Self proclaimed Internet Manbo's and Houngan's (priests in Haitian Vodou) are rampant on FB. It's sickening and I'm appalled. They are ready, available and anxiously awaiting to take advantage of folks who are vulnerable and searching for spiritual enlightenment and guidance.
Manbo's and Houngan's who are initiated (in Haiti) take an oath to serve their spirits, their community, and individuals who seek their counsel. A true BON MANBO or BON HOUNGAN will adhere to this duty and walk their spiritual path accordingly. Vodou is not about what you "think" it is. It's a complex system of rules, rites, rituals, prayers, gestures, langaj, and secrets that will never be readily accessible in a book. You are not authorized to change, fuse, or omit tradition because it's cute and fashionable to suite your needs. Haitian Vodou is not merging Freda and Oshun, Manman Brijit and Oya, or La Sirene and Yemaya together, because their energy is "similar" - It is not. Respect the fact that spirits have specific energy. What works for one spiritual tradition, doesn't apply to all. Understand and get to know this word: Regleman - rules. These rules are guidelines on how to appropriately serve Lwa. Regleman is also carried out for initiating an individual into priesthood, who will then receive proper training. News flash: You are not an expert because of an initiation. Although your level of consciousness will be heightened, you are still learning, growing and developing as a spiritualist. It is a life time of study and dedication. Self proclaimed Manbo's and Houngan's, if you have not passed through the Djevo, or sadly don't know what a Djevo is when questioned, you are faking the funk. If you have not gone before Papa Loko to receive the Asson, to communicate with Lwa, you are a fraud. If you are asked publicly "What is the Priye Ginen" a beautiful collection of prayers and songs, that are essential to a Vodou ceremony, and can't give an appropriate response, but claiming priestly duties, well... If you are out here charging folks for spiritual readings and giving inaccurate information and calling upon Met Kafou and other powerful Petwo spirits that can potentially cause harm if not appropriated correctly... You are doing a disservice to yourself and to others. I'm trying to keep you safe. Oh! And you wanna trace Veve's too, without having it activated?! Just. Stop. It. NOW! All of it.
During my travels to Haiti, particularly in the North (Gonaives), I've met individuals who are Fran Ginen. True African. True Vodou. Their gift is inherited through bloodline. I'm very aware that folks can have konesans, or knowledge without initiating into the mysteries. The beauty of Vodou is that it varies from region to region and each lineage is upholding and preserving the tradition at best. This post is referring to the violation of the Asson lineage, from Port-au-Prince.