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Exu & The Lucky Tavern

Exu is about luck. Luck is a state and it is a daimon. Luck reveals itself in a state of affirmation of opportunity where you praise luck, both others and your own. By praising the luck of others you are celebrating the daimon of luck. The daimon of luck is perhaps better known as ‘Chance’, from the Latin cadentia, which means ‘what falls out’ in reference to the game of dice or other games of chance and luck. Fortune is intimately tied in with the mystery of luck and her wheel is given motion by accidental turns that favor people in a seemingly random way. Hence the king of today might be the fool of tomorrow.  Luck and chance is also related to the Latin ‘sors’ and by linguistic development ‘sorte’, which in the modern vernacular means ‘luck’ and ‘chance’ – but ‘sors/sorte’ is also the root of sortilege, to cast lots – and here intimately related to fate and ways of twisting and turning Fate. Sortilege was also one of the activities of witches that were punishable by death – because no one should meddle with Fate and Fortune – and it is this field Exu dances around in.  

It so follows that ‘Sorte’, better known as Fortuna, which we find in classical astrology being of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn and in mythologies seen as a daughter of both Saturn and Jupiter is the spirit that informs the daimonic host of luck. This is why Quimbanda holds this air of the forbidden – because indeed we are here trespassing into realms that can alter the Fates and potentially bring grace or disgrace…

Luck is not about being deserving of her grace, it is more often about being in the right place at the right time – and preferably with the right attitude to make use of one’s luck. When we work the spirit of luck we need to be in a constant state of acceptance and appreciation for the ways wherein she works. Luck speaks loudly to those who are content and equally loud to the bitter ones that see themselves stalked by misfortune. She tends to represent increase – and if what you have is bitterness, more bitterness will come. We see putrid shitheads gaining political elections, we see our enemy cured from cancer and we see billionaires gaining the lottery. There is a tendency of feeling that such people might be “undeserving” of their luck – but luck is like any game of chance – the dice thrown in a given moment… If we feel resented with other peoples luck we scorn Luck herself. By celebrating luck wherever she manifests will bring her benevolent rays upon our life – and increase will be your lot. 
This is what makes Quimbanda such a delicate cult. Since we manipulate Fate and Chance it also comes with certain demands to ones character, literally, whatever your soul is full of is the energetic form that causes results. If hatred and resentment is dominating the soul this will cause a friction with the spirit of Luck and Fortune can easily turn into misfortune.
The cheap tavern, the boteco as it is called in Brazil, is an extension of the marketplace. In the past it was to the tavern people took their sorrows and victories, it was here the market took human form under the rose and veiled in beer and wine. At the tavern no nobility were to be found – and if they were they would probably be like the Earl of Rochester, more than a Marcus Aurelius – or would they?

The tavern is like death – because here everyone is the same – it is the Kingdom of the Harp and Lyre where pimps shake hands with saints, where differences is given to the growls of booze for the sake of unity or fight. Intoxication is the mistress of truth – but she also indulges all shades of self deception that apes the truth – the intoxication of spiritus is like the soul itself in fact… it is the atmosphere of luck, a gathering of possibilities.  In the tavern the tarnished soul can be brought to ease and frustration can find release. It is also a field of opportunity and of luck, which is why Zé Pelintra loves the tavern. It was through the tavern the lucky stars started to shine upon him and it is in the tavern we find some of the more devious and oracular of Exus. It is here we find Fortune holding the cup of Jupiter and Saturn – and it is because of this luck can hit in this marketplace of intoxication.

Now, the boteco or the tavern tend to be a place of male dominance, a place where any female is a potential whore and the talk is often about tits and ass, usually with a generous debunk of spouses. This debunking of marital partners does speak of their choices and their character. In debunking their spouses - Fortunes loved ones – they are also debunking themselves in degrading the one they chose to grow with, their mirrors as it were. These males rarely consider this, because the booze is oil for the tongue and the tongue gives to the tavern all lies that torment the hearts’ truth. In the tavern men pose moments of greatness they never had. They cry out their hearts in rivers of pride and failures and it is all dramatized on the drunken stage of the tavern – the marketplace of Exu.  Drunkenness can be of illusion and revelation, truth and lie. We can be drunk on wine, love, insanity – and it is all good as long as we are aware that Fortune seeks the tavern, the contradiction – because in such climate the dices are constantly thrown and fortune and misfortune spreads out…

It is all up to Luck – and Luck is something we attract, not by debunking other peoples luck or finding our choices not reaping rewards – but we embrace all things in a spirit of joy, interest and ecstasy – which is the spirit of Fortune - when we accept the good and the bad, the blessings and the lessons.

The tavern is a fire in the night and the drunkenness of the tavern fuels this fire. Here we are in the Kingdoms of Streets, Harp and Crossroads – it is a constant sequence of choice and chance. It is like the world itself given expression in a limited space – but under the influence of Bacchic revelry, you might be born anew or you might be ripped apart…

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