It’s #RomaniResistanceDay commemorating the day Roma & Sinti prisoners of Auschwitz took the damn place apart, fashioning weapons out of scraps of wood, metal, and anything else they found, and then drove back guards to delay execution. And the Romani and Sinti communities are still dismantling oppression today.
This is pretty belated, but on May 6th I was lucky to perform at an Ederlezi celebration in Brooklyn. Sometimes the night is so good that you forget to document it until much later. Ederlezi is a spring holiday for Roma in the Balkans, and a variant on St. George’s Day. There’s a lot of singing, dancing, flower-throwing, and feasting of lamb to imbibe its purity and thus be renewed. Much of Romani spirituality centers on spiritual purification, and this holiday is a beautiful testament to this. Each activity cleanses the soul, and whenever possible, the holiday is celebrated by a river to bathe in and throw in flowers for luck.
My Romani family doesn’t actually celebrate the holiday because my ancestors settled in Western Europe, but I love the holiday and like to observe it in my own small way. This year, it was by dancing, singing, & invoking Sara la Kali at X Marks the Loft. So many thanks to JunXion for creating this beautiful event to celebrate the Balkan Romani holiday of spring and renewal. I’m also very grateful to the Bulgarian Voices Trio, who gave such a beautiful performance and then helped me sing “Ederlezi” because I’m not really a singer actually…. Check out their beautiful music.Joro Boro also provided us great music & energy, and a real love for the holiday and for the Romani people. I was also touched by the way Chef Davo prepared the lamb so mindfully, slaughtering it himself with the respect and solemnity the holiday calls for, and pouring his intention for the holiday into cooking a delicious feast. We talked a little in Romanes, though mine is very broken due to my family losing the language in the war, and I learned that he lived alongside Roma back in Bulgaria and has a great affinity for the culture. The whole night I felt the respect and love of Romani allies who really wanted me there and encouraged me to share part of the Romani community’s culture.
Today marks the Pagan spring holiday, Beltane, the time when the veil between us and the elemental spirits is thinnest. It’s the perfect time for divination, dreams, wishes, and making out. The holiday celebrates the divine, sexy union between the god and goddess, and the cosmic birth that follows, propelling the wheel of the year forward.
I pulled a tarot card to see what wisdom the spring will impart, and it was the Three of Discs. This card heralds cooperation amongst friends and colleagues to help you manifest your dreams into reality. It’s a good time for business growth and working on projects. Collaboration brings you and your peeps great success.
Pull a tarot or oracle card and ask for a message for the spring. If you’re not sure what it means, you can look up definitions online. It’s also a great time to have your cards read by a friend or professional.