Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines and Voodoo

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.
The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.
The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feast. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.
Saint Valentine is not the only name in town when it comes to affairs of the heart.
In the Voodoo Pantheon, there is an important group of female loa (goddesses) whose first name is Erzulie. While all of them share in their role as Goddess of love, art, and sex, each has additional areas of life which is theirs to defend and assist. Erzulie is three in aspect: she can be Erzulie Freda, a virgin goddess likened to the Virgin Mary; Erzulie Dantor, loa of jealousy and passion; or La Siren, a personification of the sea and goddess of motherhood. Her color is pink, her animal a white dove. She is associated with the Lukumi Orisha Oshun, and sometimes Chango (as Erzulie Dantor).
Love and luxury, luck and wealth all are in the domain of Erzulie Freda. Adored by women, venerated by the most masculine of men, yet the patroness of gay men; Erzulie Freda is the powerful Mambo who is nevertheless wheedled with gifts and perfume. Nothing can match the beauty, the excitement and the usefulness of Erzulie Freda's servvice, whether you are male, female, gay or straight. The Non-Initiates' Service for Erzulie Freda is found at: http://www.rootswithoutend.org/fredaserv.html... and the accompanying Erzulie Freda Instructional Package is available at:http://www.rootswithoutend.org/freda_package.html

Peace and love, Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

Erzulie's Kiss
3 tbsp strawberry puree
3/4 oz Malibu® coconut rum
1/2 oz White cocoa
1/2 oz Bailey's® Irish cream
1 oz milk
3 vanilla ice cream
1.Add ingredients into working blender, accordingly through list 2.Blend, and pour into glassware 3. Garnish with Strawberry on glass rim, chocolate syrup swirl on surface, and straw, and is ready to serve.

"Se bon ki ra" - Good is rare -Haitian proverb

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man