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SisterBridget

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Table Description:  Voodoo Phrases & Alt Names (in Mambo's Tradition - may differ from other voodoo traditions).
NAME/PHRASE v PRONUNCIATION ALT NAMES/SAINTS/MEANINGS
Agwe (Agoue, Agouet)Ogg-wayThe Loa Agwe is the personification of the ocean, and the patron of sailors and fishermen. Rituals for Agoue are held near the sea, and offerings to him are floated on rafts or small boats. He is associated with St. Ulrich. Alternate Spellings: Agoué, Agoue
Alegbaah leg BaaThe most powerful lwa, he guards the gateway between the material and spiritual worlds. Those wishing to communicate with other lwa first must honor him through ritual and offerings. Aka - Papa Legba, Legba, Atibon Alebga, Elegba, Eshu
Assonah-sahnThe Asson is a sacred ceremonial rattle owned by the Houngans, (priests) and Mambos (priestesses) of Vodoun. It is made from a gourd decorated with beads and snake bones. The Asson represents the Chief Loa, Damballah, and the sound mimics the serpent language of Damballa. It is used in ritual to call the Loas. Aside from its ritual use, the asson serves as a symbol of the authority of the Houngan or Mambo. To be "given the Asson" means to be ordained a priest or priestess.
Ayibobo Expression that is the equivalent to "amen"
Baron Samedibah-rOHN sahm-DEEThe Loa of death, the ruler of the Guede (Gede) family of Loas, and the keeper of the gates between the worlds. Baron Samedi is one of the Ghedes (Gedes, Guédés), related to and intertwined with Baron Cemetière and Baron La Croix. He is a Guédé of the Americas, bridging the Guédés and Legba. Both are guardians of the crossroads, the place where spirits cross over into our world. If the intercessions desired are with the loa, then Legba is saluted and asked to allow the loa to participate. If the intercessions are with the dead, then Guédé (Ghede) is the intercessor. Baron Samedi is usually seen wearing top hat, black coat tails, sunglasses, and smoking a cigar.
Bokor (boko)baw-kawrA houngan who practices black magic. There are few, if any female bokor. A bokor or boko is a sorcerer who performs Spiritual Work for clients in return for gifts or money.  What separates them from other practitioners is that, in general, they "work with both hands."  In other words, they will perform many rituals involving black magick & will-control that most other initiated Vodou practitioners will not.   
Chango (Shango)Shan-goIn Santeria/Lukumi, Chango is the Orisha associated with St. Barbara. Chango is the Orisha of fire, lightning and dance. He avenges theft and other crimes. He is one of the five warriors, with Ellegua, Ogun, Ochosi, and Oshun. Chango's colors are red and white, and his symbol is a double-headed axe. Alternate Spellings: Shango, Shongo, Xango, Sango
Congo (Kongo)con-GOAn important region of equatorial Africa. To Haitian Voudoun it has given - along with many people - distinctive ritual, drums, dances. The Congo Loa have been influenced by Petro.
Creolecree' olePertaining to the people, language and customs of Haiti; also used with reference to other cultures both West Indian and Latin American. This word comes through the French from a Spanish word meaning "born outside the homeland." Descendents of French, Spanish, and Carribean slaves and natives; also come to mean any person whose ancestry derives from the mixed nationalities in the Carribean.
Cymbie (Simbi)Sa Bee One of the three cosmic serpents of Haitian voodoo-religion, this magical and powerful Water-Snake Loa, who is served with both Rada and Petro rites. Protector of magicians and an extremely powerful sorceror. SEE ALSO Simbee
Djab Powerful but wild spirit; may have both good and bad potential
Djevo Chamber within the hounfò in which neophytes are initiated
Erzulieer zoo leeMaîtresse Erzulie, Erzli, Erzulie Frieda Dahomey
Fet Gede (Fet Ghede)GAY-dayNovember 2, All Souls' Day, is a national holiday is observed in Haiti. The first of two days of November are devoted to the Gede (Ghede), who are feted for most of the month of November. One of the most important Vodou holidays in the country, but especially in the capital, Vodouists go to cemeteries to pray with food, coffee and peppered alcohol, to light candles and to put fresh flowers on graves, and then dance all night at 'peristyles' or Vodou temples.
Gede (Ghede)GAY-day (Guédé)Ghede is the god of the dead in voodoo, but it is also the name of the group of deities who belong to his retinue. He is a very wise man for his knowledge is an accumulation of the knowledge of all the deceased. The Gede (Ghede) group are the lwa of death. These lwa are also known for their extreme sense of humour, and fondness for 'rude jokes'. Some also recognise these lwa as the protectors of children and childbirth, indicating the ever-present link of death and birth/rebirth. This family includes Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte. One of the 3 Nations of Lwa which include: the Rada lwa, the Petro lwa and the Gede (Ghede) lwa.
Gran Met The one supreme spiritual force in Voodoo, viewed as similar to the Christian God, insofar as the Gran Met is seen both as a force and a cognitive being.
Gris grisgree greeGris gris, or "Mojo bags" are small folk magick charms used in the folk practice of Hoodoo. Gris-gris are small cloth bags or pouches filled with herbs or other ingredients, used as charms for a variety of purposes including protection, attracting love or money, etc.
Gros bon angegrow-bon-OngheTranslates as 'great good angel'. The personal soul which animates the human body. The gro-bon-ange is an individual immortal soul and can pass through stages eventually becoming a loa.
Hoodoowho-dooAn African-American tradition of folk magic, herbal medicine and conjuring; not related to Vodou.
Hounforhoon-fourStrictly, the inner sanctuary or altar-room of a site where the religion of Voudoun is practiced. In a general sense, it is understood to mean the whole site: the inner sanctuary, the peristyle, the dwelling of the houngan and probably some sacred trees, cairns or other landmarks. One must judge by the context.
Hounganhoon-janA Houngan is an initiated High Priest of Vodoun.
Hounsi kanzo Initiate of the Vodou who has undergone the rite of kanzo
Kanzo The initiation ceremony of fire for those moving into a very serious level of Voodoo practice. Follows three grades - Asogwe, Soupwen, and Senp
La Flambeau Literally "The Torch." This title is added to the names of certain Rada Loa when a Petro cult invokes an especially fiery form of their power. So we have Damballah-La-Flambeau, Ogoun-La Flambeau, and the Dahoman Loa Amine-Gatigal becomes Amine-Gatigal-La-Flambeau.
Lave Tetlavv tet Translates to "washing of the head". An initiation ceremony held for serviteurs after they have been mounted for the first time.
Loa (Loas)Low-ahThe Loas (from the French, 'lois,' meaning "law") are the 'deities' of Vodoun. Similar to (and sometimes identical to) the Orishas of Santeria, they are considered not gods unto themselves, but emanations of a supreme being, as well as evolved spirits of the dead. The lwa are separated into three basic Nations (or groups): the RADA lwa, the PETRO lwa, and the GEDE (GHEDE) lwa. SEE ALSO: Lwa
Lwa (Lwas)L-WahSEE ALSO: Loas or Mysterés
Maman Brigittema mon Bree GeeteBrigitte is the Loa of Cemeteries, money, and death. She may be related to the Celtic goddess Brigit, as her name is Irish in origin, and she is usually depicted as a white woman. Her color is purple, and her sacrificial animal is a black chicken. She is married to Baron.
MamboMom-bowA Mambo in initiated High Priestess of Vodoun.
Mange Loa "A feeding of the Loa." Strictly, every Voudoun ceremony at which offerings are made - birds, a goat and chickens, even a bull, and always accompanying offerings such as drinks, syrups, cakes - is a feeding of the Loa, an augmentation of their powers at earth level. The term "mange Loa," however, is most notably applied to a great annual or biennial feasting of all the Loa, which may well take a week to complete and which involves numerous offerings and services. If this feasting is held at the harvest time, it will be inaugurated with the "ceremonie-yam."
Marassa The Marassa loas, or divine twins (Sacred Twins), are the embodiment of the elemental forces of the universe, much as the yin and yang in eastern religion- sun and moon, hot and cold- complementary, inseperable, polarized forces. They are one of the most ancient elements of Vodou, derived from ancient African beliefs. The Veve, or invocational symbol of the Marassa has three firgures, and symbolizes the mystery of duality- unity, harmony, balance. Alternate Spellings: Twins, Mawu-liza, Ibeyi, Marassa Dossou, Marassa Dossa
Marie Laveau The most well known American voodoo priestess to have lived to date. She is buried at St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans and is credited with almost single-handedly being responsible for the flourish of Voodoo in America today. Her unique powers caused her to be sought out by women and men of wealth and power in New Orleans, seeking her special brand of Voodoo magick. Today, her tomb is a focal point of special wishes and offerings by New Orleanians swearing that she still grants her favors even today. She is most famous for granting love wishes.
Met Tet Translates as "master of the head"; the lwa who rules an initiates head. A person who knows who their met tet is is said to be a "child" of that lwa. As a child of that lwa, the respect and responsibility that goes with being the child of anyone is in place. Also it is considered someone bad form to ask someone "Who is your met tet?" This comes from suspicion over WHY the person is asking such a question, i.e., do you plan to try to ply my met tet with gifts and goodies and hope that they will turn against me in some way? A far more acceptable question is to ask "Who do you serve?" It is a small difference, right? However, it is just considered better form and seems less invasive, though the answer to the question remains the same.
Mysterés (Les Mysterés) A term to refer to the loa and sacred knowledge.
Ogounoh goon; oh GunThe lwa Ogoun (Ogun) is the chief of the warriors, the Orisha or Loa of War, blood, and iron. He is the guardian of the forge, and the patron of civilization and technology. In Vodou, his aspects are Ogoun feray (Fer, feraille) and Ogoun Badagris. he is associated with the Catholic St. Jaques. Ogoun is similar in many ways to the Greek God Mars. Alternate Spellings: Ogun, Ogou, Oggun
Orisha (Orishas) Similar to the Haitian Lwa, the Orishas are the dieties of Yoruba / Ifa religion, practiced in West Africa. The belief systems include Candomble in Brazil, and Santería and Luccumi in Cuba and Puerto Rico among others. AKA Seven African Powers
Ouangawan gahA charm powerful used in Voodoo magic. Can be malevolent or powered by your desires. Also spelled wanga.
Petro The Petro group is made up of many more contemporary lwa, and is seen as protective, aggressive, and magically very potent. Some examples are Marinette, Legba Petro (the petro avatar of the Rada group's Papa Legba), Erzulie Dantor (not the same as Erzulie Freda), Gran Bwa and Simbi Makaya. These lwa came to prominence during the Haitian Revolution. One of the 3 Nations of Lwa which include: the Rada lwa, the Petro lwa and the Gede (Ghede) lwa.
Pwen Translates to "point lwa". Mambo's or Houngans who wish full initiation must know their pwen - whose point, or patronage, they will enter.
Rada The Rada pantheon is the family of spirits generally seen as beneficient. Some members of this family are Legba, Damballah, Ayida Wedo, La Sirene, Erzulie Freda, and the various faces of Ogoun. One of the 3 Nations of Lwa which include: the Rada lwa, the Petro lwa and the Gede (Ghede) lwa.
SimbiSim'bi, Sim'bi d'l'eauOne of the three cosmic serpents of Haitian voodoo-religion, this magical and powerful Water-Snake Loa, who is served with both Rada and Petro rites. Protector of magicians and an extremely powerful sorceror. SEE ALSO Cymbie
T'm'aiderTmeh-DAYT'm'aider is french for "please help me" or "aid me". Often used when petitioning a lwa as in, "Papa Legba, T'm'aider"
Ti bon angetee bon OngheTranslates as 'little good angel'. Part of the soul of an individual, it is the changeless, impersonal cosmic consciousness. Upon the death of the individual the ti-bon-ange rejoins the cosmic forces and can be reused.
Veve (Vever)Vayv or vay-vayVeves are intricate symbols of the Loas (spirits), and are used in rituals. Each Loa has his or her own complex veve, which is traced on the ground with powdered eggshell or cornmeal prior to a ritual.
VodouVo-DOU (Vo" as in "toe", and "dou" as in "you")Haitian pronunciation of Voodoo. Spellings like Vodoun, Voudun, Vodun, and so forth, confuse people - in French orthography, a final 'n' is frequently silent. "Vodou" is the generally accepted spelling in Haiti - "Voodoo" is generally thought of as an American-ization. SEE ALSO: Voodoo
Vodouisant Practitioners of Vodou, whether initiated or not.
Vodouisant Practitioners of Vodou, whether initiated or not. Vodouisants may serve as many lwa as they wish.
VoodoovOO dOO"Voodoo" is generally thought of as an American-ization of "Vodou", the Haitian pronunciation of Voodoo. Spellings like Vodoun, Voudun, Vodun, and so forth, confuse people - in French orthography, a final 'n' is frequently silent. "Vodou" is the generally accepted spelling in Haiti - SEE ALSO: Vodou


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