St. John the Baptist
Alright. So, like I promised you in another video, I’m making this video on St. John the Baptist. It’s me, Papa Hector here.
So, first off, is that St. John the Baptist holds a very special place for me, in my heart, in my world, in my life, because St. John the Baptist a) is the patron, the male patron, the saint of Puerto Rico, and b) is one of the patrons of one of my own teachers and mentors. And so I’ve always felt and had a very close connection with St. John the Baptist.
St. John the Baptist in all of the Mystery traditions. What do I mean by Mystery traditions? What I mean by that is the Vodou-based traditions, the traditions that work with Mysteries, that work with lwa. So, Dominican Vodou, 21 Divisions, in Haitian Vodou and in Sanse, St. John the Baptist holds a very strong and important position. I’m not going to go in through all the Mysteries that St John the Baptist holds in each tradition but I’m gonna actually go into…a practice that we used to do back in the day for St. John the Baptist.
And it used to be popular to do this in Puerto Rico, was to at twelve midnight on St. John’s Eve…to have a bonfire going on the beach. And to jump over the bonfire as you ran into the water, as you went to go run into the water, and dip yourself twelve times at twelve midnight on St. John’s Eve…and then go run back and jump back over the fire as you’re coming back.
This is a special cleansing and a protection that’s done on the patronage of St. John the Baptist because St. John the Baptist is a mystery that contains elements of both fire and salt water. He’s a very powerful mystery. And he also connects with even fresh water. But, we do it at the beach because the salt water removes all that is salao, everything that is salty on you, bitter, any negative energy. Negative energy is often referred to as being salao or a person with negative energy has been salao, meaning they’ve been salted, somebody done thrown salt on them…thrown salt on their name. That’s why that expression comes up. So they’ve been salted.
So, it removes through the law of attraction, the sea salt removes any negative spiritual salt and attracts it into the sea water, from off the person, and the jumping over the fire is actually a reinforcement of the protection the fire gives you. So it’s asking with St. John’s patronage the protection of the fire element within the bonfire and from the Holy Spirit because the fire is representative of the power of the Holy Spirit. So, that’s what we used to do back in the day, and usually I’d be in Puerto Rico at this time, or I’d be in Dominican Republic, and that’s what we would do with my mentor and we would take a whole bunch of people out and it was really a great time to be had because we would have a little, you know, party at the beach beforehand, have our ritual at the end of the night, and then go back and have a little bit more of a party.
So, that’s St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist is an important spirit because if you know anything about the biblical text about St. John the Baptist, he is St. John the Baptist because he baptised Jesus. And you have to be a pretty important, special soul to have baptised Jesus, especially in the bible.
And the fact that that was such an important element that it was left in the bible – because we all know that the bible as you have it today is not the bible as it really is because the bible in essence was changed so many times by so many individuals, right – the fact that it was left in there just goes to show you how significant that moment is and how significant, how important that is in the Christian tradition.
And he is representative of various Mysteries because St. John the Baptist is one of those images that can be associated with various Mysteries and connected with various Mysteries. One of the things about St. John the Baptist also in DR is that there is a hole of St. John the Baptist where that hole fills up mysteriously with water, it’s one of the miracles of St. John the Baptist. These are the things that a lot of people don’t know about and these are a few things that it’s normal if you would have grown up in the culture to have either known, heard or seen these things or participated in these things.
And back when my mentors were alive, my teacher was alive, she would hold Misa near to St. John the Baptist’s feast day. And we have a special ritual that’s done, that was done amongst us specially like people that she prepared, people that she taught, for St. John the Baptist and to call upon that power that is especially at a heightened level during this time of the year.
And the feast of St. John the Baptist corresponds with the summer solstice, when the sun is at the height of its power. So remember that the mystery religions, the mystery traditions…they’re very connected with the earth, nature, agriculture, the natural cycle of things. So this date is actually a very important date for many Vodouisants, many Sansistas, many Caballos de Misterio, Servidores de Misterios, etc.
So if you’ve never heard of St. John the Baptist, don’t know about St. John the Baptist, if you have a mentor, a teacher, a godparent, maybe this is something for you to look into or ask about. As far as the Mysteries of St. John the Baptist and how I work with those, how our lineage works with those, that’s something that I teach to my own people…
But I hope that I’ve illuminated some of the importance of this Mystery. Because there’s many Mysteries that we commonly talk about all the time, who are important and who are major Mysteries, but St. John the Baptist is one of those major, important Mysteries who we don’t talk about quite as much. So I hope this has illuminated something for you, has opened something up for you, God bless you, keep the faith, until next time I’m signing off, it’s Papa Hector.