Possession. Mounted. Chwal pou Lwa. Gettin' that Holy Spirit + Holy Ghost. Speaking in Tongues. Touched. Fallin' Out. Rocked. ...and all the countless ways we submit to let Spirit use us.
This morning I watched a YouTube video of a Primitive Baptist church service. Live instrumentation wasn't needed, because the deep hums and wails, piercing shouts, foot stomping and hand claps WERE the music. Arms stretched wide, hearts open, eyes closed, fans waving, with full reverence, and down home girth, the congregation sang "My Soul Is A Witness For My Lord." Moved me to tears. Triggered vivid memories of my time as a youngster in the church. It was Familiar. Southern. Black. Holy. Ancestral. That repetitive Call & Response heightened the space and intensified the energy. They were conjuring Spirit... and Spirit(s) came.
Black folks are embracing African Traditions at a rapid rate, but there are plenty who are adamant about dismissing these faiths and frown upon possession, which doesn't necessarily equate to what they are used to seeing - especially if it doesn't take place in a "church." Although in a church, the possessions that took place in this particular service could have easily been in a Vodou temple, which is a Vodouisants church! I only wish some of my folks would stop with that "devil worship" "satanic" nonsense, and open their eyes to SEE Spirit for what it is and understand: Possession is UNIVERSAL!
Photo Credit: KM Daniels
The photo above was taken at Sosyete Nago's Fet for Danbala. Met Agwe Tawoyo came through my body. Have I always been comfortable with being mounted? No. Truthfully, I'm STILL adjusting to it. It's a vulnerable place, especially at a public ceremony, where all eyes are on that Spirit. What I have come to terms with is: I have been CHOSEN by Spirit. It's been a beautiful experience to see (after the fact) Spirits manifest + dance in my body. I am honored to be a vessel for Lwa and my Egun, for they need to visit this realm to guide, serve and protect. What a blessing to be a physical conduit for Spirit. AYIBOBO!