It wasn’t that long ago that I became a Vodou priest. Not so many years before that I joined a [Vodou] House in New Orleans. I have always been a spiritual person, but I haven’t always been a religious one.
Your own personal relationship to your mystical side is spirituality, whether that includes God, Spirit, the spirits, just plain nature or something else. You don’t need religion to be spiritual. Anyone can do it. For years I had spirituality without religion. Then I initiated into a Himalayan Vedic tradition, some might call it Hindu, others would object to that (great theological and philosophical debates have come out of those traditions trying to define religion). Still I wouldn’t say I was religious. To be religious is to have two things: common belief (you could call this dogma) and community.
When I joined my House I took these on: we had common belief in Vodou and our community was a family. Becoming a priest strengthened that bond; I felt closer to my family. I had taken another initiation, passed another cross-road.
The House is there to make it happen, experience it with you and bear witness. You are all much closer on the other side: transformed. It’s powerful, difficult, lonely and touching. The Lwa is at work providing a spiritually powerful transformation.
This I knew; this I had done. Then suddenly it was different.