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6124: Re: 6117: Re: 6112: "Morality"in Vodou, Grey replies to , Dorce

From: Racine125@aol.com

<< I am not a Vodou initiate, however I have read books>>

Kathy, please, with all due respect, the vast majority of what is written is 
bunk, and most of what is real isn't written.

<<One of the main reasons I have respect for the Vodou religion is the lack 
of both dogma and a hierarchy who speaks for God.>>

WHAT?  Dogma in the sense of generally held beliefs is present, and of course 
we have a hierarchy, that is what the ranks of hounsi kanzo, si pwen, and 
asogwe are all about.  Houngans and Mambos do not "speak for God", I don't 
personally think anyone does.  What we do is direct the energies of our 
congregations in the service of the lwa, undergo possession, and when not 
possessed direct the energy of the lwa in the service of the congregation. 
THAT congregation, not ALL Vodouisants.

<< While I understand the concept and necessity of paying for 
 services rendered, the addition of money to the equation introduces the 
 opportunity for abuse.>>

No, the opportunity for abuse is present whenever one person has *power* over 
another.  It's not the money, it's the power.  Houngans sometimes sexually 
abuse initiates, Catholic priests abuse children sometimes... abuse happens 

<<But I do not believe that the characteristics Racine 
 talks about, such as lying and getting the best of others and doing harm to 
 enemies is a Vodou tradition, per se... if that were true, then the religion 
wouldn't be so attractive to the many faithful American Vodouisants and other 

Kathy, if anyone can speak about American and other foreign initiates it is 
I, goodness knows I have made enough of them.  And you know what?  They 
usually come to Vodou with the Judeo-Christian mindset, they are willing to 
believe that I and other Mambos and Houngans are "holy women" and "holy men", 
they want to believe that we are more moral, more holy, better people than 
other people.  It's just not true.

<<...my husband, from whom I get a lot of  information on his reality of 
Vodou, believes very strongly that if you use the lwa to cause harm to 
anyone, you will pay dearly for it.>>

That is HIS belief.  Your husband is not a Houngan, he does not represent us. 
 Most Houngans and Mambos do aggressive magic, and although we are not 
supposed to do harm to innocents, in communities where grudges over land or 
women or whatever last from generation to generation, who is right and who is 
wrong is not always so clear.  Wanga and garde, coup and contre coup, fer 
coupe fer... the list of expressions is endless.  Lwa are invoked in land 
struggles, power struggles - I personally have witnessed more than one 
Houngan do ceremonies intended to make FRAPH members able to rape, rob and 
murder without being punished.  What do you want to tell me, those Houngans 
weren't "doing it right"?

<< Last, if Racine believes this is part of Vodou, then why is she fighting 
those values, especially if she wishes to practice in Haiti?>>

On a personal level, I resolve this conflict by CHOOSING not to practice 
aggressive magic, at least not without some major provocation.  For better or 
worse I have imbibed enough Episcopalianism to make that choice.  But I am 
atypical in this regard, and freely admit it.

Wealthy Houngans do aggressive magic too!  Poverty may exacerbate this 
tendency, but there is no prohibition in Vodou against whacking your enemies, 
in fact there is a whole body of ceremonial work dedicated to exactly that 
goal.  What do you think a garde protects you against, Kathy?  LOL!

<< There are rights and wrongs taught in Vodou.>>

When?  Where?  A Mambo asogwe is telling you that it is not so.  The value 
system of Voduo values *power*, not *morality* in the Christian sense.  The 
value system of Vodou is not the same as the value system of Christianity.  
Why should it be?  I am not trying to make Vodou over, I respect the 
tradition for which I was chosen, and work within it.

<< Tampering with it is, in my opinion, unwise and disrespectful.>

Describing accurately the value system of Vodou is not disrespectful, Kathy, 
it is merely accurate. 

Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html";>