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My Vodou diary

Started by Case, November 22, 2014, 05:17:42 PM

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So I'm starting a serious study of Haitian 'family Vodou', being the more informal (and more widely used) system.  I've made contact with a Manbo,  who happens to live in the same country as I do,  which is good,  and have set up an altar.

In Vodou,  it's all about venerating your ancestors.  They are your eyes and ears in the spirit world. Your altar reflects that.  You place photos of your ancestors around the altar,  earth from the back of your home (and from your ancestors graves if possible), a container of sanctified water,  food and alcohol.  Adding to this are white flowers and perfume. I think there's other things you can add to the altar too,  but those are the basics.

Vodou has been influenced heavily by Catholicism,  and uses both the Lords Prayer and the Hail Mary catechism in its rituals. Vodou also uses the sign of the cross,  the vertical line representing the spirit and the horizontal line representing the physical world.  Where the lines intersect is the cross roads,  dominion of Papa Legba. You orient yourself during rituals in a similar fashion (something that also shares similarities with the LBRP), holding your cruciform in your right hand you address first the east, then the west,  then the north,  then the south. This aligns you with both the cross roads and the other side of the mirror.  The Lords Prayer and Hail Mary are also said during this time.

Cleanliness is extremely important,  and everything has to be thoroughly cleaned with salt and water.  This again ties into some forms of witch craft,  where salt is used for protection.

That's enough for now.  More later.

Pellinore Warthrop

As a Cajun and a practitioner of what is locally called "Voodoo" (I suppose you may call it "Hoodoo" or "Conjure"), I must say this interests me. Honoring ancestors is very important to me, but I hold off on the altars until I am better suited to maintain one.

Please keep them coming.


Vodou teaches that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs,  even if those beliefs are abhorrent,  or cause misery and suffering in others.  People ultimately get what they deserve,  or reap what they sow,  and it isn't up to us to force them to change.  This doesn't apply to anti social behavior, just belief.  Evangelical fundamentalists and followers of militant Islamic sects have every right to believe in what they believe in.  Their interpretation of the core structure of their religion may be ridiculously flawed,  but aggressively opposing them because of their beliefs makes us just as bad as them.  In this way, Vodou is a system of extreme passive resistance.

Vodou is a system of mindfulness. We don't scry the future nor stress about the past,  we live in the moment.  Our ancestors love us and are our eyes and ears.  They look after us,  which is why we venerate,  respect,  and look after them. Monday is ancestor day,  and is celebrated by placing two cups of coffee on the altar - one with sugar,  the other without.  The core elements of the altar are also replaced.  New water and alcohol,  new flowers and perfume.  Everything is also cleaned with water and salt.


After death, we move towards God, the first stage of this being passage into the waters of the world. Our essence stays in the water for a year. The purpose of this is to work towards a state of universal oneness.

There is no Heaven or Hell. Our soul is divided into two parts - the 'Large Good Angel' and the 'Small Good Angel'. The Large Good Angel is lent to us at birth, and returns to God and the universe after death. The Small Good Angel is ours for the duration of our lives. It is uniquely ours, and is our conscience and personality. It holds the sum of all that we learn, and all our wisdom. This is lost after death. A ceremony is performed a year and a day after death, the Small Good Angel having spent this time in the waters. The Small Good Angel is given a terracotta pot to live in so as to ensure that all the knowledge isnt lost after the person dies.How we live our lives adds to the Large Good Angel, and brings us closer to God.