VODOUN – 21 NATIONS UNDER GOD SANCE TRADITION
From thebestlovespell, 2013 [Edited]
Contrary to popular belief the first Africans to set foot on Puerto Rico or the Americas for that matter where free men. Even as late as 150, a West African man who was the son of a Yoruba King and later baptized “Juan Garrido” was an African Conquistador who worked for Juan Ponce de Leon, “Puerto Rico’s first Governor” and was the first African man to set foot on Puerto Rican soil after the European ‘conquest’ and almost 100 years prior to the first Africans caught in the European slavery system to be taken to the United States “Jamestown 1607”. Another African man, called Pedro Mejías, was married to the last Cacica Chief of Puerto Rico, Yuiza who like Pedro Mejias, was baptized a Catholic and renamed “Luisa” in order for both to be legally wed under Spanish law. Like the Dominican Anacaona in the Agua Dulce Division, Yuiza was the last female Cacica “Chief” to then become part of the Spirits venerated in Puerto Rican Sance.
Like the European enslavers, the African people came from different societies and tribes, each having their own dialect, language and culture. Haitian Vodou or Voudun consists of 21 Nations or Nasyons of Lwa – what Dominicans call los Loases or Misterios de La 21 Divisiones (also known as Budű or Vudű Dominicano.) Continue reading
SACRED DAYS OF THE LWA
By Houngan Hector, 2011
Vodou is a tradition of action. That is why most people will say “M sevi Ginen” (I serve Ginen) rather than say “I’m a Vodouisant”. Now all religions are, ideally, a way of life. But Vodou is most adamantly so. Service is an action, and that is how we describe our tradition, in terms that refer to those actions. Vodou is something you live, rather than simply do. It is not a tradition you can learn passively. You need to dig right in and get your hands dirty, so to speak. During ceremonies, everything is based on actions: salutes, dancing, drumming, singing, and tracing veves – to name a few. We do not have congregation members sitting as someone preaches.
Everyday of the week is sacred to a particular Lwa or group of Lwa. Sunday is God’s day. Vodouisants vary on what happens on Sunday. Some will not do any spiritual work, will not salute the lwa, will not do anything that has to do with Ginen. Others do not discriminate against the day. They say, “Yes, Sunday is sacred to God, I will remember Him and respect Him, but everyday I need to eat!” In other words, they still do Vodouisant activities on this day. Most Vodouisants attend Church and Mass and may say prayers or give some other sort of attention directed towards the Creator. Continue reading
Ritual Symbols of the Voudou Spirits: Voudou Veves
By Denise Alvarado, 2010
A Veve is a religious symbol for a vodou “loa” (or lwa) and serves as their representation during rituals. In Haiti, the veve derives from the beliefs of the native Tainos. Most similar to the veve are the drawings of zemi or gods of the Taino religion.
Every Loa has his or her own unique veve, although regional differences have led to different veves for the same loa in a few cases. Sacrifices and offerings are usually placed upon them.
The veve is usually drawn on the floor by strewing a powder-like substance, such as cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder. The material depends entirely upon the rite.
The veve in the introduction represents the Voodoo loa Papa Legba, who is the gatekeeper to the spirit world, remover of obstacles, and provider of opportunities. Continue reading
Myth of mermaids is popular all around the world, but the African water spirit Mami Wata remained respected and celebrated from the time before the African nations came in contact with Europe, through the ages, and even up to today where she is venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa and the diaspora in Americas. She represented one of the most powerful goddesses in the African religion of Voudun (not to be mistaken to the newer and more heavily publicized Voodoo) and is today celebrated as a goddess that must be both loved and feared.
As with many other old mermaid deities such as Assyrian Astarte, Babylonian Ishtar and Greek Aphrodite, she is regarded as an immortal spirit that personifies polar opposites, such as of beauty and danger, natural force and healing, Continue reading
By Santeria Church of the Orishas
Yemaya (also spelled Yemoja, Iemoja, or Yemayá) is one of the most powerful orishas in Santeria. She is the mother of all living things, rules over motherhood and owns all the waters of the Earth. She gave birth to the stars, the moon, the sun and most of the orishas. Yemaya makes her residence in life-giving portion of the ocean (although some of her roads can be found in lagoons or lakes in the forest). Yemaya’s aché is nurturing, protective and fruitful. Yemaya is just as much a loving mother orisha as she is a fierce warrior that kills anyone who threatens her children.
Yemaya can be found in all the waters of the world, and because of this she has many aspects of “caminos” (roads), each reflecting the nature of different bodies of water. She, like Oshún, carries all of the Continue reading
Rada, Petro and Ghede Loa in Vodoun
[Compiled by 7M]
The name Vodoun means “high and sacred of God”. There is no right side and left side in Vodoun. There is only one side which is through God and Loa. The Loa (Lwa) can be viewed as forces of nature, but they have personalities and personal mythologies. They are extensions of the will of Bondye, the Supreme Cosmic God, the ultimate principle of the universe.
The Loa are the Spirit Gods which are served in Vodoun. They act as intermediaries between humans and Bondye (God). The Loa are not worshipped as Gods, we serve them so that in turn they serve us. It is safe to say that the Loa are ancestors. Some are older than others, such as Damballah Wedo, The Great Serpent who is considered to be the primordial creator of all life forms, and who also carries all of the ancestors on his back, therefore making him our First Ancestor. Other examples of Loa who were born as Spirits would include La Sirene and Met Agwe, the king and queen of the ocean, who are the Seas themselves. Continue reading
Haitian and Dominican Loa and Deities
Adjasou-Linguetor (f): Goddess of spring water. Characterized by protruding eyes and a bad humor, lives under the mombin tree near a spring and is very fond of liquor.
Agassu, Agasou (m): God of Water. Agassu is Dahomean in origin, and belongs to the Fon and Yoruba tribes. He is associated with water deities and sometimes takes the form of a crab. He is one of the mythical creatures who once gave assistance to the Ancestor. He is considered one of the Loa masons.
Agau, Agaou (m): God of Wind and Storms. Agau is a very violent god. Earth tremors and the frightening sounds associated with storms are because of an angry Agau. “It is I who am the gunner of god; when I roar the earth trembles.” One has to be very strong to harbor this spirit. Agau is the inseparable companion of Sogbo. When Sogbo and Bade (the loa of lighting and wind) act together and call upon Agau, a thunder storm is produced. Bade and Agau share the same functions, loa of the winds. Continue reading
The Haitian Zombies
by Brian Dunning
Should you find yourself in Haiti, beware of the man they call the bokor. Vodou tradition warns that he may secretly sprinkle a powder onto you, causing you to fall ill and quickly die — apparently. Doctors can examine you and find no pulse, no respiration. You’ll be buried and your friends and family will attend the funeral. Then, one night, the bokor will come and exhume your body, and administer a mysterious antidote. Your body will wake up, but your consciousness and personality will be gone. Your body will be a dumb slave, eating, Continue reading
Ethnobotany and Zombies: The Skeptic and the Rainbow
by Everett Tucker
We open with the Haitian Clairvius Narcisse’s claims that he was drugged to appear dead, buried alive, and dug up by a Houngan priest who subsequently extracted labor from him while Clairvius was kept in a perpetual stupor or ‘zombie’ state. Clairvius claims he was beaten with a sisal whip and transplanted to a Haitian sugar plantation where he worked with other zombified victims.
What distinguishes Narcisse’s account from other modern and folkloric accounts of Haitian zombies is its documentation – his death was officially recorded in a hospital under American authority. Having entered the facility Continue reading