A Pirate Life
Two weeks ago I decided to investigate my possible life as a French pirate.
Psychic Grant Colyer had given me the following information during a 5 hour reading back in February 2016. It was now mid September.
"There is much pillaging! You were a French pirate, drowned off the north coast of Menorca in 1708 in an arms deal gone sour with 3 Spanish ships that decided to take the cannon and powder being sold without paying for it. It was an ambush. You were bound for Mallorca."
"Do you know a Paolo?" Grant asked without breaking the train of data. I smiled as I wrote down the stream of information. "He was your brother then."
I was totally amazed for I had met Paolo an excellent musician and guitarist in Menorca the previous late November. Plus I was due to return there the very next week in early March. Grant had no knowledge of this.
"You will find a monument with many names on it that will make you very emotional." I assumed that he alluded to my up coming trip? He then moved swiftly on to my life as a Chinese money lender!
It is much easier when one knows what one is looking for! The embrassing fact is that these are all hidden in plain sight under our very own nose.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Last year I made two wooden sailing ships Zeeridder (Sea Knight) and Zeeraaf (Sea Raven).
I realised afterwards that this was because in 1661 General William Baillie and Sir James Lumsden were going separate ways each having their own ship instead of just the Zeeridder. They were working for the Dutch navy in anti pirate operations in the Mediterranean Sea. My subconscious was hyper active in this respect so it must have been a really emotional time as it is synchronous with my age.
The Sea Raven was a Q ship converted to look like a merchantman but with extra hidden cannon! As the pirates came alongside so the sides would drop and they would get a broadside followed by a swift unexpected boarding.
September 11, 2016 I decided early in the morning to look once again and typed "French Pirate list" into Google on my iPhone. Scanning the comprehensive list I found easily the name Raveneau de Lussan leapt out at me!
I realised straight away that I am always the Raven in Viking times my nickname was Ravnskjold (Raven Shield) my subconscious could barely contain itself.
Raveneau = Raven Eau = Raven Water aka Water Raven!
A clever pun using English and French combined. Lussan just happened to be a village in my favourite region of France Languedoc Rousillion
I knew then that I was onto something. I am particularly partial to their red wine!
Raveneau de Lussan (1663 - ??) was a famous French buccaneer during the late 17th century of the Buccaneering Era. He was born to a noble family that was unusually not wealthy. He joined the military at fourteen years old and in 1679 he set out to the West Indies to join the rest of the buccaneers. Being French he naturally gravitated to the colony of Saint-Domingue where he joined up with the buccaneers at the height of the era.
Raveneau de Lussan - Raveneau de Lussan (1888 Pirates of the Spanish Main Trading Card)
The portrait is a good attempt with the exception that I had dark hair.
Raveneau was initially unsuccessful but soon joined up with Laurens de Graaf. He first cruised with de Graaf from Petit-Goave on 22 November 1684. He would only partner with de Graaf for a few months before separating to buccaneer by himself.
(Note de Graaf was Dutch! Thus paralleling William Baillie and my own lives at this age (21) in being associated with the Dutch. Also in this life I have been used to demonstrating the Van de Graaf generator some 40 plus years!) Echoes upon echoes and around we go on the carousel of incarnation.
Petit-Goave situated in Quartier François now present day Haiti due west of Leogane on the map below.
His first major exploits as an independent buccaneer were to capture the city of El Realejo in 1685 and later the island of Grenada the following year in 1686 along with some English pirates. The buccaneers were not satisfied with the loot ransacked from Grenada so they burned the city down. They then moved on to Panama and ambushing the treasure galleons out of Ecuador and Peru as they made for Panama City.
Following this Raveneau would leave his English buccaneers for a little while before rejoining them to sack the Spanish city of Guayaquil. The buccaneers raid turned out to be immensely profitable. Next they captured the city of Tehuantepec and raided Mexico as far north as Acapulco. They next marched back to Mapala which was a port north of El Realejo and planned to return back to the West Indies, plundering Spanish settlements along the way.
From Mapala the buccaneers agreed to march to the settlement of Nueva Segovia which was located on the Coco River and would help them easily reach the Atlantic again. Lussan organized the buccaneers into four companies of seventy men each and they all swore allegiance to each other. On 2 January of 1688 the buccaneers burnt their boats and prayed together before marching overland, facing fierce Spanish resistance the entire way. The expedition took around ten days and they fought many Spanish soldiers along the way. Eventually the buccaneers reached Nueva Segovia and sacked it.
Following this the buccaneers proceeded to continue on to the coast. However, there was still Spanish resistance along the way and one such encounter saw many Spanish in the rocks above the buccaneers who were pinning them down with musket fire. Under Lussan's leadership the buccaneers agreed to leave eighty men behind to guard the wounded while the rest approach the Spanish from the rear where they were not expecting it. The plan was accepted after much deliberation and was aided by a nice thick fog. Eventually the buccaneers forced the retreat of the Spanish.
Following this victory the buccaneers chanted a Te Deum and ventured across Yara. Finally they reached the Cape Gracias a Dios in 9 February. Lussan and his crew then were able to get aboard an English logger ship on 14 February and made their way back to the colony of Saint-Domingue. They finally reached Petit-Goave on 6 April after a successful expedition of over 1,000 miles and nearly constant conflict with Spanish defenders.
Later in his life de Lussan would publish a great primary source document regarding his voyages known as Journal du voyage fait a la mer du Sud avec les flibustiers de l'Amerique. The book would be published in Paris in 1688, 1690 and 1705 and would grow to become very popular in French culture. The book was dedicated to the French Minister of the Navy and is useful for understanding the contemporary cultures of many of the locations he visited while on his cruises.
It appears that de Lussan lived the rest of his life in relative peace and luxury.
As I read several details correlated with my memories of the Caribbean. I had puzzled that even though De Ruyter had sailed with the Dutch fleet to the Caribbean my memories didn't seem to coincide with being an old person. He was the perfect solution. William Baillie had died in 1662 aged 62 hence my emotional out pouring this last year and Raveneau born the very next year 1663. Hence the parting of the ways with Jamie Lumsden and the two ships instead of one!
Events echoing in parallel as back in April Robert sold his house and bought a boat to live on! This was a sudden purchase and completely independent of any knowledge of any of this.
Next I roughed out the parallel timelines with age and it was bang on!!!! His adventures covered my life until the age of 25 in 1979 when I had my cancer operation, radiation and chemo. Even the urge to write a book was paralleled with my first literary effort entitled "The Siege of s'Hertogenbosch" 1629. This being a translation of the diary of the siege William Baillie had taken part in from the Dutch language.
I had been going to Holland for 5 years and successfully learnt Dutch in which I was now fluent. Each time I had felt very Viking off on adventures to return with treasure! I amassed a considerable sum working in the Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren in Boxtel, Noord Brabant near s'Hertogenbosch in 1976 and again in the ENCEBE varkens slachterij (pig slaughterhouse) in 1978.
I was in the exact same place as William Baillie at the exact same age he was and reliving an echo of his life. This was further compounded by echoes of my Viking life and Buccaneer life! Such powerful energies indeed.
Plus I had written a book just as Kurt Daluege had done and I've written 5 so far in this life. So the way was shown to me; purchase the book!!!
Free Online copy in English here: scroll down and press - View entire text.http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=eebo;idno=A58105.0001.001
As if meant to be I secured a French 1968 facsimile copy on eBay.fr for €10 plus postage! Pristine condition too. Result!
The book was a fascinating insight into one of my previous lives and I was immediately struck by the portrait below which compares favourably to that of General Baillie my incarnation before this one.
The stance and attitude of the two figures somehow spanning lives connected me directly. Raveneau top left and William Baillie bottom far right.
Clothing and Equipment
This was an interesting period for fashion! The functional clothing of the early 17th century became ever more flamboyant with broad brimmed hats increasing in size and ostrich plumes. The corners of the hats began to be turned up more to add character to the wearer. Front and back fold wear in fashion and increased into the familiar tricorn which would come to dominate the 18th century. The tricorn was functional in that the corners acted as gutters for the rainwater to run off and away from the wearers clothing. Plus hats worn by courtiers could be stored under their seats when attending court!
Ostentation was a sign of wealth as was colour, cut and volume of materials used. This prevails today with cheap clothing using minimum of materials. However bright colours now seems largely used by women although men do have their moments when rebelling from the ubiquitous grey or blue business suit!
This is a fairly accurate contemporary illustration of the buccaneers apparel.
Due to the heat and humidity dressing down was the order of the day for practical reasons! Note the effective popular sword and jaunty stance.
The Fusil a very long smooth bore flintlock musket was popular and very effective. Metal technology and barrel making wear increasing in sophistication to make firearms more efficient, accurate and powerful. No more dangerous smouldering match cord!
The Fusil gave the name to a type of infantry soldier that would come to be known until present day as the Fusilier.
The word barbecue as a method of cooking is ever associated with Pirates and Buccaneers! Yum yum! Pirates would often capture wild goats on Caribbean islands, chop down a palm tree, dig a pit for the fire, then roast the meat over the embers on a griddle. Thus the Barbecue as a form of cooking was associated with the Pirates of the Caribbean and derives from the Latin describing unshaven hairy Barbarians! Barber derives from this stem too
The word buccaneer comes from the French bouccanier which derives from boccane a type of wooden griddle used by the Panamanian Indians to slow cook their game over a fire. Buccaneers operated mainly in land where as Pirates engaged more in action at sea.
However the more traditional spit roast was also used. Needless to say I have long enjoyed both! I now know why I have often mentioned to my friends and students information on these methods of cooking and the origin of the word Barbeque.
Upon reading the memoirs a myriad of details from this life had their origins immediately confirmed. I was therefore totally satisfied that I had enough evidence to state beyond reasonable doubt that I have the memory of Raveneau de Lussan.