Of Garbage and Rebirth

All my life I’ve known some form of magick. Even though I had no idea what that meant. Things I overheard while at the kitchen table helping the adults make Puerto Rican dishes every weekend. From family involved in Santeria; a Shaman maternal great grandfather, a powerful paternal grandmother (who tried to kill me at the age of 5), my Mami who read people from toe-to-head, never the other way around. My childhood was filled with magick. And yet I struggled from early on for the recognition of Elders in Santeria. I wanted that moment of acknowledgement to confirm for myself and others that I was indeed, gifted in ways I couldn’t even begin to explain. There are memories that live inside me that are such a mystery, I’ve given up trying to figure them out and simply accepted them.

I was never initiated into anything my family was a part of. Mami wouldn’t allow it, telling me I had plenty of time to decide my path. So it was to her that I would tell my prophetic dreams to, but not the endless nightmares. It was her that I would tell who would be dying soon when the acrid smell and taste of death permeated the air and my food. It was her that I would tell the secrets the Orisha statues would tell me. But I would also listen to the advice she would tell those who came to her and kept a mental Book of Shadows written in my Mami’s voice, which I still hear even now, five years after her passing.

I would write things down in pencil on small pieces of brown paper torn from the bodega paper bags and stuff them in my shoes. Forgetting about them for as long as I had the shoes. I played with candles, I created spells, I played with fire – a lot of fire; called to the wind and the birds. I watched my Mami do workings for others, always listening intently to her warnings and instructions. I read all of my Papi’s books on symbolism and numbers in dreams, my Mami’s books on numerology, palmistry, even her book on Nostradamus. She taught me to read the Spanish tarot cards. And yet, I still longed for what would make me different but mostly, accepted. Truthfully and perhaps selfishly, I wanted to be honored, heard, and loved.

I often look back on my life, especially after learning about past lives and how they can affect our current life, and I’ve seen some patterns repeat over and over but none so much as suffering and loneliness. I’ve searched for the remedy to both to no avail. It was only after meeting the man I decided would become my Godfather in Santeria, that I learned of my path; I’m a daughter of Oshun, which surprised me, and one of the avatars of her path is called, Oshun Ibu Kole. He told me it was the path of the vulture goddess and to research it. He explained how this particular avatar was one of a beautiful Oshun who had the ear of Olodumare and other Orishas and yet fell so far down that she was often seen rolling around in the mud; dirty and in misery. She sacrificed herself for humanity and was left to pick up what she could to survive. He compared it to what I’d been through in life; I gave and gave and was always the one left behind to suffer and pick from what was leftover. This Oshun was powerful and honored because of her sacrifice. The vultures were her messengers. There’s also a story I’ve heard since finding out about this path, that says if one is ever out and gets lost in the wilderness or the desert and sees vultures looming and gathering overhead ready to pick at the carcass, they are to shake their arms or dance so that the vultures know they aren’t dead yet.

No one wants suffering and loneliness.

No one wants to struggle and feel as though they are alone in this world and on this path.

And yet I see the path of where I’ve been so clearly now.

The cycle of garbage and rebirth.

And maybe that’s why I’ve always danced.

Letting Go: A Personal Story of the Phoenix Rising

Phoenix 2

Image: Katie Dawn aka Thy-Darkest-Hour, DeviantArt

“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.”

C. JoyBell C.


The Full Moon energy has proven to be extremely illuminating, and caused me to become very introspective; I reflected on my entire life it seems. There has been a lot going on in my personal life, and my professional for that matter; the journey that I am on is like a whirlwind at times, and a calm chaos at others, if that makes any sense.

It’s like it will be calm, but you can feel the tension of chaos wanting to rise, and cause ruckus at any given moment.

I have been hit with a ton of emotions, some new physical issues, battled a destructive glamour spell, and a psychic vampire after writing my post about them. On top of all that I have finally let go of my lover, then there was the loss of some friends, and death of my cat. Needless to say it has been a really rough 9 days, and my Soul is feeling it.

But in the midst of adversity, I shall find my strength.

And, I have.

I had blocked my ex, and a few friends, on my personal and both public pages, it was like that was all I had to deal with the pain of betrayal. I am not sure why my thought process was that my power somehow lay within that blocking feature; how ridiculous, how mundane, of me to find comfort, and solace in such a thing, but it is what it is. I then found out by a mutual friend that he had posted something(s) about me on his page, and it infuriated me.

“No, don’t give into that, don’t stoop to his level.” I had to repeat, almost chant to myself.

I could feel my Beast rising, stirring, and calculating from the depths of my being. I had to reign her in, but why? Why was I controlling her?

I decided to meditate on it, and the answer I received shocked me, but made so much sense.

It’s easy to react, duh, it’s a natural instinct but it takes courage, control, and self-awareness to stop the instinct, to step in the moment before the Beast goes for the throat; to know when the instinct is not going to be productive.

In this situation my instinct to react would prove to be wrong, and I would simply give him exactly what he wanted. I am not now, nor have I ever, spoke ill about my ex, or any of my former friends. It is not my style to do so, and besides my narcissist post, and this one, you will not see me addressing this issue.

I am writing this because I’m fucking hurt but, through the pain I have found the way.

I can’t forget, I can’t truly forgive until I no longer hate. I cannot hate my enemy, I cannot hate those who have hurt me because that is MY weight to carry, not theirs, and hate is heavy.

I have to remind myself that at one point I loved that man, and he was exactly what I wanted and needed, even if only for a moment in time. Same goes for my former friends, I will never disrespect those good memories by dwelling on the bad, furthermore, talking ill of them.

The fact that the route he chose was to speak ill of me, speaks volumes about his own character, and I need not say anything more about it.

Again, I loved that man, and I would be lying to you, and to myself if I sat here and I said I didn’t still love him now because I do. Love is not and never has been enough, and ironically I said that to him more times than I can count since the very beginning of our relationship.

So, today, I unblocked him and my other friends from NR and DW, along with my personal page. If they choose to come and cause drama, then they can be found back on the banned list. Otherwise, I no longer want to carry that weight, that hate, that stress.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

While on this path of realization it came to me that I was still carrying around a hatred, and a heavy one at that.

I hated pieces of myself.

Not on a physical level, although as a Woman that is something I will always struggle with no matter how much self-confidence I have. The hatred I speak of was about the bad decisions, or my late blooming with the craft, both Magick and writing; there was a ton of residual hate towards myself, hate I thought I had dealt with.

Hatred of Self is the heaviest of all burdens to carry, and I didn’t want it anymore.

I don’t want to hate them (my former lover and friends) or my past.

Every mistake was a lesson, and every lesson was a blessing.

So cliché, so fucking corny, so Christian-like to say, but so goddamn true.

I can’t regret the fact that I fell in love, no matter how he acts now, no matter how I think his current behavior makes me look bad, I can’t worry about that. I can’t worry about the gossip, I guess if they are talking about me, I am doing, or have done, something right, something to make an impression.

I can’t hate myself, I can’t hate the very temple and mind that makes me who I am; I have to embrace my curves and embrace my crazy.

So, I sit here and reflect back on an eventful life, planning future adventures, and remaining grateful for all the good, and bad that is currently my reality. I will not be brought down by others, and I will not feed into the bullshit, I will rise above as I have always done.

I am a Phoenix, after all.