Archive for Zimbate

Expectation and changing reality

Posted in Animals with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by cheshirecatman

My elderly cat Snowman has been dropping weight for about a year now. Last spring, I took him to a nearby vet and had him x-rayed. He had some kind of internal infection going on, and the vet saw what he thought might be tumors in his abdomen. I viewed the digital x-ray on the vet’s computer screen, and saw the small white shapes among what should have been a dark background, but the infection caused his abdomen to show up cloudy. I was told further tests would be necessary, or exploratory surgery.

Snowman was very dehydrated and stood overnight, running his tab up to over $700. Upon taking him home, I continued giving him his prescribed antibiotics and decided I would wait before any further course of action, as I’d already siphoned off most of my available funds for this visit.

When I received the written lab report, much of it was similar to what the vet told me except that the diagnosis read cancer.

Well, this was depressing. I did not want to subject a 17-year-old cat to surgery that would probably not cure him, so I decided I would keep him home and would help him cross over when the time felt right.

Recently a friend of mine did some healing candle work for him, and I also did some Zimbate work on him during which my hand grew really hot. I was not optimistic that either would help, however; for in spite of a voracious appetite, he continued to lose weight until his bones were protruding from his skin. So I made him an appointment with a vet who does house calls, and she came over yesterday to end his life. After examining him, feeling his organs through the skin and asking me questions, she said that she was not at all sure he had tumors. She thought it could be his thyroid or irritable bowel syndrome.

At the moment, she is reviewing his lab results and will likely return for further tests. I am appreciating my prolonged time with him after an awful weekend of premature mourning. While Puck was like my child, Snowman is more of a brother or peer, and I did not think losing him would hurt as much as it turned out to. Apparently I rely on him far more than I realize.

The odd part of this story is when I found the old lab report to send to the new vet, it states that his diagnosis was uncertain. It’s possible that there is a missing page that lists the diagnoses as cancer, because I am pretty dang certain I didn’t misread it the first time.

This leaves me wondering if a) the spellwork and the Zimbate worked; b) about the nature of reality, or at least my version of it; and c) if spellwork can actually alter things in the past. This is certainly not the first time I’ve wondered about the nature of reality, what with my history of vanishing and reappearing objects. I’ve also had photographs seem to change from how I remembered them. I am sure that some of the time it is a trick of my memory, but other times I am not so sure. Perhaps it’s related to the time of year. Who knows.

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More altar upgrades and interdimensional conversations

Posted in Animals, Divination, Dreams, Erzulie, Legba, lwas, Meditation, Ogoun, Psychic, Religion, Ritual, Sekhmet, Spirit Guides, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by cheshirecatman

Last Thursday I stopped in at Gargoyles Statuary to pick up my new Sekhmet statue. On Friday, a Sekhmet pendant I ordered off of Amazon (at a very reasonable price I might add) arrived in the mail. This morning I purified both of them and placed them on Sekhmet’s shrine, infusing them with the intention of aligning my energies with hers.

Sekhmet altar

Sekhmet's new statue from Gargoyles Statuary

Sekhmet closeup

A closeup of the wonderful detailing. A droplet of water is visible on her solar disk from the purification ritual.

(Note: If anyone wants one of these, there was another statue in stock at Gargoyles as of Thursday.)

Needless to say, I LOVE this new statue. The sculpt of her face and the texturing of her clothing and throne are quite beautiful.

This morning was also my last session of the Intuitive Bootcamp with Shannon Knight. I am sad the classes are over, but at the same time I am looking forward to working with these new tools and strengthening my skills. This session was all about communicating with guides and the angelic realm.

When the session began, I told Shannon about an inspiration I’d had earlier in the week. I’ve been wanting to work more closely with the lwa (and now, Sekhmet as well) and I know that I need a lot more practice with some of the techniques I’ve learned during the bootcamp. So I thought that I could involve the lwa and Sekhmet as I hone my skills with these techniques. For example, since Sekhmet appears frequently when I clear my 6th chakra (corresponding to the third eye), then I can work with her when I practice divination techniques. When balancing my male and female energies, I can work with Ogoun and Freda. When focusing on past lives, I can work with the Gede and the ancestors. Legba can help me communicate with my guides. And so on. As I explained this to Shannon, she said that the spirits around me became excited, as if saying, “We’re here and we’re ready!” This made me happy.

After a brief opening prayer and some basic grounding and energy clearing, Shannon guided me to connect to what she calls “the God of your heart,” or the supreme being. I was able to ask any question I wanted, so I asked for clarification on the sci-fi disguised dream I’d had recently. I still felt that the dream held spiritual significance in spite of its fanciful imagery. So I presented this question and waited, and almost immediately some pretty wild images began playing across my mind.

I saw a pyramid with the eye of Horus design (this seemed like it was a key to something), and then saw a ship floating through space, but it wasn’t your usual science fiction ship. This ship had ancient designs all over it. Like old seafaring vessels, this ship had a masthead–the face of a regal lion, possibly Sekhmet herself, in shining gold and black. (Comparisons to “Stargate” crossed my mind, but let me say here I am not a fan of the movie and cannot get into the series.) The ship was massive.

My view switched to the interior of the ship, which had spacious triangular corridors with many people walking around inside. Some of these people did not appear to be human, but had animal heads instead, much like the depictions of ancient gods you see in old Egyptian art. It was not clear whether these were costumes they were wearing or their actual bodies. During the entire time that I was viewing this ship, I was aware of a very powerful energy weighing down on me. It had an almost audible hum and reminded me of the feeling I’ve had when I’ve been inside electrical plants and stood near large generators.

All of my spiritual mentors keep telling me to accept what I see, and it’s this acceptance that enables me to move past the psychic block I’ve had for years. However, I know these images seem strange and I do not claim to fully understand them. Are they symbolic or literal? Personally, I suspect a bit of both, as can be the case with spiritual visions. More on this later.

Next I got to call upon the archangels, who are a group of beings I’ve never worked with before. These are not the angels of holiday cards, but powerful beings capable of both help and destruction, like the lwa. It’s not too surprising that some Vodou practitioners use images of the archangels to represent various lwa. This was an interesting experience and I found their energy to be very protective and strong. The archangels do not seem to require much from you in return, other than acknowledgement and gratitude, which is different from the lwa. However, serving the lwa in the physical realm (giving them offerings, performing rituals, etc.) is part of what I love in Vodou. I find the physical actions function as constant reminders of our connection with them. I don’t necessarily prefer one way or the other, and plan to work again with the archangels and of course to continue serving the lwa.

We moved on to the ascended masters, and Shannon asked me if there was any particular master that I felt drawn to. I decided to talk with my Zimbate healing guide, a spirit I’ll refer to as “A.” When I first learned his name, I did a Google search and found that it might be Hawaiian in origin, but I wasn’t sure. Today I wanted to know more about him, and as I thought that I saw images of what might be pre-Columbian art and then a spotted cat which could have been a jaguar or leopard. Then I got other, vaguer images of him wearing outfits that could be either Hawaiian or Central American in origin; I wasn’t sure. Shannon thought he felt more Hawaiian, but then there aren’t any jaguars in Hawaii. Then again, perhaps the cat was a leopard and he showed me that just to indicate that he was talking to me.  He also showed me a metal bell and I heard a ringing sound that made me think of Tibetan singing bowls. Tracy Ann had mentioned to me before that I should be working with sound. Another area to explore.

Lastly, Shannon helped me connect to my spirit guide. She asked me if I’d had contact with my guide before, and I did not think so (at least not consciously). I asked her if she thought we had one guide or many, and her beliefs were similar to those of Sylvia Browne: We each have a main spirit guide assigned to work with us before we are incarnated. We can have other guides as well that work with us at various times (such as healing guides, creative muses and such), but our main guide is with us always. So naturally I was very interested in meeting this person.

I was not sure at first whether it was a man or a woman, but then the image clarified into a slim, slightly androgynous young man, seemingly of Indian origin (this is Indian as from India, not Native American). This made me smile, as I love the music, art, dance, food, mythology and spirituality of India. As I got a better look at him, I saw that he had long black hair in a braid down his back and possibly a mustache. I asked him his name and got something that was similar to “Alan” but wasn’t Alan. At one point he changed briefly into Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god, and then back into himself again. Remember earlier when I mentioned that spiritual seeing can be both literal and symbolic? Shannon thought that perhaps his changing into Ganesha was to validate that yes, he was indeed from India. This made sense to me, rather than thinking he actually was Ganesha.

I asked him to show me my life’s purpose, and he showed me an aerial view of a lush beautiful rainforest. When I asked for clarification, the view remained the same. I think this is because part of me consciously knew the answer to the question.

I’ve been feeling a pull to do more for ecological preservation. This pull originates in my desire to save the big cats from extinction, and was intensified by reading Linda Tucker’s “Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God.” However, saving any part of nature is part of a larger picture of saving the planet and ourselves. Mainstream industrial culture seems to be suffering from a sort of self-destructive mental illness that will be terminal unless more people wake up and stop allowing such wide scale destruction to continue.

I am not sure yet how I can help, but for now I will take baby steps, beginning with awareness in where my money goes and where my votes go. The rest I will have to figure out as I go along, with the help of the lwa, the spirits and the deities.

Working with a new mentor

Posted in Divination, Legba, Meditation, Psychic with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by cheshirecatman

This morning was the first time I worked with a new mentor (whom I will refer to as “K” for now) and I have to say….wow.

I love the internet, telephones and skilled energy workers. I first contacted K via the internet, she worked with me via the telephone and, like my friends Angel and Tracy Ann, is skilled at what she does so the fact that we live far away from each other seems to make no difference. All of them are able to connect with my energy and my guides.

When we first began connecting energetically, she mentioned that her hands and feet were buzzing, which she feels when connecting with those involved in healing work. This made sense because I have done some Zimbate work (although not as much as I should be doing) through my animal communicator/medium friend Tracy Ann and also received an attunement and training from Tracy’s teacher (see Zimbate link at the right side of my home page, if interested).

K proceeded to teach me how to ground myself and then clear my chakras. She sensed that I was very connected to the earth (she saw crystals and rocks, and had the impression of planting my feet in the earth) and sensed a Native American energy. I then told her that I am half Inuit. During this process, she also picked up on the fact that I am a writer (both by hobby and, at one time, professionally) and teacher (never in an academic setting, but I am very good at training people on the job).

I was particularly impressed at one point during the chakra clearing. K had told me early in the session to let her know if I felt any physical discomfort. While clearing either the third eye or the crown chakra, I started to feel slight discomfort/pain in the stomach area. Before I could even say anything, K said she was picking up something in my lower chakras.

Throughout the session I started to feel a bit giddy and happy. Afterwards, when I went downstairs to get some coffee, I realized that the sensation I felt was very similar to the way I felt years ago when I had a particularly good meditation. During that meditation, I had visualized boxes within my body aligning themselves, and I must have aligned my chakras without even knowing it. I look forward to practicing this alignment more so that I can feel this way on a regular basis.

I am so looking forward to working with K. more. After the phone session ended, I thanked Legba for clear communication and placed some coffee in his shrine.

Faith healing and speaking in tongues

Posted in Animals, Dreams, Movies and Media, Possession, Religion, Ritual, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by cheshirecatman

There was a time, not too long ago, when I viewed speaking in tongues and faith healing with a great deal of skepticism. I still am initially skeptical about most types of paranormal and unusual phenomena, which I think is healthy, but these days I am much more open to drawing conclusions that may or may not match up to my previous beliefs.

Last Tuesday I watched the premiere episode of “Our America,” a one-hour documentary hosted by journalist Lisa Ling on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). My main reason for watching the show was not because I was interested in faith healing so much as I was curious about the feel of the show as I knew I would be watching some of the later episodes. My plan was to watch the show while messing around on the computer and doing other things.

But from the first five minutes, I was glued to the television. Ms. Ling approached her subject and the people she interviewed with an open mind and a great deal of compassion. You felt for the people who came to the 3-day revival event hoping to be healed. Their faith was moving and of such a depth that is possibly beyond what I am capable of feeling.

During the revival, people fell to the floor convulsing, laughing, speaking in tongues. What struck me most about all of this was that it seemed very familiar to me. It was not so different from watching possessions at a fet.

During the fets I have attended, I’ve seen people fall to the floor, convulse, behave strangely and speak in voices other than their own.  The more I learn about different religions, the more commonalities I see. The differences become more superficial. Perhaps the various rituals we perform, the beings and deities we call upon, and the various belief systems we construct are simply various avenues to connect with the divine.

I am not saying that all deities are the same deity. I don’t necessarily think so. But all of these deities inhabit a realm that is accessible through these various rituals. And the goals of the people striving to touch this realm are very similar–we want peace, healing, communion and vindication of our faith.

Sometimes healing doesn’t work; it didn’t work for everyone in the show. But in my opinion, that does not necessarily make the healer a fake. I don’t know if there is any healer anywhere who has a success rate of 100 percent. I seriously doubt it.

On the subject of healing, I had a minor scare recently with my younger cat, Luna, who was having trouble defecating. Being the overly protective sort that I am with my cats, of course I thought the worst. She’s mostly recovered now, but I think that was my reminder to return to my energy and healing studies, which I had a renewed interest in during Puck’s illness. Luna’s problem reminded me how I felt when Puck was ill, and my knowledge and abilities were not enough to significantly help him. I don’t want to be in that situation again as Luna gets older.

As if in agreement, Puck appeared in my dream last night. He was outside with Anne and I as we were waiting for a bus and, even though I realized I might miss the bus, I took the time to take him back inside where he would be safe. When I came back outside, Anne was still there and the bus had not yet arrived. Puck is telling me to “not miss the bus by waiting too long to do what I need to do.” I am thinking of rereading Barbara Ann Brennan’s “Hand of Light” and then following that up with a review of Zimbate, Reiki and my holistic cat care books.

Always so much to learn, but it means that boredom is rarely a problem for me.

House blessing, Vodou style

Posted in Damballah, Divination, Ghosts, La Sirene, Legba, lwas, Marassa, Ogoun, Possession, Religion, Ritual, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by cheshirecatman

Candles for Papa Legba

On Saturday Mambo C came over to bless our condo. We meant to have her do it months ago but, due to various delays on our part, it had to wait.

The beginning of the day was rather hectic. I had a few last-minute items to buy on Saturday morning–one red 7-day candle and three white ones (I needed a total of six, but I had two already), along with some herbs. I knew the market down the street carried 7-day candles, but their stock had been running a little low lately. When I got there they had exactly one red candle and three white ones left. Call it luck, but I thanked the lwa.

The corner store, however, did not have the fresh basil or mint that I needed. So after dropping the candles at home, I caught the bus to an Albertsons about 16 blocks away. There I found the basil and mint, and was in and out in 20 minutes, in time to catch the next bus home.

Shortly after arriving home, I read an email from Mambo C listing some more items: fruit and loose change, including four dimes. I realized I had just spent all my dimes on the bus. Fortunately, the store down the block is literally about five minutes away on foot, so I decided I would return there after I finished some last-minute housecleaning.

Mambo C arrived around 5 pm. Anne mistakenly thought they had not met before but then realized the mambo had been at my last art show.

Before we did anything else, we gave Mambo C a tour of our place so that she could get a sense of the energy. She quickly zeroed in on the front bedroom, sensing some negativity. Earlier in the week Anne had felt a light pressure on her leg while she was in there.

I showed Mambo C my shrine cabinet, thinking that she would have some suggestions for improvement. Instead, she complimented it, and said she liked Papa Legba’s handmade cane a lot, which made me feel good.

Then the mambo did some tarot readings for us. First she did a general reading for Anne. (I noticed that when she spreads out her cards, she places them all face up, rather than dealing them face down and then turning them over one by one. I like the idea of seeing all the cards at once;  I think I am going to try this with my own readings).

I didn’t keep a record of exactly which cards turned up in the readings; I felt that writing everything down or taking photos would have been disruptive. But I did take some notes, and what follows are some highlights.

The first reading for Anne was general. The King of Swords indicated a man who has a lot of influence in Anne’s life, both in the past and the present.  Mambo C thought he was connected to our moving or an inheritance. We believe this to be Anne’s  late father, without whose money we would not have been able to buy our condo. The cards also indicated concern about losing  money, and a need to take control of her finances, and possibly seeking professional advice for that. The cards portrayed Anne’s nature accurately: she is generally an optimistic, happy person.

Next, Mambo C did a brief 3-card reading for both of us, and asked us questions about the previous owners of our home. We don’t know a whole lot about them, except that they inherited the place from a deceased relative. We also know that they had trouble making the payments and the  property underwent foreclosure, as we purchased it from the bank. Mambo C felt that some negative energy from the foreclosure was still lingering about the place.

Lastly, Mambo C did a met tet reading for Anne, which was interesting. As it turns out, both Anne and I have La Sirene (Anne’s met tet) and Ogoun walking with us. I can easily see the influence of La Sirene in Anne. Like me, she is an emotional and imaginative artist. The Marassa were also present, and when Mambo C asked Anne if there were twins in her family, I was surprised that Anne said yes. It’s  likely Anne has mentioned this to me before, but I’d forgotten apparently. Although the twins are not in her immediate family, Anne has more than 4-5 pairs if you go back a generation or two on her mother’s side. Mambo C also noted the Sun and the Star cards, smiled and said that those could mean that Anne should kanzo. (I can’t see Anne doing that, as she is agnostic and Vodou is not her faith. But hey, you never know. I never thought it would be my faith either.)

My memory gets a little confused here. I  know we walked through the condo twice (once to remove negative energy and once to instill blessings), but the details are a bit fuzzy, so this account is not entirely accurate, I’m sure. (If the mambo happens to read this and refresh my memory, then I’ll revise this later.) During the first walk through, Mambo C led the way while Anne and I followed behind her carrying a pail of water mixed with herbs and other ingredients. Beginning in the front bedroom where she had sensed the negative energy, the mambo dipped a rag into the water and with sweeping motions directed the energy out of the room and into the hallway, giving special attention to all portals (doors, windows and mirrors). When she’d done all of the upstairs rooms, we went downstairs and she did the living room and kitchen. Then she cleaned the front doorway with the mixture, took the pail from me and told us we could wait inside. She was gone for a while, and I found out later that she walked the length of the block to discard the water and the rag at the crossroads.

When she returned,  we lit three of the 7-day candles (two read, one white) for Papa Legba and placed them near the front door. Mambo C prepared another herbal mixture, adding Florida water, rum and cinnamon. Per her instructions, I gathered up the change I’d saved from my morning errands and added them to the pail. She placed the pail along with a white 7-day candle (lit) on our hearth. We then proceeded to make an offering of fruit to the Marrassa. Picking up her asson, the mambo handed me a small white bowl containing an egg set atop white flour. She led me in the salutes to the four directions. Facing east, you step to the right with the right foot, then bring your left foot to join it. Then you do the same to the left, then to the right again. Then you do a full turn to the left, then to the right, then to the left again. The process is repeated facing west, then north, then south. After the salutes, I placed the egg to the right of the candle.

We then went through the salutes again for the Marassa, only this time I was carrying fruit (one banana and one orange in each hand), which I placed to the left of the candle. Mambo C told me to be sure to put them down at exactly the same time, which I did.

Now it was time for the ancestors. I held one of the white 7-day candles as we went through the salutes again, then Mambo C called my ancestors. As I placed it on the mantle I silently told them what I hoped and wished for. Then it was Anne’s turn to do the salutes and tell them her desires. As she stepped back from the mantle, Mambo C placed a hand on her shoulder and said that Anne’s father was standing there with us. She described him quite accurately too; tall, thin, salt and pepper hair, facial hair, wire framed glasses. It is worth noting that we neither gave her a description of how he looked nor showed her any photos of him. I was impressed.

At one point during this part of the evening, Mambo C did a brief ceremonial magick protective ritual. Using a stick of incense, she drew a circle and a cross in the air in each of the four directions. Another interesting thing that happened during the rituals was when Mambo C knelt down with her eyes closed and looked as though she were trying to collect herself. Initially I had worried that she wasn’t feeling well, but I found out later that she was nearly possessed by the Marassa in our living room! That would have been interesting, but it’s probably good that it didn’t happen. I do not have any training in how to deal with possessed people, and the Marassa can be mischievous and demanding.

After the offerings, Mambo C handed me the pail containing the herbal mixture and we did another walk through of the house. She anointed the rooms and also pulled the coins out of the water and tossed them throughout the house. (I need to buy a small ceramic cup with a lid soon, place a mirror on the bottom of the cup, and place the change in it. Then I will keep the cup on my altar.) The rites ended with the remainder of the herb mixture being sprinkled on Anne’s and my heads as we stood over the bathtub. Or I should say, sprinkled on my head. Mambo C felt that Anne’s head was too hot, so Anne ended up getting the lion’s share of the mixture dumped on her head. Mambo C asked if Anne had a temper. She doesn’t have much of one, but she does suffer from anxiety.

(Anne said later that she didn’t realize what she was getting into. I thought she handled herself with an admirable amount of poise throughout the evening, but wondered if she was unhappy about the head bath. She told me she found it funny and was actually laughing during it.)

We had to let the herbs dry on our heads. After toweling off a bit, the three of us went out for Chinese food. It was a nice way to end the day, and Mambo C is a lot of fun.

Before she left, Mambo C told me that I might have to do cleansing rituals once in a while if the energy started to feel heavy again.

Our entrance is a bit odd; when you open the front door the first thing you see is the door to a bathroom. Mambo C suggested that we beautify our entryway by keeping the bathroom door closed and perhaps hanging a picture or tapestry on it.  I also need to set up a small altar for Legba by the front door, and I’m thinking a shopping expedition to Gargoyles Statuary might be in order.

Energy out

Posted in Spirit Guides, Spirits with tags , , on February 5, 2010 by cheshirecatman

On Wednesday my girlfriend Anne and I went to the hospital again to visit Marie, who is very ill with leukemia. It was hard to see this once vibrant woman in such a fragile state, slipping in and out of consciousness. She is lingering between worlds.

While Anne sat by Marie’s bedside, gently feeding her ice chips, I asked one of my spirit guides to help me channel Zimbate healing energy to Marie, for her to use in whichever way her spirit sees fit–either to heal her body or to cross over. As the energy flowed, my hands tingled.

Our visit was brief; afterward we went out for dinner. We were home by 8:00, and I felt exhausted. I went to bed early (10:30, which is early for me).

The following morning I overslept and was an hour late for work, in spite of the fact that I got more sleep than usual and have three alarms set to wake me. While I am pleased that the energy flowed so well, I realize that I need to find effective ways to recharge. Fortunately, I have several friends who are experienced energy workers that I can go to for advice.

New Year’s Day: an anniversary, offerings and insight

Posted in Agwe, Art, Divination, Erzulie, La Sirene, Legba, lwas, Mermaids, Ogoun, Religion, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by cheshirecatman

After sleeping through all the New Year’s Eve noise (and this is a good thing, as I don’t much care for the sound of fireworks and screaming from the neighborhood), I awoke to a wet New Year’s Day. It’s strange to think that today is the second anniversary of the day my girlfriend Anne discovered the tumor on Puck’s jaw. I’ve been thinking about Puck a lot lately, although that is nothing new–pretty much a daily thing for the past two years.

The spirit doll I purchased from Studio Nocturna arrived yesterday, and it’s beautiful. I visualized her as being a little too large for my current shrine area, but it turns out she fits in perfectly. I lit candles and offered it to Erzulie today. I also made offerings to La Siren (a small shell-shaped dish to put her food items in) and Legba (a Native American-made fur pouch that I thought was similar enough to a makout that he would like it). I stood in front of the shrines, meditated, and talked to the lwa a bit. The area was energized, and by the time I extinguished the flames, I felt the same ache in my forearms that I felt during the Fet Gede (but a much milder version).

Contrary to what some might think, when I feel this ache I smile, because I believe it is my body’s way of sensing energy. Back in February of 2008, I went to a Zimbate workshop at East West Bookshop in Seattle, and received an attunement. Afterward, when we were practicing techniques on each other, I had wished that I was able to feel the energy more intensely. Now that I have my wish, I’m not complaining about it.

On the topic of energy work, the artist that created the Erzulie doll is a Reiki practitioner. I mentioned in a previous post that, prior to purchasing the doll, I asked Erzulie for her thoughts and drew the Thoth card from the Cartouche divination deck. On the Thoth card is the caduceus. Initially I thought that Erzulie was indicating she would assist a sick friend (and I still think that was part of why I drew that card).  I also think that Erzulie was acknowledging the Reiki energy that the artist infuses into each of her dolls. When I handle the doll (and even when I handle the box she was in), a feeling of peace and well-being passes through me.

Below are some photos of my shrines, per a friend’s request. I doubt my shrines are traditional, but they are set up according to my lwa and my personal ascetics. Ogoun’s candle flame always burns brightest, either because of his fiery nature or the ingredients in the particular candles I buy for him. His area is a little undeveloped at the moment, but I’m hoping to purchase another spirit doll from Studio Nocturna to remedy this problem.

I also want to find a statue or doll for Legba, and an image or figure for Agwe that more closely resembles the way he looks when he appears to me. For now, the Neptune/Poseidon figure is fine, as the image/figure I want for him may take a while to find. I’ll know it when I see it.

My crowded shrine shelf

Legba's shrine

La Sirene's shrine

Agwe's shrine

Erzulie's shrine with her new spirit doll

Ogoun's shrine