Getting to know the Lwas

Frater Vameri

Photo by Les Stone.

There is only one way to get to know the Lwas and I will give it straight away, so anyone who wants to can stop the text here (honestly) - that way is in practice. In life. I will try to briefly explain the reason for this in a short article. If there is anyone still around, follow me.

As much as we study Vodou from an academic point of view, the knowledge that can be transmitted by written and oral means is limited. The first barrier is the transposition of the experience to a description - very difficult. The second is the limitation of who transmits - variable, but always there. The third is the limitation of the recipient - also variable, but also always present. We quickly see that there are three important critical points there that must be considered. Therefore, there is only one way to break some of these barriers - living the experience.

In living the experience we are subject to feeling and dealing with the unexpected. Thus, we are forced to build our own understandings. By this I do not mean that anything goes, but that things are much broader than any description suggests. For example, let's talk about Erzulie Dantor. Any Vodou book - any one at all - will provide a description of Erzulie Dantor. However, anyone who understands that Dantor is what is in the book will fall into a trap. To know Dantor, you must serve Dantor . Only then will she reveal herself.

When I write these words I hope that it will also become clear that such a revelation and that such knowledge will be built up over time. There is no immediate reward in this regard. It is not possible to light a candle for a spirit on Thursday and to know everything about it on Friday. And be prepared: not always what is in the books will be confirmed in your experience. Spirits present themselves in slightly different ways for each and every person and house - there is no homogeneity in this context.

Therefore, a thousand books will not give anyone certain keys and certain answers. However, candles and offerings and sincere work will succeed in opening certain doors. And what and who regulates your relationship with an Lwa ? Well, the answer lies precisely in the actors of that relationship.

I feel forced to reinforce: this does not devalue theoretical knowledge. It is important and must be pursued. However, making Vodou is not reading books about Vodou. Just like swimming is not watching a YouTube video of the Olympic competition.

Perhaps you who are reading these lines are not interested in having this specific experience with the Lwas and see these texts here more as a fun curiosity. Okay, sure. However, the message is for any spirituality. Especially for those that involve interactions with spirits.

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