All posts by marygaetjenswp

Equinox Blessings


Happy Equinox!

I’ve been living in California for 20 years, so I’ve not experienced a harsh winter for two decades. The promise of relief from a hard winter is symbolic and mystical for me, just as it’s been for witches, sages and mages since time began.  The logic ignites the magic. Equinox is a time when the shadow and light are in perfect balance. Today we celebrate balance – the exact balance between the Light and Darkness.

That said, it’s a wintery day here in Northern California which is cause for celebration – it’s raining and when it rains it’s like gold pouring from the sky. It’s a beautiful day. These are from my backyard –  

The Kogi, Arhuaco and Wiwa mamos and zagas (medicine men and women) I’ve been blessed to work with in the Sierra Nevada of Colombia see balance as the basis of my energetic skill sit, so today is my birthday. It’s a big one! I’ll be 50 this year by Gregorian Calendar accounting. Happy Birthday to me!


New Beginnings

We’re between the new and first quarter moon, astrologically  that means it’s a good time for new beginnings and my husband and I are selling our loft (which we lived in, used as a photography, rented and used as a yoga studio since our arrival in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. It goes on the market in April and we’re leaving soon to go on the road in what will ultimately be an adventure all across the country. 


In our weekly group meditation Ginny brought through many gifts as always – this time, including a message from the plant kingdom, particularly the orchids – They wanted us to know why they are here, on the planet:

To teach us how to live in community and collaborate






To teach us how how to live more simply 





To make us aware of the beauty and grace in our lives





Exciting New Review

What a thrill to see this beautiful review of my book today on Barnes and Noble! 

This is a book like no other I have read. It unites into an inspiring, cohesive and poetic whole a diversity of themes, experiences, information and emotions. Mary is a vulnerable yet confident, vibrant and, above all, heart-and-soul guide through her unusual life and her story of tragic loss and ultimate redemption. Readers of this book will not only be deeply moved, but learn more than they can imagine. 

Thanks so much whoever you are!


Happy Birthday Dad

Today would have been my father’s 97th birthday. I miss him so much. I used to feel like I was going nowhere trying to complete a mission he left unfinished when he was killed in 1990. Today I realize that publishing my book and working with Sister Dona  and Neite Decimus is not just following in his footsteps it’s giving me a reason to get up in the morning. My dad had a school in Haiti too. It’s been 27 years since he died. Will you help me honor him and his life’s work and support our collective work by making a tax deductible donation of $27 or $270 to help us re-open Sister Dona’s school? 100 homeless children are waiting to get an education, a bed and a meal.

The earthquake, the hurricane and Sister Dona’s political imprisonment left the school devastated and in nearly condemned condition. We need $10,000 for repairs, urgently. We’ll send you a book and/or some beautiful music as a thank you. We have a lot against us, but we are keeping our candles lit. We may be swimming upstream, but we are moving forward. Will you link here to help? Please, take a moment to make a change that will last a lifetime. Thanks so much. 

Sister Dona

Haiti has approximately 30,000 abandoned and homeless children. Sister Dona spends 75% of her time on the streets of the Haitian Diaspora raising funds to feed, house and obtain medical care for over 400 of them in Kenskoff, Port-de-Paix and Jacmel. She collects donations in a little box with a picture of Jean Jacques Dessalines on it hoping to instill national pride. She sends what she collects to Haiti daily.

100 homeless students were cared for at her Kenskoff school campus which is equipped with girls and boys dormitories, commercial grade cooking facilities, a cafeteria, and classrooms for primary and secondary school students.

Sister Dona was arrested for openly defying government officials in 2012. The Haitian government ignored pleas and inquiries from many sectors of the Haitian community, the Catholic hierarchy including the pope, and international human rights organizations. She spent over three years in jail during which time the school became incapable of operating. The Haitian government provided no concession for the children and they returned to the street.

The school was still under reconstruction from the 2010 earthquake when it was severely damaged by hurricane Matthew. It’s in dire need of repairs and a new septic system needs to be installed, but priority is given to a medical facility due to the recent pandemics such as the cholera outbreak and all other funds have been allocated for food.

Please donate through You Caring by clicking here and help us repair Sister Dona’s school for homeless children. 

Soeurs Redemptrices de Nazareth is a 501c3 charitable educational institution registered in the United States. All donations are tax deductible. Thank you so much for your support.

Below are gifts we issue as tokens of appreciation. We sincerely thank you for your support.

Donate $15.00 & receive: Dezire OR Baron by Jazz Pyebwa — This item is not sold anywhere and is available

Donate $25.00 & receive: Baron AND Dezire by Jazz Pyebwa — These items are not sold anywhere and are available only through download

Donate $50.00 & receive: donation we will send you the album “Legba Suite” by Jazz Pyebwa — This item is sold in our store (available for download as a gift option upon confirmation of your choice via email)

Donate $55.00 & receive my book: Anse-à-Vodou: A Summer with My Father in Haiti

My Book is Out

Kogi (46 of 156)

Excerpt from my book:

A field is an anomaly that cannot be accurately described, because
it must be felt. When the electricity in the air is so strong that people
look at each other and say What is that?, and there’s nothing to see or hear or smell, they’re in a field. Everyone lives in their own field, but I don’t notice most people’s or even my own unless I’m consciously paying attention. Some human fields are so big they radiate for miles, and there are countless non-human fields interacting with us. When the hairs on the back of my neck stick up, or I get goosebumps for no reason, or I feel suddenly joyful or tingly or short of breath, or my heart suddenly starts beating faster, I’m feeling a field. It can be the field of a person or of any of the countless energetic beings – each has its own field.
I looked to Merriam-Webster, where I always turn for something
profound in a definition, and loved what I read.

FIELD 1 a (2) : an area of land marked by the presence of particular
objects or features <dune fields>; 2 a : an area or division of an
activity; 3 : a space on which something is drawn or projected; 6 a :
a region or space in which a given effect (as magnetism) exists; 8 : a
complex of forces that serve as causative agents in human behavior.

My hunch is that the more powerful spirits create large fields,
energetic places in spacetime that keep the “real world” with its pain
and suffering and general problematic hardness at bay, or outside. When I’m in a field it’s like being in an energetic bubble where everything and everyone is peaceful, happy, and loving. Of course, there are also unpleasant fields, like those pervaded by darkness and hopelessness, which have terrified me. I wanted to believe they could no longer trap
me. I wanted to believe that the warmth and love I felt in this moment would be with me forever.

The field of Haitian Vodou was electric and so alive it literally
took my breath away. The electric current that moved through me
cleansed my body. It was like an invisible Dr. McCoy scanning me with a Star Trek tricorder to heal me of all physical, emotional, and mental pain. It was a safe feeling – comfortable, peaceful, joyful, and full of unconditional love. If nothing else happened in Haiti, if not one lwa or gede had greeted me or blessed me or talked to me, the bliss of that field would have been miracle enough. But I was only able to keep my heart open and my mind sharp for a few minutes before contracting thoughts entered my awareness. How often had I heard “If it’s too good to be true, don’t trust it”? It did feel good, too good, like I should pinch myself and wake up.

dlo dous veve

Teach Your Children Well

The Louisiana purchase which accounts for land in 15 US States would not have happened if the French had not been broken down by the war in San Dominique (Now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). That’s right. There’s a good chance that over a third of the country would be Canada or at least French Territory if not for Haitian ancestors. Haiti – the first, arguably the only Independent Black Republic -arguably depending on your definition of Independent Black Republic. No other colony of enslaved Africans won the country that enslaved them, but there are other islands in the Caribbean that used to be territories of other countries.
The question of the day since I’ve been focused on education lately is how many American children learn about the Louisiana purchase in this way? I’ll wager not many. I’d wager nearly none.

Slavery was abolished in San Dominique on 4\4\1972. The campaign to end slavery started in earnest on 8/14/1791 when the signal for revolt was given by Dutty Boukman solidified in a Vodou ceremony in Bois Caïman.

Haiti officially became a country on January 1, 1804, as it declared itself independent from France. The Haitian flag was raised on May 18, 1803. The colors of the Haitian flag and much if not all of the symbolism represents Vodou esprit, but that’s another story.


Bwa Kayman Vodou Ceremony, Brooklyn, NY, 16 August 2014 - Vodou ceremony in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY, commemorating the Bwa Kayman ceremony. Bois Caiman (French, Alligator Woods, Bwa Kayiman in Haitian Creole), was the site of a historic meeting on the night of August 13-14, 1791, which culminated in a traditional religious ceremony led by Houngan Boukman Dutty and the sacrifice of a black pig by Mambo Marinette, possessed by the lwa Erzulie Dantor. (Marinette has now become a lwa in the Petro portion of the Vodou liturgy!) This ceremony provided the final impetus for the uprising of Africans which led to the only successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere, and to the Western Hemisphere's first independent black republic. Photo ©Tony Savino
Teach Your Children Well

References (including some of the books listed on each page from my personal library)


The “Black Republic:” The Meaning of Haitian Independence before the Occupation

On The Fourth of July, Thank the Most Important Founding Father: Haiti’s Jean-Jacques Dessalines