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The Haitian Vodou Handbook: Protocols for Riding with the Lwa

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"This highly readable book will be valuable to every reader interested in Haitian Vodou, and essential for those who want to make the transition from intellectual knowledge to personal experience of a profound and unfairly neglected religion.”
--John Michael Greer, author of The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, A World Full of Gods, and The Druidry Handbook

The Haitian Vodo
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 10th 2006 by Destiny Books
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Mina Villalobos
Jan 18, 2009 Mina Villalobos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
This book is a great starting point if you're curious about Voodoo. It's very respectful of Voodoo and all other religions, very clear in it's language and it offers a historic background of the religion, from the history of Haitian politics and society that practices it, and the origins of each Lwa. I found it very informative and interesting, and has made me curious to read more about other African American and mulato practices. I know Santeria is practiced in Mexico, but it's mostly in the so ...more
Steve Cran
Say the word vodou and the average persons mind conjures up all sorts of dark images. It could be anything from human sacrifice, hexing dolls and even drinking blood. Such a picture is far from the truth. Vodou works with the Loa or what is called the spirits. They are by and large benevolent and caring. Of course there are bad spirits out there but the ones listed in this book are for the most part good. The lowa will grant you your request but they will ask for some favor in return. Keep your ...more
Aug 24, 2009 Grantimatter rated it really liked it
This is the antidote to Chris Hyatt's execrable Urban Voodoo. Hyatt mish-moshed chaos magick, left-hand ritual occultism and oooo spooooky exoticism into a skeletal African-syncretic framework that could probably have come from a decent encyclopedia article on Candomble (or maybe a BBC documentary). Despite having a Norse rune for a first name, Kenaz Filan does shockingly well avoiding that kind of appropriation. When he's adapting a Vodou ritual practice to an urban American neo-pagan lifestyle ...more
Sep 26, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it
Consider this fair warning. I'm studying Vodou and I'm no longer to be trifled with.

Trifle at your own risk.
Sep 11, 2011 Cameron rated it liked it
Shelves: occult
This opened my eyes to the world of Voodou from an insider's viewpoint to a reader or amateur, giving information on some main deities and practices. It is well-written, practical, and insightful. I would only ask about the method of containing the spirit and the lack of filtering, rather than letting whatever comes to possess you. I would like to know more about the designs of the lwa (loa) symbols and integrate some of these practices with my own.
Nov 03, 2008 Ali rated it really liked it
Interesting reference for the basic principles of Voodoo.
Sep 09, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I have to admit to knowing very little about Vodou prior to reading "The Haitian Vodou Handbook" by Kenaz Filan but approached the subject with an open mind. I found the book easy to read with a nice flow and the author also incorporated some of his own real life experiences.

Divided into four parts, the book covers the history of Haiti and Vodou, current day practice, the Lwa (the Spirits of Haitian Vodou) and ceremonies. There is also a glossary together with a wealth of resources. You will al
Dec 04, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult
Completely agree on evaluating this book as a masterpiece. Note that it was written not by journalist, but by Houngan (priest).

Honest, intelligent, straightforward, covering all aspects that could be covered without initiation, helpful for those who are interested in practicing Vodou and serving the lwa (as opposed to trying to use spitits), fair warning and a good reality check for those who know almost nothing about Vodou. Interesting reading even for general education.

Warning introduction, h
Dec 01, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This book is an incredibly interesting and respectful read from a rather prolific Houngan. It doesn't exclude Haitian history from Vodou's structure, and contains many good resources from which one can learn more about the religion (including suggestions on how to find a Mambo or Houngan as a teacher).

Filan is even open about the fact that some Vodouisants may not agree with his view of "solitary Vodou practice," but he is just as adamant in maintaining that Vodou is a constantly-changing tradi
Jul 19, 2015 Min rated it really liked it
This is a clear, concise and pleasant primer about Haitian Vodou. I enjoy his direct writing style, and realization of the importance of placing a tradition within historical context, thereby giving a solid grounding for much of the practice. Also, I appreciate his constant reminder that this book is a stepping stone into a tradition, and that it is not about teaching anything dangerous or harmful to oneself or others.
He approaches the flexibility, and power of the spirits quite well. This book
Apr 22, 2014 Cecily rated it really liked it
Filan as usual does a great job of combining history and cultural understanding with a practical guide for spiritual practices. He gives us an overview of Haitian history with a little anti-racism perspective. There were times when he was too soft on racist colonizers and Pagans. But overall it was a good beginning guide to the background, practices and spirits of Vodou.
Jan 25, 2014 Alex added it
Shelves: non-fiction, spooky
This was the first book I ever read on Haitian vodou a bunch of years ago. Good primer from a really well-read Houngan. Filan knows the stuff they write about in and out and presents it in a personable and easy to read way.
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