Haitian practice of Vodou was often identified with devil worship, dark curses and superstition. This book explains how to build respectful relationships with the lwa of the Vodou pantheon and how to transform the fear that often surrounds the Vodou religion. It also explores the symbiotic relationship Vodou has maintained with Catholicism.
Until recently, the Haitian practice of Vodou was often identified with devil worship, dark curses and superstition. Some saw the saint images and the Catholic influences and wrote Vodou off as a Christian aberration. Others were appalled by the animal sacrifices and the fact that the Houngans and Mambos charge money for their services. Those who sought Vodou because they believed it could harness evil forces were disappointed when their efforts to gain fame, fortune or endless romance failed and so abandoned their voodoo fetishes. Those who managed to get the attention of the lwa, the spirits honoured in Haitian Vodou, often received cosmic retaliation for treating the lwa as attack dogs or genies, which only further cemented Vodou's stereotype as dangerous. In The Haitian Vodou Handbook , Kevin Filan, a Vodou priest, explains how to build respectful relationships with the lwa of the Vodou pantheon and how to transform the fear that often surrounds the Vodou religion. He offers extensive background information on the lwa and instructions on how to honour and interact fruitfully with those that make themselves accessible, emphasising the importance of having a quickened mind that can read the lwa's desires intuitively in order to avoid establishing dogma-based relationships. He, also, discusses the role of Vodou in Haitian culture and explores the symbiotic relationship Vodou has maintained with Catholicism through the connections between the lwa and the Christian saints.
This is an excellent introductory text for folks of any background. . . . honest and respectful, and has a good balance of information and respecting of oathbound material. If you've any interest in this religion whatsoever, even just curiosity, this is a great place to start. -- Pagan Book Reviews , April 2007
Kenaz Filan (Houngan Coquille du Mer) was initiated in Societe la Belle Venus in March 2003 after 10 years of solitary service to the lwa. Filan's articles on Vodou have appeared in NewWitch, Pangaia, Planet Magazine, and Widdershins.
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