“If you use Spirit, Spirit will use you.”
These words echoed in a friend’s dream, to be delivered to me.
A warning, or a promise?
Every day I serve Papa Legba. Sometimes I give him rum, sometimes paprika, sometimes other little gifts. He is an old, limping lwa and one of my patrons. Legba possessed my friend Saturday night. Later, he had this dream.
Photo & original artwork by Judith Pudden
I miss priesting.
It’s been a year since I ran a temple. A year focused very much on myself.
My role at the temple was that of teacher. Often, I guided people through crisis (or provoked it); spoke for tradition (or silenced it); attacked pride in the proud students and fanned it in the meek ones. I rehearsed ancient ways with dedicated apprentices.
But there are other needs.
What of those who seek their next meal? Instead of the dedicated, what of the lost and uncertain?
I used to minister to, essentially, a college; now I’m called to minister the street.
Drunks and Maniacs
Bring out your drunks, your maniacs, your criminals.
I feel invited to mix with them.
I will talk with the tongueless man on the corner. I will give my dollar to the kid who hops boxcars. I will hold the alcoholic in between his shouted rants.
At least, I think I will.
I’ve been told this city brings out my protective streak. I don’t know if it’s this city, or the presence of so many people who struggle. Many don’t know how to get past tomorrow, tonight. They don’t have any control in their lives.
Most of us derive our peace from a sense of control.
How do you help people who have neither?
I’ve used a lot of magic lately. I’ve used, so to speak, Spirit.
Will it use me back? How?
It’s scary. I’ve seen people run from religion over smaller scares. Sometimes digging deep means finding things.
Divine terror is the same flame as divine awe.
There are two tools I’ve used when struggling. For peace, meditation; for control, magic.
In some way, I think it’s time for me to share those tools in the community. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know how to keep myself safe when I do it.
Perhaps an open salon for handing out ceremonies. No one turned away, no matter who they are.
I am open to suggestions.
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