The Vodoun Masterly Medical system basically boils
down to a simple principle: that of the dynamism of a certain concept of Life
named Energy. The mythical genesis of Vodoun teaches that the Universe
includes two worlds, that of the Visible and that of the Invisible.
These two worlds are by no means seen to be
distinct: quite to the contrary, they are assumed to interpenetrate one
another, mingling continually. Much larger than the Visible world, the
Invisible one is replete of energies, including the spirits of all those who
have existed since the beginning of times. It also includes the forces of the
universe. Of a finite number, these 401 spirits constitute what one might call
"God" or even "Spirits of the Ancestors". They constantly
intervene in human matters and "mount" people by a process which is
defined as trance or possession. These spirits play a very important role in
the diagnosis of illness which is often revealed through dreams, along with
the appropriate treatments.
401 facets of the divine referred to as "lwa" are
systematically categorized as elements of earth, water, air and fire (Petro
divinities). The individual "lwa Mèt tèt" therefore belongs
to these 401 divinities. Possession by the lwa most currently occurs
during Vodoun ceremonies; but it may also take place at any time - especially
in stressful situations -. Furthermore, a frequent type of possession
is associated with sleep. Recognized as a valid and legitimate form of
cultural expression, possession is considered a means to free the individual
of inhibitions and frustrations. It acts as a psychic outlet.
there are two sorts of possession. The first is called "bosal"
(or "rough"): here, the person releases all excess energies built-up
within him - or herself, often through violent thrashing of the body and
generally disorganized, "wild" behavior which is nevertheless
understood, interpreted and considered to be of great significance to all. The
second, more controlled, implies a re-organization of the self to achieve
harmony within self and with the various forces of nature in the universe. In
this case, the individual tibonanj is understood to be displaced and
replaced by one of the 401 lwa. The person then is re-equilibrated by
the very process of his/her absorption within these higher forces. Indeed, at
this moment, individual identities disappear making way for the total
affirmation of the divinity who may choose to soothsay, sing, dance, carry out
amazing feats such as glass or fire-eating. Or to cure illnesses.
human being is also seen as a Force, or as an energy of a lesser dimension,
which explains why each possession is specifically modulated according to the
individual’s personal Nanm. Furthermore, at times these personal
energies’ functioning needs to be synchronized, so as to fit within the
range which is considered to be that of harmony.
Animals, plants and everything else that
possesses life are also seen as energy. Unlike the phytotherapeutic type of
medicine which utilizes herbs for its chemical contents, herbs used in this
type of medicine are rather seen as energy channelers, though they may
also contain biologically active substances.
As a matter of fact, the Masterly type of
Medicine should be viewed as an Energetic system of Medicine since the
human being is considered a cosmic or energetic Force constantly swimming in a
cosmic or energetic world. The herbs acts then as energy providers or
retrievers that may be absorbed by the skin in the form of ointments, baths,
frictions or taken internally in the form of food, infusion or tea.
course, in these particular situations, knowledge one may have acquired of
anatomy and physiology becomes rather irrelevant. All that matters is to learn
how to recognize a state of disorder or of energetic disequilibrium and to
learn the appropriate manner to act upon it in order to increase or to
decrease the energy level of that person, that is to say to re-equilibrate the
person. Nevertheless, one should note that usually this medical system is
adjoined to the phytotherapeutic one for optimal results. These combined
treatments are carried out by the same person who, as we stated earlier, is
considered to be the professional healer.