Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arkansas Woman Killed During Voodoo Cleansing



I am frankly appalled at the apparent increase in fatal flaws of the world's supposed spiritual leaders. Recently, there was James Ray's disaster of a Native American sweat lodge ceremony, the "inipi", where 3 people died. A sweat lodge ceremony is a purification ceremony, a healing ceremony. For those of you who don't know, James Ray is one of the law of attraction gurus who appeared in the movie The Secret and who has made more than a mint authoring numerous books on the subject. I am personally sanctioned to conduct such ceremonies, and I can tell you that I have never heard of anyone ever dying as a result of participating in one. In fact, nothing bad is ever supposed to happen in a sweat lodge. Indeed, if there ever was a safe place on this earth, it would be in the sweat lodge. So what went wrong?

I don't know. Maybe it was the fact that there was a ridiculous number of people crammed into one lodge...69 to be exact. My lodge holds 8. The largest I have ever participated in was conducted by a Lakota elder and there were 20 women in there. No one died. Grandma knew what she was doing because there are centuries of tradition and protocol to follow and you can best believe that she followed them. Or maybe it was the fact that he charged nine thousand six hundred plus dollars for the retreat. Most Native American holy people are lucky to walk away with enough gas money to get them back home. Maybe they only receive an offering of tobacco, or a bag of oranges. Nine thousand dollars...are you kidding me?

Maybe it was the fact that whoever was running the lodge, simply didn't know what they were doing. Five gallons of water (only a bucket is needed) was poured over the rocks and the ceremony lasted for 8 rounds (there are only 4 rounds). Which brings me to my next question: Who was running the lodge? All indicators point to Ray himself. I wonder how many Sundances and hunblechas he participated in to earn him that privilege.

In the world of Spirit, there are consequences for every behavior, every decision, every conjure, and every intention. The Law of Attraction (LOA) is alive and well in magick and ritual. It causes one to wonder what  decisions and intentions were driving this event that would draw death and tragedy to something so sacred? Maybe the fact that Ray played "God" in a game during the retreat speaks to his state of mind and perhaps the lack of consideration for the well-being of others. It appears that Ray attracted some pretty nasty energy with him as he crawled into the lodge that day, and he neglected to effectively bless the lodge to keep the nasties out.

And earlier this summer, there was the Hougan Hector tragedy. As you see in the video above, a lave tet was apparently performed for a woman and she ended up dying. A lave tet is a Voodoo ritual that is a cleansing, similar in concept to a sweat lodge only it involves washing the head. According to Hougan Hector himself:

"The Lave Tet is the cleansing, fortifying and finally baptism of one's head. The head being the "seat of the soul" for an individual, which serves as a vessel for the all important Met Tet and the other spirits that walk with an individual. In some non-asson houses the Lave Tet is the initiation into the house and commits the person to that house." (http://www.ezilikonnen.com/services/lave-tet.html)

The lave tet is supposed to improve the life of the individual in all areas, not kill them! So what went wrong here?

I don't know the details. According to one source, it is believed that Hougan Hector may have forgotten to serve his main loa Ogun. In Santeria and in Vodou, Ogun is known to be an extremely dangerous Spirit who has the power to kill and destroy as he sees fit. It is not uncommon for battles of all sorts to ensue when his children do not serve him correctly. Ogun is the God of War, among other very useful things.

Now, I serve Ogun. He has been very helpful to me and my family and my friends. But you can best believe that I do not forget him. In fact, in my recent move, the first altar I set up (after Legba's of course) was Ogun's. He has his iron pot and tools and other favorite things right out my back door in the garden. And, he has a special spot on my cast iron wood stove.

Another theory is greed. There are reports of Hougan Hector's fees increasing with each phone call. I don't know...I have never sought services from him, nor do I keep tabs on his fees. I have, however, turned to his site for information about Haitian Vodou at times. I have always found his site to be very helpful.

I am certainly not one to judge others. I only have my opinions, which are based on scanty information at best. James Ray and Hougan Hector have their own karma to deal with, but I dare say I am confident and relieved I do not share it.

Here is a video with James Ray talking about "Energy flows where attention goes"...


To read more about these incidents see:

AP Newsbreak: 1st sweat lodge survivor speaks out

Survivor of Ariz. sweat lodge ceremony speaks out

Voodoo became a fatal obsession: ON A SEARCH FOR SPIRITUAL CLEANSING, SHE DIED IN A SOUTH JERSEY TOWNHOUSE

Much unanswered in death at ritual in N.J.; Ark. friends want accountability



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Friday, October 9, 2009

The Story of Oshun and Ogun

I was searching around the internet today for something and got sidetracked and stumbled upon this site about a new animated series called the Power Force 5. It seems they have a story the little different than what I have been taught; however, the concept is an interesting way to introduce the orishas to young folks. This is what was on the site:

WHO ARE THE POWER FORCE 5?

POWER FORCE 5: THE STORY OF OSHUN & OGUN

"The Story of Oshun & Ogun" is a 3 minute animation pilot telling the West African Yoruba based fable of how little Oshun, who represents love, seduction and sweetness, brought the powerful Ogun, entity of iron, machines & technology, out of hiding to restore order to the world..

This is the pilot for an animated series, "Power Force 5" which updates African folklore in a contemporary way. Our five teenage heroes: Oshun, Ogun, Chango, Oya, and Eshu are powerful forces of nature. They use their superpowers to help mankind but since they are still teens, their own personal dramas can sometimes get in the way.

"Power Force 5" uses urban settings, hip hop/ reggaeton music, narration and dialogue to tell each story. Each episode will be primarily self-contained but with a "cliffhanger" ending to compel the audience to watch the next episode. Written for a teen to young adult audience, "Power Force 5" the series, is designed for wireless device download and webcast, but can also be broadcast as interstitial episodes, airing between regular television programming.

Characters from Yoruba folklore are widely known throughout Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean as well as in Africa, as part of the culture and folklore of the African Diaspora. "Power Force 5" would present this culture to those who are familiar and to those who aren’t, in an entertaining way. The worldwide popularity of these characters, as well as the hip/hop setting for the stories, encourages international appeal and can be translated into several languages including French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Do you think Oshun and Oya and Ogun and Chango appreciate sharing the spotlight in this manner? Just wondering what other people think...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Ten Most Common Reasons Love Spells Don’t Work


Aside from requests for wealth, prosperity, and debt relief, the most common spells people request are love spells. Every day I received questions from clients and potential customers about how to win back a lover, how to keep a partner faithful, and how to put the passion back into a relationship.

As human beings, it is normal to want to be loved. In fact, next to food and shelter, the need for love and companionship is essential for healthy human psychological and emotional development. It is not surprising that people are willing to do anything and pay anything to gain the love of someone special.

But do love spells work? Well, yes and no. It depends on a number of factors. A reputable spellcaster should explain to you how their particular magick system works and give you instructions for what you should and shouldn’t do in order to manipulate energy in your favor. However, if you ask someone to cast a love spell for you and they guarantee it will work, run the other way. There is no such thing as 100% effective magick, and I am about to tell you why.

Many people do not understand that magick is a cocreative process which necessitates that you work in partnership with the Universe in order to ensure success. This is why I never guarantee any Voodoo love spells I perform. I cannot control what you do or don’t do. The only control I have is over me and the authentic ritual I perform. How you think, feel, believe, and behave is up to you; yet, these dynamics have everything to do with the success or failure of any Voodoo love spell.

To help you understand why love spells and Voodoo love spells frequently fail, I have come up with a list of the top ten reasons love spells don't work. These reasons apply whether you cast the spell yourself or someone else does the work for you.

1. You have unrealistic expectations. If you live in Picayune, Mississippi and you are casting a spell to make Criss Angel love you, well, your chances of success are pretty slim…especially if you have never even met the guy! There needs to be a strong connection to the person to begin with, and a basis from which love can be nurtured and sparked. Furthermore, love spells do not work overnight. Magick is often a process that involves removing obstacles and clearing unwanted influences, and realigning and maneuvering energies to affect change for the best possible result.

2. Magick is not guaranteed. Just as prayers to the creator may go seemingly unanswered, there may be a reason that a spell does not work. It may be that the Universe has different plans for you. This reason is very hard for some people to accept.

3. You are taking shortcuts. To be a powerful and effective conjurer, you must have the right tools, focus, and mindset. Power results from the use of traditional ingredients such as roots, oils, and powders, from the use of traditional tools such candles and a knife, from performing powerful ritual techniques such as those passed down in the Voodoo tradition for thousands of years, and from having a traditional altar or work space.

4. You doubt the power of magick and you do not “believe” in your own personal power. Magick systems are based on faith. If you do not believe in the possibility of shifting energy and in your ability to attract certain energy your way, and if you do not believe in the power of the Spirits that you may be asking for a favor, you are wasting your time and money.

5. You are stalking and/or harassing your desired mate. Do not threaten or terrorize, attempt to coerce or intimidate, or start calling or emailing your desired lover. To do so will reverse any spell performed on your behalf. You need to create and allow space for the correct energies to align and work in your favor.

6. You are being scammed. Bar none, this is the most common reason love spells do not work. You have paid someone to perform a spell and they never do what they were paid to do, nor did they ever intend to do what they were paid to do. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are just waiting to prey on your emotional grief and desperation. An authentic practitioner will have a conversation with you about your situation and assess your expectations and the likelihood of success. They will give you an honest appraisal of your request and will not take your money if there is little chance of the spell working.

7. You do not provide complete and accurate information to the spellcaster. An authentic practitioner will petition your requests in a formal ritual on your behalf based upon the information you provide. If you do not provide the correct information, or if you lie about the situation and expect the practitioner to “magically” make your ex fall back in love with you (even though you were abusive, for example), the spell will not work and may in fact, backfire. The Spirits are not stupid and do not take kindly to attempts to fraud or manipulate them. Voodoo Spirits are exceptionally powerful and keen to such shenanigans, and you will have no one to blame except yourself if you end up with the exact opposite of what you wanted.

8. You are obsessing over your love spell or Voodoo love spell. Obsession is fueled by desperation. These feelings attract negativity and will weaken any spell being performed.

9. You fail to address any underlying obstacles or issues. Many times there are unwanted influences creating an obstacle to the union or reunion of two people. These obstacles can be external, such as other people, or internal, such as a lack of confidence or self-worth. A cleansing of some sort should always be performed to clear the path for the Divine energies to do their work.

10. You talk about the spellwork to others. Under no circumstance should you discuss your spellwork with anyone under any conditions. To do so will weaken the power of the spell and will in essence, create an obstacle that wasn’t there to begin with.

Remember that Voodooists, rootworkers, and spellcasters of all kinds are not miracle workers – they are not deities. Practitioners vary in skill and expertise and even the most skilled and experienced spellcasters will not have a 100% success rate. Jimmy Page is considered to be one of the best guitar players to have ever lived; yet, even he hits wrong notes sometimes. In fact, he hits wrong notes a lot of the time. But that doesn’t make him any less skilled of a guitar player and song writer, nor has that been an obstacle to his extreme and legendary success.

So if you want your love spell to be successful, make sure you address the top ten reasons that they commonly fail and behave and believe accordingly. Have respect for the Spirits that are willing and able to help, and be patient and accept the space between you and your desired lover for now in order to ensure the best possible outcome.

The photo is an image of Mater Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows) who is likened to Erzulie Freda in the Voodoo tradition. Get Our Lady of Sorrows as an altar poster from the Voodoo Butik.

Our Lady of Sorrows print
Our Lady of Sorrows

For custom spellcasting, metaphysical consultation, and tarot readings, please visit Planet Voodoo.