Fundamentals of Voudou
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The soul is a breath of God, part of the human being that makes them who they are. It is entered into the body separately. The soul is within the human body but is not a function of the body. When death occurs, our physical body is considered to be dead because people can no longer connect with what is living. Many religions believe that your soul is a living spirit that continues to live beyond your material death. One of these religions is Voudou. Voudou proposes that the body is born of the soul and soul born of the body. However, the soul is not mutually exclusive the spirit to flesh and flesh to spirit. In the book A Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti the author Maya Deren writes “The moment of death, then, is a separation, forever, of this life force from the flesh, the matter. Once death occurs that is when the human body and our soul is separated.
To Haitians, the term spirit also known as esprit, for the Voudou religion is the understanding of what is visible matter and les Invisibles. In general esprit means “intelliegence”, during an individual life the esprit is known to be the gros-bon-ange, but “un esprit” or “les esprit” refers to the immortal souls of the dead. An individual esprit helps to what the person may think to be right from wrong. During a person life a person gros-bon-ange is hidden away so it is able to be controlled by moral development. The gros-bon-ange is placed in a cup called, a Govi. Then it is covered and sent to a temple with a mambo or disinterested individual, who will break the Govi at death to release the gros-bon-ange. A person desire to eternal commitment to good, is known to be the ti-bon-ange, and understands this to be one of the constant cosmos. Once the material body is dead, gros-bon-ange is released and return to the place of origin, a mystical location, and the ti-bon-ange must be removed from the body within 9 days.
The ceremony, retirer d’en bas de l’eau is done for the reclamation of a person soul after death. This ceremony if very expensive, as it requires the purchases of offerings, and the involvement from the houngan, other known as the mambo, who has the power to control les Invisibles.
The gros-bon-ange during life can temporarily be displaced by the loa, les msteres. There are approximately 400 common Loa that can be unisex, who are messengers of God. The absence of the gros-bon-ange and the relevance of the Loa, can only take place through possession. During possession, a person is completely unaware of what is happening to them. There is no set Loa, the spirits of the Loa change depending on the person they possess and takes part in the contemporary moment. When a person is connecting between what is known to be the spiritual world and the material world, this divine manifestation is occurring to relay a message for the community. Divinity is created through the process of abstraction. Divinity is created through the process of abstraction.
As mentioned before the Les Invisibles is seen through the Cosmic Mirror and the corpse on the cross-road. Before a person dies, they look back to where they are leaving and then cross the threshold to the spiritual