What am I doing here?

If anyone had told me ten years ago that I would even be considering converting to Vodou, I would have thought they were full of horsepucky. I didn’t know much about the religion, but I knew the rituals included practices I was staunchly against: possession and animal sacrifice.

Firstly, as a Wiccan, I was taught to never allow an entity to enter my body. This was viewed as an invitation to problem possessions.  Secondly, I am, in some ways, an extreme animal lover. By extreme, I mean that I value some animal life as much or more than some human life. Conversely, I am not a vegetarian. This may seem contradictory to some. My view is that I love animals and respect their way of life. Animals kill to live. I am no better than them, I kill to live. I do not consider this a sin as long as an animal is killed quickly and there is minimal waste. These are my beliefs.

I have since learned that, in Vodou, possession is a desirable thing, a way to interact directly with the spirits. It is also temporary and, in the presence of an experienced mambo or houngan, safe. The possessed person, or “horse,” is not harmed.

Animals that are sacrificed are later eaten, so there is little or no waste. Killing an animal during ritual and then eating it is simply more honest and direct than me purchasing chicken at a local market that someone else has killed. So I have no right to criticize.

At this time I have no plans to sacrifice any animals, and there are certain animals that I don’t think I could kill personally, but if, in the future, I am tasked with the killing of an animal I normally consume as food, I will have to consider it.

The next several posts will review what led me to my current path.

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