to be tired.

i've noticed that when i'm fatigued, i walk a very fine line between ecstasy and exhaustion.

i never want to wear myself out to the point of illness...but the way my walls come down is nearly addictive.

a very specific kind of clarity.

creativity glitters in the cracks made by alarm clocks and stress dreams.

the world and everyone in it becomes beautiful.


it's an interesting thing...


shadows, part 2

the queen of swords is another part of my darkness.*

although i don't like that this description harps on the negative, this is very true:
Personality is cautious and clever. Can be cunning, destructive and manipulative. She is often aloof and distant. She keeps her distance and puts up barriers around herself. She displays an air of unemotional responses... Beneath her facade she hides much previous emotional pain and/or hardship. She has learnt how to survive. She is a woman alone. She is either a widow, divorced, a spinster or without a loving partner. She may have spent a long time on her own and keeps up her defences and her sword drawn to protect her at all times. She has a fondness for red roses...

She feels more in control if she can avoid having too deep feelings for anyone, lest they puncture her heart and give her reason to despair. She can become big hearted if in the right company and circumstances and when she feels safe and secure. There is hope for her and she is wise enough to know it. She is symbolic of the rose, seductive and potentially dangerous, capable of cutting the skin and making it bleed, yet the soft velvety petals can blossom into the most beautiful arrangement and captivate your heart. She is wistful and reflective, serious yet sensuous, yet always alert. She is capable of being the Goddess or the crucifier.
i am grateful that i've learned more about her higher aspects than her lower ones.  when i've been hurt, my empathy is the water to my initial fiery flare.  i've been blessed with a foundation of love...and that keeps me balanced, too.

but i keep a shining, well-sharpened machete handy...and always will.

*in my light, i am the empress and the high priestess.


black mermaid...

if you've read this, it's easy to see why this song means so much...



i can get overwhelmed by all the "bad" news and bad news parading as "information" that folks seem to focus on...

i wonder if i'm making a difference, if i can make a difference...what my niche truly is. 

and even if i find it, will that make a difference?

i'm not an "activist", per se.  i'm not in the streets constantly uplifting (or yelling about) a cause. i don't feel the need to browbeat people into understanding...well, anything, really.

i care. i keep an eye on what's going on in the world. i don't shy away from the uncomfortable or the undesirable.

i try to live in a way that makes my ancestors proud.

is that enough?

do i have to be loud?
does everyone have to know my name?
do i have to wear my allegiances on my chest?

i seek the wisdom of the quiet elders. 
it would do no good to drown them out.

still, i'm always asking, am i doing enough? being enough?

am i missing something, or looking at the wrong examples?

sometimes, it's hard to know.


drumming while female

i've been thinking seriously about owning a drum. for several reasons.

i know a lot of sistas can be intimidated into thinking that they can't/shouldn't/never did drum, but we do, and we did.  this knowledge is reemerging from many sources.
From a metaphysical standpoint, women are natural receptors. As such, we, often unknowingly, pull in the energies of our environments. The added bonus is that we also have the bonus ability to transmute. Any toxicity we pull in can be changed and released to the community or cosmos for greater benefit. Personally, I become much more psychically in tune with my environment when I drum, and can feel when something is in or out of sync. Our ancient foremothers knew these secrets as they gathered in secret during the mooncycles to trance dance and drum these energies into personal and collective empowerment. Today's woman has lost touch with these practices, but tries to subconsciously transmute by partying, obsessive exercise, drinking, shopping...all in an effort to shift the toxic energy that has been built up from daily living.

Buy a drum.

You will be delightfully amazed at how beneficial just five to fifteen minutes of drumming is for you. And when you drum, pray. Mentally focus your intention. Bond with the energy of your instrument and make magick. Extend the time as you go further into your drumming meditation. You'll find yourself trancing out as Queen Nyabinghi's drummers did as they were possessed of her warrior spirit. You may have ancestors come to your aid. [source]
also check out layne redmond's research, obini bata, and this blog that seems to have quite a bit of information on female drummers in west africa.


the radiant night queen

in recent divination, i've pulled this card more than i can remember.  Inanna's mantra in the deck is "embracing the shadow".

when i first seriously began exploring this aspect of myself, i mentioned how i gravitated to Pomba Gira, a spirit revered in brasil's umbanda tradition.

it was a sudden introduction--similar to the forceful wind that blew Ezili Danto into my life--and followed closely by a compulsion to wear some combination of red and black whenever possible. 

by now you'd think i'd be used to the endless curves in Spirit's roads. but, they can still take me by surprise.

stay with me, now...

Pomba Gira is often depicted as a roma (gypsy) woman. word has it that the roma came to europe from india.

india--particularly the south--has deep, often obscured connections to africa, as evidenced through the indus kush civilization and the cultures of the various adivasi groups. many of these people are african in appearance, and they are considered to be the indigenous people of that nation.

so when i retrace my steps, coming to understand my shadow-spirit as a devadasi* warrior queen with a river of onyx hair doesn't seem so unusual.  she is still, at her core, an afrikan woman.

she speaks:

deeply brown skinned child of an indigo-black mother, i am devoted to the temple and my people.  i know the power of the sword and of the heart. 

my aura precedes me.  i stand fully in my sensuality, empowered by my priesthood--a child of the Love Goddesses.  i carry all the mysteries of womanhood deep in my garnet womb.      

upon my throne, i am an entity beyond the control, reach, or comprehension of any man, even as i haunt their dreams.  i am dazzling in fine fabrics, jewels and radiant flesh. equally full of bawdy, ribald humor, i can blend into the seediest tavern without detection or molestation. 

i am always, fully myself.  i speak my truth.

i respect all who approach me confident in an understanding of their full selves.  

i remain appropriately humble, but i never cower.  

the spirit of balance and reciprocity is my breath.  i fearlessly face and resolve my karma.

fear, hesitation, and unwarranted self deprecation have no place in my house. Royalty Knows Itself. 

...and she is me. 

*i've only skimmed (with intent to read) it so far, but this work purports to trace the historical/cultural evolution of the devadasis from their status in ancient times to the implications of their lives and work--such as it is--today. i wanted to post it for the sake of perspective.

i am speaking of all this from a spiritual perspective and, as such, i am considering the higher aspects of the tradition, the work, and its intent--as i recall them in my spirit and through Divinity. i am aware of many of the ways in which the culture and traditions of india are being exploited and warped to disenfranchise adivasi people--sometimes known as dalits, tribals, etc.--and the issues surrounding sex work there. however, that is probably all the more reason we are called to remember the older, more original truths, so that we can reclaim the ancient wisdom, heal, and renew ourselves.


short memory, long history

in all the discussions about what's going on with black folks, i often hear references to things like post traumatic slave syndrome, the industrial prison complex, loss of identity and culture, etc.

i agree with these explanations, and we should definitely be aware of them.  however, what i rarely see woven into the conversation is the more recent history that has decimated our communities and placed gaping holes in our historical memories.

vietnam scarred our parents' generation and layered generalized PTSD onto our other wounds.  many were lost during the war, but we'll never know how many were lost in the streets after it.   

in the 80s, the crack epidemic and reganomics formed a perfect storm in urban america.

on its heels, the early days of AIDS wiped out scores of queer elders, simultaneously claiming the intravenous users crack left behind.

but even before all this, before integration and the civil rights movement, there was the destruction of places like rosewood and tulsa's black wall street.  we had our own businesses, banks, goods and services, schools and social supports. but when we got too good at it, we were often put back in our place.  

despite it all, we have survived and thrived. no doubt about that. still, when we start to wonder "what went wrong?" i think we can have a tendency to reach back a little too far for the answers.

the fact is, in the last 30-40 years, we've lost many--known and unnamed--who could still be singing songs, writing words, and painting pictures to inspire, enlighten and lead us.  mentors who could have ushered us over the ground we seem destined to endlessly retread--because we're leaving too young to tell our stories and share our gifts.

just a thought.

so when the scripts start running for the millionth time, stay mindful. dig deeper.


this year...

...is going to be a great one.

happy 2011, y'all.