Legba pulled the Brule Zin card for this month. The image shows a servitor tending a large flaming zin, its fiery body signifying the presence of Spirit. Flame has always been a symbol of pure spirit. The Qabala says that the Sphere of Kether is the place of pure spirit where God pours His grace down to us via the fiery angels known as the Seraphim, bringing blessings via their wings of flame and smoke.
Fire has stood as a symbol of spirit in many cultures. The Zoroastrians used fire along with water in purification ceremonies which they considered the basis of their ritual life. Fire was believed to be born from water. Water rites strengthened the community while fire rituals were the manner in which spiritual insight and wisdom were attained.
Spiritual insight was also imagined as fire in the Paraclete of Catholicism. Following the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Apostles were said to be filled with Holy Spirit. This has been imaged down through the ages as a tongue of fire floating just above their heads. Divine knowledge and inspiration again imagined as fire, this time on a very personal scale as a flame worn on the crown, signifying the presence of the God in mankind.
In Vodou, we use fire in much the same way. We receive Divine illumination through the Ancestors. The brule zin is dedicated to the Ancestors, and via our interaction with it (passing our hands and feet through it, tending it, praying over it), we are both cleansed from the mundane world and made ready to receive Divine inspiration, guidance and ashe. We call it heating up the hunyos, as we prepare them to re-enter the world as Kanzos – tempered by the flames, heated up and ready to go to work.
The Brule Zin is a revelation for everyone who goes through it. It’s a test of our faith – will we be burned or will the flames merely burn off the dross of our lives, making us shiny and bright as we go forth into the world, ready to serve the Lwa and Ancestors. March will bring a ‘heating up’ of your personal issues. Hard times may get harder and personal issues will be illuminated by the fires. It’s a “do or do not” kind of month. You will be tested and how you survive or thrive through the ordeal will say much about you and your personal fortunes.
You can use the Brule Zin to your advantage this month. Make a Thurbile Fire as a brule by placing equal amounts of Epson salt and rubbing alcohol in a fire proof vessel. One cup of each will suffice. Carefully ignite it and warm your hands over the flame. This is a smokeless flame, creating oxygen as a byproduct. Use the warmth of the fire to heat up your personal talismans. Pass your protective amulets, your sacred symbols or your resume over the fire. Remember, it is a living symbol of spirit. Ask the Divine to bless your efforts, and to help you be strong, tempered by the flames of grace, desire and love.
The Shadow of March is Bossou Twa Kon. This Lwa has been very much in the forefront of my life for the past two months. He dominated the Bizango show in Chicago and now here he is again, as the shadow of March. His presence is very uplifting for this month. Despite the trial by fire of Brule Zin for this month, Bossou has stepped forward to help steady you through the days. Bossou was a king of old Dahomey, and is remembered for ending the slavery deportation of his people. He is also remembered as a fair and beloved monarch. Bossou can end your ordeals, if you make him a sincere offering to request his help (he was the king who cared for his people.) But Bossou can also become aggressive, stubborn and angry. If your life feels like it is going out of control, that is Bossou as the shadow, bristling at perceived slights and seething under his breath. When he acts in this way, Bossou becomes disruptive in nature, charging at things both real and imagined, leaving a wake of destruction behind him. Calm Bossou by wearing his colors (red/black/white), offering him field greens (kale, collard greens), hominy, red/black/white candles and images of bulls. Be a magician and turn the bull into a lamb. Ask that he shoulder your burden for this month and that you will serve him in May at his fet. Make a sincere request, and I can promise you, he will respond in kind.