The Afro-Caribbean currents have inherent power. That’s been established. But what do you learn from these spirits and teachings that can be applied to other paths/systems? First of all, the approach to the spirits of the dead is unmatched and many of the most groundbreaking necromantic study by modern magicians happens within these currents. The respect for ancestors is another important aspect of these traditions that is priceless. The way these currents work with their gods, saints, and ancestors is nearly unparalleled in the modern world. The spirits aren’t psychological constructs. They are very real and that connection has been preserved in our modern age of occult psychobabble which has seeped its way into every current and in my opinion, greatly deluded and de-valued them. These spirits can be felt when you work with them just as you can feel the presence of a friend or family member in the same room. The spell crafting element is also invaluable as the multiple components and herbs of each spell helps you become more immersed in the spell itself.
I have to agree that the egregore model doesn’t really fit some entities. As you and I agreed last time we spoke, Odin doesn’t seem to fit the psychological construct model. I’d be interested in seeing and experiencing what else is out there, such as Vodoun and Santeria.
Honestly, if I hear a book or other occult product relies on the psychological model, I’m less apt to buy it. The Psychological model in my opinion, is meant as a supplement to the mystical model. Regarding Odin, I think he’s much too complicated to be an egregore. He’s easily the most complicated and multifaceted deity I’ve ever had the honor to work with and learn from. I think we have even more to discuss next time
I whole-heartedly agree with everything you just said. I think it’s both psychological and spiritual, so I’m Middle Path on that topic. I believe there was a point in time when I met Odin for the first time, and yet I also believe he’s always been an aspect of my psyche. It’s similar to what Azazel said to Koetting.
That’s what I love about the spirits we work with. They’re both on the outside and on the inside.
This is a good discussion and reflects where I am in my own thinking, for whatever that is worth
I know that “spirits” (a shorthand for many things, for present purposes) are some combination of (1) egregores (things that people created by projecting energy outward), (2) archetypes (things that people created by projecting energy inward), and (3) real, animate beings in their own right (things that exist no matter how much energy people project, or where they project it).
Different spirits reflect different combinations of these influences; indeed, even the same “spirit” can reflect different combinations of these influences, depending on the setting. That’s about as fast as I think this line of thinking can go, really.
It’s not like you are charting a new island, which is pretty much like where you came from and can be charted with the same surveying tools you use there. It’s just very different, we can comprehend that difference and the basic reasons for the differences, and that’s about it.
That said, the vodun “spirits” sure seem awfully “real and animate in their own right” to me, and that is pretty awesome for the reasons said earlier.
This is a great question FraterMagni. I hope that I can lend some insight here.
Ancestral veneration is a important component to the traditions of the Caribbean. Ancestral veneration is not unique how ever each tradition has its own unique way to venerate the ancestral spirits. In the 1800s while many of the houses of various traditions from Haiti, to Cuba, to Brazil and throughout the Americas a French born spirit medium named Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail aka Allan Kardec came into spiritual contact with a Celtic guide spirit who revealed the spirit of truth to the world which became an integral part of Caribbean traditions. While his best works are in French, Spanish, and German, unfortunately most english translations of his work has the greater value of his message lost in translation.
Many suppose that the value of ancestral veneration come from Africa that statement is true especially if you look at Africa as the cradle of civilization, but more importantly ancestral veneration is a value of the old world that the kings of the new world have attempted to remove from the collective spiritual value of humanity. I want to elaborate on this further using the model of Judaism as it is familiar to most people. Your current Preachers wont tell you this at the pew, but if you inspect it you too will find this truth. The Abrahamic religions are very much about ancestral veneration and spiritual elavation. Enoch the grandfather of Noah was the first human being to reach this sort of near deification is mentioned as Enoch rose to become Metatron, after Elijah died he rose to become archangel Sandalphon. Christ had a vision with the apostles and both Elijah and Moses appeared before them, was this Moses or the elevation of Moses to be raised to the rank of Angel? While the cover up is clear the answer is obvious. If common people had an empowering belief that they can raise to the rank of Angel, common people would become a great threat to the foundation of the church. This concept is no different than being a hero dying with valor and honor in battle and dining with the Gods in Valhala, the legends that are spoken of your name after your death make you a hero, eventually those stories change from truth to legend and a hero becomes a God.
Its not that different for Shango or Oggun.
I’ve heard about Kadlec but I didn’t know the specific story. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking into Quimbanda.
No art alive today curses, i.e. burns a target into the fucking ground while mindfucking them into incomprehensible agony on every physical and metaphysical level of existence, like Voudou.
I can attest to this. Do you practice?
I don’t practice Voudou. I asked a priest of high repute some months back to teach me and was rejected.
My specialities are Seidr, Runemagic, Invoking, and Shamanic Medicine. I’m a damn good scryer, too, though. I know more than the Voudou priests would ever like uninitiated freeloader scum like me to know about how they operate.
I truly feel that humans aren’t needed to initiate you. I feel like we can learn from one and other. I’m not as proficient at scrying, Seidr, or shamanism as I would like to be…
You are free to feel that way however it does not negate the fact that certain spirits particularly of Congo origin WILL NOT productively interact with those who are initiated to them. There is no way to appeal to those spirits if you have nothing but some ideas transmitted through a book or forum because it is literally passed down from one individual to another through very particular rites that can be traced back to the heroes that people write about in the books.
I have had great success with Yoruba based devotion prior to becoming crowned, however it doesn’t matter how much I called on Elegua at the crossroads or Ogun at the railroad, the experience of going to my first drumming was like no other. I literally felt like a lost soul wandering in the desert for nearly 300 years who just arrived home. Not everyone is called to be initiated and many are meant to only be initiated without going into priesthood because it is a lifelong commitment. We don’t wake up one day and let our spirits go on the back burner. Its all paramount and for us its all relevant. Our traditions will survive in tact and with tact just as it has all this time, and that responsibility is up to people like myself who have entered priesthood.
I believe that. Thst we all learn from one another and the spirits themselves show a great deal. For me though their information is coded and yet to be deciphered. Astral hearing at least internally is easy
(Genuine question, I know text can come across snarkily. )
For example Nkuyo, Nsasi, Basimbi, Mambe.
Are those Palo Mayombe spirits?
The initiation in Palo seems a lot more genuine from what I gather. Like, it’s seems less like a priest charging hundred of dollars for an initiation, and more like getting scratched and taught by a teacher.
That depends on the person and their relationship with the Tata. A person initiated into Palo doesn’t become a priest right away, They become Ngueyo first, this is the moment of cultivation, its not just about asking the right questions its about keeping your eyes and ears open and becoming the recipient of a religion. Initiations arent always cheap you will be lucky to find some one to scratch into a Munanso for just under a grand, but what is received is a lot. Palo is its own stand alone religion, people in Ocha don’t necessarily need Palo and vice versa, anything dealing with a calling from any of the Reglas de Congo is a particular thing and can only be dealt with in its respectful fashion. One thing many people fail to recognise is the structure of a Munanso is that of a “secret society” so with respect. I can only barely scathe the surfaces of the topics concerning Mayombe.
I recommend if you find a legit Tata get to know them, if you get cut as an Ngueyo don’t expect to know everything over night, be humble, be respectful, surprise your Tata and gift his muerto with rum and cigars. Youd be surpised how many of us are actually out here and how rapidly the tradition is growing. Its not about all the scary stuff. Its about our Malongo and mother nature herself unbridled with raw fury.