Vampires we know and love #10: Asrapa/Dakini

Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.

Asrapa/Daki

Guiley describes an asrapa as “a blood-sucking witch who attends Kali, the fierce human-eating [East Indian] goddess.” Their turn-ons include hanging out naked in cemeteries, shape-shifting and raising the dead.

But, but, but… I think Guiley has kept the nature of Kali really simple there. Kali doesn’t just eat people.

One of her big roles is, in fact, killing demons. She’s also a war goddess who likes to drink the blood of her victims on the battlefield, getting kind of drunk off it and dancing around on their corpses. But, she has a benevolent aspect too, and is seen as the mother of the universe. Actually, her destructive streak might be seen as a protective streak, keeping her children safe from demons and their enemies.

But I digress. We were talking about beings known as asrapas, or dakinis.

Yes, they drink blood and attend Kali. “Asrapa” means blood-drinker, in fact. “Dakini” means sky-walking woman. In Tibetian Buddhism, dakinis are spirits/demons/fairies of the air. There are five different kinds of dakinis, and they each represent different things; the blue ones represent peacefulness; the yellow ones, grandness; red, fascination; green, sterness; blue, understanding.

Sort of like the different colors of M&Ms.

That Voodoo That You Do 2: Erzulie Who?

The last demon for a month…

Okay, don’t freak out when there’s no demon next week; starting Thursday, we’re having October is Zombie Month instead! Every day in October, I’ll have a zombie-related post. It’s going to be cool (Well, probably more like room temp, or the ambient temperature of whatever location you’re in.).

In November, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled demons

That Voodoo That You Do 2

Okay, are voodoo loas demons? Personally, I have no clue. But they fulfill the roles of spiritual messengers between Bondye (“Good god”) and mere mortals, which means they do the job of the angels in the Christian tradition, and demons were originally angels… So let’s call them spirit people and include them in the blog. (Plus, they tend to be snappy dressers, which most demons aren’t, and we could use some fashion sense around here.)

Erzulie Who?

Erzulie is the chief female loa — or maybe she’s a whole family. With voodoo, it’s often hard to tell these things. Is she a different spirit, or just in one of her moods? Only the mambo knows for sure.

erzuliefredaveveAs Erzulie Freda, she’s part of the beneficial Rada loa, and is sexy and stylish–the perfect woman, in fact. As Erzulie Dantor, she’s part of the less kind Petro loa. Scarred and ugly, she carries a big old knife that she’ll use on you if she feels like it, thank-you-very-much. But the paradox that is Erzulie doesn’t end there… Erzulie Freda hates females and treats them all as rivals, sometimes demanding that married men give up leave their wives to serve her (that’s the good Erzulie, remember?). But Erzulie Dantor (supposedly less kindly) uses her knife to protect women and children above anything else.

ErsulieDantorNo sane voodoo-loving woman would serve Erzulie Freda. If she did, she’d probably be rewarded by the loa ensuring that she never got married. But most female practitioners do worship Erzulie Dantor. Go figure.

Erzulie Freda is a mixed-race beauty who parades around in fine clothes and lots of sparkly jewelry. She wears three rings, one for each husband. She’s married to the voodoo loa Damballa, Agwe and Ogoun… And any other human guy she decides she wants–she just lets him know, through signs and portents, dreams and signals, that he’s supposed to drop what he’s doing (and who he’s doing it with) to devote himself to her.

It’s kind of awkward if he’s already married, but that has never stopped her before.

Sources

Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca
The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca
(Paperback)
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Adventures in Demon Hunting 2, or An Account of Creatures Strange and Wondrous: Sedna

The second of the amazing creatures encountered by intrepid Demon Hunters Teresa and Jolaine on what became known to history as The Great Demon Hunting Expedition of 2009 was an intensely ugly, but enormously powerful, Inuit goddess by the name of Sedna.

Sedna was once a human woman, living in the frozen Canadian North with her father, the creator god Anguta. Different versions of what happened between her and her father exist. In one, the ugly Sedna took a dog for her husband, enraging her father. In another, Sedna was so beautiful that an evil bird spirit fell in love with her and abducted her, leading her father rescue her. However, the spirit was too powerful, creating a terrible storm that threatened the lives of the people, leading her father to make a sacrifice of her.

Both versions of the story agree on the ending part: Sedna got into a canoe with her dad. Dad threw her overboard. When she tried to hang on, he cut off her fingers.

Good ending, through… Sedna’s fingers became seals, walrus, and whales–the big creatures of the Northern sea. Sedna herself became the powerful goddess of the sea on whom the Inuit depend for survival. Hunters especially worshipped her for good luck on their hunts.

Behold, Sedna!

Sedna

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedna_(mythology)