Posts Tagged ‘God’

Democracy means that people can say what they want to. All the people. It means that they can vote as they wish. All the people. It means that they can worship God in any way they feel right, and that includes Christians and Jews and voodoo doctors as well.
Dalton Trumbo

This week, we are talking to community member Belfazaar Ashantison. Zaar, as he might be better known to the majority of the community, has been involved in the Vampire Community, both offline and online, for many years – much longer than this writer. He was one of the first people I met when joining the community – and he is one I have stayed in contact with, through various groups, over those years. One of the few lucky enough to live his life openly, he talks with us this week about his spiritual path.

Hello and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I know that religion is a very personal topic, one that many of us are not willing to discuss with others. It is especially difficult to discuss with those outside our respective religious circles as not everyone is open to beliefs other than their own.

Will you please start us off by explaining your vampirism? Are you sang or psi?

–Thank you. I am a sanguinary vampire who believes that our condition is a physiological one. I’ve seen too much “evidence” to support this belief.

GYP: Thank you! And what faith do you follow?
BA: I am Vodouisant. A Voodoo practitioner. I am fully initiated in New Orleans style of Voodoo and working on my Haitian initiations through Voodoo Authentica, the shop/family that I’ve joined with and my God Mother, Mama Lola.

GYP: I have heard Voodoo is very similar to Catholicism. Is this because there are revered Saints in both religions, or are there other similarities?
BA: New Orleans style of Voodoo, as with many of the offshoots of Ifa/Vodun traditions, has incorporated Catholicism into its core beliefs… Both of the religions believe that there is only one God. Both also believe that this God uses intermediaries to aid the daily lives of the believers. In Catholicism, you have the Angels and the Saints to contend with. In New Orleans Voodoo, you have the Orisha and Loa…

GYP: Do you attend regular services?
BA: I host regular ceremonies in my home which are open to friends, family, House members and “visiting dignitaries. In Voodoo/Vodou, each house has its own way of doing things, though several similarities in their approach. Such as Ellegua/Papa Legba being saluted first in EVERY ceremony… However, we do come together on the “High Holy Days” which are termed “Fetes”

GYP: I see different spellings of Voodoo, both used here and across the Internet. Is this similar to the Vampire/Vampyre debate, or does each spelling denote a certain path within the religion?
BA: Voodoo tends to be the Americanized version of the spelling and denotes American practitioners and heritage, where Vodou is the Haitian spelling and denotes a Haitian heritage.

Of the offshoots of the original African traditions that came by way of the slave trade through the Caribean, each has its own heritage, system of advancement and stories of the Orisha and Loa…

GYP: How long have you followed this particular path?
BA: I’ve been a practitioner of Voodoo/Vodou for 15 years but only initiated for 11 years. It is my desire to work my hardest, achieve Houngan status in Haitian Vodou, and truly begin to help those in need…

GYP: What is Houngan status?
BA: Houngan is the Priest of the religion. To make it to this status means a person has dedicated themselves to the service of Spirit… In New Orleans style of Voodoo, I am Houngan though I only say that I am Vodouisant (a practitioner), I am not really going lay claim to it until I have fully initiated in the Haitian traditions with my Godmother, Mama Lola… It is truly my hearts desire to follow this path to its fruition…

GYP: When you say that you want to “truly begin to help those in need”, are you referring to your charitable works via NOVA (New Orleans Vampire Association), or do you mean as a mentor for those interested in following the Voodoo path?
BA: It is in my heart to help people, period… I feel that when I am fully initiated in Haitian Vodou as well as being initiated in New Orleans style Voodoo, it will further that aim and help me focus more on my goals, even with NOVA..

GYP: Have you ever experienced anything that might have shaken your faith, or caused you to doubt?
BA: Not stating this to down Christianity, but when I was a straight forward Christian, I saw things which struck down my faith rather regularly. Since expanding my conscious conception of “God” through my Voodoo/Vodou path, I’ve never once doubted the power behind my faith. “God” is real to me like he has never been before.

GYP: Do you ever feel that your vampiric needs are contrary to the teachings of your religion?
BA: In more than a decade of solid practice, I have yet to run into anything that would be contradictory to the physiological condition of vampirism in the teachings of Voodoo/Vodou.

GYP: Do you incorporate your religion into your vampirism? Do you incorporate your vampirism into your religion?
BA: To answer both of these questions, I will simply state what I have stated for several years. My Spiritual Path and my physiological condition do not cross each other’s paths in any other way than they have mutually affected/effected the way in which I draw energy. Because of my metaphysical path, I can hone in on that which the blood contains which I need. Because of my physiological condition, I found better ways to focus the energies I need for my metaphysical path. They have complimented and augmented each other, but other than this, they do NOT cross…

GYP: Finally… We all know there is loads of misinformation on the Internet about any religion that might be considered a “fringe” religion, especially one that is as misunderstood as Voodoo (no doubt, thanks to fiction and the media, much like Vampirism). Do you have any websites that you recommend for those truly interested in learning more about the path, or would you recommend they visit a practitioner?
BA: In all honesty, there is not one website that I would suggest one check out… There ARE, however, books that I would suggest to help the person who is truly interested in learning…

“Jambalaya” by Luisah Teish
“Divine Horsemen” by Maya Deren
“Tell My Horse” by Zora Neale Hurston
“Mama Lola” by Karen McCarthy Brown

These books, especially Louisah’s will give the reader a better view of what Voodoo/Vodou truly is and allow them the chance to decide for themselves whether this path is the correct one for them…

There are a few good CDs out there with Voodoo music on them as well…

“Rhythms of Rapture”
“Angels in the Mirror”
“Bwa Kaymon”

Each carries a bit of knowledge that would be appropriate for the Vodouisant…

Voodoo Authentica endeavors to answer any questions that comes our way… People needing advice or wanting to ask questions about Voodoo or Haitian Vodou can contact us at voodooshop1@cox.net

Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” – Voltaire

For many humans, faith is the strongest motivating factor in their life. We all have faith – we have faith that tomorrow will come, faith that we will wake up when that tomorrow comes, and faith that things we cannot see are there. When asked about faith, many do not stop to think beyond their religious beliefs, but it really is more than that. This is especially true for those of us within the Real Vampire Community – we have faith that we are not really crazy; that someday, science will be able to explain why we need this additional something from outside of ourselves. Some within the community even have faith that one day; perhaps soon, there will be a cure for our needs.

Let me preface this interview with the following: I believe that no religious opinion is wrong – for the person who holds that belief. We all walk our path differently, be it as vampire, kin, friend, lover, or believer. Those of us on the GraveYard Press staff are not here to belittle anyone for their beliefs or non-beliefs. What we are interested in here, is just learning more about those within our community. And we want to know how our personal beliefs tie in with the community: how we interact with others, how we approach our needs, and how we incorporate our faith into our needs, or vice versa. We do hope that you will enjoy this series of interviews and tune in as each one is posted…

Our first guest is Azraelina Sahjaza, https://www.facebook.com/LadyAzraelinaSahjaza.

Hello and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I know that religion is a very personal topic, one that many of us are not willing to discuss with others. It is especially difficult to discuss with those outside our respective religious circles as not everyone is open to beliefs other than their own.

GYP: Will you please start us off by explaining your vampirism? Are you sang or psi?
AS: I am a Necro-Vampire; I feed off the necromantic energy in the cemetery from earth bound spirits with the permission of my angel Azrael, the angel of death. So I would have to call myself Psi.

GYP: Do you only feed from necromantic energies in cemeteries?
AS: Yes. My feeding is from necromantic energy in the cemetery. I can go into a cemetery feeling tired and drained and after coming out, I feel alive again. It is like a form of being revived from a long, sluggish sleep. The Spirits in the cemetery provide me with {Spiritual energy} that I cannot get from living people. If I go to a club and feed off the energy there, I come back home with very bad headaches that last for days. At times I do crave the blood of meat, like a steak cooked medium rare, or raw roast beef; and at times that can be used as a replacement source if I do not go to the cemetery, but it is not the same as the Necro-energy that I get in the cemetery. That is much more powerful.

GYP: Thank you! And what faith do you follow?
AS: I am a Roman Catholic

GYP: Not everyone is familiar with Roman Catholicism, so can you explain a little about it to us? Especially how it might differ from or compare to “plain old” Catholicism.
AS: The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church refers to Rome. The term Catholic Church means “Universal”. There are other churches that call themselves “Catholic” but are distinct from the church that is usually considered the Catholic Church (that is, the church led by the pope at the Vatican). The term “Roman Catholic” may be used to distinguish this church from the other separate churches (such as the Old Catholic Church).

Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination of the Christian religion. According to New World Encyclopedia, there are 1.1 billion Roman Catholics on the planet. While Roman Catholics are the largest group of Christians, slightly less than half of all Christians are Protestant, or Evangelical. The Greek Orthodox is also Catholic, but not Roman Catholic.

GYP: Do you attend regular services?
AS: Yes I do, and as often as I can. Sometimes I attend weekly; sometimes I attend a few times a week.

GYP: How long have you followed this particular path?
AS: This is the religion that I was baptized in, so I have been a practicing Roman Catholic all of my life. But I also practice the Religion of Spiritualism, as I am drawn to the Spirits of the dead, and I have a very strong belief in life after death and an interest in developing my mediumship.

GYP: Have you ever experienced anything that might have shaken your faith, or caused you to doubt?
AS: The answer to that is yes, many times I struggle with the “what if” concept, suppose there is nothing after death?? Suppose Death is the end?? Suppose I will never see my deceased parents again?? I have prayed to God and have not gotten any answer and I ask myself why?? These things do put doubts in my mind: that perhaps nothing exists! That maybe I was taught wrong. That question is always in the back of my mind, I don’t believe that anyone can have 100% solid faith at all times. But when I feel that way I pray about it, meditate on it, and I read and search for answers. And the answers are deep inside of me, meaning that I must go on several things: my instincts, my Intuition which is an inner knowing if something is real or it isn’t? And also signs from the Universe, sometimes God allows certain things to happen to test our faith and see how strong we are. Then he can send people to give us signs and messages when we pray, or little things happen that maybe we say are just a coincidence when in fact they are signs from God showing us how to find our answers to life’s questions. Sometimes people are just too caught up in their own lives or in their own world and cannot recognize the signs that God does send to them. But what always brings me back to my faith is when I look at the universe, the stars, the moon, the planets, people, animals, nature I know this had to be created by a Supreme being, as I don’t believe in the big bang theory that this just appeared out of thin air, that is just not logical for me. And also to not believe, I would lose my sanity as the thought of ceasing to exist without an afterlife is a horrible thought for me. And Jesus himself said if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains and do even greater works than I, and that alone chases away any doubts that I may have about my faith.

GYP: Do you ever feel that your vampiric needs are contrary to the teachings of your religion?
AS: No I don’t for the simple reason the Catholics speak to the dead all the time when they invoke mother Mary and the Saints to intercede on their behalf for their personal problems. I only do what is natural I feed from the energy from the spirits as I am a Necro-Vamp.

GYP: Do you incorporate your religion into your vampirism?
AS: No I see Vampirism and Religion as two different things. Being a Vampire is a condition of the soul, a condition that I was born with and had No choice in the matter, Religion is a belief system that we have in a specific God or Deity that we pray to or worship.

GYP: You mention your angel, Azrael. Do you feel that Azrael is an angel assigned to you, like a guardian? Did Azrael come to you, or did you seek him out?
AS: Yes Azrael has been with me since birth, I do believe that he is an assigned angel to me, as we all have our guardian angels and demons that are assigned to us at birth and they remain with us up until death.

GYP: Finally, you mention being drawn to the spirits of the dead. Do you perform any rituals to communicate with these spirits?
AS: Yes I am in the process of developing my mediumship, I go to cemeteries and I do commune with these undead spirits, I go to the grave sites, sit down offer them some food, drink then I begin to meditate. I ask them many questions and I tell them things about me. Generally after when I come home in the evening at night when I am sleeping these same spirits will commune with me via dreams. Sometimes they even summon me to go to the cemetery, as many times the dead do need a visit from the living. Many of these spirits are forgotten souls that family doesn’t visit anymore. And I generally serve the dead, as I am an Azraelite, one who works with Azrael and one who spends as much time as possible in the cemetery as this is my calling.

Goddess of Nature

Posted: Thursday, 24 November, 2011 by deacongray in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Goddess Of Nature.

A Brisk Cool Breeze Stirs The Auburn Leaves,

Teardrops Fall As A Mother Grieves, Unhappy Clouds Go Rolling By As If To Hurry Before They Cry……. But Their Haste Is In Vain, Tears Can Not Be Held Back…..And Fall Like Rain.

And As If In A Final Gesture Goodbye To Summer……. Waves The Brittle Branches Of The Trees, Yielding To The Whim Of The North Wind, And All Shades Of Golden Brown Sways And Bends.

It Is An Exotic Dance Of Nature So Pleasing And Sweet…… Where Each Year She Unties Her Dress And Lets It Fall To Her Feet. Beautiful Are Each Seasons Of The Earth And All Unique, To Remind Us Of Death And Rebirth.

The Wind Blowing Through The Trees Can Calm My Soul And Bring Me To My Knees, The Elusive Whirl Winds Of Fall Can Carry Away The Sadness, And Return My Smile And Mirth. ~Contesa

We Are All Goddesses Of Nature, Of Death And Rebirth, We Are The Creative Force, We Are The Strong…. And The Enduring.

Permission To Reprint Granted With Full Credit Given The Author: Contesa Yelizaveta Zboril Copyrighted 2010

This was written by Contessa Yelizaveta Zboril, a member of the community who hosts a nightly radio program, Voice of the Dragon at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the_voice_of_the_dragon.

Please, stop by for a listen; call in!