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Living Vodou

Frater Vameri

Photo by LES STONE.

Vodou is a spirituality that needs to be lived. The Western approach and, above all, the common approach in Western occultism will not find fertile ground in this spirituality. I would like to briefly discuss this idea in this week's article as it can be a good opportunity for interested parties to reflect.

Western society, guided by secularism, relegates religion to a small drawer in a giant closet. Furthermore, it prohibits religion (or at least tries to) from mixing with other subjects. In short, religion has become something of the individual sphere and trying to integrate it into everyday life is challenging in this context.

In the esoteric / occult community there is an overvaluation of rationality. It is more "experienced" who reads more and knows how to answer all questions without hesitation. Little emphasis is placed on how to live, how experiences are understood and how much magic is actually done.

Although this type of typically Western attitude finds its place in esotericism and even succeeds in perpetuating itself in typical Western religions, such as Catholicism, it will not take root in Vodou. This does not mean that Vodou is better or more interesting than any other path. These assessments are subjective and must be done by each individual. I discuss here something more objective and that should not be put as a device for anything but a simple observation.

I write this because Vodou asks us to do it. He asks us to do the service, asks us to make sacrifices and asks life to be seen differently. When someone enters Vodou this person comes to understand that the world holds mysteries and that there are different dimensions in reality. Being from Vodou is going against the disenchantment of the world - a typical Western process.

By bringing enchantment back to the world, the path in Vodou will pull the adept to a new point of view and this will likely lead to tangible changes. Now, it is clear that (as in everything) it is possible that certain people get involved with Vodou in such a fragile way that this process cannot establish itself. Okay. As I wrote before, this text is not looking for conversions. However, for the adept who dedicates himself and who dares to put both feet on the Vodou road, many transformations are in store.

In other words, for us, who are not Haitians and who are mainly typical Westerners, challenges will arise. Standards will need to be broken. New reasoning will have to be constructed. There is great wealth in that. There is also great beauty. However, definitely, none of this is lived without dedication.

Ultimately, everyone will find their own unique way of living Vodou. Just as there is a Vodou for each Lwa (in a way), there will also be a specific way to be a servant of the Lwas for each person. In this exercise it is possible to discover that this process is part of the process of self-knowledge - which is not only incredible, but also very important.

Therefore, more than doing, Vodou is a state. Knowing the spirits and understanding how we do this thing we call service is like drawing a miniature map of ourselves. In other words, knowing the invisible takes us directly to its reflection, which is the visible. There is no mystery that does not touch there and here.

Thus, serving the Lwas is revealed as something that goes beyond merely devotion. To serve the Lwas is, in a way, to exercise our own nature and to exercise our role in the universe.

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