Houngan Matt's Vodou Blog

A City Houngan's Life Among the Lwa
Browsing Matt’s Musings

Maryaj… that thing which bwings us thogethah, today…

July24

OK, so that was a ridiculous butchering of both a Vodou concept AND “The Princess Bride”, but hey… Im in a silly mood. (My boyfriend’s family lived in Mahwah, New Jersey, for most of the time he went to school…. so saying the above as “Mahwah is what bwings us…” brings me particular joy, just to watch him cringe.)

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And now, a word FOR our sponsor…

July24

Dearest Readers,

This is a personal issue of mine, and one I feel is exceedingly important. Our religion, Haitian Vodou, is something that is sooooooo deeply embedded into the very fabric and culture of Haiti (a fact we often banter around) and yet the majority of the texts that are written about the religion (you know, those books you’re always asking me to review or recommend) include the early history of the island but stop well before current events or even the last 30 years of Haitian history.

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A Rant; Whores of Spirituality

July24

So… This is a rant, but its an important rant and one that should receive the attention it deserves.

Think of us a little like the Masons (actually, there’s more there below the surface) but for sake of example, remember their saying that “they’re not a secret organization, they’re an organization WITH secrets”.

Give that a sec to sink in.

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The Importance of Listening

July24

And I mean REALLY LISTENING.

I had the honor… well, we’ll just call it the honor for right now, but I had the honor of running as a go-between for my Mom and my Manbo setting up a couple of readings… one for my Mom, and the other for her friend who had come up from Pennsylvania to visit for a few days. Said friend supposedly had been occasionally visiting readers for a while now and was interested in seeing what a Vodou Manbo’s perspective would be and how it might differ from the standard Tarot readings she has gotten in the past. At first, I thought “well hell, I can just do the readings myself”… Ill be honest. That said, Manmi is a *phenominal* reader and I’d never want to cheat her out of a reading; she’s truly gifted, and while I do a good reading I can only aspire to her level of proficiency. Also, this is my mom we’re talking about… its too easy to say what I think she needs to hear instead of delivering a message faithfully, so its best that she go to someone who can remain completely impartial. The thought of doing it myself dissappeared seconds after thinking it, and I arranged the appointment.

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Money and the Vodou Vipers Nest

July24

This post was originally written and posted on April 25th, 2011 (hence the Easter and Holy Week stuff ;) )

 

Its been an interesting week, that’s for sure… I took a bit of time off of  the blog to deal with personal life, Holy Week, family stuff, and of  course the Easter Dinner (My mom has this tendedncy to cook food for an  army when holidays happen… 5 of us for dinner, which was WONDERFUL, but  Gawd I left that house in a food coma.)

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Perspectives

July24

So, just in case it isnt evident, I should say it and make it clear… I  write from the perspective of Haitian Vodou *alone*; I am a Houngan in a Haitian lineage and do not write from the perspective of an insider in  other arts such as Santeria/Lukumi, Palo, Espiritismo, Curanderia,  Candomble, Makumba, Umbanda, NOLA voodoo…. none of ‘em. I have my  priesthood and write from that perspective alone. Hope ya enjoy ;)

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Basic Elements in Vodou

July24

A question I hear from a great deal of people practicing different  traditions usually boils down to something like the following: “I know  about Earth, Air, Fire, and Water… How do you use the elements in  Vodou?”

Truth be told, the way that most other traditions out there  understand them, we dont. I’ll get to more of an explanation of that in a moment, but the first really salient part of the answer is that when  you’re approaching Vodou from an outside perspective, you need to “Empty your cup”.

Cup? Read the rest of this entry »

Spiritual Hygeine, Grace, and Humility

July24

So, if you’re going to be a working Houngan or Manbo, in theory you’re  going to be working on/helping/hired to/assisting the removal of things  like bad luck, hungry dead, negative energies… all sorts of nastiness.  THE LAST THING that you want is to have that cling to you, your temple,  your home… that can spell disaster. A practitioner of any religion  or magical art that helps others break or bend whatever issues cling to  them is in a particularly dangerous spot when it comes to negative  energy… it all needs to go somewhere; we remove it from our clients in amongst our long litanies of what we do for them, but what can be  done to make sure it doesnt settle into you as a practitioner?

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Newer Entries »

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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