The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- one more card in the Major Arcana, called Les Barons, while in the Western Qabalah, the Fool is both -0 and ATU 22, for all returns to the Fool, therefore, life and death begin and end with the Fool. The Barons are also "tricksters" and sometimes act foolish and/or as whimsy, once again a property of the Fool.
The Barons lead and belong to the family of Guedeh spirits; the Gods of sex, death and regeneration. They are often called upon when one wishes to undermine conventions, or to help cope with unexpected change or chaos. They have been called on for Masonic magic and are often called on for the humor to overcome difficulty or grief. It is generally accepted that Baron Samedi, is considered the leader of the many Barons. His wife is called Manman Brigitte. Above is Baron Samedi's vèvè and below is Manman Brigitte's vèvè.
The Guedeh Barons are not considered spirits of the dead, but the Spirit of Death itself. Another comparison to the Thoth Fool who is the Spirit itself. Just as the Native American Clown Dancers, the personalities of the Barons are a mixture of irreverent humor, sex and death. Hence, they are more unsettling in nature, than frightening.
The Barons are considered to be highly cultured, maybe even the ultimate urbane sophisticate of the Voodoo Pantheon. In Voodoo society, it is also a tradition that the first male buried in a cemetery is to be regarded as the Baron and that the first female be regarded as Manman Brigitte. Manman Brigitte is highly regarded as a powerful loa, judge, and lawyer. The Baron and Manman Bigitte are seen as married.
The connections between sex and death are more numerous that the length of this blog. However, to name some, we have Sexual reproduction that necessitates death; the French (who first settle New Orleans) call the sexual orgasm the La petite mort ("little death").
La petite mort. La petite mort ( French pronunciation: [la pətit mɔʁ], the little death) is an expression which means "the brief loss or weakening of consciousness" and in modern usage refers specifically to "the sensation of orgasm as likened to death.". The first attested use of the expression in English was in 1572 with the meaning... Dec 19 2018La petite mort - Wikipedia
An organism that reproduces itself asexually by splitting or fission avoids death, such as the Soul, which is a "Sun/Son of God" which comes from the ancient Greek "Zeus Christos- meaning "Sun/Son of Zeus". Barring a disaster, such are considered immortal. Yes, soul's can be destroyed, but that is a consequence of their own creations. The Crone, of the triple Goddess- Maid-Mother-Crone, can destroy a Soul but that takes some doing and is not often done. However, it can be said that asexul or fission organisms, have given up individuality for immortality. Sexual union among human beings, can also reach a state of Photonic Energy, that the couple give up the individual "little self" to become like the Asexual Greater Self. Hence, the die individually and become a Greater Entity. A blending of energy, that becomes " Twin Flames", flames being a symbol of the Sun/Soul. That is the goal of Sexual Tantra, to form a Divine Androgyne, where there is no separation between male or female, and/or as said in the Gospel of Didymos Judas Thomas of the Nag Hammadi Library of Gnostic origin: "...where the male is no longer male and the female is no longer female...."
However, the Barons are extreme in their expressions of individuality, as they are apt to take food from other loa (spirits) and disrupt otherwise orderly ceremonies. Their sexuality is ribald in the least, and lewd in the most. They love to poke fun at the means of life's continuation and deaths "raison d'etre" (reason to be).
Since a Baron can be the first male buried in a cemetery, they are numerous; However, three of their number are most often honored. These three are Baron Samedi, Baron La Croix, and Baron Cimetière. Being clowns, they are not the sober Horsemen of the Apocalypse but Horseman of a different type. They are often jaunty, even frisky, delighting in the pleasures of life. The come not in judgment or bearing scourge or plaque. They ride well fed and pampered horses. They know that Life is but a performance, a play, written by the Soul and acted out by the personality. Take life seriously, and you will live a play of sorrow, terror and fatalism. Add whimsy to your daily routine and you will know the joy of being. Which is also a message from the Thoth- Fool (Holy Spirit).
The aspects of the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Les Barons, is that of the Barons and Manman Brigitte climbing the steps of the French Quarter Police Station as part of projected Day of the Dead celebrations in New Orleans. To the people and those who rule, the police, city hall, and the Haitian palace represent a sense of order or security maintained from without. However, Death as a clown, easily pierces all such vanities. Be your walls the thickest, or highest, rich or well protected, they can't stop or even slow death's progress. Life dances with Death, a Dance Macabre, for transformation and/or change is the Universal Constant. A message from The Native American Clowns, the Thoth Fool and the Les Barons.
Here, one is asked to contemplate death as a great equalizer, and prickeler of vanities both large and small.
When The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Les Barons, is thrown in divination, it implies:
- An extreme unexpected turn of events.
- A sense of humor pulls one through dire circumstances.
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