I decided to resume blogging because I am a writer and writers don’t miss opportunities to write. Also, I have some specific things in connection to art and healing I want to explicate. Last but not least, I am very fortunate to be in community with folk who want to hear what I have to share.
I chose the shark image in correspondence to last Thursday’s tarot and oracle card reading, where I pulled the Shark from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit oracle deck, as the representative of the overarching theme for the full moon in Aquarius. Sharks are ocean creatures that reside in the depths of kalunga (ocean). As much as we consider sharks to be ravenous, blood thirsty killers, sneak attacking their prey, really they are just living their lives. Like all other living beings, sharks need to eat. It just so happens that their eating methodology is harsh and bloody. It’s also efficient. Further, the notion that they intentionally seek out humans is false. They only strike at humans when humans attack first.
All that said, the appearance of the shark card got me to thinking about false perceptions and presumptions about potential threats when really there is no threat, provided we all stay in our lanes. This reading was a confirmation of this blog post (which I’d already written previous to the reading in draft form) and a dream I had the night before (see interpretation of tarot spread here here). It was both a revelation and a set of directives for the months to come. How appropriate as we move out of summer into autumn.
So, in the spirit of my return to blogging and my imminent and permanent departure from Facebook, I want to start by reiterating my process, points of departure, and the standards to which I hold myself. Here are 9 points you can depend on:
I am a Yayi Nkisi Malongo, aka a Palera. I’m also a muertera (a kind of nigromancer) and espiritista (medium). I’m also an independent scholar of contemporary art, a published writer, and, of course, a blogger. I talk and do art and healing at the crossroads where these two seemingly disparate disciplines intersect. Sometimes the outcomes are near perfect, other times there is discord. It’s all ndoki, always fecund, and I’m here for all of it.
My code of conduct is Kortesia Kongo. I don’t deal in value judgements of whether a thing or person is good and evil. I’m more interested if the act or person is additive and generative or subtractive and extractive. I do not/will not serve any monarch or self-appointed human cum alleged deity. I am unemotional when it is time to take action and I reserve my feelings for loved ones and those who make genuine, consistent effort. Trust and believe that if I initiate an action, I have considered and am ready for any consequence. My toolkit always works.
I don’t deal in petty, low-level brujeria (witchcraft) nor critique-less art writing (excepting ekphrasis). I do deal in transformational healing work that is sufficiently unflappable to stand the test of time. I deal in incisive writing that offers historical context, critical assessment, and intentional placement, when appropriate, within various cultural canons.
I am a practitioner of “be ready so you don’t have to get ready” and “go to the mattresses”. Consider that when you creep my social media or send spies.
Call out culture is messy but sometimes, it’s useful. See item 4 and be reminded that if I bother to call a thing out, I’m ready.
Where visual culture is concerned, especially African diasporic visual culture, I’m here for Megan Thee Stallion and #noirwave as much as I’m here for opening parties to biennials and sundry art exhibitions in the white cube and it’s various iterations. I’m here for moderating panel discussions where the lines between art and politics have been agentically blurred, or standing on corners in hoods local, national, and international till 3 am hanging with my friends. I’m especially here for writing long form critical essays nerding out about painters, film makers, sculptors, and photographers who manipulate light and texture (Soulages, Alley-Barnes, and Dwight to name just a few). I don’t have to like a thing to believe that it matters and merits visibility. I will, however, launch an incisive critique when the smallest portion of the spectrum gets all the attention and thus becomes the definitive identity of the spectrum.
Where healing and spirituality are concerned, I’m here for cutting etheric cords and unhealthy people, ending generational hexes, becoming the best Yayi there is, supporting people through their healing process, and revoking your petty, low-level brujeria (witchcraft). B.k.a an actual priesthood versus the appearance of one.
I have friends who keep me from drowning in the shallow gutters of the moral high ground. Get you friends who do the same before you say some more high minded, moralistic mess that contradicts the high minded, moralistic mess you said last week, thus revealing the threadbare nature of your claims to ethics and consistency.
I appreciate my family and community in real life and online. If you are a part of it, thank you for being here. If you are not and have no intention of genuinely doing so, let’s just be easy.
Join me here on September 5 for a discussion on spiritual upkeep and spiritual hygiene. August 31 is my last day on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter and/or IG, and/or subscribe to my mailing list on the contact page.
Negarra A. Kudumu
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