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🌟Zetwal Ashade Bon Manbo 🌟


manbo asogwe | sosyete nago | haitian vodou + dance & drum devotee | researcher | documentarian | learning | growing | the journey continues...

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Are we now declaring Manbo & Houngan status by the number of “likes” or the amount of “followers” one has on IG? Vodou is NOT InstaGET! A moment of transparency: a hard lesson learned with a “well known” Manbo, is that all that glitters isn’t gold. She strategically and craftily seduced her audiences with visuals and images to lure seekers. Her words were soothing, poetic, usually with an endearing baby, sweetie, or sis. She said the right things you WANTED and NEEDED to hear because you needed that validation and reassurance. You wanted Vodou so badly, you believed the rhetoric without questioning. You ignored the red flags because damn! This Manbo was the shit! Her temple was bomb. Spacious. Not a makeshift room for the Spirits. Seaside access, waves at your feet, elaborate paintings of Lwa on every wall. This was IT! The real deal. Always in the company of other priests with a photo on FB for proof of authority. What happened when the entourage wasn’t around? This “well known” Manbo didn’t know shit. She didn’t do shit, and she wasn’t shit. Stepped away. Took off the rose-colored glasses. Fake ness revealed.  _ There are no celebrity Manbo’s or Houngan’s. No famous Instagram Priests who can guarantee success, a man, woman, or a job. Vodou priests are HUMANS that are called by Lwa. We are on a sacred path, trying to get shit right like everyone else. Constantly questioning, learning, elevating, while fulfilling obligations and serving our spirits to the best of our ability. Don’t get caught up in the hype of who is the most popular in these social media streets. That elder Haitian women with one “good” dress, who lives in the bush without electricity in the Artibonite region, without an IG or FB account is the Manbo you need to be checking for. _ It’s easy to get caught up. Their personality resonates, energetic connections are intertwined. A couple of things to ALWAYS ask a Vodou priest. What is their lineage? Who are their
✨Reflections | healing waters ✨ SODO | Saut d’ Eau  Fèt Sodo pou Èzili Dantò | July 16, 2015 - BON Fet Manman!! I salute you! 💙❤️🗡 _  I traveled 60 miles north of Port-au-Prince, to receive blessings through the beautiful, healing waters at Saut d'Eau. There is nothing like bathing in these cool waters, while deep in prayer and meditation with hundreds of Vodouyizan. This footage (July, 2015) was captured before Danto appeared in several heads. In the background you’ll hear one of two Rara bands who were in a serious competition, showcasing their best original songs, dances and costumes.  _  A favorite trip to the waterfall was in 2014, with my dance company. As this was a first trip to Ayiti for many of them, visiting Sodo was a must. It wasn’t peak season (July) and honestly, it was best, as there weren’t too many people in attendance. I purposely didn’t go into the water with them because I wanted to witness the experience from the other side. I saw each company member physically transform. I felt the heaviness that was brought to Ayiti from the States removed. Facial features changed. Eyes were closed. Hearts opened, arms lifted wide in complete reverence for the Spirits. Gratitude. No matter what season, time or day, the energy is and will forever be present at Sodo.  _  Saut-d'Eau - 'waterfall' in French, is a village in the Mirebalais district of Haiti. It is believed that the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, also know by Vodouyizans  as Ezili Danto, appeared on a palm tree at Saut-d'Eau. Although the tree was chopped down by a French priest, the site is still considered a sacred and religious haven for practitioners. An annual pilgrimage takes place at the falls, during the festival of Our Lady of Carmel, from July 14–16.  Vodou rituals, prayers, singing, offerings and bathing in the waters of the falls, take place, while asking favors of the Virgin or Ezili, for blessings and purification.  #sodo #sautdeau #waterfall #blessings
✨ A L T A R | preparation ✨  Dancing Spirits: Folkloric Dance + Wellness Retreat took place this past weekend. I’m still processing the experience, as so many magical moments took place. I haven’t found the words to articulate the experience as of yet, but wanted to say: Spirit was in the house. Altars were constructed, and blessed by practitioners of each tradition - Vodou, Lukumi (Orisha) & Candomble. Creating sacred space for the Divine Four: Freda, Yemaya, Oxum-Oshun and Yansa-Oya, along with their favorite offerings was our invitation  and humble gesture of love and appreciation.  _  Pictured is the community altar I constructed for Ezili Freda Dahomey. She put me to work before the retreat began! Through time, I have accumulated fabric galore, and thought the pink fabric previously owned would do just fine. Well, she wanted “new” fabric and new fabric is what she got. I’m in a store looking for something totally unrelated to the retreat, but I’m guided to the fabric section of the store... I see a ton of hot pink satin folded in a bin. I went back and forth in my head. Did I need it? Did she need it? I have waaaay too much pale pink, cotton candy pink, sequined pink, lace pink and more! She was the catalyst behind Dancing Spirits Wellness Retreat. Her energy was being honored at the retreat: Self-Love. Self-Care. Loving YOU! This retreat is/was a first and yes! I needed to purchase something new for her as my own personal offering. When we take care of our Spirits, they in turn take care of us. The yardage of fabric was collected and brought to the counter. Turns out it was on sale because of the “color.” $16 for 12 yards of satin fabric ain’t so bad! -  Ezili was not playing at this retreat. Her altar was the largest and grandest, not a take away from the other altars, because they were just as powerful - the altar energy was bold, in your face, you saw it first and felt it/her immediately when you walked into the room. This is her
✨...cause in Vodou, we have a mermaid too! ✨  Queen of the Sea. Queen of the Song. Mistress of the sea's abundance and riches. Mermaid. Patroness of Music. Sensual. Keeper of the secret knowledge of the sea. Lives in the depths of the sea and walks amongst the waves. This is La Sirene! 🧜🏾‍♀️🧜🏾‍♀️ Join me as I pay homage to the Rada (Arada) nation, honoring and celebrating Dahomean and Yoruba traditions through dance, music and song.  Oakland to BENIN! 🇧🇯 Haitian Dance Workshop Series  JULY 11, 18, 25  Thursday’s | 6pm-7:30pm The Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts | Studio E - 3rd floor | Oakland, CA.  Offering: $20 *all proceeds to benefit my upcoming research/cultural exchange trip to Benin, West Africa ~ August 2019  How fitting to open Oakland to Benin workshops with her energy. Come through on Thursday to dance Parigol for La Sirene! Followed by my favorite, Afrika Vodou!  _ ✨ Schedule ✨  July 11 | Parigol/Afrika Vodou  July 18 | Yanvalou/Zepol  July 25 | Nago/Mayi  LIVE DRUMMING with Daniel Brav Brevil  _______  During the transatlantic slave trade a great number of enslaved Africans who reached the island of Haiti had been taken from the town of Ouidah (Whydah), Benin. As a result, Haitian culture has been greatly influenced by the dance, music, language, history, and spiritual traditions of the Fon and Ewe people of Benin, making the connection between Haiti and Benin undeniable.  Photo Credit: Bethanie Hines  #vodou #haitianvodou #lasirene #mermaid #parigol #middlepassage #anbadlo #ayibobo #haitiandance #danceforspirit #danceishealing #spirit #sea #ocean #lwa
✨Ashade | Haiti | Chronicles ✨ • meditation | one year later... • “One day, maybe one year from now, or maybe ten, you will look back in awe and see how it all lined up. How every last dot connected.” _  What started out as a beautiful day of restoration and relaxation at the beach turned into a 4 day ordeal.  What transpired on this day last year while in Haiti, tested my mental, physical and spiritual endurance. Manifestation/Protests in Port-au-Prince in full effect, gas prices raised to an all time high, road blocks, angry Haitians, tired of the disrespect, tired of greedy ass, corrupt political officials. Haitians aren’t new to revolting. Country on serious lockdown. Stranded for 3 days in Gressier. In our car for hours. Finally, taken in by a complete stranger. The Haitian way. Those who know, KNOW: it’s a part of the culture. Housed, clothed and fed. The cleanest, sweetest sheets I’ve ever smelled. Protected by her suns: The Sons. All five of ‘em.  I saw some things. Experienced some things too. Stepped on rocks, glass and broken bottles. In flip flops. Jumped across blockades of cut trees and rubble. In flip flops. Burning Tires. Black Clouds. Inhaled Smoke. Barbed wire. Felt fire. Attempted kidnapping, cause they know a “Diaspora”. Found out later, the two “kidnappers” were found dead in the streets of Gressier. They weren’t from the community. The locals, including the “Sons” said it was handled. Felt scared. Felt strong. Felt proud and stoic as fuck! My trial by fire (literally) started before I arrived to my destination to receive the blessings from Lwa and Papa Loko.  _  The good news? I made it safely to Jacmel. I MADE IT THROUGH! I made it to the “other side” with a new set of eyes. I am chosen and my Ancestors were not havin’ it any other way! This spiritual journey will certainly test your faith. How bad do you really want this? Oh, you wanna be a Manbo or Houngan? Ok, We’ll see... You want to only pray at
Dancing Spirits: Folkloric Dance + Wellness Retreat is quickly approaching! We will soon commune in nature, indulge in wellness, and also learn about four beautiful female energies from Haiti, Cuba & Brazil. I’m excited to host a group of 25 women who have committed to a weekend of self-care, wellness, ritual, healing + embodiment of the DIVINE FEMININE! Congratulations for taking time for yourself! I’m equally thrilled to have expanded the essence of Dancing Spirits by including my Sisters + Colleagues who are Wellness & Spiritual Practitioners with a license to do this healing work. SWIPE ➡️ for Retreat Offerings ✨✨✨ _  I chose to create Dancing Spirits: Female Lwa Embodied through Movement, Song, Writing & Ritual, last year out of the necessity to tap in and CONNECT on a deeper level with the female spirits in Haitian Vodou, the tradition I am called to serve. I NEEDED this medicine. This Wellness + Healing series wasn’t only intended for my benefit, but for my community as well. We need safe, supportive, non-judgmental spaces to heal. Internal work is necessary within these African Spiritual Traditions that have called us. WE MUST DO THE WORK! Healing daily. Connecting. Honoring the Spirit WITHIN - this is first, before the altars, candles, readings, and magic. How do we use the energies that each Spirit possess to mentally enhance our lives?  _  I have a sneaking suspicion that Spirit will make this an annual event. Producing Performances, Festivals, Workshops, and Cultural Exchange Trips have been the norm for years. A Wellness Retreat? This is a first. I’m embracing the fears, because the whispers are clear. Spirit is saying “You got this, this is just an extension of what you already do.” The only thing for me to do is to surrender and enjoy the ride. LET’S GO!  _  LWA! 🇭🇹 ORISHA! 🇨🇺 ORIXA! 🇧🇷 _ 🌷 Ezili Freda Dahomey 🌊 Yemaya 🌻 Oxum 🌪 Yansa #dancingspirits #wellness #retreat #vodou #orisha #candomble
Chante, Hougan Sebastien! May Papa Legba continue to open the way for us! Ayibobo! Ayibobo Vodou! ✨ Houngan | S H I N E ✨  There are those folks who walk the path of life with love, humility, passion, kindness, integrity, honor and devotion. They truly make this world a better place. They give us hope that there is still this beautiful thing called humanity. @jeansebastienduvilaire possesses these attributes while walking on this earth, dancing, singing, lecturing, serving, uplifting, employing, BEING.  _  Fanmi mwen! My brother in Dance. Sibling in spirit and Parenn through Kanzo. We both share a beautiful, rich, spiritual lineage with a profound legacy in Jacmel, Haiti, through our Mothers mother. Both born from the womb of the Djevo, through Ayizan’s eyes, with Papa Loko’s permission. Both birthed by the hands of Antiola Bon Manbo, and Ti Fey of Sosyete Nago.  _  My brother, you are an inspiration. It is so powerful to see you move through the world with such grace. Your power is eminent. You are a true Petit Ginen, claiming your heritage, wearing your crown, UNAPOLOGETICALLY serving spirit through ancestral movement. Unapologetically upholding the traditions of Haitian Vodou. Blessed to be on this journey with you, learning and growing as movement specialists, healers, and conduits for spirit. Oné Respé! Ayibobo pou ou! Ayibobo Vodou! We look forward to having you at RASANBLE! Haitian Arts & Culture Festival! September 20-22! • • “Thanks to God and the spirits, for this path. I truly feel blessed, and am so honored to be able to serve my country, my culture, and the whole wide world by being a cultural ambassador for this space and culture of first black independence: Ayiti, a space of magic and Vodou , a space of freedom and a space of spirit lifting. Let us lift our spirits in the name of the bettering of Humanity. And through dance , through the arts, yes we can.” - Houngan Sebastien 🎥: @haiticulturalx
We did it all for Kouzen! Konbit for Kouzen was a blast! @sagebae333 did a fabulous job capturing the energy of the event. So glad our paths crossed! Check her out at www.minnheal.com  _What’s a KONBIT? - a communal work gathering that includes harvesting, planting, cultivating the earth, and building the community in solidarity. _  In the true spirit and energy of Kouzen, we collectively merged our artistic passion, gifts + resources together to create this visual. May we continue to grow, create and flourish artistically and reap the benefits of our labor. AbunDANCE + CommUNITY! Alaso Kouzen! Alaso Kouzin! 🌽🥕🍊🍇🍌🥖🥥 _  #kouzen #offering #haitiandance #konbit #haitianfolkloricdance #raratoulimen #alaso #vodou #haitianvodou #ritual #community #collective #kouzin #djouba #nation #earth #agriculture #labor #travay #manbo #priestess #dancingspirit #energy #nature
IG FAMILY! SAVE THESE DATES!!! ✨Rara Tou Limen + Zetwal Ashade Productions presents: RASANBLE! Haitian Arts & Culture Festival 2019 - The 10th Edition - Ezili Danto Tribute✨  September 20 | Oakland  Joyce Gordon Gallery  September 21-22 | Berkeley  The Finnish Hall • • •  Haitian Folkloric Dance Workshops * Haitian Drum + Vodou Song Class * Godmama: Great Mother of Power | Photography Exhibition * Vodou Presentation * Performance * Veve Arts & Craft Project * Haitian Cuisine * Wellness Area * Vendors  _  Since 2008, RASANBLE! Haitian Arts & Culture Festival has presented 3 days of immersion in spirited conversations, dynamic technique analysis, live performance and community exchange with traditional artists celebrating Haitian Culture. This is THE place to be! Dance, Drums, Ritual, Food, Vodou, & Community in celebration of a RICH & BEAUTIFUL culture! JOIN US!! _  Schedule. Fees. Instructors + Special Guests SOON! Drapo Artist: Ronald Edmond | Haiti • works available for purchase at Rasanble!  _  #rasanble2019 #haitianfestival #haitiandance #haitiandrumming #haitiancuisine #veveartproject #performance #presentation #vodou #haitianvodou #community #raratoulimen #culture #art #ritual
✨ A B O B O ✨ (part 3)  _ “Zepol, the dance of the shoulders, is so named because dancers move their shoulders back and forth while they perform it. The origin of Zepol can be traced to West Africa, particularly to the Adja-speaking people of Benin, Ghana, and Togo. The rhythm is played in honor of all the Rada Lwa with the exception of Marassa and Kouzen. It’s main function is to placate the spirit.” _  Excerpt | Dancing Spirits: Rhythms and Rituals of Haitian Vodun, the Rada Rite - Dr. Gerdes Fleurant  _  Juneteenth Ritual of Remembrance | Omnira Institute  Choreography: Ashade  Music: @the_massacouraman  #zepol #haitiandance #ritual #spirit #vodou #haitianvodou #haitiandrumming #juneteenth #ancestorsalute #zansetyo #egun #danceishealing #raratoulimen #dancingspirits #spiritual #reclaimourspiritualtraditions #manboasogwe #priestess #ceremony #ritualtheater #danceheals
Summer in Jacmel is always hot (literally) with LOTS of activity throughout the temple. It’s almost that time for our fets in Haiti! ✨  _ 🌽 July 23 - Fet Kouzen 🐎 July 24 - Bull Procession | Sen Jak Celebration ⚔️ July 25 - The leader of our house Met Ogou will be honored! 💦 July 26 - Simbi + other Petwo spirits 🗡 July 27 - Ezili Danto  _  Sosyete Nago is a traditional Vodou temple based in Jacmel, Haiti & Boston with Manbo Maude serving as our Poto Mitan.  _  Offerings of Food, Drinks, Singing, Drumming & Dancing, until the crack of dawn - it’s all for the Spirits! Attending a Fet is a gateway, a door that will open for you to see, experience and feel the energy of Lwa in a ritual setting: in REAL time. They will be present! Sosyete Nago welcomes you! -  Fet Ogou | July 2018 Sosyete Nago 📷: Bonkira Bon Houngan  #vodou #haitianvodou #sosyetenago #haiti #jacmel #ritual #lwa #temple #spirit #fet #party #offering #manbo #houngan #hounsi #kanzo #vodoutemple #govi #ceremony #fetvodou #potomitan
🎶🎵 Kreyol Bonswa Danbala Wedo  Kouman ou ye? 🎶🎵 (Part 1)  _ “Divine Mystery. Mistè. Meditation in Movement. Dance is our route to find our personal truth. Our route to self-discovery. The Spiritual Power of Dance has transformed, healed and shaped each of our lives. We are artistic vessels, mediums and community servants, embodying Spirit - our life force, the person inside of us, the part of us that never dies, that is eternal, infinite and limitless.  WE are Rara Tou Limen. WE are the Dancing Spirits.” - Zetwal Ashade Bon Manbo, Artistic Director - RTL  _  Juneteenth Ritual of Remembrance | Choreography: Ashade  Music: @the_massacouraman  #dancingspirits #haitiandance #vodou #haitianvodou #yanvalou #danbala #danbalawedo #ayidawedo #serpent #ritual #raratoulimen #fanmi #spirit #lwa #danceheals #haitiandrumming #tanbou
✨ Houngan | S H I N E ✨  @yasezibonhoungan slid in the DM unexpectedly and dropped this gorgeous image! I was/am still moved at this thoughtful gesture. The multilayered images speaks to my soul! Minokan Veve, representing all Lwa, Manbo Ayizan’s palms, Ogou’s implement, Minis Kouzen Zaka Veve, and libations with Rhum Barbancourt!  _  I marvel at how the Lwa uses us, how they assist in navigating our life. They show up and show out for us! They will speak through a vessel, whisper in an ear, and enhance that creative and artistic passion that resides deep within. Ya Sezi is a gifted Makeup Artist, Stylist, Costume Designer, Graphic Designer, Priest, Herbalist, and the BAAAAADEST Boutey Lwa maker I’ve ever seen. His custom made libation bottles are handcrafted with the spirit of Lwa who has truly touched and blessed his hands with heat.  _  I love seeing my fellow Manbo’s and Houngan’s SHINE! There is room for everyone. We all have our own unique gifts, talents, strengths, thoughts, and ideas that should be brought to the Vodou table. We all need to be fed. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t address that there is much division in this tradition. Inflated ego’s, power struggles, jealousy, my Sosyete is better than yours, my spiritual mother/father is the best, and of course, we mustn’t forget to acknowledge the self-appointed “faux” Internet Manbo’s and Houngan’s who ain’t stepped a foot into anyone’s Djevo, the fakes and frauds who prey on the folks who are new to it all, seeking, learning and yearning for guidance. We MUST combat this behavior. It is tainting Vodou’s image, which is STILL struggling to gain LIGHT.  _  If I know you, know your character, know your intentions as a priest, and SEE how you move in these spiritual streets (not by IG followers) I will rock with you, Dogwe, and Jete Dlo for you and your spirits. As priests in this tradition, we must unite, connect, build, listen and learn from one another. Ya Sezi and I
My last two posts + IG stories highlighted a recent Juneteenth Ritual of Remembrance I participated in last weekend. The photos + videos shared didn’t do the event justice! When I tell y’all the energy was thick, it truly was, which is why I wanted to share. As always, someone will dip in the DM to challenge a photo, word, thought or phrase. It’s expected. I will always turn the negative into a positive (after the verbal slay) and make it a teachable moment.  _ “I’m confused... we normally celebrate holidays on the actual holiday or appointed day. That would be equivalent to me celebrating Ramadan next month or Kwanzaa in May.” _  I should begin by saying that “WE” doesn’t apply to me. There shouldn’t be any confusion as to why and WHEN we are commemorating African American freedom and liberation, why and WHEN we choose to celebrate and honor those Union soldiers who made their way to Galveston, Texas in 1865 to share the news that the war ended, and the enslaved were now free. JUNETEENTH celebrations across the world can be celebrated on a day, a week, a weekend, or for the entire month of June if you choose to. IT IS YOUR CHOICE TO DO SO! We are free to celebrate, honor and fortify our ancestors at any time/day of the week. Despite the fact that Omnira Institute’s Juneteenth didn’t take place on JUNE 19th, the relevance of the occasion was honored, we processed with sacred Bata drums, an Indigenous Tribe opened our space, several African Traditional Religions: Yoruba, Lukumi, Palo & Haitian Vodou joined forces in ceremony and ritual. It was powerful!  _  Sure, there are select days and months in Haitian Vodou that are appointed for a Spirit. The beauty in this tradition is I can go to a spirit on any given day, because of a personal relationship that I’ve established. I will not wait till Tuesday to speak with a Petwo spirit. If I need Ogou’s assistance and it’s a Thursday, you best believe I will not wait around until the following
Juneteenth. Ritual of Remembrance. Honoring our Ancestors. Divine Timing. I have a new ancestor to honor: Priscilla Louise Robertson. My beloved aunt departed this earth May 22, 2019. In addition to representing Vodou by offering Priye Ginen - African Prayers, with my company, I knew I wanted to dedicate our ritual to her. Perhaps a verbal acknowledgment prior? A libation before the prayers? No. She was conducting from the other side and was making plans.  _  The day before the event, I was on the phone with my spiritual mother. She called to check in on my well being regarding my aunt, and also about the ritual we were doing the following day. I called her a few hours prior to express (yet again) my anxiety about singing Priye Ginen in a setting I wasn’t familiar with, in front of lots of people. I’ve been asked to participate in this ritual for years, and have politely declined the invitation - until recently. I felt compelled to be in ritual with my community. I committed to the event months prior, and couldn’t turn back now. Manbo Maude starts to sing. I wasn’t familiar with the song, but as she sang, I felt it pull at my heartstrings. It was haunting. It spoke of loss, regret, and asks what is the family to do now? Turns out, it is a funeral song. She said, “Sing this for your aunt before you begin on Saturday.” Now, I was ALREADY nervous to sing Priye, and now you wanna add to the thickness?!?! She said, “I will record it for you. Practice, and when you’re ready, sing it back to me.” _  Folks: THIS is a perfect example of how Vodou is taught. Orally. On a daily. In real time, and in this case, it is through my aunts passing that Vodou is STILL teaching me new things. This exchange with Manbo Maude was my lesson for the day. No words were given. (I wouldn’t dare ask!) it was all oral. By the time I practiced for a few hours, got the melody, found my vocal range, and really sang that song, I was sobbing. My aunt who was a vocalist, and an
✨ Z E T W A L | Ashade ✨  Recently I was asked to represent Vodou at Omnira Institute’s Juneteenth Ritual of Remembrance. What a blessing to be in the company of many faiths, traditions and practices! Ifa, Lukumi, Palo, Indigenous Traditions, and Ring Shout. Prayers, Drumming, Dancing, Libations, Liberation, Honoring the Ancestors and more! What a powerful day of Prayer.  _  Omnira Institutes theme this year, was twofold: the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the last slave ship importing African captives to the U.S. and the 400th anniversary of the first captives brought to the U.S. colonies in 1619. 🕯 _  Honored to represent Haitian VODOU/Priye Ginen with my dance family, and partake in ritual with community. Ayibobo! Ayibobo Vodou! 📷: Marcia Quinones & Peacock  #juneteenth #omnira #omnirainstitute #oakland #lakemerritt #raratoulimen #priye #priyeginen #prayers #ritual #vodou #haitianvodou #dancefamily #ritual #community #ayibobo #honor #respect #remembrance #manbo #priestess #zetwalashadebonmanbo #asogwe #asson #kolye #reclaimourspiritualtraditions #unapologetic #salute #salutation
✨”I have the power to create the success and build the wealth I desire." ✨ _ I recently facilitated the latest workshop dedicated to the female Lwa, Kouzin: merchant, businesswoman, accountant, who together with Kouzen, preside over the Djouba nation of Agriculture + Commerce.  _  Dancing Spirits: Female Lwa Embodied through Movement, Song, Writing & Ritual workshop, “FruitFULL Flow” flowed with ease! The folks who braved the continuous downpour, on Haitian flag day were supposed to be in attendance! We learned each other’s Manifestation rituals, tips and tools on how to achieve abundance and prosperity. We sang, discussed altar etiquette, saluted, poured libations, danced Konbit, a dance in honor of the Djouba nation of spirits, and finally, we ate some of that delicious fruit from the altar. _  These workshops are open to the public, so I’m not aware of who will walk through those doors. That evening, Spirit lead a Haitian couple to partake in the festivities. In fact, the Bel Kreyol who joined us, had just recently arrived from Haiti. They didn’t have a clue as to what they were in store for! Secretly, I think the girlfriend KNEW it was Vodou related and wanted to come (she pre-paid!), but failed to share that info with her dude, who clearly by the look of his slacks, fitted sweater, fresh cut, chains, rings, dress shoes and cologne, was ready for another type of party! 😂 I ain’t gonna lie: I was hesitant in explaining what type of event I was facilitating. After a quick rundown of the nights offerings, the boyfriend said “We’re staying. I like trying new things.” Ummm. Okay! When I tell you this couple had a huge heart, and were open and willing to learn about Vodou, my heart was bursting with joy! I even gave him the candle to hold while saluting the altar... and wait... when it was time for the movement component, he kicked them shoes off to dance, y’all!!! He was the only male amongst women, and did the damn thing! Comfortable
✨ L E V E | Arise. Lift. Raise. Awaken. ✨ _  Training. Dreams. Reflections. Rituals bestowed upon vessels. Spirit seated. Firmly planted. 9 days of seclusion in the Djevo. It’s time to rise - Leve Kanzo. Awaken and lifted, ready to greet the community. Dressed in the finest white cloth, covered with Manbo Ayizan’s royal palms, multicolored Kolye, representing initiatory status, with the ritual implement that is earned in hand, this is truly a moment of REBIRTH.  _  Senses are awakened, emotions heightened, with a level of anxiousness and excitement. As initiates walk into the unknown (initiation), we return into the unknown. New territory. Amongst community. Eyes watching. Protected. Covered. Soon to meet and salute the spirits of our mother’s Bitasyon. 🎥: Eziaku Nwokocha #levekanzo #ceremony #rebirth #initiation #manbo #priestess #sisters #vodou #haitianvodou #sosyetenago #jacmel #haiti #kaymaude #ayizan #asson #kolye #ritual #yanvalou  #7sèsakre #journey #lwa #spirituality #asogwe #kanzo