Archive for tarot

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.


Conversations with the other side

Posted in Agwe, Animal communication, Animals, Divination, Dreams, Ghosts, Legba, lwas, Ogoun, Psychic, Religion, Sacred Geometry, Spirit Guides, Spirits, Therianthropy, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by cheshirecatman

The Buckland deck

Earlier this month I had a session with my friend and animal communicator/medium Tracy Ann. These sessions with Tracy are always interesting, enlightening and a lot of fun, except for when they dealt with Puck’s illness. (A note for my regular readers: I previously referred to Tracy as “Mary” in keeping with this blog’s anonymity policy. However, I have since received permission to use her real name and post her link on this site. I have gone back and changed all instances of “Mary” to Tracy, but if anyone finds a post I missed, please let me know.)

Some of this session dealt with the interactions between my two  living cats and some of their minor health issues, which I’ll skip over here.

Puck, my Devon Rex who crossed over in 2008, said that our upcoming move (from a tiny apartment to a spacious condo) will be good for both Anne and me. He suggested I perform a cleansing ritual on myself prior to moving; I think this is an excellent idea. The ritual will be to let go of old behaviors and patterns and to welcome new beginnings. His suggestion was to write them out on paper, then burn the paper and pour the ashes into a stream or a creek.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the subject of sacred geometry came up. Luna, my young living Devon Rex, mentioned that she likes a pyramid-shaped thing that you can see through. The only thing I could think of was a paperweight that Anne brought home from her mother’s house recently. It’s made of clear green glass, and is stepped like the pyramids in Central America. I am not sure if that’s what she was referring to, however, because when I showed it to her later she did not seem terribly interested. (Or maybe she’s just being a cat, heh.)

Luna also said that she and I see things in a similar childlike way. The example Tracy used was “like seeing a flower for the first time.” At first that did not make sense to me, as I tend to be rather cynical. But then after a moment it made sense. It might relate to being Therian, and refer to the way I see humans from a nonhuman point of view. From that perspective, one’s outlook would be childlike. I am often puzzled by human behavior. I understand it well enough from a left-brained analytical perspective, but my right-brained instinctive side says, “What the f*ck?”

One of Anne’s ancestors came through, a large man with a thick mustache.  He was originally from the British Isles. Anne has been doing geneology research for the past year, and when I told her the description she was quickly able to match it up to  a relative who fought in the Civil War.

Marie also came through, mostly with personal messages for Anne’s mother. I had to smile when Tracy commented that Marie is  a very clear communicator. In life, she’d taught classes at a local university for a while and was often a speaker at workshops.

As my regular readers know, I’ve been puzzling over the identity of my met tet for months. I have ideas who it might be, but am never quite sure. So in closing I thought I’d have Tracy take a peek.

The first spirit she described as short and busy. He likes to play tricks on me, but also can take himself seriously. If he were to play a prank and I didn’t get it, he might get pissy—sometimes he rides a fine line between being funny and being an ass. Tracy thought about Coyote and his wisdom/folly. I thought about Legba; Coyote is sometimes thought of as his Native counterpart. Tracy also got an image of Pan, another trickster.

The second spirit she felt was associated with thunder–in her mind she heard “Thor.” Thor is often mentioned as a Norse counterpart to Ogoun.

I have noticed that Legba and Ogoun turn up a lot in my personal tarot readings; although as I’ve mentioned before, that could be because of the particular deck that I use (the Buckland deck). The Sunday after my session with Tracy, I did a reading for myself and Ogoun turned up immediately in the first card of the Celtic Cross layout, which indicates the forces around you. This card shows a man sharpening a twig into what I assume is a spear, and very much seems to represent Ogoun.

What was interesting is that the second card was the Knight of Chivs. This card closely resembles a figure that appeared in a past dream and in a vision, both relating to water. Along with the blue and white of the card, I can’t help but think of Agwe.

The second card crosses over the first, representing obstacles. I am thinking that if Ogoun is my met tet, that Agwe is also close by for balance. I remember the subject of balance came up in Mama Lola. The author, having married Ogoun the fiery warrior, must also marry the cool serpent Damballah for balance. I know that I have a bit of a temper, and am grateful for Agwe’s presence to keep it under control.

Ogoun x 3

Posted in Agwe, Divination, lwas, Ogoun, Religion, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by cheshirecatman

I had a pleasant Sunday. I spent a couple of hours in the presence of the lwa. I lit candles for Legba, La Sirene, Agwe, Erzulie and Ogoun and gave them offerings of various beverages they like. As I stood in front of their shrines, I could feel the field of their energy emanating out towards me. I held out my hands and offered them some of mine. I was hoping that my met tet would make himself known (I say ‘himself’ because, at this time, the strongest contenders appear to be Agwe and Ogoun).

I then did a tarot reading for myself using the Celtic Cross spread. And Ogoun showed up in the reading no fewer than three times.

Agwe does not show up much but, in all fairness, that could be due to the particular deck I am using, the Raymond Buckland deck. I like the Buckland deck because it does not use the typical European imagery and I feel a kinship to the Rom (commonly referred to as Gypsies), possibly because my mother’s people were also traditionally nomadic (Inuit). When I look through the Buckland deck, however, I do not see a lot of images that bring Agwe to mind–maybe some of the koros (cups) cards or the Page of Bolers, who resembles a spirit who appeared to me twice (a spirit whose identity I am unsure of). On the other hand, Agwe is the powerful sovereign of the seas, and if he wanted to show up, I’m sure he would find a way regardless of which deck I’m using.

The cards that remind me of Ogoun showed up three times in today’s reading. In position one, the forces at work around me, was the Knight of Koshes (wands), who in the Buckland deck is a carnival performer dressed in red and carrying torches.  (Ogoun’s colors are red and blue; he is associated with fire).

In position seven, the querent’s self (in this case, me), was the King of Chivs (swords). In the Buckland deck he is an older man dressed in a black suit and a bowler hat. There is a knife stuck into the ground in front of him, and in his other hand is a staff with an anhk at the top. The Buckland book gives the card’s meaning as follows: “Wisdom, authority, military or governmental intelligence, justice, power.” Ogoun Badagris is a general and politician.

In position ten, the final outcome, was the 8 of Chivs (swords), who in the Buckland deck is another carnival performer, a knife thrower. He again is dressed in red, and appears very strong and confident even though there is blood on the knifeboard where his assistant’s leg has been knicked by a knife. Ogoun is associated with metal and weapons.

I don’t know if Ogoun is my met tet or not, but he does have the habit of showing up a lot in my readings, including the one Mambo C did for me. I hesitate to say that he is at this time, as I have not yet experienced possession by a lwa. If he is my met tet, he is probably shaking his head in disbelief that I am not getting it yet.

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.

Assembling the pieces: The falling mirror, the tarot and the lwa

Posted in Divination, Dreams, La Sirene, Legba, lwas, Psychic, Religion, Spirits, Uncategorized, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by cheshirecatman


Last month I mentioned that I came home from work to find La Sirene’s mirror had fallen onto the cats’ water dish, leaving the dish shattered but the mirror unscratched. Over the last few days, I’ve been wondering if I’ve been trying too hard to find meaning in that incident. Initially, I’d thought that either La Sirene or one of the other lwa whose shrine shares that shelf was displeased with me. Now I’m thinking that maybe I should look at things with a more literal eye.

The mirror, which has a mermaid relief molded into it (her tail forms the handle), tumbled off the shelf into the cats’ water dish. Is it possible that  she was simply trying to request I place some water in her shrine?

A rather simplistic interpretation, but possibly the right one. I am notorious for trying to read too much into things. My friend Angel had suggested I place ocean imagery on the mirror, which is another idea. Or possibly this idea is a variation on the same theme. On that note…*gets up to fill a small glass with salt water for the shrine*


I’ve  been thinking about Agwe a lot lately, and wondering if he is the one who appeared in my canyon dream and beach vision. I’d initially assumed it was Legba because of the dogs that accompanied him, but the dream figure did not resemble Legba at all physically (Legba is an old man, this man was a youngish man, physically fit, with brown skin and short black hair).

A description of Agwe from the Gade Nou Leve Society page:

Agwe is visualized as a very attractive light-skinned mulatto man with green eyes. His wives include the mermaid LaSirene and the coquettish Ezili Freda

Both the dream and the vision involved water. I think I may try Houngan D’s advice soon, and meditate on Agwe’s shrine before going to sleep, and then record my dreams.


I did a Celtic cross tarot reading for myself last Friday to see if I could identify my own met tet. I don’t think I was successful, but still had an interesting reading with the Buckland deck. Cards and my interpretations are listed according to their position in the spread:

  • Significator: 6 of Chivs (knives or swords). I am at a stalemate. I want to move ahead, but past problems need to be dealt with.
  1. Forces around me: #2, the High Priestess. It’s the old woman with the pipe again, who seems to correspond with a spirit that Angel saw near me. I am not sure if she is Brigitte or Erzulie in this particular reading, but her presence indicates that there is guidance at hand. I must be open and patient.
  2. Obstacles: #19, the Sun. This is a positive card, but because of its position in the spread, I think it indicates caution. Perhaps a reminder that spiritual release is at hand, but to proceed carefully since I am dealing with forces that I do not fully understand.
  3. Ideals/goals: 7 of Chivs. To be confident in myself, I must be willing to take risks. The rewards are great, but some loss may occur.
  4. The basic self, deep thought/feelings: #18, the Moon. I have some psychic potential, but struggle with barriers.
  5. The past: #8, Strength. This card was reversed, and while I don’t always think reversal is important, in this case I found that the reversed characteristics of the card accurately described my mistakes of the past: weakness, lack of faith, tyranny, domination of the material, failure.
  6. Immediate future: 3 of Koshes (wands). My goals are in sight but not yet attainable. But the tools I need are at hand.
  7. The querent’s self: #17, the Star. A desire for introspection and self-analysis. Work to overcome spiritual barriers–help from the spirits is at hand.
  8. Close friends/family: 8 of Bolers (coins). Possibly indicates the presence of skilled but busy teachers or mentors. Pursue them as needed.
  9. Hopes and fears. #12, the Hanged Man. I am afraid of being “tied up” by the past or by limitations beyond my control. Possibly indicates frustration at my living situation (I live in a very tiny apt.).
  10. Final outcome: 10 of Chivs. The imagery of this card can be alarming at first because of the knives and the blood:

The death is not literal, however. For me, I think it indicates the death of one way of thinking or one self-image–a death that will enable me to move on. Also perhaps letting go of faces and events of the past. Or the balancing of energies through the pain of letting go and patience. The watchfulness of the bobby (or police constable) indicates that it is all right to remember the past, but in a more detached way. This will likely be difficult for me, as I tend to obsess over past mistakes.

My friend Angel had suggested I place ocean imagery on the mirror, which is another idea. Or possibly this idea is a variation on the same theme.

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).


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.

Anticipation and a possible answer

Posted in Divination, lwas, Possession, Psychic, Religion, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by cheshirecatman

This morning Mambo C and I finally set a date to meet on Wednesday afternoon. I am very excited and a little nervous. Excited because I have so many questions. Nervous because this is very important to me. Not too nervous, though. I have a very positive impression of the Mambo from her emails.

Also, I may be a little closer to verifying the identity of the old woman spirit who my friend Angel sensed near me. On Sunday I tried one of the simpler readings with the Buckland tarot deck: the 12-card astrological circle spread. My question was about the identity of the old woman.

I’m not going to describe the entire reading here, as that would be tedious for me to write and for others to read. But here are what I consider the significant highlights:

Th first card represents the querent (in this case, me). It was the 4 of Chivs, which indicates a “colorless” person with deep desires that, along with his feelings, he keeps well hidden.

The third card represents education, communication, and short journeys. It was the Knight of Koros (Cups), which can indicate a message, invitation or proposition. I was recently invited to a Fet Gede, which could mean significant progress in my Vodou studies.

The ninth card represents religion, philosophy, spirituality, long journeys. It was the Hierophant, reversed, which can indicate unconventionality, unorthodoxy, and openness to new ideas. I have never really been a conventional anything, so it will be interesting to see how this Vodou journey turns out. Some practitioners I’ve encountered tend to be rather rigid in their beliefs, and I am very non-rigid. In the Buckland deck, the hierophant is portrayed as a blacksmith shoeing a horse. This is interesting because, in Vodou, a possessed person is referred to as a horse. When a lwa possesses a person, they are “riding the horse.”

The twelfth card represents secrets, secret friends, secret enemies, and is also the last card in the spread, which I take to represent the answer to the question. It was number 11 of the Major Arcana, Justice. In the Buckland deck, justice is represented by the Romani kris, the Gypsy Court of Justice. I didn’t really see how this related to the identity of the old lady, but I’m learning to step back and wait when things do not immediately make sense.

This morning I was reading a Vodou discussion board, where one of the members referred to Baron Samedi as a judge. In Kenaz Filan’s The Haitian Vodou Handbook, the Baron’s wife Maman Brigitte is described as “the consummate judge, and those who have been wronged will often go to her cairn of stones seeking justice.” In the Buckland tarot, the High Priestess (which so closely resembles the spirit that Angel saw) is described as “the arbitrator of disputes,” in other words, a judge. The name Brigitte is similar to the impression that Angel had of the old woman’s name (see post “Lwa connections“):

Angel:  It’s almost like Rita.. but not.. just has that sound in it . . .  I think there is a sound before that. Something ITA . . . the name definitly had that ITA sound. Or RITA. Not sure and something in front of it.

I’m not feeling one hundred percent certain that it was her, but it’s possible. This may turn out to follow the general pattern of my connecting with the lwas: They make contact, either I or someone close to me correctly guesses their identity, I second-guess the information, and then it turns out to be correct. Time will tell, but I do have a sort of pre-existing fondness for the Baron and his wife. At this point in time, I’m not sure how many model skulls and skeletons I own.