Haitian Vodou maintains several traditions from an older Catholic standpoint than our majority modern culture; the tradition that’s most germane to today’s post concerns the Feast of Three Kings, otherwise known as the Epiphany.
In old Catholic tradition, the Epiphany is the commemoration of the day the Wise Men from the East arrived to gift the infant Jesus with their presents of Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh; this date is the reason we give Christmas gifts… it’s just drifted over time to something we do *on* Christmas instead of a celebration of Twelfth Night.
Vodouisants work the Christmas Baths for breaking up the last years’ accumulated negativity, but our tradition abhors a vacuum; where there was once negativity, there’s now an energetic hole where the negative used to be…. so we complete the circuit by performing blessings that fill the space where the negativity once sat. For New Years, this becomes a special Good Luck bath priests make for their community, tapping into the Gifts of the Magi to bless the New Year with love, prosperity, happiness, and luck. Continue reading The Three Kings Day Luck Baths
So… we’re at that time of year again; holly berries, wreaths, carols, and the occasional Peppermint Mocha from that unnamed coffee giant with the twin tailed mermaid on the cups (yes; sometimes I let out my inner Basic White Girl) … and for those of us living in the parts of the world where the snow starts to swirl and temperatures drop, there can be a touch of confusion when it comes to tropical traditions and what this time of year means to those living on a sunny island in the Caribbean sea.
Just like certain days of the week have different associations based in hot/cool, Rada/Petro et al, so too do different times of the year; we say that this is one of the Hottest times of year (again, odd when you live in a place where its truly not even pleasant outside because of the cold, but bear with me) because to us this time of year commemorates the Divine descending to Earth and taking physical form in the body of a child. Continue reading The Christmas Baths
If you’ve been following the Vodou Deep Dive series of posts on this blog (and as their author, I *do* hope you have and that you’ve been enjoying the trip), you’ll remember Omolara, the fictional woman who taught her husband how to accept a pwen, or a hot point of spiritual concentration, in our last post.
I’d like to use a key ritual component she taught him in our example to open a new category here on the blog, “Technique Tidbits”; in this category of posts, we’ll look at simple lessons in the ritual protocols and specific traditions by which we work Vodou. Sometimes, like today, we’ll practice a protocol that will be fully explained later, so the motions feel natural and the later explanation-in-depth will make more sense with muscle memory overlaying the written lesson.
Today, we’re going to talk about the process of pouring water for Spirit. Sounds simple, yes, and frankly it is, but there are complexities that make it a ritual act performed the Vodou way. You’re going to want to stand up, stretch, crack your knuckles, and get ready to move… as we’re going to start with some choreography! Continue reading Omolara’s Lesson