I hate writing my own biography, but since my biographer refuses to write a word until I die (really, I have a biographer named Carlos, and he’s writing my hagiography), I’m left here to fend for myself. So, here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Ochani Lele.
I was born a Jenkins but became a Myers (adoption), and then an Acevedo (marriage). Now that I’m preparing for divorce, I don’t know WHO I want to be as far as names go, so I’m thinking about changing it altogether. I’m giving it thought; and when I decide, I’ll let you know
I was born into a secretly magickal family, and I had not a clue that there was magick all around me, but I was that “weird, spooky kid” in elementary school reading palms, reading playing cards, and divining the future – although an elementary school child thinking he had the foresight and wisdom to speak of the future was rather silly. Still, I was good enough that my peers lived by my words! At age 6 I was trying to read so I could read all the books on psychic phenomenon at Smoot Memorial Library in King George, Va. By age 8 I’d read a book titled “Pyramid Power” put out then by my current publisher, Inner Traditions. By age 9 my bedroom, much to the dismay of my parents, was wall to wall pyramids, and my father spent every waking moment destroying them because they were “. . . making me weird.” [His words.] By 10 I had FINISHED reading all the books at Smoot regarding psychic powers, ESP, alternative religions, and magic (I wasn’t spelling it with a K yet). Among those that I read was a book about Chant-O-Matics (was Buckland the author?), and I was tapping chakras and power points on my head while going into what was called “The Mantic Trance” by chanting intentions repeatedly.
My father didn’t like it; and my mother would roll her eyes. The book got taken away. But at least there were no pyramids to be destroyed!
At age 11 I cast my first spell with terrifying consequences (I accidentally conjured a rock throwing poltergeist), and when my grandmother cleaned it up I learned that some of us practiced witchcraft. She and Aunt Genevieve worked together, Mom strapping on the sword, to bring me into the Line of Lady Sheba in the Gardnerian Craft. Go ahead – laugh. But the discipline was wonderful, and our family’s magick ran much, much deeper than that, so don’t laugh too hard. Wica (we spelled it with one “C” thank you) has its charm and power if you’re in with the right people.
In 1989 I began a gypsy life running up and down the east coast until, in 1992, I decided to settle in Central Florida. Not-so-true-love uprooted that life and took me to Michigan for a time, but I ended up back in Central Florida in 1996. I left Florida with a U-Haul, and I left Michigan with a suitcase and a backpack full of orishas. It took me two years to rebuild my life, and, yes, basically I was homeless for the first nine months, but things worked out nicely. I got my own place; I got a well-paying job; I wrote 9 books; I got scratched to Palo Mayombe; I moved to a bigger place; I got made to Obatala in the Lucumi faith; and, finally, cared for my best friend as she fought, and ultimately lost, her battle with ovarian cancer.
Then came romance, an engagement, and a marriage; sadly, with marriage came chaos. Even sadder: while most marriages end with a parting by death, my marriage ends with divorce. And somewhere between engagement and marriage I moved to Chico, California. And here I am. In Chico. Being a man given to impulse and extremes, I went from living a self-indulgent life to one of simplicity and minimalism. I wanted a tiny house and almost got one, but instead I’ve become a full time RVr. I’m still writing; I’m teaching, and I run a small business: Lele’s Magickal Things. Right now, we’re bringing out magickal perfumes formulated from my old family recipes, with a few of my own creations thrown in for good measure.
And that brings you up to date. It’s November 23, 2017, the day before Thanksgiving. I’m back on LiveJournal, and I’ll be writing about my personal growth and development as a witch, an olorisha, a small business owner, and the survivor of a failed, abusive marriage.
Won’t you join me?