Q: Are Lwas | Vodou Spirits from the lower realms / evil?
A: I often have these talks with my friends who are freemasons and they talk about “fallen angels” or “underworld spirits” as opposed to “spirits of the ethers” and they say how in Vodou we serve lower spirits whereas, unlike us, they serve spirits from higher realms because they want to “ascend”. It is so difficult for me to hear these things because as a Vodwizan we don’t look at spirits like that. We do look at how some Lwas have the energy of fire, or water, or air or earth but we don’t look at one being better or worse from one another; they’re just different.
Take a tree for example. We can see the same design in the roots as we see in the branches. It’s the same design of that tree happening at different levels. In Vodou we are just conscious that there are certain medicines – because Vodou is very connected to natural medicine – or certain teas or potions that require the roots of the tree, or that you take a little bit of the earth where the trunk meets the soil for the magic to work. Certain things require the fresh/watery leaves, or pieces of the trunk of that tree…
So I said to my friend: “I understand that there are people focused on solely using the fruits of a tree but we, Vodwizan, we use the entire tree. We use the roots, the soil around that tree, the air around that tree – because there is a certain kind of energy in the air, (the lè- as we call it) – we use the trunk, we use the leaves, and all serve different purposes. We consider the whole tree.
As far as reaching “higher”, it’s definitely not the way we look at it, it’s not the way we perceive the world or the universe. We don’t think it’s about being higher, we think it’s about being conscious and in harmony and that allows you to go as high as you need in times when you need to, and as low or as deep when needed, for an ultimate goal of serving community or shinning your “zetwal” (your very specific purpose in this community or in this world as a whole, including the rest of nature)
Answered by Jean Sebastien Duvilaire, Houngan Asògwe