As with many Afro-Carribean spiritual traditions, Vodou emphasizes ancestor service. Biological, spiritual, and other ancestors are served within the Vodou tradition. Our ancestors guide us, warn us, and assist us in furthering our personal spiritual development.
Your ancestors may include deceased birth parents, relatives, adopted parents (if you were an adopted child), close friends, and those of your spiritual lineage. You can even honor the first ancestor and all your ancestors all the way back to the beginning of time. Ancestors are naturally a part of you and are easiest to serve.
You should research your family tree. Look through your lineage and learn about yourself. Know yourself, as knowing yourself will give you the most benefits when you choose to serve. Where do you come from? Is your family from England, Scotland, Puerto Rico, or what? If you have deceased ancestors that you knew in life, ask yourself questions as to what you know about them.
Vodou service is a reciprical action. A Vodouisant serves in order to be served in return. The spirits bless with luck, wealth, health, abundance, and resolve. When dealing with personal ancestors, you should try to realize what it was that these persons ate during their lifetime. Their favorite foods, perfumes, jewelry or other items. You will serve the spirits things that they enjoy and they will enrich your life greatly.
Ancestor service is some of the easiest! Most things that you will need, you will be able to find in your home. You will need a white altar cloth, a small altar, and a large glass of water. A brandy snifter is preferable. A few white taper candles will be good too.
You should set up your altar on a low table, if possible. Do not keep this table in your bedroom. You can even set up the space on the floor if you’d like. Place pictures of deceased relatives on the altar after you have placed your altar cloth on it. The pictures should only have deceased individuals in them. Place the large glass in the center, filled with cool fresh water to the brim.
Next you should pray opening prayers to God. The Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Apostle’s Creed are standards. Then begin to talk to your ancestors. Lite white candles for them and give them light. Libate water on the ground three times, give them refreshment.
Sit with them and ask for their elevation. Ask that they become strong and powerful so that they can help you become powerful too. Sit with your ancestors and do a remembrance of them for a while. Then blow out your candles.
Do this everyday for about a month. You will see that things will start to smoothen out in your life. Everything will seem to be getting easier. Eventually, you will want to do bigger ancestor service, and I will teach you how to do that in next month’s issue.
If you would like to know more about ancestor service, go to the following site: http://www.ezilikonnen.com/ancestors/index.html
To see how I served my ancestors who followed another Carribean tradition, click here:
Houngan Hector is a Senior Vodou Priest (Houngan) initiated in Port-Au-Prince Haiti. He has been resolving problems for his clients through the beautiful Vodou tradition for over 9 years. Residing in NJ, Houngan Hector leads his own Vodou Sosyete (society) as well as consults clients on a daily basis. His website is located at www.ezilikonnen.com and he can be reached at [email protected]