Levi didn’t think the new law student Jean was cute. Eren
wearing one sock pillowed underneath their comforter on Sunday morning was
Eren smiling and laughing against his lips as they did their grocery
shopping at the downtown market was cute. Jean was…something else.
He’d caught Levi’s eye the moment he’d spotted him at the
law office—he’d caught a lot of eyes, for many reasons. Jean didn’t look like a
law student, if the viper bites nestled in the corner of his mouth and the
black lines scrawling up his wrist were any indication. Still, the dude could
pull off a suit with his lithe body and designer Hudson boots that looked like
they were stolen right out of Levi’s closet.
Something about Jean set him on edge—didn’t make his skin
crawl per se, but made his body hum, like magnets under his skin had been
awakened by the gentle crook of Jean’s fingers.
He didn’t seem to notice, at
first. Jean, if nothing else, was completely professional with the kind of
single-minded sense of purpose that Levi usually associated with Eren (when he
wasn’t being cute, of course).
Maybe once-and-awhile something a bit extra clouded up his
golden eyes like a spilled glass of whiskey, dark and a little bitter, but he
gave no indication of his feelings either way.
At the holiday Christmas party,
Levi thought adding Eren to the mix might be the spark they needed to set the
whole world on fire.
He didn’t introduce them, didn’t give much hint of his
intentions to either party, just set them loose on each other like flame and
kindle, and watched nature take its course.
It was far from smooth—Eren and
Jean had argued, loudly, over some small thing or another. But Levi could tell
by Eren’s flushed face and Jean’s narrowed eyes that there was something more
than anger stirring in their chests.
After a few drinks, it clearly wasn’t anger. Eren took to
rubbing his face against Jean’s shoulder and the taller man looked puzzled and
intrigued, like Eren was the next body he needed to pull through trial,
requiring a thorough examination of skin and teeth and lips.
Nothing happened that night, obviously.
But Levi took a
certain amount of exquisite satisfaction in pulling Eren into his arms for a quick,
dirty kiss in front of Jean, lifting his eyes beneath dark lashes to meet
Jean’s heated, sharp gaze. Not long after, they’d agree to go on a date, test
the waters and see how the three of them got on.
How often does/should a lay person pray and give offerings to the lwa they're meant to serve? And what does that look like, generally?
Overall, there’s a really unsatisfying answer to your question-’it depends’. There really is no script to follow for how a lay person serves the spirits in their esko/spiritual escort. What one does and how one does it can be really dependent on need or prescription by the spirits, or based on desire to develop relationships a certain way. Some lay folks are at their altars/tables every day, some serve only on Saturdays, which is our catch-all day to speak with/serve all our spirits regardless of nasyon/nation, and some only wake up their table in times of need or when the spirit, as it were, moves them.
There really isn’t a better or worse in there for what someone does, but there is the caveat that the lwa work when we do. So, if someone is seeking the lwa and their influence, the more they go to them, the more they will develop their relationships with them.
Prior to kanzo, my service/devotional stuff varied all over the place. I spent time when I could or, as my life got more hectic and troublesome, every day. I used to say the rosary at least once a day for my spirits as a sacrifice of time when I could not afford much in the way of physical offerings, and I kept that up pretty frequently. If I had interactions with spirits in dream or during ceremony where they had messages for me, I would usually go to the table and address that spirit specifically. Sometimes I would do a more formal service utilizing the ritual salutes to ‘open the door’ to speak to them, more often I just lit a candle, sat down, and started talking/praying (and that’s what I usually do now, too).
In terms of offerings, I tend to preach care and moderation there since spirits rapidly get used to what you do and then demand that across the board. IE, if you always go to them with a platter of fruit, they are going to require a platter of fruit at all times and that becomes your ‘ground floor’. However someone chooses to offer things to their spirits, they should think about it being maintainable long term–is it maintainable even with life changes?
If folks want to offer consumable offerings (that of course fit the regleman/ritual order and ritual taboos), I usually suggest doing that on Saturdays because it is offered for all spirits then, which doesn’t create issues of jealousy or unhappiness. Simple offerings like fruit or flowers are great and straightforward, as are things like 7 day glass candles or even a simple white emergency-style candle lit and left to burn.
As you note, there are specifics for each spirit so it’s good that you acknowledge that one should be serving the spirits in their esko. It’s good to remember that not all spirits are with each person, nor will all spirits like each person, and knocking on the door of a spirit who doesn’t really desire anything to do with you can irritate them and can irritate the spirits who are with you (nothing like ignoring your bestie who is sitting on your couch while you chase down a dude from three streets over who happens to be passing by while walking his dog). For folks who don’t know what spirits are in their esko in vodou, that’s something that a priest can help determine through a card reading and can give specifics on how to serve each one of them and what they enjoy as offerings.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions.