I have been inspired to return to blogging after reading a few excellent blogs from a few writer/scholar/hip hop heads out of NYC. It actually feels like a good decision to me after having left the fray a few years ago feeling that blogging was a mite too self-indulgent, and frankly, it is, but putting pen to paper or in this case, fingers to keyboard is therapeutic and I need an outlet these days.
So here I go...
Today I decided to do some work in a coffee shop in Humboldt Park that sells great Puerto Rican coffee (had a cortadito) and even better guava cake (took a pass on that as my bottom seems to be spreading at an alarming rate challenging even my own appreciation for bootyliciousness!). On my way, I passed a botanica that I've passed hundreds of times before without stopping. Today was different. I was drawn to the place, perhaps because I've been immersing myself quite deeply in the cultures of people of African descent in the Carribbean and American diasporas, I stopped in. I actually wanted to see if they had John the Conqueror floor wash, because times are hard up in the cut lately and I was feeling suddenly that a little hoodoo couldn't hurt. I ended up buying candles or novenas, whichever you prefer. This is not new for me, but it's been a minute. At one time, you couldn't enter my place without finding the Seven African Powers on a shelf, table, or mantle somewhere, but a move around the world and back disrupted my little ritual. But today, I remembered, so I picked up the SAP candle and two others for good measure: John the Conqueror (got him, although they didn't have floor wash) and a Fast Luck candle. Now I know that anyone reading this might be thinking overkill, but like I said, times are real hard in the cut! Anyway, for the first time, I had someone fix my candles, the woman had me write my name in the wax and then she brushed one of them with oils. She prayed over it and blessed me and then took the others to add the appropriate oils and herbs, after I explained my situation. She returned and once again prayed over them and blessed me. "...que Dios te bendiga..." she said, as she asked the spirits to protect my health and grant me peace, wealth, and much luck in love, among other things. I have them home burning, it's funny that I feel a bit of comfort now.
The truth is that it makes lots of sense to me. I want to learn more, maybe there's an article in it somewhere or a place for her in the book I'm currently working on. In the meantime, I will keep my candles burning and respectfully continue to ask Yemaya, Oshun, Obatala, Ogun, Elegua, Ogun, Shango, Orula, and Babaluaye to intercede on my behalf.