The Haitian Vodou Handbook: Protocols for Riding with the Lwa
The Haitian Vodou Handbook: Protocols for Riding with the Lwa by Kenaz Filan.
Excerpt from the back cover:
The Haitian Vodou Handbook explains how to build respectful relationships with the lwa, the spirits honored in the Haitian Vodou, and how to transform the fear that often surrounds the Vodou religion. Until recently, the Haitian practice of Vodou was often identified with devil worship, dark curses, and superstition. Some saw the saint images and Catholic influence and wrote Vodou off as a "Christian aberration." Others were appalled by the animal sacrifices and the fact that the houngans and mambos charge money for their services. Those who sought Vodou because they believed it could harness "evil" forces were disappointed when their efforts to gain fame, fortune, or endless romance failed and so abandoned their "voodoo fetishes." Those who managed to get the attention of the lwa, often received cosmic retaliation for treating the lwa as attack dogs or genies, which only further cemented Vodou's stereotype as dangerous.
Kenaz Filan, an initiate of the Societe la Belle Venus, offers extensive background information on the featured lwa, including their mythology and ancestral lineage, as well as specific instructions on how to honor and interact fruitfully with those that make themselves accessible. This advice will be especially useful for the solitary practitioner who doesn't have the personal guidance of a societe available. Filan emphasizes the importance of having a quickened mind that can read the lwa's desires intuitively in order to avoid establishing dogma-based relationships. This working guide to successful interaction with the full Vodou pantheon also presents the role of Vodou in Haitian culture and explores the symbiotic relationship Vodou has maintained with Catholicism.