Monday, on Martin Luther King day, as I was finishing the funerary rituals for my departed neighbor, my mother suggested something. That we visit my great aunt. It’s been years since I saw her. My great aunt lives in this nice, low income retirement community. I enjoyed spending time with her and seeing her apartment.
Including her decorations. But Goddamn that places is small as hell. It was slightly bigger than my efficiency from 2020-2021 but even even then not by much. It was still nice though. I snapped a few pictures for the blog.
Here we are in one part of her common room
I was loving the lights in this house
Watching her soaps
I loved this bad ass jade Buddha and the Chinese Guardian Lions. People often mistake these for “dogs”. And people in the West call them “foo dogs” which is a Western invention. I commented on how much I loved them and she gave them to me. Apparently, she never wanted them (she’s a non-denominational Christian).
She only kept them because her elderly neighbor died and bequeathed them to her. She doesn’t like non Christian faiths. But I love that she showed respect. That she’s so loving that despite her beliefs, she set hers aside. And not only kept it in that neighbor’s memory, but gave them a place of honor.
Even years after that neighbor had died.
I can count the number of Christians who would do that on one hand. When she found out my spirituality is different, and saw my interest, she just gave them to me. She knew it would be better with me than with anyone else. There was an issue with it though. But I will talk about that in my next blog.
I will say this though : for years I have been trying to get a Buddha and two Guardian Lions. But everytime I tried, I kept seemingly getting shut down. Either I didn’t have the money or there just wasn’t any place to get them. I tried for the regular metal and wood versions. But these jade versions are awesome.
As my former mentor once told me : things happen when they are meant to.
We spent hours talking with my great aunt and catching up. Far from being bored like I am with some other relatives, we told stories. We talked about everything and anything.
We admired her decorations
And of course she made some Café Cubano. Besides my mother’s it was the best damn coffee I have ever had. I only like Spanish coffee. I drank American coffee maybe twice and almost choked.
(No offense everyone)
I can’t remember the last time I felt so stress free. You could feel the love that permeates this home. We were told by a neighbor that she was sad and depressed in the morning. Her siblings (including my grandma) are all dead. And almost no one from among her children and grandchildren visit her.
Besides us, only my uncle visits her and brings her food. He showed up with me, my mother, and my sister. She invited us all to dinner as the daylight hours started to die away into the evening. We went to Denny’s and had ourselves some good food. I actually couldn’t finish eating.
Which is rare for me. I love food. I wanted to get desert but I have to lose weight. And this was already a deviation from my diet. Then we took her home.
I was actually celebrating several holidays before we went to her. And one of them was my weekly road opener ritual with Elegua. The others were a small offering for the Goddess Concordia. A celebration of Martin Luther King as a divine spirit and protector of all people. The Zuuruku Nichi (Ancestors at the New Year).
And it was also the end of the Hōonkō of the Jodo Shinsu Buddhist sect. Celebrating its founding member Shinran Shonin. And finally it was my monthly feast of the Noumenia. Specifically the feast of Agathos Daimon. Most of these celebrations have to do with ancestors.
Or divine protectors of people or of places.
I had not started the Agathos Daimon ritual yet. So I began the ritual in her home. I cleansed my hands with Lustral water I made on the spot. And gave a simple libation to Hestia in her kitchen. This was so Hestia could watch over her home and protect her.
And from that moment on my rituals and offerings would be to help her as well. This was to extend protection and blessings to her. There’s a reason I did this. But I will write about that in my next blog. Before we came home, I took all of left overs from everyone’s plate at Denny’s.
My sister’s left over eggs, bacon, and hash browns. My mother’s last pieces of stake and vegetables. My onion rings left and over piece of sandwich. And my great aunt’s last piece of chocolate chip cookie skillet. I just put all of them together.
I actually have two separate shrines for the Agathos Daimon ritual. A shrine for the dead that I have outside for my ancestors. And another shrine for the God Agathos Daimon and the other Gods. Plus the heroes and all non human spirit guides, and the common dead. I separated the large mass of food which I re-heated into two portions.
Even in half, it was a huge mass of food. I felt their satisfaction when the food touched the large flat stones I use for as their plates. I had charged the food with prayers first. For the Gods to give us their blessings. But as always, I pray for them to charge the food with their own pure divinity.
They eat the prayers and the dead and other spirits feed on the positive energy of the Gods. So the spirits can feed and become stronger, better, more enlightened. I came back inside my house. And I washed with Lustral Water (as you should always do when working with the dead). And then I burnt a candle to Hestia and did a final prayer my Temple does.
Before coming home, she gave us more gifts. A solar powered night lantern. A traditional lantern for a candle with a half burnt candle already. She even gave my mother a vase for her own flowers at home. We were supposed to leave quickly.
But after my sister and uncle left, my mother and I stayed for a few minutes longer. We told some more funny stories about my grandmother. And our trip around Florida when I was younger. Over all it was a good day. And I came home with some extra friends,