Q: Why do Lwas | Spirits require the killing of animals and other humanly things like food, alcohol, perfume etc as offerings? And is all that wasted since a Lwa can’t physically eat?
A: Food for spirit is for everything else but for you to eat… ants, mice, trees, soil etc. It goes into the rest of nature that isn’t you. But when you kill that pig, MOST of that pig goes into serving community. Most of the cow or the chicken goes into food for the community. Food for the spirit is very small usually and that is usually dedicated to the rest of the world that we don’t see.
There is not such thing in Vodou as cooking for spirit and not eating yourself. But then there are parts that remain for spirit and those aren’t parts we usually eat anyway: the balls of the goat, sometimes the crane or the tongue or other parts that are used later for magic work. In Vodou sacrifice, therefore nothing is really lost, nothing is “wasted”. It all serves a purpose for the Vodwizan.
By feeding spirits, we feed the universe of which we are a part of. It’s like feeding water to a tree that will then bare fruit to feed us. In that way, by feeding spirit, we not only feed ourselves, we also feed all others that are connected to us through the bonds of the Universe.
Sacrifice is a lot more than anything even physical of course. But there is “regleman” (accounting) and those [traditions] are just older than us. They also evolve but take community, maturity, wisdom, experience, knowledge, respect and harmony.
There is a lot to tackle but ignorance is usually our biggest barrier and the thing is that spirituality is very personal so it doesn’t take more than a conversation and logic to really pass certain barriers.
Answered by Jean Sebastien Duvilaire, Houngan Asògwe