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9492: Re: 9646: Re: other questions on Vodoun (fwd)

From: Racine125@aol.com

Martha O'Brien <mobfa1@mail.francis.edu> wrote:

<<While we are on the subject of questions about Vodoun--the students in my Freshman seminar about Haiti asked some questions which I was unable to answer.  I would appreciate any help you can give us.  (These questions came from the students--I have edited them slightly for precision and grammar.) 

1)  ( When people are possessed,) " Are the spirits trying to talk through the people to send a message?  If so, what kind of message would they send?">>

The lwa are not trying to talk through people, they ARE talking through people.  They predict the future, they give advice on all sorts of things, they tell jokes, they give people a push in the right direction.

<< 2)  "When a person becomes obsessed by the lwa, are others at the ceremony allowed to ask the lwa questions to find out answers? "  >>

Yes. The lwa are usually pretty willing to talk with people.

<<3)  "Is there a good chance that every practicing member of Vodoun will be possessed at some point in (his or her life)?>>

Well... there are some people who never become possessed, even though they may be faithful servants of Guinea in every other way.

<<4)   If you have been possessed (once), is there a greater chance that you will be possessed again?  Or is it a once in a lifetime occurrence?  >>

If you have been possessed once, I guess there is a greater chance that you wil be possessed again, since people who want the particular lwa who possesses you are likely to want you to call it for them.  A person who undergoes possession regularly is apt to become an initiate, and undergo the kanzo ceremony.  People who are kanzo can call the lwa anytime we want.

<<5)  "Can children be possessed?" >>

Yes, but we don't encourage it.

<< 6)  " What is the purpose of Vodoun ceremonies?  Do they praise God or is it more a matter of looking to the lwas for answers?"  (Or both?) >>

The purpose of a Vodou ceremony is to serve God, the ancestors, and the lwa.  We hope to induce possession, and also to please God and the lwa by the service we give them.

Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

"Se bon ki ra" - Good is rare
     Haitian proverb

The VODOU Page - http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html

(Posting from Jacmel, Haiti)