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Relationships 3: Spirits

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Relationships are subjective, individually unique, and complex depending on personalities involved. Let this be a guide and not a literalist Bible. Ask yourself first, “What are my earth relationships like?” The spirit world is a mirror. “What do I like and dislike about my relationships? Do I keep them long-term? Short-term? Am I a business person? An emotional person? Do I lose interest easily?” These questions should all be considered prior to establishing relationships with spirits if one wishes to know what they are intending to accomplish and maintain.

Personal biases should be brought to awareness. Beauty is truth but truth is not always beauty. Considering our biases keeps our logic in its proper sequence. The following is paraphrased from the work of social psychologist Amy Cuddy. How we see others can be summarized as: warm and competent in which we admire, warm and incompetent in which we pity, cold and competent in which we envy, or cold and incompetent in which we have contempt. This is often also the case with Spirits. If a Spirit responds to someone, manifests perfectly what work is needed or otherwise tangibly reciprocates, admiration often flips to worship or obsession. If a Spirit is reached out to and nothing happens, a problem or some other type of contempt is often assumed. Try to avoid this. Practice being aware of these automatic subconscious biases with humans, so it will be easier to avoid with Spirits.

Other biases include confirmation bias, which is focusing on information that affirms one’s views about a Spirit and rejecting other contradictory information. This bias may physically appear like in the example of someone saying pennies are magical signs, and so suddenly one begins seeing pennies everywhere. The pennies were always there, attention had just never been focused on them prior. People have subconscious bias towards what confirms their thoughts and does not challenge them. The halo/horn bias is when we assume someone is generally good or bad based on a single trait. This manifests as a person or Spirit not completing a task, and thereafter that Spirit or person is assumed to not complete any task, regardless of task variety. This may also manifest as discrimination towards one particular person or Spirit who has completed a task, and so thereafter every task is placed there and expected to be completed the same. This is not reality.

The moment someone says, “me too,” a friend is made. Humans bond easiest over shared passions and interests. This is why we should seek out humans who have as many points in common with us as possible if we want strong authentic bonds. Unfortunately, humans often struggle with identity confusion and genuinely do not understand their own thoughts, feelings, or passions. The confusion is not an identity itself, and instead of being worn as such it should be addressed by individual introspection. This is why many spiritual workers will advise you to not chase after Spirits or pick them like candidates in a reality show but allow Spirits to choose you and come to you. It is easier for Spirits to see the true you and know you have points in common. Points that even you may not be aware of yet. Let them choose you.

Furthermore, if Bobby tells you that there’s a John on the other side of town that has the toolbox and is into the same antique truck builds you are, do you run over there alone, find John's house, and knock on the door yelling for him to show you his trucks and let you borrow his tools? No. So, why do people think this is appropriate with Spirits? Ask someone to introduce you who is already acquainted and has good experiences with the Spirit you wish to make friends with if you are not comfortable navigating friendship creation alone.

So, what are appropriate ways to initiate a relationship with a Spirit? If you have no one to introduce you, then you introduce yourself respectfully. Start by keeping an open mind. There are a thousand versions of our own personality in the minds of everyone we’ve met. If I ask a client, a supervisor, a best friend, an ex-lover, a classmate, and a spouse about someone's personality I will likely hear different stories. We all interact differently with others depending on the environment, context and relationship dynamic. Spirits are the same. Study the Spirit. Look at art, read articles, talk to people, learn about the Spirits culture and traditions but for goodness's sake keep an open mind. Sometimes that's all it takes for the Spirit to come to you. If it does not, don’t stress. Make a simple space and put out a tea light and water, casually talk and introduce yourself. “I love x, y, z about you. I also love this or that which you do. These are my dreams and spiritual aspirations. I would love to get to know you.” These are appropriate talking points. Do not make requests or become impatient. This can take up to a year or more but tends to establish a strong relationship once it manifests. This is very casual, very slow, and is the way I established many of my relationships alongside making the Spirit artwork. I did not get any manifestation from one Lwa for about six years as a devotee prior to formal training! I did not get upset. I kept acknowledging every so often, maybe once a month or even once a year, respectfully. One day, BOOM! And I was so taken aback I thought to myself wow he never disliked me it just was not right time or place or reason.

To quote the book I love very much, Ti Limye' Sou Vodou,

"There should not be a slave-master relationship between man and Lwa. You can be like mother and child, siblings, husband and wife, business partners or like friends. Live with the Lwa like you'd live with anybody else. Ask the Lwa to go with you when you're going to different places and activities like you'd do with any friend. Share food with the Lwa like you'd do with any friend. Ask for advice, just remember that you cannot lie to the Lwa."

As you can see, understanding healthy relationships in real life mirrors your Lwa relationships. You also can choose to lie to them! As a being of Free-Will you can try! I do not recommend this however as they will slowly pull back working for you and pull back blessings. Boko's who work sorcery focused on forced servitude are specialists in the art of lying to various Lwa and people. It is a slippery slope into becoming parasitic or vampiric.

"The Lwa are supposed to help people live in harmony. Taking care of the Lwa is a great responsibility. Don't do it if you're not ready for it. The Lwa live a lot longer than us. This means you will go and leave them behind. So, you need to prepare someone to take care of the Lwa after you are gone. Or you can put them somewhere near a source of water, river, or the ocean before you leave. "

"Each person already has a Lwa associated with him or her. This does not mean you cannot choose an Lwa as well. You can try to find an Lwa that's more like you and tell them you want to be their friend. You can also ask for the Lwa that loves you to show himself/herself to you. Sometimes, it is the Lwa that chooses a person to work with him/her. In cases like this, we say the person has been claimed. This is not just something they just do like that. There are many reasons the Lwa would claim someone. Firstly, when an Lwa claims you it is one of the biggest blessings you could receive. The Lwa would claim you when they see in you someone who could help them accomplish the Divine work they're here to do, or when Life has guided them to you so they can help you in your mission here. You can refuse the call, but you also risk the chance of missing the opportunity to accomplish your mission here. When the Lwa claim you, they would just come to talk to you straight up. It could be through a dream, or they would talk to you through the mouth of someone else (possession). They would NOT send a messenger to you for this. As we have said before, there is no "obligation" in Vodou."

"The Lwa can be useful to everyone, no matter how many there are. They belong to NO ONE, and yet are available to EVERYONE."

"The group of Lwa that works with your family never really leave. They may stay quiet because a generation has chosen to ignore them or reject them, but anyone in the family who wishes to reconnect can do so."

"You can ask elders in your family to share with you which Lwa works with your family. You can ask the Lwa to show themselves to you."

"- Light up a white candle for 9 days every night next to a white small container filled with water. Before you go to sleep ask them to come visit you and be ready to sleep by 9. Have the small white container next to your head when you sleep. You must also take a shower before going to sleep."

-from the book Ti Limye' Sou Vodou written by a team of Ougans, Manbos, and Emporers in Haiti. It is only written in French and Creole, and I am blessed to have english translation help from my lovely friend Nickson. I much prefer to let elders of Vodou speak for their selves and be their hype man versus use my own words even when they parallel.

You can always reach out to a Ougan or Manbo if a Spirit comes to you. Then you can invite them to eat with you, which will be a different post.

Another fast way for those of you with a Catholic background, as much as I have a personal aversion to it, is to pray 15 decades of the Hail Mary while sitting with the Spirits space. Each decade is ten Hail Marys equaling 150 Hail Marys, which is the number of psalms in the Bible. This should not be rushed. If it works for you and that is what you are comfortable with, that is all that matters.

The steps to praying the Rosary are:

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”

  2. Say the “Our Father”

  3. Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity

  4. Say the “Glory Be”

  5. Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”

  6. Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery

  7. Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)

  8. Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.

  9. Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”

  10. . Make the “Sign of the Cross”

Rosary instructions referenced from

May this be helpful to those with honest intentions with the Lwa

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