I feel like I should just start by apologizing, because I may ramble a little here. Any time I’ve tried to write about this, my thoughts go skittering away faster than I can write them down and I find myself feeling more befuddled than when I started. Have you ever had that happen- the closer you come to figuring out something, the faster it slips just beyond your grasp?
Now that we have the befuddled part down, let’s move on the Baron… Baron Samedi, that is, the voodoo loa associated with the dead. I feel obligated to follow any mention of voodoo with the disclaimer that I am not a practitioner and therefore not at all qualified to speak in a detail about the religion, its traditions, or its practices. In short, voodoo is not really in my spiritual purview. So everything that follows are the ramblings of a befuddled non-practitioner, rather than someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
Befuddled… check. Baron… check. Now onto the ‘bothersome’ part. Baron Samedi has been dancing around in the periphery of my personal universe for quite a while. It has taken me the better part of a decade to connect the dots of various experiences to even figure out who this shadowy figure is. Now that I know, I’m rather thinking of running away while loudly screaming before he actually gets around to telling why he’s here.
I’m used to working with various death-related deities and spirits, but as a general rule, I tend to be the one to contact them and then only for help with a matter at hand. When a death-related deity shows up unbidden, spends the better part of ten years lingering just out of view, and subsequently begins to hint at offerings, it’s a little worrisome. When it’s a deity associated with places that made me feel incredibly threatened, exposed, and uncomfortable*, it gets to be even more worrisome. Am I bothered by this? Yes. To be more accurate, my skin tries to crawl away without me every time I think about it. I don’t fear the Reaper, but I’m not so sure about the grave keeper.
So the question becomes what do I do with this? Hiding behind a gravestone every time the Baron makes an appearance doesn’t seem to be the most effective of coping methods. Asking him what he wants hasn’t exactly been useful (neither has subsequently saying “Would you please stop laughing now?” when my questions are meet with chuckling). Telling him to go away gets met with the same laughter and a hint of cigar smoke in the air. Unfortunately, Raid has yet to create an extra-strength deity repellent, so I seem to be stuck with him for the time being. Maybe I should just pour the rum, light the cigar, and hope for the best…
*I’m referring specifically to New Orleans and Haiti. I’ve been briefly to both and in both cases, the choice to go was not mine. I’ve written about Haiti being far outside of my comfort zone and why that was so. As for New Orleans, it was, for me, the psychic/metaphysical equivalent of sticking my finger in a light socket. Too much going on, too much power, too much chaos concentrated into a small space. Perhaps it has changed, post-Katrina, but I have no intention of finding out. One psychic light socket per lifetime is quite enough, thank you.