Focal Length: 28mm
- You don’t have to achieve great things by the time you’re 25
- You have intrinsic value above and beyond your perceived utility to other people and society at large.
- You don’t have to have sex, or have sex in any way that you find uncomfortable or unpleasant, to keep anyone’s love or good opinion of you. They didn’t love you or think very well of you to start with if they demand it.
- You don’t have to stay with someone who isn’t meeting your emotional or sexual needs because they need you, or you’ve been with them for awhile, or you need to be in a relationship. You need you. Your time is your own and it is finite.
- It’s ok to work at a job you enjoy that doesn’t make you miserable even if it’s not a career and it won’t “lead to anything.”
- Your life is not a narrative. It is not leading to anything, there is no overarching thesis, it does not have themes beyond the usual shared cultural experiences of your time and place. This is ok. It does not mean that your life is without purpose or meaning.
- It’s ok not to like or get along with the vast majority of people you encounter, so long as you afford them the same respect, courtesy and dignity that they afford you.
- Expensive is not always better.
- Failure is temporary if you’re still alive.
- People are both much better and much worse than you’d suspect, but usually not all at once.
- Stop thinking of your future self as a different person and it will be easier to prevent money and health problems.
- Let people help you, lean on them when you need to, and be available to help, but don’t swing too far in either direction. Try to carry your half of the life basket as evenly as you can.
- Set boundaries, and do not be afraid to kick people out of your life who disregard them. You will not end up alone and unloved. People who love you will be ok with your boundaries.
- Your power does not come from money or beauty, but from seeing life steadily and wholly, from a curious and thoughtful mind, and from your ability to say no when you want to, and yes when you want to, and I don’t know when you don’t know.
- There will be bad times, maybe lots of bad times, but not only bad times.
- Love will not heal the wounds in your soul, but love can give you the impetus to begin the work of healing yourself.
- Life might be a long series of starting over, and that’s alright.
- You’re really cool, you’re really beautiful, you’re really special. Really. Not to everyone, but to a lot of someones sometimes.
You set up an altar, one to your ancestors. Somewhere at eye level, clean, preferably NOT in the place you sleep and have sex if possible. If not then veil the altar when not in use with a clean, white, semi transparent, light veil. Also one to Atibon Legba, but I cannot teach you that, you must learn that from someone from within the religion.
(I have spirits who come from the religion, esko who walk with me from the readings of a Mambo, but at the end of the day, I am not in the religion).
Before you do this, you perform an elevation for your ancestors and spirits. Where you clean the surfaces where their shrines will be set up. You clean it with clean water and some soap. Then Holy or Blessed Water. Then you smoke it with a Holy Incense, like Frankincense.
Put down a clean white cloth. A clean new candle. A Cool fresh glass of water. And a Crucifix to represent the power of the crossroads.
Then you light a seven day Novena candle for them. Dressed with Holy Oil. And pray for their elevation, strength, goodness, understanding, and RESPECT for you everyday. That they may be blessed, and that they may in turn bless you. The way I did it was also pray the rosary during those seven days. Five mysteries everyday, according to how I was taught, different days having different mystery associations.
In between each decade, I insert the prayer for their well being and for their good blessings. I light the candle, then the Novena light, then sprinkle three drops of water in a line in front of the altar. The first drop I pray the Our Father. The second drop I pray three Hail Mary. The third drop one Glory Be.
Then I say a prayer to my ancestors, calling for their presence and aid. Then I take a bit of the water from the glass and wetting my hands stroke downwards all around me to cleanse me of spiritual debris prayer for their aid in cleansing me,Then I begin the prayers for their elevation, and also the rosary if that is what I am doing.
What you can do is also literally elevate them. Get some of your favourite prayer books, poetry books, and such that have meaning to you. On the first day, lay down one book on the white altar, and then place on top of it the glass of water, the white candle, and the novena. Then say your prayers. Repeat each day for seven days, adding a new level each day, literally elevating your spirits.
I also add a few drops of Tequila or Vodka to the glass of water, just a few, to give my spirits heat and strength.
On the seventh day, let the Novena candle burn out by itself.
Everyday after your prayers, leave the novena candle to burn for as long as you can and it is safe (DON’T LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED).
When you finish praying, simply thank them for their time, divine for any messages, bid your spirits farewell, and then snuff out the candle, veiling the altar again if that is what you do.
Change the water every 7 days at least, but if it get’s dirty before that, immediately change it. Pour the water outside, on the earth if you can, or in a house plant. Or down the drain, but do not drink it, especially if it looks dirty. Fill again with fresh cool water, from the tap works. Then add the few drops of spirits, or spiritual cologne like Florida water, then place back on the shrine.
You can take out of the tower of books from under the water and such, and place the glass of water and everything else back onto the clean white surface after you finish the 7 day elevation.
Below is how I set up a basic ancestor altar.
+-crucifix.cross symbol at the very back, centre.
O-goblet of water right in front of the cross.
I-Candle in front of the goblet of water.
I also place around this bibles, prayer books, their pictures in the back around the crucifix, an incense holder, plates for offerings of food, additional cups of coffee and shot glasses for alcohol. A small plate for cigars and cigarettes for them (I don’t light it, just place it until it looks dried out and down, then throw out the filter and place the tobacco on the earth. I also make sure to keep some matches for them on the plate).
WHAT YOU GIVE THEM IS THEIRS. DO NOT TAKE IT BACK, LIKE PLATES AND SUCH, AND REUSE FOR OTHER STUFF. AND NEVER PUT PICTURES INVOLVING LIVING PEOPLE ON HERE. THAT IS LIKE PLUNGING SOMEONE ALIVE STRAIGHT INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD, IT IS NOT GOOD.
This is how I practice my spiritualism.
Also, do not do spells on this shrine, let it be a resting space for your spirits. Do not litter the shrine. Do spells on a separate working altar after opening their shrine and calling to them to be present (after building a good relationship of at least a month of prayer and giving them light and water. You will know when the time is right). You can also do spells on the floor in front of the shrine.
Some people add more glasses of water, depending on how many ancestors and spirits begin showing up and making themselves known in dreams and through double checking with other experienced mediums, your own divination, and common sense.
Depending on traditions, there is also different formations for the goblets. But that is something I do not do, nor have the authority to talk about.
This is my practice of spiritualism.
I can’t tell you how to set up an altar to Papa Atibon Legba (who is the Legba you pray to if you wish to begin your journey into Vodou) because I am not a Mambo or active follower of Vodou religions.
You can however go to Manbo Dayila Divine at Sacred Mystics and she should be able to help you more.
I do know that you do not keep Atibon Legba, who is part of the Rada family of spirits, on the same shrine space as the dead.
From my knowledge, there is no “Vodou Book” out there written by anyone from the Religion, that teaches you everything and allows you to practice the traditions fully on your own. There is levels of priesthood, and there are communities around these priesthoods. There are also many traditions, that come from both Africa and Haiti, Dominican Republics, Puerto Rico, the South etc. The knowledge is passed down from older generations to new, often orally. There are ceremonies to be done to help you better in tune with your spirits, that needs the hands of a more experienced practitioners with the proper heat to fully execute.
But we all have spirits, they walk with us regardless of religions. There are many lenses to approach them through.
You begin with your ancestors and spirit guides. You begin with prayer and learning how to pray, which is communication with these spirits and with God/Goddess/the Gods etc. (the oldest ancestors really).
And you begin with reaching out to more experienced practitioners (not me, not a Vodouisant, despite past things I may have said, I apologize for them, they were not true and came out of the wrong place).
-Stories and Conjure