Seri Sou Vodou: Sakrifis

Kesyon: Poukisa Lwa yo mande sakrifis touye bèt e pouki nou ba yo bagay ke imen bezwen tankou manje, alkòl, pafen elatriye kòm ofrann? Epi eske tout bagay sa yo pral gaspiye paske Lwa a pa ka fizikman resevwa yo?

Repons: Manje pou lespri se pou tout lòt bagay sof pou w manje … foumi, sourit, pyebwa, tè, elatriye. Tout sa ki ale jwennn rès lanati a ki pa ale nan vant ou. Men, lè ou touye yon kochon nan yon seremoni Vodou, pifò nan kochon an al sèvi kominote an. Pifò nan bèf la, oswa poul la, sevi kòm manje pou kominote a. Manje pou lespri a trè piti anjeneral e ti pati sa a nòmalman dedye a rès mond ke nou pa wè a.

Pa gen bagay konsa nan Vodou, tankou pou w kwit manje pou lespri a epi pou w’ pa manje ladan l’ ou menm. Men konsa tou, gen pati ki rete pou lespri a e pati sa yo se pa bagay ou manje dabitid de tout fason: boul grenn kabrit la, pafwa zo tèt oswa lang lan oswa lòt pati ke nou itilize apresa pou travay majik. Donk avrèdi nan sakrifis Vodou, anyen pa vrèman pèdi, pa gen anyen ki “gaspiye”. Tout bagay sèvi yon bi pou Vodwizan an.

Lè nou bay lespri a manje, nou nouri linivè nan ki nou se yon pati an. Se tankou lè n’ bay yon pye bwa dlo epi pita pye bwa sa a pral donnen fwi ba nou manje. Se menm jan tou, lè nou sèvi lespri a, nou pa sèlman nouri tèt nou, nou nouri tout lòt èt ki konekte avèk nou atravè lyezon Linivè a mete ant nou.

Sakrifis plis pase yon bagay fizik. Men, gen sa nou rele “regleman” (kontablite) e tradisyon sa yo jis pi gran pase nou. Yo konn evolye tou men sa mande matirite, sans kominote, sajès, eksperyans, konesans, respè ak amoni.

Nou gen anpil bagay pou nou ranje men inyorans se pi gwo obstak nou; e bagay la se ke espirityalite son bagay trè pèsonèl, li pa pran plis ke yon konvèsasyon ak lojik pou nou janbe sèten baryè.

Sila se repons Jean Sebastien Duvilaire, Oungan Asògwe

Seri Sou Vodou: Seremoni

Kesyon: Kouman sa ye lè ou ale nan yon seremoni Vodou?

Repons: Mwen panse seremoni vodou yo reyèlman bèl. Pandan yon pati nan anfans mwen, nou te rete tou pre yon manbo, men akoz laperèz, sa te toujou fè nou kanpe lwen. Mwen te vin asiste premye seremoni vodou mwen ane pase, e santiman li te banm se tankou yo tap akeyi m lakay mwen. Se sitou son tanbou yo m plis renmen. Pafwa, son tanbou yo sanble son vag nan lanmè a. Tanbou se vwa lanmè a sou tè a. Li enteresan paske nan vodou, yo kwè ke nou soti nan dlo epi nou gen pou nou retounen nan dlo lè nou tranzisyone/mouri.

Antouka! Seremoni Vodou yo se manifestasyon senk (5) eleman yo: souvan yo itilize dife pou akeyi Ogou, pandan moman sa, ou ka manyen dife a, li tèlman bèl e pa gen krentif pou ou boule. Yon jou, te gen yon fanm ki gen anpil laj, ki te nan youn nan seremoni nou yo, li rete nan menm lakou kote peristil la ye a. Lè Ogou rive, Ogou anbrase li avèk si telman anpil lanmou. Sa te fèm mande tèt mwen, ki kalite relasyon yo dwe genyen deske fanm sa viv tout vi li pre lespri li.

Sete vreman yon bèl bagay pou wè. Anjeneral lespri yo trè akeyan. Menm jan Ogou ka yon gerye feròs, konsa tou li ka yon papa akeyan. Anpil ane de sa, li te parèt devan m nan yon rèv, dlo te prèt soti nan je l, li te vin fè m’ konnen ke li te batay pou mwen, e ke se pa t’ fòt li ke manman m’ te mouri. Sa se te pandan premye entwodiksyon m’ avèk lespri mwen yo. Evidamman, m ka di liy Ogous a gen yon plas espesyal nan kè m. Haha m sipoze ap pale de seremoni!

Seremoni Vodou yo se yon bagay enteresan pou wè: youn nan bagay ki pi pisan ke m wè ak je m se posesyon/ lè yon lespri monte yon moun. Gen kèk lespri ki vini ak si telman anpil fòs ke lè w wè sa, li ka retire tout laperèz nan kè ou, li ka fè w chita dwat epi kenbe tèt ou wo. Mwen te ale nan yon seremoni kote (lespri) Tijean te prete kò yon nonm ki wo anpil. Mezanmi !! Tijean danse nan yon fason sitelman bèl, li te itilize kò sa a trè byen; Mwen vrèman pa gen mo pou mwen dekri li.

Lè lespri yo vini pou yo danse, se tankou se yon bal oswa yon spektak divinite w ap gade! Eksepte, li pa sa! Se kò nwa an, dans Afriken an, kap rezirekte, se yon bagay diven. Jou sa a, mwen santi se tankou mwen t’ ale nan pi bon spektak dans ke m janm wè nan tout lavi mwen.

Gen kèk bagay ke mwen pa renmen nan seremoni vodou: yo ka dire anpil tan, e mwen pa renmen gade lè yap fè sakrifis bèt. Yon jou, pandan yo t ap prepare pou yo sakrifye yon kochon, mwen pa t ka estomake l, mwen te oblije soti deyò. Apre yon ti tan mwen t ale lakay mwen. Sa se youn nan konfli mwen ak Vodou. Mwen vrèman swete ke yon jou n ap kapab sispann tiye bèt. E se youn nan bagay ki kenbe m antanke obsèvatè Vodou olye de yon pratikan.

Koulye a ann tounen sou bagay mwen renmen yo !! Mwen renmen ke yon moun ka ale nan yon seremoni e li ka kominike ak lespri li yo. Ogou te vin fè yon gerizon yon fwa. Vodou se pa yon pratik avèg. Ou ka wè divinite yo e ou ka kominike avèk yo. Ou konnen ke Ogou “reyèl”, ou konnen Damballah ak Dantò reyèlman prezan paske yo vrèman vini. Ou jwenn fè eksperyans yo. Vodou a pa mande w fèmen je w’ pou w’ kwè, ou ka toujou vin wè ak je w’ pou tèt ou.

Antouka! Si yon moun ka jwenn kouraj pou li simonte laperèz sa li pa konnen, yon bèl seremoni vodou ki byen òganize se definitivman yon eksperyans tout moun ta dwe fè nan lavi sa a. Vodou a bèl!

Sila se repons Lisa ‘Zazou’ Pierre

Seri Sou Vodou: Inisyasyon

Kesyon: Kijan yon moun fè pou li inisye nan Vodou? Konbyen tan li pran pou li konplètman inisye?

Repons: Premye bagay, mwen dwe mansyone ke gen diferan nivo inisyasyon nan Vodou, epi tou gen diferan “rit” oswa kategori nan Vodou. Rit Asògwe a se rit yo plis rekonèt pou “relijyon” Vodou nan kominote Ayisyen an si mwen kapab di li konsa. Apresa, gen rit Bizango, Makaya, Sosyete San Pwèl ak lòt anko … ki plis tankou sosyete sekrè ki gen responsablite epi ki itilize konesans mistik ki nan Vodou a nan pratik yo fè yo.

Nou kapab pale tou de Makousi an, oswa Houngan / Manbo Makout, ak lòt senp “sèvitè lwa”, ki pratike Vodou san yo pa nesesèman pase yon pwosesis inisyasyon.

Nan rit Asògwe a, gen 3 nivo oswa etap inisyasyon: Ounsi kanzo, Manbo / Ougan Sou Pwen, epi finalman Manbo / Oungan Asògwe (pretès / prèt)

Si yon moun vle inisye, fòk li jwenn yon Manbo oswa yon ougan Asògwe.

Tou depan de sa lekti espirityèl ou montre ak sou ki chemen nan lavi a ou ye apatikilye (paske nou kwè nan reyenkanasyon), sa ka afekte si inisyasyon an pran pi lontan oswa sil pi kout men inisyasyon se ouvèti yon pòt, se konmansman yon nouvo chemen pou ou dekouvri tèt ou. Konbyen tan li pran reyèlman depann sou moun nan ak sou gid li. Gid la ka manbo a oswa ougan an, men konsa tou gid la ka Mèt Tèt moun nan nan kèk ka (sa se lespri moun nan fèt avèk li an).

Moun inisye pou anpil rezon diferan … inisyasyon ka pou yon tretman majik pou yon moun ki gen pwoblèm mistik … li ka paske moun nan vle vin yon manbo/ ougan, oswa pou li ka rantre nan yon kominote / fanmi, li ka pou li jwenn dwa antre nan sèten espas nan djevo a oswa jwe sèten wòl pou akonpaye “travay guinen” manbo a oswa ougan an ap fè an …. elatriye

Sila se repons Jean Sebastien Duvilaire, Oungan Asògwe

Seri Sou Vodou: Sa Vodou Vle Di

V o d o u | V o u d o u

Tèm ki vle di lespri oswa bondye nan lang Fon ak lang Ewe nan Afrik de Lwès

Relijyon ki baze sou animis, majik, ak eleman rityèl ke ou jwenn nan seremoni Katolik Women, e ki karakterize pa kwayans nan yon Bondye Siprèm ak yon gwo panteon divinité lokal, anj gadyen, zansèt deifye ak anj sen ki kominike avèk moun ki kwè nan vodou a atravè rèv, nan trans oubyen nan seremoni.

The Fierce Hen That Could

Let me tell you the story of the fierce hen that could

Like a rooster, she sang loud and proud
Cocorico ! Cooocorico!!
She dared to defy the rules of the Lakou
She dared to act contrary to her sex
even Mother Nature could not make her do otherwise
Yes like a rooster, she sang loud and proud

Let me tell you the story of the fierce hen that could
And why everyone said she was an abomination
One woman yelled: “we ought to cut her head and hang it outside for the rest to see!”
Another said: “that simply cannot be done! A hen should never sing!”
But like a rooster, she sang loud a proud

When I asked why everyone was making a fuss about it
They all started to sound like broken records of thoughtless
superstitions of the past, parading fears of being different

“It just cannot be done”

“It’s an abomination”

“It’s a bad sign for the Lakou

“It just should not be done”

“We ought to kill it”

To that I asked mockingly: Kill it and eat the abomination??
To my surprise the residents of the third-world echoed: “No!  kill it and throw it away!”
Despite the stir that she was causing
The fierce hen never stopped
Yes like a rooster, she sang loud and proud
Her chicken-like vocal cords echoing for all the neighbors to hear
As if to say: “Bite me! I will be more than you think of me”
“I will be true to myself and I will let the world know who I am”
Her song awoke the dormant feminist in me
Her echo spoke louder than words of civil rights advocates

But let me tell you the story of the fierce hen that could
And how she was disposed of
She was tied to a piece of log, heavier than she could bear
And yet like a rooster, she continued to sing loud and proud
She was grabbed and laid down flat
While the fright in her eyes turned into glistening pride
She did not flinch
And like a rooster, she continued to sing loud and proud
Giving her last breath to a last round
Cocorico! Cooocorico!!
As the machete separated her head from her breasts

And that is how the fierce hen that could, could not.. any longer
But in my dreams of a hen heaven, I still hear her distant chanting

Image: Ben Deppin

Vodou Series | Karma

  1. Q: Can you talk about the evilness in voodoo. People often talk about how someone did ‘Voodoo’ on someone else to harm them. How does that work? Is it easy to harm someone?

A: It’s karma. You do evil, you receive evil. When a person harms you and you go to a manbo or houngan, whatever they do to the other person is going to come back to them in another way. Personally, I am different. If someone harms me, I don’t need to go to a houngan to find justice, I don’t even need to light a candle. Once I cry, I find my justice

However, one must keep in mind that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ depend on which viewpoint it’s being looked at. For example, if a person goes to a houngan because they want to kill their husband who’s been beating them up, you may think it’s a bad thing but you don’t know how long that person has been suffering this abuse. Good or bad is subjective. From your perspective, it may be bad but from someone else’s viewpoint, it may be a good deed. In this aspect, I don’t really like to judge. It depends

I like to say it’s karma. If someone throws a rock at you, you don’t necessarily always have to throw one back though because sometimes when you react there are side effects. You should let God and the Lwas judge and act on your behalf

I really cannot tell you why it is easier to do evil than good. But evil [magic] is always easier to do. If I want to do harm, I know 2 simple ingredients I can use to harm someone, to poke that person. You can poke them with a mirror and a knife or a calabash squash and a knife. No, not with a doll. It’s very simple. You go before Baron, you ‘call that person’ to the mirror, there are certain things to do but it’s easy. Unlike when doing good [magic], when you want to do someone good, it always takes a while to kick in

Answered by Arry @timazak81 🌸

Vodou Series | Lwa

Q: But what exactly is a Lwa? A dead person? Who created it? And why must it be served?

A: The language of Vodou itself is to get in more harmony with nature and the universe. And through that situation we feel that you will reach the best self that you can be and serve the best purpose that you can serve. That means living in harmony with the lwas | spirits around us.

Some people interpret ‘serving’ to mean ‘degrading yourself’ but the best translation I’ve heard for it is ‘be helpful to the lwas so that they may be helpful to you’. It’s the understanding that the universe doesn’t just need to ‘service’ us we also need to ‘service’ it. We service the lwas, so that they may service us.

It’s being conscious of your existence in this world and knowing that what you do, does have an impact. That you cannot just do whatever you want because you feel that you won’t have an impact; either because you feel too small to make a significant impact or that you feel too important to bother making one. So, in Vodou it’s more about harmony than it is about subservience.

Answered by Jean Sebastien Duvilaire, Houngan Asògwe

The Imposing Citadelle Laferrière

Location: La Citadelle, Cap-Haitien,  North Department —


First off, I’d like to give a huge shout out to Haiti Tourism for having the cutest welcoming houses at the entrance!
Aren’t they just cute?!
There’s also a really small fancy store to grab snacks and drinks close by.  It reminded me of Starbucks. Way to go 😉

This trip was AMAZING for a number of reasons. I’m so happy I get to share it with you.
Get excited. Are you excited? It’s okay I’m excited for the both of us (that’a girl!)
I had so much adrenaline flowing in me by the time I got to the top, I was smiling on the inside like a fool.
It’s no wonder that The Citadel is rated #1 on Trip Advisor‘s ‘Things to do in Haiti’ !

La Cidatelle Laferrière (also called Citadelle Henry Christophe) was built under Henry Christophe over a 15-year period to keep newly freed Haiti protected from any future attacks by the French army. It was part of a system of fortifications which included the building of other forts throughout the country such as Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre in the West Department. The architecture is one of a kind,  the defensive strategy is astounding and it is so huge! I can easily see it housing thousands of soldiers as it used to in the past.

You can tell Henry Christophe was either super meticulous or a little paranoid because he would have his cook watched by soldiers and before eating, a soldier had to try it first to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. How ironic is it, that it wasn’t the food that killed him.
Nope. He committed suicide with an infamous silver bullet.
So naturally the question we all ask is….Was the food really that bad..?
All jokes aside, I respect the man. He built more in his lifetime than any other Ieader I can remember right now. That deserves praise. (clap clap)

Now, the most challenging part about going to La Citadelle is getting to La Citadel. It does take some time to get up there because the fort sits on a super tall and steep hill.  My uncle –who is in good shape- chose the option of lightly jogging uphill. For those of us who are up for the challenge that might be the option for you. Coralie and I, on the other hand, knowing where our strengths lie, decided very early on to get a horse. But don’t worry you can always grab a horse along the way if / when you get exhausted or lightheaded. The catch is that you still have to pay the full price for renting the horse (~$10).

I had a fun time Patience, my horse. The ride was a little intimidating especially heading back down because you as if you’re about to tumble over head first. But fear not my fellow friends! There are two men escorting you by foot on each side and they coach you very well on what to do to make it easier on the horse. Man, I was feeling so bad for Patience. He is so strong. Bless his heart. We were bonding the whole time. So I know he forgives me.

The guide who gave us a tour of Palais Sans Souci, is the one who led us to La Citadelle and gave us a tour there as well. He was very informative and patient with us as we interrupted him so many times to take pictures. Please don’t do that, you can always go back and take pictures. I wish I had kept his name. Oh well next time because I’m definitely going back. I recommend this place to everybody and anybody. Please remember to tip the people who have served you. I’m excited to see what it will look like after the renovations are complete. Here’s what they had going on so far along with a store where you can purchase posters, shirts and baseball caps all featuring La Citadelle:

Peace & Love & Keep on Greening!

Check this awesome video out about paragliding over La Citadelle!