The Beauty of the Yellow Rose
That awkward moment when someone you’ve always had positive dealings with is accused of treating people like shit. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING. Cue me backing away slooooowly.
On to other things:
I pissed Osiris off mightily recently. I am really good at pissing off gods lately. During the course of trying to repair this massive blunder, I learned that He takes these things very seriously. Maybe because He doesn’t have quite as many worshippers in the modern day as some other deities? Maybe because He has a tough time showing his playful excited side and when He does it’s easy for Him to feel rejected? Whatever it is, I fucked up by not handling His birthday with the proper respect.
He wouldn’t take to me for a good while there, and I was worried I’d actually driven Him off for good. However, Wep Ronpet came around again thanks to a different calendar than I use, and even though I’d already done it once He seemed to think this would be an appropriate opportunity to perform some rituals in order to make up for last time.
I should say here that sometimes I have trouble writing in the blog because my Gods/Goddesses often ask me to keep certain things private, or They’re not super clear on what they prefer and I err on the side of caution by not posting. So, I might not provide a whole lot of details in what’s to come, but I’ll try to get the basic gist across:
Since my early days of academic study I have been drawn to serial crime. Why it happens, who commits it, who suffers. In particular serial murder, to the point where I had at one time seen so many crime scene photos that raw meat started to make my stomach turn. I think in part this is because I’ve always had a sense of impending doom (which I later found it is not uncommon in survivors of trauma), the sense that somehow I would be murdered or otherwise wouldn’t make it past thirty.
Because of this (and probably other reasons too having to do with personality makeup, following deities strongly associated with death and mourning) I’ve always felt a special connection to the victims of murder, serial murder in particular. Osiris has asked me to visit different graves and body dump sites, usually to just leave flowers and commune with the stains left behind by the crime. A Ted Bundy victim, Denise Naslund, has a grave marker in a cemetery fairly close by (though she’s not actually buried there, since SPD lost her skull) and I’ve left flowers there.
This time, another murder in Seattle spoke to me. Mia Zapata fronted a blues influenced punk band here in the early 90s, a time when music was perhaps the most creative and free its ever been in this city. She was brutally raped, beaten, and strangled to death on her way home from the bar one night. Something about it sunk its claws in to me deep. That was a time unparalleled in this city, so the history spoke to me. She did too, a little “chicken woman” beloved by her friends who sang like a “heavy angel.” Her music included themes of death, alcoholism, friendship, and chillingly, serial murder. I identified strongly with many of her songs.
Mia loved yellow roses, so my thought was to take a bouquet up to the Central District where her body was found in the small hours of July 7th, back in 1993. Osiris made it clear that this time, I couldn’t bargain with Him. He didn’t care how many spoons I had or whether I’d managed my time appropriately; He wanted certain things done at a certain time to make up for my previous foolishness. So it was that I found myself on that street, updated and full of new buildings now, deserted, more or less, in 1993. Yet still, the place where her body lay exposed and brutalized remained; I could compare it almost exactly to the picture I had.
I set the roses down as close as I could, taking three from the bouquet. One for Him, and the other two to place at the spots where crime scene tape had been secured. I sat and wrote in my journal about how Mia inspires me even from the grave; she was fearless about performing and trying new things within her craft even though personality wise she was somewhat shy and reserved off stage. She was kind, “a best friend to a lot of people,” and while she wouldn’t ever have labeled herself an activist, she lived those principles instead of sitting around holding forth on theory. She died on the cusp of fame, sadly relegating the band to a piece of history instead of a living breathing performance group.
I thought of her and her life and never spent a second on her killer. He’s in jail now and good riddance, but it’s Mia and her music that we should remember.
The best thing for me was when I stood up and turned around, a yellow rose bush was blooming in the front yard of the church there.
P.S. As far as the ethics of doing this for Osiris when the religious beliefs of the victim are different or even unknown, this is NOT a project wherein I ask Osiris to protect or guide the spirits of those taken. Rather I ask for Him to clear any negative energy that may persist in spaces like these. I give little prayers to the God or Gods a victim I know believed in, or ask any god that might be involved to do the guiding or cleansing. Murder leaves a stain on the soul of place, and rituals can help scrub it away.