Poems Reflecting The Magus Essay Research Paper

Poems Reflecting The Magus Essay, Research Paper


Vodou is a spiritual tradition which originated in Haiti during the period of

French colonial slavery. Africans of many ethnic lineages were transported

by force to Haiti, primarily to serve as agricultural slaves. The original

Taino and Carib peoples of Haiti were exterminated in the invasion by the

Spanish. During this historical period, Europeans from France and other

countries, including pro-Stuart deportees from Scotland, settled in Haiti.

Because so many lineages were represented, no one particular African

service could satisfy all participants, especially since reverence for ancestral

lines was so important. Therefore, each “nation” would take it’s turn at a

gathering. This “take turns” approach eventually evolved into the of the

Vodou liturgy. During this formative period, European pre-Christian

entities such as Brigid, or Maman Brigitte in the Vodou tradition; and

influences from the native Taino and Carib populations were also absorbed.

There are denominations in Vodou, just as in many other religions. The

first, and most widely known, is the orthodox Vodou. In this denomination,

the Dahomean rite is given a position of primacy, and initiations are

conducted based mainly on the Dahomean model. A priest or priestess

receives the asson, a ceremonial rattle, as an emblem of priesthood. In this

rite, a priest is known as a Houngan or sometimes Gangan, a priestess is

known as a Mambo.

People of many different faiths construct altars. Even people who do not

belong to any particular faith may set aside a corner of a room where they

sit and think, meditate and pray, do yoga or play an African drum. Many

times they create impromptu altars which include many of the same objects

- flowers, stones and crystals, sacred symbols, photographs or images of

the individual’s ancestors, or of members of the extended human family in

many countries, musical instruments, candles, incense, books on spiritual


Consciously or unconsciously, when we build altars we are engaged in an

effort to open that most enigmatic of all doors – the door between the

human and spiritual world. An altar is a representation of that very door in

material terms – the altar is the door. When you sit in front of your altar,

you are inviting the spiritual forces on the other side of this door to notice

you, come and visit with you, and act upon you.

Since most people living in the United States can not begin their practice in

this religion by attending Vodou ceremonies, one of the first things we can

do is to build an altar. The altars of Vodou are as varied as the individuals

who practice the religion. In a sense, a peristyle itself is an altar, large

enough for the worshippers to dance around the centerpost, play drums,

perform sacrifice, undergo possession – in short, to act out every aspect of

the cosmic drama. Within the peristyle there are sometimes areas dedicated

to a particular lwa – the cross of , or a small palm-leaf booth for Erzulie.

Attached to the peristyle are smaller rooms called djevo or bagi, in which

the ceremonial objects of a Vodou society are kept. However, these

objects, which include sacred rattles, sequined bottles for drink offerings,

pot-tetes given during initiation, and clay pots called govi, are of no

particular use to those who have not undergone initiation.

A better model is found in the kay myste (from the French caille des

mysteres, house of mysteries). These are small houses, often no more than

ten by fourteen feet, in which are constructed individualistic altars to

whichever lwa the owner of the kay myste serves. These altars incorporate

many common materials, easily available everywhere in the world. They are

remarkable for their individuality and beauty.

Frequently altars in Haiti are constructed on a dirt floor, which may not be

practical in the United States. However, you may have easier access to

certain items such as crystals, ceramic vessels in particular colors, and so


Anyone may participate in Vodou. There are no gender, , age, , or national

origin requirements, neither is anyone asked to renounce a pre-existing

religious affiliation. In Haiti, the vast majority of Vodouisants are also

Roman Catholics.

There are various levels of participation, of course, just as in most other

religions. A Vodou ceremony is public, and anyone may enter the peristyle,

or temple, and observe. Singing and dancing are encouraged. Because

there is no centralized hierarchy paying salaries to Houngans and Mambos,

and because a peristyle is private property, it is considered normal for

uninitiated participants to make a small cash gift. This money is used to

defray the cost of the drummers, food which is offered to the participants,

and the general upkeep of the peristyle and of the Houngan or Mambo in

charge. This is often hard to understand for people raised in the

Judeo-Christian tradition, where priests, ministers, and rabbis are salaried


Individuals who have an initiatory grade may participate in private

ceremonies pertaining to other individuals of their own grade or lower. A

person with a lower grade may not participate in a ceremony conferring a

higher grade of initiation, because the knowledge imparted is secret and

because they are not competent to do so.


Все материалы в разделе "Иностранный язык"

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ  [можно без регистрации]
перед публикацией все комментарии рассматриваются модератором сайта - спам опубликован не будет

Ваше имя:


Хотите опубликовать свою статью или создать цикл из статей и лекций?
Это очень просто – нужна только регистрация на сайте.

Copyright © MirZnanii.com 2015-2018. All rigths reserved.