Custom Work and Services offered by Mambo Chita Tann (Mambo T)
In addition to leson (card readings) and wanga (magic work) geared to individual clients, Mambo T offers other services as one of Haitian Vodou’s asogwe priests. If you are interested in in-depth work, or taking part in ceremonies or services, contact Mambo T directly to discuss the possibilities.
Most of the time, Mambo T begins 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 for custom work are not listed here because they vary depending on each client’s needs. Costs for initiations or ceremonies vary depending on 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 membership, or initiation in a Haitian Vodou sosyete, 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,” a magical focus) to protect a person from harm. A gad is given directly to a client’s body, either via a drink made of herbs and other substances, or through tiny cuts in a person’s skin, packed with herbs. A gad is given as part of a larger ceremony to honor the gad spirit. Each gad owner must make a thanksgiving and renewal service to their gad spirit at their own expense 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 Lwa for help, or give thanks for help already received, you can ask Mambo T to convene a service for you with her sosyete at any time except Sundays, during Lent, and between December 25-January 6. Your presence is not necessary for a ceremony if you cannot come, though you are encouraged 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 the sosyete to convene a service just for you, there will be costs involved, just as there are for holding any sort of public event. Elaborate services involve a dance with sosyete and guests; all 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 several areas where we have members (including the Pacific Northwest, California (LA and SF Bay areas), New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New Orleans.) We can also convene ceremonies in Haiti at the La Pleine family lakou, or any other location with a suitable venue.
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 blessings and benefits to the human partner. Men and women can marry Lwa, though some Lwa have rules about whom they marry (e.g., Ezili Freda does not marry women) and others require multiple marriages (e.g., those who marry an Ogou usually also marry Danbala or Zaka; men who marry Ezili Freda generally 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 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 them 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 Lwa.
Pwen Cho (“Hot Points”)
A pwen cho (sometimes called pwen achte, or “bought point”) is a magical object containing a particular spirit that will serve and protect its owner. Mambos and Houngans 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 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, 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 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 and 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 sometimes 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 guardian Lwa is, how to serve that spirit, and prepares them for Vodou service and possession by Lwa. Sevis Tet confers powerful spiritual balance, protection, and blessing. Mambo T offers Sevis Tet as an group ceremony for Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè members, with the assistance of other houngans and mambos in the 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, the ritual seclusion, of candidates inside a djevo, the 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. Their heads are ritually washed and prepared to cleanse and balance, and spiritually prepared to reinforce the connection between each candidate and their spirits.
When they emerge from seclusion, Sevis Tet candidates are baptized as hounsi senp (“simple hounsi,” non-kanzo initiates) of Sosyete Fòs Fè Yo Wè. No other ceremony is necessary, unless one is called to become hounsi kanzo, or a mambo or houngan. These initiatory ranks require kanzo, an initiation that can only be performed in Haiti, in 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. The vast majority of Vodouisants, inside and outside Haiti, serve the 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, and 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 June 2017, and our next Sevis Tet is currently being planned for some time in 2018.
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 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 wanga cost). If you would like to request a custom wanga, please contact the Mambo.