~VODOU~


by Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout
Sa Te La Daginen



Photo copyright Mambo Racine.


Greetings in the name of God/Goddess, the ancestors, and the lwa!

Mwen salywe tout petit Ginen onon Bondye ak tout lwa yo!

Mambo Racine Sans Bout's Ordination My name is Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen, "Roots Without End, Who Was Already There, of Guinea", Mambo Racine for short. I am a Mambo, an initiated and ordained priestess of Haitian Vodou. I was initiated as Mambo asogwe in July 1990, in Grand Goave in the south of Haiti, by Monsieur Luc Gedeon, Bon Houngan Jambe Malheur, "Good Houngan Step Over Evil", honor to him! I renewed my vows in August of 1999 in an outlying district of Jacmel on Haiti's southern coast, with Monsieur Danise David, Yabofe Bon Houngan, honor to him! I am now privileged to head the Roots Without End Society, an international Vodou congregation open to all. Our house is based in the beautiful Caribbean town of Jacmel, Haiti and our membership is all over the world.

The Vodou tradition is a rich and rewarding one, and I invite you to begin your exploration! I am the head of the Roots Without End Society, a worldwide Vodou congregation based in Jacmel, Haiti and in Massachusetts in the United States. As a Mambo asogwe, I am capable of performing correct, authentic initiation ceremonies, and I am also competent to do divination (readings), work charms, prescribe herbal baths, and assist people to construct altars, make food offerings, and other ritual activities. I am able to lead Vodou dances and ceremonies of any sort.

I often speak on the topic of Vodou, and have spoken at colleges and universities in the United States. I have appeared on television, on "The Learning Channel", "The History Channel", and other educational programs.

If you would like to discuss issues pertaining to this religion or to my ability to assist people in the attainment of their objectives, email me and let's talk. To learn more about this fabulously rich tradition, continue reading... and enjoy!

Farther down this page you will find:


New Links!
The Vodou Lessons
Special Topics
Initiation in Haitian Vodou
Vodou and Haitian Politics
Links to Sites on Vodou and Related Traditions
The Vodou Emporium



Enjoy this website, and please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and comments!

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen.

NEW LINKS! Check these out -


An interpretation of the Tarot Key called Judgement, digitally altered by Mambo Racine. Mambo Racine and members of the Roots Without End Society at the Cross of Baron in Jacmel, Haiti.  Photo by Loulou Prince, used by permission. An interpretation of the Tarot Key called Judgement, digitally altered by Mambo Racine.
WORKSHOP! Vodou, the Tarot, and Ancestor Reverence, this workshop is a vibrant three-day, jam-packed teaching event, offering information seldom available to non-initiates. As a participant, you will undergo many Vodou ceremonies - the Action de Grace seldom seen in the United States, the bay mo manje, the retire zombi. You will receive ceremonial cleansings to bring you into harmony with the ancestral lwa. You will learn secret recipes for foods to attract ancestral lwa, you will learn to reclaim the spirit of a deceased ancestor, and much more! Sign up now for this Thanksgiving weekend, you won't find this opportunity again very soon.

Click here for information on the 2010 Kanzo.  Photo copyright Mambo Racine.


ANSWER THE CALL TO INITIATION!

Online registration for the 2010 Kanzo, the ceremony of initiation in Vodou, is now open. Join the 2010 Kanzo of the Roots Without End Society for authentic, effective ceremonies, and empower your life!

Click here to read the Vodou reading for the Year 2010 by Mambo Racine.

The Vodou reading for the Year 2010 by Mambo Racine is online. The reading is linked to information and resources. It predicts the recent disaster in Haiti and much more. Have a look and then come discuss your thoughts on Mambo Racine's Vodou Forum.

Readings by Mambo Racine Sans Bout - rarely available, now being offered for a limited time until face-to-race readings become available in the New England area. You don't have to travel, but you do have to prepare and mail a white candle. All readings done within three days of receipt of your candle. Click here for more information.

The Baron Instructional Package offers authentic information for the serious student of the Vodou religion. This Instructional Package contains an audiocassette of Vodou songs, transcription and translation, and other materials such as herbal baths, candles, images and vevers. November 2 is the day on which ancestral lwa are served all over Haiti - you can join with Vodouisants around the world by using this material and the associated online information.

Vodou Discussion Groups


A discussion group especially for Vodouisants living outside of Haiti! In this group, Vodou Across the Water, international Vodouisants share information - where to find materials, what to say at work... :-)

Click here to join Vodou_Across_the_Water
Click to join Vodou_Across_the_Water

The world's largest online Vodou discussion group! Moderated by Mambo Racine Sans Bout, Mambo Racine's Vodou Forum is open to one and all. Come and join us!

Click here to join Mambo Racine's Vodou Forum
Click to join Mambo Racine's Vodou Forum

NEW! On Facebook - The Roots Without End Society on Facebook, with all the Facebook features AND it's flame-free and positive.

Click to join The Roots without End Society on Facebook





Vodou Lessons



These Vodou Lessons will teach you about Vodou, how the religion is structured, it's history, it's spiritual entities, and what it means to Vodou believers. You will learn how to begin your own Vodou practice and perform a ceremony of ancestor reverence.

Lesson 1 - Vodou and It's Followers
Part 1 - What Is Vodou?
Part 2 - Who May Participate In Vodou?
Part 3 - What Are the Names and Grades of Initiatory Levels In Vodou?

Vodou Ceremonies of the Roots Without End Society, December 2005 - This photoessay offers over fifty photographs documenting three days and nights of Vodou ceremonies conducted by Mambo Racine Sans Bout and members of the Roots Without End Society, in our peristyle in Jacmel, Haiti.

For a short piece illustrating a perspsective on the cultural context of Vodou and magic, see He Is A Black Man, You Can't Know What He Will Do!

Lesson 2 - The Ancestors
Part 1 - How Are the Ancestors Viewed, and How is Death Observed In Vodou?
Part 2 - Who Are the Lwa of Death?
Part 3 - How Is Fete Gede Celebrated in Haiti?
The Use of Skulls in Haitian Vodou - a fascinating aspect of Haitian traditional religion, documented with photos and text.

Lesson 3 - The Lwa
Part 1 - What Are the General Characteristics of Vodou Lwa?
Part 2 - What Groups of Lwa Are Recognized?
Part 3 - Lwa Who Are Called Djab

What Gran Bwa Said - this beneficent, strength-giving lwa imparts fortitude to candidates as they undergo initiation ceremonies.
La Sirene's Page - A praise page for La Sirene, the Vodou manifestation of Our Mother, the Queen of the Seas.

Lesson 4 - Getting Started
Part 1 - Constructing an Altar
Part 2 - Making an Ancestral Feast
Part 3 - A Mambo's Experience


Special Topics


These Special Topics will provide more detailed information on various aspects of Vodou service and on issues in the Vodou religion. Sections discuss religion and magic, the phenomenon of possession, the lwa, and the lineage of a Houngan. Included are issues of money and charlatanism, sexuality, and race. Also provided are a few Vodou jokes!

Monsieur Luc Gedeon
Biography of a Houngan - a biography of Monsieur Luc Gedeon, Bon Houngan Jambe Malheur.

Biography of a Lwa - a biography of the lwa Arapice La Croix, and his relationship with Houngan Luc Gedeon.

Race in Vodou - Racial, ethnic, or national origin is no bar to participation in Vodou, at any level.

Sex In Vodou - Although stereoptypes of Vodou include over-sexualized, objectifying images of wild, urestrained behavior, sex in Vodou is a complex issue. Vodou both encourages expressions of sexuality, and strictly subordinates sexual activity to the service of the lwa. At certain times Vodou ceremonies, abstinence is required - yet Vodou services may also be directed at inducing fertility.

Homosexuality in Vodou - homosexuals, male and female, are free to participate in the Vodou tradition, and they can and do become clergy people in the faith.


Money and Vodou - When, why, and how much should you pay a Houngan or Mambo?

Charlatans in Vodou - because knowledge of Vodou is not commonly available, charlatans can prey upon innocent victims. Protect yourself! Here are some guidelines for evaluating a person who claims to be initiated or ordained.

What The Lwa Say - And What They DON'T Say - a humorous look at phoney "possessions", and how to tell when a Houngan or Mambo is faking.

How to Spell V-o-d-o-u- the name of this religion has been spelled in many different ways. This section explains English and French spellings, the names of various branches of the tradition, and the preferred way of writing.

"Dark Goddesses" in Vodou - In some neo-pagan traditions, female spiritual entities who are fiercely protective or aggressive are referred to as "dark goddesses". This section discusses two female Vodou lwa.

Recommended Reading - I have updated this page for all the people who have asked me for reading material on Vodou, Haiti, spirituality, and related topics. This bibliography features dozens of books and CD's.

Vodou Jokes - Never let it be said that we have no sense of humor! Here are two Vodou jokes to brighten your day:
~ How the Bible Came to Africa
~ The Man Who Pretended to be a Houngan


Initiation in Haitian Vodou


Initiation in Vodou is empowering, strengthening, cleansing, and healing. It is a profoundly mystical journey which consecrates the initiate for life. Our congregation is the Roots Without End Society. Our peristyle, or temple, is located in the peaceful and beautiful town of Jacmel in southern Haiti; we have a base of operations in Massachusetts in the United States, and our initiates are all over the world!

Initiation is open to everyone, regardless of race, gender, other religious affiliations, sexual orientation, or nationality. In the past, foreigners in Haiti have sometimes been at the mercy of unscrupulous Houngans and Mambos who overcharge and perform incorrect ceremonies, but this section also gives details of the cost, required materials, and availability of ceremonies.

People become initiated for all sorts of reasons - to affirm their spirituality, to empower their lives, to protect themselves against negative influences, to improve their health and finances, and to promote their creativity. Vodou Initiation discusses these personal concerns, and gives some information on our house.

NOTICE! You can become an initiate too! A groups is now forming for the December 2009 Kanzo of the Roots Without End Socety, in Haiti. If you would like more information, please email me.


Vodou and Haitian Politics



Haitian Seal
Graphic copyright Mambo Racine.


NEW!Getting Mileage Out of Haiti's Misery: Cholera, Scapegoats, and Racism - a scathing look at recent "politically correct" and genuinely racist viewpoints on the current crisis in Haiti.

The earthquake, Haiti's struggle, and the "pact with the devil" - Mambo Racine looks at the slanderous "pact with the devil" mythology promoted by Protestant evangelicals in Haiti. Historical background and contemporary responses, many links, video.

Vodou and Haitian politics have influenced each other throughout the history of Haiti. The Haitian Revolution against France was empowered by Vodou - and it was the only successful slave revolt in west of the Atlantic, resulting in the first independent black republic in the Western Hemisphere!

Some Haitian administrations have persecuted Vodou, and in 1915-1934 the occupation of Haiti by the U.S. military made the eradication of Vodou a priority. Other Haitian administrations have tolerated Vodou, and still others, such as the murderous Duvalier dictatorships, subsidized and subverted the Vodou priesthood.

The United States political scene has sometimes been influenced by Vodou. Following the Haitian revolution the American government refused to recognized Haiti and organized a trade embargo, so great was the fear of rebellion and African religion among the U.S. African slave population. Later American administrations sought to suppress Vodou, and even recently affiliation with Vodou has been used to stigmatize Haitians when determining immigration, foreign aid, and public health policies.

Tempest in a Teapot - President Reni Prival and Houngan Max Beauvoir - Disgruntled by his failure to achieve a political appointment, Max Beauvoir threatens Haitian President Reni Prival with Vodou curses!

Jesse Helms blocks reproductive health care for Haitian Vodouisants! Published Monday, March 15, 1999, in the Miami Herald: U.S. subsidizing witchcraft, Helms complains. Journalists quickly satirized the rabid Senator Helm's intolerance, and on March 23, 1999, Mat Honan wrote a piece carried on the MoJo Wire, titled Jesse Helms' Political Voodoo.

Three Protestant pastors were arrested at the historical site of Bois Caiman, Bwa Kayiman in Haitian Creole, for violating a court order banning them from the site, in order to avoid confrontations between Protestants and Vodouisants. The pastors had planned to "exorcise" the spirit of Haitian national hero, Houngan Boukman Dutty, from Bois Caiman, considered the birthplace of the Haitian Revolution. Bois Caiman was then declared a public trust by the Haitian government under President Rene Preval.

Rara Band As the incident reverberated through Haiti, lines were drawn. On one side were the populist, pro-democracy organizations which were so severely persecuted under the Cedras military regime of 1991-1994. They have regenerated since the return of then-President Aristide in October 1994, and took the side of respect for the Vodouisant tradition. Allied with them were progressive international human rights professionals, and Vodouisants of all political affiliations. They pointed the finger of accusation at Protestant pastors and their right wing supporters, including the meddlesome American organization, the International Republican Institute (IRI). Haiti Progres, a progressive, left-of-center Haitian newspaper, has an English language editorial.

The De-Macoutization of Vodou is the most poignant issue facing Haitian Vodou today. Because the Vodou priesthood was protected, subsidized and later subverted by the dictatorships of Francois Duvalier and later his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, the feared Ton-Ton Macoutes and the Vodou clergy sometimes merged.

Slingshot! - the story of one pro-democracy Houngan's resistance against the military regime of 1991 - 1994.

"Antigang", by Johnson Aristide - a poem by one of the pro-democracy movement's most heroic activists; it uses Vodou imagery as it makes a plea for the victims and the perpetrators of human rights abuses.

Testimony of a Haitian Pro-Democracy Activist - the author above, Johnson Aristide, survived torture on three occasions, one of which he outlines here.


A Great Tree Has Many Branches
~ Links ~



The many African traditions which were uprooted and transplanted to the Americas grew into many new iterations, forms of worship true to their African origins and responsive to a new and startlingly different way of life. The modern Afro-Caribbean religions are like the many branches of a great tree which itself has many roots.

The VODOU Page offers links to the topics below. New links are warmly solicited.

Peristyle Mural Detail Roots Without End Society Members -

The
Roots Without End Society is an international Vodou society based in Jacmel, Haiti and in western Massachusetts. Our membership is Haitian and international, and we are all one family.

Houngan Wolmer is a Houngan asogwe of the Roots Without End Society, and a year-round resident of Haiti, where he was born and raised. He serves Ogoun and Baron, and he is a compassionate and powerful practitioner.

Houngan Peter Aziz, a Houngan asogwe of the Roots Without End Society, has also studied North American Pueblo Indian and Kahuna Shamanism, as well as homeopathy, acupuncture, kinesiology, iridology, and body electronics. He also has a degree in physics.

Spellmaker and its originator, Mambo Samantha Kaye Corfield, are imbued with the Louisiana voodoo tradition. Mambo Sam, as she is affectionately known, is a Mambo asogwe, a Roots Without End Society member and a hereditary practitioner of Louisiana voodoo.

Mambo Andreli is a Mambo sur point, a priestess of the lwa Erzulie Dantor. She is an experienced magician with many international clients.

The Magical Powers of the Saints: Evocation and Candle Rituals, by Roots Without End Society member Houngan Ray Marlbrough. This is the direct link to the amazon.com page where the book can be ordered.

Solen the Magician, as he is affectionately known, is a hounsi of the Roots Without End Society and a particularly fearless and effective hereditary magician.

Loulou Prince is the medsen fey, or herbalist, associated with our house. He offers both workshops and magic in plant-based traditional religion and magic.

Other Vodou Links -

The Sanpwel Page provides information on the secret societies of the Sanpwel, still functioning in rural Haiti.

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou, the American Museum of Natural History's fabulous exhibit.

Religious Tolerance.org's take on Vodou and related religions.

Louisiana Voodoo links -

Voodoo and Yoruba Priestess Ava Kay Jones

The New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple

Voodoo Authentica offers supplies, information, and art objects.

Orisha/Lukumi/Santeria Link -

Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, an Orisha house, has a long history of activism in favor of religious freedom for Orisha practitioners.

African Link -

Female genital mutilation is widely practiced on women and girls in traditional African and Muslim cultures, despite the death rates, physical agony and subsequent health problems associated with it.

Haiti Links

Windows on Haiti, a good place to begin a voyage to the Western Hemisphere's first independant black republic.


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