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When I was Baron Samedi

I used to dress like so—complete with a cane. I would walk about the place like that—people would stare, and my relatives said I looked like a Gestapo interrogator.

I was Baron Samedi—for, like the Baron, I also enjoyed rum and cigars at the time. Feed me with rum and tobacco, feed me at the cemetery.

Nobody dies without my say so.

Even if they have hexed you bad, I can keep your body from the ground—nobody dies without my say so.

The Baron speaks with a nasal voice—and so do I.

The Baron is the Fool—he is 0 and 22 in the Western Tarot deck, “for all returns to the Fool, therefore, life and death begin and end with the Fool.” It is the wildcard—0, a card so high and wild that you’ll never have to deal another.

It begins and ends with me, you understand.

Hence “the Barons are also ‘tricksters’ and sometimes act foolish and/or as whimsy, once again a property of the Fool”.

The Baron—the Barons—are gods of sex, death, and regeneration. They undermine conventions—help you deal with change, chaos. If you’re in grief, they’ll help you overcome it with laugher—Baron Samedi is the leader of many Barons, a pack of fools.

He is not the spirit of death—he is death itself (I do enjoy watching documentaries about nuclear war—wouldn’t it be great if we had one? I think it would be the most wonderful thing that could happen, I often daydream about it).

They also call me “Thoth” (the Holy Ghost, the Spirit itself—someone once called me “the Holy Ghost” in a group chat). The Red Indians call me a “Clown Dancer” like the two little fools that dance around me in the title picture (it took me many years to understand what I am).

They say I am “a mixture of irreverent humour, sex, and death”—they say I am more unsettling than frightening.

They say I make obscene jokes and say filthy things—and I think “fuck” and “love” are two sides to the same coin, dark and light.

Yet the Barons are “considered highly cultured”—these are the most sophisticated spirits for the Haitians, they admire my erudition.

It’s about sex and death—when you orgasm you die, it’s what the French call “the little death”.

The Baron knows all about that—and perhaps that’s why they called Julius Evola “the magical Baron”, because he was no Baron (not in the profane realm—but maybe he was a real Baron).

They say the Barons are “extreme in their expressions of individuality”—they steal food from other spirits and upset ordered ceremonies. “Their sexuality is ribald in the least, and lewd in the most.”

Just like the horned god, the hart—the god of Hartsfell, the wildcard.

The Horned God dwells in absolute dark and absolute light.

“They love to poke fun at the means of life's continuation and death [the] ‘raison d'etre’ (reason to be).”

The Baron is the first body buried in the cemetery—along with his wife—and he is the first and the last in the cemetery. He leads three horsemen of the apocalypse, but of a special kind:

“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).”

It doesn’t matter if you’re bullet-proof down to your underpants with bodyguards front and back, or if you’re just a wretched old beggar on the street with his cardboard sign—the Baron will get you in the end, there’s nowhere to hide, and “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

That’s why, on the Day of the Dead, the Baron storms the police station—to remind order that nothing lasts, and that all will be washed away in the end.

Haven’t you been to New Orleans? Don’t you know that the waters will come—the deluge?

There is a town that knows me.

They say I am noted for “disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum”—they say I always wear dark glasses.

They say I can keep you from the grave, heal you—or kill you.

They say that I am outrageous, that I’m filthy and obscene—they say that though I’m married to Maman Brigitte that I often chase after mortal women.

They say I’m at the crossroads between the dead and the living, between light and dark.

They say I’m the one who leads you to the underworld.

They say my servants are ruder than I am—and they are.

They say there’s no hex I can’t break, no magic I can’t undo—they say no one can resist my spells (no one can resist death).

They say I keep the zombies in the ground.

They say I am a black man with a white face.

And that I have never given up my costume.

And that I will always be “the Baron”.


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