W is for Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop (or O Yea of Little Faith)

Before getting to the meat of the topic, I feel the need to share some background. I’ve practiced Witchcraft in various forms for many years. However, my practice has been mostly Eurocentric. However, African syncretic religions always interested me. I have always felt a connection with my ancestors and have often called on them during times of need. I’ve also felt that the Orishas have a presence that’s more visceral that the other deities I’ve worked with. My connection to these deities were strengthened when I visited New Orleans for my birthday last August.

About three weeks ago, without going into too much detail, my life got pretty chaotic. I immediately turned to Elegua to intercede on my behalf. Although I left the other Orishas offerings and prayed to them daily, Elegua was who I connected with most. More importantly, Elegua is the Orisha who opens the gates to the other world. Almost immediately, several of the issues I was facing seemed to fade into the background. I offered my thanks and continued to make my offerings to the Orishas.

I’ve always been the kind of person to expect the worst possible outcome, so I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was waiting for something else chaotic to crash into my life out of nowhere. During a restless night, I awoke with the feeling that someone was watching me. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the glimpse of a tall man in a top hat walking out of my room. When I looked, no one was there. Like a normal person, I jumped up and turned on every light in my house.

The next morning when I lit candles and offered prayers, I didn’t feel a connection. I sat before my altar and began to meditate. I silently called out for Elegua and tried to visualize him in my mind’s eye. He came to me as a tall man in a top hat. I realized he was coming to me in his Lwa form of Papa Legba. Finally what I saw the night prior made sense. Elegua explained to me that he was just coming to make sure I was okay, since I had been stressed and didn’t want to show himself during prayers because he was worried he would scare me again. I apologized and asked that he find more subtle (read: less creepy) ways to communicate. He smiled which was his way of saying “no promises.”

Yesterday I received additional good news which nullified much of the chaos I have been experiencing. I raced home and immediately light some candles and opened a few coconuts to give as offerings. I paused for a moment and heard a small voice say “Ye of little faith.” I’m taking this as a reminder to remain positive in the midst of adversity and reassurance that I have someone looking out for me.

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