Blessed are you, our Lord, king of the cosmos, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season; blessed are you, who bestows good things upon the unworthy, and has bestowed upon me every goodness; blessed are you, who has made nothing lacking in his world, and created within it good creations and good trees for your children to enjoy! Blessed are you, the father of all, whose counsel is done by his own powers, who wishes to be known and is known by his own people; blessed are you, who by the word have constituted all things that are, whom all nature was born as image, whom nature has not produced a like figure; blessed are you, who surpass every excellence, who are stronger than every power, who are mightier than all praises. Blessed are you, now and forever, here and everywhere. Glory to God in the highest, to whom all glory is properly due!
My honor and gratitude to my ancestors: those of my blood, bone, flesh, and kin; those of my traditions, lineage, practices, and spirituality; those of my labor, trade, profession, and craft; those of my culture whose names everyone knows; those those names we have forgotten but whose presence we still feel; those who have passed away in my lifetime, and those who have passed away well before my birth. We walk upon the ground you once walked upon, we breathe now the air you once breathed, we drink the water you once drank; your blood flows in our veins, your breath fills our lungs, your words echo in our ears even now. We live today because of you; were it not for you, none of us today could live. As we tread upon your bones and stand on your shoulders, may you uplift us and guide us that we may ever reach higher honorably, and in doing so, raise you up nobly in the world after this. May every ancestor of each and every one of us be honored, remembered, and praised forevermore, that your spirits may never truly depart from the memory of your children.
My honor and gratitude to my family, especially my mother and my father and my sister and my brother, who nurtured and nurture me, with whom I grew and grow up. Through the mere circumstances of my birth, I have been blessed with parents, siblings, cousins, and others who have supported me, uplifted me, and established me in the world for my own success, which encourages the success of us all. Through the happenstance of my mother’s bearing me into the world have I been fortunate to find love, camaraderie, education, nourishment, and prosperity which would have been impossible were it not for them, and through the guidance of all my family have I been shown the manifold and innumerable opportunities for me to explore of the world. May I always do my family honor, even should we disagree on the insignificant things; may I always make my family prosperous, even should we falter in faith in each other; may I always support my family proudly, even should we drift apart across the seas and generations.
My honor and gratitude to my teachers, instructors, and mentors in all subjects, numeric or artistic, physical or philosophical, material or immaterial, mundane or spiritual; whether you taught me as a child or as an adult, you are my teachers all the same. It is because of you I have a love of learning, and it is by you I have a rigor for research. From your hands and mouths have wisdom, knowledge, and understanding been passed onto me according to your own, and by my own do I hope to do right by your memory and build upon it where possible and to correct it when necessary. Though you might have become fallible through your humanity, may I never speak ill of you, for the gifts you have given me surpass any critique except that which makes them better, which you yourselves would have endeavored to do, just as you encourage me to do.
My honor and gratitude to my friends, who guided me when I needed it, who celebrated with me when we could, who struggled with me when we had to, who cried with me in our sorrow. May we always support each other and keep far from deceit and misunderstanding, that no obstacle may be too huge for us to overcome. May we continue to look after each other as we look after ourselves, in joy and in grief, in luxury and in poverty, in wisdom and in folly, for the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb, and no truer connection can be made than those made freely out of our own free will. Distant though we might be in time and space, the memories and impacts we have made will last forever, and always will you be honored in my life. Even through our difficulties and through our distance, may we always keep each other aloft in our hearts, minds, and worlds through our memories and our care for each other.
My honor and gratitude to my husband, a kindred soul with whom I have become united, married together before the presence and sight of the gods and men. A happy and strange couple we make, but the binding force of our love for each other overcomes all differences, difficulties, and dearth that the world would see thrust upon us. Just as you complement me, I complement you; we come from different worlds, sometimes truly so, and through our union do we each help the other in areas each of us alone would be left to despair. Just as you support me, I support you; we have embarked into a new life together, and even though we have our own magna opera to achieve, we help each other do so as we continue to achieve our shared magnum opus. Stand by me that I may always stand by you, you who are my love, you who are my lover, you who are my beloved. I have never loved you more than I love you now; I love you far more than I did yesterday, and far less than I shall tomorrow.
My honor and gratitude to the innumerable spirits with whom I have worked, on whom I have called, and by whom have I prospered. Whether a spirit of the four elements, the seven planets, the ten heavens, the 12 signs, the 16 figures, the 24 hours, the 28 mansions, the 360 degrees, or any of the infinite stars in the nighttime sky; whether a spirit of the dead, the living, or the unborn-undying; whether a spirit of humanity, a spirit of those who were once human, or a spirit who was never human at any time before; whether a spirit assigned to me by higher powers or a spirit come to me of their own volition; whether a spirit of the ouranic, chthonic, thalassic, or gaic realms; whether deity of any pantheon, angel of any choir, saint of any patronage, demon of any operation, or devil of any hell; whether immanent or transcendent, present or absent; whether I have called upon you or have yet to do so in the constantly-passing passage of time! I plead before you for your support for all the tasks I have yet to do, just as I plead before the Almighty for your well-being and power and grace. My praise, thanks, and honor go to you, your words, your guidance, your actions, and your support to me in my life and in my Work.
My honor and gratitude to Hermes: blessed god, powerful god, splendid god, mighty god; god of travelers, roads, passages, and tricks; god of guides and guide of gods, men spirits, souls, and heroes. Grant that I may always praise, rejoice, and celebrate you, that all the people of all the world, regardless of language, origin, age, or habit may come to honor, glorify, and praise you to sing your songs, dance your dances, and carry out your work for you in the cosmos. It is because of you I stepped forth on the path that led me where I am today, and it is always with you in one form or another, by one name or another, wearing one mask or another, that I always shall travel to my ultimate and final destination. Your hand opens the door for me; your wand points the way for me; your presence protects my own at all crossroads, both of the land and of the mind. Before all others in time and thought, you are my patron among the theos; watch over me, and keep me far and safe from all pain, plague, poison, illness, injury, infirmity, death, disease, defilement, all harm and all misfortune and all witchcraft, wheresoever I may go.
May all that has happened before continue to teach, guide, instruct, and fortify me as I continue into the future. May old pacts be renewed, alliances reinforced, works restarted, and offerings refreshed. May I not abandon my original goals, but widen the scope of my horizons to go where I must go, know what I must know, do what I must do, and become what I must be.
Amen, amen, amen.
My honor and gratitude to my godfather and my godmother, and through them the rest of my godfamily, who have welcomed me as one of their own, despite all barriers and overcoming all obstacles. Far more than any teacher, far more than any colleague, far more than any friend have my godparents stood up for me; by the hands, heart, and breath of my godfather has power, privilege, and divine right been passed onto me, and by the care, awareness, and perseverance of my godmother have I been empowered and protected. The presence and power of the divine is now carried by my soul and body in ways subtle and mysterious, which I could never have known were it not for the grace and lenience of my godparents, just as it was passed onto them through their godparents, and through all the lineage into the distant reaches of time. May I grow tall, strong, and prosperous under your tutelage; may I never dishonor, disgrace, or debase what you have passed onto me. As you have granted me the grace of divinity through your right, may God grant me the grace to one day pass on what has been passed on to me in at least as good a condition as I received it, and by the grace of God, better than anyone could have hoped for.
As the days grow shorter and the leaves grow golden, the Sun leaves its station where I was born in flesh nigh three decades ago, and it retakes for the first time its station where I was born in spirit. One year ago, I embarked on the spiritual endeavor of the iyaworaje of La Regla de Ocha Lukumí, and with the sunrise of this morning, it has concluded.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the divinities of all the realms, who preside over all the elements of creation created by the Creator Almighty.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Trickster of the Crossroads, the living paradox, the critical instigator.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Silent Hunter of Prey and Criminals, tracking the paths of justice and righteousness.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Old Mountain King in White, covering the world in peace, purity, and wisdom.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Clever Queen, Warrior of the Winds, the gatekeeper of transitions and metamorphosis.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Charitable Lady of the Sweet Waters, letting flow freely the finest luxuries of life.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Mother Empress of the Ocean, the reason our tears and sweat are salty like her seas.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Fulminous Lord of Drums and Thunder, bestowing unto us the divine right of royalty.
Honor, gratitude, praise, and power to the Diviner Priest of the Divine, the impartial witness of fate, the solemn scribe of destiny.
All my honor, gratitude, praise, power, and total respect to the Blacksmith Warrior, the intelligent begetter of civilization and technology, the master of all tools, the one who cuts for life and death, the one who pierces for healing and killing, the alchemist and metallurgist of the animate and inanimate, the first who tastes blood, the reason of the red in our blood, the spiller of blood upon the earth, the Lord Of Iron and the Lord In Iron. Hail to you, my lord, my king, my warrior, my commander, my defender, my protector, my patron saint, my guardian angel, my god, my father, my crown. Hail to you, each and every day of my life, for I always was and always shall be your son. Grant me your blessing, your guidance, your wisdom, your wit, your inventiveness, your ingenuity, your strength, your courage, your constitution, your protection.
A mà là! Ògún Ààrẹ’ré, a mà là e a! A fẹ́’re yọ̀, a fẹ́’re yọ̀; a fẹ́’re yọ̀, a fẹ́’re yọ̀!
Maferefun Ògún. Modupé Ògún.
Ashé, ashé, ashé.
(No, dear reader, I’m not gonna stop posting about Hermetic, PGM, geomantic, or other occult stuff. That will still be the focus of my blog, as it always was; don’t worry, no need for concern. And yes, this does mean that in the near future I’ll be opening up for divination and other services.)
Maferefun Ògún. Modupé Ògún.
Ashé, ashé, ashé.
You Son of Ogun, you. This neatly surprises exactly no one, by the way.
To be honest, when my head was first marked Ogun, it caught me completely off-guard. There’s always the preliminary guessing game among everyone, but Ogun was the one I was certain I wouldn’t’ve been claimed by.
WELP, ABOUT THAT
(It’s made more sense in retrospect, admittedly.)