They were going to be mad at me taking all this glory and not giving credit but I don’t always want to share the secret to my success.

Hollerin at many figures, The Barons, Maman Brigitte, Erzulie Dantor, and Papa Legba, has been a constant. Just didn’t know who it was in name.
Crossroads are the single most transformative place in my life so far and it’s only been a year since I knew at all what I was doing.
But sexuality is a power I always knew that I could use to manipulate if I weren’t so into repressing my own desires as an act of control. Learning more about vessels for communication, it became obvious why they use me.

At crossroads, a pledge was made not to live with the baggage that was trying to consume, and since that day, I haven’t.
Bags to me now aren’t a burden but a place to put items just in case they need to be used, which they often do – in many times, to the benefit of others.
The worst case scenarios that have led to my current disposition also serve as a motivational story for others and the answers that I give allow people to insert their own belief system into their perception of my methods for success.

A survivor in the fullest ways: life experiences can be summed up as all the 90s lifetime network movies minus the little part at the end where the intervention or rescue happens. Saving myself appeared to be a solo task after all those cries to gods net me no acknowledgments.

But what I never really connected was who fit where. Erzulie Dantor is a name I got this year from a dear friend and Legba I knew but felt like he wasn’t mine to address since I don’t practice Vodoun in a fashion that I have seen in real life.

For years, it never occurred to me that my trip through the diaspora could be connected to all this. Maybe in this life Haitian traditions were not handed down to me and addressed as such but nowhere is it written that we did not come from that region and at least one of my black ancestors passed through there.

Having the dreams and feelings seep into the day led to exploration of accounts of intentional attempts to vessel. Some go to great lengths to request experiences that had me determined instability had finally won out. Ritual possession is considered a gift that practitioners of certain groups have been observing since languages long lost were spoken.

What names have changed along the years we may never know but names to me are not more important than feelings, except in the case of misnaming, then it is important best to say nothing if I do not know who I call.

These are my figures, they to me are the facilitators of communication between my ancestors passed already and the earth itself. I know no god of holy books but recognize with respect and gratitude Maman Brigitte, all the Barons, and Ezrulie Dantor and truly believe that the legends bastardized in horror movies have and are the reason for my relationship with roots.

Maman Brigitte and Baron Samedi are partners and Ghede; both cemetary protectors that guide those back to their rightful place in either side of life or death. Maman is known to help keep sick children in the living realm and generally grants requests quickly. Samedi has a bad reputation not so deserved in my opinion and is much the same as his wife but focuses more of greeting people on death’s door and bringing them over. This Baron (there are several) also is known to have a fondness for pursuing mortal women and is considered crass because of his honest language that can cross into the realm of offensive to some. Baron Samedi is also the interpreter for this realm and the one of spirits. He controls how hexes bounce and makes sure that those buried do not end up zombies with Baron Cimetière.
In popular culture, a mix of Baron Samedi, Papa Legba, and Baron La Croix are the depiction most lazily taken as a black devil in a top hat wearing face paint.
Maman is most commonly portrayed as a light skinned or white woman for some reason still beyond me but in my head she is really almost as brown as I am, veiled so as not to distract you with her beauty.

Erzulie Dantor is who a sacrifice of a pig was made to at Bois Caïman before the Haitian Revolution popped off. Black Madonna, the mother of the the Petro, representations of her are a dark skinned, single mother with scars from abuse – the type described as ruggedly beautiful, not conventionally. She has an affinity for sharp knives and is regarded as protector of lesbians along with single mothers. I relate to her more as each story is discovered because she is not humanized in most instances as others can be, but the archetype of the strong black woman, asked for help but maybe not asked if she needs help.

The Barons. Well, the Barons are so many different things to people that there are many answers. To some including me, they are four separate brothers but to others, they are the same person, just aspects of the same personality.

Something like the holy trinity to me, it makes no sense, so I go with what I can believe, that they are a crew of brothers.

Baron Samedi mentioned above, and the others: Baron La Croix, Baron Cimetière, and Baron Kriminel. Baron La Croix watches the gates of the cemetery almost like a tour guide would, handing over cases to Samedi. Baron Cimetière smokes cigars and has horses that help him protect his charges in the cemetery, which he gets when Baron Samedi is finished making his decisions. And Baron Kriminel is the name maybe least spoken, but most feared. Calling on him considered a last resort to many, his kink is sadism and he grants requests with little production. Because he comes for payment on November 2 and his feast is November 3, he knows that he will get his eventually which leads those unaware to feel like he is the mark until the moment he shows otherwise.

One of the only thoughts that makes me believe the Barons could be one and not brothers is that I feel like Maman Brigitte could be partnered with all of them. But, nowhere does it say that she couldn’t have been polygynous!

A problem that I have had is based in me not knowing exactly what is socially appropriate as far as sexuality. Developed enough to be perceived as an adult at 9, I spent little time being acknowledged as the child that I was and my teenage years living in a manner so illegal that none of my interactions were examples I needed to follow. Dating women throughout my early relationships also set my expectations for communication to a standard not so far appreciated by males.

This is where my repression comes in: I can be about as crass as a Ghede and have wondered many a time how bottles were emptied without me at least hospitalized. I could get pissy drunk but not deadly, and while now that seems great, when the goal was death, I harbored resentment for my liver’s ability to function through the damage. Maybe it just means I’m not a narcissist but truly there’s no god complex here which is how the concept of ritual possessions, especially unintentional ones became a research topic of mine.

Living souls don’t stand a chance around me like that – from the look in my eye to the dances that I try not to do otherwise. When I combine alcohol, herbs, peppers, alcohol and coffee, those intoxicants on an altar not for my personal consumption can lose me count of hours and gain in thousands of words worth of work or laying out scores (I do not know how to read or write music but have developed a system that several musicians have been able to record) or painting pieces so fast that the paint dry time frustrates me.

My dreams now tell me what not to do and sex is coming off the list soon. Scanning for a feeling, the partners that came closest to being able to hang growled upon our first touch. I know that power has the means to make me similar to a succubus and with family histories of abuse and personal trauma, adding lust to the list of priorities that I topped with masochism and addiction could be pure disaster.

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