Thursday, March 24, 2016

March is Bossou Twa Kon

In January of 2015, Legba pulled twelve cards as primary cards, and then 6 as Shadow cards. These shadows then become the 6 primary for this year. I have been busy with classes, so I have fallen a bit behind on my readings. My apologies dear readers, for the slacking off.  Heretofore is my catch up posting for this year:

January was Legba Atibon, the exalted shadow for the Action De Gras of last January. Although this year began in a Mercury Retrograde, the Gatekeeper did not fail to open the way.  For some, January was the opening slavo to a difficult year. There were losses, as well as gains; trying times for world at large, and for the sosyete personally.  However, nothing Legba does is without purpose, and although the year began in turmoil, this is all for a reason.  You cannot make your goals holding onto old ideas, old patterns and unresolved conflicts. When we won’t make change, the universe does it for us, and that’s exactly how Legba opened the year.  I would expect the unexpected from now on.

February was Gran Ibo’s month, a taming influence to Gede’s wild ride.  Whenever Gran Ibo appears, she lends her calming ashé to our own lives, helping to tame the wild in life.  It is much needed – February brought really serious sickness, trembling worries all over the globe and making it difficult for all of us to find our faith in the world. Gran Ibo is a water spirit who is often visualized  as a bird. In Vodou, birds are anthropomorphized as ancestors who are also messenger spirits.  Their appearance can hail news from beyond or indicate an offering is needed to help them on their own spiritual path.  I keep bird seed available at all times, but more so whenever it is Gran Ibo’s time.  When you feel the stress of life becoming unbearable, a handful birdseed tossed as an offering helps bring her subtle but powerful energy into focus, calming the events in our lives, so we can “tame” them to our purpose.

Bossou mask from Jacmel
This March is ruled by Bossou Twa Kon, the old king of Dahomey who ended slavery, thus healing his people and his lands.  Bossou is an unexpected pleasure in my life. He arrived through the auspices of of our very own Papa Edgar Jean-Louis, who had made the paket that now graces our Petro altar. Bossou is synchronized with St. Vincent de Paul or sometimes, the triple-ray Christ an allusion to his three horns.

I shouldn't be surprised at my attraction. Bossou is one of the Nephilum Lwa. Semi-divine, with one human parent and one divine, he is part of the mythology of Africa that places disfigured or misshapen people into a special category of folks who are touched by the spirit world. Bossou also carries all the myths of European Bull worship, as well as his status of being sacred in India, holy in Egypt and royal in Africa as well. A very special spirit, he crosses between Petro and Rada. He is Kadja Bossou in Rada; he is Djobolo Bossou in Petro.  He is sometimes envisioned as the Jolly Buddha, with the big belly and smile on his Rada side. But he can also be a huge danger (as any enraged bull can be), when envisioned as Petro.  (Incidentally, this is the first paket I ever owned!)

During carnival in Jacmel one year, I got a huge laugh out of a local craftsman, when I went gaga for a Bossou mask in his shop. "Do you know who that is," he asked politely. "Yes," I said, " it's my  lwa Bossou!" The craftsman roared with delight. "The blan knows her djabs!" he laughed. Wearing it on my head backwards, I got great looks in every airport we passed through on the way home.
If your life seems overly burdened this month, ask Bossou to help out. He can carry the load with ease, making your life a little smoother.  Built for burdens (emotional, physical or mental), he brings a steady rhythm to the world. In many places, Bossou is the main line between life and death. Bulls provide their bodies for food, their strength for projects and their presence for protection. Such a worthy friend should receive our notice when he arrives. Unsung, ignored and largely forgotten by all but the upcountry folks, Bossou is the gentle strong man of the Vodou Pantheon. Allow him to carry the load for you this month.

Set a table for Bossou with three candles in red, white and black (his colors). Because Sosyete du Marche is a Rada house, we use the image of the Laughing Buddha (you might know him as the  Hotei -- you're supposed to rub his fat belly when you come and go from home), St. Vincent de Paul or the triple ray Christo are his Catholic counterparts. Put water in a ceramic bowl, leave a good cigar and corn pudding for him. Ask him to carry your load this month, so that you may be free of your illness, your stress and your worry. Here's a song for him. You can say this as a prayer:

Kadja Bosou e a mwen prale,
Djobolo Bosou ea mwen prale,
M ap rele lwa yo pou we si m'ap passe Kadja bosou e a , e a,
O m'ap remesi lwa yo.

Kadja Bosou e a I am going,
Djobolo Bosou eh ah, I am going,
I am calling the Lwa, to see if I may pass,
Kadja Bosou eh ah,
Oh I will thank the Lwa.

Refresh the water and candles through the month.  Wear his colors if you can. Pat his belly or head; he loves that (what man doesn't?)  And watch for Bossou in the world. He'll be the big, easy going guy at the check-out counter, who wears a world-weary smile. The goofy grocery clerk who carries ten bags with ease.  The secretary who works endlessly and never complains.  The maintenance man who fixes the copier. The construction workers, ditch diggers and road crew members who lift, carry and tote the world on their shoulders, doing their work all day, every day and yet who remain in the background. While we applaud the architects and visionaries, it's the Bossous of the world who did the grunt work of bringing those dreams into reality.  Ask Bossou to do the same for you and see if your burdens get a little lighter this month.  This is very pertinent to our sosyete at this time.  With so many of us suffering through physical ailments, it is Bossou who will shoulder our burdens and help us gain back our health. Bossou always arrives to carry – it is his ability to handle the most difficult of cases, trials and tribulations that render him one of the most prolific and powerful spirits in our house coterie.

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