie in her darker aspect (Erzulie Red Eyes) was also associated with big cats, which appeals to the therian in me.

She advised me to set up additional shrines for Erzulie, Ogoun and Agwe, so during the week I bought more candles and tried to find items to represent the new lwa in their shrines.

Mambo C mentioned that the Queen of Cups in the Rider Waite tarot deck represents Erzulie well. She is also commonly associated with Mater Dolorosa, a lovely white Mary wearing pearls and gold with a sword thrust into her heart. While killing time before meeting a friend on Wednesday, I stopped by Edge of the Circle Books and found a prayer card of Santa Barbara that I thought would work quite well. Saint Barbara is holding a cup and has a sword, although it isn’t piercing her heart. Her gown is white and her cloak is pinkish red (Erzulie’s color are white and pink).

santabarbara

While the guy was ringing up my card and candles, I looked down through the glass of the counter and my eyes fell on a cool metal pendant of Ogoun. The pendant was made of pewter and is basically a full body relief depicting the lwa as a modern soldier. It appealed to me both for its interpretation of Ogoun and for the artistic quality of the piece. Also, it seemed appropriate that his avatar be made of metal, as he is the lwa of iron. Of course I had to buy it.

That left me with the task of finding a representation for Agwe. Usually he is depicted by images of boats, but sea creatures can be used, as well as Saint Ulrich. I was having trouble finding an image or item that resonated for me. One sculpture that I saw in Pike Place Market of an Inuit man with a walrus face would have worked very well, but at $245 was out of the question. Finally, on Thursday, my girlfriend and I were at a gift shop in Belltown that sold a variety of well-sculpted plastic sea creatures. After pondering various dolphins, sharks, whales and a walrus, I settled on a small but highly detailed sea turtle with an appropriately intense expression and eyes that were nearly solid white, which gave him a mysterious otherworldly appeal. I will place some boat images behind him in his shrine.

So my plan is to set up these additional shrines today, serve these lwa, and hopefully at some point my met tet will identify itself.

Mambo C’s reading also indicated that my path into Vodou would not be a simple one, but instead full of twists and turns. And my thoughts to that were, “Ah. Just like the rest of my life.” Oh well. Sometimes when things come too easily, we appreciate them less.

Lastly, I’ve recently had some insights and ideas about the visitor in the blue dress that appeared to me twice, once on a bus ride and another time during meditation. On the bus ride, my impression of her was of an adult Native American, Latina or mulatto woman with long dark hair. In the meditation vision she appeared as a very dark skinned young African girl. I suspect this was La Sirene because of the similarity of the dress (both times it was blue with a repeated white pattern–blue and white, La Sirene’s colors). On one website I saw artwork of her with dual aspects, represented as two mermaids, one light skinned, one dark. This contrasts her benevolent and more dangerous aspects. The adult woman I saw had some maternal airs about her and may have been La Sirene’s protective, gentler aspect. I think the child represents La Sirene in her darker aspect, but “darker” in this sense would refer to the subconscious desires and instincts of the soul, or the part of the soul that is more spontaneous, unrestrained and childlike.

So with that, I take my leave to continue down my twisty turny path.

Looking Back Part 3: Lightning strikes twice–almost

Posted in Religion, Vodou with tags , , , on August 7, 2009 by cheshirecatman

Thursday, December 18 (birthday of Keith Richards and Bratt Pitt, no less), is a day that I will remember for a while.

I awoke around 4:50am to an odd background hum, which I assumed to be rain.

I left the house as normal, with the intent of walking my usual route from my home in Beacon Hill to King Street Station in the International District of Seattle. When I stepped outside, I was surprised to see that it was snowing, because I had heard what I thought to be rain. It turns out that what I had heard was hail. I could feel it pelting me as I walked up the driveway.

I trudged and slid my way through a snow-covered park lit by secondary light from the street and nearby homes. As I began walking along the 12th Avenue South bridge over I-90, I heard a small bang and a shower of sparks cascaded down over my head, illuminating the street and sidewalk around me. I was mildly startled, but realized that one of the electrical buses must be nearby (it’s not unusual to see sparks fly from the area where their poles connect to the power cables overhead). Just as I was thinking that the bus must be moving really really slow since I hadn’t seen it pass me yet, a deafening peal of thunder sounded closeby overhead.

“Holy crap, that was lightning!” I thought, realizing that I should hurry and get off the bridge which, with the exception of the bus cables and street lamps, was way too open. Still calm but a little concerned, I hurried to get to the other side of the bridge. Once I was next to the leather shop I calmed down and slowed my pace.

Then it happened again–sparks showering down from overhead, the night sky flashing bright blue and another deafening peal of thunder.

At that point, I decided that I would not try my luck a third time and made my way across Jackson Street to the shelter to wait for any passing bus heading toward downtown. Ironically, I did not see any more lightning or hear any more thunder during the rest of the time I was downtown (my train departs King Street Station at 6:10am).

While I was on the Number 36 bus, it pulled over and a Metro employee who had been riding the bus got off to check the fuses. Some of the passengers mentioned they thought they might have been struck by the lightning up on Beacon Hill.

Ironically, this coincides with my completion of the book “The Mark of Voodoo” by Sharon Caulder, documenting her experiences among the Fon people of Africa. One of the deities discussed heavily in the book is Hervioso who is, among other things, a deity of thunder and lightning.

Any connection? Possibly. I’ve found in life that syncronicity can exist for a reason. That will require some thought on my part.