Houngan Matt's Vodou Blog

A City Houngan's Life Among the Lwa
Browsing Basic Vodou Lessons

Little Secrets, or a Little Window to Mystery

October27

Its not really a secret at all, actually, but one of those things that only happens when you open your eyes at the right angle… like those little mystery pictures that only show what they are when you’re not focused on them, every once in a while little pieces and little chunks of the Vodou cosmology fall into place and give you little revelations.

And sometimes, not so little revelations. Read the rest of this entry »

Vodou Bath Magic

October18

First things first…. yeah, Im gonna give you a couple recipes and an explanation of how some of these things function, but its grain-of-salt time; these things, made by you, will be good for their purpose but will NOT be as strong as those made by initiated hands… take these as basic and starter level, but DONT take them as a substitute for work from an initiated priest/ess when you need that work done. While these are GOOD BATHS, these are flyswatters in comparison to the tactical nuke an initiate has in their hands.

Also, dont make these for others; keep these for yourself, and if someone asks you about them please send them here, directly to me, or to another Vodou initiate… again, these work, and they do well, but this is all about explanation and NOT about power… the hands of an initiate will always make a stronger bath or work product than those of a non-initiate; we call it “heat” (other similar traditions use the word Ache/Ashe/Axe to mean a similar principle of power given/ramped up as a result of the initiations… keep that in mind.)

Read more about Vodou Bath Magic after the jump…  Read the rest of this entry »

Offerings for the Altar: Liquids

July28

Many people ask me, all the time, what offerings should go on the altar or what basic supplies are required for Vodou service.

There are a few things that are used VERY heavily and that I believe every Vodouisant with a working altar needs to have on that altar; there’s also an important thought that needs to be kept in mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

Empowerment!

July24

Lets take a bit of a refresher through what we have so far ;-)

YOU have spirits, and YOU have power ;-)

Vodou teaches that everyone has spirits that work on their behalf, spirits created by GOD to serve as intercessors and helpers for those of us down here on the Earth. EVERYONE has access to these powers of GOD… Everyone.

(this is actually a view held by many different traditions, not just Vodou; some will say everyone has a guardian angel or more than one, some say people have soul groups, some use different words for similar spirits called Orisha or Orixa… but everyone has access to these spirits.)

There are thousands of named spirits in Vodou; some are spirits almost everyone knows, and some are served only by smaller groups or even in some instances individuals. There’s enough spirit to go around; service, however, can also get to be pretty expensive if you dive in and serve too many spirits… so there’s some advice from within Vodou that makes navigating these areas or just starting out in them a great deal easier once you learn how to go about it. Knowing these little details streamlines your ability to serve the spirits around you, and helps put power into YOUR hands.

Read the rest of this entry »

Secrets of Vodou Service: Salutes and Passwords

July24

SO!

Its been a while since we’ve gotten into anything practical… and we need to change that! ;-)

Get up… seriously, the post will be here when you get back, but get up and go get a simple white candle (I know ya got one around… and, if ya dont, let me make a small suggestion… the kind we usually use is sold up here as shabbat or emergency candles; they’re about 4 inches long, maybe half an inch thick, and can be bought usually at the supermarket for maybe 6 bucks or so for a box of 72. Buy ‘em in bulk, since we use them A LOT) and, while you’re at it, grab a mug of water from the kitchen. Bear with me. Once you’ve got the candle and the water, just put them down near you, ’cause you’ll need them in just a little bit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Deepening the Power

July24

So… now that you’ve made your illuminasyon in front of your altar… wait; what do you mean you havent? :-)  Maybe you’re new to my blog and maybe you’ve been skipping around the  articles in here…. but for now, go back to the beginning (archive link  is down the page a little, on the right) and read through them in order; start ACTUALLY DOING things in order and you’ll get somewhere where you want to be. :-)  That said, if you’ve made your illuminasyon and refreshed your altar  now that Easter is done… its time to deepen the connection a little bit  and learn how to bring the lwa into your life every day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Illuminasyon/’The Return of the Lwa’

July24

(This post was originally written just after Easter, April 25th 2011… the Illuminasyon instructions can be performed at any time)

 

OK, so that title makes this post sound a bit like a sci-fi movie  (particularly one with a low budget or the name “Troma” appearing  somewhere close by)… but, now that its the Monday after Easter, we can  get back down to business.

Holy Week is considered by most, if not all, Vodouisants as a  particularly quiet time for spirit work; Vodouisants in the main are  Catholic, and so the two times of the year that are the biggest to  Catholics are also of particular import to Vodou… Christmas, and Easter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Basic Salutes: Ghede!

July24

The third and final division of the major Vodou Lwa are the Ghede, a  raucous bunch of the Unclaimed Dead (as opposed to the Beloved Dead,  served as your Ancestors). The Ghede are a wild, trash talking, heavy  drinking, hot pepper laced party just simmering under the surface and  waiting to explode!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Vodou Boston is a teaching blog as well as a look inside the life of a mostly average city guy who just happens to be a Houngan Asogwe of Haitian Vodou.

My name’s Houngan Matt… my initiatory name and title is Bozanfe Bo Oungan Daguimin Minfort, pitit Antiola Bo Manbo, pitit Selide Bo Manbo, pitit LaMerci Bo Manbo… and so on into time. Im a Houngan Asogwe serving at home in Kansas City and in my spiritual mother’s temple in Boston (and Jacmel, Haiti)… our House is called Sosyete Nago, in honor of the Nago Nation of lwa. Im a typical Bostonian-turned-Midwesterner with a few extra dimensions to his world (tell me, how many Bostonians do you know who serve African and Haitian ancestral spirits through the lens of Haitian Vodou? Actually… more than you may know.)

This is a no holds barred blog; Im not one to limit myself in fear of what you’re going to think. Be prepared for a blog where noone’s gonna pull any punches, and you and I will get along just fine.

I can always be reached at Houngan @ VodouBoston . com for any questions, setting appointments for readings or work, or even just social mail; I am here to serve YOU, and YOU are what is important to me. No person and no question is too small.

Look for me on Facebook, too! Bozanfe Bon Oungan is my username


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