Afraid of Vodou / Daemons
My thoughts on why so many people are afraid of Vodou and Daemons
I’m just going to skip over the whole bit about how some major religions teach people to fear anything which isn’t them, because we all know that already. I’m also going to skip the bit about the extremely lame portrayals by hollywood and tv. Aside from self-promotion, the major religions go against these things due to their own fear. The folks who write books and movies which sell quite well, do tend to focus on people’s fears, as that is what we always want to know more about. Though really religion and media are 2 of the biggest reasons, I feel it goes much deeper than this, much deeper. It all boils down to fear pretty much, fear of the unknown, fear of a lack of perceived control, you know, the standard. Discounting the above, the most surface of the reasons for fear of Daemons and Vodou, is because they are different than what we are used to. Not many people in the West are raised in a household and society which has any of these sorts of practices, or beings prevalent at all. Even the rare person who was, unfortunately tends to run into far too many others who tell them how wrong they are! I think they called it Satanic ritual abuse in the 80’s; as an extreme example. I will include most magicians in this. You have nooooo idea how many different magical groups talk poorly about both of these practices. Fortunately, as time progresses it is becoming less so, but there is still a long way to go. Sometimes I find that those who practice the various occult paths to have even more fear, or being more closed off to magic in general (due to fear), than mundane folks even! Many are perfectly OK with what they in particular practice, but often uneasy or against what others practice. A silly example of this is how we all make fun of the newagers. A more sinister example of this is when so many lodges put down what they perceive to be darker paths. I will finally get to my point now; now that most readers have closed the window because they were offended :D. I feel that the less surface reason folks fear, hate, and put down Vodou and Daemon practices is because both touch a more ancient, primal and deeper energy than we are used to. Actually, we spend all day everyday, avoiding experiencing this sort of connection! As time goes on, we get more and more surface about our connections with nature, with other people physically, with the energetic flows of the earth, as well as with the many spirits and entities which are completely intertwined with everything around us. We create distractions to avoid any such connections. Oh sure, we can blame the internet and cell phones no problem, but we just used other distractions before those came along. Anything to not spend the day thinking, or feeling, or perceiving. Perceiving the earth currents, or spirits completely tears down our false feeling of safety within the false world we have built up around us. Peeking through the veil is a bit much for most folks; proof of this is when unfortunately some practitioners go completely insane after dabbling a bit too far into the practice without a teacher. That is why magick takes so many years to become half decent at. Of course it is important to receive teachings and that takes time, and practice of any new thing is important, however it is because it really does take us that long to be able to allow ourselves to see past the veil without losing it. When a teacher tells a student that you aren’t ready yet for something, it is most often because the energies you are wanting to explore are too far past your current psyche level of comfort with things (well that or you are being irresponsible or reckless with things, but that is beyond the scope of this article). In the 25 years and a few hundred people, whom I have taught various magickal things to, the most adept and talented were the kids. No surprise there, we have known this for centuries. It is because they haven’t yet been taught that none of this exists and to fear it, and shut down. Since we have spent a lifetime closing down, it is never a good idea to open the flood gates all at once! Folks can only perceive more and more so much at a time. Vodou and Daemon work and spirits however, put it right there, in our face! This is really a wonderful thing for those who are comfortable with such practices, or raised in that sort of culture, as they approach the invisibles with love instead of fear. People who have so many walls and shells around them on the other hand, have an extremely difficult time with these energies. Also, we are so afraid of getting in touch with what is deep within ourselves. The spirits really do connect with us deep within ourselves, and become integrated. If we have been too busy avoiding looking at any desires, primal urges, darkness, and connection to power, we are not going to be very comfy with beings who accentuate these things! I have found that the Vodous, Lwa, and Daemons also tend to help to bring out more of ourselves, more knowledge of ourselves and a deeper connection not only with ourselves, but with that which is around us. Again, this is not something which most people want to experience, or experience past their preferred very thin slice of “reality”. Some folks are just fiiiine, experiencing all the slices of reality which are pure love and peace (though even these things scare most when they really do connect, but that is for another article). Other folks are perfectly OK connecting with the perceived darker spirits and energies, but often shun the more peaceful or solar ones. These are the two extremes of course, and really we all just are comfortable in our own thin slice of the spectrum, and get very uneasy when we venture outside of what we are most used to, or what most resembles who we are. While many folks on spiritual paths probably realize most of this, though often thinking it’s not about me lol, there are just as many who are not yet at a point where they can accept such things. It’s much easier to stay within our comfort zone, instead of straying from it. We also have to remember that to explore paths with a deep connection to underlying forces do take a lot of work, and on many levels. Many aren’t up for this sort of work, or just prefer to stick to other pursuits. Many folks say you can hide something the best by putting it in plain sight. This would most definitely be a good example of such things. It is all within plain sight, but unfortunately not understood even in the slightest by many. When some do decide to explore, it is far too often that we only take a tiny peek into these mysteries. Just stick our big toe in so to speak, but then not go any further afterwards. Only getting to know a fraction of these paths and spirits is perfect for many, as it does let you see past the mundane and get to know the what is more out there, but not dive too deeply into something which can change your perspective forever. The phrase what is seen can’t be unseen, doesn’t only apply to naked selfies on the internet, it most definitely applies to magick as well. There are things that one sees and experiences on the paths which stick with us forever. Some give nightmares, and others remind us of our deep connection. Both are good and useful experiences in my opinion (though one really shouldn’t mess with the ones which give nightmares, too often!) So how to get past all this? Basically approach each system with an open mind, letting go of all preconceived notions, all past teachings, and only approach with an open heart. Past teachings are of course important, but one doesn’t want to go into a new path with ideas from other paths clouding their perceptions. A good example of this is with martial arts students who insist on doing things in the old way of their other or first martial arts tradition (usually post communism wushu), which renders them unable to properly execute the new style. Of course we also want to approach with our spirit instead of our false ego, which is always very busy helping us to completely either miss or misperceive anything which bumps up against it in an uncomfortable way. Lastly the best thing to do to understand the Daemons and Vodou better is to throw out most of your books on the topic and turn off the internet so you don’t see the terrible websites purporting to know about these paths. Right, as I always say, go find a teacher, then listen to what the teacher says, and actually respect said teacher.