Frequently Asked Questions

Vodun & African Spirituality

What Is Voodoo? Is it the same as Vodu, Vodun, Vodoun?


The word "Voodoo" is a very modern term europeans used as a derogatory expression. Historically, europeans have shown an ineptitude with properly articulating phrases and customs related to cultures and traditions that are foreign to them. The original term Vodoun is pronounced (Vo-doon) and it is derived from the Fongbe and Ewegbe word "VO BO DOUN" in West Africa. In many cases, you'll find variations for the term Vodoun/Vodun/Vodu such as: - Welfare of society - Peace within the city - To worship God fearlessly Vodoun is also how we refer to our divinities/spirits. For example: We honor our Vodoun /Spirits losely translated. Vodoun is one of the oldest traditions in the world. Vodoun tradition overall, is an indigenous cultural and spiritual value system of mostly the FON and EWE ethnic groups of Benin, Togo, and Ghana, located in West Africa. There are also other ethnicities like the Adja, Guin, Mina, and Goun people, to name a few. Contrary to popular belief, Vodun is not synonymous with witchcraft, devil worship, black or dark magic, or the evil part of African spirituality. Vodoun is also not a term use to generalize all African spiritual systems, especially as one practice. There are many different African spiritual systems with cultural differences.




Is Vodoun (voodoo) synonymous with witchcraft, evil or devil worship? Are the stereotypes true?


Witchcraft No! Neither Vodoun nor African Spirituality in general, are synonymous with Witchcraft. In sfact, Witchcraft is a component that exists within the totality of African Spirituality. In english, we refer to them as The Mothers. In Vodoun tradition they have many names such as Minonan, Nan Vodu, Adze, etc. They are very powerful entities/spirits that are not to be taken lightly. They can help you in some ways and they can harm you in other ways. The Mothers are mostly associated Witchcraft and negativity but that topic is very controversial. The Mothers are known to come out at night and they are often symbolized through birds. So when you see birds come out at night and or going into the trees, you can be sure that the Adze are around. For the most part we aren't talking about human beings when we refer to the witches. There are even secret societies that work with the Adze and those members are sworn to secrecy. Some people are born witches, while there are also those who self proclaim. A true witch doesn't need any shrine work or ritualistic materials, they can speak things into existence naturally. So the African witch is nothing like the new age trend that is taking place currently. In fact, there has been alot of confusion between the African concept of witchcraft and the modern/european term witch; which can be divided between the esoteric eurocentric practices of Wicca, Paganism, the new age movement and the hollywood version of Withcraft. If you think you may have any issues with witchcraft please get a divination ASAP from a reputable Africain Diviner such as a Bokonon and/or Hounnon and get the spiritual work prescribed urugently. Evil No, Vodoun is not evil. To have reverence for the Vodoun is to have reverence for Nature. Most indegenous practices have a foundation which starts with the 4 divine elements; Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Many of the secrets behind Vodun are in the spiritual components that exists in nature. Many come to a Hounnon, a Bokonon or other herbalist/practitioner when they have a problem and it's the priest or practitioner that will solve the problem through spiritual means. Devil Worship No, Vodoun is not devil worship in any way, shape or form. Despite popular belief, there is no concept of a devil in African spirituality. There is no equivalent to the devil whatsoever, however, there is duality in everything. In Vodoun a person has the ability to do both good and bad, but there are consequences to ones actions. Most priests are committed to helping people and not harming them. Afterall, most people locked away in prison are christian or muslim. In the Abrahamic Religion, most of the evil deeds done in the biblical stories were sanctioned and approved by their God and not by Satan.




What is the difference between African Vodun, Haitian Vodu and Hoodoo ?


Vodoun - is also how we refer to our divinities/spirits. ( example: We Honor our Vodoun /Spirits) losely translated. Loa - Is how you refer to the divinities/spirits in Haitian Vodu African Vodoun -Tradition overall, is an indigenous cultural and spiritual value system of mostly the FON and EWE ethnic groups of Benin, Togo, and Ghana, West Africa. As well as other ethnicities like the Adja, Guin, Mina, Goun people etc. Vodoun is one of the oldest Traditions in the world. Contrary to popular belief Vodun is not synonymous with Witchcraft, Devil Worship, Black or dark magic , or the evil part of African spirituality. Vodoun is also not a term use to generalize all African spiritual systems, especially as one practice.THere are many different African spiritual systems with cultural differences. Hatian Vodu - Hatian Vodu is a product of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. It's rooted in a West African spiritual foundation and , but Haitian Vodu is a mixture of many traditions. The majority of its rich African Vodoun heritage comes from Benin and Togo. While other cultural influences are coming out of Nigeria and the Congo traditions. Not to mention they had their own indigenous practices before the europeans invaded their land. Many of our African Ancestors were taken from Africa and were brought to the Carribean and the Americas for enslavement. Our enslaved Ancestors were not allowed to practice their African heritage or speak their native language and was forced to speak french and practice catholicism. so they found a way to disquise their African Divinities behind the catholic saints and they developed their own creole language. in Hatian Vodu the divinities are called LOA. But the difference is Hatian Vodu is synchronized with Catholcism. Louisiana Voodoo & Hoodoo - This is a a combination of our enslaved African Ancestors coming from the continent to the southern part of the states. It's also a combination of Vodu reminants from Africa and mixing it with catholcism as well. Along with the mixture of people bringing their practices with them after the slave revolt famously known as the Haitian Revolution. New Orleans Voodoo had devloped into its own practice. Hoodoo is the most modern of the practices that has derived out of Lousiana Voodoo. Hoodoo is a concotion of African and Haitian Practices that have evolved over time. It is known as conjuring and rootwork. Unlike African Vodoun and Hatian Vodu one doesn't need to be initiated in order o become a practitioner. ** in order to become Authentic pracitioners of African Vodun or Hatiain Vodu , one must be initiated **




What's the difference between Vodoun and Orisha?


Vodoun Tradition overall, is an indigenous cultural and spiritual value system of mostly the FON and EWE ethnic groups of Benin, Togo, and Ghana, located in West Africa. This spiritual system is also shared with other ethnicities such as the Adja, Guin, Mina, and Goun people etc. Vodoun is one of the oldest Traditions in the world. Vodoun is also how we refer to our divinities/spirits. For example, a loose translation of Voudoun is: We Honor our Vodoun /Spirits. Contrary to popular belief, Vodun is not synonymous with Witchcraft, devil worship, black or dark magic, or as an evil part of African spirituality. Vodoun is also not a term used to generalize all African spiritual systems, especially as one's practice. There are many different African spiritual systems with cultural differences. The Orisha tradition is the cultural and spiritual value system associated with the Yoruba ethnic group of Southern Nigeria. Nigeria and Benin are countries right next door to each other. A big chunk of modern day Nigeria was apart of Benin, formerly known as Dahomey. There are some similarities and quite a few differences between the two cousin cultures as they have a common Ancestry. These are essentially two different spiritual systems. While they do have similarities, Vodoun and Orisha traditions have varied cultural and linguistic differences.




What is IFA? What is the difference between FA, AFA & IFA in Vodoun Tradition?





How does one find their Head Spirit (Head Vodoun / Orisha)?





What is an Ancestor? How do I honor my Ancestors properly?


Ancestors - They are the living energetic expression of the individual who is no longer attached to their physical vessel. They are pure enough to reach the divine, but still close enough for human beings to have access to. They serve as the mediary between us and the spiritual realm. By building and improving your relationship with your Ancestors, you will open doors in your life. Keeping and maintaining a healthy dialogue between them and you is vital to one's devlopment. You help them in the Ancestral world and they help you in the physical world. When we talk about the notion of the Ancestral Spirit, it's important to keep in mind that every human being has Ancestors. We understand that our physical bodies are just vessels housing our energetic expressions of our true selves. So on a very novice level, the first step is acknolwedging that they exist. When we talk about honoring our Ancestors, we are talking about our direct lineage. Our mother's mother's mothers and our father's father's fathers. It is their blood in our veins. They are us, and we are them. In the diaspora, especially in the united states, it has become a trend to set up tables with cloth and pictures of dead relatives and candles etc. While there is nothing wrong with this practice, traditionally in Africa, it's not done this way. There are many variations as to how one honors their Ancestors. In many case there are Ancestral initiations as well as other divinities that will aid in strengthening your relationship with your Ancestors as well.




Is a Bokonon and a Babalawo the same thing?


While many will say that a Bokono (Bokor, Bokonon) and Babalawo are the same, some might say that this is a controversial statement. A Diviner is a priest of IFA in the Vodoun tradition. Bokonon - FA or AFA Priest Diviner in the Fon & Ewe lanaguge. Babalawo - IFA Priest in the Yoruba laguage. They both have cultural and linguistic differences, but both consult with the divine science and divination system of IFA.





Health & Herbs

What is a Health Consultation ? Do I need one ?





How important is my diet while taking herbs?





How long before the herbs began to work?






I Stay Rooted


Travel To Africa

What do I need in order to Travel to Africa successfully?


You need to have the following : https://www.istayrooted.com/copy-of-travel-requirements - Passport - Visa - plane ticket - Itenerary





Classes

Are the Classes the same as initiation?


There are different classes on various subjects. Some classes will be unrelated to initiations. Some classes will be pre-training leading up to initiation. Some classes are for continuous training after one has already been initiated. Some classes are for the general public. But initiation is something that is done on in person. You cannot be initiated online or over the phone.





Divination / Energy Readings

What is a Divination / Spiritual reading? How does it work?


Divination is not to be confused with what is popularly known in the West as a "psychic reading." It is much more. In The Mami Wata Vodoun Tradition, consultations are conducted directly with the deity/spirits, and ancestors in assessing your problem and needs. A divination is in essence a spiritual diagnosis, and the information obtained is utilized to establish the options available to you. The information provided is directly related to you and the particular issues that you and the spirits have brought forth. However, before you contact us, please make certain we can be of service to you. Please make sure you read all of the information below. Contrary to what you may have been conditioned to believe in Hollywood, the Vodoun Religion is an ancestral and healing tradition laced with the same moral and social integrity as any mainstream religions. We are not sorcerers. A good rule of thumb to remember is: if you will not contact your Christian priest, Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Cleric, Swami etc.,to request the following services, we ask that you NOT request them from us: 1. Breaking up marriages to pursue the spouse of another. 2. Killing of anyone because you do not like them. 3. "Cursing” your enemies or anyone for any reason. 4. Causing disharmony, bad fortune or sickness upon anyone for any reason. 5. Forcing someone to love you (unrequited love) for any reason. 6. Forcing someone who obviously does not love you to return. 7. Getting you out of jail for a crime that you know you committed and were found guilty. 8. It is also important to review our Protocol and Respect (link also at end of) page to aid in your preparation process. If you are in need of an emergency divination, the cost is [a nonrefundable] $200.00. You must have already made your payment and downloaded your photo. Once your payment has been




Are African Divinaitons the same as Psychic or Tarot Card readings?





What happens if you get Divination but don't do the spiritual work?





What if i'm hesitant, nervous or afraid of what comes up in the Divination?





What are the different Divination systems that you offer ?





Do you have to be in person for Divination and/or Spiritual work ?





What is IFA ? What is the difference between FA, AFA & IFA in Vodoun Tradition?






Initiation

What is INITIATION ? How does one get started ?






Products, Beads, Fabric

Where do you source your products?






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Menuhati Kemma'atah

El Cajon, Ca 92021

Istayrooted@gmail.com

Tel: 619-383-4471