22 September 2017

So What About Voodoo?

First off, lets call it vodou or vodun, voodoo is a corruption, and there's the rub. Voodoo is the word you use to describe a brand of donut, or a mountain bike, or a club promotion. I've been finding it difficult where to start out with this strand of discussion, after over a decade I realise it should start there.

Imagine that there was a Jyoodayzm Donuts, or a Katholik Mountain Bike or a Hinndou Club Night. How would worshippers in the specific religions whose names are corrupted there feel about the appropriation and association? Less chilled, I imagine, than practitioners of vodun, as far as I can tell they just don't talk about it, let alone get up in arms about the zany, dangerous branding mark their religion has been rendered to in Western society.

Having spent some time and done some research I think the reason for that is all to do with the latent power such casual misappropriation delivers back to them. Vodun uses, song, chant, repetition, rhythm, life and sweat to do its work. Repeating its name in whatever context flows that power back to the mighty river, so the practitioners and respectful observers of this spiritual powerhouse will tell you.

I'm a full on born again Discordian (or maybe it was just a dodgy No Hot Dog Bun round my Friday hot dog), this does not preclude me from also getting my vodun on. But I don't. Am I a non-believer?

I don't think that's my problem here. Actually if I was a proper non-believer I would have no problem dabbling. I would dabble in lots of things if I were a non-believer, because I wouldn't believe that it could do any harm.

I think, rather, that I don't have the passion to commit to these practices. I am passionate about my Discordianism, especially as I discover that beyond being a faith it is also a challenge, being a Discordian is not easy.

In fact I don't believe being an anything is easy, but less honest religions arrive at your door saying that if they dunk you in an adult sized font then the Bearded Sky Daddy will insert his own son into your cardiac region and off you go. I mean, come on, that's a con, right? It's a step away from being a Nigerian prince wanting to put $$$ in your bank account.

Vodun, like Discordianism, is not easy, and I respect it too much to pretend.

So, Starfall is my one act of respect to those deities and also to the dark gods that lurk in Britain's past (and more on them later). One of the points of Starfall is that in the world of loa there isn't much difference between the two.

As I concluded work on the first major edit of Starfall I reckon I could sense that Legba was giving me the nod. It's like Neitzsche said, the mighty things are mirrors. Actually he didn't say that exactly, but the poor guy had his own preoccupations.

As we get closer to Starfall I would like to return to talk more about the relationship the novel made for me with vodun, but for now the man at my shoulder is telling me to still my tongue and open my ears. So I shall listen.

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