Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July's Reading: Legba Atibon and Nana Bukulu

Legba Atibon is the solar Lwa, whose songs all speak of his fire and power.  He is the perfect herald of the summer, bringing his light and warmth to our house.  Legba Atibon is the poto Legba, the great pillar upon which all the Lwa enter sacred space, whether that space is in a physical house or outdoors beneath a tree.  His songs all speak of this solar energy, being so blazing, not event he Lwa can stand before it:

Legba nan baye!
Se ou ki pote drapo,
Se ou ki parey soley, pou lwa-yo!
Legba is in the gate!
It is you who carry the flag,
It is you who shade the sun for the Lwa.

Brilliant and powerful, this Legba shines forth to illuminate everything.  There are no shadows in the presence of this Lwa. His invigorating energy makes everything begin anew – from plants to gardens and even us.  We take this time of year to refresh and relax. Vacations help us wind down and renew ourselves.  School is out, giving kids a chance to entertain themselves with bike rides, ball games and swimming holes.

Just as dawn is the start of a new day or new beginning, Legba Atibon signals a new start for us.  He straddles the mid-year of midsummer and solstice.  His avatar, St. Anthony has not one but three feast days in June – the 16th, the 21st and the 24th – demonstrating Legba’s talent for moving between spaces.  In this case, he moves from the season of summer, straight into the solar celebration of Solstice and summer.  His arrival is marked by the first harvest of fruits and the opening of the summer season.  That opening action takes place all over if you have the eyes to see.  Here in Philadelphia, public pools open for the season. The Jersey shore opens its summer houses for rent, the traffic that normally clogs the roadways opens up and everyone everywhere senses the great primal energy of the summer sun.  It is a good time to review where we’ve been, so we know what’s ahead. 

Legba opens the way for a good summer of pleasant weather, invigorating happenings and joyous celebrations of the season. And his energy (openings, beginnings, communication, travel, contracts, music and all spoken skill sets) will surmount all things this month.  Now is the perfect time to begin a new project that you have been putting off.  Writing as form of communication is ruled by Legba, so get a glass of summer wine, sit out on the patio and start writing your novel or work on your poetry.  Express yourself through gardening, painting or just walking out into the sun each day.  A daily dose of sunshine will help give you a boost of energy for all those activities you will suddenly have!

But this is also the mid-half of the year and that means we begin the slow descent into fall and winter as well. The sun begins to sink lower throughout the summer, bringing us full circle to the end of the year.  So it is a fitting match that July’s Shadow card is Nana Bukulu. In the old stories, Nana is visualized as the moon. Visible at night but not during the day, she is said to constantly watch over us even though we cannot see her in daylight.

Our closest heavenly body is illuminated by the sun.  Her evening glow is the reflection of the sun, and she shines forth only when the sun is on her face. Just as Legba illuminates us, he also shines on Nana Bukulu.  Legba’s solar light casts a soft glow on the moon, bringing our dreams and wishes into focus.  It is a unique combination for this time of the year. Legba’s solar energy powers the dreams of Nana's moon, making it the opportune time to get your personal ideas off the ground and bring them into manifestation.  Together, the sun and moon, Legba and Nana make a lovely pairing for the arc of the year, heralding a beautiful month of new beginnings.

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