Once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of a New Year, and we are greeted once more at the door by Papa Legba. Each year, without fail, Legba stands at the doorway at midnight, and provides the means for a new beginning, a fresh start, and a chance to improve on all that has gone before. Not everything is to be left behind, because even a new start builds on what has gone before. A child born from the womb, completely new to the world, is the continuation of what has occurred for the last 9 moths within it’s mothers womb, and each year, Legba welcomes us to the continuation of the 12 moths before, as each year builds on the previous, yet allowing us to let go of all that might hold us back.
It is in this spirit that we conduct the reading for New Zealand each year, and have since we were first asked to do so by the New Zealand Herald. This year, as we look at the reading and all that it represents we recognise that last year was particularly emotional. We underwent a general election in New Zealand, and even though we did not achieve a change in government, we saw that there are still things that need to be learned and understood about MMP. For the first time since it’s adoption as the governmental style in New Zealand, one party has the strength of numbers to govern alone, and for many, that was a new experience, having never voted in a non-MMP election before. It has also meant that our rather liberal country has done some rather un-liberal things, we have sold off state assets in a way in which they can not be brought back, we have done immense damage to our Social Welfare system, we have a larger national deficit than most people are able to recall by living memory, and we are on the verge of becoming something politically that we might not wish to be remembered for, especially as the TPPA looms over our head. It is with this knowledge, and the door wide open that we evaluated the divination of the year, and so if it seems somewhat politically heavy this year, please excuse us, yet this is what the spirits revealed, and so we pass it own in good conscience.
Each year, we see two lwa step forward to rule over the year for us. These lwa stand with us throughout the year, and by correctly petitioning them, praying with them, and following their advice, these spirits will generally ensure that we reap all the potential that the year ahead has. This year we are happy to see Met Agwe Tawoyo returning to assist in governing the year, however the primary guardian of 2015 is the Spirit of the Crossroads, Met Kalfou.
The presence of Met Kalfou as the leader of the year gives us the indication that this will be a magical year, and a great year to effect change. All things pass through the crossroads, and so all things pass through Met Kalfou, so simple petitions to him this year will bring about positive results, so long as basic reglemen is followed. It us usually recommended that people do not work with Met Kalfou without the guidance of a Houngan or Mambo, however, as the ruler of the year we have given some suggestions below which may assist you in making small offerings or petitions to this lwa to help you achieve the most from this year.
Met Kalfou is best honoured at the crossroads, and to begin the year, we wold suggest putting together a small basket of offerings. Met Kalfou takes items in values of 4, being reflective of the 4 roads which culminate in the crossroads. Put together in a small paper bag an offer of 4 cigars, 4 small bottles of rum [the size you would get at a hotel minibar, these are pretty easy to get at your local liquor store], 4 gold coins [I like to give him 3 $2 and 1 $1 which makes $7 as odd numbers are best when giving money to the spirits], a small bouquet of flowers, 4 red apples, and 4 small charms which represent luck, such as a horseshoe, four leaf clover, bag of money, an anchor, anything that represents luck. I use small metal charms that can be obtained from most bead stores for this.
Take this offering to the crossroads. When you get there, whisper your prayers for a bountiful successful year into the paper bag and close it up, folding it down at least 4 times. Pleas this bag on the each of the crossroads, drop three copper coins [10c here in New Zealand], one in the name of the Father, the second in the name of the Son, and the third in the name of the Holy Spirit, and walk away safe in the knowledge that Met Kalfou has received your offering.
You may also choose to make an offering to Met Agwe Tawoyo. While the weather is still beautiful, take a small basket and decorate it in blue and white. Line it with satin and ribbons and make it beautiful. In the centre of this basket lay a bottle of white wine for Met Agwe. Cut up watery fruits, such as watermelon, rock melon, paw paw, and other other melons and put them in the basket. Find a small cake decorated in nautical themes with blue and white icing and place a piece of this into the basket as well. Finally take some white flowers and decorate the basket with these. Take the entire offering to the beach, and there light a white and blue candle. Sing songs to Met Agwe if you know them, and if not, just speak to them from the heart, make this simple offering asking for a blessed year from Met Agwe, and if you like you can write him a letter to include with the basket. When you are done talking, carry the basket out into the sea, as far as you can, and then set it adrift out for Met Agwe.
It’s important this year not to let yourself get despondent if things aren’t going to plan right away. 2015 is a year of us being in the cross roads and a year where we need to make decisions and changes to allow us to grow and move forward.
January poses a challenge and it is not a good time to start new ventures as there will be obstacles in front of us. It is a month where it is vital for us to take stock and plan. If we come across one road that is blocked to us, then we need to research and find an alternate route. One of the barriers will be the weather and we can expect storms later in January that will reck havoc in our agricultural regions as well as in our cities.
February with this wild weather, this month we really do need to take stock and acknowledge the reality of climate change as droughts are likely to follow the storms of January. It is important not to buy into a fatalistic feeling of helplessness or inevitability. We need to seize the fact that there is still potential for positive change. We need to as a country develop policies that are inline with the recommendations of many scientists, take advantage of new technologies and ways of doing things; instead of being limited by our sense of feeling trapped in our current situation.
March comes with a sense of melancholy, sorrow and loss. An influential person will die, possibly before their time as it is like the world has stood still. It is like we need to be shaken back to reality.
April is a positive month where we move forward. Like March it is also a month of internalisation, but instead of the emotion of melancholy, it is a month of personal growth and healing. April almost seems like the real start of the year, a time to focus on health, exercise and achieving balance. It is a time of commitment to ourselves and those around us. A time when the research and planning of the first two months can be sealed and put into action. It can be a time of formalising existing relationships or starting new ones.
May builds on this foundation and is a month of action and progress. Things won’t necessarily move fast as we will want them. We are a culture of instant gratification and just because May is not a month of things happening instantly, it doesn’t mean things are not moving forward. This is one time when we need to look back to actually see how far we have come.
May is also the Month of our Blessed Mother, and throughout this month we recommend the praying of the rosary each day, or at least weekly. As we are called this month to be more aware of our community, perhaps organising a small group of people to come together to pray to our blessed Mother for healing for the world, for the resolution to war and famine, and her aid to know the right thing when it comes to political issues, such as the TPP and perhaps asking her intercession on that matter to.
June is a milestone month and will be the month when there is a decision on the TPPA and TTIP agreements. With a lot of hard work and a lot of protest around the world, it looks like we can celebrate a victory for citizens over corporations as these agreements are rejected.
July will be like a new beginning. 2015 is a year where humanity is at the crossroads and this will be a pivotal month in that process. A time of fire, a time of rest/rejuvenation and a time where we move out into the world.
August is more mundane and it seems winter is dragging. Remember that with all seasons things are happening, under the snow the daffodils are starting to grow…
September heralds the start of spring. The change in season gives us a change in perspective. It is a time to focus on relationships. Relationships go through all sorts of changes from the flush of new love to the mundane when the love hormones calm down. It is important to take stock and realise that as the year goes through different seasons, so too do relationships. We need to look at ways to enliven what we have instead of losing sight of love when it changes over time.
October is a grounding month. We need to acknowledge that a lot of work needs to be done to set things right globally regarding peace, economics and the environment. We need to acknowledge our connectedness and that while our own homes may be a nice little paradise, there is a world outside that needs to be cared for as the survival of our little insulated lives depends on it. We cannot deny that our country is not the clean green paradise we believe it to be and we cannot deny the consequences of our actions beyond our shores.
November is a time of reflection. We need to see where we have come from, to learn about and from our ancestors. We are at a crossroads in our life and in our civilization. Our actions have consequences.
December is all about finding our place in the world. We need to come out of the shadows and see that we have a strong foundation and have a lot to give.
2015 is a profound year of potentially positive change. It is a year of connectedness, of us with our global community and of us and our environment. Our artifacts and creativity can create a path where we move in harmony and minimize harm to our world, or we can destroy what we have. We are at a crossroads, fellow humanity, the environment and most importantly the sea need to be cared for as much as we care for ourselves.
– Houngan Alistair