Sitting here on my couch, reading through what seems to be a never ending list of emails asking for spells, readings and my credit card number, I caught a glimpse of a faded cross on my foot. It seems like I was scratched into Palo ten lifetimes ago and last week all in the same moment. Some memories are fresh in my mind and others long forgotten. Looking from my foot to my various pots, I think of one of my last Lucumi ceremonies. The one where my spiritual grandfather became my god brother. Again some moments are a blur other things I can recall with such stunning accuracy how every hair on someone’s head looked at a particular moment.

Divine, Sacrifice, Initiate, Crown, Scratch, rinse and repeat.

I remember the first time I was mounted, the party where one of my god brothers danced without abandon, the night my god brother and I sat, held hands and cried, the afternoon my god sisters and I beat a bitch’s ass by shaking our pots, I remember these moments and I;

Divine, Sacrifice, Initiate, Crown, Scratch, rinse and repeat.

I look at my healed scratches and I remember sitting on my Madrina’s bed listening to her stories of Mantanzas and Miami, I remember my video calls with my Iya taking instruction for ebo, I remember that I tripped the light fantastic to go astrally wash my god brother’s head, I remember and I;

Divine, Sacrifice, Initiate, Crown, Scratch, rinse and repeat.

I take a moment to look at these badges of my spiritual journey on my body and I remember being wrapped in an energy so deep and vast that I had to give in and climb on its back to see the cosmos.

Divine, Sacrifice, Initiate, Crown, Scratch, rinse and repeat.

All of these memories and moments have been done with and in a community. An imperfect community filled with the ex-this and the I used to be that people. My community that I sometimes love and hate.

Loving and worshipping in Orisha and Mpungo traditions is far more than the personal politics and navigating the snake oil and get rich crowd. It is about family and community. Every scratch, every ounce of Asé on and in my body has a legion of blood and communal family members that support my alignment in this life. No one man is an island and this is true in the religions that have shaped me into who I am today.

I’ll leave the self-initiation, solidarity Orisha/Mpungo practice and ego house building to those who have yet to discover that the real power and joy lies in the reverence and worship that happens at the dinner table, in ceremony or on the phone with your tribe.

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