Not My Goat Head and Other Musings


Goat Heads by Maria Ly. Text added. Licensed under CC 2.0

The story is this:

According to reporter Sebastian Murdock on Monday March 3, 2014 “ Another goat head was found in a New York park. Yes, we said another. On Monday morning in New York City’s Prospect Park, David Rabig was meandering along a wooded trail when his Boston Terrier, Leo, sniffed out the still-preserved head, DNAinfo reported.”

I don’t have the rights to reprint the photo(you can see it here), but it shows a severed white goat head with a tag in its ear bearing the number 93. Gothamist notes a possible Santeria connection, but also invokes the significance of Thelema’s connection to number 93, albeit a tad lazily. Journalist Lauren Evans writes that while Santeria practitioners are constitutionally allowed to perform sacrifice they are not allowed to dispose of them by “flinging them on the ground for discovery by area children chasing soccer balls or couples posing for wedding photos.”

Trash at the Great Googa Mooga Festival Prospect Park photo by Timothy Krause. Licensed under CC 2.0

Did someone really just write that? Seriously. I practice the religions of Voodoo and Santeria, and I know we will forever be demonized as a meat-eating, leather-wearing bunch of haters, but seriously. I am not advocating the careless disposal of anything, most of all non bio-degradable materials — but have these people been to Prospect Park? It’s not the filthiest, but it has its moments. No one is treating this like a littering issue, they are crying out and pointing fingers with an unjustified fervor. I am a Native Brooklyn woman, I was raised here, and I can tell you there are a lot of things you don’t want your children to happen across in Prospect Park, a long time site of “rough trade,” as they used to call it back in the day. There are a lot of weirdos in this city and anything is possible, if you saw a bottle of wine would you assume a priest had left it there as part of a religious ceremony. I can buy Kosher goat meat, but I would be stoned for considering this head a possible leftover from those practices. The photo I did use above is that of a Chinese market, no one accused the Chinese of having anything to do with it. As for those loving couples, if you happen upon a severed goat head while out taking wedding photos, maybe you shouldn’t get married, just maybe.

I know it’s too much to assume people won’t always want to sink Voodoo and Santeria religions to their lowest common denominator, but one can dream. If you would like to learn more about what Voodoo, Vodou, and Santeria really is about, please check out the Archives of Voodoo Universe — you just might be surprised. 


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