G is for Gris Gris
"Gris-gris, also spelled gri gri, is a voodoo amulet originating in Africa which supposedly protects the wearer from evil or brings luck" wikipedia
"Gris Gris" pronounced 'gree gree' is something that I read about only years after discovering for myself what it is all about. Essentially, it is a dualistic meaning both the physical vessel for spirit, and the spirit energy itself.
The same sort of dualism can be found between the alcoholic 'spirits' drinking of which dissolves the rigid censor of mind that we may enter into various spirit domains, be they to channel from ghosts or subconscious. Use of the same word for place, action and object indicates roots where sharing of concept was of greater comprehension than developed language enabled ability to wax lyrical. Primal methods for advanced ability.
The term 'gris gris' comes from African shamen who were taken as slaves to the America's, where creole cultures were a melting pot of humanity, reinventing itself into new forms. An athame can be said to be a gris-gris object. In the vodon religion from where the word gris-gris originates, a machette is used, is also described and labelled by the same word. Basically they are fetish items (see F is for Fetish) as well as particular streams or types of spirit.
In my dealings with the spirit world I have learned that Haitian vodou beliefs are the closest to my experiences, however I am not of the vodon religion in that I follow my own pantheon rather than embracing the Haitian one. While official vodon religion has its established pantheon, my own experiences indicate that use of my own deities and their appropriate fetish artifacts where valid, is more meaningful and preferable than somebody else dogma.
The vodon religion swept through the secretive gestation phase of Afro-American creole slave-culture as a unifier; much the same way (minus violence) that christianity swept through and embedded its concepts, most vitally those of christ-consciousness and vagin-mari worship, into so many cultures including those described as 'voodoo'. Designed to mutate colloquially; as environment, human nature and life experience revelations, define and redefine core principle concepts that we can all relate to throughout history; always will do so into future generations.
"'From Silence to Sorcery' is an album by John Zorn. 'Gris-Gris' is a work for thirteen tuned drums performed by William Winant inspired by the music of Korean Shamanism, Haitian Voodoo and a scene from Howard Hawks' film 'To Have and Have Not'." wikipedia Listen to John Zorn 'Gris-Gris'
In the name of shameless self promotion, I have been making a computer game in which Gris is a material atomically recycled from trash, which polymorphic crystaline helix is based on 'the spirit molecule' Dimethyltriptamine that the brain naturally produces in small doses. DMT is peaceful, beautiful, calm, tranquil. It is commonly known as the death drug. because it takes us to what is described to me as 'death consciousness'. It is a specific cyber-element acting as a conduit between the material world, the digital AI of the story, and the spirit world. The computer game Cybergothic is intended as a MMORPG and will be released when I'm happy with it. For more information see www.webjam.com/cybergothic I am also currently working on the soundtrack album.
G is for:
Writing this blog has inspired me to do an essay on Druidism, which will be posted in D is for as and when I get around to it.
"Pan, the god of woods and fields, of flocks and shepherds, dwelt in grottos, wandered on the mountains and in valleys, and amused himself with the chase or in leading the dances of the nymphs. He was fond of music, and as we have seen, the inventor of the syrinx, or shepherd's pipe, which he himself played in a masterly manner. Pan, like other gods who dwelt in forests, was dreaded by those whose occupations caused them to pass through the woods at night, for the gloom and lonliness of such scenes dispose the mind to superstitious fears. Hence sudden fright without any visible cause was ascribed to Pan, and called a Panic terror. As the name of the god signifies all, Pan came to be considered a symbol of the universe and personification of Nature; and later still to be regarded as a representation of all the gods of paganism itself."
“Cernunnos the male horned god of the Iron age Celts. Symbol of the Hunter and the Hunted. Also known as Herne the Hunter. Modern Druidry, which derives from Celtic culture, honors Cernunnos in his ancient Celto-European form as the guardian of the forests, the defender of the animal tuatha (tribes), the source of the deep forest wisdom, and the masculine half of creative energy. His restorative work in the cycle of the year is particularly celebrated at Beltaine, and is often paired with one or another of the female deities in her maiden aspect. Druids may call upon him in reference to vital, non-violent masculine divinity.”