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