by HRM Axosu Agelogbagan Agbovi
"Vodún is a lifestyle, a mindset coloring daily life, and a way of thinking about the universe. The essence of Vodún is located in ideas of serenity and developing ones se (soul essence) or, as one vodúnvi puts it: "It means to have an open heart." Vodún gives those that follow its way of life (called Vodúnvi and Vodunsi interchangeably) a particular sensitivity to interpret everyday life, and to face its problems day after day, with supplementary help. Vodún, from a western point of view on the contrary is often associated with black magic.
Unable to grasp the inner mindset that Vodún is presenting, the western gaze is mainly- if not only - directed towards the hollywood-ized exotic misinterpretations of Vodún rites and spirit possessions. For a person not able to think with a Vodún paradigm, in landscapes where spirits and ancestors inhabit, it is likely that one can never grasp the Vodún mindset. Nevertheless, in an attempt to demystify Vodún, we will modestly try to shed a glimpse on the inner nature of the observable facts. However, remember that though we may write about Vodún’s esoteric nature, we will never present the actual secrets in printed form. That is reserved for those who have been approved by the deities for training in Vodún kplon or Vodún science."
Ritual Essence has now been expanded to include a section of 800 words used to express Vodun "theological" concepts!
5.5 x 8.5 inches 260 pages.
Table of Contents
The Culture of Ritual 13
Sɛ Gla – Spiritual Empowerment 24
Attuning the Mind of Gbɛtɔ́ Towards Grasping Vodún 26
Vodún Sacred Science 34
Vodún Conception of Universe and Personhood 41
The Search for Happiness 46
Axexe (universe) as a Conscious Reality 60
An Exposition on Sleep, Dreams and Spirituality 73
Human Consciousness through Esoteric Knowledge of Dreams 79
Sleep Paralysis 89
Waking Paralysis 91
Methods of Personal Development 92
Mosin - Spiritual Lenses and the Life View 112
Vodún Tuun: Science of Knowing 116
Getting at the Root of Spirit 123
Spiritual Excercises and How to Use Them 139
Reconnecting Through Your Sɛ (Soul) 149
Positive Spiritual Teacher 164
Exploration of Science of Spirit 174
Shrine Science 192
Shrine Language 193
Akɔta: The Clan 199
Clan Restoration 202
Stewardship in Vodún 208
Sánsì Fɔn: Awakening the Essence 207
Gla alo Bibetin: Power and Refuge 212
Soul Retrieval 217
The Absent Se (Soul) 228
Spirit Contracts and Blójo (Karma) 233
Máwù (“God”) Contracts 233
Blójo and Relationships 239
Blójo (Karmic) Contracts 243
Book dimensions: 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches
* Cover design by the author His Royal Majesty Axosu - Agelogbagan Agbovi I
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Posted by Marita Goldsmith on 14th Jul 2015
Thanks for this book because with it I have a new understanding. I am even starting my practice over because of this info. Most of what was being taught as Vodun did not make sense and this book proves my intuition right.
Posted by Akosiwa Djifa on 14th Jul 2015
The science of our great ancestors found in this book is very much on point and useful. This is a great reference book when trying to get a good working grasp of the whole framework of the Vodun cosmological viee.
Posted by Trace on 6th May 2015
This book is truly great. The title capturres what it is all about. As a psychological therapist I can see using sections of this work as enhancement. I feel like the pages of the Vodun way of life have been open anew for me; me having to rethink what I thought was Vodun. It is unfortunate that this author is the only known African Vodun author to write in such a way that Vodun is actually being taught versus a hodgepodge of other philosophies being thrown together and presented as being Vodun.
Ritual Essence of Vodun is the restart button for us finding our way back to our ancient heritage.
Posted by Yvette on 11th Apr 2015
What an amazing and practical book for us black folks seeking our way spiritually. While reading Ritual Essence of Vodun, I found myself looking inward and motivated to become by best self. The exercises provided in the book are very useful. The concepts are presented in ways that the reader can grasp.
Ritual Essence of Vodun opened my eyes to the beauty and complexities of African cultures and traditions. This is a book that I will keep with me and revisit for years to come.
Posted by Tulani Buti-Miles on 28th Nov 2014
This book overwhelms you but in a good way. The clarity and depth are seemless. The concepts are brought into a living reality. Before reading this book for years I found myself pulled towards Vodun. But I must admit it was kind of always "in the back of my mind". I must have been attracted to the unknown and the perceived power of Vodun but honestly I had no real knowledge of the teachings of Vodun. Honestly, who does who are not practitioners? Then I read this book and read it again and again. I had NO idea that the cosmological and philosophical teachings of Vodun were to this depth. And from talking to actual practitioners in retrospect I wonder if even they know.
Ultimately, this book completely erases the image of Vodun as a simplistic ritual tradition of dancing and blood sacrifice. This book is 260 pages of pure power knowledge. I am no longer at the gate looking in. I have now entered Vodun's holy realm and plan to live my life around it becausr of this book. Recommended highly!
Posted by Unknown on 23rd Oct 2014
Absolutely love it! Never saw spirituality in this way
Posted by Robert Ensley on 7th Oct 2014
The subtitle to this book could not be more on point. It truly does empower you. People often look for rituals to gain power but this book EMpowers you with knowledge yo can carry forth in your everyday life. I am quite thankful and often reference this book daily with my family who are growing in the knowledge of African religions. Recommended.
Posted by Dianne Gross (Akuavi Donsu) on 3rd Sep 2014
This book leaves no door of the African esoteric untouched and is truly specific to Vodun. This gives it a 5 in itself as I have read many books by authors on the subject that claimed they were going to teach on the subject but only about 20% of their book would be actually directly on the subject.
Posted by Damien Roxberry on 3rd Sep 2014
This is the most original work I have read on Vodun and Afrikan spirituality as a whole. The author uses real and verifiable Vodun terminology which for a person like me helps me associate the concepts more with my culture when the same concepts are found in other cultures.
Currently I am fixated on the author's breakdown of the Se which is the soul in Vodu. Before I used to just know in my heart that Vodun was real and ours and that is was ore to it that what I saw on the surface with most of its practitioners. This book, Ritual Essence of Vodun, not only verified that but it has also equipped me with proper info against many of the misrepresentations I am starting to see.I recommend this book as urgently needed reading for serious seekers. I hope to be able to contact the author soon.
Posted by Justice Weat on 14th Aug 2014
I am a very hard critic when it cones to assessing books about our Afrakan traditions. Ritual Essence of Vodun is beyond expectation and should be listed among the masterpieces such as Destruction of Black Civilization, Yurugu and African Origins of Civilization. And with respect to those great elder writers this book goes further in that it not only gets into the deep knowledge of our culture but it provides a great sense of functionality on many levels. I am not talking rituals. I am talking about applying Vodun to everyday life. In this, the only other book on Afrakan tradition that would compare is Kongo Bantu Cosmology by Dr Fukiau. This work is filled with very useful Vodun terminology never presented before. Also, and the author more than likely was not trying this, the book makes me question a lot of info being purported as Afrakan tradition - questions I already had but now confirmed through this work. I have gotten books supposedly on a tradition and then upon reading the book had very little relation to that tradition often borrowing from other traditions. This book is straight up Vodun down the pike.
As I reread this book I may end up leaving another review. The sections on the Vodun understanding of karma, which I found out from the book is called salawa, and how they relates to different aspects of life really cleared up a lot of fog for me. It was almost like sitting for a divination. I highly recommend this book for those ready for the complicated aspects of the Vodun religious culture.
Posted by Nadine Olamedji Akwa on 1st Jun 2014
This book is awesome xs 100! The section on the soul being lodged in other places has flipped my whole view of spirituality. It helps me understand what is going on when I feel a certain way. There are times when your own soul is not completely there with you. I have never seen anyone write on this before, especially from the African perspective. This is a breath of fresh air and to see one of our true scholars and priests break it down from OUR perspective is joyful!
Posted by Sister Kufia Bandele on 23rd Apr 2014
This book is an intellectual as well as spiritual masterpiece. It is forcing a certain honesty within myself. I am only on page 52 but I had to stop to write a review. I will come back later.
This book, without you realizing it at first, literally probes your soul. I can feel my soul step outside of my body and look at me saying "This is what I have been trying to tell you all along". I am very thankful for this MANUAL (this is more than just a book). Long awaited and much appreciated.
Posted by Darren Blackmon on 23rd Apr 2014
There are people that speak highly of the Indian masters and sages but I think I have discovered such a master sage within an African tradition. This book touches every aspect of one's being. I did not know that I would be reading a work that takes me through what I am calling a soul process. There is a profound d section in here that deals with retrieving your soul. Wooooooow! When I saw the title I had no clue what I was about to read. This section alone causes a total reevaluation of what you have been taught to believe about spirituality.
What I truly love about this book is that unlike many other books that I have read on African traditions when speaking in higher science, it does not sound new age nor does it borrow from other religions. The author uses solid Fon terminology that I even cross checked with an elder over in Benin. I will be soon going in for my 2nd reading of this book in only 1 month.
Posted by Sabrina McCullough on 2nd Apr 2014
I went in expecting a great book. No I did not get that. I ended up finding a treasure!!! This book puts together so many things that have been scattered for me over the years. I honestly see the holes that needed to be filled up and now I see how to fill them the Afrikan way. Unfortunately, there are not enough, hardly any teachers, like Axosu Agelo Agbovi around to spread this real gospel of African deep essence. This book makes me realize that the masses of ATR practitioners share a large portion of the blame as to why we are not being taught anything by our spiritual leaders in African religion. We have allowed complacency and empty ritual to take over. However, I plan on spreading the word of this book and at least on my part helping to end this complacency.
I want to finally say that this author has actually shown what spiritual science is. I would love to see or even develop a teaching series based on this book. Ashe!
Posted by Mamiwata Caretaker on 2nd Apr 2014
It doesn't get any better than this.
Posted by Sangolana on 1st Apr 2014
This is one of those books that I find myself highlighting almost every line. Today I actually went out and bought some tiny color coding labels so that I could try to keep this book fresh for my grandson. . . It's not working. . . I guess I'll have to buy him a copy too.
The book is the masterpiece for daily guidance that I've always needed. I've looked for it for many years. (I just didn't know it hadn't been written yet!) Beautifully written with the utmost of humility, it is proving to be my healing balm . . . a curative salve, helping me find my WAY of healing in an unfriendly, an anti-African, world.
Posted by Child of the River Clan on 1st Apr 2014
The author of this book is obviously light years ahead of his peers in African spiritual understanding. Just when I thought he couldn't come more powerful than Gbesu Wema Kulito he has done it again. The section on the African Vodun concept of karma or blojo is astounding and has opened my eyes to another level of this concept. I have studied a lot on this from the Eastern perspective but had never read anything from the African perspective. This section alone is worth 3 times the price of the book! The section on dreams and understanding what happens during different parts of sleep is off the charts as well. The thing is and why I say the author Axosu Agbovi is light years beyond his peers is that I have run into many teachers of African spirituality and not one of them have even touched on the things he does. I strongly suggest this book for those serious students who have been trying to figure out how to take it to the next level. And I honestly believe that Vodun is the best answer that we African Americans have right now. The only answer.