by: Sallie Ann Glassman
I have always seen the world this way: nothing is static or solid. The surface of things is just that – the surface of a mirror, below which is a nearly visible flow of beautiful, intelligent energy.
I wasn’t always a Vodou priestess. I remember seeing a book about Vodou on a friend’s shelf and being scandalized. Wasn’t Vodou evil? I thought it would jeopardize my immortal soul to even say the word. But at some point, I started to wonder why I was so afraid of something I knew nothing about. Maybe I was afraid of the keys to my own power that Vodou was offering me. The more I learned about Vodou, the more I realized what a beautiful, life-affirming religion it is. Somehow, seeing that book triggered a real sea-change in my life, though at the time I had no idea it was Spirit calling me.
It wasn’t until I traveled to Haiti in 1995 to undergo a 6-day long initiation into the priesthood of Vodou that I found myself surrounded by a whole country of people who were also swimming in the deep spiritual waters of Guinen, the magic island under the sea that is the spiritual home of Vodou. That invisible spiritual sea is beyond limit, full of potential and power, and is available to everyone, everywhere, at all times. I’m living there myself and you’re soaking in it now. The Waters of Guinen carry freedom and power in their tides. It did so for African slaves taken into bondage in the Americas and it has the ability to do so now for those who sense a world beneath the surface, but find themselves in bondage to – as James Joyce called it, “The ineluctable modality of the visual.” (Ulysses). We are all children of Spirit. Deep within the surface of skin color, nationality, gender, identity, job, class, we are all children of Spirit. In a world enslaved to cellphones, email, tv, and social media, Vodou reminds us daily to honor Mother Nature – fire, water, air, earth – the elements that sustain, support, and buoy us. Vodou challenges us to remember who we are, what matters, where true power lies, what life means, what each one of us and every part and moment of the universe is made of: divine substance and worthy of the deepest respect and reverence. What we experience as sacred.
Vodou ceremony is a road map or technology, encoded in dance, music, song, rhythm, art and ritual gesture – a ritual formulary – for opening the floodgates between the Visible and Invisible worlds and applying the theorems of Quantum Physics to the human scale.
You there. Available to you is access to a world of extraordinary beauty and potential. The sources of your being reach way down deep, under the Waters, to Guinen. We are all standing at the Crossroads between worlds, where Magic happens. Let’s go for a swim!