Peace and Infinite Black Love Destee Fam! There are many key issues we can debate about concerning St. Valentine's Day, or any Roman/European holiday for that matter. But the fact is, some of them are deeply ingrained in us as Afromericans. For this reason alone, we should find new ways to "arrest" these so called "holy days" so they may serve us better as a community or as a nation. Then again, some of you are thinking...well there's nothing wrong with Valentine's Day, and perhaps you are right. Brothas we know this holiday far too well don't we. Its the one time during the year when saying "I Love you" might be mandatory. When showering your Woman with gifts, flowers, chocolates is an event she will later brag about on the phone with her Girlfriends... True, there's nothing wrong with showing love to your Life partner and Soulmate. But- there might be something wrong with waiting until a European Holiday to do so...and maybe these Love celebrations should be more balanced. There's nothing wrong with a Sistah buying a Man some trinket of affection every now and then too. Still, because St. Valentine's Day is a day of love, I understand it to be a time mysteriously fogged in spiritual rituals for the Goddess. Logically I think the perfect time to celebrate the Women in our lives is Saturday...or "S.A.T-herday" Show Appreciate Towards Her, Day. This is a time when Daddy can give Mom a break, let her kick her feet up..or even if you don't have any children...let her kick her feet up anyway...hint hint... As African people we know all about Love rituals, and how they can be used to express our deep spiritual feelings for our better halves, or conjure up the energy to landscape our destiny. Actually, this is what St. Valentine's Day tries to do with mere roses and chocolates. If you will in fact celebrate St. Valentine's Day keep in mind because this day is being celebrated collectively, like most Holidays in America- (and since most Whites practice their witchcraft in secret) it will be day for rituals. Ritualistically, and historically- there are several reason why a Man would give a Woman Roses, or Red Roses in particular. Sure we all know the connection between Red Roses and Love...but we may not know why there's a connection. In most cases the Rose represents the vagina, the red usually meant virginity (female menstruation) or the heart. When a Man gave a Woman Roses, the Roses themselves weren't as important as how the Roses were prepared or wrapped, which usually revealed to the Woman how this Man would treat her. In different situations a Mother (or practicing Witch) would teach the Male Son how to place certain kinds of spells on a female using Red Roses. A reference to one of these enchantments is even found in the story of Snow White, but in this case it was a Red apple and not a Rose. Sometimes giving a Woman Roses is done for another reason. If it is done during courtship, the Woman usually plants the flowers in a vase in her home. As time goes by the Man would make frequent visits to her home, not just to take her out on a date, but to check on the condition of those flowers. If the flowers start to die within the first 2 weeks it can indicated that this female has negative energy in her home, if the flowers continue to vibe with life, then it means she has positive energy in her home...or a green thumb- either way, the Male is delighted because the affect we have on plant life is the affect we have on all life in general. Europeans have a tradition of taking things that are powerful or spiritual and then perverting them with their own belief systems and ill logic. The same has been done with chocolate which is actually medicine. The coca (cacao) bean has its roots in most indigenous nations on the planet and has been used by all indigenous people for different beverages and medicines that promote well-being. So if chocolate can be medicine then it most definitely is a drug. We may be able to find a few pagan rituals even Easter tied together by the use of chocolate. But what does chocolate have to do with love? Well chocolate is used as a sweet drug, like red wine..in a romantic setting it can be the perfect tool for seduction. The darker the chocolate the deeper the response...I should also say the "purer" the chocolate. Most chocolates today are made with artificial ingredients and the "high" you might get from it comes simply from the white sugar. The best ritual for our people on any day of Love is to spend time together, close to nature and to speak outloud about your hopes and dreams for the future together. You might be shocked at the affect sitting outdoors in a natural setting does for your relationship. Any day of Love is a time for honesty. Giving the best gift depends on the needs of your Mate, but since it is a day of Love- that gift should come from the heart for the heart...literally. The best Love gifts are the ones that show your appreciate and one that will represent your love when that person questions it in the future. A necklace with a pendant should be able to symbolize that perfectly. The pendant should be something that represents you, your ideal relationship, or your choice symbol for your Love. There are many African symbols that will be able to express those ideas. When presenting the gift, it is best that you put it around their neck, and make sure the pendant hangs right on, or right above the heart. As an added touch, you can hold on to the pendant, look into their eyes and explain to them what this pendant means. Days of Love are very healthy and good for our relationships....so don't wait around for "them" to tell you when you should show love and affection for your Mate. We can cure all the conditions that concern us as a Nation by becoming more respectful and loving in our relationships. After all, we all come from a relationship between a Man and a Woman. We are only the extensions of the relationships Men and Women have. Black Love is an important part of Black Liberation because without Love, Liberation is meaningless.