On this page we would like to allow the members of our house to introduce themselves to you.
My name is Liam Richard-Howes, I am known within Vodou as Papresse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan, Assogwe of Vodou by the hands of Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo and La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo (Mambo La Belle Deesse and Mambo La Belle Deesse Jnr). I am a member of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale, and the co-founder of Hounfor Racine Deesse Dereyal. I am proud to be a child of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale and to continue my association with my parent Sosyete.
In 2004, I completed my Kariocha ceremony by receiving Pinaldo [the sacred knife] and affirmed my status as an oloricha, a Priest of the Oricha Tradition. In 1978, at just 6 months old, I was crowned to Obatala within the Igbodu and was given the name Efunsegun Adeyefa and I became a Santero, a Priest of Santeria.
My journey in Santeria was not a smooth one, and although I was introduced to the religion early, for a long time I saw my path as leading me to other places. 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 by the hand of Hawthorn and Galahad 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, Paladian 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.
I continued studying various forms of healing throughout my life, and became a qualified massage therapist, aromatherapist, and herbalist. With this background I did not expect the changes that were yet to come!
In 2003 I was in Florida, USA when I met the people who would be my Godparents for Pinaldo. Through consultations with Eleggua it became clear to me that I would not be able to avoid my place as an oloricha in this tradition any longer, that the Oricha wanted me and that the only real choice was to answer the call. In 2004 I finally received pinaldo, the final step needed to be able to perform all the functions of an oloricha that heads a house. I studied constantly the language, ceremonies and responsibility of a Santero. I learnt anew to care for my Oricha, how to prepare their foods, offer them correct ceremonies, make the proper ebbos and of course, the greatest aspect of the religion, I learnt to read their most sacred oracle, the Diloggun.
I 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. The blessings of Obatala can not be denied in all that I have achieved since I returned to New Zealand. 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 some strong, powerful and dedicated Manbo and Houngan into my life, Honour to Her and Honour to them.
After practicing Vodou since 2006, I began working as Houngan Bossale in 2008. Serving the Lwa 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, I was once again, reborn a strong and competent Houngan Assogwe. 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.
I am also a Root Doctor or Conjure man of Hoodoo, apt at laying tricks and setting lights for all circumstances, from gaining employment, returning a lover, finding a new lover, financial matters, tying mojo and nation sacks, and many other hoodoo’s. I enjoy this type of magic very much and have found it very successful in helping many people. Honour and Respect to the great Hoodoo Mistresses and Root Doctors who have continued to teach me the Hoodoo.
The religions of Santeria and Vodou have grown a great deal in New Zealand. I am blessed to have some wonderful godchildren in Santeria and children in Vodou. The religions of Afrika continue to grow through the work of wonderful Santero/as, Mambo and Houngans, and I am just one of them, a tool for the Spirits to manifest their service in the Sourthern 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.
Lape Bondye avek nou
Papresse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan (Hougan Liam)
My name is Alistair Richard-Howes, I am known within Vodou as Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan, Assogwe of Vodou by the hands of Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo and La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo [Mambo La Belle Deesse and Mambo La Belle Deesse Jnr]. 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 my association with the Sosyete.
My experience with Vodou began in 2008 when I started to serve the Lwa 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 Lwa as various opportunities opened and chains from the past were released. The Lwa 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 Hougan. In January 2011 I entered the djevo a second time, this time to take the asson and emerge an Assogwe Priest of Haitian Vodou. I give honour and respect to all the members of our Sosyete, and to the strong Spirits that made our Kanzo’s possible, even during times 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 Houngan Liam at the end of 2007.
I look forward to my future with the Lwa, 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.
Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan (Houngan Alistair)
Labelle Deesse Snr – Soulage Minfo Bon Manbo – Mother of the Hounfo
Labelle Deesse Snr, Spiritual and Initiatory Mother of Houngan Liam and Houngan Alistair, has been serving and working with Spirits for over 47 years. She is a 3rd generation Manbo who has served the Spirits all of her life, serving the Spirits of her mothers and fathers lineages. Mambo Labelle began working for people spiritually when she was 7 years old when the Spirit first came to dance in her head.
Mambo Labelle was initiated on July 18th, 1984 at the age of 33 by Mrs. Victor [Adieu Minfo Bon Mambo] who was the spiritual daughter of Agasse Gacon Bon Houngan, who was located in Lacour pon sonde numbero 1, Wanne 93 in Carrerfour. She was one of the most famous Mambo in Carrefour at the time and was greatly respected. She passed from this work in 1985. Mambo Labelle continues to pay honour and respect to her spiritual mother by following the traditions of her mothers sosyete, just as we pay honour, respect and love to her by following her teachings and guidance.
Labelle Deesse Jnr – La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo – Mother of the Hounfo
Born in December 1975, Mama LaBelle Jr., also known as Lareine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo, is the first child of LaBelle Deesse Sr. and the 4th generation of mambo assogwe.
Born and raised in Vodou, she has been serving the spirits all her life, and spent her first 25 years traveling the world teaching and guiding all those in need of spiritual help. At the age of 12, the spirits first started communicating with her in her dreams, and to her mother this was an important sign of what was yet to come. At 15 she started to work part time with her mother assisting her with her job as a spiritual worker and healer.
Her first possession occured at the age of 16, when Erzulie Dantor came down and mounted her, clarifying her destiny as an important spiritual leader in Haitian Vodou. With her mother at her side, she had her first initiation to soupoint at the age of 19. She would continue working with her family and the spirits, and wouldn’t become assogwe until several years later.
Mama LaBelle Jr. is a chosen one, and with that comes a great responsibilities as a mambo and spiritual leader. Her and her mother founded LaBelle Deesee Dereale Vodou Temple, with the goal of protecting their heritage as well as building a better picture for Vodou, so that people will understand that our traditions and our religion are not to be feared. Along with her mother, Mama LaBelle Jr., lives in Petionville Haiti as well as in Montreal Canada, and is the Ati Regional for KNVA in Montreal Canada.
My name is Dorian, and I am the Konfyance of Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale.
I have been interested in religion and spirituality my entire life, growing up with an interest in Maori and Greek mythologies. This interest branched out as I grew older, leading me to study various paths of witchcraft, Buddhism, Hinduism and ancient religious practices from Egypt and other cultures. No path really ‘fit’, however, until I discovered Vodou after reading a copy of Karen Brown’s Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn.
A series of million to once coincidences led me to Houngans Liam and Alistair and Honfou Racine Deesse Dereyale. I went through my lave tet ceremony in October 2010, and became a member of the house. The lwa later indicated they wanted me to be the konfyance of the society, a position I was glad to accept. I now take care of the honfour’s badji and see that our spirits have the things they need.
I am also a competent hoodoo rootworker, having studied the tradition and practiced for several years. I am gradually learning to integrate this knowledge with the magical traditions of Haitian Vodou, and to improve my skills as a reader.
Houngan William -Map Montre Yo Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Houngan – Houngan Sou Pwen
Ayibobo! My name is William (Billy) Rizzuto, and my spiritual name is Map Montre Yo Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Houngan; Houngan Sou Pwen by my fathers Pa Presse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan & Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan of Hounfor du Racine Deesse Dereyal; my mothers Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo & La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereyal.
Growing up in Louisiana I was consistently exposed to New Orleans Voodoo/Hoodoo. I was known as the odd child in my family because of my intense interest in old magical lore. Since an early age I was a natural empath and like my grandparents I also had the ability to attract and sense dis-embodied spirits. My formal spiritual training began at the age of 15 when I began to practice Wicca with a well known coven in Atlanta Georgia. I was ultimately initiated to the first degree and continued as a practicing Witch until I began to feel the irresistible pull of the Lwa. In 2009 I began to serve the Spirits which first made themselves known in my life. I was fortunate to have been guided on a social network by my current spiritual fathers Houngan Liam & Houngan Alistair, who took note of my potential and from there began how to properly serve the wonderful Spirits in which I have now dedicated my life to service.
I am so proud of my wonderful Vodou family and would like to thank both my mothers & my fathers for all their consistent hard work in teaching and preserving this most beautiful way of life. In the name of God , the Ancestors and the Lwa, from the bottom of my heart thank you for your love , guidance and continual support.
Mambo Renee – Moin La Eyedo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo – Mambo Sou Pwen
My name is Renée Baranov and my spiritual name is Moin La Eyedo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo. I am a Mambo Sou Pwen, made by my fathers Pa Presse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan and Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Houngan (Houngan Liam Richard-Howes and Houngan Alistair Richard-Howes) of Hounfo du Racine Deesse Dereyale and my mothers, Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo and La Reine Edeyo Soulage Minfo Bon Mambo (Mambo La Belle Deesse and Mambo La Belle Deesse Jr.), of La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale. I currently live in Anchorage, Alaska.
I grew up in a conservative religion in New England and after breaking free in my early twenties, I found myself adrift spiritually. The study of the world religions and various magical paths fascinated me, but I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling that I was meant to do something more. After praying for direction, the spirits led me to Houngan Liam and Houngan Alistair in 2009 and the difference in my life was like night and day. Finally, all of the pieces fit together! They soon accepted me as their petit fey and with the Lwa, began to help me build a much-longed for spiritual foundation. A life-changing Lave Tet soon followed in September 2010 and then came the privilege of again passing through the djevo to become a Mambo (with the additional guidance of Papa Yvon and Mama Micheline) during Kanzo in January 2011. I am grateful to know and serve the spirits, to belong to an enduring and loving spiritual family, and to be part of such an amazing religion. There is something new and incredible to learn everyday and I pray to be a strong and capable Mambo who is able to help shine a light on the truth and beauty of Vodou. Eternal thanks to God, the ancestors and the Lwa for setting me on this path, and honor, gratitude and respect to those who have made me and continue to teach and guide me.
Lisa – Etoile File Hounsi Senp
My name is Lisa, in Vodou I am known as Etoile File. I was made Hounsi Semp by my spiritual fathers, Houngan Liam and Houngan Alistair, and spiritual mothers, Mambo La Belle Deesse and Mambo La Belle Deesse Jnr. I am a proud member Hounfo du Racine Deesse Dereyal and serve the L’wa following the traditions of our sosyete, La Sosyete La Belle Deesse Dereale.
For the last 20 years I’ve been searching for my spiritual place in this world. This search has led me to study many different types of religions and meet many different types of people. In 2003 I became a member of Ordo Templi Orientis. Before Vodou, this was the only formal group affiliation I had made.
I’ve been blessed with the gift of dreaming of the future. It is through this gift that I’ve made all major decisions in my life. I was 19 when I started dreaming of Saints. I wasn’t raised to believe in Saints and had no idea what it meant, so I ignored it. Over the years the dreams kept coming and eventually I started praying to the Saints, both for my own needs and the needs of others, and had great success. In 2003 I had two powerful dreams. The first was of a man teaching me to draw a veve and the second was of a Vodou ceremony. At the time, again, I had no idea what the dreams meant, so I ignored them.
Through my friend and spiritual sister, I was introduced to H’oungan Liam and H’oungan Alistair at the beginning of 2010. With their guidance as my spiritual parents, I’ve learned to recognize that the Saints were really the L’wa calling to me. My dreams had finally led me to my spiritual place in this world: Vodou. In September 2010 I underwent the Lave Tet ceremony, received my Spiritual name and was made Hounsi Semp. I am so very happy to be part of such a wonderful Spiritual family.
With the help of the Lwa, I look forward to going to Kanzo as fast as my feet can get me there!
Kristen Tankard – Il Faut Que Sa Ounsi Senp
My name is Kristen Tankard, I am known within Vodou as Il Faut Que Sa Ounsi Semp, I went through Lave Tet in 2012 and became a member of Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale. I am the proud child of Papresse Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan and Pese Verance Soulage Minfo Edeyo Bon Hougan.
I have always been interested in spirituality and religions and followed a pagan path until 2 years ago. I had felt disenchanted for quite a few months and had not practised at all in that time when I witnessed a head on car collision right in front of me. I had my children in the car at the time and that night I went home, lit a candle and prayed for the first time in a long time. The next morning a white feather was sitting on my front door step. I knew I was being guided but wasn’t quite sure by whom. I asked these guides to make themselves known to me.
All of a sudden I started dreaming Lwa. Several times I was told to wake up and write specific things down. I googled these dreams and it led me to Vodou. I had no knowledge of this before, so I approached Houngan Liam & Houngan Alistair with questions about these dreams. Since then and now I have been on the most amazing journey. I have come to know my spirits and myself and I continue to learn more. In February this year I went through Lave Tet and became a member of the house. This ceremony has changed my life, giving me a clear and calm perspective that I have never had before. I also got to meet and know my new spiritual family.
I am deeply grateful to God, my ancestors, the Lwa and my spiritual family for bringing me on this journey and I look forward to serving the Lwa, deepening my knowledge, and helping my family to educate and serve members of Australasia.
Karen Still – Adieuci Ounsi Senp
Ayibobo! My name is Karen and I’m from the Midwestern United States. I underwent Lave Tet in May 2014 and was blessed with the beautiful name Adieuci Ounsi Semp. I am deeply honored to be a member of Hounfo Racine Deesse Dereyale.
I was originally born and raised Catholic, but as I grew up I drifted away from the Church. I started exploring other faiths, namely more pagan ways of life, spending a small time within the Greek Pantheon before ending up in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I became rather disillusioned with the latter and felt myself moving away from that path, too. For a long while, Iremained in spiritual limbo.
I initially began researching Vodou for no real reason aside from curiosity. As I continued, I read about certain lwa and found myself wanting to learn more, so I looked for a teacher who could answer my questions. The one I wrote to at the time never wrote back, leaving me so disheartened that I didn’t bother to continue – despite the fact that I had already found Houngans Liam and Alistair. Time went on and I forgot about it, then tarted to look into it again. Not long after, things started to feel different: I felt strong pushes and pulls, both mentally and physically, as well as a couple of strange but vivid dreams. It was almost as if I was being ‘encouraged’ to get over my fear of not being answered , and to actually make contact with the good Houngans. That’s what I did, and ever since then my life has been a wild ride that has been nothing short of amazing.
I have always believed that God puts people in one’s life for a reason; and I am beyond blessed with a wonderful spiritual family, to whom I am deeply thankful for their constant love and support. I am also thankful to God, my ancestors and the lwa for guiding me in all things. I am looking forward to growing, changing and learning as much as I can. I am here to take my place in my spiritual family, to the best of my ability and with all the love in the world.