SHAMANISM / INDIGENOUS CULTURES"This highly readable book will be valuable to every reader interested in Haitian Vodou, and essential for those who want to make the transition from intellectual knowledge to personal experience of a profound and unfairly neglected religion." --John Michael Greer, author of The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, A World Full of Gods, and The Druidry Handbook The Haitian Vodou Handbook explains how to build respectful relationships with the lwa, the spirits honored in Haitian Vodou, and how to transform the fear that often surrounds the Vodou religion. Until recently, the Haitian practice of Vodou was often identified with devil worship, dark curses, and superstition. Some saw the saint images and the Catholic influences and wrote Vodou off as a "Christian aberration." Others were appalled by the animal sacrifices and the fact that the houngans and mambos charge money for their services. Those who sought Vodou because they believed it could harness "evil" forces were disappointed when their efforts to gain fame, fortune, or endless romance failed and so abandoned their "voodoo fetishes." Those who managed to get the attention of the lwa, often received cosmic retaliation for treating the lwa as attack dogs or genies, which only further cemented Vodou's stereotype as "dangerous." Kenaz Filan, an initiate of the Societe; la Belle Venus, offers extensive background information on the featured lwa, including their mythology and ancestral lineage, as well as specific instructions on how to honor and interact fruitfully with those that make themselves accessible. This advice will be especially useful for the solitary practitioner who doesn't have the personalguidance of a societe available. Filan emphasizes the importance of having a quickened mind that can read the lwa's desires intuitively in order to avoid establishing dogma-based relationships. This working guide to successful interaction with the full Vodou pantheon also presents the role of Vodou in Haitian culture and explores the symbiotic relationship Vodou has maintained with Catholicism. Kenaz Filan (Houngan Coquille du Mer) was initiated into Societe la Belle Venus in New York City in 2003 after ten years of solitary service to the lwa. Filan's articles on Vodou have appeared in newWitch, PanGaia, and Planet magazines and in the pagan community newspaper Widdershins.Filan, Kenaz is the author of 'Haitian Vodou Handbook Protocols for Riding With the Lwa', published 2006 under ISBN 9781594771255 and ISBN 1594771251.