I have worked with many deities and spirits through out my life. Being raised Pagan it was normal and expected. Though it sounds crazy to talk to the average person about conjure or working with spirits (which is one reason I do no speak about it unless asked, also because I am a private person) it was normal in my family. Though I could write a post about each of the spirits and deities I'm about to mention, I'll keep it concise as that would make for one LONG post:)
I hesitate to say "MY" deities and spirits because they are not mine. They are yours too.
First what I deem a "spirit" is a human who has passed (Saints, High John the Conqueror, etc.) and deity a force from "mythology";) Now, there are those who overlap, such as some Orisha. Take Chango for instance, he is reputed to have actually been the third king of West Africa. So here, there is overlapping.
I will begin with the one's most present in my life-my Mother Oya and Father Ogun. Oya came to me as a mother and protector. I also work with her aspect Maman Brigitte whose feast day is my birthday. There was an immediate connection, nearly as if she had given birth to me and I loved everything about her and all that she shared and showed me. Many people fear her but I have never received anything but love, guidance, and blessings from her.
My father Ogun, I found a few years later. He came to me when I was in a real jam-mostly of my my own doing. I was homeless, in major debt, jobless, lonely after a 7 year relationship ending...everything that could go wrong had. He protected me, showed me that I was still strong. That even though I was down, I would never be out. He provided for me and got me through those dark years.
I also work with Oshun often, (for clients and my family) though this is not always looked upon fondly, as daughters of Oya are assumed to not work with Oshun. Though I never feed them together, I do work with both though Oya will always be mother of my home. I often call upon Oshun for my clients wishing to be blessed with children-and by blessed I mean through any means-adoption, foster care, biologically, etc.
I honor Mary Magdalene as I was named after her daughter and I have named my daughter after her-Magdalena. I believe she was a true goddess and true teacher, misunderstood and slandered. She is a miracle in the lives of women who have been down on their luck, lied about, talked about, abused, and misunderstood.
La Madama/Madama-a beautiful mother spirit! Some worship these aspects separately but I worship them together. "Madama" was a cloth doll that was made for slave children who could not afford china dolls like white children. This doll was very precious, because even having spare cloth to make a doll for a child was rare for slaves. If the child was separated from her mother, as often happened during that time, the child was left with the madama doll that represented their mother. the child would keep the madama doll hidden away, so she could not be stolen or destroyed. During hard times, the child would take the doll out, and talk to her knowing that the doll was connected to the real mother's spirit. Then, magic would happen...
Madama's job is to set everything right, to provide protection, keep harm away, and to provide wealth, health, and luck to the home. She provides all kinds of goodies if you invite her into your home and call out to her for a favor.
La Madama brings good fortune and luck and provides steady, paying clients and work. She helps my clients to find me so that I may attempt to provide some relief from their troubles.
Mamasita, my house's spirit:) She dwells only here and shelters us and helps provide for us. She is our dwelling familiar so I will keep her for us only:)
Saint Martin of Cabellero-provides my husband and I with steady work and clients. As we are both self employed, help in this area is how we survive. No clients-no food. His story-One day, while riding his horse, he chanced upon a near-naked beggar and cut his cloak in half to give the poor man a covering. That night he had a dream in which the beggar appeared to him as Jesus, so he quit the army and became a monk in Italy. He was later promoted to the rank of Bishop of Tours (in France) but always lived a simple life and gave a great deal to charity.
La Anima Sola-The Lonely Soul who is named Celestina refused water to Christ when he was crucified. For this she suffers for eternity in purgatory. Weird spirit to work with huh? :) Not really, in her suffering she realized her wrongs and now grants any aid to those who ask. No different than the rest of us:) We make a mistake, we suffer, we learn, and we help those who are making mistakes now.
Pomba Gira-a complex spirit who I turn to to help myself and my clients heal from the abuse we had/have endured. She also brings blessings of good fortune and business. She is also very close to my heart as I am a GLBT and HIV/AIDS advocate and these are considered her "people". My father, though I never met him, has AIDS and I try to pray for him...try...
And the numerous saints! Saint Lazarus I pray to for any that I know are ill or having trouble making ends meet. Santa Muerte is another whom I work with strictly for healing, though she has other aspects. Saint Anne, Saint Jude, and Saint Anthony for when a client has a dire need. Saint Martha for marriage and relationship issues for clients, Saint Joseph who protects my husband who is a carpenter. Obviously, I could go on...
So that is just a tiny portion. People often ask me if I get tired, working with so many spirits, having them around me, feeding them, and working on other people's issues as well as my own. No. It should never be "work" to serve a spirit and, and the risk of sounding cliche', I was born to do this. I have an incredible amount of energy and patience and love to serve my clients and the spirits and deities. I know that in order to serve one, I must serve the other. I can not help anyone with out the help of the divine and the divine will not help me if I do not serve others. Yes, I get run down and emotional from the hardships my clients are experiencing. Yet, I know tomorrow is another day and I know the sooner I start serving them the sooner the load will lighten for us both.