These obstacles? Can't stop, won't stop! The machete is raised. Forging ahead, clearing the path + making moves.
That was a FB post from a few years ago. It still applies today - the machete is still raised, but now, it is used in a productive and strategic manner. I've been told that I'm too "loud" + "fiery." I've had to suppress my passionate nature, in friendships and relationships because someone/others had a problem with it, or simply couldn't handle it. I'm an Aries, representing the beginning of all things. Queen of the Zodiac. I'm a Leader. I'm Fire. I'm Original. I'm a Diamond. I'm Stubborn. I'm A Ram. I'm all shades of Red. I'm Intuitive.
My motto is: I AM!
I am all of that and then some.
I will never let anyone tell me I'm too passionate and in turn feel bad about myself. What some deem as "loud" and "yelling" is assertiveness. Certainly one can be self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Admittedly, navigating through life with a strong personality + intense spiritual energy, can be daunting and challenging. It is an on-going process of balancing energies, self-discovery, and will always require work. I have accepted this and look forward to the continued growth. The journey continues...
Want to know what comforts me through it all?
PAPA OGOU IS WITH ME!
Within Haitian Vodou, there is a family of spirits from the Nago-speaking people of Benin and Nigeria. The Nago Nation/Ogou family are Spirits of Iron, who embody the principles of Truth. Authority. Justice. Affectionately knows as Papa Ogou, he is a warrior. He carries a machete, smokes cigars, drinks rum and loves fire. His color? Red. When Ogou mounts his "horse" his expressions are fierce and can be downright scary. He will yell, roar, shout, stomp and charge throughout the temple, flailing the machete in hand, on others and ultimately onto himself. He can be perceived as loud, fiery, hostile, aggressive and combative. Yes, he IS all of that, but... I SEE him as bold, brassy, energetic, dynamic, tough, masterful and a militant, fighting hard for his children. I embrace all aspects of his character + energy and all that he has to offer. I feel him. I see him in my dreams. I hear the whispers. He is assisting in my journey. Allowing positive, alternative strategies to come forth. Giving me the necessary tools to think before reacting. Clearing the path with his machete of things and individuals who no longer serve a purpose in my life.
Saluting the Nago Nation/Ogou Family of Warriors today.
Boutey/Libation Bottle: Ashade Designs/@ashadebonmanbo
It's me, Feray, not just today, they call my name.
My specific interest and concentration of study took place in Gonaives, at Lakou Badjo, where Nago (Yoruba) traditions are preserved. The Nago nation is the Ogou family of lwa, which are known as warriors and leaders. The temple at Badjo was founded in 1792 by a man named Azo Badi, who fought with Dessalines against the French during the Haitian war of independence. The temple is dedicated to Ogou Batagri. I visited Lakou Badjo in 2003, and returned in 2008.
The photo (to the left) SPEAKS! I was completely giddy and in awe of the dancing. Subtle. Graceful, yet, strong and powerful. THIS was the real deal, and I was finally IN it, worshiping with the devotees, and communing with the Spirits...in Haiti. I was welcomed into the community with open arms. I felt safe. I felt protected. I was home!
Ogou has always been with me. Little did I know, we would forge a bond that would last a lifetime. He cleared the path, as I was lead to my first Vodou ceremony in Haiti - in his honor.
Dancer. Choreographer. Artistic Director. Singer, Healer. Messenger. Educator. Vodouyizan. Community Servant.