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