Advertisement

The Baron and the Ghedes (Papa Gede)

topic posted Thu, October 21, 2010 - 11:25 AM by 
Share/Save/Bookmark
Here’s some research/links/excerpts about Baron Samedi, Maman Brigitte, and the Ghedes...



Noninitiates’ Service for the Baron:

www.rootswithoutend.org/empori...rv.html



GHEDE

Ghede is the eternal figure in black, controlling the eternal crossroads at which everyone must someday cross over. His symbol is the cross upon a tomb.

Ghede is sort of to the underworld or afterlife what Legba is to life-- he who controls access. Ghede controls access to everything in the afterlife.

Ghede is also god of eroticism. Eroticism is beyond good and evil since it is inevitable. Ghede is neither delighted by eroticism, and certainly not shamed by it. If anything Ghede is amused by the universal presence of eroticism and humans' constant need to pretend that it is other than what it is.

When Ghede mounts someone he often singles out people who pretend to be aloof from eroticism. He ridicules them, embarrasses them, exposes them (in more ways than one.) He is especially hard on whites since they often have the puritanical sexual attitudes of western culture.

Ghede is also often called BARON SAMEDI. In this aspect he is DEATH.

He is the keeper of the cemetery and the primary contact with the dead. Anyone who would seek contact with the dead must first contact and solicit Ghede/Baron Samedi in the same way that Legba is contacted to cross over to the spirit world.

Ghede has a ravenous appetite for food and drink and doesn't mind manifesting them when he mounts someone.

Ghede is a clown, an interrupter, a coarse fellow. But he is history too. As keeper of the cemetery he has intimate contact with the dead. He knows what their plans were, what's going on in families, what the connections of things are. And he is quite generous with his information. Even when he is clowning or performing his erotic antics, if you can pull him aside and ask him a serious question you will get a serious and reliable answer.

Another of Ghede's great powers is as the protector of children. Ghede generally does not like to see children die. They need a full life. Thus he is the loa to go to when seeking help for a sick child.

Ghede has the power over zombies and decides whether or not people can be changed into animals. Any such black magic voodoo must seek the help of Baron Samedi/Ghede with these tasks.

Lastly, since Ghede is the lord of death, he is also the last resort for healing since he must decide whether to accept the sick person into the dead or allow them to recover.

AZACCA OR ZAKA

This is the loa of agriculture, but is generally seen as the brother of Ghede. For this reason Ghede will often come to the ceremonies for Zaka and come when Zaka has mounted someone.

www.webster.edu/~corbetre/...listlwa.htm



THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD
Carpentier

“Baron Samedi, Baron Piquant, Baron La Croix and other Lords of the Graveyards.” (page 25)

Baron Piquant and Baron La Croix are both alternate names for the God of the Dead, Ghede. Ghede symbolizes dual character and also the transition between life and death. He is also the god of sorcery and tends to mix life with death therefore making him known as a shrewd trickster. He is also lord of life, the door through which the dead pass is the same door through which the gods arrive, bringing life. He is the beginning and the end. His dance is that of copulation. Ghede carries a cane and is most often seen smoking a cigar. He wears a black coat, top hat, and dark glasses usually with a lens missing. Ghede is mainly known as an undertaker.

Baron Samedi ('Baron Saturday') is a cohort of Ghede. He is a Guede (Cemetery Lord) of the Americas, and is known for bridging the Guedes (Guede singular, Ghede plural), the followers of Haitian voodoo, and Legba, Western Africa voodoo. Both Ghede and Baron Samedi are guardians of the crossroads, the place where spirits cross over into our world, and where the newly dead pass on their journey into the afterlife. It is generally suggested he is neither good nor evil, but a protector of children, a god of sexuality, eroticism and libido. Much like Ghede, Baron Samedi is usually seen wearing top hat, black coat tails, sunglasses, and smoking a cigar.

www.msu.edu/~williss2/ca...1/samedi.html


by Micha F. Lindemans
Ghede is the god of the dead in voodoo, but it is also the name of the group of deities who belong to his retinue. He is a very wise man for his knowledge is an accumulation of the knowledge of all the deceased. He stands on the center of all the roads that lead to Guinee, the afterworld.
Ghede is represented as an undertaker, dressed completely in black wearing dark glasses. His followers disguise themselves as corpses and they dance the Banda. Other members of his retinue are Baron la Croix and Baron Cemetière. His feminine counterpart is Maman Brigitte.

www.pantheon.org/articles/g/ghede.html

by Len Gilbert
Baron Samedi is one of the Guédés, related to and intertwined with Baron Cemetière and Baron La Croix. He is a Guédé of the Americas, bridging the Guédés and Legba. Both are guardians of the crossroads, the place where spirits cross over into our world. If the intercessions desired are with the loa, then Legba is saluted and asked to allow the loa to participate. If the intercessions are with the dead, then Guédé (Ghede) is the intercessor.

Baron Samedi is usually seen wearing top hat, black coat tails, sunglasses, and smoking a cigar.

www.pantheon.org/articles/...amedi.html


Death Never Looked So Good!

Baron Samedi is one of the Guédés, or spirits of Death, related to Baron Cimitère and Baron La Croix. Like Papa Legba, he is a guardian of the crossroads, the place where spirits cross over into our world. If the intercessions desired are with the loa, then Legba is saluted and asked to allow the loa to participate. If the intercessions are with the dead, then Guédé is the intercessor. The first burial in a cemetery is dedicated to Baron Samedi.

Zora Neale Hurston recounts that when you make a request of Baron Samedi, you use a cow's foot extended in place of your hand. When the Baron is ready to leave, he takes with him whatever he's holding. By substituting the cow foreleg, you don't loose your arm!


The Guede

According to www.heritagekonpa.com, "Guede, meaning, "Guardian of the dead" is one of the major spirits in the Vodou religion. In the Haitian culture, Guede is celebrated throughout the month of November, the season of the dead and rebirth. The Vodou religion involves many rituals and it is practiced in family plantations and at home with altars, candles, talismans, dolls, bottles, and incense. Vodouists often make offerings, pray, and sing and dance in the honor of a specific spirit. Vodou spirits connect with its servants through possession or trance, usually induced by ritual singing and dancing and the complex rhythms of the accompanying drums.

In the Vodou religion, its practitioners believe that the soul departed from the physical body, where upon judgment, the soul will either go to heaven or hell. Vodouists believe the departed soul crosses the flame of purgatory waiting for purification before entering the so-called
heaven. Vodouists also believe the same soul can be re-incarnated at least seven times depending on the mission of that particular soul. At the final stage of re-incarnation, that soul upon purification, will become an eternal spirit and manifest its presence in human beings usually in the form of Guede.

The loa Ghede are often quite rowdy and raunchy, sprinkling their conversation with profanities and sexual innuendo. Being dead, they are beyond punishment, and they seem to feel that shocking people is perfectly reasonable. They typically do not use profanity in an abusive manner, but prefer to make people laugh at their over-the-top behavior. Predominantly male, and praised with raucous songs and enthusiastic dances, the loa Ghede are the ancestors who bridge the gap between 'Guinea' (Africa) and the living of Haiti.

In Guede ceremony, vodou practitioners usually offer a large feast to the Guede spirits in November. The feast is accompanied by a 30 minute to an hour long prayer, followed by ritual chants, drumming and dances associated with Vodou, Haitian folklore music. During the ceremony the spirit is offered alcohol, food, grains, and other natural products. This is regarded as an invitation to the spirits to come celebrate life after death. Upon manifestation, the Guede spirit reacts foolishly and engages in explicit sexual conversation with the Vodou priests and the audience in the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, Guede regains its true form and focuses on human healing and problem solving. It is said that the loa Guede acts foolishly sometimes to ridicule death. For death no longer has power over its existence.

To the Vodouists, Guede controls the crossroads at which every human must traverse some day to meet their faith in the afterlife. In the Haitian culture, Vodou Hougan and Mambo believe that no single individual can communicate with the dead without first obtaining permission from Papa Baron. In every major cemetery in Haiti, Papa Baron "lord of the dead"


Baron Samedi stands at the crossroads, where the souls of dead humans pass on their way to Guinee. As well as being the all-knowing loa of death, he is a sexual loa, frequently represented by phallic symbols and noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum. Additionally, he is the loa of sex and resurrection.

He is New World in origin, not African. His wife is the loa Manman Brigit


__A Crowd of Ghedes__

Maya Deren retells the story of many Guédés dressed in top hat and smoked glasses descending on the presidential palace.

It seems that some years ago, under the regime of President Borno, there suddenly appeared in the streets of Port-au-Prince a crowd of Ghedes (all of them houngans possessed by Ghede) wearing the "formal" costume of the lord: the tall top-hats, long black tail-coats, smokedBaron Cimitere glasses, cigarettes or cigars, and canes. An enormous crowd naturally collected about them, and joined them in their march to the National Palace. They all took the guards by surprise, and, singing, swerved through the gates and up the drive and to the door itself, where they demanded money of the President. President Borno, who is reputed to have been sympathetic to Voudoun ritual (secretly so) and yet feared bourgeois opinion was in great dilemma. He finally gave in, ostensibly merely to quiet the mob, and the Ghedes with their supporters left the grounds. But Ghede had made his point. Death, who has consumed so many heroes, bows before no man and will remind even the most illustrious that one day he too will be consumed. So Ghede had gotten his money and went off to gorge himself, singing...

From __Divine Horsemen__ by Maya Deren [p107]

www.squidoo.com/baron-samedi



From __Mama Lola__: (scraps of excerpts....a bit out-of-context)

The initiation chamber is the alchemical oven in which suffering is transformed into knowledge, into experientially rooted priestly power. It is also the only ritual arena I know of that Papa Gede is forbidden to enter. If an initiate has Gede as his or her head spirit, that person will kouche on the point of Ogou, the patron of self-assertion and Gede’s temporary stand-in during initations. Gede’s presence in the initiation chamber would be a fearful redundancy that might snap the delicate balance between death and rebirth which these rituals orchestrate. Papa Gede must be excluded because he is so present.

Gede began to roll his hips in the lascivious dance step Haitians call the “gouyad.”

Ti Malis (scarab?) Ti Pis (insect) Gede Nibo (spider)

Rather than resisting her negative feelings, her habit is to sink into them, plumb their depths, and then rebound on the other side. She has learned this TRANSFORMATIONAL ART FORM from Gede. It is the essence of his message, the point of his humor, the reason for lacating this trickster in the middle of the cemetery and in the center of the practice of healing.

As Baron Samdi (Baron Saturday), head of all the Gede, he arrives as a corpse; his body falls to the ground, stiff. In a mood of solumnity and sadness, the people surround him, bind his jaw with a white cloth, stuff his nostrils and ears with cotton, and powder his face to reproduce the pallor of a cadaver. When he possesses Alourdes, which he does infrequently, the tense psychodrama of death ends only when time doubles back on itself, when Ti Malis displaces Baron and a childish giggle escapes from the mouth of the corpse. Then, and only then, does the tension snap and the fun begin.

Gede has license to break all the social rules. He can say all the things that are forbidden in polite company, act out the impulses others must suppress.

Ti Malis kisses the women, Gede steals food and money. He alone can satirize the powerful and the priviliged; only Gede could get away with making fun of Catholic priests.

Sex, death and humor: the great social levelers. In the presence of Papa Gede (at birth, makinglove, and in our coffins), we are all stripped down to our basic humanity.

He is always the last to arrive, and his gossipy informality, his sexual hijinks, and his penchant for telling satire work alchemical changes on the mood of a Vodou family./ After a long night of deep spirit work, his presence entertains, eases tension, and soothes pain. Gede’s arrival in the predawn hours facilitates the transition between the deep drama of Vodou and the everyday struggle of life in New York City. Gede takes people on a journey throught their most out-of-control selves and, in so doing, prepares them to move back into the ordinary world where reserve and control must reign.

Gede brings to the surface a connection between sexuality and life energy pervasive in Vodou spirituality. All Vodou rituals aim to “echofe” (heat things up). To raise heat, to raise luck, to raise life energy, to intensify sexuality in the broadest sense—these are all more or less the same process. The arrival of Gede at the end of a Vodou ceremony provides an extra, intense dose of the power needed to conquer life, to use it and enjoy it, rather than be conquered by it.

Gede possessions at Gede Fete: They wear top hats, bowler hats, airplane pilots’ hats. They wear 2 or 3 hats at a time, and they often put on dark glasses with one lens missing. (The penis has only one eye, one Oungan observed. But another person said Gede wears these strange glasses because he sees between the worlds of the dead and the living, and that is also why he jokes so much.) Around their necks the Gede hang pacifiers and baby rattles; in their hands they carry wooden phalluses.

Gede, a generalized spirit of all the dead, has come to take over much of the day-to-day caretaking that, in former times and still in many rural areas, would be the domain of the spirits of influential ancestors.

Gede stands at the point where the land of the living intersects the land of the dead. The cross, which is also the crossroads, is the central symbol in his iconography. And the cemetary, Gede’s home, is a major ritual center in Vodou because it is the most charged and direct incarnation of this same crossroads.

Gede, a portable spirit of the collective dead, is important to Haitians in New York. He eases the immigrant’s sense of loss and feelings of guilt, emotions that often attach temselves to the family land, and particularly to the ancestral graves left behind on that land. Although focusing on him does change the meaning of relating to the dead, Gede nevertheless preserves the sense that the dead are involved in ongoing human life.

Gede not only is helpful in dealing with ancestral links; he also keeps families together in other ways. In addition to presiding over the realms of sex, death, and humor, Papa Gede is, by a series of obvious connections, also the protector of small children.

Children are the center of home life, Gede’s domain, and their presence is also crucial in certain vodoun rituals (for instance, the manje Marasa).

BALANCE: GEDE’S ART FORM

In ordinary Creole, to “balanse” (balance) means to weigh choices. When asked about her plans for her day off, Maggie might respond that she is “balancing between” going to the movies and doing her laundry. In Vodou, the term has a more specific meaning: to BALANSE means to swing ritual objects from side to side or to hold them as you turn yourself around and around. Such balancing “heats up” or enlivens, the object.

Balancing in both these sense is an active, not a static state of being; and in both it refers to a situation of conflict. (The side-to-side swinging motion is Vodou’s kinesthetic rendition of conflict.) But there is one significant difference between the two usages. In ordinary speech, balancing merely refers to being caught in a dilemma not yet resolved. In the language of Vodou, balancing involves using forces that contradict each other to raise life energy.

Gede, whose nature it is to hide and who delights in making fun of life’s contradictions, is the perfect one to venture into foreign territory when his children need him. Among all the spirits, Gede stands out as the great survival artist. His adaptability, his skill at hiding and maneuvering in unfriendly territory, his penchant for making sense (by making fun) of the forces that impinge on people’s lives, his expertise as a healer, and his role as a mobile, collective representation of all the dead—these characteristics make Gede an especially important spirit for Haitian immigrants. No spirit, not even Ogou, Alourdes’ met tet, rides her more frequently than Papa Gede.

books.google.com/books




Baron Samedi (Baron Saturday, also Baron Samdi, Bawon Samedi, or Bawon Sanmdi) is one of the loa of Haitian Vodou. Samedi is a loa of the dead, along with Baron's numerous other incarnations Baron Cimetière, Baron La Croix, and Baron Kriminel. He is the head of the Guédé family of Loa, or an aspect of them, or possibly their spiritual father. 'Samedi' means 'Saturday' in French. His wife is the loa Maman Brigitte.

Portrayal
He is usually depicted with a top hat, black tuxedo, dark glasses, and cotton plugs in the nostrils, as if to resemble a corpse dressed and prepared for burial in the Haitian style. He has a white, frequently skull-like face (or actually has a skull for a face) and speaks in a nasal voice. He is a sexual loa, frequently represented by phallic symbols and is noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum. Additionally, he is the loa of sex and resurrection, and in the latter capacity he is often called upon for healing by those near or approaching death, as it is only Baron who can accept an individual into the realm of the dead.

Baron Samedi spends most of his time in the invisible realm of voodoo spirits. He is notorious for his outrageous behavior, swearing continuously and making filthy jokes to the other spirits. He is married to another powerful spirit known as Mama Brigitte, but often chases after mortal women. He loves smoking and drinking and is rarely seen without a cigar in his mouth or a glass of rum in his bony fingers. Baron Samedi can usually be found at the crossroad between the worlds of the living and the dead. When someone dies he digs their grave and greets their soul after they have been buried, leading them to the underworld.

Connection to other Loa
Baron Samedi is the leader of the Guédé, loa with particular links to magic, ancestor worship and death. These lesser spirits, all dressed like the Baron and all are as rude and crude as their master. They help carry the dead to the underworld.

Worship
As well as being master of the dead, Baron Samedi is also a giver of life. He can cure any mortal of any disease or wound, if he thinks it is worthwhile. His powers are especially great when it comes to voodoo curses and black magic. Even if somebody has been afflicted by a hex which brings them to the verge of death, they will not die if the Baron refuses to dig their grave. So long as this mighty spirit keeps them out of the ground they are safe. He also ensures all corpses rot in the ground to stop any soul being brought back as a brainless zombie. What he demands in return depends on his mood. Sometimes he is content with his followers wearing black, white or purple clothes or using sacred objects; he may simply ask for a small gift of cigars, rum, black coffee, grilled peanuts or bread. But sometimes the Baron requires a voodoo ceremony to help him cross over into this world.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi



www.gede.org/lwas/gede.html



(NOTE: on this site, see a video of a Gede in possession)

Some of the most interesting Lwa!

The Gede Lwa are some of the most interesting, funny, and outrageous spirits in the Vodou tradition. Their leader, known to them as their father, is Baron Semetye. Baron is the head of the cemetery and he rules over it with his wife, Maman Brijit.

Every Cemetery has its own Baron and Brijit and these are identified by certain tombs. The first male buried in a cemetery is a Baron and the first female a Brijit. In Haiti, crosses will be erected for each one at that tomb. People needing to commission them thus go to the cross.

There are several different Baron Lwa, some more common than others: Baron Lakwa (the cross), Baron Semetye (cemetery), and Baron Samedi. Barons are judges. When you leave your problems at the foot of Baron, you can be assured that he will seek out the innocent.

Baron and Brijit serve as the father and mother of the family of Lwa known as the Gede. This unit is considered a family unit rather than the other groups of Lwa, who are known as nations. There are many hundreds and hundreds of Gede lwa, if not thousands, and they are always the life of the party.

The Gede Lwa dance the banda. The banda is a very crude dance that mimes sexual intercourse. The Gede are vulgar and are known to cuss and play fight. There are many personal Gedes out there, as well as root (racine) Gedes. By far the most known and honored of these root Gedes is Brav Gede Nibo.

Gede's feast day is November 2nd, see link on left, also known as All Souls in the Catholic church. During this feast, Gede prance the streets in Haiti, ceremonial processions are held, and hundreds of people become possessed by the Gedes. See a slideshow of the latest one below. This party is a ball!


The Barons, Brijits and Gedes are served with the colors black, white and purple. Certain ones prefer certain combinations of the colors. They drink piman. Piman is raw rum in which 21 hot peppers have been soaked. This stuff is so hot that someone faking a possession would burn their mouth out.

Gedes often will show that the possession is true by washing their face in this mixture. Some Gedes will wash their genitals, as well as pour some in their eyes. Gedes will drink this fiery mixture like water too!

Gedes are known for their foul language and vulgarity. They are known to cuss, use slang, and continually talk about sex. They may embarrass people letting their secrets be known. Gedes grind on people, refer to clitorises, penises, and vaginas on a regular basis.

Gede doesn't have to follow civilized rules because he is dead and above all recourse. Thus he does things that would probably be unthinkable to others. Gede is known to be a thief at times, and usually steals little things here and there. He wears sunglasses that are missing one lens. Some say this is so that he can see above and below ground. Others explain this as alluding to the penis, as it has only one hole, and yet others say that this is because Papa Gede sees the worlds of the living and the dead.

These Lwa are known as powerful magicians. Baron and Brijit are often invoked to save people from death. (Usually caused by wangas from the victim's enemies) They are also excellent prophesiers and extremely psychic. A Gede is a wonderful ally! Gede is a healer and is the protector of children.

People having trouble conceiving will often seek out the assistance of a Baron or Gede Lwa. Gedes assist in fertility as they are so keenly connected with sex. Gede is also called to heal ill children, help feed children (when money is needed) and almost anything in connection with children.

Many Houngans and Mambos have a Gede that they serve, to consult on behalf of their clients. Gede lends that extra bit of information needed in order to resolve issues. He gives us that extra ounce of clarity and truth. Gede will also embarrass people he considers snobby, should he come across them.

Gede is mischievous and has a great sense of humor. He is a riot and many laughs as well as smiles will be had as a result of watching the Gedes. Gede yo (Gedes) as well as the Baron and Brijit hold the wisdom of the ancestors, of all the dead, of death itself, and more.

St. Gerard Majella is the Catholic Image that serves for Gede. In the image, Gerard is featured holding the cross with a skull on a table on the left side. St. Gerard is also known for taking care of women during pregnancy as is typically associated with Gede Lwa. Gede also comes and treats the womb of a pregnant woman or one who would like to get pregnant.

Since there are so many different things that can be said about all the different Gedes, I will never be able to put it all on paper nor will I probably ever know it all, as no one ever will. New Gedes appear all the time, as Baron and Brijit give them birth into existence; therefore, I hope this can suffice as a short introduction to this particular family of Lwa.

www.ezilikonnen.com/the_lwa/gede.html




Baron Samedi, Patron Loa of New Orleans and Spirit of Death

A very powerful Lwa, Baron Samedi is the head of the family of ancestral loa, the Ghede, and is considered one of the patron loas of New Orleans. Baron Samedi is one of the Guédé, a loa of the dead, along with Baron's other incarnations Baron Cimetière, and Baron La Croix. He is the head of the family of ancestral loa. As Master of the Cemetery and guardian of ancestral knowledge, Baron Samedi is typically depicted as if ready to be buried Haitian style with a top hat, black tuxedo, dark glasses, and cotton plugs in the nostrils. He has a white, mostly skull-like face and speaks with a nasal tone of voice. The first burial of a man in any cemetery in Haiti is dedicated to Baron Samedi. His wife is the loa Manman Brigit.

Baron Samedi stands at the crossroads, where the souls of dead humans pass on their way to Guinee. As well as being the all-knowing loa of death, he is a sexual loa, frequently represented by phallic symbols. He is noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and for having a particular fondness for tobacco, especially Pall Mall cigarettes, money, and white rum. The Baron's ceremonial foods included grilled peanuts, black coffee, and bread. One of his favorite drinks is rum in which 21 hot peppers has been steeped. Baron Samedi is also the loa of sex and resurrection.

Baron Samedi guards the crossroads between life & death, guarding the crossroads of this world to the underworld. He absolutely loves children and protects them with all of his power. He is a very powerful magician and is very helpful with magick rituals, especially those involving children, money, and life changes. Baron Samedi is known to be very wise & honest in his responses to those seeking his help!

Manman Brigit, Vodou Loa of the Cemeteries, Money & Justice

In Vodou, Ma'man Brigit (Grann Brigitte, Manman, Manman Brigit, Manman Brijit) is the mother of cemeteries, the loa of money and death, and the wife of Baron Samedi. She may be related to the "triple" Celtic goddess of poetry, smith craft, and healing, Brigid/St. Brigit, as her name is Irish in origin. She is usually depicted as a white woman. The first woman's grave in a cemetery in Haiti is dedicated to her. Her colors are black, purple and white, her number is nine, and her particular days of service include Monday and Saturday. Her sacrificial animal is a black chicken. She drinks rum laced with hot peppers - "gaz lakrimojen Ayisyen" (Haitian tear gas), and like her husband and the rest of the Guede Spirits, she is a "potty mouth" and uses profanity. Ma'man Brigit will protect gravestones if they are marked properly with a cross. Ma'man Brigit is known to rub her private parts with hot peppers, and those who appear to be faking possession by her in a Vodou ceremony may be subjected to this test, which they obviously would not pass if their possession is not genuine. She is a very sexual dancer, and her skill in the banda dance is legendary.

A very powerful Lwa, Manman Brigit rules the Ghede and transitions of life and death, major life changes, cemeteries, money and children. Ma'man Brigit is invoked to cure those who are near death as a result of magick. She is known to be very wise, and swift to respond to petitions for help!.

www.planetvoodoo.com/voodoo-...olls.htm



Gede Nibo : Clown of Death and Misrule

GEde_veveGede Nibo is a fine fellow - and gatekeeper for the Baron, as they rule over the entire nation of gede. I could write a book about Gede - about how many there are, what a fine and crazy fellow he is. Technically, all the dead are Gede. This fact becomes highly illustrated in Haiti during Fet Gede, on November 2, when the Gede come to possess their follows by the score. But even here in the US, Gede holds sway.

There as many Gede as there are dead - in my house alone, we have Gede Ti Pou Quoi who heals and dispenses advice, Gede Got to Go, Gede Arapice and Gede Nivo, to name but a few of the more frequent visitors.

You can count on Gede to arrive just as the ceremony begins to wind down, just as folks are getting tired and want to just sit down and relax. Here comes Gede Got To Go, wanting another song, another drink, another piece of cake and more! Interestingly, Gede is also the patron of children. As the Lwa of death, he holds sway over the birth of children, and whether they will live or not. In a place like Haiti, with no health care, no medical facilities for most people and no food, death among the most vulnerable is a frequent thing. It's no wonder folks petition Gede so often to keep their kids safe and secure.

All Gedes share some things in common - they like to dress in funeral finery - top hats, black jackets, purple dresses. They all eat and drink with gluttony. Gede, like death, is always hungry, never satisfied. He eats and drinks with abandon, particularly hot peppered foods and rum that has had Scotch Bonnet peppers soaking in it.

Along with his gluttony and his fondness for children, Gede is also the Lwa most often called upon for healing. As the Avatar of Death, it is also within his realm to affect healing. When we were in Haiti, I saw Gede effect the spontaneous healing of a sprained ankle on one of my brothers. Gede massaged it, poured hot oil over it, wrapped it in a dirty rag and proclaimed it healed. We accepted this statement with less than belief at the time. That evening, as the Petro dance fired up, the ankle was not swollen or discolored and my brother danced on it all night long with no ill effect. Ashe Papa Gede - mesi anpil!Gede_saint

Call on Gede when there is a serious illness or life threatening situation that needs healing. Call Gede when you need sound, reliable and honest answers to really tough questions. Ask Gede to help you grieve, to call the Beloved Dead back to the Waters of the Abyss, where they can rest, and you can heal. And finally, ask Gede to protect young children.

Gede’s Catholic counterpart is St. Gerard for the cross he bears, the black cassock he’s wearing, and the skull on the table. Offer Gede red hot peppers, pepper-soaked rum and hot Creole foods. He loves black roosters, black cock feathers, sunglasses with one lens, top hats, graveyard dust, purple and black candles, ribbons and satin.

www.sosyetedumarche.com/html/gede1.html


n Dominican Vodou, the most hilarious of all the Lwa is Gede Nibo. Gede Nibo is associated with Saint Expedite. He is seen wearing a checkerboard shirt (white and black), black pants with one leg rolled up, a macuto (straw bag) across his chest, a set of sunglasses with one lens missing, and a straw hat. Usually you can spot him in the cemetery digging new graves, sometimes at the hospital waiting for people to die, or at a church after a funeral. We call him Papa Guede, as he is the head of all the rest of them. There are thousands of them!

Gede is known for sending other fresh dead to do his work. He is scandalous. While they are doing his work, he is playing cards, dancing, and attending dice games. Papa Gede is known for cussing and crude honesty. To say that Papa Gede is crude is an under statement.

Unlike Haitian Vodou, Papa Gede rarely comes to consult in Dominican Vodou. Usually he will come to receive his offerings, or if he has something very important to say in particular to someone. He may give out winning lotto numbers if he so desires.

As in Haiti, he watches over children. He also loves to eat, and loves his money. He is stingy with his food and does not care to share it with others. In reality, Papa Gede in Dominican Vodou and Brav Gede of Haitian Vodou are not that different at all. As such, I will direct you to the pages already created under the Vodou section of the site to read more about Gede:

www.ezilikonnen.com/dominica...uede.html



Brav Gede Nibo,
Tout otan yo poko we mwen move tan bare mwen,
Brav Gede Nibo,
Tout otan yo poko we mwen move tan bare mwen,
La plwi tonbe, te a glise,
La plwi tonbe, te a glise,
Brav Gede Nibo,
Tout otan yo poko we mwen move tan bare mwen.


Brav Gede Nibo,
All the while they don’t yet see me bad weather bars my way,
Brav Gede Nibo,
All the while they don’t yet see me bad weather bars my way,
The rain falls, the earth is slippery,
The rain falls, the earth is slippery,
Brav Gede Nibo,
All the while they don’t yet see me bad weather bars my way,

www.rootswithoutend.org/empori...ng.html


In the Voodoo mythology of Haiti, Ghede is the hungry figure in
black top hat, long black tail coat and dark glasses, who stands at the
eternal crossroads. Here pass the souls of the dead on their way to Guinee, the legendary place of origin and abode of the gods. Ghede is the wisest of the Voodoo gods, being the god of death, and thus having the knowledge of all those who have lived. He is also the lord of life, a phallic deity:he sustains the living, increases their number, and resurrects the dead. As if this wasn't enough, Ghede is also the god of love, known for his unpredictable obscenity and his prediliction for strong rum. He is liable to arrive at a ceremony for another loa and disrupt the proceedings. Not even the Hougans---the spirit masters of the Voodoo pantheon---can control his possession of his followers.

www.mysticgames.com/mythology/GHEDE.htm



Ghede Nimbo

In both Vodun and Orisa Worship, you can find the veneration of Gede Nimbo. Because His association with the Dead, he can be found in the homes of those that are called to receive the Ase or simply pay homage to Oya and/or the Egungun. This is an effective partnership in the western world.

Servants of Oya, Egungun and Gede Nimbo often possess the gift of mediumship. This comes in handy when interacting with these Owners of the Cemeteries. Through these 3 Figures we learn that the world is bound with Spirits of all kinds. These Spirits consist both of Ancestors and the Spirits of those we would simply characterize as the deceased (as well as some that fit either category!). And the effect they have on the world is real and continuous. Working with Gede Nimbo, Oya or the Egun allows us to communicate with Spirits from those other planes for information sake or to gain assistance in some earthly matter.

Gede Nimbo is actually associated with both life and death. For who can determine which is the beginning or end? Perhaps for this reason he is protector of children, a group of humans who have just begun to embark on life on Earth as well as caretaker of the Cemetery. The Cemetery being the last place that we go on a physical journey and the portal to our journey into the Spirit World.

The Gede are not known for holding their tongue. Gede Nimbo is no exception. He is frank. He ignores society’s boundaries of good taste. For good reason. It can be said that social etiquette is one of the barriers to truth. Gede Nimbo will say what needs to be said, maybe ruffle a feather or two to get everyone on the right page or to expose injustice. The Gede are indeed champions of the downtrodden, the ones that lurk waiting for their opportunity to rise. At least that is one take on it. Through seeing, speaking and working with a multitude of Spirits from all backgrounds we learn at the very least to respect ALL spirits and people. You never know who you will need to lean on for help.

The distinction between being an Ancestor and simply the deceased depends on your lineage or tradition. In most traditional Orisa communities, Ancestorship denotes high character, leaving a good reputation for your family to work with and dying of natural causes. In some communities, experiencing the role of father or mother would have been included on that list of prerequisities.

–admin

www.rootsandrooted.org/



All Souls/All Saints Day

In heavily Catholic New Orleans, All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2) have been observed for centuries through rituals celebrating life over death.

During the Yellow Fever epidemics in eighteenth century New Orleans, death always loomed close. It's presence left the lasting impression on this city and its inhabitants that life is a gift, perhaps fleeting, and should be enjoyed to its fullest each day. And so, on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, New Orleanians honor the lives of their dead loved ones by painting tombs with brilliant whitewashes, placing yellow chrysanthemums and red coxcombs on graves and ringing statuary with immortelles (wreaths of black glass beads). On these days, cemeteries throughout the city are alive with the flickering glow from fields of candles, as death is forgotten and lives lived are celebrated.

It is one of the many rich New Orleans' traditions we observe annually at International House, for we can imagine no other city which has turned such tragedy into such a joyous celebration of life.

***Followed by potluck supper & procession to the cemetary to feed the dead. Please wear white with a purple headscarf, or black and purple for Gede. Bring a dish (not a blonde) for the people and an offering for the DEAD or GEDE. Gede's tastes tend towards peppers, flat bread, rum, cigars, goats, crosses, gravedigger's tools, black cock feathers, skeletons, sunglasses with one lens, spicy creole foods, and money! He is syncretized with St. Gerard. Or you can bring something your ancestors or loved ones enjoyed in life.***

ihhotel.com/index.html



The Baron: Father of the Dead

The Baron is seen as the ultimate father of the Gede nation in Haitian Vodou. The Gedes are large, unruly class of spirits who are the often unknown, unreclaimed, and usually uncared for dead. It takes a big energy to control all those spirits and that job falls to The Baron. Althoughhe has several names and avatars like Baron Simitye (cemetery) or Baron Samedi, he is in fact, simply The Baron. The cemetery is where the dead reside, as heard in this song:

Simitye-a, o ple moun-yo.
Baron mande-o tout moun ki la yo, si se Bondje'k mete-o?

The Cemetery, oh it is full of people
Baron asks if all those people are there by God's will?

The cemetery is a magical place. Being the crossroads of both the living and the dead, it is a deep well of immense power, danger, and magic. Here lie the ancestors, with all their knowledge and all the power of the dead at their finger tips. Here is where we come to gather this knowledge, because it so ready and available. Here is the domain of the Baron.

Traditionally, the grave of the first male buried in a cemetery is considered to be the location of the Baron's grave. Why? Well, as the oldest grave, the occupant has had access to each and every person buried in the grave yard. If we think of the cemetery as a large community of souls, then this first person is the gate keeper, the sign post and the most respected. Not just for his age, but because he's been there the longest! He's seen it all, and as such, knows everything.

In Haitian Vodou, the Baron is often called the Father of the Gedes. How many times have you passed an old cemetery, with the grass over grown, weeds sprouting and no flowers in site? Those dead are long forgotten, left to fend for themselves. But the Baron is still there, waiting, watching, gathering information and time. The forgotten dead are called Gede, and they answer only to the oldest occupant of the graveyard – the Baron.

I find it funny that people today assume the Baron's personality, the black clothing, the dark brooding attitude. It's as if being a gothic groupie some how makes the assumption of the Baron's form more palatable. The Baron is beyond caring, beyond our simple rules and reasons. He is like Father Time - timeless, ageless. Married to Maman Brigette, together they rule over the dead, making way for their multitude of children to have egress into this world.

Baron is syncretized with St. Martin de Porres, the Catholic saint shown with the sick and dying in the background. He likes fiery rum, laced with hot peppers, unfiltered cigarettes and ancestral foods like strong cold coffee, white bread, popcorn and peanuts. His veve is comprised of the cross, the coffin and the spade, all symbols of the dead and of graveyards. Listen for him in the still of the night, as steel shovels hit hard packed earth.

www.sosyetedumarche.com/html/baron.html



The Gede Lwa of Haitian Vodou

Gede Nibo : Clown of Death and Misrule

Gede Nibo is a fine fellow - and gatekeeper for the Baron, as they rule over the entire nation of gede. I could write a book about Gede - about how many there are, what a fine and crazy fellow he is. Technically, all the dead are Gede. This fact becomes highly illustrated in Haiti during Fet Gede, on November 2, when the Gede come to possess their follows by the score. But even here in the US, Gede holds sway.

There as many Gede as there are dead - in my house alone, we have Gede Ti Pou Quoi who heals and dispenses advice, Gede Got to Go, Gede Arapice and Gede Nivo, to name but a few of the more frequent visitors.

You can count on Gede to arrive just as the ceremony begins to wind down, just as folks are getting tired and want to just sit down and relax. Here comes Gede Got To Go, wanting another song, another drink, another piece of cake and more! Interestingly, Gede is also the patron of children. As the Lwa of death, he holds sway over the birth of children, and whether they will live or not. In a place like Haiti, with no health care, no medical facilities for most people and no food, death among the most vulnerable is a frequent thing. It's no wonder folks petition Gede so often to keep their kids safe and secure.

All Gedes share some things in common - they like to dress in funeral finery - top hats, black jackets, purple dresses. They all eat and drink with gluttony. Gede, like death, is always hungry, never satisfied. He eats and drinks with abandon, particularly hot peppered foods and rum that has had Scotch Bonnet peppers soaking in it.

Along with his gluttony and his fondness for children, Gede is also the Lwa most often called upon for healing. As the Avatar of Death, it is also within his realm to affect healing. When we were in Haiti, I saw Gede effect the spontaneous healing of a sprained ankle on one of my brothers. Gede massaged it, poured hot oil over it, wrapped it in a dirty rag and proclaimed it healed. We accepted this statement with less than belief at the time. That evening, as the Petro dance fired up, the ankle was not swollen or discolored and my brother danced on it all night long with no ill effect. Ashe Papa Gede - mesi anpil!

Call on Gede when there is a serious illness or life threatening situation that needs healing. Call Gede when you need sound, reliable and honest answers to really tough questions. Ask Gede to help you grieve, to call the Beloved Dead back to the Waters of the Abyss, where they can rest, and you can heal. And finally, ask Gede to protect young children.

Gede’s Catholic counterpart is St. Gerard for the cross he bears, the black cassock he’s wearing, and the skull on the table. Offer Gede red hot peppers, pepper-soaked rum and hot Creole foods. He loves black roosters, black cock feathers, sunglasses with one lens, top hats, graveyard dust, purple and black candles, ribbons and satin.

www.sosyetedumarche.com/html/gede1.html



mysticwicks.com/showthread.php



www.mike-rock.com/Site/Arti...ACDB0.html



Papa Ghede comes from Haitian folklore. Guédé is a family of spirits that represent death and fertility. Papa Ghede is one of those many spirits. He is described as the corpse of the first man to ever die. Short and dark in stature holding a apple in his left hand smoking a cigar and wearing a high hat. Some also say he is dressed all in black similar to an undertaker with a face like a skull. He has the knowledge of the life and afterlife of all who have died. Papa Ghede waits at the crossroads to escort fresh souls into the afterlife (Guinee). Papa Ghede has a wife named Maman Brigitte and a brother Ghede Bábáco. In the voodoo religion people pray to Papa Ghede if there child is sick or dying. It is said that he will not take a life before it's time.

www.macula.tv/gallery/Ill...a/sketch.htm



Baron Samedi stands at the crossroads, where the souls of dead humans pass on their way to Guinee. He is a sexual loa, frequently represented by phallic symbols and he noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum. Additionally, he is the loa of sex and resurrection, and in the latter capacity he is often called upon for healing by those near or approaching death, as it is only Baron who can accept an individual into the realm of the dead. He is considered a wise judge, and a powerful magician. Offer cigars and rum with the incense.

Papa Ghede) Ghede is the eternal figure in black, controlling the eternal crossroads at which everyone must someday cross over. Ghede is health and healing. He has the power to bring the living back to health by refusing to let them pass through the crossroads of death. Ghede is a clown, an interrupter, a coarse fellow. But he is history too. As keeper of the cemetery he has intimate contact with the dead. And he is quite generous with his information. Even when he is clowning or performing his erotic antics, if you can pull him aside and ask him a serious question you will get a serious and reliable answer. Another of Ghede's great powers is as the protector of children. Ghede generally does not like to see children die. They need a full life. Thus he is the loa to go to when seeking help for a sick child. Ghede is also god of eroticism. Ghede is neither delighted by eroticism, and certainly not shamed by it. If anything Ghede is amused by the universal presence of eroticism and humans' constant need to pretend that it is other than what it is. Ghede has the power over zombies and decides whether or not people can be changed into animals. Offer him any food and drink with the incense..but plenty of it!

www.panpipes.com/sticks.htm



Karen McCarthy Brown describes the dynamic deity Gede in her book __Mama Lola__:

"Papa Gede, as Alourdes [Mama Lola] calls him, is a trickster spirit. Through his randy, playful, childish, and childlike personality Gede raises life energy and redefines the most painful situation — even death itself — as one worth a good laugh. Gede is a transformation artist, and this is the reason he is also the principal healer among the Vodou lwa.

Gede is the Vodou spirit who presides over the realms of sex, death, and humor. His possession-performances vary along a spectrum that tracks the path of a human life. He eats with his hands and sometimes throws his food like an infant. Like a two-year-old, he delights in saying naughty words. He is horny and predatory with women, like a young man with raging hormones. Like a favorite uncle, he hunkers down with the faithful and listens with genuine care to the most homely of their complains…

Gede has license to break all the social rules. … Haitians are, in general, a discreet and proper people. Lacking physical privacy, they strongly emphasize good manners. It is, for example, highly insulting to call a person malelve (badly reared); were Gede not a spirit, he would be a prime candidate for this insult. He can say all the things that are forbidden in polite company, act out the impulses others must suppress. … He alone can satirize the powerful and the privileged; only Gede could get away with making fun of Catholic priests. …

Gede takes people on a journey through their most out-of-control selves and, in so doing, prepares them to move back into the ordinary world where reserve and control must reign. Yet Gede's possession-performances should not be mistaken for mere entertainment.

Gede brings to the surface a connection between sexuality and life energy pervasive in Vodou spirituality. All Vodou rituals aim to echofe (heat things up). To raise heat, to raise luck, to raise life energy, to intensify sexuality in the broadest sense — these are all more or less the same process. The arrival of Gede at the end of a Vodou ceremony provides an extra, intense dose of the power needed to conquer life, to use it and enjoy it, rather than be conquered by it."

speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/pr...tml



www.rootswithoutend.org/racine...n2.html



Deep violet dolls, tied on the pwen of the Baron, Father of the Gede nachon. The Baron is the Lwa who rules the cemetery, and all who pass through His gates. He owns opportunities and time. Place this doll where you wish to find a chance that got past you the first time.
www.sosyetedumarche.com/html/dolls.html



Baron Samedi
The Suave and Debonair Spirit of Death and Hubby of Ma'man Brigit
Baron Samedi is the ultimate suave and sophisticated spirit of Death - quite cultured and debonair. He has an existential philosophy about death, finding death's reason for being both humorous and absurd. Baron Samedi is the extreme expression of individuality, and offers to you the reminder of delighting in life's pleasures. Live happy and live well, for even the most rich and talented, or the most poor and resourceful people are not spared the ultimate universal experience - Death.

www.mysticvoodoo.com/spirit_...ls.htm/.


SATURN

In Haitian Vodou, The Archangel Tzaphqiel is the cosmic Baron of the Universal Cemetery…

The living gods of Haitian Vodou “Baron Sam Di” and “Gran Brigitte” Lady Justice of the cemetery who represent both the cosmic and the earthly ancestral “Loas” of Hatian Vodou, are associated with the planet Saturn.

Tzaphqiel is the cosmic Archangel of planet Saturn along with an unimaginable number of other angels or spirits presiding with Him. This area of Haitian Vodou is truly the path to calvary in all its aspects and is associated with the primal waters (Maza) and darkness.

In Haiti, most Vodou adepts rarely make use of the cosmic “Archangel Tzaphqiel” in practical occultism when seeking justice for wrong done unto them; they refer an earthly ancestral spirit of the first buried man in a given cemetery who becomes the first man made “Baron” aka (Baron Cimitiè) of that cemetery.

thesevenafricanpowers.com/Binah...d.html



houngangatesa.tripod.com/id22.html



www.mike-rock.com/Site/Arti...ACDB0.html



www.ezilikonnen.com/society/...2006.html



www.hauntedamericatours.com/vood...LLEY/



have seen the Gede in ceremonies, and they are very funny and very tricky and mischievous. They usually show up at the end of a ceremony (which can last for hours and be extremely intense) and provide comic relief. I have learned to take off any jewelry and hide it, along with any money I have, because they’ll beg for it and take it if you’re not vigilant. They are also extremely flirtatious. My friend the Vodou priest tells me that the phallus is the symbol of the Gede (Haiti being a paternalistic, male-centered culture), and that the phallus brings life (never mind that there are female reproductive organs involved!) That’s why Gede oversees life and death. They are the completion of the circle of life and death. My friend says that the Gede are myriad and almost impossible to count, that they have so many different characteristic because there are so many different personalities to those of us among the living. Or as one individual put it: As many people who have died is how many Gede there are.

During the feast days people put on their party clothes, parade through the streets, dance, and process to the graveyards to feed and honor the Gede at Baron Samedi’s cross. Baron, who is the leader of the Gede, and his children love spicy foods and rum laced with hot peppers, which they will not only drink with impunity, but will rub in their eyes and other places I won’t specify, with no apparent harm done (think about the firewalkers who skip over burning coals without getting burned). Baron is the master of the cemetery and the crossroads (yes, that place where the Devil is said to hang about at midnight) and Maman Brigitte, his wife, is the mistress

In peristyles (a combination of sacred spaces and community centers) the priests and people come together for ceremonies and celebrations, offering food and other items to dead loved ones. It is a chance to reconnect with ancestors and the past, echoing the West African concept of sankofa an Akan word that means “go back and fetch it” This means one must go back to the past and reclaim it in order to go forward. Understanding how and why we got here, just as studying any history, brings clarity.

I don’t dance in cemeteries, but I do pray for, remember and honor my ancestors in my own way. I also pester my mom and other living relatives to tell me stories about family members whom they knew who have passed on, and I write them down. When I look at the photographs that I do have of my grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and aunts, I feel that I know them better and better, and hearing about their personalities, talents, habits (good and bad), likes, dislikes, and character traits has helped me better understand who I am, because more and more I know who and where I came from.


Images from top: Fet Gede in a cemetery in Hait; the veve (a representation of the lwa, usually drawn on the floor with cornmeal, floor, coffee, and the like to attract or draw down the lwa) of Baron Samedi; the veve of Maman Brigitte; a man lies on the grave of a loved one during Fet Gede in Haiti.

gothamcitysoul.blogspot.com/2007....html



posted by:
Advertisement

Recent topics in "global vodouyear 2010"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
Traditional Ghanan Priest Goes Global! 0 July 24, 2013
Book: "Voodoo in my Blood" 0 April 1, 2013
Article about Vodou in Salon 0 March 18, 2013
Sosyete in ottawa ? lisa 2 January 29, 2013