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Voodoo/Vodou/Hoodoo thread?

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Sup you se/x/y people. I was wondering if we could get a Voodoo general going? A while back I came upon a thread which had a lot of really cool information. There was a guy in there who really knew his shit, coming from Louisiana or something. Anyways, any and all info pertaining to Voodoo is appreciated, as I know next to nothing about it other than the obvious, like its origins in African spirituality and Catholicism.

Also I'd highly recommend the X-Files episode "Fresh Bones." For those who have seen it, how accurate is the shows depiction of Voodoo?
Will bump with random shit from Wikipedia.

>Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable creator god, Bondye (likely derived from the French language term Bon Dieu, or Good Lord). As Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, vodouists direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondye, called loa.[9] Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside.[10] In order to navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.
>Vodou originated in the French slave colony of Haiti in the 18th century, when African religious practice was actively suppressed, and enslaved Africans were forced to convert to Christianity.[12][13] Religious practices of contemporary Vodou are descended from, and closely related to, West African Vodun as practiced by the Fon and Ewe. Vodou also incorporates elements and symbolism from other African peoples including the Yorùbá and Bakongo; as well as Taíno religious beliefs, and European spirituality including Roman Catholic Christianity, European mysticism, Freemasonry, and other influences.
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>Because Bondye (god) is unreachable, Vodouisants aim their prayers to lesser entities, the spirits known as loa, or mistè. The most notable loa include Papa Legba (guardian of the crossroads), Erzulie Freda (the spirit of love), Simbi (the spirit of rain and magicians), Kouzin Zaka (the spirit of agriculture), and The Marasa, divine twins considered to be the first children of Bondye.[25]

These loa can be divided into 21 nations, which include the Petro, Rada, Congo and Nago.[26] The Petro and the Rada contrast most with one another, because the Petro are hot or aggressive and restless, whereas the Rada are cool or calm and peaceful.[citation needed] Each of the loa is associated with a particular Roman Catholic saint. For example, Legba is associated with St. Anthony the Hermit and Damballa is associated with St. Patrick.[27]

The Loa also fall into family groups who share a surname, such as Ogou, Ezili, Azaka or Ghede. For instance, "Ezili" is a family, Ezili Danto and Ezili Freda are two individual spirits in that family. Each family is associated with a specific aspect, for instance the Ogou family are soldiers, the Ezili govern the feminine spheres of life, the Azaka govern agriculture, the Ghede govern the sphere of death and fertility.

Those in the Haitian Vodou practices that serve the loa are the Bokor. The Bokor are the Vodou priest/priestesses who can be hired to perform various sorcery. The Bokor practice both light and dark forms of magic.
Priestess of Haitian Vodou here. I can't post walls of text because I'm on my cell, but I'll be lurking and occasionally popping in to answer questions people might have.
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I live very close to New Orleans. How can I distinguish a legitimate voodoo practitioner from the 100's of random shops and self proclaimed priests in the area?
I know that feel, I'm in New Orleans proper and the number of charlatans here is comically high. I'd recommend asking people who claim to be legit this question:
Which tradition are you in?

NOLA/Creole/Louisiana Vodou is largely a family to family practice, and there is some controversy about whether or not what people do today is at all related to what was actually done in the past; unfortunately, because of this, there aren't a whole lot of ways to hold people accountable to their claims. There is no unified way of doing things so it's like determining if an eclectic, solitary priestess of Hecate in Wicca is legit: you mostly have to use your gut. Is the person an edgelord, asking for a ton of money or giving themselves a ton of titles, knowing full well you have no way of verifying their experience? They're probably fake.

If they claim Haitian Vodou, that's easy. Just ask them who their mother is and where they were initiated. If they can't answer, or say it's secret, or claim to have initiated into the priesthood outside of Haiti, they're full of shit.
>How can I distinguish a legitimate voodoo practitioner from the 100's of random shops and self proclaimed priests in the area?

Sort of know this feel as well. Live in Hawaii and the amount of bullshit that exists for the sake of tourism is fucking ridiculous.

>If they claim Haitian Vodou, that's easy. Just ask them who their mother is and where they were initiated.

So is ancestor reverence/worship a big part of it? Also thanks a lot for contributing :)
No problem :) Yeah, we work with our ancestors first, other spirits second. They're our blood and as such the only ones with any kind of obligation to care about us. Mostly the reverence involves giving them prayers and spending time with them in the hopes of elevating their spirits to a more peaceful place... and the better off they are, the more they're able to help guide and protect us when we need them.
Tell me about Eshu. Should I only worship him instead of the other deities?
Read this, I've read it so much it's falling apart.

One of my favorite anthropologists goes to Haiti to actually see how it works.

Helluva good read...can't recommend it enough.
Thanks! Taking this into account. Is it written from an ethnocentric viewpoint at all? Just wonderin
What was your initiation like? Have you ever been possessed, what does it feel like?
No, he's a Harvard ethnobotanist and he went to Haiti to study how the zombi phenomenon actually works.

If you want to understand REAL Haitian voodoo, read this.

Blew my mind.
Nice! Sounds really interesting, will definitely check it out. The only "real" thing I've seen is the Vice thing where they were investigating the "zombie powder".
My initiation took two weeks in Haiti. The process involves lots of long ceremonies and a six day (some lineages will vary between five and nine) isolation period, during which the initiates are kept in a small room together. After we come out, we're baptized with our new names and there's a party. There's a ton of stuff to this but it's difficult to summarize in one go.

If it's a real possession, you won't be conscious of what happens while you're possessed; during initiation a separate vessel is created for your consciousness to safely reside in while the Lwa is in your body. For me, before I black out, what I'm feeling depends on the spirit... If it's a Gede, they don't give a fuck and they'll just jump right on you, so I'm usually taken by surprise by them and it happens pretty quickly. When a gentler, older spirit comes, like Damballah, it's a slower process and feels kinda like falling asleep.

I'm aware of losing feeling in my legs first and my body will go numb. Everybody is a little different, but even experienced Mambos and Houngans will stumble around when it first hits. It's a hard feeling to describe but it's usually pretty obvious when someone is about to come down, so at ceremonies we try to make sure newer initiates and visitors don't get taken.
i heard somewhere that traditionally, students of haitian voodoo are encouraged to study european occultism in addition to whatever else. was wondering if there was any truth to that, and if so, what writers are particularly well-regarded.
aside from that, what's the voodoo perspective on hermeticism/white people magick?
Eh... a lot of Houngans are Masons, and Masonry is very much a part of the religious culture in terms of its visible influence, but that's about as much as I've ever seen re: the involvement or encouragement of practicing anything else ceremonial/European in nature.
huh, go figure. what sort of role does masonry play in haiti? most of the masons i know in my corner of the states do not come at it from a religious angle.
I really couldn't tell you, to be honest. I know there are a lot of Haitian Masons and that certain aspects of our rituals, like the way we salute each other, are directly paralleled in some rites. Some of our Lwa are Masons (mostly the Ogous) and you'll see them come into possession and immediately go do their secret fistbump with all of the attending Masons in the crowd. This is another way to tell if a possession is fake, btw.

I suspect the fascination with Masonry has more to do with the culture of brotherhood and secrecy than with religious inclinations, but I could be wrong.
Okay, I'm going to bed. Really refreshing discussion here, guys, thank you. Finna check this thread in the morning and see if it's still up.
"Fresh Bones" was a fucking weird episode. Not that great, though.

do you feel called?
How do you make a voodoo doll? I wanna make a friend love me again
Any good relevant literature on this stuff beside that which was already posted?
Haitian Vodou by T Chita Tann and Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren.
The power of voodoo, who do? You do! Do what?!?
How do you do with the slight power of voodoo to you and you? Do you do the dew for more voodoo?
I'm from central Louisiana near Texas and literally all I know about this is that all of the occult zombies and stuff is bullshit and would be taboo to actual people who follow the religion
"Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!"
This is true.
Yeah I'm well aware of how inaccurate the western image of voodoo is. After all of Hollywood's attempts to make it a scary brown people thing it's hard to find accurate info on it.
How do you feel about the voudon gnostic workbook? And how do yo feel about fusing kabbalah with vodou?
Awesome! Thanks for the recs, will check these out.
Could you please explain this design? What is it made of, used for?
>According to Vodou, the soul consists of two aspects, in a type of soul dualism: the gros bon ange (big good angel) and the ti bon ange (little good angel). The gros bon ange is the part of the soul that's essentially responsible for the basic biological functions, such as the flow of blood through the body and breathing. On the other hand, the ti bon ange is the source of personality, character and willpower. "As the gros bon ange provides each person with the power to act, it is the ti bon ange that molds the individual sentiment within each act".[28] While the latter is an essential element for the survival of one's individual identity, it's not necessary to keep the body functioning properly in biological terms, and therefore a person can continue to exist without it.

Are you kidding me? One of my favorite episodes. The scene where Scully trips major balls remains one of my favorite scenes from the entire series.
Nope nope nope. From a traditional standpoint that shit is crazy disrespectful and shows an almost comical ignorance of what Vodou is, at best. At worst, it's a great way to get yourself the wrong nkind of attention.

The design is called a "Veve", and they represent a Lwa. Usually they're drawn on the floor in cornmeal during ceremonies to pull the Lwa down into possession, and each spirit has a different one - they will vary from house to house as well. This particular one is for the spirit Simbi Andezo, who's a water snake associated with magic, herbs and poisons. The material here is actually thousands of tiny seed beads sewn individually onto a piece of satin, and these are called 'drapo', or flags. :)
Wow that's pretty cool.

>Usually they're drawn on the floor in cornmeal during ceremonies to pull the Lwa down into possession, and each spirit has a different one - they will vary from house to house as well.

So if I'm understanding correctly, the design can be recreated in different ways? Like, there's no rigid, specific way of making the design, but there are certain properties that have to be included? Like for Simbi Andezo, the snakes have to be included?
Sort of, yeah. There are "basic" veve you find online and in books, and you can see the general outline of how they'll look - Papa Legba, the spirit of the crossroads, will always have a cross with a cane on one of the branches, but the flourishes, curls and leaves will vary from house to house. House-specific veve are passed down from priest to child in an initiatory context, and no two houses will use the same exact ones.
How often are grave dirt, dolls, and curses actually involved?

Do you ever sacrifice chickens? Mess around with their blood?

I know that their is some of this stuff, I am just wondering how often it comes up, because sensationalist media usually focuses on the shock value. Like how many times per year for the average practitioner?
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From an non initiate's standpoint, what can one do to honor ones ancestors? What does an altar for ancestors consist of?
Hey guys. I was around back when /x/ was sticking it's dick in demon summoning and black magic daily for like a year straight (also known as 2012~early 2013, what we have now is the occasional left over, but a year or two ago this was huge) and I can honestly say that Voodoo works. And when I say it works, I don't mean "a coincidence happened", I mean I cursed a guy and he became homeless with heart palpitations within a week, and he's been a jobless couch surfer ever since. Two. Years. Later.
You will need to get drunk, you will get possessed, you will be in a trance, and the magic will work. Have fun

Funny thing.

The veves were created by french ceremonial magicians.

And the veves of the lwas are similar to the sigils of the spirits of the goetia.
>The veves were created by french ceremonial magicians.

[Citation needed]
Sorry for the delay, I just got home from work.

Yes, we do chickens, but we don't dance around with their blood or anything. it's basically what you see on a farm only the animal is thanked and prayed over before it's cut. Afterward it's immediately taken to the kitchen and we cook it, sharing it with everyone.

Usually this is done before a ceremony but not always, and ceremonies are hugely expensive and long (think six pm to six am), so on average I'd say two to three times a year.

Glass of water, candle, pictures of them or at least a few names. Sit and talk to them a couple times a week. Pray the rosary if you're Catholic, meditate on their elevation and peace, chat with them and involve them in your life. A little goes a long way, for real.
This is the same guy who originally asked about discerning the legitimacy of the nearby practitioners in New Orleans.

By any chance do you have some form of contact info you could give me? You seem to have a wealth of knowledge and I'd be very grateful if you could point me in the right direction for some things. :)
Oh hey, sure. :) Lovanatiplum at gmail. Let's be bros~
So fistbump=bullshit?
I wasn't implying that, naw. They have secret hand-things they do. I've never really looked to closely at them but the way Masons are greeted is much different from how everybody else is.
So is it more the quick reversal of possession or what?
What do you mean?
Like there is more of a time difference between being possessed and then being able to interact well, like shaking it off. So if someone comes out of it too quick, he's faking
I think what he was trying to ask, and what I am curious about, (and we're probably not alone) is what you meant by this:

>and you'll see them come into possession and immediately go do their secret fistbump with all of the attending Masons in the crowd. This is another way to tell if a possession is fake, btw.

What about this is an indication of fakeness?

I also have another question:

Do the spirits ever bother you when you aren't trying to communicate? Like voices, noises, etc?

Do you do any dream magic?

Ohhhh, I see. Thanks for clarifying :)

Some of the Lwa are Masons themselves, so they know who in the crowd is also a Mason whereas the person they're possessing may not. The Lwa are spirits and have access to knowledge that the bodies they possess don't have, so one way to tell if a possession is fake is to watch how the Lwa greets certain people. If they are a Mason and they fail to identify other Masons, or if they do not know who in the crowd is an initiate, a priest or a visitor, then they're not possessed.

As for shaking it off, yeah, I've seen fake possessions that "come in" within seconds and leave as soon as they lose people's attention or it becomes inconvenient. Once a spirit has taken your head, you're gone until they decide to leave or someone lets them know it's time to go, so if you can brush them off after they've mounted you, it's not real. At best it may be a "pass through", the beginning stages of possession wherein a spirit makes their intention to come down known, but once you're gone you're gone.
>Do the spirits ever bother you when you aren't trying to communicate? Like voices, noises, etc?

The dead do, but not the Lwa. It doesn't happen super often but if I slack on my cleansing, yes, absolutely.

>Do you do any dream magic?

Yup. Dreams are a big part of communicating with the Lwa and ancestors outside of ceremonies.
I'm interested in the dreaming aspect of it. How can you tell if you've had a legitimate experience with the spirits from the context of a dream? Are there certain rituals or anything like that to encourage a dream to occur?
Determining whether or not an experience is legit comes from experience, making mistakes and learning discernment.Sometimes you'll receive clear messages in your dreams that will provide evidence of precognition, or a spirit you've never heard of/do not know the description of symbols of/etc will come to you and you'll put the pieces together later, but for the most part when a Lwa shows up you'll have to follow your gut. Trickster spirits, particularly the dead, are not above fooling you into thinking they're an elevated spirit trying to give you advice.

There are things you can do to induce these kinds of dreams, the most common of which is called the Illuminasyon. Basically you make an oil lamp while doing a series of prayers and asking your Lwa and your ancestors to come visit you.

Hey man thanks for all your great information. I'd like to ask about your personal experience as a follower of voodoo (sorry for my lack of terminology). Had you always wanted to do this? Did you grow up with this belief system? What made you want to get initiated? Do you have a spiritual guide you are in frequent contact with?
Bump for this
That's very interesting, thanks for sharing! How do you feel about stuff like lucid dreaming/astral projection, based on your beliefs?
No problem. :)

I grew up Catholic and I had a good experience with it, actually. I eventually became an atheist and I was perfectly happy with that. I didn't really feel like I was missing anything from my life or my spiritual philosophy.

I've always been interested in anthropology and different religions/cultures, and so I began to dig up what I could about the African Traditional Religions as they exist here in the South. The more I studied, the more I started to feel like it was doing something more for me than just satisfying my desire to learn more about different customs. Soon after I started poking around, I just coincidentally happened to be introduced to an Houngan, and he began to teach me a little bit of the stuff that's not in books.

I stuck to the pretense of academic curiosity for awhile, thinking it was awesome to have this opportunity to learn things that not a lot of people ever get to experience, but by the time I saw my first ceremony I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing.

I was afraid of initiation for a long time because it's a huge obligation and an intense experience, but the more ceremonies I saw and the more I interacted with the Lwa, the more it became clear that they wanted me to go through with it. I figured that they knew my potential better than I did, but I held back on making the decision until a particularly terrifying Lwa approached me, in person, during a ceremony and pretty much told me I had to stop dragging my feet on going to Haiti.

>Do you have a spiritual guide you are in frequent contact with?

There is one Lwa that comes forward when you are initiated, called the Met Tet, or master of the head. They're like your spiritual mother or father, the one you always go to when you need comfort or aid or support. You get one Met Tet for life. You may have nurturing, close relationships with other Lwa as well, but it's your Met who needs to be considered above all else because that's your strongest support.

AP is very real, and both can be great tools to help deconstruct the subconscious as well as induce spiritual contact. For me, having a firm handle on lucid triggers helps tremendously with those times when a Lwa comes to talk to me because if I go lucid, I can get the most out of our conversation and actually think about what I want to ask them.
What about the differences in your belief system before and after realizing this was your calling? Did they change? Did they grow? What did you have to discard and what were you surprised to have learned?
Sorry for the wait, I'm at work. :3
I went through kind of a crisis because of it, actually, because I was so comfortable with the idea of there not being anything supernatural about the world. The good thing about Vodou is that it doesn't require you to believe in a personified God; God, whatever you interpret it to be, is a distant, powerful force that created the earth and animates all things. That's about it. If you see God as a conscious being, or even the God of the Bible, that's cool! If you see God as an unconscious power that drives scientific processes, that is also cool - that's how I see it, personally, so I didn't feel like I had to start believing in something I had rejected when my view on that particular topic hadn't changed much.

The part that really got me in terms of compromising belief systems was the interaction with spirits. Prayer and meditation are one thing, but possession is a whole other thing to wrap your head around and I definitely had trouble accepting what I saw in ceremony for awhile. Seeing things that I couldn't explain away as physically possible was very difficult for me, at first, because it meant that the way I saw and accepted the world wasn't the whole truth of it. It would have been easier for me, at the time, to label myself as mentally ill than to accept that there was more to reality than I'd thought.
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Terrifying Mambo with a machete bump.
its drunken tripping balls catholic jigaboo 2 : the bugaloo strikes back.

seriously there isnt really naythting to it besides a bunch of fat, sloppy sweaty old black folks a hoppin and a boppin to some jungle bunny drums while getting crunk as fuck.

tl:dr You can find me in the club, check muh dubs
Racism. Dis-gusting. Also against the rules here.
Must be nice having an extra chromosome.
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Pls, /x/ is a place of Love and Spirituality.
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Graves are involved when it comes to Baron Samdi, who is the Lwa of the obscene and macabre. He is usually best summoned at the Cross at the front of graveyards. His colour is black, so ordinarily a lot of that is used in his rituals. Any time people worship in graveyards, it's usually to summon Samdi. He is often depicted urinating blood, and his possessions take the form of obscene words, gestures and movements.
pftch no

1/10 unimpressed
I've never seen him depicted as peeing blood, at least not in Haitian Vodou. Could be another tradition's depiction of him though. :)

He's associated with fertility, healing and the protection of children for us. The Gede are pretty lewd in ceremony, oh yeah, but it's not to scare people, it's to make them laugh.
It was always my impression that Samdi was the Lwa of the dead. Certainly fertility, as you mentioned, but never healing. And I agree with you regarding the obscenity. I don't think it's either, to be honest, just a unique expression of the self being emulated through the Lwa.
Healing's big with the Gede. If someone's ill or having pain problems, especially in the context of a ceremony, they can ask the Gede to heal them. I've also seen the Gede come in and mount someone directly after a more aggressive possession in order to help the person recover from the mounting.
Don't fret about it! You have been great. :) You posted your email earlier in the thread, would you be alright if I could keep in contact with you that way?
Absolutely :)
voodoo, like all "magic" is highly subjectible thus directed at idiots and gullible dickheads by manipulative degenerates with self esteem/emotional issues.

>Get doll
>Get anointing oils (Kiss Me Now, Come to Me)
>Get love herbs
>Get candle
>Get holy water
>Get incense
>Get paper
>Get personal effect (hair is good)

Anoint candle. Light candle. Light incense.

Write target's name on paper. Anoint paper with oil. Add personal effect to paper, fold it up.

Pass paper and herbs through incense smoke and (quickly) through flame. Add paper and herbs to interior of doll, describing the desired effect each component will bring. Seal compartment so the stuff won't fall out. Anoint doll with oil. Sprinkle doll with holy water and baptize the doll as the name of your target.

Form of the doll isn't terribly important - you can make it out of clay, drill a hole in the bottom of a peg doll, or get a Barbie doll. Just needs to have a space for the goodies.

After you have the doll completed, talk to it like you'd talk to the target. Do things to it if you like - what you do to the doll is reflected on the target. Store it wrapped in a pair of your underwear to keep yourself on the mind of the target.

BTW, this is hoodoo (and not voodoo), tripfriend above may have some other things to say about the recipe and may have a completely different way to do it.
Equally effective to this is walking into a crime-ridden neighbourhood, finding the biggest, baddest gangsta in the area, and commanding him to suck your dick. You can also command the tide to go back out, and tell the wind to stop blowing.
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<i> Did you know ? </i>

Voodoo is not against Gods will. Just like a bunch of other things.

People saying not, can't prove it is. Whereas proving it is not <i> is </i> logical and can be proven.

What enormous bad quality does this mean? Too much, high time someone should say.
What the fuck am I reading
Just a side note, dolls are not used for work in Haitian Vodou but they def are in New Orleans/Creole Vodou. :) The recipe posted sounds fairly standard according to the latter.
Would you happen to know how or why the Creole Vodouists choose to use dolls but the Haitian Vodouists do not? What happened down the line for dolls to come into the picture?

Said he wanted a voodoo doll, I gave him a doll.

You didn't.
Thanks been looking for a good Vodou book.
I had a dream I was possessed by Damballah before I knew what he actually did or was. I later found out. What does this mean?
Machecheche, do you mind if I contact you some time at your email? Quick question, what if anything differs from Haitian to Benin tradition? I haven't noticed that much but figured you might be able to shine some light. I understand if you don't want to be too specific...
hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy-tier
like castaneda but with less style and more balls
mostly made up on the fly
How would one go about integrating voodoo techniques into a more western syncretic/chaos magick type affair? Is this practical? Can I use the same methods to get possessed by a spirit aside from a loa, and what kind of safeguards would I have to take if I were to do so?

Also Machecheche, how hard/risky would it be for a non-practitioner who wasn't raised in the culture to try to practice? Like, not devote themselves to it but maybe dabble a bit?
The predominant theory is that the use of dolls comes from European poppet magick, since there was a lot more exposure to that stuff here in the States than there ever was in Haiti.

Yes, feel free. :) Anyone who wants to hit me up at lovanatiplum at gmail is welcome to do so.
Well, Haitian Vodou is a mixture of things, with a heavy Dahomean foundation - so instead of just being Benin's tradition translated into another culture, it's Benin's tradition/Fon rites, plus Congo, plus Yoruba, plus Ibo, plus Wangol, plus indigenous Taino practices, etc etc.
But yeah, if you're familiar with Benin's practices, you will probably have a very interesting perspective on Haitian stuff that not a lot of people get to have. That's really cool.

Would not recommend this at all. Maybe you can do that stuff with Creole Vodou, but not with Haitian. This is neither practical nor safe because it's a religion and not a magickal practice, and as far as possession goes, why would you want to do that? You'll black out and you won't remember or be conscious of anything, so you'd be calling a spirit down just to see if you could, and they don't really appreciate that kind of stuff.
Well, that depends on where you are and what's available around you. The hands-down best way to do it would be to attend as many ceremonies as you can, and if you live in a big metro area I can pretty much guarantee there are more than you think. Fets are public, as long as it's not an initiatory thing, so if you find a little Haitian botanica or get a Mambo/Houngan's Facebook or whatever, you can probably score yourself an invite, and from there on out you can see the Lwa for yourself and learn more about what we actually do in the practical sense.

Aside from that... the best thing you can do is start working with your ancestors. Glass of water, candle, picture of grandma optional but would be nice. Ancestor work is the foundation of all of the African diasporic traditions, so if you give your people a little bit of light and progress, they will help you find new opportunities to explore Vodou and actually interact with the Lwa.
Oh my. Could you tell me a little bit more about what happened in the dream? Without knowing any details, what I can tell you is that means you have him, as in he's one of your guiding Lwa. He may be either trying to bring you into Vodou (which happens when a Lwa comes to a non-practitioner out of nowhere, sometimes), or if you're going through a difficult or transitory time if your life, he may be trying to offer you some support, comfort and balance. He's just that kinda guy. ;D
I never really explicitly honored my ancestors. Sure, I've silently asked for strength and stuff like that, but nothing so...direct, I guess? That's cool though, thanks for sharing! Based on what you've seen, is it common for non-practitioners to be interested in and seek out Vodou?
I don't have much to contribute. My grandparents on my dad's side were supposedly into Cajun Voodoo of some kind, especially my grandmother. They wouldn't take my Dad to the doctor unless the moon was right or they used a beetle or something, stuff like that. I don't really have many stories except for weird stuff she did or that we found when we lived with her.
Some of it I'm sure was dementia, btw. But like she used to have these "wish dolls" that were little guys in what looked like a pill box. She cut up a picture of my friend once and cut a hexagon thing where his heart would be. She had a doll that was supposed to be my Mom (hated my mom), and I think it had pens in it. She also smeared poop on a bunch of stuff, but we figure that was mostly the dementia.

It's hard to remember it all now because I was a kid and this was about fifteen years ago. They wouldn't tell me much then and now that my Dad's gone there's no one that knows his stories. She was a Christian, but my grandmother did some weird stuff.
Fairly common, sure. There are a ton of Americans who seek out and become members of Haitian houses here in the States and, by proxy, in Haiti. It takes time and dedication, but you definitely see it done and done well by people who were not raised inside of the culture.

If you do get led down this path and you feel like it's time to start finding a Mambo or Houngan to teach you, please be extremely discerning. Go to as many different house ceremonies as possible and feel it out by observation and instinct. There are a lot of good houses out there, good people who will teach you the right things regardless of your skin color, but there are also a lot of predatory people who have legitimate standing in the religion, but who will basically sell fake initiations to non-Haitians. Just be critical and as open as you can be, if it gets to that point.

As for your ancestors, yeah, give it a try. You'd be surprised at how much a little goes a long way. :)
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Ogou bamp.
I can help bump with a bit of a story. Used to, outside at night was very creepy around my grandparent's, now my, house. You'd hear voices and noises and stuff. Some other stuff happened that I don't really believe, I think it was just my friend being a showoff. People didn't believe me until I'd tell them to walk the dogs with me at night.

Anyway, once my grandmother left, a lot of the creep stuff died down. It all just up and stopped. Now I'm not a firm believer in the supernatural. I live in a somewhat active town just out of Dallas, near a highway. So it's no surprise that there's noises and stuff. But most of the things I couldn't explain never happened after she left.
Sounds spoopy, details please.
Not as much as you'd think. Here or there would be some creepy nights, but mostly it was just things you'd hear or see out of the corner of your eye. Things other people would see too when they came to visit. She never knew about any of it, and I don't really think some half practiced Cajun Voodoo was the cause of any of it. She was an 89 year old lady with a lot of hate and meaness, she didn't exactly have the wherewithal to conjure up anything, if Cajun Voodoo even does that sort of stuff.
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Story bamp.

The "Zozo" Ouija board thing cracks me up because "zozo" means "cock" in Haitian Creole, and it refers to Gede's cane, which he typically places in front of his junk and uses as a makeshift dong. You'll see him walking around in possession with this massive stick between his legs. Sometimes the cane will actually be carved to have a dickhead on top of it.

So every time I read a thread where people talk about "Zozo" communicating through and sexually harrassing people with the Ouija board, that's pretty much what I think of, that of course a Gede would nickname themselves something like that and go around spooping people out for fun. Could be a demon too, I guess, but who knows.

Pic related, it's Gede Nibo with his zozo out. :P
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Veve bamp.
How does one determine if he/she is possessed by a Lwa or a demon? Seems pretty difficult to do what with the many different definitions of what a demon could be (from a Christian standpoint)
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Power of voodoo? Who do? You do?
Does anyone know about the voodoo scene in New Orleans and whether it's still around after Katrina?
There will always be people who consider any kind of outside spirit demonic. To us the Lwa are our Saints, intermediaries between God and humans, elevated ancestors who have devoted themselves to helping us do what we need to do in the aspects of our lives both spiritual and practical.

When it comes down to identifying the differences between a Lwa and a demon in terms of possession, well, that's why it's so important to have the support of a community behind you, a group of people who are experienced in identifying that sort of thing. Any Mambo or Houngan who's been properly trained would be able to tell who was coming down, and they are able to force the spirit out of the person's body if what's coming out isn't a Lwa. This does happen sometimes. Wandering, lonely dead will see a willing, open person and just jump right in, sometimes even pretending to be a Lwa to get the attention and the service.
Yes, it definitely is. We have Sallie Ann Glassman, who's a Haitian-initiated Mambo practicing an eclectic, unique blend of New Orleans Vodou/Haitian-ish Vodou/Kabbalah/etc. We also have a Santeria and Traditional Haitian Vodou community here.
Oh, and also worth mentioning is that when the Lwa come down in possession, there is a specific way that they act and specific things that they do that tell us who they are. If it's a real Lwa, they will know things that the person they're "riding" has no way of knowing, and more than that the priests and initiates in the room are well-trained to identify imposters. Each Lwa acts a little bit differently in each lineage; there will always be quirks and preferences that are unique to the house, so if something was coming in pretending to be a particular Lwa, everyone who was familiar with that house would be able to tell right away that something was off.
Lurkin, bampin
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Controversial picture bump!

Maybe worth noting is that while we do not, as previously stated, make a big weird show of putting down animals and the Lwa generally don't either... the Gede do whatever they want. In the case of this picture, the animal was put down quickly and painlessly, and then this particular Gede popped in to dump the bucket of blood over his head because feels good man.
That is an awesome picture by the way. What are the differences between Lwa and Gede? Are there any more classifications of spirits besides these two?
I have a feeling I would get along with Ogou - the Orisha I feel closest to right now are Oggun and Oya... I have Oggun's temper and Oya's love of wind storms and stubborness.
Gede are a type of Lwa, the spirits of the forgotten dead. Basically there are different nations, or groups, that indicate where the Lwa came from and what their general qualities are.
Here's a brief breakdown of some of the main ones:
- Rada
The Rada, including Ezili Freda (romance, hope and idealism, representation of unattainable perfection as well as dreams), and Damballah Wedo (very old, pre-verbal, white serpent; associated with harmony, balance, piety) are spirits that are known for being fairly cool, calm and balanced. Almost all of them, with the exception of Lasiren, have roots in the former kingdom of Dahomey in modern-day Benin.

- Petro
Hot, hostile, energetic, sometimes violent spirits that were born during the Haitian revolution. Most of them are purely Haitian in origin, having been born on the soil of Saint-Domingue, but there are also some extremely strong Congolese roots in some of the Lwa here. Protip: anything coming out of the Congo is usually very aggressive and friggin terrifying. Includes Ezili Danto (single mother, vomits blood, protector of abused women and children) and the Simbis (water serpents, associated with magic and poisons).

- Nago
The Ogou family of spirits, the warriors, coming from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Most if not all of these guys are military men (very few women spirits in here, but they exist in some lineages). The Nago are hot, but it's a different kind of fire from the Petro; whereas the latter is untamed, wild, violent heat, the Nago are disciplined and strategic, called upon in matters of justice and integrity. Includes Ogou Feray (the young, masculine, energetic, womanizing soldier) and Ogou Badagris (older, stern, highly respected general), among others.
All of the Ogou are awesome. When they come into the room it's like somebody injected 5 Hour Energy directly into your eyeballs. That particular picture is of Ogou Feray. :)
Yup - I can see me sharing a bottle of rum and a cigar with them - I would totally be right at home! The only down side is there are not many other practitioners in my area - the closest group to me that is somewhat open at all is an Ifa group in ATL but they haven't been very dependable when I've had any dealings with them. :\ Disappointing...
That blows. :| I know there are a ton of houses in Boston, New York and Miami, but aside from that it's a lot more scattershot.
Last time I was in Florida was a family vacation - we were driving down the road and I was clawing the window begging my sister to let me out at the Botanica.... you can guess how well that went over! lol
Oh nooo :( You should come down to New Orleans sometime! There's a ton of bullshit here but there's also a solid community of Paleros, Santeros, Houngans and even Santa Muerteros. We don't have as many people as Miami or NYC do but if we have them here in Louisiana, we've got to have some where you are too. :3

Shoot me an email sometime. If you let me know which ATR you're most into, I can see if my house has any contacts up wherever you are. Georgia, maybe?
Yeah, I actually spent some of my formative years living in New Orleans - I'm back and forth from Santeria to Palo Mayombe right now. (I'm first and foremost a student of comparative religion.) I thought for sure I could have a good thing going with the ATL group I found.. but turns out the one contact I thought I had has a bad history with racism torwards lighter skinned practitioners... and, well, my family is continental French so that didn't go over well *awww shucks*
Aww man - good memories - I'm on google maps trying to find our old apartment on McArthur St.
The old man in the haunted house killed her.
If you're still around I would like to hear if you have any interesting stories on possessions and celebrations, I've heard stories of very strange events tied to possessions, lot of spooky going ons
Sure :)

Ceremonies are very long. Like 6-10 hours long. We take several breaks in between calling and singing for the different groups of Lwa because we have to.
At the last one we had, we were all taking about a half hour to eat the food we'd prepared and chill out; my mother in Vodou, the Mambo who'd initiated me x was sitting in a chair about a foot away from where I was parked in the floor. We were eating this delicious spicy soup and I got the hiccups because spicy stuff does that to me.

Anyway, Ma's laughing and chatting with us, everything's great, until all of a sudden she stops speaking and looks at the ground. Every few seconds she would let out this soft, squeaky cough that was kind of hilarious, so I teased her about being Haitian and not being able to handle spicy food like me... she looked at me and her face was totally blank.

Then, without breaking eye contact, she opened her mouth and a long, thick ribbon of blood rolled out of her mouth. I scooted away so goddamn fast I'm pretty sure I left butt-marks on the floor.

It was one of the Petro ladies coming down to say hello! A few other priests immediately got up and handed her a bottle of Everclear, which she drank in its entirety. She had a word with the few people she came down to see and then left.

Most of the Lwa aren't as terrifying, but that's one of my favorite stories because it took me by surprise.
Une Bump
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Masked Egungun in Benin, West Africa
That's an amazing story. Is it weird/scary to see people close to you get possessed? Or is it just sorta normal to see people spewing blood and stabbing themselves because you were brought up around it?
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La danse de Yemaya
It's always a little scary when someone like that comes down, but we all know that it's for the purpose of greeting and addressing the family. I think it'd be way less tolerable if the Lwa came down just for the novelty of having a body or something. When it's not one of the "hotter" spirits, it's pretty thrilling to be close by because it means you have a better chance of interacting with them before the crowd of people start closing in.
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La danse de Oggun
Maybe worth mentioning here is that I come from a normal Protestant background, definitely wasn't raised in it. It's something I reflect on a lot, actually, how crazy it is what someone can get used to. I think that because I've experienced both sides of possession, that particular aspect of the religion is a lot more demystified for me personally, but I still scooted the fuck away when that Petro Lwa came down on my Ma. The Houngan next to me was so unfazed he just kept eating his soup.
Who is your Lwa Met Tet?
I don't like to spread it around, but I will say that it's a lesser-known lady who walks with Ezili Freda. ;) Freda herself doesn't care much for me though. I'm not quite feminine enough for her.
Is that you?
Could you explain this picture please?
I am the dread thread-murderer....
Sorry, I'm on my phone so my posts are pretty sporadic. Who was the question aimed at?
Thanks for sharing. I'm just trying to put myself in that position and I don't know how I would react. Like you I was raised Protestant but now I'm just kind of exploring different areas of spirituality from around the world.

I'm seriously considering traveling and maybe actually going to Haiti and observing/participating in a ceremony.

I think people these days close themselves off to different religions/spiritual practices, especially the seemingly more "brutal" ones like Vodou. But I think there's just so much to learn if one takes the time to understand where the culture is coming from.
I was wondering if you were you you, but you've posted your email so you must be. We talked a while back, about a year ago... Guess I'm just curious why you stopped talking to me? I was worried about you.
Ohhh I totally know who you are! I'm sorry about that. I went through a period where i stopped with Vodou right around the time we stopped chatting because of family issues. I lost a lot of relationships with my biological fam due to non-acceptance and I had a huge meltdown.

I'm sorry for going AWOL on you. I really enjoyed talking to you. :(
Ohh, I hear you. I would highly recommend checking out the ceremonies if you wanna learn more firsthand, def! But I would not suggest doing it in Haiti. Parties are public and put on by tons of houses in the States, and in Haiti, there are a lot of places that put on "ceremonies" for tourists that are about as legit as made-in-China dolls.
I thought I did something wrong or something. It was very discouraging. I'm sorry to hear you were having family issues. If you don't mind, I'd like to talk more. I'll send you an email from the address I used before.
Oh no, please do. I would love to talk with you again. :)
Already done. Hope to chat soon. :)
I'm not that familiar with voodoo. I only hear of voodoo dolls that are made from the victims hair and clothing. As well as turning people into zombies.

My question is: Is voodoo much like Wicca in the aspects if dark and light magic? Are voodoo dolls real? And are voodoo priests and priestesses like Native American shamans in any way?

I'm most familiar with Native American beliefs as my dad is half.
Benin is essentially one of the countries that is the birthplace of Vodou. In Benin, there is a tradition called Egungun. There are two types of Egungun - spirits, ancestors, and the honored dead, AND masked dancers that represent those spirits, ancestors and honored dead. The living Egungun go masked and cloaked as emissaries of the spiritual Egungun on Earth. Sometimes the living Egungun channel the dead Egungun so that their messages can be passed on to the living.
Cool, I will definitely keep my eye out. How hard would it be to get a connection with legit Haitian practitioners and see some real stuff? Surely you must have ran into some fake ceremonies and plastic shamans as someone from outside of the culture. I know you mentioned beforehand a definite way to know would be to ask who their mom is...
Dolls aren't used in Haitian Vodou, which is the one I'm involved in, but they are used in New Orleans/Creole Vodou pretty much as you've described. It's a very recent thing though.

Zombies are real, but they are made outside of the religion by shady motherfuckers called bokors, or sorcerers.

It's a little tricky, yeah, and there are lots of fakes out there. Even worse are the legit people who "sell" fake initiations to white people. Your best bet is to just see as many ceremonies at different houses as possible and ask your ancestors for guidance - Facebook is a great way to network and get invited to stuff, and once you talk to one person they'll usually bring you to other people. If you shoot me an email I can see if there's anyone in your area you could get in with, even if it's just to get an invite to the fets.

Ok guys, I'm gonna be back on later tonight, so if you ask a question and i don't respond right away just check back later. :)
I have heart palpitations and tachycardia (fast HR)...you think I was cursed? Don't really know any voodooists. Some wicca though. I don't have many enemies. It all started suddenly last year with a mad case of anxiety.
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Zangbeto - the Night Marchers of Vodou in Benin. They fall into a trance and channel/undergo possession. They are also the traditional judges of ethics/civil issues in Benin.
Just tell me if you know anybody in the Portland OR area...tried using Google but everything is Voodoo Donuts related. Bastards...
LOL. Your google-fu would have to be stronger than that. Did you even try spelling it "vodou" or "voudun"
You remind me of someone...
Great thread

What are some of the spookier things that you have experienced?
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Hopefully someone can answer this, I know this is a thread focused primary on voodoo... But I was wondering if anyone here has any information on Obeah?
Is there any truth to what they say about not telling people about the voodoo work you've had done because it can dimish or cancel out the results?
Yes. The idea is that you don't want the person to know you're working them, or even that work is being done, so that they can not defend themselves or retaliate. It also makes it easier to see if your work is successful if you take the human fear factor out of it.

Of course, doing work to hurt people is not something I encourage, etcetc.
If you're talking about work that's been done for you, like if you had someone do a cleansing on you or something, well.. I don't think it really matters as much unless you have people around who might be interested in deliberately disrupting said work. It's not as common a thing to worry about though.
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voudon gnostic workbook is occult pulp - horror - sci-fi crap. It's a poorer version of scientology.
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any notable experiences with Petwo Loa?

How do you feel about the Simbis?
The story I posted about the Lwa spitting blood was about a Petro/Petwo. I have a few other stories, but I'll post them tomorrow when I can get to a computer and type properly.

The Simbis are wonderful and extraordinarily powerful, but they are also very quiet and selective. I've heard a lot of people describe them as shy, but my impression of them was not so much that they were timid, but that they were picky. They don't accept offerings or come to everybody. You can serve them faithfully for years and if they don't choose you, they'll never come.

Simbi Andezo is the one I'm most familiar with and he actually has kind of a sociopathic feel to him, which would make sense given the general demeanor. All in all they are very valuable allies to have, but imo you'll have some issues if you're the kind of person who needs a lot of validation from the spirits you serve.
This is 100% truth.
Could you share any stories about successful love spells being cast?
What does this look like?

Looks like a crude version of one of Simbi's veves. It's got all of the defining elements (though unfortunately I can't find a picture of the one I'm thinking of online), but it's really poorly done and not even in the right medium. Luckily for OP's friend, as I said a couple posts up, Simbi's attention is really difficult to get and a half-assed veve-esque thing is not going to cut it.

I'll ask around. I don't do love work and few people in my family do either, so I don't have any stories off the top of my head, but I do know another Houngan in NY who's really good at it and enjoys it so I'll ask him.
K, got one. This one actually comes from my Mother.

Last year she was contacted by a woman whose husband had legally separated from her over two years prior, but they had not divorced because she kept fighting it. The husband had a live-in girlfriend at his place that he'd been seeing for about a year, and the woman wanted him back because their preteen daughter had become depressed over not having her dad around. Her grades were failing and she was becoming more and more withdrawn, so the woman went to my Ma and asked her to bring her husband back.

My Ma did some work for her, and two days later the guy showed up at the woman's doorstep, saying he was ready to talk about rekindling their relationship and getting the family back together. The woman asked if he'd moved out and left his girlfriend yet, and he said no, that he hadn't had time as of yet but that he would do it in the next week, if she would have him back. She slammed the door in his face and immediately called Ma to complain.

Because the lady was such a dumb a-hole, and because Ma felt bad for the kid, she did some extra work and got the husband to come back -- to take his daughter. He got custody, she now lives with him and his now-fiancee, and that's that.

That probably wasn't the feel-good Nicholas Sparks story you were looking for, but I thought it was kind of hilarious so I figured I'd share it anyway. ;D
Weird question, does your Mother still work with love spells? I study voodoo, rarely practice (always with good results though) but I'm in dire need of a love spell. I don't feel confortable using it on myself, so I'm looking for someone who can be trusted.
Do you have a throwaway email so we can talk about this?
Totes. lovanatiplum at gmail. :)

Your knowledge and experience is very appreciated.
Check your inbox, that's me. Thank you very much.
OK. I've read up on Voodoo and have been interested for some time. I mainly relate to the "deity" Eshu. Can you tell me more about him. I want him to be my go to guy. Is this a bad idea considering his history? What would I be in for?
Eshu is a Lukumi/Santeria/Ifa spirit; he's also worked with, as Exu, in the Afro-Brazilian religions. New Orleans Voodoo works with Eshu too because they just take from whatever tradition they as individuals feel called to, so I think my best suggestion here would be for you to do some research into the different traditions that work with Eshu/Exu (all of whom are different, keep in mind) and narrow down which one appeals to you the most. :D

Trickster spirits you gotta be careful with, though, for obvious reasons. I would strongly recommend you stick with an established tradition if you're going to work with a trickster because for them, more so than for other spirits, it's extremely valuable to have the protection, support and discernment of elders who can guide you away from getting fucked over or even hurt by said spirits.

I just realized I've been spelling my own trip code wrong for the past few posts. Lmbo my bad~

That is pretty funny, thanks for sharing. I was looking for some more Nicholas Sparks type stories as motivation since I'm planning on using one as soon as I have the money saved up. Would you mind sharing more stories or talking to me about further about love spells if I contacted you via the gmail address you provided?
Official thread music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht7QQ7JIbs8

Sure. :) I think I replied to your email, unless there's two of y'all. I'm actually at work right now so let me see what I can dig up re: feel-good stories about love work, and I'll send it to you on gmail.

No I'm a different poster, I'll title my email "different poster", sorry for the confusion.
Oh snap. Okay, cool.
Exus (the afro-brazilian kind) are very, very powerful beings, and require insane ammounts of dedication to work with. They are often divided into "personalities", with many individuals fitting into each one (there isn't one single Skull Exu, or Gypsy Exu, there are many of each kind).
They are, more or less, mundane spirits who turned powerful after death. They're similar to the lwa in many aspects.
I read about the anon up there cursing a dude. Is there repercussions for using negative "magic"?
Your willy could fall off.
Hoodoo, vodun, voodoo, palo, santeria, how do I choose?
Yay I'm finally off work and have computer access!
What do you want to get out of the experience? What are you looking for overall?
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Eshu/Elegua bump.
He represents the beginning and end of life, and the opening and closing of paths in life. Sometimes known as the trickster, he likes to play jokes on people.
Nobody wants to answer this. So basically in Voodoo you can do horrible shit to people with no adverse effects?
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>187 posts
>no mention of Maitre Carrefour

You guys don't even know that you don't even know.

Also, read William Gibson's sprawl trilogy for a cool futuristic take on the Loa.
Maybe no one has mentioned it just because no one has thought to bring it up - Eshu/Elegua is the crossroads guardian in my cosmology.
Sorry boo. I'm at work right now and I haven't been able to constantly follow this thread.

In my tradition, no, because while there is no 'karma' per se, there is common sense -- who do you think you're appealing to, hiring out, to do shitty things to people? Hungry spirits. So if you put enough of that out there, and you keep hurting people, pretty soon even when you're *not* working someone you'll find that you have the company of your contractors. You become a meal for them as they latch onto that anger and that spite you have.

I didn't bring him up for a reason, which is mostly that he appeals to edgelords who think they can handle something they know literally nothing about. I'm not positive about his connotations in NOLA/Creole Vodou, but in Haitian Vodou he is no joke.
Interesting. Have you ever heard of the concept that if there was no religion. People would have no qualms about killing other people. Is there a higher murder rate among practicing Voodoo folks?
Lol, no. I can't speak for any other traditions but I can speak for my own and say that the thread of retaliation is not the only thing keeping any of us practitioners from murdering everybody. The religion is neatly centered around relationships -- the relationships you have with your spirits, your family, your community, yourself. Doing terrible things to people damages all of those things, so it wouldn't make sense to say that Vodou practitioners are inherently more likely to commit murder.

I think it mostly comes down to how you view people in general, if you believe that deep down we're all held back from the edge by societal and religious structures because mankind is inherently evil. It's a legitimate question.
threat* derp.
Just so's you guys know, I'm heading home now so I'll be on my cell and probs not posting as much til tomorrow. I'll still check in from time to time though.
Something not dependent on belief, but more so on the effectiveness of ritual.
I've heard the term "head spirit" used before, can someone tell me exactly what that is? And the purpose of a head spirit?
In Vodou it's the Lwa who guides you much like a parent would, the one you serve above all others. A ceremony is done during initiation to determine who it is, and once you receive that information, you're obligated to nurture that relationship for the rest of your life.
Can a head spirit only be determine during initiation, or can one find out through divination by a Vodou priest/priestess?
Only initiation. Readings can tell you who's around you at the time, but even then sometimes Lwa will pop by to check you out and then leave, although the ones who end up being in your lifelong group may also come up. The actual head spirit usually doesn't choose you until initiation anyway, although there are occasional exceptions to that dependant on the person.
So Eshu or trickster "deities" are unreliable is what you're saying. Not because of his tricky intentions. But because there's more than one Eshu pretty much.
You mentioned I have to amount ridiculous amounts of time to Eshu. If I went about it. How would I do it exactly.
I'm just curious because i can relate to him. I've been known to fuck around a lot for fun and to teach people a lesson. And I've been told by multiple people that despite my tricks and jokes I give good wisdom and understanding.
Also if you have links to reliable online sources of this matter. I would appreciate a link. Thank you and sorry if I'm being a burden.
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How you serve Eshu and which one(s) you serve is going to depend purely on which traditions you're working with. Discern on that first, figure out which ones you feel called to, and then the next step will be finding out how to work within that tradition.

I wish I could give you some contacts/resources/etc, but the Yoruba/Congo stuff really isn't my area of expertise so that's all I can suggest.
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I'm not trying to sound like an asshole here, but how old are you? And how long ago have you been immersed in this belief system? Just curious.

Also, I read somewhere that you can give offerings in the form of cigarettes and booze. Can I just go to any cemetery and party with the dead? Or is it more for the Lwa?
26, 6 years. No offense taken.

You can def leave cigarettes, booze and other things for the dead in any cemetery, but you'll want to be real careful and make sure you clean yourself off when you get home. Especially if you come to feed the dead, while it's appreciated very much by the ones that never receive such thoughtfulness or attention, sometimes you'll get followed home and that's not really a good thing.

But yeah, everyone needs a little elevation, those offerings are fine for both the dead and (most) Lwa.
>You can def leave cigarettes, booze and other things for the dead in any cemetery, but you'll want to be real careful and make sure you clean yourself off when you get home. Especially if you come to feed the dead, while it's appreciated very much by the ones that never receive such thoughtfulness or attention, sometimes you'll get followed home and that's not really a good thing.

How would I go about "cleaning" myself up afterwards?
Basically do any kind of cleansing. It doesn't have to be a Vodou-specific ritual, it can be any kind of banishing work so long as you do it with intent and focus. What I do personally is mix water with some sweet basil, lime and salt while praying, and then I pour that over myself in the shower, scrubbing forcefully downward to get off whatever's on me. That's just me though.
I don't have a link per se - but I just wanted to give a quick example of one of my past equivalents of giving Eshu/Lucero/whatever you want to call it/him/them some love....

I bought my first house in '07. It just happens to be on the corner of a cross-roads. No big deal you say because most houses are on cross roads... anywho - who cares the point is the house is on a cross roads. So, my husband and I's first night in the house I made a nice little cup for Eshu/Elegua/Lucero that had some hard candies, some rum, some tobacco, and if I remember correctly a little bit of blood from whatever it was I was cutting up for dinner that night all mixed into the rum in the little bowl and went and left it at the corner of the crossed roads. It all just depends on how you want to spend your time and energy. It's easiest for me if I can work in whatever practice I am doing with whatever normal activities I am doing that day.
In addition to Machecheche's post - I'm pretty boring on how I clean. It depends on what's going on. Sometimes if I feel a weak feeling of a presence I just imagine the presence is like a fly or a gnat and where-ever I feel it around me I gently (not forcefully) wave my hand through the air as if I am brushing it/them/whatever off - if it is a stronger presence and I can't shake it I will more forcefully wave my hand like shooing away in that direction, and then brush off my arms from the shoulders down, and my torso from chest level down as if I am trying to get some dust or mud off of me. I don't use a lot of the Baths and Waters - but it's just a personal choice.
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I think that some people may tell you there's a right way and a wrong way - but i think the most important part is your intentions. Here's a pic of one my personal spaces - this one is on top of my large dresser in my bedroom. Alot of the statues are not traditional Palo/Santeria figures but I know what Orisha/Lwa/Nkisi they are comparable to.. and it works for me. I do have some pieces that actually are from the Caribbean/Africa so I try to incorporate those as well.
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This is gorgeous.
Wow - thank you!
File name is exactly what this shows - that is one BIG Nganga...
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My, when did voodoo become so concerned with being viewed as a primitive and ineffective form of christianity for the black folk. Nothing dangerous here, no suh, we just like yous. You do realise no one on the internet will spank you, yes?
fucking tricksters
>Nothing dangerous
>"...and then the possessed person spat blood"

Lord almighty
Okay, guy.
I read this as if you had a jamaican accent...no offense
Lmbo. I hope it was a really loud, emphatic Miss Cleo voice.
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Why are top hats such a big deal? Legitimate question.
The Gede, the spirits of the dead, often wear top hats (particularly the fancy ones, like the Barons) as part of their aesthetic in parody of the aristocracy/rich people in general.
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I'm not exactly sure if this is the same thing as what you're referring to, but voudoisants talk about having a lwa in the head. They would say for example - he or she has a very strong gede in her head. And thats like their main lwa which guides them, and which they have inherited.
I possesions the lwa descends on the head of the horse (the person being possesed). If they want to stop the possesion while the person is going under, they'll cover their head with a bag.

In your opinon, are exu and eshu the same?

I'm new to vodou and I've been serving legba, I also feel called by exu. I've seen it emphasised by people who know what they're talking about that exu, eshu and ellegua and legba are all different and they shouldn't be conflated, or equated with one and other in your practice. But I feel called really to all of them. I've just got no idea how to serve eshu, exu and ellegua, is it like serving lwa?

Exu is no joke based on my limited experience, not for the faint of heart. I was talking to my friend about him in the car, in a manner that must have been disrespectful. He lost control of the car all of a sudden and nearly ran straight into a wall. Afterwards he told me that it felt as if someone took control of his body and violently swerved the wheel, which is exactly what it looked like. When we examined one of the tires we found a little key, with the tip bent up at 90 degrees, which was stuck into the tire. Apparently the mechanic was baffled and spooked and said such a thing isn't even meant to be possible. I know keys are associated with legba, are they also associated with exu?
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Not true.
I'm the anon who gave the explanation on Exus. I don't know anything about Eshus, though.

What I can tell you, is... Exus are DEFINITELY not for the weak. Even knowing/hanging out with someone who is known to get possessed can be hard on you.
I've been close friends with 4 people who could get possessed (in portuguese, we call it "baixar", means "to down upon")
My mother is best friends with a "pai de santo" (Candomblé male high-priest), and a bunch of his followers/students.
Candomblé is one of the strongest religions here in Brazil, and even catholics have mix of deep respect and fear towards it. It is a very, very old religion, with an absurdly big "pantheon".

Exus themselves aren't evil-natured, though many are tricksters or have fiery personalities. They are called upon to help in mundane affairs (like the Lwa) but usually only people who have been initiated can summon/"baixar" them easily. This "usually" is not a rule, though, since many people are drawn into Candomblé because they were possessed against their wish. It is a terrifying experience for non-believers, since it can range from "hold my drink, I need to dance to this song for some reason" to waking up in a pool of someone else's blood.

Regarding your experience, yes, there is a type of Exu associated with keys, it's usually Tranca Rua ("Street Locker", he locks and unlocks spiritual gates). While he is very powerful and often used for curses, I doubt they would target you. Candomblé spirits usually have quite specific targets, including (but not only)
>brazilians and africans
>people who have listened to "pontos de macumba" (the Candomblé summoning songs) at any moment in their lives
>people who are spiritually weakened WHILE being near a despacho (an offering, curse or spell that is left on the street, in plain view) or near a terreiro (the Candomblé "church")

If you have any other questions, just ask, I'll be monitoring this thread for Candomblé/Exu related questions.
Eshu is the same diety as Elegua, and is essentially the same diety as Legba and Lucero (just using a different name in a different tradition). Depending on WHO you ask Exu can either mean: A) the exact same diety as Eshu/Elegua/Legba/Lucero, etc OR B) a name for a group of specific types of Spirits. My husband grew up in Puerto Rico, and he argues with me all the time. He says "Exu is a name of a type of spirit" - I say "Exu is the name of a specific diety". Just depends on WHO you ask.
>>people who have listened to "pontos de macumba" (the Candomblé summoning songs) at any moment in their lives

I think its possible I listened to one of these, I listen to exu pontos on youtube.


thanks, I've just now read your posts
Since so many different posts have asked for more information on the different dieties, I think it would be cool if we post information about the dieties/spirits/etc. I'll start with Eshu since he's had the most requests for information.. and since it's only fitting that you call Eshu first.
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Elegua can either be represented as a child, or as an old man. This is because he represents both the beginning of life, and the end of life.

Colors: Red, Black
Number: 3
Day of the Week: Monday
Saint Days: January 6th, June 13th
Syncretic Saint: Saint Anthony of Padua
Title: Lord of the Crossroads
Eleke Pattern: A) One red bead, One black bead - repeat B) Three red beads, Three black beads, One red bead, One black bead, red, black, red, black
Typical offerings: Candy, Small toys, Cigars, Rum, toasted Corn, Coconuts, white Cooking Wine, smoked Hutia meat (a large rodent that looks similar to a Groundhog that is native to Cuba), smoked Fish, and red Palm Oil
Traditional Tools: Shepherds Crook
Descriptive words for Eleggua: Intelligent, capable, talkative, adventurous, active, mischievous, class-clown, charismatic.
are the pontos on youtube pontos de macumba? or are those kept more secret?
Other names for Eleggua:
Lucero Mundo
Papa Legba
Eleggua Abaile
Eleggua Afrá
Eleggua Agbanukué [Agbanuké]
Eleggua Akéru
Eleggua Agongo Ogo
Eleggua Akesan
Eleggua Wing Him Ilú
Eleggua Wing Lu Banshé
Eleggua Alaroye Akokelebiyú
Eleggua Añanki
Eleggua Awó Bara
Eleggua Elufé
Eleggua Barakikeñerí
Eleggua Bara Wing Asuayo [Lasuayo]
Eleggua Aggó Meyó
Eleggua Biawooná
Eleggua Eborikeke
Eleggua Agüere Kikeño [Kinkeñe]
Eleggua Agatigaga
>pontos de macumba
There are some Pontos de Macumba on YouTube. I am not sure how accurate or traditional they are, only because I am not that familiar with that aspect of the Macumba tradition.
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>Still believing those are tombs
Exuguy again.

Most pontos de macumba on youtube are accurate (since over here they're pretty common, there's even a musical genre called techno macumba with remixed pontos).
There are many that aren't online, though, usually the ones for very specific holidays and rituals (like for curses, and for some entities that perform them).

However... Recorded pontos (as in, video, mp3, etc) are nowhere near as powerful as they are live. I'm not even involved with Candomblé myself, but whenever I go to the terreiros and listen to them live, I get uneasy as fuck. It's absurdly loud, deep and hypnotizing, you're sucked into a sort of trance that I can only describe as time-stopping. You zone out completely.

>does that mean you disturbed an exu by listening to them on youtube?
Nope. Not likely. Like I said, pontos are like samba, they're present in the brazilian everyday life (even more in Rio). People sing these songs all the time, as a mean to honor the entity. Only spiritually weakened (and oblivious) people are prey to oportunist Exus, but then again, they're not evil. Tranca Ruas (the key guys) are awesome to have as your Exu, they're very protective of their followers.
That's one of his pontos. One part loosely translated:
"he promised to do good at midnight;
today with faith, as a partner and a loyal friend;
he breaks spells, and undoes evil

and whenever I walk the streets;
and from far away, hear his voice echo;
I'm sure that now I don't walk alone;
Mr. Tranca Rua is the owner of my path"
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Ochosi can be represented as a hunter, woodsman, and fisherman. But he is also known as a warrior and a shaman.

Colors: Blue, Yellow
Numbers: 3, 4, 7
Days of the Week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Saint Days: June 6
Syncretic Saint: Saint Norbert
Title: Lord of Justice
Eleke Pattern: A) One blue bead, One coral bead - repeat B) Seven blue beads, Seven yellow beads
Typical offerings: Canary seed, Brandy, Anise, Tobacco, birds, Yucca, and vegetables
Traditional Tools: Bow and Arrow

Descriptive words for Ochosi: Instinctive, Attentive, Self-Starter, Wanderlust, Hospitable, Trustworthy, Truthful, Alert, Protective, Loyal
Other names for Ochossi:
Oshosi Speck
Oshosi Kayoshosi
Oshosi Alé
Oshosi Marundé
Oshosi Ibualámo
Oshosi Otín
Oshosi Onilé
Oshosi Abedi
Oshosi Bi
Oshosi Gurumujo
Oshosi Odde
Oshosi Odde kills
Oshosi Ode Ode
Oshosi Burú
Oshosi Belujá
Oshosi Bomi
Oshosi Kadina
Oshosi Biladé
Soft Oshosi
Oshosi Tundé
Oshosi Omialé
Oshosi Deyí
Oshosi Of
Oshosi Tofáo
Oshosi Elefaburú
Tripping from now on to avoid confusion.

Ochosi = <3
I personally met Ochosi Caçador (Hunter Ochosi), he is fiery as fuck, but earning his respect felt pretty awesome.
>in a beach ritual, on a Candomblé holiday
>Ochosi time
>in the middle of the dance, one breaks formation
>walks up to me, with a very serious face
>throws himself on his knee, leaning back, while letting out the most mighty warrior scream I've ever heard, and does the motion of arming a bow and arrow aimed at my face
>I don't even practice Candomblé, but it was so fucking scary I almost pissed myself
>drop to my knees, head down
>he gets up, stares at me some more while breathing heavily
>offers his hand, I take it
>he pulls me up, I say "good evening, sir"
>he pulls me into a very firm half-hug, while staring deeply into my eyes
>walks away
>I start shaking like a motherfucker, get many flowers from his followers

Shit was intense.
Your description of Ochosi reminds me of this famous video of first contact between an explorer and a primitive tribe:

Watch the lead Hunter with the red arrows in his hair - Ochosi to the core.

I do not condone the spoiling of uncontacted peoples in any way - I just remembered seeing these images when I was younger and it reminded me of your story.
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Ogun can be represented as a blacksmith, and he lives alone in the forest. Ochosi, his brother, visits him from time to time.

Colors: Mulberry, Green, Blackk
Numbers: 3, 7
Days of the Week: Tuesday, Wednesday, the 4th day of every month
Saint Days: June 29th
Syncretic Saint: Saint Peter
Title: Lord of Iron
Eleke Pattern: One green bead, One black bead - repeat
Typical offerings: roasted Sweet Potatoes, Plantains, Kola nuts, White Beans, smoked Fish, toasted Corn, Palm oil, Cane Alcohol and Cigars
Traditional Tools: Machete
Descriptive words for Ogun: Violent, impulsive, unforgiving, brave, determined, hopeful, dedicated, astute, frank, sincere, strong, solitary, hard-working, martial
Other names for Ogun:
Ogun Onil
Ogun Alagbo (Alagbede)
Oggún Melli
Oggún Arere
Oggún Shibiriki
Oggún Kobu Kobu
Oggún Aguanile
Oggún Meye
Oggún Adaiba
Oggún Jobí
Oggún Adeolá
Oggún Já
Oggún Olokó
Oggún Aroye
Oggún Onira
Oggún Oniré
Oggún Oké
Oggún Aladú
Oggún Valanyé or Valenyé
Oggún Ñako Ñiko
Oggún Olode
Oggún Soroké
Oggún Warí
Oggún Talajó
Oggún Olobe
Oggún kasajó
Oggún Olobeté
Oggún Abagága
Oggún Bi
Oggún Deyi
Oggún Of
Oggún Pátakori
Oggún Ondó
Oggún Igiri
Oggún Abesan
Oggún Orioko
Oggún Alará
Oggún Ikolá
Oggún Akirun
Oggún Makinde
Soft Oggún
Oggún Elémona
Oggún Gbenagbena
Oggún Olópa
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Osun can be represented as a White Rooster, and he is a spiritual guard-dog. Osun does not have his own eleke, and is never considered a Lwa Met Tet. Osun is very solitary, and if he has anything to say he sends his message with Eleggua through the cowries.

Colors: Red, Yellow, Blue, White
Numbers: 8, 16, 24
Days of the Week: Thursday
Saint Days: June 24
Syncretic Saint: Saint John the Baptist
Title: Guardian
Eleke Pattern: Unknown
Typical offerings: Coconut butter, Coconut husk, he will also eat anything that Eleggua, Ochosi, and Ogun offer to share with him.
Traditional Tools: Silver Cup
Descriptive words for Osun: Vigilant, humble, protective
Other names for Osun:
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Obatala is represented as the sculptor of mankind, and the owner of the human mind and dreams. For this reason he is said to be the "Ruler of All Heads". Obatala can also take on male, or female, form at will.

Colors: White
Numbers: 8
Days of the Week: Unknown
Saint Days: September 24
Syncretic Saint: Virgin of Mercy
Title: Mother/Father of Humanity
Eleke Pattern: All white beads
Typical offerings: white Cotton, Rice with Milk, Merengue, Canary seed, Cocoa Butter, Husk, Maize, white flowers
Traditional Tools: Horse-hair Iruke, Silver bell
Descriptive words for Obatala: Strict, creative, innovative, clean, disciplinary, intelligent, studious, strong-willed, peaceful, calm, trust-worthy, reserved, patient, magnanimous, proud
Other names for Obatala:
Tiembla Tierra
Mamá Kengue
Iña Ñaába
Obbatalá Ibaíbo, Igbá Ibó, Obbá Iba o Ibá Ibó
Obbatalá Obálufón
Obbatalá Oshagriñan, Osá Griñan, Osá Kriñán o Agguiriñá
Obbatalá Yekú Yekú o Yekú Oño
Obbatalá Alaguema, Aguemó Yemá o Aguema
Obbatalá Ekaniké
Obbatalá Talabí
Obbatalá Baba Fururú
Obbatalá Eyuaró, Eruadyé o Eluayé
Obbatalá Ashó, Asholó o Babá Ashó
Obbatalá Obá Moró, Obamoró u Obbámoró
Obbatalá Orisha Ayé
Obbatalá Ondó
Obbatalá Ayalúa
Obbatalá Alabalaché
Obbatalá Olufón
Obbatalá Oloyú Okuní
Obbatalá Oshá Orolú
Obbatalá Okeylú
Obbatalá Aná Suaré
Obbatalá Adema
Obbatalá Segbo Lisa
Obbatalá Oshalufón
Obbatalá Oguiniyán
Obbatalá Obalabí
Obbatalá Elefuro
Obbatalá Oba Akiyá
Obbatalá Oba Malú
Obbatalá Efún Yobí
Obbatalá Alarmorere
Obbatalá Orisha Yeyé
Obbatalá Obón
Obbatalá Obanlá
Obbatalá Aikalambó
Obbatalá Oshereilbo
Obbatalá Airaniké
Obbatalá Oyú Alueko
Obbatalá Orisha Iwín
Obbatalá Oyé Ladé
Obbatalá Ekúndiré
Obbatalá Orisha Obralá
Obbatalá Bibí Niké
Obbatalá Edegú
Obbatalá Abany
Obbatalá Ayenolú o Ayelú
Obbatalá Yemmú o Yembó
Obbatalá Agguidai
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Chango can be represented as a mighty king, or a bolt of lightning. He is also the patron of dancing and music - particularly drummers.

Colors: Red, White
Numbers: 6
Days of the Week: Friday, and the 4th day of the month
Saint Days: December 4
Syncretic Saint: Saint Barbara
Title: Rebel King
Eleke Pattern: One white bead, One red bead - repeat
Typical offerings: Bananas, Okra, red Palm Oil, Corn Meal Dumplings, Red Wine, toasted Maize, Barley, Canary seed
Traditional Tools: Double-Headed Axe
Descriptive words for Chango: Beauty, virility, power, passion, independent, brave, womanizer, charismatic, charming, fast-talker, leader, arrogant, domineering, compulsive, strong-willed, energetic, legislative, erotic
Other names for Chango:
Seite Rayos
Shango Obadimeyi
Shango Obakoso
Shango Bumí
Shango Dibeyi
Shango Alafin or Alafi Alafi
Shango Arirá
Shango Olosé
Shango Kamúkan
Shango Obbará
Shango Yakutá
Shango Ko Under
Shango Lubbe or Bara Lubbe
Shango Olufina Kake
Shango Obalúbe
Shango Obaluekun
Shango Bangboshé
Shango Addima Addima
Shango Obbaña
Shango Eyee
Shango Alayé or Eluwekon
Shango Obayá
Shango Lubbeo
Shango Omangüerille
Shango Oban Yoko
Shango Alufina
Shango Ebbora
Shango Ladde or Larí
Shango Dedina
Shango Luami
Shango Deima
Shango Deizu
Shango Tolá
Shango Obba Bi
Shango Yumi Kasiero
Shango Asabeyi
Shango Oluoso
Shango Okanami
Shango Nipa
Shango Gbogbagúnle
Shango Gbamí
Shango Fáyo
Shango Deyí
Shango Obanlá
Shango Tápa
Shango Godo
Shango Odúnbadeyí
Shango Oba Tolá
Shango Oluóso
Shango Nupé
Shango Oba Yokó
Shango Okanami
Shango Ball
Shango Oloké
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Orunmila can be represented as a healer, a diviner, or a "high priest".

Colors: Yellow, Green
Numbers: 2
Days of the Week: Any day of the week, but particularly Sunday
Saint Days: October 4
Syncretic Saint: Saint Francis of Asisi
Title: Witness of Creation, First Prophet
Eleke Pattern: One yellow bead, One green bead - repeat
Typical offerings: 2 Coconuts, 2 Candles, white Basil, red Palm Oil, Honey
Traditional Tools: Opon Ifa, Horse-Hair Iruke
Descriptive words for Orunmila: Co-operative, protective, calm, wise, generous, intuitive, serious
Other names for Orunmila:
Absolutely, that's totally Ochosi.
And I totally agree, here in Brazil we had some awful situations involving uncontacted tribes over the past few decades. From them being removed from their native grounds so the land could be turned into farms (which lead many of them to become hobos in big cities) to entire tribes being eradicated by modern diseases.
This breaks my heart, to see pure cultures ruined by our "advanced" way of life.

By the way, thank you for your contributions to the thread, I'm reading it all!
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Aganju can be represented as either the warmth of the Sun, or the explosiveness of a volcano. He is a spirit of great antiquity, and is said to be the father of Chango.

Colors: Brown, Opal
Numbers: 9
Days of the Week: Unknown
Saint Days: November 16
Syncretic Saint: Saint Christopher
Title: Brute Force
Eleke Pattern: One reddish brown bead, One opal bead - repeat
Typical Offerings: Castrated Goat, Quail, Pigeons, and Guinea Hens
Traditional Tools: Unknown
Descriptive words for Aganju: Growth, cultivation, foundation, warmth, catalyst, strength, change, deliverance, powerful, determined, dry, tempermental, explosive, fiery, intense, stealthy
Other names for Aganju:
Brazo Fuerte
Bi Yaya
Agallu Sola
You are very welcome - I have much love for Ochosi and his brothers, too. Even if they don't return my phone calls - harumph!

I don't think I disturbed an exu listening to the ponto, I think the way I was talking about him was disrespectful, my friend knows I'm interested in vodou and with exu in mind I was telling him there is a spirit we can summon and place curses on anyone, and things I know aren't true for fun such as that we will definitely see his apparition if we summon him. Exu are big on respect and these spirits don't like to be treated like attack dogs.

I've realised that one of the pontos I'd been listening to is indeed a tranca rua ponto, and that one of the images I'd seen is accompanying the music is tranca rua. It makes sense that he is my exu or that I got his attention because I've been serving legba, who is the vodou gate keeper.
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Babalú Ayé can be represented as a beggar, a leper, an old man bent over his walking cane, or a traditional shaman ('witch-doctor') caught up in his whirling dance.

Colors: White, Blue, Crimson, Black, Brown
Numbers: 7, 17
Days of the Week: Sunday, Wednesday
Saint Days: December 17
Syncretic Saint: Saint Lazarus
Title: Lord of the Earth, Wrath of God
Eleke Pattern: One white bead, One blue bead, One Cowrie shell, One jet bead - repeat
Typical Offerings: Grains - Sesame Seed is taboo
Traditional Tools: Coconut Palm leaf Ja broom
Descriptive words for Babalu-Aye: Healer, risen, earthly, contagious, uncontrollable, fearsome, wandering, solitary, desolate, elder
now, how exactly do you serve your exu?
Other names for Babalu-Aye:
Pata en Llaga
Tata Fumbi
Tata Kañén
I'm not any sort of official priestess, so I mostly just do things like keep their area clean, free of dust, make sure their area is setup nicely, leave little offerings in their bowl, keep their bowl cleaned out in between, sometimes I'll burn candles or scents that are specifically for them. I have accidentally called down two of them once when I first started practicing in 2005. I didn't experience possession or anything like that - it was just an awkward situation.
Question for those who've contributed: are you supposed to remember all the different spirits different names? Or is it alright to check a record of some kind? During possession, how easy/hard is it to recognize one spirit out of thousands?
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Last one before I take a break.... will pick up if the thread doesn't 404 anytime soon...

Oya can be represented as either the gates of the cemetery, or the whirling winds of a tornado.

Colors: Burgundy, Brown, White, Lavendar, Yellow
Numbers: 9
Days of the Week: Friday
Saint Days: February 2
Syncretic Saint: Virgin of Candelaria, Saint Theresa
Title: Owner of the Wind
Eleke Pattern: A) One red bead, One brown bead - repeat OR B) One lavendar bead, One yellow bead - repeat, OR C) One black bead, One white bead - repeat
Typical Offerings: White Rice with Eggplant, Black-Eyed Peas, Grapes
Traditional Tools: Horse-Hair Iruke, Cow switch
Descriptive words for Oya: Change, fierce, guardian, private, abrupt, transition, fearsome, stubborn, protective, powerful, loyal, jealous, cabin-fever
Other names for Oya:
Centella Ndoki
Ọya- Iyansan

Incidentily, Oya is the only Orisha that is honored at the same time as the Eggungun. This is because the dead are considered her children.
Most of the time you know who shows up because it is exactly who was called. They will also meet and greet with their specific followers in the group and pass on messages, or advice. For instance, if you did not know how to tell if a person was being ridden by Chango - if you knew your best friend was an Omo Chango you might see the Orisha greet them, or make a point to specifically speak to them about something that is important in their life.
So you don't have a mind bank of sorts that you can recognize them with? Rather, you know going into it who's supposed to come down?
Here are some keywords that I use to help me:

Eleggua: Red and Black Prankster
Ochosi: Blue and Yellow Hunter
Oggun: Green and Black Machete
Osun: Never rides
Obatala: White Loving Parent
Chango: Red and White Noble Warrior
Orunmila: Never rides (as far as I know)
Aganju: Brown Volcano (you'll know when he rides - it will look physically painful)
Babalu: Burlap Friendly Beggar
Oya: Multi-Color Elegant Whip

Those are just for the Orisha I have posted so far.... you get to know them kind of like you get to know a new friend. You may not always remember their favorite food, but you always remember their personality.
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Got any more info on the Orisha that you could share with us?
For some reason my reply didn't post - I have more info, just gotta do some morning routine first.
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So glad the thread is still alive!

Here are some videos of West African Egungun to hold you over until I get my laundry finished:

Part 1:
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-va-XaU18o

Lots of Egungun dancing:

Haven't been putting my name as OP my past couple of posts, but I just wanted to say thanks to you and Machecheche for all the contribootin!!! Had no idea this thread would become so great.
Any exu can place curses on anyone, that's like stating "Jesus can heal anyone". It's a fact. I doubt he would take it as an offense, specially considering you aren't initiated and wasn't inside a terreiro.
If you want to absolutely make peace with him, send him an offering.
I'm gonna adapt this since you can't possibly find all of the ingredients outside Brazil, but anyways:
>large bowl or plate, never used, preferably made of clay
>one bottle of cachaça (if you can't find it, try any strong alcohol like rum)
>some oil (originally dendê oil, but any oil could work) and one bag of corn
>one steak with onions (cook it yourself, and use the best quality meat you usually eat)
>one cigar
>one white candle
>one glass, never used

>make the popcorn using the oil, put it on the bowl or plate
>cook the steak, slice the onions very thinly
>lay the onions on the bowl/plate and steak on top

>go to a crossroads at night, preferably at midnight on a monday (if the crossroads is inclined, even better)
>put the bowl/plate down, fill the glass with the cachaça/rum
>light the candle, light the cigar
>puff the cigar smoke over everything, put the lit cigar down with the glass of booze
>ask for forgiveness, explain your respect for him, be honest
>ask for protection if you'd like, use the words "open my paths"
>thank him, walk away

That's what we call "exu food", it's a simple offering, like a regular prayer whenever you want to give them a threat. I think it's pretty obvious, but you should not hide the offering, leave it in plain sight on the sidewalk (close to the curb if there is one).
And thanks to ExuGuy too! We need to do Syncretic General more often. Finishing up a video and then I will pick up where I left off with the info... I'll start with the Sisters Yemaya and Oshun and go from there...
Forgot to mention, as a quick disclaimer... The Exu Food recipe I posted is based on the brazilian tradition, and fits any Tranca Rua. There are other recipes, but they're usually for a specific Tranca Rua, or involve ingredients you wouldn't be able to find or adapt.

First of all, you find out which one is yours. This usually involves going to a terreiro (Candomblé church) and talking to the pai the santo and the possessed people. Some can tell from just looking at you (that's how I found out mine!)
Once you know, you can either get initiated (which is an exhausting process, and not for the weak of mind) and adhere to the religion, or just honor your Exus/Orixas/etc by making offerings, going to the rituals, and speaking to them (through the possessed people).
What I personally find astonishing is that, while there are many "fake possessions", true possessions are obvious.
Often, if you meet your Exu through two different people (that don't even know each other) the Exu will carry on talking about a subject. As if he merely changed from one medium/phone/messager to another, while retaining his previous memories.
I was a total, absolute skeptic until I started personally seeing this shit happening (and much, much more).

Only if you're initiated and actively practice. Casuals can, of course, do some google or reading. But priests, followers and students need to remember this, just like in the catholic church, buddhism, etc. You can also get a valid degree if you want to invest your time in studying Candomblé/Umbanda, it's a branch of theology here in Brazil.
During possession, these entities alter the possessed's body in many ways, from total voice changes, to manneurisms and specific clothing/object requests. Many announce their names upon request, and you should be wary of any that refuse to say who they are (I had the worst experience of my spiritual life involving one).
Oh lawd how could I forget ExuGuy!?!? Thanks ExuGuy :)
>Many announce their names upon request, and you should be wary of any that refuse to say who they are (I had the worst experience of my spiritual life involving one).

Could you please go more into detail?
Greentexting for ease of reading. This is gonna be long, but at least it was like straight out of a horror movie.

>meet girl who isn't initiated on Candomblé, but has been possessed before
>don't believe her at first, quite unusual
>over the next couple months, meet her entities, and am surprised that she was telling the truth
>she has one Gypsy, one Child (Erê)
>Gypsy is flirty and drinks a lot, Child is fun and playful
>all is well
>2 months pass, possessions getting stronger
>her Gypsy tells me she's doing her best to stop Coisa Ruim (Bad Thing) from getting down into my friend
>one day, we're at a bar
>friend starts frotting at the mouth, shaking like in a seizure
>Coisa Ruim is inside her, shit
>talks in a deep, harsh voice, "I will drown one of you"
>poof, gone
>friend back to normal, didn't realize anything happened
>I was gonna throw a jacuzzi party in a hotel, call it off, but still don't believe Coisa Ruim

>throw party at a club, they have a pool but it's closed off at night
>drinking outside, laughing
>faintly see someone running in the distance
>drunk as fuck guy runs, jumps over a fence in a swift motion, falls into pool in the most silent fashion
>we run, get him out, he doesn't understand where he is or what happened
>if we had been inside we wouldn't have heard it at all

>next weekend, drinking at my place
>friend gets the Gypsy
>Gypsy tells me Coisa Ruim has been awfully quiet lately, I disregard it
>gets Child
>Child says in a playful tone "play with me~"
>play with her for 3 fucking hours
>"I'm getting tired Mister, Coisa Ruim is being a meanie"
>Child widens eyes, says "oops, gotta go now"
>friend's body slumps forward, starts doing waving motions
>Coisa Ruim is here, starts hissing
>I HATE entities who try to go all Reagan on me, specifically inside my fucking house
>get up, declare "get out of my house right now"
>it does this deep laugh, everybody is wtfing
>"I'm already outside" (we were in the yard)
>Coisa Ruim starts trashing around, laughing, like a mad person
>a strong friend of mine (John) holds her down, since the girl is small and visibly getting scratched up
>it starts hissing again, and tries to bite John
>I shit you not, it was like holding a cat with rabbies
>John is trying his best not to get hurt, just screaming "WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I DO"
>I tell him to take her to the bathroom by the pool, it's small and was almost empty
>he drags her there, I follow
>we start throwing water at her and calling her name, all while Coisa Ruim screamed about how we saved the guy at the pool when we weren't supposed to
>I'm getting legit freaked out, start demanding it tells me it's name
>"NO NO NO" over and over while laughing maniacally
>John's grip slips
>in one movement, she bites down on John's arm and rips off his necklace (metal chain with a cross)
>John screams, blood everyfuckingwhere, a perfect bite mark on his arm
>John rushes out of the bathroom, leaving me
>she tries to strangle herself with John's necklace, I grab it and pull it away
>she nails my fucking face in the process
>I back off
>she literally THROWS herself at the nearest wall, head first
>the blow is so hard it shakes the windows, like someone was using a hammer
>anyone would have passed out from this, I'm horrified
>does it again, again and again
>I'm crying hard as fuck, think "fuck it"
>grab her from behind in a choke grip, strangle her while bawling like a child and saying "i'm sorry" over and over
>I try my best to not kill her, she eventually faints
>I'm covered in scratches, my arm has deep crescent holes from her nails
>we take her to the hospital
>take her to a pai de santo the next week, to get her blessed and initiated so she can control herself in case it happens again

The weirdest part: She doesn't remember a thing, and didn't sustain any injury, with the exception of superficial cuts and bruises. No head trauma at all.
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I hope someone archive this. Best thread I've seen in a while.
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Yemaya is the mother of all living beings on Earth, just as her counterpart Oya is the mother of all deceased. Yemaya can be represented as the waves of the Ocean.

Colors: Blue, White
Numbers: 7
Days of the Week: Saturday
Saint Days: September 7
Syncretic Saint: Virgin of Regla
Title: Queen of the Sea
Eleke Pattern: Seven blue beads, One white bead - repeat
Typical Offerings: Shrimp, Capers, Lettuce, Eggs, Tomato, Beet, Tamale corn cooked in banana leaves, green Bananas rolled in balls, Cane sugar, Coconut, Black Sugar, Fish, Watermelon, Papayas, Grapes, Pears, Apples, Oranges
Traditional Tools: A Fan made of duck or peacock feathers
Descriptive words for Yemaya: Laughter, smooth. whirling, gentle, changing, willful, strong, rigorous, feminine, impetuous, luxury, magnificent, beauty, formal, self-esteem
Other names for Yemaya:
Iyá Omo Aiyé
La Sirène
Yemaya Asesu
Yemaya Awoyó
Yemaya Akuará
Yemaya Okute or Okuti
Yemaya Ibu Konla
Yemaya Ashaba or Ayabá
Yemaya Mayaleo or Mayelewo
Yemaya Yembó or Yemú
Yemaya Ibu Okoto
Yemaya Ibu Oleyo
Yemaya Ibu Elowo
Yemaya Akere
Yemaya Gold
Yemaya Ataremawa
Yemaya Ibu Gunle
Yemaya Ibu Agana
Yemaya Ibu Akinomi
Yemaya Ibu Iña
Yemaya Oggún Ayipo
Yemaya Oggún Asomi
Yemaya Ibu Node
Yemaya Yamase
Yemaya Ibu Alaro
Yemaya Ibu Yabani
Yemaya Ibu Tinibu
Yemaya Lokún Nipa
I will be taking a print screen just in case :)

Just a follow-up to Yemaya as well - Yemaya is one of two Orisha that have come down when I called them inadvertantly. She brought Chango with her.
Wow, pretty incredible story. It was straight out of a horror movie haha. So if I'm understanding correctly, entities like Coisa Ruim are the ones you should look out for because instead of announcing themselves they just start going apeshit?
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Oshun can be represented as a beautiful young woman admiring herself in a mirror, or a calm river flowing through the woods. Since the beautiful Oshun is the goddess of the river, and Oggun is the god of the forest he is forever trying to catch her for his wife.

Colors: Yellow
Number: 5
Days of the Week: Saturday
Saint Days: September 8
Syncretic Saint: Virgin of Caridad de Cobre
Title: Queen of the Fresh Water
Eleke Pattern: A) Five yellow beads, Five amber beads - repeat OR B) Five yellow beads, Five amber beads, One red bead, One green bead - repeat
Typical Offerings: Shrimps, Beet, Onion, Red Pepper, Olive oil, dry White wine, Eggs, Honey of bees, Lettuce, Tamales, flour of Maize, Saffron
Traditional Tools: Fan made of Yellow lace, with peacock feathers
Descriptive words for Oshun: Friendly, happy, social, peculiar, sensual, luxurious, perfumed, popular, veluptuous, sweet-tooth, beauty, fertility, love
Other names for Oshun:
Mama Chola
Oshún Kolé kolé
Akalá Kalá
Ibú Kolé
Oshún Ibu Akuaro
Oshun Ololodí or Olodí
Oshún Ibu Aña
Oshún Ibu Iñani or Añani
Oshún Ibu Yumu
Oshún Ibu Oddonki
Oshún Ibu Oggale
Oshún Ibu Okuanda
Oshún Ibu Addesa
Oshún Ibu Ayede or Ayade
Oshún Ibu Okuase or Akuase Oddo
Oshun Gumí, Bomó or Bumí
Oshún Eleke Oñí
Oshún Ibu Itumu
Oshún Aremu Kondiano
Oshún Ibu Semi or Seni
Oshún Ibu Fondae
Oshún Ibu Odoko
Oshún Ibu Awayemi or Awuayemi
Oshún Ibu Eledan or Elenda
Oshún Idere Lekun
Oshún Ibu Añare or Iñare
Oshún Ibu Agandara
Oshún Ibu Tinibu
Oshún Oroyobi
Oshun Yeyé Moró
Yeyé Kari
Ibu Siegan
Oshún Ibu Latie Elegba
Oshún Edé
Oshún Ibu Aha Swears
Oshun Miwá
Oshún Ibu Oddoi
Oshun Kayodé
Oshun Sekesé
Oshun Fumiké
Oshun Funké
Oshun Niwé
Oshun Awé
The majority of the Orisha listed above by me are also represented in the Rada Lwa nation of Haitian Vodou. I have included their Lwa, Palo, Lukumi, and where possible Macumba, Condomble names in the 'Other Names" sections. If I have left out any names, please let me know which Orisha, and which alternate name was left out.
Coisa Ruim, like the name suggests, is just a bad spirit. Could be anything really, but supposedly (and I've heard this from multiple pai de santos) they are spirits that don't fall into any category, and prey upon spiritually weak people. Their purpose can be anything, from destruction to simple impersonation, as they often claim to be Satan, Goetic Demons, etc.
They can be human or inhuman, and generally don't have any sort of contribution to humans, unlike proper religious entities. Pretty much like a deranged ghost. True Exus (even the most fiery/destructive ones) are there to serve a higher purpose and act upon human lives, it would be counter-productive for them to behave like that. Exus don't necessarily announce themselves, but they make it obvious who they are, talk and answer questions.

It's another reason why it's good to know how to recognize an entity by their preferences and manneurisms.
That, and because you can also tell when someone is lying about possession.
This is a delicate subject, but I've personally seen Exus do inhuman feats as a mean of "challenging" liars who are present. Eating glass, peppers, drinking an entire bottle of hard alcohol in one go, etc.
Some believe this is acting, others that it's moved by religious trance, and some argue that true entities don't have to prove themselves.
I, personally, would rather not argue with a guy that just swallowed a razor.

Yemanja is PURE LOVE. Her holidays and rituals are absolutely stunning in beauty, they leave you feeling energized and full of life.
I've been to her parties before, they're to cry for.
Here in Rio de Janeiro almost everybody gives her offerings, even people from other religions, specially on New Year's Eve. On that day the beaches get covered in flowers, and in some places the sea is lit with thousands of small wooden boats filled to the brim with gifts.

Pic related, one of the little boats. They're painted in her colors and carry her statue/image, full of flowers and gifts. After the ritual, it's carried into the ocean while everyone sings her songs, candles are lit inside it and they send it away into the waves.
Forgot image.
This really interests me, and I really feel a pull to walk this path. I'm afraid however that practicing this kind of stuff would upset my family and maybe my ancestors. Especially the fact that a good amount of them are Jamaican and Christian, and they really don't take kindly to these kind of practices...
It's a personal choice, but many african-originated religions have connections with those. The Bible is often quoted and used in rituals, saint names and the concepts of sins are renamed and adapted...
I can't speak for your family, but regarding your ancestors, I see it like this: As long as you are doing good, with a pure heart and intentions, they can only be proud of you.
Both Voodoo and Candomblé/Umbanda believe in good AND "evil", not one or the other. It's up to you, as a living human, to evaluate your choices and their consequences. The tools for bad and good are already there, you choose to use which, and when.
That sounds amazing. Holidays aren't even holidays anymore in the Western world
Do Coisa Ruim ever impersonate Exus in order to try and gain a sort of trust, so to speak? Seems like something a bad spirit wouldn't mind doing
>First of all, you find out which one is yours. This usually involves going to a terreiro (Candomblé church) and talking to the pai the santo and the possessed people. Some can tell from just looking at you (that's how I found out mine!)

Is there anything I can do as someone who has no access to a church? the closest I can come is church of quimbanda online, but whether or not they are legit is kind of a gamble
True. Most became celebrations of consumism, while their true values are ignored.
Coisa Ruim was simply a name made up by my friend's Gypsy and Child regarding the bad spirit, that term is not accurate at all hahah
But well, it's like every horror movie: Would a director pick a small devil for his plot? Or would he pick Satan himself to torment the characters?
These bad spirits often impersonate strong entities, and yes, even Exus. Specially Pomba Gira, one of the strongest entities in Candomblé in terms of destruction. She's often called for curses and "amarrações" (forceful love spells), so it became a popular misconception to call any bad spirit a Pomba Gira due to her strong personality. No wonder lesser spirits often claim to be her.
>it's a pity, imho, she's extremely eager to help her followers and sticks to them forever, as a protector
>all the Pomba Giras I've met were very outgoing and talkative, they seem genuinelly interested in your problems and afflictions

Dude, stay away from Quimbanda. Seriously. While I have a deep respect for their practices, they go against everything I believe to be "fair" in spiritual warfare.

It goes like this:
Umbanda mainly does white magic, as far as I know. Or at least they're strongly opposed to black magic.
Candomblé does both, as it views good and evil as two important sides to life. Sorta like the concept of "to have light, there must also be darkness".
Quimbanda is almost 100% black magic. Literally the stereotype of animal sacrifice, bloodletting, self-harm and a belief that you should do whatever you need to in order to get your results.
Of course, there's more to them than just that (since they're 3 completely different religions), including different pantheons, beliefs and ritual practices. I can go more into it, but it would be a long text and I don't know if anyone's interested in reading it all.
Forgot to mention: Technically, there are only two ways to find out your Exu and Orixá (everyone has both).
Like I said, one is going to a terreiro and asking a pai de santo (which is free to anyone) or talking to possessed people during rituals/waiting until they talk to you.

However... They say that if your search is desperate and moved by LOVE itself (as in, pure devotion) your Exu and Orixá ~might~ show themselves to you through dreams.
Keep in mind there's no way to influence who's yours, and every single one of them has great atributes. You don't always get the one you want, but if you dedicate yourself, it will be totally worth it.
This revelation, regardless of the method, is usually a life changing experience. Everyone I know who got involved with Candomblé have this deep, pure appreciation for their Orixás and Exus, to the point of crying when talking of their beauty, power and protection.
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