Archive for December 16th, 2010

December 16, 2010

Thank you Saint Expedite!

by Sara Gran

Thank you Saint Expedite!

Saint Expedite may or not be a “real” Catholic saint–I have heard differing opinions and, not being Catholic, I don’t really care. He is, though, a strong, powerful folk saint in charge of getting things done! Expedite can help with communication, miscommunication, lost checks, broken electronics, money fixes, and fixing tricky situations. When the check is lost in the mail, the car is in the shop, the landlord is at the door, the contract is still at the lawyer’s, and no one is returning your (polite and grateful, of course!) calls for help, it is time to ask the wonderful and honorable St. Expedite for help!  St. Expedite is related to Hermes and Mercury in the Greek and Roman pantheons–think of quicksilver, communications, carrying messages back and forth from us humans to the folks upstairs. He is also related to Papa Legba and Elegua in the Afro-Carribean pantheon, and often serves as a symbol of them (prohibited from practicing their own religions, West Africans in the Americas often hid their deities behind the Catholic saints of their oppressors). Like Legba and Elegua, Expedite is in charge at the crossroads, at thresholds, at places that are betwixt and between. Elegua is known for his tricksterish, child-like qualities–when it seems like the world is playing a trick on you, this may be the energy you need to acknowledge! And via the Mercury link, he can help with any and all problems related to Mercury Retrograde. Saint Expedite is also linked to the Hindu god Ganesha,the god with the elephant head, as they share the ability to remove obstacles and clear the road ahead.

Around the internet you can find a million different ways to ask this kind and generous saint for help. Here’s a nondenominational, eclectic, suggestion:

  1. Buy, print, or draw a representation of Saint Expedite or one of his allies–Elegua or Hermes, for example. Set up the image someplace with space to burn a candle and put a few little gifts. I have a computer-printed image taped above a bookshelf, and use the top of the shelf for his offerings. You can also find his candle at a botanica or drugstore and use that.
  2. Give him some nice stuff! He and his team like red candles, red flowers, a clean glass of cool water, dimes, keys, candy, and toys. Elegua’s number is three, so I made my gifts in threes.
  3. Make your sincere request. There are plenty of formal prayers to Saint Expedite out there. I think a moment of quiet and a sincere request for help in your own language is as good as it gets. And it can’t hurt to ask three times, while you burn a red candle. Tell Saint Expedite exactly what you will pay him when he comes through for you. He generally likes rum and Sara Lee pound cake as payment, although who knows what he’ll ask for–try to listen, and not only speak, and maybe he will tell you. But be clear on the terms of your deal, whatever that deal may be.
  4. Keep your red candle lit (as is safe and practical) and keep his altar fresh and well-stocked–but don’t give him payment until you get what you want! In between your request and its fulfillment you can rest easy because Saint Expedite is handling it. If you start to worry or fret, just tell yourself, “It’s in Expedite’s hand, and he is already solving it.”
  5. When you receive your request, give Expedite his pound cake, rum, or whatever else you promised. If you didn’t get it, don’t. But if you’re not sure (a half-way type situation), give him the promised payment. They say if you don’t pay Expedite, he will take back what he gave and maybe more, as well. Better safe than sorry,and pound cake is cheap!
    Veve for the Voodoo Loa named (Papa) Legba

    Image via Wikipedia

  6. I recommend you keep your altar going, keep it fresh and nice and stocked with water, flowers, and maybe an occasional gift of toys, rum, or whatever feels right. That way, the next time you need his help, you are already on good terms and ready to go.
  7. MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL is, as with St. Jude, you must publicly thank St. Expedite when you get your wish! For bonus points you may provide instruction, as I have, in how others may seek his help. (You may, with attribution, reprint this post.)
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December 16, 2010

Storming the Ivory Bastille

by Megan Abbott

Oh, this piece bothers me for so many reasons….

Bad Expectations: Oprah’s Misguided View of Dickens–and Literature as a Whole

I quote, in part:

…the sad truth is that, with no real guidance, readers cannot grow into lovers of the canon. Instead, they can only mimic their high-school selves with calls of, ‘It’s too hard!’ Or, else, they can put aside any notions of reading to become a better reader and instead immerse themselves in the nonsense of ‘discovering their true selves’ in novels.

How dare “the  masses” think they can understand Dickens?

Better we not even try unless supervised, closely, by an appropriately qualified scholar who can ensure we are reading it correctly. For, of course, without a keen scholar leaning over our shoulder, Dickens’s “obscure dialectical styling and his long-lost euphemisms” will surely mystify us, perhaps ensuring we never read again (and certainly not correctly!).