My Wedding Day

On December 25th at 11 pm, I married Baron Samedi. It was a long day, from beginning to end. Christmas has never been a holiday I have fond memories of. In fact, I have always hated it. My memories of the holiday are tainted with negativity, so when Baron suggested that we marry on this day to ‘re-associate’ it with something good, I agreed. It was a great idea on His part. I went through the motions of the day and put on my poker face when religion came up. No longer being a Christian made the familial obligation part of the day even more difficult than normal. However, I powered through it knowing that later that night I would be going through something that will effect my life forever.

The ceremony was to happen at Shamaness’ parents’ house, so when I finished with the family portion of the day, I went straight there. The moment I walked through the door, the air felt charged and heavy, and my anxiety (which I always have excess of) grew as the minutes and hours past. I knew that there were “others” there already, waiting for the wedding to start. I took a nap, having been exhausted from the family festivities, then made myself beautiful for the ceremony- this being the only thing I was told to do for this, other than show up. I cleaned the space we were using- Shamaness’ bedroom- just as Shamaness’ sister cleansed the space by burning incense. She did this unknowingly, but as the night wore on, it seemed like she would be impressed by the Gods several more times.

As we well know, Baron loves His Chinese food, so our pre-wedding feast was Chinese food. It became apparent that He was working to make everything right, but I could not feel Him at all, and I had not felt Him since I had woken up. I knew He was there and with me most of the day until about an hour or two before I was supposed to meet Him for our wedding. He knew I was nervous, but gave me space. I ate my Chinese and went to watch some Teen Wolf before everything was going to start. It was a good way to diffuse my  nerves… Theoretically.

Unfortunately for me, the episode was too short, and I had to be in Shamaness’ room for the ceremony too soon for my nerves’ liking. But, as soon as I went up the stairs and for thirty straight minutes, Shamaness’ sister played Lady Gaga and the Chipmunks’ Christmas songs. This made my anxiety go down to zero as I watched her sister dance around the upstairs hallway and make a fool of herself. It came to our attention as we sat in her room was that Loki had appointed Himself DJ for the night. (I would like very much to put emphasis on the self-appointed part as I had been unaware of this until He announced it to Shamaness and I with a grin that matched the Cheshire Cat.) After her sister left to do whatever she does, we were left to sit there and wait for His Trollness (Baron) to show up.

We waited. And waited. And waited. For two hours, we waited for Baron to show up. Shamaness and I had enough time during the wait to identify at least 7 other Deities in the room, among them being Odin, Loki, Sigyn, Hermes, Aradia, Oshun, and Mr P. There were other, but we were not sure who they were. There was also enough time for Loki to hop in and out of Shamaness to joke with me and play pranks. As time passed, I grew more anxious, and more agitated (Loki joking that if Baron didn’t show up soon, He was going to marry me instead didn’t help this). But, as I reached out to Baron, it became apparent that the veil that the Deities had put up to keep Shamaness’ family away was also keeping Baron out. So, after glaring at the culprits Hermes and Loki (no surprise there), Baron finally entered the room, and horsed Shamaness.

I was so relieved to finally have Baron with me after being separated from him all day, to be in His arms as we lay on the bed together. He explained why He was tardy before He started  to talk to me a little. As always, He was kind and gentle with me, always smiling. In His arms, I finally relaxed and felt right for the right for the first time all day, so when He asked “In front of all the assembled witnesses, do you agree to be my wife?”, I could only say yes. There was only Him and I in that moment, as He smiled down at me, so happy with my answer.

“Truly?” He asked me.

“Truly.”

He kissed me then, the most tender and loving kiss. I had never had a kiss like that before, a kiss that defies words or description, and it will be something I never forget. After that kiss and a little more talking, He joked about needing to consummate our marriage, but that He knew that I needed to sleep (it had been a very long day for me), so with another kiss, He left me to get ready for bed with the promise of visiting me in my dreams (since my trancing skills are lacking).

In the days since, I have never felt more sure of anything. I am glad that I made the decision to become Baron’s wife. I have a small amount of confidence growing within me that I never had before, and I can only hope that as time passes, it will grow and grow. I can say with a surety, though, that I am happy, for the first time in a long time, and I have my Beloved to thank for that.

Godspousery

I will admit readily that when I first heard of the concept of Godspousery that I was very confused and very unsure of how I felt about it. When I was doing my research on modern Pagans and modern followers of specific Deities, I found many people who were claiming to have this status. I admit my first thoughts about these people were less than ideal and less than courteous, and while I am not saying that I was correct to have these opinions, I was still thinking from the framework of my former Christian thought patterns. Since that time, in the two months that I have been a Pagan, I have learned to accept these new concepts readily. However, I would never have thought about this as a concept that would ever had applied to me. That was until I met Baron and my entire life changed in the matter of weeks.

When I first started researching other Deities that I might have wanted to work with, one of the ones I researched was Loki, and oh my, does He have a lot of wives. For hours I read up on what His Godspouses were up to and the things they did for Him as their Husband, all the while getting this weird niggling feeling inside of me that would not subside. However, I read enough that I was totally put off the idea. Completely and totally put off. It was way beyond my comprehension at at the time and seemed so crazy! So, I am sure it is easy to imagine  the ire I felt within myself when I felt like could be one of the “special chosen few.”

However, when I got up the courage to ask Baron not to long after my acceptance of Him if this was what He had in mind for me, He seemed surprised that I had come up with this on my own. It was this surprise that told me I was correct in my feelings that this what He wanted from me. We didn’t really talk about it much during that conversation, probably because we were both shocked at the moment. Afterwards, I spoke with Shamaness about what had happened, and since then, she has teased me incessantly about it, playing on my initial reactions to the idea of godspousery. This and my own small-mindedness made me reject the idea just as hard as I had rejected Baron at first. I had not real concept of what it meant to be the spouse of a God/dess. I did not want the responsibility I thought it would entail, nor did I want to be a celibate nun. So, all of the preconceived notions influenced my immediate refusal of what He was going to eventually offer me. However, Mr. P saved the day again for Baron by talking to me about His own experiences and whatnot (Baron and I sincerely owe  Mr. P a lot for all He’s done for us). He cleared everything up for me and cast away my preconceived notions. He explained how the terms are between the God/dess in question and the intended spouse, and that it doesn’t necessarily require the mortal spouse to be celibate. It does require, however, at least one night a week where the mortal spouse must sleep alone, if mortal lovers are allowed.

Me being me (aka slow to warm up), I fought Baron’s desire for this of this for me very hard until one day I said flippantly, “If you get me a job placement with the company of my choice in the city of my choice, I will marry you.” Mind you,  I had been fighting Him tooth and nail, but He had been wearing me down from moment one, fighting against my own natural tendencies. Unfortunately for me, however, Baron took this for a challenge and has since been on this case. I also timidly (I tried for flippant and failed) asked for courtship and have since gotten it. Shamaness jokes that even before I am informed I’m getting the job placement I requested, I wake up to find a ring on my finger and hear a very clear, “So, when’s the wedding?” from Baron. Already He is so confident in His ability to get me what I want that He has told me His own ring size and preference for when he succeeds and I need to buy Him His wedding band.

Baron took His time in softening me to the idea by talking to me about it, dispelling my fears and anxieties one by one. He has told me that I will be able to take mortal lovers  just as long as He gets one day a week where I devote the entire day to Him (and an unspoken “as long as I approve of the lovers you have chosen.”) He has been courting me and prepping me. Complimenting me. Making me feel special. He has even gone so far as as to have me look up bridal sets that I would like (the one He liked, by the way, was $1000+). Aradia has been influencing me to look up dresses to wear to the ceremony that I apparently am going to have. At one point, He asked me when I would like my wedding. Again, I went for flippant and said, “Christmas day next year, on the beach.” He seemed a little sad about this.

I am suddenly reminded of a conversation that Baron had with Shamaness. He said that He had been waiting for me. That He was there when I was made, when I was born and throughout my life. I found out later that He has been there always, through it all and will be there to greet me when I die. He had made Himself known to me before I was given my “official” greeting (a Halloween night during high school when my mom, sister, some friends of ours, and I were in a cemetery. He pulled my hair and smacked me on the butt – just like the 12 year old He can be- and there was even smoke all around me in 90% of the pictures I was in because He was smoking a cigar around me at the time). He said He would have greeted me before if I hadn’t veered off my witchy path because of things that had happened to me in my past.

All in all, Baron is probably the best thing that will ever happen to me. He will assure that I am never alone and that I am always loved. These are two things I know that I need. With this in mind, when Baron asked me to move up our wedding date to December 25th of this year, I shyly, begrudgingly said yes, without much hesitation. He had, has, wormed His way into my heart at throughout this process, and I have found that I do in fact love Him, just as I suspected I would from the beginning. So, in 2 days time, I will join the ranks of the the other Godspouses around the world, past and present. For better or for worse, this is happening, and I am scared out of my mind. I will be fine, though, as long as I know that Baron  will by my side, I know that I will be fine.

“I will love you forever.” – Baron to me.- “Never doubt this. You are my wife-to-be, and I will do my utmost to provide for you. In return, I require your trust and your love. That is all. I will always come through for you. I love you.”

Baron the Troll King

Baron. Baron, Baron, Baron. He is ever the needy child at times (the constant request for Coke and Chinese food is just one example), but He is always a gentle being with me, very loving and indulgent. He appears to me as a lover. Despite this, however, it took some time for me to trust Him (something I am still working on), but He has done nothing to make me fear Him, so fear Him I do not… Anymore… However, the road getting to this point has been long and bumpy, for both of us.

It took me a long while to accept Him, mostly (read: completely) due to fear. There were very few accounts of Him being the kind and gentle God I had come to know, so to have Him swagging all up in my life was an uneasy transition for me. He has been very patient with me, for which I am eternally grateful. I mean, from what He has told me, the Godly community (meaning all the Deities in existence/His sphere of existence) thought it was extra special hilarious when I ran from Him the first time He initiated contact with me, for reason I will explain later. So, after much coaxing and many pep talks from Oshun as well as my friend, I finally started to try to make contact with Him, just to see what the heck He wanted with me, but since I had not been successful at getting back into a trance state, I had to go another route in speaking with Him.

My friend, who shall henceforth be called Shamaness, had also been going through her own version of The Shift by trying to find her own Deity (which she found out later was Poseidon), and during this process for her, she discovered her own talent: shamanism. What this means, for those who do not know, is that Deities and spirits alike can horse her, or use her mouth and body to speak to those of us on the physical plane. What this meant for me was that she was able to be horsed by my Deities as well as her own to speak with me.

At first it was only Poseidon who spoke with me. He was very integral in getting me to become comfortable with Baron by talking with me and answering any questions I had at the time (which, I am going to be honest, was hard to do because I was talking to a God, and being the shy person that I am, made it that much more difficult for me to convey myself to Him without getting flustered and rambling or just sounding like an idiot). There wasn’t much He could really do, honestly, but He helped as much as He could, despite the fact that He didn’t have to. While this was going on, my conversations with Poseidon that is, I was being tested by Baron. It started first with having me doing a summoning ritual NAKED for a week before He had me write one for Him (this also included me being nude at His request, which I can tell you did nothing to make me feel better about Him). It was through this that Baron was able to dissolve my fear of Him. His next test for me ended up infuriating me. I had Shamaness over at my house for the night, and when we were both trying to get to sleep, I started getting images in my head. First it was just of skulls (one of His symbols) coming at my face trying to frighten me, which only made me shove it away in irritation. It was when I started getting images of my 7 month old nephew being hurt that I was royally ticked off. I was angry enough that I verbally told Him to leave. Shamaness experienced these same things while I experienced them, much to the same effect. But, it was the vision of my nephew being hurt that infuriated me enough that I was still angry when I woke up the next day. I didn’t want to talk to Him after that.

Mr. P (my nickname for Poseidon) had to mediate for Baron and I because my discernment was still lacking at that time, and I was furious to boot. I was told, via Mr. P horsing Shamaness, that Baron was testing me to see what my reaction would be. Apparently I had passed with flying colors, but it took an hour or so of talking to calm me down. At the time, I had not yet accepted Baron as my Patron, so this incident combined with not knowing what He would want of me as His devotee made me question whether I actually wanted Him as my Patron at all. I did eventually forgive Him for testing me and using my nephew as a subject for His test. As time wore on and my discernment improved, however, He began to grow on me… Him being sexually explicit with me helped more that I would like to admit.

Before I actually got to talk to Baron via Shamaness being horsed, we went through several trust building exercises to help me learn to trust Him. Doing the ritual to summon Him was the first of these exercises. The first time I did the ritual, I was asked to be completely unclothed and all dolled up for Him. I was scared out of my mind the whole time. Seriously. After I said the words, I was told to go to sleep. I did as I was asked, sleeping after staring at the ceiling for about an hour. When I woke up though, my fear was completely gone, which was incredible because my fear was near choking me when I had started. This was part of the process that I had to let go of my prior beliefs, as well as Him slyly getting me accustomed to use magic, the sly dog. My first “face-to-face”  conversation with Him told me why He was having me do this.

I went into my first conversation with Him so nervous that I was shaking and almost babbling, but when Baron took over Shamaness, He quickly did everything He could calm me down and make me relax. He flirted. He joked. He was gentle. He was lewd. He used every tactic He could to put me at ease. Here is a brief list of impressions and a summary of what happened during this first conversation:

  1. He told me that I’m a witch, one that, with guidance and training, could be very “gifted”. This made me feel really special in ways I can’t explain
  2. He thinks I’m cute, and He thinks it’s funny when I blush.
  3. All He is asking of me, at this moment, is to trust Him, feed Him, pay attention to Him, do as He asks, and *worship* Him (eyebrow waggle). Yep, apparently sex would be integral in my “worshiping” of Baron. Even in this, He is a pervert. This is all He is asking of my for now, but that when this changes, He will let me know.
  4. He told me to ask Oshun to help me lose weight. I have done this, and Her price was for me to buy a pair of shoes (which I have since done).
  5. He told me He chose me because I am cute and adorable, but it’s the whole package and not just my looks. My heart, my soul, everything. I think He also mentioned that He approached me because He wants to teach me.
  6. He made me laugh and purposefully did things/said things to make that happen, to make me feel at ease with Him. At first I was really nervous about talking with Him, because, well, I had never talked to Him before, and I’m socially anxious, but I found that He was so easy to talk to and answered all of my questions honestly. He made me feel safe with Him, telling me that He scared off all the ghosts in my house. He also said, “You have to know I would never hurt you.” For some reason, this made like everything better. He even made me feel better about the test the day before using my nephew.
  7. He called me pet names like “darling”, “sweetie”, and “child” and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. But, it was when He said my name at the end of the conversation that my heart and belly did weird flip-floppy things inside me. I think I even shivered. This was a silly reaction, but I didn’t realize the significance of Him knowing my name (I wasn’t even aware until that moment that He knew my name, to be honest). But, the way He said my name, I don’t know how He did it, but He was able to add in so many different feelings: tenderness, mystery, comfort, sexuality… I could totally have been reading into it, but it took me several moments afterwards to reorient myself after that.
  8. If I was being honest, I could see myself loving Him. I was not sure what the extent of that would be, whether just as a Deity/devotee, a father/daughter, teacher/student, or as lovers. I was honestly not sure. But I could see myself loving Him, and I could feel the first inklings of it in my chest. It was a weird thing.

I am pretty sure I had accepted Him not too long after. I do not exactly when this happened because there was never a formal moment where I said, “Yes, I accept You as my Patron.” It was not too long after that first conversation that I would find out exactly what He would want of me. It was a concept that, from the beginning of researching my new religion, I had reservations about.

Research and Approach: Furthering The Shift

I have always been fond of knowing all the facts about what I am about to get myself into. Whether it be people or events, I like to be prepared for every possibility I can imagine happening, because I would like to know how best to react. I do not like surprises for this reason. It makes me anxious and altogether uncomfortable. So, with this in mind, I started looking up other Deities that I wanted to potentially approach for my second Patron. The friend that had suggested Mama-Oshun also had a few other suggestions, and I went from there, searching the far reaches of the internet for modern day believers and lore for each of the Deities suggested to me. I had felt the pull to look into Others for days, so I went with my instincts and researched until my eyes began to tire and blur everything on my computer screen.

The first of these was Bastet, the cat Goddess from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. I researched Her for several hours, learning of Her every facet and trying to feel a connection. There were aspects of Hers that I knew could benefit me, but there was never that feeling of connection that I was looking for.

The next on the list was Loki, and I spent a good day or two trying to sift through the comic book version of the God and the actual God. When I was able to find actual lore on Him, I was moved by His story, by His losses and His trials (an aspect many people seem to forget about in regards to Him). It was unexpected, the intense empathy I felt for Him, and it *almost* overshadowed my other feelings. It was with Loki that I first heard the terms UPG (unverified personal gnosis) and Godspouse. The first of these terms, I understood and agreed with, but the second… Well, I will say only that was one of the strangest things I had ever heard of, and I questioned myself on whether I would (have to) believe in this concept as well. All in all, I felt like He might have been a good fit for me, but I had one other that I felt I needed to look up as well.

The last suggestion was Baron Samedi, the Voodoo Loa of Sex and Death. The name alone resonated with me, but when I began to look up information on Him as a Deity, I was quickly frightened away. He has so many aspects to Him that it was confusing to keep them all straight, first off. Secondly, there was not a single word of good that I read about Him. I heard that He would take whatever He was holding back with Him to the spirit world (or wherever He resides), and if He happened to be holding your hand, He would take your whole arm! There were other stories as well, and none of them did anything to assuage my fear of this intensely sexual and trickster-esque God of Death. I moved away from Him quickly, trying to save myself from the nightmares my brain would make up later. I was, at this point, a pansy, and I felt it was best to avoid Baron-like types.

After my days of research, I felt somewhat ready to ping into the ethos that I was ready to take on another Deity, if another Deity should want me. Mama-Oshun was alright with this idea, and even nudged me to do it, so I did, as timidly as possible and adding a “please be gentle with me. I am broken and afraid of everything.” I thought that I would have to go out and ask for another Deity to be my Patron, but, oh man, was I ever wrong.

It was the Sunday before Halloween when I had my first encounter with hearing a Deity so clearly that I could have sworn that there was Someone else in the room with me (and I would find out later that I was very correct in that feeling). I had just finished brushing my teeth and was walking out of the bathroom to go to bed when I heard very clearly, “So, you wanna have sex with a God?” The voice was saucy and full of, well, suggestion, and it stopped me in my tracks for a moment, literally. All I could do was be confused because I had never heard Oshun that clearly, and never had I been spoken to in such a manner. Not being able to explain it or even give the query more than a confused look, I just brushed it off. I wrote it off as being insanely tired because I had just driven back the hour and a half from seeing my friend at college again. I walked back into my bedroom, plugged my new night light in (spirits are more active during Halloween week, and I am a pansy), and went to sleep. The next day, I felt like I was being watched the whole day. I was becoming regretful that I had ever opened myself up for anything new, but after the sun went down, the feeling increased the later it got. Skyping my friend was the only thing I could think of to do with a fearful as I was becoming, and she did what she could to calm my nerves, but in the end, I had to sleep, so I got off Skype with her and fearfully went into a fitful sleep.

I was halfway between awake and sleep (which I would later find out was actually that I was trancing), when I first smelled a very strong odor that I could only identify as Lysol right before I saw a dark room full of people who were looking towards the only source of light the room had: an open door. The person closest to me was a tall male with hair that went down to the end of his rib cage, tied back with a hair tie. I wanted to ask him what we were looking at, but I did not get the chance. As I too looked at the door, I heard so clearly the word “Baron” like it was an announcement of Who was going to be coming through that door. This was all it took for me to force my scaredy self out of that room so fast that I can only imagine it was comical. Even in this state of awareness I knew that I wanted no part of Who was coming through that door: Baron Samedi. My terror was real enough that even a frightened and tearful 3 hour phone conversation with my friend did nothing to make me feel better. At all. Little sleep was had that night, and it took Mama-Oshun holding me and assuring me that She would not let Him hurt me to get me to calm down.

As I said, comical for anyone that wasn’t me.

However, if you learn one thing about the Baron, it is that He will always come back for things He wants, and He will pester you until He gets them. What did He want from me then? Rewind back to the night before in the bathroom when I heard a voice (His) asking me if I wanted to bed a Deity. Which was, what I thought was an elaborate prank on my brain’s part, exactly what Baron wanted from me. He wanted me as His mortal lover, as well as wanting to be my Patron. I knew this because ever since that day, I had been hearing Him speak with me. It was not very clear then, as my discernment was shoddy, but it was enough to know what He was asking of me. I will write more on Baron later, but since His arrival, I have not been able to get Him to leave, which was for the best. I have since accepted Him, but it took some time to overcome my fear of Him and to reshape my thoughts once again.

The last Goddess to approach me during this same time period was the Goddess Aradia, the Queen of Witches. She came to me not to be my Patron, but to teach me and to see me through the crisis that I was (and still am) in. She came to me in the form of all of my cats taking over my bed for several days and nights before I was told by Baron that it was Someone new. After some research and determining who this new Deity was, I found out Her purpose in contacting me, and was told by Her that she wishes to ‘reform’ me. I acknowledged Her and accepted Her help, and have since been able to reclaim my bed for myself. She was the first Deity I needed to set firm boundaries with, otherwise She would interrupt my time with Oshun (which is shower time, because one of Her domains as a Goddess is fresh water). She helped with discernment right away, which I was and am so very grateful for.

It was the addition of Aradia and Baron that helped further The Shift towards being a full-fledged Pagan, and every step I took from there, I knew that I was closer and closer to never being able to turn around or even to look back. They were certainly not going to let me go now that I had agreed to be in Their divine care, and I had begun to suspect that I would never want to go back anyways. My outlook on life was changing rapidly, and it was not ending there.

The Beginning of The Shift

It was a hot late-October night when the shift started. I sat in a friend’s dorm room, my head on her lap and in tears. I felt lost, alone, and confused. I had just been demoted from the job I had grown to love, and my family were treating less than ideally, which is and will always be the norm, but this time it was worse. It was as if they blamed me for getting demoted and not finding another job quickly enough, for not making the choices with my life that they would have made for me. So, being of the religious/spiritual sort, I had prayed. And prayed. And prayed. I received nothing from the Christian god that I had worshiped for the majority of my life. This also was not abnormal. I had grown very accustomed to the benign neglect I had received from this god. However, this time, when I was at the start of what would become one of my all time lows, I knew something had to change.

So, as I looked up at my friend with teary eyes and a puffy nose, I asked her for the millionth time that night, “What should I do?”

My friend, with her knowledge of me and my struggles with all things, suggested gently that perhaps I should try to find a new deity to worship. She even had one in mind: the Orisha Oshun, the Goddess of beauty, love, and wealth. “What you need most right now is love, and who better to provide it than a Goddess of love. Will you at least try it?” Her honest query was all at once preposterous and enlightening. I had never tried this approach before, and seeing as I had never had any luck with the god I was currently serving, I figured, “what do I have to lose?”

Thus, the start of the shift.

I drove home that night reluctantly, in tears, but having nothing left to lose, in my mind, I called to Oshun and poured my heart out to her for the entirety of the hour and a half it took to get home. I felt a little better, but not completely. I had done my sobbing for the night and my begging, and having been blessed with not crashing my car or having to stop on the side of the road to use the bathroom, I felt a measure of comfort that perhaps Oshun really had listened to me, that for the first time, I really had been heard.

There was guilt. A lot of it. I felt like I was abandoning the iron rod and the course I had so stubbornly fought for, but there was also this sense of being freed from the restraints that my former religion had imposed on me, restraints that I had willingly (at one point) put on myself. There was paranoia that the people around me, my family and my friends, would find out that I had ‘fallen away’ from the Church and became a pagan. But, desperation came and pushed all of these feelings to the back of my mind, strengthening my resolve that I should continue on this new path in hopes that it would finally help me.

It took some time before I fully took on Oshun as my Patron. I do not trust easily, my past having taught me that I could not even trust myself, so I am slow to warm up to anyone or anything new. But, Oshun grew on me, filled me with love. She gave me tasks to start doing everyday that helped start to pull me out of the depressive funk I had fallen in to. Eventually, She asked for an alter, and it was when I gave it to Her, filling what little space I could clear for her with all the pretty things I owned, that I realized that I was never going back. I was never going to be Christian again, and to my surprise, I was very happy with this decision.

After getting comfortable with Mama-Oshun, I felt the pull to look for other Deities. Again, my friend was quick to point out a few Deities that she thought might be appropriate for me, naming off Bastet, Loki, and Baron Samedi as three she thought would help me the most. So, I did my research. I spent days looking all I could on these three Deities and several others. I learned new terms and read many blogs of those who worship the Deities in present times. I was overwhelmed with everything I was learning, from godspousery to discernment, UPG to spirit workers. There was so much to learn and so many thoughts t reshape within my own mind about all of this. It was evident from the very beginning that I was in for a whirlwind of a ride, for better or worse.

With Mama-Oshun by my side, this is how I became a baby pagan, and this is only the beginning of the story.