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7261: Comments/questions regarding Voodou (fwd)
From: archim <email@example.com>
Dear List Members,
Greetings from Haiti. I have been following with great interest the
many recent postings on Voodoo/Vodou/Voodou/Vaudoo (I hesitate to use
only one spelling of the word because there has been so much
controversy over how it is to be spelled.) I write now to ask some
questions, prefaced by my feelings/approach to it as a religion.
Firstly, I do not write from an antagonistic point of view; I write
for information and answers to several questions. I am certain that one
of the more-enlightened/instructed leaders of that religion will be
able to help me in my quest for further knowledge. I do not write as
one wishing to embrace Vodou (forgive me if I used the spelling which
is incorrect), but as one wishing explanations. I have no difficulties
with Vodou and am quite friendly wiith several houngans and mambos, I
approach it as a viable religion for those who wish to follow it, and I
do not work toward its destruction nor wish to demean it in any way. I
am a former university professor of Comparative Religions, and a Greek
Orthodox Priest. I am from New Jersey and have lived in Haiti for 15
years. I am also a former Episcopal clergyman!
That introduction being made, my questions follow:
1 - Is it correct to assume that there are various "sects" of
Vodou in Haiti? By that, I mean, are there different and
opposing groups of Vodou followers, some of whom use Vodou for
evil(*) purposes and some of whom use it for good?
2 - The various "liturgical" or ceremonial practices of Vodou
are surely interesting, but I am more interested in knowing
more regarding the "intellectual" or "philosophical"
approach in Vodou. What does it do for its followers, and does
it have any sort of eschatalogical understanding?
3 - Is Vodou opposed to other religions in the sense that it
wishes to destroy or berate them?
4 - Why is it that a number of persons who are considered to be
Vodou followers appear to be somewhat demonic in their
relationship to others? (And in this instance, I do
understand that many persons of many other religious
persuasions are equally-demonic in the same manner.)
5 - Why have there been those in Haiti who "embraced" Orthodoxy,
but for evil purposes? (eg. To attempt to cause it to fail,
stumble, etc, and who are proud of their Vodou connections?)
6 - Is it correct that Vodou followers must also have a
connection/relationship with sacramental religions (eg.
Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Orthodoxy)?
7 - Can an Orthodox Priest be a follower and user of Vodou? (Not
me; I'm quite happy being an Orthodox Priest!)
8 - What good things does Vodou do for its followers, other
than satisfy their needs for "other-worldly" satisfaction
9 - Why do some Vodou followers go to Houngans to have "spells"
cast on others whom they wish to harm?
10 - Can those who do not believe in Voudo and its abilities to
control or direct others, be controlled or directed? In
other words, if I don't believe in Vodou, and if I do not
allow myself to believe in it or its power; can it harm or
I probably have more questions, but maybe these are good-enough for
starters. I will be anxious for the responses or abswers.