Saturday, September 10, 2016
Vodu Code of Conduct
There are many Vodu society and houses in Haiti and around the world and each group has their rules and regulations. When speaking about Houngans and Mambos I speak for those from my house and most houses I frequent where the laws of LOVE, HONOR, RESPECT, your brothers and sisters and the Loas you been introduced to, are upheld! Houngans and/or Mambos are too busy working on their skills rather than go around posting or bad-talking about one another. We mind our own business and of course we don’t mind if after learning a little bit about Vodu you make fancy spirit bottles or decorated Ouangas packets with feathers that most Houngans have no use for. Those are generally mambo’s items that love decorating their places, but not really found in male houses although there are quite a few exceptions today. If a Houngan desires such, most of the time he will not buy one but will have one of the servants of his house decorate it for him instead.
In general things that are done for the house are done by the people in the house not by outsiders. Those are the ways of the old school. Then again, Vodu is very diversified and tolerant and there is a new generation of foreigners as well as Haitians making things differently today. Indeed changes are acceptable because every house has their own code of conduct. Houngans and Mambos in general don’t work one or two other jobs what they do is magic often called Ouangas (also Wangas) they can also heal many ailments, help with relationships, predict events to come and guide people in business ventures and get people out of incarceration. When you become one from my house (or houses associated with mine) we guide you to become independent and work full time in your field. Unless you receive your initiation to learn how to serve and are not interested in doing this type of work for others. Sometimes when Houngans start on their own practice they have to build their clientele, but in general after a few years, they focus their life on their career. Houngans make money by doing Ouangas (magic) and helping people. Most Houngans are well versed in herbal medicine. There is no limit onto the guideline of what Houngans can do when it comes to magic as each one is different and has their own gift. Some Houngans read Tarot, some regular playing cards, some chicken bones, and some do reading by looking into cups of water or coffee. Still some can read signs of your forehead while others can read hands, and some are gifted with interpreting dreams. This is just to mention a few of the skills you can run into in this field.
There is also no limit about the amount of gods they can serve and what country these gods are from! That’s also why you see in the beginning of Vodu ceremonies the beautiful flags and their bearers representing many different nations! And if something has been done or is being done in magic anywhere in the world now (or in the past) and in any religion for that matter, it has already been done in Vodu! Understand Vodu is one of the first religions around. Unfortunately there are people that are current Houngans saying this is or that doesn’t exist or has never been done in Vodu. They are not born in the system most aren’t even Haitian let alone African. Little do they know about the sex magic even many Haitian Houngans are ignorant of certain practices in Vodu. Why? Because they have had their religious practices corrupted and mistakenly believe Jesus is their savior! You can believe that. Freedom of practicing and worshiping what you want and no one will infringe on that! Where we come from we don't obey or follow a supreme commander that doesn't exist in Vodu. Every house or societe has their own rules although many are similar. Even pictures assigned to the spirits can differ and some houses do not use images of Saints at all! Not that you are aware that Vodu was banished in the southern part of the United States (Louisiana) because of sex magic! Fertility rituals in Africa involved many secret practices and many sacred large wooden dildos have surfaced in Haiti and foreign countries without the mention of what they were used for! This doesn’t mean because you are in Vodu, you participate in such practices. Just like most are not aware that black masses performed by the clerical Catholics in the early centuries are still secretly in existence today! You don’t have to be a Wiccan or in a coven to perform “the great Rite!” that’s been overdone all over…
Generally in Haiti some of the groups are called from: Guinea, Rada, Petro and service are held mostly for Loas familiar to the Haitians (from Dahome) but there are Houngans that worship gods from different roots all depends on their family ancestors and or how much they traveled around the world. Most foreigners know about the Asogwes but there are many more rites in Haiti where in some, foreigners are not allowed and in some even women are forbidden! Beside the Asogwe you have:
and many more!
Most of these groups do not use an Asson, and some of the titles they have are Emperor! Further to belong in some of these groups you have to be cut as I am!
In traditional Vodu, when you become initiated you have a Father and a Mother. The same goes when you become a Mambo. In general, a Haitian male will not go to a female mambo to be baptized unless he is gay and quite often when they are baptized they do not have a father. This procedure does not follow old Haitian traditions. People from all walks of life, whether you were baptized in our society or not, even gay people, are welcome to all our public ceremonies, as most Houmforts uphold the same rules. However some of our rituals do not allow gay people, foreigners or even female mambos - only males that were initiated in the house in privately convened ceremonies that are held secrete in many societies and only the elders and top members can be present at.
Author: Jean Kent