Hounfor du Deesse Dereyale
Location: New Zealand
Ayibobo! My name is Liam Richard-Howes, I am known within Vodou as Papresse Soulage Minfo Bon H’oungan, Assogue of Vodou by the hands of Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo and La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo. I am a member of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale, and the co-founder of Hounfor du Racine Deesse Dereyal. I am proud to be a child of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale and to continue to work and learn from such knowledgeable, wise, caring and loving mothers. In 2004, I underwent the Kariocha ceremony and was also made a priest of Santeria. I was crowned to Obatala within the Igbodu and was given the name Efunsegun Adeyefa and I became a Santero, a Priest of Santeria. Like many seeking an alternate idea of spirituality I journeyed through many pathways and in 1996 I was initiated to the tradition of Gardnerian Witchcraft. I was brought to the sublime Third Degree in 1998 and made a High Priest, and had the opportunity to share this beautiful tradition that honours the Goddess of Nature and the Lord of Light for many years.?? During this time I had wanted to spend more time in healing work. Healing is one of the greatest gifts that we as human beings, sharing the planet with each other are given, and it was important to me to have a means of sharing this healing with others, and with the Earth. I began studying Reiki while I was still at school and went on to become a Reiki Master/Teacher. I also studied Seichim/SKHM, Isis Seichim, Karuna Reiki ™, Karuna Ki, Pladian Rainbow Light Healing, and many other healing modalities and become a Master/Teacher in each discipline. I still enjoy working with the Reiki Energy and sharing this powerful healing technique with others. ? In 2004 came home to New Zealand with the Oricha and my life as not been the same since. ??I give honour to Obatala. He has blessed me a great deal, and as my Spiritual Father, I offer him my respect every day. Obatala has given me the opportunity to offer consultations, services and ceremonies throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Cuba, the United Kingdom and Europe. It has been an honour to offer service to the Spirits in these places, and to share their guidance and their service with others. ??In 2006 With the permission of Obatala, my Spiritual Father, I began my journey in Vodou, under the guidance of Mama Manbo Erzulie Dantor. Mama Dantor showed Her great power by bringing my strong, powerful and dedicated spiritual mothers into my life, Honour to Her and Honour to them. After practicing Vodou since 2006, I found serving the L’wa was one of the greatest joys for me, and I was able to fully experience their power in every aspect of my life. My work for myself decreased as the Spirits brought more and more blessings to my life. At the same time the Spiritual work I was doing for other people increased. The work I was doing became stronger with the L’wa, the results faster and blessings flowed from the Spirits. In February 2010 I entered the djevo of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale, with the constant support of my Mama’s, Papa Yvon and Mama Micheline, and was once again, reborn a strong and competent H’oungan Assogue. I give honour and respect to all the members of our Sosyete, and to the strong Spirits that made our Kanzo possible, even during a time of such devastation in Haiti.?? The religions of Santeria and Vodou have grown a great deal in New Zealand. The religions of Ginen continue to grow through the work of wonderful Santeros, Mambo’s and H’oungans and I am just one of them, a tool for the Spirits to manifest their service in the Southern Hemisphere. I give honour and respect to all those who have been a part of my journey and who have taught me all that I have been blessed to learn.
Ayibobo ?My name is Alistair Richard-Howes, I am known within Vodou as Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Bon H’oungan, Sou Pwen of Vodou by the hands of Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo and La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo. I am a member of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale, and the co-founder of Hounfor du Racine Deesse Dereyal. I am proud to be a children of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale and to continue to learn rom such kind and caring mothers. ??My experience with Vodou began in 2008 when I started to serve the L’wa in a process to help provide closure on the past and to open up a new future. Through this service my eyes were opened to the power of the L’wa as various opportunities opened and chains from the past were released. The L’wa provided the opportunity to Kanzo in Haiti February 2010 [after the 12 January 2010 earthquake postponed our original Kanzo dates]. Despite the surrounding devastation, the home and djevo of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale were intact. It was in that djevo, with the constant support of my Mama’s, Papa Yvon and Mama Micheline, that I was reborn a strong and competent H’oungan Sou Pwen. I give honour and respect to all the members of our Sosyete, and to the strong Spirits that made our Kanzo possible, even during a time of such devastation in Haiti. ??Haiti, the people and the ceremonies rekindled my passion for photography and I aim to use the photographs to help increase awareness of Vodou and dispel the myths surrounding it. Especially given the religious bias of aid agencies denying Vodouisant aid and protestants disrupting Vodou ceremonies. ??Prior to Vodou, I had received training in Shiatsu and Thai Yoga massage as I have need to help people [also the motivation behind my career as an Audiologist]. I had also taken part in Tibetan Buddhist retreats and mediation, although my spiritual side had slept for many years before meeting my husband H’oungan Liam at the end of 2007. ??I look forward to my future with the L’wa, increasing the awareness of Vodou in New Zealand and providing service to all who are drawn to the Spirits. I give honour and respect to all those who have been a part of my journey and who have taught me all that I have been blessed to learn.