Minister of Free Inquiry (aethyrflux) wrote,
Minister of Free Inquiry

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"¡Give us relief, Padre del Mundo!"

Today is World AIDS Day.

I have been working in healthcare for the past year, and have been devoting my ritual practice to the entity who is appealed to for the treatment & healing of disease: Babalu Aye... who is also known by many other names: Sonponno (Nigerian Yoruba), Omolu (Brasilian Umbanda), Sakpata (Dahomey), Kobayende (et alia: Cuban Palo Mayombe), San Lazaro (or Saint Lazarus, whose feast is 12/07 in the Catholic tradition) and various other transliterations/spellings throughout the African diaspora, such as Obaluaye/Abaluaye (Brasilian Umbanda) and Obaluaiê (Candomblé Ketu). As the spirit of contagion, he was one of the primaeval Elder Deities/Entities/Things that predates the Orisha. And although I am not aware that the New World Loa make a discrimination, if we're going to get technical about it, in Mother Africa, he was an Onile (earth spirit), rather than an Orisha (sky spirit).

Many worshippers now appeal to Babalu Aye for the healing of HIV/AIDS, alhough he was originally associated with smallpox.

And in fact, I have been participating in a project which will teach folks to propitiate BabaluAye through the development of a medicine show adapted from the one that we did @ The Enchanted Forest's Haunted Trails 2005. And ironically enough, the Shub-Niggurath costume that annamaul93 made for The Cthulhu Devival (which we also used for the Enchanted Forest medicine show) looks quite a bit like Babalu Aye, as in this image of a devotional effigy:

The rather phallic-looking object sticking out from under his robes is an "aja" ...a corojo palm or coconut palm frond broom held together by a piece of sackcloth, jute or burlap. The broom is trimmed with cowrie shells and beads.

Also q.v. The Free Exercise of Religion ...the artist, Xavier Cortada's statement about the Supreme Court Decision regarding The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v City of Hialeah (the US Supreme Court case originating in the artist's home state of Florida, that permitted animal sacrifice through Santeria, in the same way that Kosher slaughter is performed through Judaism... this kind of sacred butchery is what I generally refer to as the Covenant of Survival)

While we're at it, one might also consider these ideas... concerning the essential function of gov't & the Last Sunday gathering.
Tags: africa, annamaul93, artist, babalu aye, butchery, catholic, challenge, consensual, contagion, cthulhu devival, dahomey, deity, devotion, diaspora, effigy, elder things, entity, god, government, healing, legal principles, loa, marriage, new world, nigeria, polyamory, ritual, sacrifice, santeria, self-sacrifice, shub-niggurath, slaughter, spirit, the covenant of survival, transliteration, treatment, vodou, vodun, voodoo, voudou, yoruba
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