Custom Work and Services offered by Mambo Chita Tann (Mambo T)
In addition to leson (card readings) and basic wanga (magic work) geared to individual clients, Mambo T offers other services as one of Haitian Vodou’s mambo asogwe priests. If you are interested in in-depth work, or taking part in ceremonies or services, please contact Mambo T directly to discuss the possibilities.
Most of the time, Mambo T begins any work with a reading, to make sure all concerns are addressed, and that the Lwa have had their say. If a question can be answered without a reading, she will offer advice free of charge. Prices are not listed in this section, because they vary depending on a client’s desires and needs. Costs for initiations or ceremonies vary depending on the location, time, and work required. Note: Kanzo and Sevis Tet initiations can be obtained by members of La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè, but we do NOT sell initiations to nonmembers. If you are interested in initiation, or membership in a Haitian Vodou sosyete, please contact Mambo T directly.
Gad (Spirit Guard)
A gad is a special kind of wanga, where a Lwa is invoked and given a pwen (“point,” or magical focus) to protect a person from harm. A gad is given directly to a client’s body, either via a drink made from herbs and other substances, or through tiny ritual cuts in a person’s skin, packed with herbs. A gad is given as part of a larger ceremony to attract and honor the gad spirit. A gad owner must make a thanksgiving and renewal service to their gad spirit at least once a year. Properly maintained, a gad will last a lifetime.
Manje Lwa/Aksyon De Gras (“Feeding Lwa”/”Action of Grace/Thanksgiving”)
Mambo T conducts services and makes offerings to our Lwa on their festivals and other days. If you want to petition a specific Lwa for help, or give thanks for help already received, you can ask Mambo T to convene a service for you at any time except Sundays, during the 40 days of Lent, and between December 25-January 6. Your presence is not necessary for a ceremony if you cannot come, though you are certainly welcome to do so.
A manje lwa or aksyon de gras is traditionally given in the form of a formal Vodou dance. If you are able to fit your needs into an already-scheduled event the sosyete is holding, you could potentially receive this service for free or a small donation, but if you require us to convene a special service just for you, there will be costs involved, just as there are for holding any sort of public party or event. Elaborate services involve a dance with the sosyete and guests; all proper offerings and sacrifices for the Lwa, including professional drummers; and a feast of food, drinks, and desserts. Currently, our sosyete holds private and public ceremonies in the United States in four areas: in California (Greater LA and SF Bay Area), Chicago, IL, and New Orleans, LA. We can also convene ceremonies in Haiti at the La Pleine family lakou, or any other location with a suitable venue, if arranged ahead of time.
Maryaj Lwa (“Marrying a Lwa”)
Click here for photos of our sosyete’s first public Maryaj Lwa!
Occasionally, a person wishes to marry a Lwa, or a Lwa asks for someone’s hand in marriage. Marrying a Lwa is a profound ceremony, resulting in many blessings and benefits to the human partner. Men and women can marry Lwa, though some Lwa have rules about whom they will marry (e.g., Ezili Freda does not marry women) and others require multiple marriages (e.g., those who marry an Ogou usually also marry either Danbala or Zaka; men who marry Ezili Freda generally also marry Ezili Danto, and vice versa). Additionally, some Lwa never enter into marriage. Mambo T observes regleman (lineage regulations), and does not marry anyone to Papa Loko, Ayizan, any Baron, Manman Brijit, or any Gede.
Marrying a Lwa is just like marrying a human being, and comes with similar costs and responsibilities. You will supply wedding clothes and rings for yourself and your Lwa spouse, a cake, and a wedding reception. A marriage contract is signed before a priest and guests in the same manner as a human wedding. In this contract, the Lwa spouse promises blessings in return for your giving him/her promises of service, including offerings, and in most cases the dedication of one night a month to that spirit. On the spirit’s promised night, you will not sleep with any human being, and instead sleep alone in a ritually-prepared space. As you cannot divorce a Lwa, consider this step fully before committing. Remember that there are many other less expensive and less intense ways to serve the Lwa.
Pwen Cho (“Hot Points”)
A pwen cho (sometimes called a pwen achte, or “bought point”) is a magical object created to invoke a particular spirit to serve and protect its owner. Mambos and Houngans traditionally make pwen cho based on clients’ wants and needs. A pwen cho is similar to a gad, but instead of being administered to a client’s body, a pwen cho is housed in a ritual object that its owner must tend, forever afterward. The pwen cho becomes a sort of spiritual servant, offering protection and other benefits. The cost of a pwen cho includes Mambo T’s time and ritual to locate the proper spirit and install it into the pwen, as well as information provided when you receive the pwen, including the spirit’s name, how to call it forth to work for you, and any offerings or sacrifices required to make it work. Important Note: Mambo T does not usually create pwen for non-Vodouisants, unless our lineage spirits give permission, and she reserves the right to decline to create a pwen cho for any reason.
Sevis Tet (“Service for the Head”)
Sevis Tet is a rite of passage or initiation ceremony, more often observed in northern Haitian (non-asson) lineages, that permits people to initiate into Haitian Vodou at a basic level without the time, expense, and responsibility of the more involved kanzo initiation.
Also referred to as kanzwe or lave tet, Sevis Tet in our lineage is a three-day ceremony that helps potential Vodouisants learn who their met tet (“master of the head”) or personal guardian Lwa is, how to serve that spirit, and prepares them for Vodou service and possession by Lwa. Sevis Tet confers spiritual balance, protection, and blessing, and is a beautiful and powerful experience. Mambo T offers Sevis Tet as an optional group ceremony for La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè members, with the assistance of other houngans and mambos in the Vodou lineage she is affiliated with, Sosyete La Fraîcheur Belle Fleur Guinea.
Sevis Tet begins with a ritual to honor sosyete Lwa, and culminates in kouche, or ritual seclusion, of candidates inside a djevo, or sacred temple room. During three days and two nights in the djevo, candidates receive purification, cleansing, and protection, as well as instruction. They are introduced to their met tet and other Lwa, and taught how to serve them. Their heads are ritually washed and prepared, to cleanse and balance, and spiritually prepared to reinforce the connection between each candidate and his or her spirits.
When they emerge from seclusion, Sevis Tet candidates are baptized as hounsi senp (“simple hounsi,” or non-kanzo initiates) of La Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè. No other ceremony is necessary, unless one is called to become a hounsi kanzo, or a mambo or houngan. These initiatory ranks require kanzo, an initiation that can only be performed in Haiti, in separate ceremonies lasting approximately two weeks.
Sevis Tet is often desirable for a Vodouisant to undertake, but initiation of any kind (Sevis Tet or kanzo) is never required. Bear in mind that the vast majority of Vodouisants, inside and outside Haiti, serve their Lwa without any initiation whatsoever.
Sevis Tet is a group ceremony intended for sosyete members who desire to initiate. Mambo T does not offer Sevis Tet to the general public. Once a potential candidate has joined with our sosyete for some time, Mambo T is satisfied that it is an appropriate step in a candidate’s spiritual development – and the Lwa agree – Sevis Tet can be made. Our most recent Sevis Tet was held in October 2013, and our next scheduled Sevis Tet will occur in mid- to late 2016.
Wanga, a word for magic, is the most common “work” done by Vodouisants. Houngans and Mambos know specific wanga to achieve certain ends in life, and offer wanga services to clients. Wanga is usually very effective, but cannot be 100% guaranteed, because only Bondye (God) knows all. However, wanga can be useful as a way to help you achieve your goals. Mambo T starts all potential wanga with a reading (reading price is included in the wanga cost). If you would like to request a custom wanga, please contact the Mambo.