Questions about Evocation in the Vodou / ATR traditions

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fraterai
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Questions about Evocation in the Vodou / ATR traditions

Post by fraterai »

It doesn't seem that these systems are common on this board (there isn't even a sub-section for it!), but I know there are a few of you out there and I am hoping you can help me with an answer.

Possession is pretty much the iconic image (at least to me) of voodoo. It seems like riding is the main method of dealing with the spirits of the traditions, but is there a spiffy word for "evocation" of these spirits that will make my research easier? Mind you, I personally don't commit 100% to the "invocation/evocation" definition argument (what I mean by this is it is common for modern mages to be extremely particular about their use of these terms, even if classical texts use the terms interchangeably or that there is some reasonable overlap between the two in many cases). But here I am being a bit specific, because it seems many horses are completely unaware of the experience after the spirit is done riding. This is fine in a group setting where another coherent priest can ask questions or observe, but what about when the priest is alone?

Bonus points for relating the answer specifically to the Ghede nation of lwa, as these are the most interesting to me/what I know most about. Again I am a non-initiate and do not work with these spirits, just have a very strong interest in them, and I am wondering what the houngan do differently with "evocation". Thanks!
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WillowDarkWytch
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Re: Questions about Evocation in the Vodou / ATR traditions

Post by WillowDarkWytch »

Motumbá Àse, Fraterai

To respond to your question, as an African Diaspora Religion initiate and practitioner, and an occultist (not always both things go hand by hand) I must tell you not to forget that ATR and ADR are RELIGIONS, with "magical" practices, but religions anyway. In those cults, Magic is lived naturally and not as something separated from "reality" (our mundane reality). For us everything IS magical, as in most ancient non muslim/judeo-christian religions, everything has it's "Àse", its own energy, without the need of "consecration". For an "africanist", you don't usually consecrate salt to use it, you just us it because salt is salt and is already powerful. Do you understand? Even though, for me, because of my occult backround, I do still do some sort of consecration before using, or at least a state of intent, but that's more of an habit than a practice in ATR/ADR.
fraterai wrote:there isn't even a sub-section for it!
.

I know, I'd love that there would be a whole section for AFRICA and African Diaspora. I think that we would have a lot more africanist here.
Possession is pretty much the iconic image (at least to me) of voodoo. It seems like riding is the main method of dealing with the spirits of the traditions, but is there a spiffy word for "evocation" of these spirits that will make my research easier?
Sadly, there isn't. You have three kinds of contact with the spirits:

1. Divination, which is done by the sacred oracle of the cult
2. Offerings and Services, that would be the worshiping part, and sometimes the magical stuff
3. Possession, trance or "incorporation" (as it is called in Brazil one kind of spirit medium taking "experience", but is basically semi-possessed or not so unconscious possession)
But here I am being a bit specific, because it seems many horses are completely unaware of the experience after the spirit is done riding. This is fine in a group setting where another coherent priest can ask questions or observe, but what about when the priest is alone?
Oracle. Normally when one needs to ask something to the spirits, one uses the oracle. Other times spirits apear in dreams when spirits need to say something or warn us from something, or even they wait until there is another religious brother and PUFF they take you with no warning and speak with the other person to tell them wahts going on (this do happen, not that often, but isn't THAT seldom either. You see that time to time, it has happened to me). SOOO, if I need to see, research, ask, or whatever to a spirit, I get the oracle and ask. The spirit will answer after the proper prayers.

Bonus points for relating the answer specifically to the Ghede nation of lwa, as these are the most interesting to me/what I know most about. Again I am a non-initiate and do not work with these spirits, just have a very strong interest in them, and I am wondering what the houngan do differently with "evocation". Thanks!
As a non-initiate of Vodou, I would recomend you to start just with services to Lwa. The Ghede Nation isn't just death deities, it's composed by "souls", dead people, egun. So, if you don't have experience with that, do some services to Baron Samedi, Maman Brighitte, be kind, don't go to cemeteries to do that, do it in your own back yard or in a space in your home advocated to that.

African Diaspora Religions have deal with "living gods", gods that never had their cults stoped worshiping, they never stoped coming to human world, their "chain" has never been broken. It's not the same as greek gods or any other deity of an ancient cult. That's the difference in the "energies" that people feel, that's why they feel it way more "invasive". Be cool and patient, don't hursh to accomplished thinbgs, remember that you don't have ANY kind of consecration into this, they wouldn't have to respect anything about you. Apart from that, read a lot, try to talk with vodousants, houngans, mambos, not much with bokors but if you have one that is trustable, do talk to him/her. Try to interiorise yourself into the culture, so you really get to know how a Lwa would think, act, react to certain things.

Any question that's "answerable" I will be happy to answer.

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Re: Questions about Evocation in the Vodou / ATR traditions

Post by Nahemah »

I know, I'd love that there would be a whole section for AFRICA and African Diaspora. I think that we would have a lot more africanist here.
It can be done, give us a couple of days to sort it out.

The forum categories are sorely in need of fixing, but we've had some technical/security aspects to work around and this is still ongoing, as is discussion on what and how to best rearrange areas.
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fraterai
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Re: Questions about Evocation in the Vodou / ATR traditions

Post by fraterai »

WDW - Thank you so much for addressing my post! You very much confirmed what I though to be true about "evocations" and certainly filled in the gaps on the rest. The example you give with salt is one of the reasons I enjoy the methods behind these Religions (:)). I think I know enough about magic and sorcery to stay more away from the bokors but of course I welcome any help that comes my way.

Also thank you for the comments on Ghede, for as "dead" as they are I find them absolutely lively. I have been very much contemplating incorporating service to the lwa into my practices, as I do have enough resources to do so, but I don't know if it is quite time. I think that if I spend what time I can on familiarity with the systems as I am I will be more prepared if I decide to make it apart of my life. Just talking to you will help me, as I remember coming across "incorporated" spirits in my reading and that has lead to some other good stuff already.

I really, really very much appreciate it!

Also if adding a section for these traditions is accomplished I am happy to have played a part in that, and would love to see more content coming in in this regard.

Thanks!
Only right reflection and right meditation can free you - Ananda Metteya

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