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JOURNEYS OF THE SERPENT AND THE MOON 



WOMAN: Shall the VODUN WOMAN tell you about the JOURNEYS OF THE SERPENT AND THE MOON? (Onstage sound/video effects - Lashing of whips, thunder & lighting heralds the arrival of the Vodun Woman. Back curtains open to reveal enlarged Vodun Woman picture and the Ezili Dantò sacred heart vèvè. Woman does the Vodun salutation to drums and offstage chanting of a Vodun song. Woman walks around creating a thin blue light trail out of the misty smoke, slashing the smoke into the warrior-mother's sacred heart with a dagger thrust into it. Slashing with her dagger to the beat of electronic slicing sounds, hemorrhaging. As she talks in front of the vertical axis intersecting the horizon, creating a nexus between the spiritual and physical worlds (perhaps represented by Tree of the Ancestors), moon behind her changes from crescent, half to full. When she begins to address the audience, music subsides.) But, if time and space drips out of the darkness to reply. if i reply, give you guide, can you row your raft past fear and foe to yield and flow? Will you expand and extend?

(Voiceover: Vodun Woman, Vodun Woman. Tell us about the Journeys of the Serpent and the Moon.)

And the Vodun Woman, she said:

"Issue of the dark, of the serpentine womb of creation, The deep and high - that
vertical spiraling root.

Linear ascent is a well told lie.

You are molded and here to mold.

Your center allies to the rhythm of the biosphere.

Zili Dantò as Ezili Dantò onstage performing "Journey of the Serpent and the Moon" in Red, Black & Moonlight: Between Falling and Hitting the Ground (Buy the 90-performance DVD) - RBM Video Reel

It's that mythical, omnipotent Light which tricks you into seeing a crescent, a half moon - a point where you are disconnected from wholeness.

No trust fund, skyscraper or scud missile can hold back the migration of the dark celestial waters infinitely. Inexorably it claims its own. Rises and falls.

The physical, social, structural are destined to
disintegrate, by levels, degrees, intervals. Artificial creeds, like artificial lights, are meaningless in truth. The seeds of decay are within you and within your creeds."

(Voiceover: Uh-Hmmmmm, Uh-Hmmmm... Un et un fè two. Nou La! One and one is three. Nou La!)
****

Her grains of salt have awakened me and i can't dissemble in waking consciousness. i bring weightlessness to misery without physical movement, shifting heavy mists. it's how i move into another reality when paralyzed by the shock of this one. i can't live in a dreamtime space where we never reach the mountaintop. So i live the talk, like i did with USAID: i acted like they had gone way beyond their myopic visions and meant what they were saying about helping Haiti. That got me a few places. Next time i'll go further. Next time, while in this unreachable inner place, this primordial space, this container of life created and held for me by the Ancestors, next time when i meet the "developers" in Haiti, i will issue forth from this space and enter their gaps, pushing at cracks. Next time, my vision will do more.

This faith saves me. it destroys me. With it, i'm wholly strong and wholly vulnerable. But now, well now, i can live with that without getting an aneurysm.

They have their Colonies. This is mine.

i think that was the lesson of Haitian history. i'm irked but jumping up and down like a kangaroo who's misplaced her pouch won't do.

The message was and still is: burn the port cities and retreat inland. That's the lesson of Haitian history. The inland portals are protected and though we must struggle, only the ports can be lost. Pwen voye. Dignity is always rescued by the primal singular struggle to receive what's already there but invisible to thought. It's difficult but all can be done if our thinking aligns with this fact: We are just where we are supposed to be - an opened door, perfectly placed.


**********
(c) 1997 and 2000 by Ezili Dantò. Excerpted from The Red, Black & Moonlight monologue series, based on Kenbe La! Crossings of a Vodun-Roots Woman by Ezili Dantò. All rights reserved. 

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Vodun: Photo Essay
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