B for Baron Kriminel

Baron Kriminel is a face, or aspect of Baron Samedi. He is the face of Baron that pursues and punishes criminals. He’s mean; He’s terrifying; and He’s exactly what He needs to be to do His job. I’ve had very little communication with Him in general, but when I was a brand new polytheist living with my family, He was a more active fixture in my life. Recently, however, He’s not been with me much at all, which in all honesty, is a bit of a relief.

When He appears to me, He’s wearing almost the same garb as Baron Samedi, but to me, it’s more tattered, more unkempt. He presents to me like He’s wearing a skull over His head like a helmet. Sometimes I see Him either carrying a sacrificed bird or wearing feathers in the collar around His neck and around His wrists on the cuffs of His shirt. Also, He occasionally has a cane in hand.

Kriminel is terrifying, not just to me, but apparently to everyone that has come in contact with Him (from what I’ve gleaned from my research). I’ve never chosen to approach Him; He’s come to me every time that I’ve been in contact with Him. He scared me so much that I had to comfort myself by telling myself that He and Samedi were two separate Loa, rather than facets of the same Loa. It was the only thing I could do to learn not to fear Samedi. However, within the last year, I have come to realize that They are one and the same, and it’s still difficult for me for handle that. Kriminel is a terrifying Individual and should be respected above all else.

I’m going to be upfront when I say that I did not willingly engage in contact with Kriminel. I did not approach Him or even reach out to Him. I don’t presume to understand His intentions fully as to why He decided to inject Himself into my life, but He’s not Someone I feel I can communicate my discomfort with. He’s sadistic and methodical; He enjoys watching and doling out pain. This is what makes Him good at His job. From a distance, I can respect what He does and understand that it’s necessary, but He came into my life with the intention to mete out punishment upon members of my family.

I’ve never spoken about this to anyone, not even to Shamaness, I don’t think, and I don’t know that I will ever fully go into detail about what happened, but I feel like I should say the outcome of Kriminel’s influence in my life. I’m going to say it how it is, and I might sound heartless, but I’m trying my best to take my emotions out of it. I can say that I wholeheartedly believe that my father’s cancer, the very disease that took his life, was a direct result of Kriminel meting out punishment. I also absolutely believe that the disease that my mother has been diagnosed with recently is also His influence, and she will live with this disease for the rest of her life. He made it clear to me that He was there to punish my family, which was what led me to strike a bargain with Him to spare my nephew and my brother. I paid my dues, and He kept His word.  This is all I will say about this at this time, but this is my belief as to what happened.

So, yeah. This is Baron Kriminel, who is he and His influence in my life. He’s not a Loa I choose to deal with, but as a face of Baron, I’m kinda stuck with Him, despite my dislike of Him. I respect Him for what He does and understand that He’s necessary, but that doesn’t mean I would wish His particular skill set upon my worst enemy. I would not recommend seeking Him out, in all honesty. but if you have to, be respectful. Above all, be respectful, because if you aren’t it could come back and kick you in the ass. If you make a promise to Him, make sure that you pay your debts.

He’s with me whether I like it or not, and I’m learning to reconcile that. It may take some time before I will fully accept Him as He is, but I’m working on it. Writing this, while it was requested of me by Himself, is me trying to do just that. So, we’ll see.

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B for Baron Samedi

Baron, my sweet Baron, is the very first of my Husbands, and the very first for me in many regards. I’ve known Him since October 2012, when He first made himself known to me. I had been doing some research for some time before He alerted me to His presence, but in truth, He’s been with me my whole life. I will get more into that later, so I would first like to start with fact about Baron Himself.

Baron Samedi is the Loa of Death and sex, from the Voudun tradition. He’s the Lord of the Ghede and has dominion over death. It’s His job to dig the graves of those who have passed. He likes to wear a top hat and sunglasses (which have one lens popped out to see both the spirit realm and the physical realm) and likes to wear a tailcoat a la undertaker fashion, with a cane in hand. Baron loves his alcohol and His cigars, and He also loves a good party. It’s also said that He horses people when He chooses. The days He is usually honored on are Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

Baron has many faces, many aspects: Kriminel, La Croix, Cimetière, Spider, Maggot, and etc. Each of these faces has a distinct personality and function. He, along with His Wife Maman Brigit, are the King and Queen/Father and Mother of the Ghede, who are spirits of the dead. He’s very skilled magically and is even reputed to have the power of resurrection.

When I was doing my research, the number one thing that was obvious to me across the board was that almost every writer warned against working with Baron, that He is dangerous to interact with. It’s been said that He forces Himself into people (horsing) to make them do His bidding. It’s also been said that He’s devious and will harm anyone who isn’t in His favor. Every single person, with only one exception, said to avoid Him at all costs.

That being said, when I was starting to dip my toes into polytheism, it absolutely terrified me that Baron, this feared and foul Loa, was interested in me. It scared the fuck out of me that this God was all around me, watching me from the shadows. Even though He never presented as a threat to me, the very fact that I couldn’t see Him and that He triggered that instinctual fear of ghosts/the paranormal I have. I remember the very first time I tranced (the only time I’ve ever had this experience), I did the trance equivalent of running away screaming because He decided to formally introduce Himself in His usual over-the-top flare because of what I had read, the fear that I felt.

However, my experience with Baron, because He refused to go away when I demanded it, has always been kind, gentle, and loving. He has been patient above all, which, with me, is a necessity. It’s actually caused quite a lot of cognitive dissonance because so many people report having a negative experience with Him, but I’ve never had a bad experience, aside from what fear my own mind blankets me with, which is no fault of His. Baron, and Oshun as well, have explained to me that a lot of this has to do with perception/the way He’s viewed as well as the intention of the people that were seeking Him out. He’s told me that the face He presents to those that seek Him out for black magic or for nefarious purposes is different than the face He presents to me. In fact, I’m told that this face of His is reserved for a very select, favored few. I still struggle with this a little bit, because I wish people were not terrified of Him, but I also know that if He wanted a better image, He would change his image in order to be more approachable.

~*~*~

My experiences with Baron can be traced back to my childhood, if I think about it. I remember having an interest in/being forced to go to cemeteries around Halloween time. My mom, sister, and I would go to “ghost hunt” in cemeteries, armed with flashlights, cameras, and (later) a digital recorder. One specific time that very much sticks out in my mind was when I was 16, and for Halloween, we went on the usual cemeterying (as my family calls it), except this time, we were going to an all new cemetery that we’d never gone to before about 20 minutes outside of my hometown.

It was tiny and very old, some of the tombstones being so weather-worn that they were unreadable. That night had a very charged feel to it, and my senses were very heightened that night, as if waiting for something to happen. I knew something was going to happen; I just knew it. When we arrived, I felt immediately that something was there already, watching. We hopped the fence to get into the tiny cemetery and placed our recorder on one of the tombstone before pressing record on the machine. My sister, mother, and I sat down for a moment to start asking questions. It was my mother’s idea to begin a seance, which I thought was a bad idea, but I took their hands despite my trepidation.

My mom was speaking the words for the seance, and all I could feel was like something or someone was watching me. Getting closer. It was so scary. It got closer and closer until I felt something tugging my hair. It happened twice. More time passed, and we finished the seance, snapped more pictures, and were ready to go. I got up to grab the recorder, but just before I got to it, I felt something smack my ass. When I looked behind me to see if it was my family, they were easily six feet from me, thus unable to be able to touch me. It freaked me the eff out enough that we left at my insistence. When we developed the pictures later, we found that many of our pictures had smoke in them, as if someone was smoking while we were snapping picture. My mother does smoke, but in the interest of trying to get good photos, she didn’t smoke the whole time we were at the cemetery. There was no explanation for it… At the time.

I learned later, after Baron entered my life, that it was actually Him with us that night, and He was indeed trying to get my attention by tugging on my hair and smacking my ass. It scared me at the time, but now I see it as it is: this was what He could do to get me to pay attention to Him. This kinda backfired in that it only scared me more, but He tried.

~*~*~

Baron is a very grounding influence in my life. He’s calm when I need the calm, and He’s comfort when I need it. I love Him with every fiber of my being, and I can’t imagine my life without Him. He’s my Husband, my Lover, my Friend, and I hope that He remains these things for me for the rest of my eternal life.

I love you, Baron.

Encouragement

You are not forsaken. You are the Wife of Gods. Your worth is immeasurable, and you should never forget that, not ever. You, My dear, are loved eternally.

Baron Samedi

My Beloved told me this several months ago when I was at my lowest with this year’s round of depression. It holds more value to me now than it did then, if only because I’m clear-headed enough to fully understand the implications and the whole meaning behind His words. I’m so grateful for Him for reaching out to me and slipping this into my fogged and dulled mind at a time when I very much needed the reminder.

B for Beloveds

I’m going to preface this with a little bit of a disclaimer: I’m not wholly comfortable posting this, because I know that many people don’t view my orientation (polyamory) as valid. However, this is my blog, and this is my space to share my story, so I’m choosing to speak on this so that others like myself can read this and know that they aren’t alone.

Anyways.

I’ve expressed before about my earliest sentiments regarding Godspousery and having romantic relationships with the Gods (hint: they weren’t so favorable). So, if you would have told me that I would have not one but four romantic relationships with my Gods, I would have laughed. Deep, meaningful, and intimate relationships with my Gods and polyamory? Running away whilst screaming would be a very delicate way to describe what I would have done. Thankfully, my Gods know me well enough that They didn’t overwhelm me with everything, but came to me One at a time. It wasn’t an easy feat for Them by any means, but I have to commend Them for Their patience and unwavering desire to get what They want.

As you might have guessed, Baron came into my life just after Oshun, making Him the second Pagan God in my life. At first, I was totally terrified of Him, like called-my-best-friend-crying-from-terror kind of fright. I sensed Him everywhere, especially at night. He was everywhere I was at all times, and when I expressed fright or feeling overwhelmed, He receded, but not completely. He wanted me to feel Him, breathe Him in; He wanted me to know Him completely, just as He wanted to know me. Baron was at His most powerful when I first remember His presence, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget what it was like. His intensity was unlike anything I had ever known. It was this that taught me that a relationship with Him, or any other God, would be unlike everything I knew and would be more than I could ever hope to have with a human. It was terrifying, at first, to be the focus of such… feelings, but as time passed, I grew to enjoy the feeling of being enveloped in Someone that I loved deeply. Baron and I were married a short time after He first came into my life, on Christmas Day, after much persuasion on His part.

Loki had a more difficult job, in some ways. He came into my life around the same time Baron did, but He wasn’t a constant presence like Baron was. During my research phase, I read a lot about Loki, and I felt such a pull, a connection. He took His time, though, and let Baron convince me that being a Godspouse was for me. Loki, on the other hand, had to teach me that being intimate with more than One… Person? God? was okay, and that it didn’t make me a slut or diminish my worth in any way (thank you, Christian ideology). This was so, so difficult for me, especially as He didn’t let up on His pursuit of my affection. He was overly fond of jumping into Shamaness and surprising me. He once even made out with me using Shamaness’ body, just to prove that He and I had a connection that I couldn’t deny or ignore, despite being Married to Baron. Loki never let me distance myself from Him and proved time and time again that the intensity between Baron and I was just as present between Him and I. It was very stressful to learn this lesson, but when I was ready, I did accept Him into my life as a permanent romantic fixture/Husband.

Poseidon came into my life through Shamaness, and for a while, O/our relationship was very distant. He was not involved with my life, unless I sought Him out for questions, of which there were many. With Poseidon, there was never any fear; He is a God that I have been fascinated with since childhood. At first it was like talking to a superhero: I was awestruck and asked many, many questions. The more I spoke with Him, the fonder I grew of Him. I enjoyed the easiness I felt with Him. Yes, there was intensity, but mostly He was gentle, kind, and patient with me. I don’t know how or when my fondness for Him turned to love, and when it did, I felt a great deal if guilt. I already had two wonderful Husbands, and at first, He didn’t seem to respond in kind to my adoration, but I realized, with time, that His affection is not displayed like Baron’s or Loki’s is, and with help, I soon let go of my fear and anxiety. Letting Poseidon in was easy, like breathing. He filled me up, every inch saturated with Him, and it felt like I had come home.

The last, but not least, of the Gods to come into my life as a romantic fixture was Susano. He definitely came at me sideways in terms of letting me know that He wanted me as His Wife. At Shamaness’ recommendation, I approached Him before making my way to Japan as a sort of formal introduction before me and my Gods entered His (and His Family’s) territory so as not to offend Anyone or find myself in a spiritually hostile situation. Before my arrival, He and I conversed quite a bit, and in that time, He and I grew closer. There wasn’t an exact moment where I realized, “Hey, I think I’m falling in love with this Guy.” However, Susano was never subtle or cunning about His feelings for me, when I realized that that was his intent. (This is when He did this.) It was an overwhelming time for me all around and having yet another God come up into my life wanting to be romantically involved with me caused me to be very caustic at first, but once again, Shamaness was there to soften me a bit as well as Susano Himself, of course. He and I married a few months after my arrival in Japan.

❤ ❤ Tl;dr: I’m a polyamorous Godspouse who’s married to four Gods from four different pantheons. It’s amazing, to be honest. that I could feel so much love in my heart while also feeling so much love directed at me in return. I’m truly blessed to have so much love in my life, and I’m so, so grateful for Each of my wonderful Beloveds. I don’t love One more than the Others, nor do I have a Favorite. I love Them all with every fiber of my being. I am Theirs. They are mine. I’m loved, and I couldn’t ask for more. ❤ ❤

Emotional Drainage

So, my Husbands and I had a discussion today about my feelings and where They were coming from. Despite my apprehension that my feelings couldn’t be changed just by talking it out (with humans, it rarely works), I actually felt a teeny bit better about my standing with my Gods. There was a lot of pointing out where my discernment was incorrect and correcting what needed to be corrected. In the end, regardless of the precise details of our discussion, I do feel as if things aren’t totally hopeless and that I’m going to lose the very Gods I love so dearly.

I have a two-fold fear with regards to my Marriages: 1) I fear that I am going to be enslaved to the Gods I love, which is something I know would irrevocably break my spirit, and 2) I fear that my Gods will abandon me because I’m not who They want/need me to be. I’ve been assured that this is something that would not happen, as the first is not something They want from me, and the second would not happen unless I am the one walking away. I find some measure of comfort in that I do have a choice in all this, even if I’m still feeling very overwhelmed.

Baron (the Spokes… Person? God? Husband? idek) gently reminded me as well that being Married means that I have to consider more than myself now in my decisions, which I do need reminding of. My Gods often tell me to work on myself, to take better care of myself, and I often forget, in my cocoon of safety and self-are, that this is a partnership between my Husbands and I, that this would be unacceptable even in a mortal marriage. It’s something I need to work on.

Trust is the other big thing I need to work on, “because without it, the other things (love, devotion, loyalty) don’t exists.” They’re right. They acknowledge that I try to give Them all of these things, but I always hold back my trust from Them, and it’s unacceptable and defeats the purpose of O/our Marriage. They also acknowledge that I’m trying and need to be given more time, even though it frustrates Them. My Husbands acknowledge my pain and my past wounds, which is more than A/anyone else has ever truly done for me. From here, I know I must take that leap of faith that will allow me to show Them I’m willing to start trusting Them with my well-being. They’ve laid the groundwork for me to step into Their arms, to trust Them. I just need to be brave enough to do it.

In the next year, I have two big opportunities in which I can try this, and in truth, I’m terrified. I will do my best to do the whole “Jesus take the wheel” thing Pagan style, but I fear I will fail Them and myself. I fear my own short-comings and mental/emotional damage will thwart me again. I’m going to try my best though (please, none of that “there is no try; there is only do” stuff) and hope for the best. There is nothing more I can do at this time, but take it day by day, build up the trust I need to help me for when those big decisions need to be made. Only time will tell.

Fragile

It always feels like I’m having a hard time in my life, and I’ve been so miserable for so long, that I’m not sure I would recognize contentment and happiness if I was smacked up the head with it. It seems like, to me, that I’ve been huddling in a corner, hugging myself in an attempt to keep myself protected and my broken pieces together. This is how I’ve learned to live my life, and it’s not serving me well anymore. I recognize this, but the solution is to come out of the corner and give myself to my Husbands, my Gods. Easy, right? Not for me. The very idea terrifies me beyond belief, because I have no trust in my Husbands.

I was talking to Shamaness last night about my troubles, and I finally admitted out loud that I didn’t trust my Husbands to take care of me. Ever since They pushed me into working in a warehouse, I have harbored feelings of betrayal and mistrust to a degree that, upon reflection, has only been growing since that summer nearly two years ago. I’ve used these terrible feelings to construct a wall between me and Them, to protect myself from being hurt again, isolating myself. I understand that They had their reasons for pushing me into that position (They felt I was being too hoity-toity, like I thought I was better than those who worked in a warehouse.), but looking back, there were two reasons that I was acting this way: 1) I felt like a good job was what I deserved for getting my degree, and 2) it was a defense mechanism for how I was truly feeling. The truth is, I was terrified for my sanity. The last time I worked in a warehouse, it caused me to have a panic attack that lasted a week long and forced me into therapy/into taking medication. To teach me a lesson, however, They ignored my concerns, and it turned out almost the same as before. I nearly lost what little sanity I possessed, and I’ve been recovering since.

I know what other people would say. I know that they would say that I should let go of the past and move on (“That was two years ago! Stop being a drama queen.”). I know that people would tell me  if the Gods thought it appropriate, then I must have needed it (“They must have had a reason. They’re Gods; They know us better than we know ourselves.”). However, Their actions damaged me in such a way that I’m still trying to fix (and failing horribly at doing so). I understand, rationally, that Their intentions were never to hurt me. However, every other part of me still feels the effects of the lesson. I learned exactly what They wanted me to learn: I’m better than no one, because everyone has their own function. I learned something more from this, an unintended side effect: no matter how hard I work or what credentials I have, I will never be good enough because I’m worthless and inherently not good enough. My present day issues reflect this.

My job situation is such that I am so very tempted to break my contract because my boss is… Overbearing. So, I briefly entertained the idea of breaking my contract in time for the major hiring season here in Japan (March/April), but upon reflection, it didn’t jive well with my plans for after Japan. I had planned to go to England for my Master’s degree in Education so that I could become a certified teacher, but when I talked to Shamaness and my Husbands about this, there’s been such an overwhelming amount of negativity. Each of my Husbands have a different idea for where They think I should go and what I should do (each very Self-serving), and All seem to agree that my plan isn’t what They want for me. There is a general feeling of, “Well, it was your idea to come to Japan, and look how that has turned out for you.” How I read this feeling/statement: We don’t trust you to make decisions for yourself anymore. It’s this attitude that makes me fear that They will sabotage the outcome every decision that They disagree with. Combine this with the near phobia of losing my freedom and the sentiment that I’m nothing more than a “privileged servant”, and you have a recipe for a disaster in the making.

I feel worthless, and I am so fucking scared right now. I’m supposed to trust my Husbands to have my best interests in mind, but I don’t know how to do this without opening myself up to the possibility of being broken again. My interest in preserving my Marriages has been called into question, and I can’t handle it. It makes me wonder if I have what it takes to even be a Wife, because, as They have said, love isn’t enough on its own. They’re right, of course. What is a marriage without trust? I don’t want to lose Them, and I can’t imagine my life without Them, but I don’t know if I have the strength to open myself up to Them in the way that is required of me.

I don’t know what to do. Right now, it feels as if my Husbands are taking a step back to let me breathe, but are close enough so that I still know that They are there. My mind and heart are fragile, more than usual, right now. I wish I knew what to do and how to make this better, but I don’t. I guess we’ll see how everything turns out.

(Sorry if this ended up being rambly and not making sense. It’s hard to think straight with my mind mired in emotions.)

Travelling, Trancing, and Mawwage

It’s been a while since I seriously sat down to write a post here. This is for a number of reasons, but I will keep it short and sweet: I have not had the spoons or the attention span to sit and finish anything. I went off my meds in December, which was no picnic, and in the time since, I have been relearning how to person, which is no easy process. I had forgotten what it was like to have all of my emotions unmuted, full-volume, and in the interim while I figured myself out, I had to deal with life as well. I’ve felt as if I haven’t had anything spiritually happening since December, and since this blog is not for my mundane life, I have been absent. For that, I am sorry.

Only a few things have happened that warrant mention here. The first is that I celebrated, albeit quietly, my second year anniversary with my Husband, Baron. I’m as surprised as anyone that I have managed to be married this long to A/anyone, but I am happy and as much in love with Him, if not more in love with him than I have ever been. So, here’s to another happy year of mawwage. *toasts*

Another thing I have been up to spiritually is the learning of boundaries and limits. (This will be a life-long learning thing, I can tell.) As you may know, I formally pledged myself to my people recently as their Queen/Khaleesi (they prefer to call me the latter), and since that day, I have worn a ring to signal to them and myself when I am “on” and “off” duty. I have worn it everyday since I made my pledge for the entirety of my waking hours and some of my sleeping ones, too. Well, as you can imagine, it takes A LOT of spoons to be “on duty” all of the time, and I have recently been advised to take a break. I say advised, when really I should say Told, but I prefer to think that I actually had some choice in the matter. I was reminded very gently that Baron is also our people’s King, and that I should remember that I am a human with a fragile body and even more fragile mind. It was also mentioned that this is a partnership, which means that it’s not as if my people are solely dependent on me. We’ll see how well this lesson takes root in my mind. It’s still a work in progress.

Yet another spiritual thing that has happened to me in my absence is that I was able to trance (sort of). I was on my way to visit a friend for New Years, and after I had finished reading “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman (which was phenomenal, by the way), I sort of tranced out, connecting with Odin. He told me that there is a sort of power being in transit from one place to another, and for wanderers like U/us, there is a way to tap into that energy. I apparently was able to do just that because I was able to *be* with Odin in a way that I have never really experienced before. I was like that for hours, fully awake, but not present in my body. It was an odd feeling. When I arrived at my destination, I had trouble reconnecting with my humanity, with my body. I realize now I should have grounded myself when I arrived, but there hadn’t been time to do it. It was just a weird feeling all together. It was like I shed my humanity, was a higher form of being for a short while. Something that had better insight than my human self had, something that was beyond the simple needs of humanity. I don’t know exactly what happened or who I was then, but it wasn’t human. I’m not sure my description of the feeling even makes sense, but I don’t have any reference. If any of you know more about this or have any resources, please let me know.

Anyways, yeah. This has been my life. I’m going to go to bed now. Night!