All You Ever Wanted to Know About Baron Samedi
Sometimes in the name of friendship we make promises. Like promising a rather personal hub about that friendship, even though it is a rather horrid idea, writing-wise. Nobody, not even me, wants to be known as the Baron Samedi writer. Well, I rather wouldn't mind, since he's always been my Thin Man, and skeleton extraordinaire, but you know, appearances and everything.
But my other spirits have recently given me two weeks with my dear friend, to renew our bonds. I must say I was a rather terrible one to him, what with all I've been dealing with, but he handles himself with grace and aplomb, managing to look unruffled no matter how badly I've behaved.
This, of course, was his sixth solo lens, something I mentioned, while pointing out it is rather greedy to ask for such a thing. He just dropped his jaw in surprise and pointed out that this IS a very special time, and I had, after all, promised him. How right he is.
All photos are of my own altar, so do give credit and a link back if you copy for your own site, thanks!
I didn't always know that my Baron was a Baron. I thought seeing walking, talking skeletons dressed up in a tux or undertaker's garb was completely normal. Then, I've always been a tad strange. But even as a child, there would be my loyal skeletal friend, always nattering at me.
Well he didn't always natter. He has this, side to him, you see. Even while he is, friendly, loving and doting, he can at times scare you, and enjoy doing it too. I think he was simply frustrated that he had no way of telling me who he was exactly, and well, sometimes, just sometimes I think he got angry at me for it.
He is death after all, and I don't think he always cares for humans all that much. But he has never hurt me, although I know full well it is his loving fondness for me that prevents that. Some people I suppose haven't always been that lucky....
But in the main he was always a loving, loyal friend, switching out forms so he could adapt and be with me when talk to adults of charming, suave skeletons was causing problems for me. As my Baron puts it, I'm his friend and that is all there is to it. He wasn't leaving, period.
This of course explains why the ghosts I've known were terrified of him. He may have fooled me of course, but they could see his true form, explains them always seeking his advice too. Odd.
How I see Him
He is my Authur, beloved and rather foolish playmate, seeing life as one great adventure. Then he is my Hobson, bringing me up short and being rather serious, and if you will forgive the expression, grave about things. But I love both parts of him, well, every part of him.
I used to have some truly lovely and rather romantic videos for him on You Tube, but alas, orthodoxy wasn't a fan. So we'll have to settle for some other videos, none 'religolous' as he puts it. But how I see him. I am a Baron Samedi shipper. So long as I'm the other person, naturally.
My Baron Samedi is rather talented at shapeshifting, appearing as whatever strikes his fancy, though most often human or skeletal in appearance. He loves himself after all, and can't imagine why everyone else doesn't. A good healthy ego and megalomania being a trait most Barons share. Being Death can make one so pompous at times.
But his is strikingly handsome in any appearance, in a way that simply makes you, child or adult, crave his undivided attention. He is well aware of this of course, and will preen in utter pleasure over this rather devastating and unfair effect on the female, and many males, of the species.
When he has either manifested or mounted (still not sure which he did, to this day) I've seen grown females walk into things, men too. He is just so utterly devastating with his good looks, you see. Well he has that affect on most people in his human form.
You know you're a little strange when his skeletal from has this effect, though mine assures me it is normal. He is after all, the great and glorious Baron Samedi, regardless of form, and women are supposed to faint from his good looks. I'm so very happy he doesn't ruin them with humility.
He can of course, also appear as a woman, every bit as lovely. This isn't Bridgette, but a special talent of his own. No idea if he is both male and female, though he will coo at you he is whatever he wants to be. Then tap you on the nose with a purple fan he, well she, pulls out of thin air, and giggle coquettishly. I must point out here that anyone who doesn't find him funny, charming, and a grand adventure all in himself simply isn't trying hard enough.
He does like thinking he is everything wonderful in the world, so maybe this is just him proving it, if only to me. Though he would look at me in utter shock and say of course, he is proving it to me. That I'm his friend and that's what friends do.
Every Baron Samedi is different of course, and mine is as different as can be. Because of course he is perfect and wondrous, and do I realize how very lucky I am to have him? Did he recently mention he is perfect? Because he is. He has done many grand things, though none he can mention to me, because that wouldn't be fair.
I am not of course, the Baron Samedi, I am only me. And it would make me rather sad to think on that if I knew all the wonderful things he has done. All the while he is delighting in my laughter because I find his utter lack of modesty charming. For as he points out, wonderful skeletons such as himself don't need modesty, do they? They must be wonderful or everyone else would give up the will to live.
He is right of course. Without him I'd of found my grave a long time ago, something my friend, lwa of the graveyards or not, is strongly opposed to. It is his job to remind us to take joy in life and be happy.
He will groan at times the great personal sacrifice he makes to be near me 24/7. For he should be out doing grand baronial things, like checking his vast estates or carriages. Or putting on a robe and cowl if he chooses and terrifying the general populace, all the while accenting his speech with grand gestures of despair.
But then, he adds, looking at me out of the corner of his eye, he knows I need so very much looking after and it is his lot in his life, or afterlife, to be looking after me. He then ruins the whole speech by grinning broadly. Coming forward, still grinning, it changing from friendly, to death rictus. As if anyone could ever be afraid of that, though he does try very well. He's very clever, very clever indeed.
The Great Shocking Horror
My Baron at times, likes to pretend that Haiti, or at least Haitian Vodoun does not exist. They have so many rules, he grumbles. He growls he expected me as witch, one who has studied Death in all his forms, to know better. I know of the life/death/life cycle, that life is death and death is life, so why don't I do as he asks already? Becoming, dear reader, truly angry for the first times I've known him. Well, truly angry about something so serious.
He points out my utter fondness for Death and the Maiden, and when I try to slip out of the conversation by pretending he means to say Evil Eddie of Iron Maiden he stops me cold. He's angry now, all dressed up in his funeral and Baronial best, black, skull-topped cane pressed into one of my arms, pinning me effectively. He's come in his personal carriage, after all, if he has to manifest like this, to prove he is who he says he is, I'd better listen. My skeletal friend isn't at all happy now, not a bit.
He's been pressing suit for two years now, and if I don't damn well listen, he's going to forget that he is my friend and loves me so. Then maybe, he growls, he'll prove how much he really is Death. He snaps his teeth, not in his general affection gesture, but a threat.
Now will I damn well listen and trust he has always been with me? That he CAN appear wherever he wants, and if he chooses anyone, me in particular, for his own self, that is really his own business and anyone else who gets in his way is going to be rather sorry for it?
When he can tell my heart has utterly melted, for this is his own way of pointing out the obvious, he is my friend again, rather relieved he doesn't have to be so, nasty, as he puts it. When I put in the tiniest squeak that I really shouldn't that it is after all a thing I was taught was wrong, well, he proves me wrong, and that is all you need to know about that.
Oh, for the sake of all get out, if in six lenses they haven't figured out I did fall in love with him, I'm worried about my readership. There I said it. He's been the most devoted friend and protector since my childhood, and well, he is Baron. People falling in love with him, happens all the time. People other than me, dear reader.
I suggest if they have landed here they take their own personal Baron at his word. For his word is his honor, you very well know know that. Do not, as I did, make him angry enough to leave for an extended period with refusal of anything he asks, that you know in your heart is right.
He is after all Life/Death/Life. How exactly, do you think he did a healing once, in possession of a mambo, using the generous application of his, to be delicate, healing, uh, lotions. There was anything hid up her skirt either as you know it doesn't keep well, and it was what it was.
The man who related the tale was a Hougan in his own right, so I trust he knows what he saw, skeletal appearances be damned.
We are never going to be married in a house, but you know, you still need rings. Even if a house would perform the ceremony it would kill him to have it implied I need anyone other than he to say we are married.
I'm not big on religious ceremonies either, to be honest. All that money to be told what we know in our hearts is true? That we belong together? Rather spend it on him, if you ask me. But our rings, with a few obsessions thrown in.
Valduggery, he loves it!
He's my partner in crime, and my utter hero. So of course when we found out about Skulduggery Pleasant we were both charmed. After all I grew up with a very real skeleton as a friend, one who acts exactly like Mr. Pleasant to a disturbing degree.
Seeing the videos for the first, time my reaction amused him to no end. My jaw dropped and stayed there, until he giggled and pointed it out. "But Baron!" says I, "Just look!" He smiled at my shock and said it was a marvelous, wasn't it?
Then I read a free expert and poor Val seems as gobsmacked as I was upon our first meeting. Though she only has a skeleton mage who wields fire, and I have rather something more, that still wields fire.
His Current Obsessions
He is fairly sure he needs all seven novels on his altar. Because, well, isn't it obvious who Skulduggery Pleasant really is? Well he only wants the novels if some Valduggery pops up, which he is hoping for. Or Graves' End, he likes the cover very much.
Baron Samedi, well mine, has his own likes, somehow always extending back into history before his charge's birth. Now while it is true I had older parents, and therefore was exposed to AMC when it used to be quality television, he adores old films.
Just about every classic film, and his tastes cover all the genres. He has a surprising fondness for Cagney, Astaire, and many other actor/dancer/singers because, they are, real performers. He'll tell you about when the theatre, arts, and acting meant something. I always get the disturbing vision of his doing this even back in the 1600s and before, for he is the past, in his own way.
The great writers, music, though he isn't terribly fond of opera, and he is sure he's known every great composer who ever lived. Or died, he will say, and now they are decomposing, and laugh hysterically over it.
Mine adores watching horror movies as he finds them funny, loving zombie films, and pointing out the dearth of films with skeletons in them. So we of course have a fine collection of Gothic (and I mean time period) horror we can both swoon over.
He's fond of Penny Dreadfuls, or anything else featuring skeletons. Though he isn't wild about Ghost Rider, he did like other comics featuring skeletal characters, one the was a demon who healed and had the same vast store of, erm, witty responses. I think the comic only ran for four or five issues as not too many fans like a dead something with catfish whiskers or whatever they were. We do have copies and I'll find them some day.
This character was a detective as well, so I shouldn't be surprised at his fascination with Skulduggery Pleasant. Keep in mind it isn't that characters he sees, but himself, and since I suffer from the same delusion, even though I know better, I support his strange habits.
He has my best books, many countless gifts, and more altars around than any lwa has a right to. He gets the films that mean most to me, that we both adore, so he is rather spoiled. He is a paradox, wanting and needing proper gestures of candles and offerings that are his right, but despising the very notion that it should mean separation from his friend.
So if I get too 'religoulous' as he puts it, he will shake the altar in annoyance, well, anger. But if I approach as his friend, giving him what is his due as a true friend, he's happy. He is feasted or spent time with on Saturdays and Mondays, but somehow ends up owning all your time if it is your destiny. Really no use in fighting it, you know.
Separation and Grief
If it wouldn't have been for The Baron's protection from the NICU on, I wouldn't be alive today. He watched over me even then, devotedly standing guard. Keep in mind this is my Baron we are talking about. He has also sheltered me from an exploding glass window, from fire, car crashes, smoke inhalation, and a dozen other things.
I didn't even know him waking me up one night was him. Before our time, I think. And yet not. But anyhow, I sleep like I'm in a coma. Nothing, and I mean nothing wakes me up. Well, I woke to a hand shaking my shoulder, and could see a figure standing over me, talking to me.
I had to get up, now! I wasn't afraid. The figure was quite real, a black form, not much if any taller than myself. A silhouette of a man, I'd seen several times before. My old friend? My heart gave a leap, but, I thought, surely not.
But his voice was friendly, loving, concerned. He also sounded like his heart would break if I didn't move. So I did of course, and didn't see my benefactor for a while after that. For all his bravado, Baron is perfectly aware most people dislike him as Death, and therefore keeps his distance. It would frustrate me to no end when he would pull away like that. I always assumed there was something wrong with me. Maybe I wasn't pretty enough, normal enough, or whatever. Why would my friend keep leaving me when I needed him the most?
I know now he pulled away because he thought it was best, even though I still think he was wrong. I don't think he liked being the best friend I had, even though I had human friends. He seemed to think spending time with him was a sin of some sort.
Truth was, with my bad ticker, I needed a friend who could sit and read or just talk. Or visit with me when I was confined to bed with other ailments. Or in the hospital. Someone who didn't mind my old fashion taste in books or music, so forth and so on.
But he didn't see it that way, so he kept pushing me away, until of course we were away from one another. For years I didn't see my beloved companion in any form. To say I mourned the loss was an understatement.
Questions I'm sure you have
If he's your best friend and husband, what's with the altar? He can't give these things to himself. I take great pleasure in feeding, caring, and in general spoiling him. I AM lucky to have him after all. Remember he had to chase me for two good years of knowing him through Vodoun before I'd accept he is the same spirit who has always been with me.
Aren't you worried about orthodoxy at all? Used to be, but they never held me as a child. They didn't hold me during my met tete reading either, stroking my hair. I only ask they leave us in peace and I'll return the favor.
Best friends? How did that work out? My mother had the gift to see spirits, so did my grandmother and so forth. So they knew I was seeing him, and didn't mind as long as I was a child. It gets a tad more complicated the older one gets, of course.
Do you believe other people who claim he wants to marry them? Of course! He isn't always interested in orthodoxy to get it either. Depends on the Baron. As long as they are happy, go for it! It won't be my exact Baron Samedi after all, they get one unique to them.
But wait, how do you see him? Second sight, second hearing, at times second touch. He's rarely done a physical manifestation. Remember the women in my family see spirits, so it was no big deal, really.
Aren't you unhappy? You could have a mortal spouse you know. For some reason people think you miss out when you pick a spiritual lover or spouse. I don't hear too many nuns complaining.
Can other people see him? Yes, and the reaction is priceless in adults. Children glom on to him, just as I used to. He is very friendly with children you know, being a better protector and friend than any other lwa.
When did you realize you were in love? Right in the middle of a ceremony in front of his altar. At first I thought I did something wrong and he'd given me a heart attack! I remember him complaining I ended that service awfully fast and asking what, exactly was wrong with me? What indeed.
Why use his altar photos in this lens? Because he wanted me to, and as his friend I'll listen. He figures I should get used to seeing the stuff he's accumulated as proof of friendship and love. Religolous, remember?
BTW, he doesn't dislike Haitian Vodoun, he simply won't be told what to do.
How he sees himself...
Without the afro of course, but he's sure he is a wonderful singer. And violinist, and swordsman. He likes to think he is king of the world, because of course, he is. He has the ownership papers somewhere....
He's something like Brook, which is scary, at least as far as thinking he is the funniest man in existence, which of course he is.