Saturday, 12 January 2013

FELIZ ANO NUEVO Chango y Ochun!

I waited to write this New Year blog until the first New Moon for 2013 was upon us. For many astrologers, the New Year simply cannot start under a waning moon. May be the reason why many of us are finding it hard to stick to New Year's resolutions so early in the game. Re-start those resolutions after Friday January 11, 2:44 pm Eastern Standard Time, and you will probably be much more successful!

The title of this post, which translates to "Happy New Year Chango and Ochun!" refers to the 2013 Letra el Ano, as divined by the Cuban babalawos associated with the Comision Organizadora del Letra del Ano Miguel Febles Padron in La Habana, Cuba. For Cubans, the Letra del Ano is a serious business. People wait anxiously for hours for the sheet of paper stating the odu that will govern the upcoming year.

This year's odu Ogbe Otura, speaks of "tragedy between persons due to the usurpation of rights" (you can read both the Spanish and English descriptions of the Letra here). This can occur on both a macro and micro level. One example that is clearly playing out before the world's eyes is the gang rape and subsequent death of the young student in India, and the trial that is now taking place. Even though this occurred before January 1, the implications and reverberations of this act (along with the countless others globally) is drawing attention to an issue which in many societies is still not treated with the gravity it deserves. On a micro level, expect to see struggles, conflicts and unpleasant consequences in interpersonal relationships (intimate, family, work, friendship, neighbours). To better understand the energies we are dealing with here, let's looking at the two reigning Oricha for 2013: Chango and Ochun.

The Cuban take on this couple's relationship is pretty volatile: Chango, depending on how you view him, was a womanizer (or polygamist, which is traditionally Yoruban), macho, unapologetic, and very much a stereotypical bon vivant who lived for wine, women and song (well, in his case, drums). Ochun was the belle of the ball, a flirt, puta, co-dependent, a tragic mulatta, and loyal to a fault. For this reason, many Cubans frown on relationships between children of Chango and children of Ochun - they are said to result in tragedy. When these two energies connect too intensely, they become distorted. Chango (Mars) represents life force, chi, and is naturally self-preserving and self-serving. In too intense contact with Ochun energy, however, this energy can turn selfish, violent and cruel. Ochun (Venus) is connected to pleasure, of all kinds. The pursuit of pleasure is also self-serving. Yes, Venus represents love, but love on a more personal level (sexual, friendship) as opposed to divine love or love for all humankind (agape). Don't get it twisted. Ochun likes her mirrors! But in too intense contact with Chango energy, Ochun falls off course, becomes enamoured with the pleasurable pain of longing for the unattainable, becomes self-sacrificing rather than self-serving, putting the needs of others before her own. Uh-uh. That is a no-no.

We've all seen (or been in ) relationships like this one. The other person is offering us their heart and soul - so we turn cold and distant, or lash out at them. We disdain their selflessness. We feel trapped by their undying adoration. We toy with them - because we can. Or, we become enamoured of someone who will  never quite commit. Who betrays us again and again. Who gives us great intense sex, but leaves before the dawn. Who has other lovers (or families!). This dance can go on forever.....or it can end tragically (as it often does). Crimes of passion. Suicide. Jail. Court. Death.

So how to navigate the energies for this year 2013? Balance. More on this in future posts, but suffice to say, we need a balance between self-interest and considering the interests of others. Tragedy is to be avoided at all costs people! One thing Ochun and Chango share in common is passion. So if things get too heated, too intense and too crazy in your interpersonal relations, please step away, even if momentarily, before things get outta hand.

Keep posted for more on 2013 Oricha energies and astrological musings. Kawo Kabiosile! Ori ye ye o!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Waiting on the Light...

Sitting here, listening to bhajans and waiting on the light to return from other words Divali. The Hindu "Festival of Lights" will be celebrated by 885 million Hindus worldwide on Tuesday November 13, coinciding with a New Moon at 21 degrees Scorpio. Divali is associated with Mother Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, prosperity, and beauty (Ochun anyone?). According to some sources Lakshmi is indeed syncretized with Ochun in places like Trinidad, where Divali is a national holiday.
Here she is, happily floating on a pink lotus, draped in a pink sari bordered in gold, crowned in gold,
in the middle of a river.

And here are Orisha devotees in Trinidad, carrying their offerings to where the river meets the sea, celebrating the Ochun Festival, wearing - what else? Pink.

So what's happening in the sky this day? We have a New Moon as I've already mentioned, as well as a Solar Eclipse on November 13. The light, the dark, and then the light again! Keep in mind that the Sun (Chango) and Saturn (Eguns) are in Scorpio, with Mercury retrograde (Ellegua shuckin' and jivin' backwards) also about to re-enter Scorpio on November 15. In my last post I talked about the meaning of all this energy in Scorpio - invoking the darkness, death, mystery, transformation and rebirth - all Scorpionic themes.

What does this have to do with the beautiful Ochun/Lakshmi/Venus? Well She is about to enter Scorpio as well on November 21, and then conjunct Saturn (a dance with the Dead?) a few days after. That's quite a party. Ochun will be moving into Femme Fatale mode here, and relationships could be intense. Passionate, cutthroat, ride-or-die, intensely loyal, black-and-white, get-off-the-fence type stuff. Ochun is moving from Libra ("I-just-want-to-be-fair-and-everybody-to-be-happy-and-still-like-me") to Scorpio ("it's-you-and-me-against-the-world: or else!"). Reminds me of a Monica (Scorpio, birthday October 24) song (see Scorpio's cameo at 1:30!):

So how to honour Ochun as this time of darkness and light? Just so. Remember that she embodies both energies, reflecting the darkness and light within ourselves. We can be uplifted by love, an outpouring of love, sustained by and sustaining through love, peaceful, beautiful, graceful and abundant...but we can also be stung by love, wounded by love, crippled into an abyss of darkness where we are afraid to love and be loved, too damaged to extend ourselves to another and to the bounty that can be ours (of human touch, of sexual satisfaction, of luxury, of material security, of pleasure....). Watch the outpouring of gold (Ochun Yalodde!!) and light from Mother Lakshmi's hands in the final clip, and know and meditate on an abundance of good things for yourself and others. Fear not...

Shubh Divali!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hekua Yansa...all hail the Queen

Well well well. If anybody had doubted the potency and irrevocability of the Oya/Ogun pairing, maayyyyyybbeeeee the last 48 hours would have silenced the naysayers, at least those in North America. What an extravaganza. We've had it all - hurricane, fires, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, swinging broken cranes on towering skyscrapers blowing in gale force winds (OGUN & OYA anyone??),

innumerable sudden deaths.....air, road, rail and subway transportation are in a shambles, and all this on the verge of a significant and (for many) nailbiting U.S. election. Oya (Yansa) ent done yet....she is brandishing her iruke (flywhisk) right up into Canada and god knows where else......take heed allyuh! It is the time of MAJOR TRANSFORMATION. As I have been saying for some time - make the changes now or suffer the consequences!

On top of this, we have Halloween (October 31) Day of the Dead/El Dia de Los Muertos/All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2).

That's a whole lotta dead people floating around. Oh yeah, and we just had a full moon yesterday. No sleep, no sleep (kinda like Carnival). Too many eguns, too many messages to process, extrasensory overload. So, what better time to feed your ancestors and let them know they are loved and not forgotten? Even if you do this once a year, it is better than not at all. Today many Mexicans and Latin Americans still maintain this tradition, but in many other societies, gone are the days when families would take this time to tend the graves of the dearly departed,and have a picnic on their graves. What can you do in lieu of this? Cook their favourite food/family favourites/your favourite food without salt, and offer it up on a white plate, set on a white cloth with a white candle and glass of water, on the floor of your dwelling. Say prayers for them, for their well-being and spiritual elevation, and ask that they may guide over and protect you. The next day, take that food to a park, the bush, the earth, and leave it there. Saturn (Egun) is transiting Scorpio (Mars/Pluto = Chango/Ogun) - all of this relating to death/the underworld/the afterworld/the ancestors/resurrection/karma. Wear black: if these kind of energies energize you. However, if you are more the type to get sucked in/sucked under by these energies (particularly water signs Cancer and Pisces - Scorpios can handle wearing black, and in fact prefer it and seem to have been born swaddled in black cloth!) then white is a better choice when dealing with energies of the Dead.

It is important to honor the Dead. It is important to take time away from going,doing, running,working,moving,busying....and be still. Remember that everything comes to an End. Remember that Time is not infinite. That Change is inevitable. Remember the Cycles of Birth, Death and Transformation. Remember that the Dead are always with us. Let us pay our respects.

Maferefun Eguns!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Conflict With People of the World

It has been astounding me, the audacity and cruelty of some people at this juncture. Outside of the zombie-fication of certain segments of the populace (which although seemingly attributed to some new chemical sub-stance of manufactured alterity) I say nah, this can't be so, when it reach quite outside North America and into village life in a place like Trinidad:,163330.html

In varying degrees, and at varying levels, I am witnessing an astounding level of self-interest going on, which I, along with many others, predicted we would see once Uranus entred Aries back in May 2010 (retreating temporarily back into Pisces and then taking up long-term residence in Aries March 2011). Uranus (Oya) in Aries, (ruled by Mars/Chango) really reflects a potent, fiery, and fiercely individualistic pairing. Which is an oxymoron if you really study it.

The energies of these two, (taken separately, of course!) whether you read it astrologically or through a Yoruban lens, is individualistic, self-interested to the point of being egotistical, and ultimately self-serving. It may appear as if someone is acting altruistically, or for the greater good, but ultimately the veneer is removed and one sees rank self-interest operating.

"Remember: everytime you are faced with a situation,be sure to ask yourself - what's in it for me?" 

I remember hearing those words from an acquaintance circa 2005. I remember thinking: how absolutley, uncompromisingly self-centred. Se puede decir: aprovechoso? Really? And this is how you operate on an everyday level? Is that not borderline psychopathy?

Alas we are living in the era of fierce self interest....that is not entirely based on sheer egotism or vanity but rooted more basically in survival. People are more preoccupied with whether or not they will make it - not "make it" as in will-I-get-the-6-figure-salary, the-big-suburban-house, my-soul- mate, a-bangin-SUV-and-cosmetic-surgery-for-eternal-youth, but rather will I "make it" as in be able to access the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, healthcare, companionship). We are heading into leaner times (the countdown is on for Saturn to enter Scorpio in October; the Grim Reaper meets Hades, Lord of the Underworld; the Egungun or Ancestors dance a macabre dance with a grim, no-nonsense Ogun and his cutlass).
Reminds me of Black Stalin's classic calypso "Wait, Dorothy,Wait". How can he sing about winin and jammin when he studying injustice and inequality?

Chheeuupppsssss. I can't find anything to wear to this fiesta. Boy, and if Ochun can't feel sexy in she party clothes, well hell she probably ent even going....

                                                     is Ochun really giving us the finger here?


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Waiting for the Miracle

It's a few more days until the Uranus/Pluto second hit. Strange vibes affecting numerous people internationally. It's like hearing the ominous beginning to Leonard Cohen's "Waiting for the Miracle".

A bird flew into my house yesterday afternoon, setting the dogs off, seconds after I had told my friend on the phone that I had woken up with "something's not right" on my lips. I pray for a more peaceful square this rounds than what happened on June 24th (for me, a car accident that I thankfully walked away from). Uranus will be at 6 degrees Aries, with Pluto at 6 degress Capricorn. The Sun (Libra), Mercury (Libra), and Chiron (Pisces) also get into the act as September winds up. In Orisha-speak, Oya (Uranus) and Ogun (Pluto) are at it again, wreaking havoc and literally squaring off.

Interestingly these two are the tutelary Orichas for 2012 according to the Letra del Ano out of Habana, Cuba The Letra del Ano in an annual event, a mass Ifa divination session held by several babalawos that takes place December 31 in Habana each year, pronosticating for the new year to come. It is a reading anxiously awaited not only by Cubans at home and abroad, but also by thousands of initiates and followers of Cuban Oricha and Ifa houses. Ifa don't lie. 2012 sets off the first of five squares of these two planets/Orichas, and Ifa was on the money.

Well, what to do? Keep your head down. Don't go out in thunderstorms (lightning = Oya). Be reeaaallllyyyyy careful driving, or better yet, take public transit (Ogun = road accidents). Do not  I repeat do not get into quarrels with anyone, especially if three people are involved, or it is some sort of triangle, or one of the persons (or more)wears a uniform (Ogun). Ogun rules guns, knives, get the picture. God of Iron and all that. Take good care of your dogs (Ogun) - they are vulnerable to accidents (Oya) under this energy.Beware of tropical storms, high winds, tornadoes, hurricanes....Oya rules high winds, so if you feel the breeze picking up, seek shelter!

The Oya/Ogun square is a good time to harness the energy necessary to make the radical change in your life that you know you need to do. If you're thinking of uprooting your life, moving across country and starting anew / a new life, this is the time to research, plan, job (Ogun) search on the net (Oya). If you want to build (Ogun) something, open yourself up to the flashes of insight (Oya) that will bring this into being. This is strong warrior energy, so relationships may take a blow, especially as it is also strongly individualistic energy. Although you may feel like turning your back on civilization and disappearing into the bush like Ogun is said to have done, remember that there are people who depend on you even in the smallest way, and that no man is an island. Let's weather this storm together.