Just came across this June 2013 piece I’d never shared. Now seems the time to share it, though I don't know why.
Amidst distractions—fears making my thoughts scurry in multiple directions, people attacking in hopes of distracting themselves with turmoil, forms promising to be essence, delusions masquerading as passions—I light a single candle. Simple altar. The Friend adds a stone.
Can you help me? Do you know another term for Southern Spiritualism? Since the 80s, I've been a practitioner of Southern Spiritualism, an American tradition of African-based practices. I never hear the term used anymore, and no one knows what I'm referring to when I use it, so I'm hoping there's a term more people are familiar with.
I do not know what else to call what I practice, because I did not learn it from a book but from a community. The only other term we had for it back in the 80s was "American voodoo."
Here is a bit of cultural context that might help you identify the tradition:
Imbolc is an introspective time of year. Many "I" words come to mind for me: introverted, inside, inquire. If you do not already opt for a solitary ritual on Brighid's special day and would like to mix things up a bit, I would keep the numbers small. An intimate gathering with a few close pals is in order.
It’s December first…. The symbolic beginning of the winter season, at least in terms of our modern calendar. It is, above all else, the beginning of a season of light.
But why light, we may ask? Why thoughts of light right now, when the days are so short and the nights long and cold? Why thoughts of light at a time of year when the land is muddy and skeletal, when cold rains fall and winds gust and one must bundle against the ice and snow?