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#3890: Sodo and Sen Jan Batis-So


In a message dated 5/26/2000 6:24:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Moibibi@aol.com.com writes:

<< I was surprised to read about the spelling of our famous pilgrimage place 
 Saut d'Eau.>>

I don't see why you would be, it's spelled that way on every map of Haiti!  
And our famous pilgrimage place is also documented in that way on film, 
photograph, newsprint, etc.

<< In my opinion, So doesn't mean "saut" but rather that specific way of 
 wrestling which obeys  its own rules .>>

Yeah, the Sacred Waterfall of Wresting.  Right, that makes sense.

<< On the subject of  "Saint Jean Baptiste", it seems important to add that I 
 have never heard him called that way but rather Sen Jan Batis-So.>>

Well, I guess all those Haitians are doing it wrong again.  This is 
ridiculous!  If I said, "the sky is blue", I bet I would hear from a few 
people that in the orthographic change of "blue" to the French "bleu", the 
implication exists that a "blue" sky isn't really blue at all!
 <<"Sen Jan, Sen Jan Batis-So>>

Sen Jan, Sen Jan Batis, O!  What is this "batis-so"?

<< Di yo nou la é.
 Sen Jan, Sen Jan Batis-So.
 Di yo nou la é.
 Ma pé mandé si nou kabap kenbé
 Ma pé mandé si nou kapab kenbé la
 Sen Jan o
 Sen Jan Batis-So, Sen Jan..."
 Of course, this is "langaj" >>

No it is NOT.  What you have written is approximately Creole, except for the 
acute accents, which are not used in Creole.  It is only the accent grave 
which is used in Creole, and it is is referred to as "aksan fos", and the O 
in fos should have one!  But I can't make it come out that way on my 'puter.

The above is simply translatable as:

Saint John the Baptist, oh!
Tell them we are here.
Saint John the Baptist, oh!
Tell them we are here.
I am asking if we can hold on,
I am asking if we can hold on there,
Saint John oh... etc.

<< it is vain  to try to translate it.>>

I just did.  What do you want to say, it is meaningless?

<< In reality the word "mandé" evokes the idea of the Mandeans who were the 
 followers of the Biblical Saint John the Baptist .>>

What a stretch!  I suppose "essence of cologne" evokes the Essene 
communities, and the word shalom sounds like salaam and indicates that 
Vodouisants now have a religious obligation to eat salami!  Come on, Bebe.  

You know what the big lie of Saut d'Eau REALLY is?  The story that the site 
got it's importance because of an appearance of the Virgin Mary.  That story 
exists, of course, and maybe Mary did show up there one day, but Saut d'Eau 
was an important center of healing long before the Roman Catholic chuch 
decided to co-opt it.  That's WHY they felt the need to co-opt it, actually!  
In fact, I am of the belief that the Native Haitian population must have been 
conducting healing activities there, and that escaped Africans found their 
way there, or were led there so that their very considerable damages could 
also be healed.  Thus African priests and priestesses in marronage, who let's 
not forget were expected to be healers, stayed near Saut d'Eau sometimes if 
they could.

<< Isn't it be peculiar that we, Vodouists,  have chosen to honor the 
precursor of Jesus "the Savior" and that there is no Lwa  Jesus in Vodoun?>>


Bebe, Jesus is honored as the Christ, God the Son, in many prayers of the 
Vodou liturgy.  You know this.
<< It is the responsibility of each initiate to comprehend what he has 
received and 
 it is the responsibility of his spiritual father or mother (never both!) to 
validate or reject that understanding.>>

Never both in YOUR house perhaps, in our house candidates gain a father and a 
mother, and if they are asogwe it doesn't matter whether the father or the 
mother serves as the horse of Papa Loko.
<< To visualize Sen Jan Batis-So meandering the hills of Palestinia with 
Jesus-Christ is far away from the Vodoun teachings and I am very relieved to 
realize once again that knowledge is not simply been given to anyone who 
simply passes by.  
 Bébé Pierre Louis >>

Oh, so anyone who disagrees with you "doesn't really know", huh?  Jesus was a 
real person, he really lived, so did St. John the Baptist.  There are many, 
many spiritual entities that are not part of the Vodou ceremonial order, but 
they are nevertheless served, and they manifest through possession.  In fact, 
this is one of the greatest strengths and the most incredible miracles of 
Vodou - Vodou is much larger than you think it is, Bebe.  

In fact, Houngan Luc Gedeon pointed this out to me when I was training for my 
first kanzo.  He said, and I quote:

"In every country there are lwa - spirits of the ancestors, spirits of the 
forests, the sea, the crossroads. Vodou provides a model that anyone can use 
to approach and serve these spirits. It teaches how to 'interpolate' a 
spirit, make it come dance in your head, possess you. Even though the spirit 
isn't African, Vodou provides a model, a pattern to follow."

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">http://