originally published in The Sunday Stew 9/13/15
As magical people we work with spirits. Ancestors, guides, angels, demons. The people who choose Santeria have their Orishas and/or Saints. The people involved in Vodou utilize and draw on the Loa. In Hoodoo it’s also Saints, Expedite, La Madama, Spirit of Blackhawk. Dianic love their Goddesses. Wiccans venerate and work with many Gods and Goddesses. There are Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu.
Voodoo, specific to New Orleans, loves Marie Laveau, and there were even Voodoo Queens before her. The names Dr. John, Annie Christmas are part of Voodoo lore too. I have a friend who works with Pazuzu, so do I. That’s one of the things that connected us. An Assyrian and Babylonian god of the first millennium BC who represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms, he drives and frightens away other evil spirits, therefore protecting humans against misfortunes. Who can’t use a little of that. I have another friend who honors and spreads the word and has made Harriet Tubman, a woman who led enslaved people to freedom along the Underground Railroad, as an honorable spirit to work with in his tradition. South of the border, has risen a whole following of Santa Muerte, and in my area Tijuana has an entire cemetery shrine to Juan Soldado, a man unjustly accused.
Are we all so different, or do we all have the use of guides in common? In Ceremonial and High Magick there is summoning, evocation, invocation, calling upon entities. Whether conjuring, or connecting with the divine, or prayer, the spirit realm is brought to the foreground in our lives in unique and personal approaches. Some are traditional, and some are outside the box if you will. Chaos magic
is highly individual and borrows from all belief systems and uses whatever god suits their current paradigm and discard it when necessary. The world is your oyster.
Whether servitor, guide, spirit or friend, it is said that the spirits pick us, not the other way around. I believe this to be true, and so I introduce Zuni.
Yes, scary to some, on Tuesday March 04 1975, ABC television premiered Trilogy of Terror and what was to become a very popular, iconic film. Zuni , a fetish doll, crafted in the form of a misshapen aboriginal warrior equipped with razor sharp teeth and a spear was born. A scroll comes with the doll, claiming that he contains the actual spirit of a Zuni hunter named “He Who Kills”, and that the gold chain adorning the doll keeps the spirit trapped within. He is a protector, empowers, and cuts and clears any obstacle. He is one of our family’s totems and adorns the fireplace mantle. He was a gift to me, from hubby and even came with his own little scrolled history paper of authenticity and lore.
Our relationship has evolved over time. Like in the movie, he detests luggage. It is an odd fact, but whenever luggage is left in the living room before a trip, that piece has either been torn, damaged, or lost on the trip. We have learned to keep luggage in other rooms. Another odd fact, we have always had weird issues with every oven since his arrival into the family. In the movie, the oven was also a trap he hated. In the movie, Karen Black/Amelia gets cut on her ankle and right leg first. I have a scar on mine, that was obtained right before the gifting of him to me. It is a white, colorless dime size circle that I received on a boat in Zambia. My initiation as friend? When I had him a while I measured him against that scar and found that it was perfectly aligned with his little spear and the exact height that he was. Weird but true. In truth Zuni’s are linked with New Mexico. But our Zuni, from the movie, as originally written, was the Spirit of an aboriginal warrior.
There are different theories but the Aboriginal people are thought to have arrived in Australia from south-eastern Asia some time between 60,000 and 35,000 years ago. They were very creative people (and still are) and expressed their everyday life and religion in arts, song and dance. Their spiritual songs often tell about Dreamtime’s ancestors. Maybe I had an ancestor from way back then, who knows. I am happy to take on the warrior spirit in the face of challenge. Good medicine for anyone.