This question recently arose from a client who seemed a little shocked and concerned about working with The Baron. It brought up fears of death and change. But, sometimes these things are needed, and isn't "change" just the death of something we've already experienced and learned from? Baron Samedi is a god of many things, but his biggest attribute is healing in many senses of the word. To me, change is a healing all in itself. When we experience a change, we are forced to grow, to leave our old, wounded, small-minded selves behind and forced out of our snug, segregating cocoon. Our wings unfold, dry in the new sun, and we are healed from what stifled us. We have changed, are born again, and are liberated....healed.
I don't believe deities, or anything else for that matter, are inherently good or bad, they possess both light and dark just as we do as we are all just energy and chemicals. All Lwa are associated with "darker aspects" because vodou has been corrupted and deformed by current society and the media.
My clients biggest concern was what would happen to him if he petitioned a death deity...would he die?! While this seems dramatic, those who do not know could assimilate such an idea with a death deity. Petitioning a deity who is a god/ess of death is done for many reasons and most certainly it would NOT cause one to die, or there would be a lot of dead pagans around the world;) Shiva and Kali are both death deities and millions of Hindus pay numerous daily devotions to them- they do not die from it. Death is subjective and it's views and associations are dependent on the religion. It is a point in a cycle that is an ending and beginning all in one. When a deity of "death" is petitioned it is to bring an end to one thing and begin another, such as an end to bad luck and an opportunity to tempt the fates into bestowing luck upon you. THIS is a death, it is a change. The Baron is a deity of the crossroads, a point where you have the opportunity to choose any way you want to go; an ending to one road and a beginning of 3 others, therefore choosing a new road would be a "death" to the old pattern or habit and a new beginning within life.
We all reach critical points in our lives where we must symbolically leave an old path, letting it die, to persue new, fresh, vibrant (and scary) opportunities.
Don't let the fear of a death deity stop you from taking that leap into unknown territory and refreshingly cool waters that will renew and transform you.
After all, what's worse, to settle and be complacent or facing a little fear? Renew yourself, transform yourself, face your fears, and get to know something new...like The Baron;)