Saying Thank You to Your Spirits

Bonswa zanmi! I know it’s been a long time since I chatted with ya (bad Manbo; no rice and beans for you!) but I’ve been a bit distracted; as of today, I completed all the course work for my bachelors degree in nursing(I’m already a nurse but I had a two year degree, so now I’ve completed the full bachelors)! 

Now, I did all the human stuff you have to do to get something accomplished: studied, wrote papers (lots and lots of them), participated in class, etc etc. But I also made sure to ask my lwa and ancestors to guide me and help me do the work. 

It’s important to note that when you serve the lwa, you have to communicate with them regularly. They *want* to hear from you and what’s going on in your life. They *want* to work with you, but you have to make sure to ask. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Helping me with Little Thing is beneath the big spirits of the lwa, I don’t want to trouble them.” 

Think of the lwa as your beloved elders, your loving doting older relatives who are always ready for you to pick up the phone and call them for a chat. And just like any relatives or friends, if they help you out they love to and need to hear the words “Thank you.”

How can you do that? Here are some ideas:

1. Prayer. It’s free! Say a rosary in honor of your spirits. Say a novena to the saint that represents the lwa who helped you (for example, if Metwes Ezili Freda helped you out, you could say a novena to Our Lady of Fatima or the Sorrowful Mother).

2. Light a candle for them; the seven day glass vigils are great. Again, you can light one in the color and saints image of the lwa you want to thank. Or just light a white one; white can be used for any lwa.

3. If you have a few bucks handy, go to a Catholic church and ask for a Mass to be said in honor of your spirits. Before you panic and say, “Manbo, if I go to a parish and ask for a Mass for Vodou spirits, the priest will chase me out and spray me down with holy water”, fear not! A trick my brother @hounganmatttaught me is to tell the parish to say a Mass in honor of the deceased members of your family. Tell your spirits that this Mass is for them. Try to attend the Mass if possible, or at least have the parish send you a Mass card, and you can put it on their altar.

4. Feed them. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate feast, but do something a little special if they did something especially nice for you. You can find out what foods the lwa in particular like and get it for them (in the example of Freda, she loves pink and white cakes, strawberries, rice pudding…think creamy sweet stuff). Just remember: don’t give them lemons, limes, or garlic. Present the food to them at their table and tell them this is for them to enjoy. Leave it out for a day or two, then dispose of the food out in nature.

5. Flowers! We use flowers a lot in Vodou. Remember light colors for the Rada spirits, and more hot/bright colors for Petwo. Gede would love white or purple flowers. Leave the flowers out until they wilt, then dispose of them out in nature

6. You can set a lamp for a lwa to give them a big dose of “thank you” energy. Non-initiates can make simple lamps for their spirits with the coaching of a priest/priestess, but we clergy can make lamps that are more involved with more special ingredients. These types of lamps cost money, but can be a great way to send energy and thanks to your lwa for a job well done.

7. If the lwa did something particularly big or solved a big problem for a person, that person may do what’s called an “action de grace”; it’s a party given to a spirit or group of spirits specifically to say thank you. This is something that of course you can’t do on your own; you’d have to work with a Vodou house to accomplish it. 

My kanzo anniversary is in late July, so I will be cooking and feeding my spirits at that time for a big ol’ thank you for carrying me this far. But until then, I say “Mesi Bondye, zanset yo, e lwa yo!”

New Year’s Day: Good Luck Bath

Happy New Year/Bon Fet Anne/Bon Fet Independans! (Today is Haitian Independence Day). To start off the year on a positive note, it’s traditional for Vodouizan to take a good luck bath. This is typically made by a houngan or manbo, with all kinds of lovely ingredients; liquor, perfumes, and flowers and more.

Contact me if you’d like to get some of your own!

Product Offering: Customized Drinks for the Lwa


Every lwa has their preferred drink: rum, water, wine, and so forth. Some lwa have special drinks that can be made by initiates. I am now offering those for sale! If you’re serving Kouzen, Ti Jean, Gede or Bawon, or the Petwo spirits, I can make you a bottle of their favorite drink. PM me for details. Cost is $60 plus shipping . The best part? Once you get the drink you just have to keep it topped off with white rum so you can keep using it! 

New Years Readings Now Available!

Bonswa friends! Interested in seeing what the lwa have to say to you? Want to start serving or learning more about the spirits but don’t know where to start? Purchase a consultation with me! I can guide you on how to start your relationship with the spirits. Consultations are $60 and can be purchased via PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.

Our Lady of Sorrows Feast Day Candle Service: September 15

The feast day for Our Lady of Sorrows is on Saturday, September 15. Our Lady of Sorrows is the saint we in Vodou use to represent our beloved Ezili Freda, the lwa of romance, luxury, beauty, and scholarship.

I am offering a candle and prayer service for this beautiful lwa’s feast day. I will light a vigil candle for you, with your personalized petition and your picture (if you wish, or the picture of a person you’re praying for), on my altar and pray over it for 7 days.

The cost is $15 per candle. You can pay via PayPal at my email address: manbomary at gmail dot com. Please include your petition and any picture you wish to include. I must receive all requests and payments NO LATER THAN Friday September 14 at 5pm.

There is a beautiful devotion to the Sorrowful Mother that you can pray starting on her feast day; I often do it on the Thursdays during Lent (Thursday being the day for Ezili Freda). You can find the devotion here:

 

http://www.themostholyrosary.com/appendix1.htm

Candle Setting Services

Need a little light in your life? I dress and set glass vigil candles for all types of conditions: to draw love and luck, to draw money, even to drive an enemy away. You can even order a “run” of lights; burn 2 more more candles in a row. This is particularly good with stubborn cases or if you really want some oomph for your desire. One blessed and dressed candle, with your photo and petition, will be set on my altar and prayed over daily until it burns out (usually about 7 days). Once it’s done, I will read any signs I see in the leftover wax or glass and send you a report. Each light setting is $20. PM me to get yours started today!

Ancestral Working: The Healing Plant

 

 

NOTE: The following working is NOT Vodou related, except that it serves your ancestors (which is the crux of Vodou). This was a ritual that came from meditation I did with my helper spirits, so it counts as unverified personal gnosis.

 

Everyone has ancestors, so it stands to reason that we all have ancestral wounds. These wounds and pain can pass down through the ancestral line and cause problems for the descendants. This is not to say that you personally are responsible for the hurt and pain your great great grandpa did, but his actions and karma may reflect themselves in your life now.

These ancestral wounds can be personal family stuff: alcoholism, abuse, toxic parenting. The wounds can also be larger; if your ancestors owned slaves, for example (and if you’re a white North American who’s been here longer than a few generations, chances are that somewhere in your family line is a slave owner), that pain can be big and pass on down to you.

What are signs of ancestral wounds? One of the big ones is repeating family patterns of pain. I see this a lot with families with histories of mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse. It’s been shown that addiction can run in families. Untreated addiction and mental illness, and the suffering it causes to the person and to their family, can cause energetic patterns that take a lot of unraveling once they’re finally discovered.

The Norse people who serve their traditional gods speak of the concept of “hamingja” or family luck. Defined as “the personification of the good fortune or luck of an individual or family” by Wikipedia. The African proverb “We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors” can apply here; our ancestors’ good deeds and good luck will affect their descendants. Their bad deeds and bad lucks will also affect the descendants of that family line.

 

During meditation with my helper spirits (whom I’ve been working with since long before I came to Vodou), they gave me the following working designed to give energy to healing a person’s ancestral wounds. Keep in mind: healing ancestor issues is not a quick fix. This ritual involves caring for a plant, and since that is a living thing, it is an ongoing act of love to keep it alive and thus keep the energy of the working alive.

 

Supplies needed:

-a sturdy houseplant; the plant that the spirits showed me in the vision was a fern, but if that’s not practical for you, any sturdy houseplant will do

-three pennies

-dirt from a crossroads

-water

-Five lengths of ribbon about 18 inches long in the following colors: red, blue, green, white, and gold (NOTE: If you are of African ancestry, you may wish to substitute black ribbon for white; let your intuition be your guide)

 

Here’s what to do:

 

  1. Take the lengths of ribbon and tie them together, so you have one knot and the rest of the ribbons are dangling free. Start braiding the strands together, like you were braiding hair. As you do so, talk to your ancestors. Tell them you are putting into motion the healing of all the ancestral wounds of your family known and unknown. Do this braiding for about 4 inches and then tie a knot. Say, “This knot is for my father’s family.” Keep braiding for another 4 or so inches and tie a knot, saying “This knot is for my mother’s family”. Braid until you get nearly to the end, and say, “This knot is for all the gods, goddesses, and spirits that my family has ever worshiped.” So now you will have this length of braided ribbons with 4 knots in it. Set this aside.
  2. Take your houseplant out of the pot gently; you may wish to have some newspaper out to lie the plant on. At the bottom of the pot, sprinkle the crossroads dirt and say, “May all the roads be open to my family’s spiritual healing.” Take your braided ribbon, coil it up, and put it on top of the crossroads dirt. Place the plant back into the pot.
  3. Bury the three pennies in the top of dirt, around where the plant sticks out of the soil. Water the plant, and talk to it; ask it that as it grows and thrives, it will bring healing to your ancestral lines. Promise to take care of it.
  4. Keep the plant on or by your ancestral altar. Water it and feed it regularly. Make sure you follow the directions for watering and sunlight, depending on the type of plant.

And there you have it! Have you done this working? Let me know how it’s working for you.