Spiritual work or travay is a creative process, a transformative process where mundane objects and raw materials are transformed into spiritual objects where the lwa work their magic.The knowledge of the priest, the words of prayer, the heat of the hand that lays down the lines and curves of cornmeal that create the veve that get the spirits’ attention.The light of the lamp, the heat of the flame, the spirit defined ingredients to fuel the flame.There are multiple lines of convergence and transformation that take place to sublimate the mundane to spiritual, the normal to extraordinary.
-Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan
What is Travay?
Travay is the Kreyol word for ‘work’, and refers to the spiritual and magical work performed by the houngan and mambo of Haitian Vodou. Travay may be as simple as the lighting of a lamp, or as complex as a 21 day series of prayers over a specially created object designed to please the lwa and serve the purpose of the work.
Travay is usually prescribed during the course of a reading, and it is very rare for an houngan or mambo to undertake any form of travay without first performing a reading to determine what work needs to be done and on the point of which lwa. Not every situation warrants travay, and the travay that is required is not always what was expected.
Preparation of Customised Spiritual Items
Kiwi Mojo offers the preparation of pwen (magical items created on the point of a lwa), the creation of spiritual items for altars, infused colognes and perfumes, prepared candles, wanga pakets, and numerous other items.
Pwen and Paket
Kiwi Mojo are able to create pwen sacs or bundles for specific purposes, or wanga pakets. A pwen sac is similar to a mojo hand, but is more powerful as it is created on the point of a lwa. It is filled with appropriate curios and ingredients, and unlike a mojo hand is dressed with colognes and perfumes sacred to the lwa. Each pwen sac is heated by traditional Vodou methods, and carries the spiritual heat of the lwa. Pwen bundles are similar, but are small cloth bundles rather than bags. They are often wrapped and tied, and take the form of a small ball or pouch-like shape. Each one is also dressed with appropriate cologne, perfume, or alcohol; and heated. Wanga pakets are larger and more elaborate. They are strong, powerful, fully decorated, and incredibly effective. For examples, please view our Paket Gallery. They are made according to the recipes and traditions of Haitian Vodou, and are heated as strongly as possible to create one of the most powerful wanga Kiwi Mojo can provide. Each item comes with detailed instructions for its use and care.
The cost for these items depends upon the lwa upon whose point they are created, the ingredients involved in the creation of the pwen, the amount of time it needs to be prayed over, and whether or not a lwa needs to be called during the process of preparation. As these items are individualised and created for an individual’s specific purpose, payment in full is required before the pwen or paket is created.
To enquire about the creation of a pwen or paket, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bottles to hold the favourite drink of a particular lwa are a decorative art unique to Haiti. They usually come in two different types: a fabric covered bottle decorated with a saint picture and trims, or a fully sequin covered bottle. Kiwi Mojo offers both types of bottle, to be created on a commission basis. We often have boutey lwa available for sale in our online store, but these are created as and when we have the time and inclination. We have created some incredible bottles on commission, and images of several are available to view in our Boutey Lwa Gallery. Each bottle is prayed and sung over during its creation, and each is blessed by an Houngan Assogwe once completed. Kiwi Mojo’s bottles are some of the very few to offer matching lids, something most bottle makers outside of Haiti don’t even think to include.
The cost for a commissioned bottle depends upon the size of the bottle and the spirit for whom it is to be created. A deposit of 50% of the total cost is required, due to the necessity of purchasing the materials required. The remaining 50% is payable, along with the shipping cost, upon completion of the bottle.
To commission a boutey lwa, please contact email@example.com.
Spiritually Prepared Perfumes
Any perfume or cologne can be spiritually prepared by an houngan or mambo. These are usually created to attract love or sex, but may be created for other purposes if required. This is a very traditional method of travay, and is a staple of Vodou magical work. At Kiwi Mojo, the creation of these prepared fragrances is performed by Houngan Liam and/or Houngan Alistair using a variety of Haitian herbs, other botanicals, and other ingredients which depend upon the purpose of the finished product. This preparation can be done using mens, womens, and unisex fragrances, so anyone is able to benefit from a prepared perfume or cologne. Instructions for the final personalisation of the fragrance will be included.
Preparation of a perfume or cologne is charged at a flat rate of $157, plus the cost of the perfume or cologne itself. Clients are welcome to send their preferred fragrance to us, or we can purchase the fragrance on your behalf and invoice you for its cost. The only stipulation is that the stopper or spray top must be removable, otherwise there is no way to add the necessary ingredients to prepare the fragrance.
To order a prepared perfume, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oils, Washes, Powders, Candles and Other Products
Sometimes, during a reading, a lwa will prescribe a floor wash, or a specific candle to be burned upon their point. Sometimes a client requires a specific oil or powder to use in a prescribed travay. Kiwi Mojo can provide customised products for these situations. We can create a floor wash specific to your home and situation, and provide detailed instructions on how to use it. We can blend powders using a variety of Haitian botanicals, and many of our other herbs and curios. We can dress candles to be used as an offering or petition to a lwa, and can even provide labels for glass encased candles. Usually, Kiwi Mojo creates custom items like this in response to information received during a reading. Sometimes, however, our online store just doesn’t have the right product for your situation. Just because we don’t have it in stock doesn’t mean we can’t supply it, and Kiwi Mojo are more than happy to create small batch, custom items.
Because these items are made to order and are often personalised to a situation, payment in full is required before work begins.
To order a customised item of any sort, please contact email@example.com.
As the result of a reading, or to remedy a specific situation, or if a client requests spiritual work; an houngan or mambo will prescribe a particular work to be performed to bring about the desired result. This can be as simple as lighting and praying over a candle on the altar, or as complex as the creation of a container holding several ingredients, which needs to be prayed over and have candles burned over it every day for a set number of days.
Charges for Travay
As may be inferred from the above, travay can be either simple or complex, and therefore more or less expensive. The first step will almost always be to book a reading to determine if the work can be done, on which lwa’s point the work needs to be done, what type of work is required, and if there is anything specific required by the lwa in order for the work to succeed. The cost of a reading is $81, unless Kiwi Mojo are running a special promotion where readings are charged at a reduced price.
Kiwi Mojo do not charge a set fee for the travay itself. We allow those we help to pay us what they believe the work is worth, once they begin to see the benefits of that work in their lives. We do not expect anyone to pay more than they can afford, but choose to let the value of the work we perform be determined by the circumstances of, and effect upon the lives of, those on whose behalf the work has been performed.
What Kiwi Mojo does charge for, however, are the items needed to perform the work. Things like candles, perfumes, alcohols, foods, and other items cost money. We cannot provide these items free of charge, as we are unable to absorb the costs. It would be unfair to us to do so, and we would end up performing the work at a loss.
Below is a full and complete breakdown of the type of costs which are taken into account. These are laid out in order to make our pricing process clear and understandable.
Ingredients, Components, and Consumables
Some of the most common items required to perform travay are cornmeal (for the creation of veve), candles, perfumes, fruit, and alcohols. All of these are consumable items which cannot be re-used. If a particular work involves seven candles and a bottle of Barbancourt Five Star Rum, those costs must be met by the person for whom the work is being performed. The acquisition of these items is not the responsibility of the client, Kiwi Mojo have access to a wide variety of suppliers and difficult to acquire items and will assemble all the items required to perform the work. The client, however, must cover the cost of all the necessary items. The travay cannot be performed unless all the required items are available, so these costs must be met before the work can commence.
Disposal of Finsished Work
To ensure that the travay is successful and that no leftover elements linger, the remains of the work must be disposed of appropriately and correctly. Kiwi Mojo charge a fee for the disposal of the completed travay. Different types of travay needs to be disposed of in different ways, and the disposal cost will reflect this.
Requests From the Lwa
Sometimes the lwa will require a specific item or sum of money for a travay. This item or fee is asked for by the lwa, and belongs to them. In the case of a request for money, the cash is placed upon the altar and put aside for that spirit. It does not go to the houngan or mambo performing the work, nor does it go to the hounfo. The money remains with the spirit until it is used to purchase an item they particularly want, or to mount a fet on their behalf. In the case of a gift, this will need to be purchased by the client and sent to Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale to be presented to the lwa. That gift remains the property of the lwa, and will be placed with their things upon the altar. The houngan or mambo performing the travay will negotiate with the lwa so that this gift does not have to be presented until the travay is complete.
Sometimes a piece of travay requires additional hands. If an assistant is required for the work to be performed, this may incur a cost. This is not always the case, as the hounsi of the house sometimes assist with travay as a learning experience. If a paid assistant is required, this will be discussed upfront and clearly invoiced.
Some types of travay require a personal concern. These can include hair, nail clippings, photographs, clothing items, and others. In the event that a personal concern is required for travay, the cost of sending this item to Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale must be met by the client.
Sometimes a particular travay requires the creation of an item which needs to be kept by the person on whose behalf the work was performed. Sometimes travay performed at Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale requires an additional component which must be performed by the person on whose behalf the travay is being performed. In either case, we need to post out the item or components required for the additional work. These costs must be met by the client, whom we would like to remind that Kiwi Mojo is based in New Zealand, and that international shipping rates apply to all overseas customers. We can usually provide an estimate of shipping costs in advance, but cannot provide an accurate price until the dimensions and weight of the package to be sent are known.
The costs for a particular travay will be invoiced and presented upfront, before the work begins. Invoices can be sent via Paypal or email, depending upon the preference of the client. Invoices will include supplies, disposal costs, if assistance is required, etc.
If a sum of money has been requested by a lwa, this will be invoiced separately, and the sum will be clearly marked on the invoice as the request of the lwa in question.
Shipping costs, if required, will be invoiced separately due to the necessity of weighing and measuring the package to determine the final cost. Packaging materials are included in the shipping costs.
Proof of Work
Once payment has been received and work commences on a client’s behalf, Kiwi Mojo will photograph the work in progress and will send these images to the client as proof that the work is being performed. These images are for the client’s use only, and are not to be published without permission. At any time during the course of the work, a client may request photographs, which will be taken and sent electronically within 24 hours. This is our method of guaranteeing to our clients that we do the work we are paid for, as there are a number of fraudulent practitioners who will happily take money but do nothing.
This is the payment which is made at the client’s discretion. It can be made if and when they feel the work has begun to take effect, and has created positive change in their life. This is simply a payment of what the client feels the work is worth to them, what they can afford, when they are able to afford it. There is no expectation of a particular amount, Kiwi Mojo leave it up to our clients to determine the quality, strength, effectiveness, and worth of the work we perform.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding spiritual work, our pricing, or anything else you wish to have clarified or explained.