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Belfazaar Ashantison on 'Beneath the Sheltering Oak'

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1. What was your prime motivation knowledge wise in creating your book "Beneath the Sheltering Oak"?

I have always been a healer/protector by nature. When it came to shielding techniques and protection spells, I seemed to excel at them. I have always tried to teach people how to protect themselves metaphysically because I felt this was something EVERYONE needed. So, it became a dream of mine to put things down in a book...

2. Could you give us some background about being an elder of the Vampire community?

In my opinion, being an Elder in the Vampire Community is nothing more than being a servant of the community. We break ourselves up in extended families and work towards making each member of our extended family members feel as if they've finally found a place to belong.

3. How have you incorporated Native American spirituality into this system of magic?

If you want the honest truth, it incorporates into EVERYTHING I do. It is part and parcel of what makes me... Well... ME. Unlike many belief systems, it becomes a living, breathing part of the person who connects with it in a way that shows them just how easily they connect to the world around them...

4. Lately I am having trouble attracting a companion aka woman lover. Seems my mojo has ran dry. What
would you recommend spell wise?

I would honestly recommend that you focus on the qualities of the relationship you desire. Write them down (not type them because written word carries the emotional content of our desires). Get a red or pink candle. Each time you light the red or pink candle, recite Psalm 33...

Love work is tricky at best. It borders on what we call "Control Magicks". Control Magicks are what we call ANY magick that strips a person of their free will to decide for themselves what will and will not work for them in their lives.

5. Tell me about the voodoo that is discussed in your tome of knowledge please.

Voodoo is my spirituality and there are very good protections found in this path. New Orleans style of Voodoo is a combination of the African Traditions and Haitian Traditions. It is a rich and powerful tradition of its own accord and there are people who have traveled in small pockets, keeping it safe and teaching it to their sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandsons and granddaughters. I was VERY blessed to find someone who was willing to teach me such a guarded, yet wholly beautiful, spirituality.

Whenever you write about such a system, you will find two different types of people who approach you on it... The problem is that, even though I see the beauty of the belief system, there are those who will ALWAYS consider it a taboo subject. These people generally tend to be the first to scream "FOUL" when you write about something such as Voodoo... Then you have a second class of people, which can be equally as blind to what is going on. These people always scream "Cultural Appropriation" without even considering the very fact that their beliefs are a "cultural appropriation" from SEVERAL different belief systems tied into each other through necessity and pulling pieces from others beyond that.

There is no real way that a person could actually write about a topic like this and NOT upset someone.

6. I know in your book you mention wards a lot. Could you go into wards with us?

The way I was taught is that there is a difference between "shields" and "wards". Shields are something that move WITH the "caster" because they are solely around this person. Wards are stationary and tend to be protective of a whole area... UNLESS they are placed on a specific item, such as a ring, necklace or bracelet... Then they can become mobile. Wards are pretty easy to create and maintain and they can be artistically done as part of your home decor...

7. So tell us a bit about the vampire community you belong to. Is it more energetic or are there actual blood
drinking immortals amongst ye?

LOL... No. No immortal beings of supernatural abilities lurking in the shadows to pounce on the unsuspecting. In order to define a vampire, you must first define what the word "vampirism". Vampirism, according to the New Orleans Vampire Association and the House of Mystic Echoes, my own personal House within the community, define vampirism as:

"Vampirism is a physiological condition wherein the afflicted person's body does not either produce enough, or none at all, of the essential energies to maintain a proper balance of physical, mental and emotional well-being and must, therefore, turn to outside sources to attain these energies. These sources range from blood to psychic energy to empathic energy to elemental energy to the ambient negative energy present every day to eclectic mixes of any of the above sources."

Vampires know that all life REACTS to the energies of every other living thing on the planet however, for the vampire, there is a NEED to a vampire that can't seem to be met by doing very basic things, such as eating properly, exercising and regular visits to your doctor just can't make up for nor explain (yes. Many of us have gone to the doctor to find out what is actually wrong with us...

Vampires technically break down into a few categories based on their feed types... I am a sanguine vampire. This means that there is something about or contained within the blood that I need to maintain my precarious balance. I am also one of those who has tried to go the medical route to see just why I couldn't maintain energy doing the "normal" things in life. I was even prescribed Vitamin B shots and neonatal vitamins to help offset my lack of energy and they didn't do a thing... Other than make my hair and nails grow fabulously...

8. Could you share a few mantras with us from your book?

"Shadows of Light, light to shade
No one can see me, no sight be made"

"No sight, sound, no hint of me
Nothing of me, so mote it be"

"Up, down hither and yon
To all around I appear gone"

9. What are you up to next book wise and any links you'd like to share with us before you depart?

My next book shares the same title as notes that I have been writing on Facebook, "Voodoo Through My Eyes". It is a book on New Orleans style of Voodoo, with some Haitian aspects thrown in, that have been taught to me over the years from MY OWN perspective and understanding of these things. It is my hope that, when I am done, people will have a better understanding of these beautiful offshoots of the African Traditional Religions.

As a founding member of the New Orleans Vampire Association, I would like to share a link to that website.

http://www.neworleansvampireassociation.org/

We are a nonprofit organization working on several charitable things, such as our annual outreach programs where we offer food to the hungry on the "Big 3" holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Donations to help with this ongoing project can be made through the website. It is our ultimate goal to create a viable homeless shelter and outreach center which we can use as a base of operations for other programs as well... Such as a GED program. I was surprised at how many people didn't even have this simple thing that could help them move forward in life.

As a Voodoo/Vodou practitioner and the Elder of my own Vampire/Spiritual House, I would like to share the link to that website.

www.houseofmysticechoes.com

This is my own personal site and explains a bit more about me. You can also find some of the products I offer and services, such as readings, that can be arranged through the site as well...

Check out Papa Ti Ghede on Facebook too, as well as my own page...

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