Happy New Year! 2016 dawned in New Zealand a beautiful day, a day so clear and bright that with the assistance of God and the Lwa the potential for the year ahead was clear. With the Christmas Baths freshly behind us, and the bright and glorious day ahead, what better moment was there to call upon the spirits to show us the potential for the year ahead.
Just as we have done since 2013, Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale has called on Papa Legba to open the gates for us, to give us insight for ourselves, for the country and for the world. Before we begin the reading, we find ourselves in a position to reflect upon the reading of the previous year, and see how that has effected and manifested in our lives. Last year was ruled by Met Kalfou and Met Agwe, and there we certainly experienced them in force. Right up until the end of the year, Met Agwe made his presence known, through the manifestations of water related incidences. Met Kalfou the spirit of luck and change brought both of those last year, but as our world is currently in such a state of turmoil, with issues like the TPPA and TPPI effecting over half of the world, with political protests and wars dominating our News and our World, one can expect that this year will will also be hot. And so we ask Legba, the gatekeeper to open the gate to the Spirits to see what we can expect.
Orientation of the Year: The year ahead in general is a good one, coming with Luck, but also with Force.
Primary Lwa Ruling 2016: The year is ruled by Ogou Feray
Assisting Lwa 2016: Ogou Feray is assisted this year by Erzulie Dantor and Danballa la Flambeau.
Meaning: This is going to be a very active year, one can not expect a lot of down time, but would be better off embracing a spirit of activity.
We are once again turning the first page of our new calendars; a time when we start the new year with good intentions after the excesses of the festive season where we are caught in the grip of a commercialized time of present buying and over indulging. This reading while done in New Zealand is global as we cannot escape how we are all interconnected and countries are artificial boundaries that cannot divorce us from the fact we are on this planet together. Unrest and disasters in one place send ripples across our borders and affect everyone.
2016 will be a hot year and is guided by the husband and wife team of Ogou Feray and Erzulie Dantor, along with Danballa La Fambeau. Following on from 2015 where Met Kalfou was the primary guardian for the year, there will be a series of crossroads encountered throughout the year; May, August and November. On the global arena, November will probably be the biggest crossroad we have as that is when the USA presidential elections occur.
2016 is a year where you need to trust yourself and also listen to your elders. It is also a year of justice where the balance of power is redressed.
January is typically seen as a beginning, but this year January is actually a time of completion as well as a new start. As you move into the year it is important to make true the promises you made in 2015. Things need to be completed otherwise they will trip you up and block you from moving on. It is only through honouring your word that you can show your integrity, earn trust and show respect for others. As a soldier Ogou Feray is all about integrity and honour, qualities that are essential for success in all that we do throughout the year.
February will be a month of setting down foundations and renewing commitments. Haitian Vodou is also called Sevi Lwa as it is a religion of service. While Sevi Lwa is something we must do on a daily basis, February is a month where we can all focus in sitting down and developing our relationships with the lwa. Relationships are a two way street and through service and spending time with our lwa there is much they can give us. For those who are not Vodouissiant, February is about ensuring your relationships are healthy, based on open and honest communication.
March will be a hot month, both for the southern and northern hemispheres. It is a month where our eyes will be opened to the realities of climate change and the need to be good stewards of our environment as opposed to consuming with no regard for the future or others. Water is life and we can no longer ignore its quality and management. Danballa La Flambeau is associated with wisdom and knowledge and in March it will like a hot red sun is illuminating the world so we can no longer ignore reality. Danballa La Flambeau is a hard worker and more aggressive than his Rada counterpart. He will make sure that there are positive outcomes this year where it matters. Key months where his influence can be felt will be March, July and November. He is saluted with red wine and a red or green mushwa.
In April we will farewell a prominent figure, this person has touched many and done a lot for humanity. While there will be much grieving, we are heartened by how their legacy lives on. As individuals, our actions are what honour the memory of those who have passed and it is our actions as individuals that ensure their legacy continues.
May is a month where we will feel like relaxing, however Ogou Feray calls for us to stayed focused and moving towards our goals. This is one of the crossroad months and being focused is essential to head along the path that brings a positive outcome.
June being the middle of the year is a month where we have the risk of becoming despondent, of looking too inward. It is a month where Feray will need to shake us out of ennui.
July is a month of transition where a veil will be lifted and truths will be revealed. Nothing will be hidden under the full light of the sun. We will regain focus and move forward and get back on task. This is also the month where we celebrate Fet Feray.
August is the second crossroad month; the floodgates will open. Water is a powerful force and has the potential for destruction. Water is also essential for life and just like the floods in Egypt, we need the opportunities of this month to set in motion the potential gains for the coming months.
September will be a month of work and also maintaining your protections. There always needs to be groundwork on which anything of value is built. Ogou Feray and Erzulie Dantor are hard working lwa, so be assured that they will have your back so you can move forward with confidence.
October is almost like the end of another season or cycle. There is a risk of becoming despondent and it is an important time to reflect on how far you have come and refocus on where you need to be. Too often we just see that we are not where we want to be and feel like giving up. Acknowledge your successes and realize that while you seem to be resting; this is not your destination and that you need to keep moving. Life is mundane and Erzulie Dantor would have known that. She worked long hours at the market, walking there, setting up her stall, selling goods and then taking down her stall and going home. As a solo mother, she worked hard to provide for her child; and all the time she kept focus on her goal.
November, much like March and July; will be a month of clear vision and insight. You are starting to see the fruits of your efforts through the year. It is a time of consolidation and regeneration. Tying in with Fet Guede, this is a time where we acknowledge or ancestors and those who have gone before us. We can celebrate their lives and achievements as opposed to mourning their loss. While October was like melancholy and sadness; November is about being held up by our ancestors; we are elevated as we elevate them. Following on from the victory by Trudeau in Canada, there will be fresh hope for the USA and the world with the new president in November 2016.
December leaves us in a stronger position to where we were last year. It is a time to look back on the year and see how far we have come, both as individuals, as a country and as a world.
Lape Bondye avek nou
Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan
aka Houngan Alistair