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An American Vodou House

Four Circles Program: Second Circle is Hounsi Kanzo


priyeThe Priye Ginen or African Prayer is the blue print to understanding a Vodou service.  When the Ancient Africans came together for prayers, they had to have an order to follow, so so that all the various nations would be represented in service.  The Priye Ginen became the ordering canon of a vodou service, and remains to this day as the unified code that all servitors follow.

Each house sings this beautiful prayer/poem at the start of their most important ceremonies and services. It is a method of remembering where we came from and where we are going. Contained within its numerous verses are the codes for calling forth the Lwa, the keys to opening the subtle realms of spirit and the mnemonic triggers that bring the Spirit world into contact with the material one.

This class is an in-depth look at the Priye Ginen historically as well as metaphysically. We will discuss the Priye in two parts.  The first half of the class will cover the verses in French, Creole and Langaj as a historical document of the island’s ancestral make-up. We will take a look at the variations that are currently in practice and finally, we will discuss how this long and beautiful prayer is the key to making contact with the Ancestors, the Lwa and God. We have over a dozen recordings, some of which are very old, of this beautiful  prayer. We will listen to several of the older ones, so you will gain an intimate knowledge of its many variations. No two houses sing it the same. We sing it as we were taught in Jacmel, but we will also show the many stylization of it from Leogane to Port au Prince.

The second half of the class will cover the occult meanings of the Priye.  The Masonic influence from Spain, the Martinist view point and the Sephardic Qabala all have influenced the organization of the Priye up to this day. Each segment sits within its own sphere of the Qabala.  We will use Weaver’s work on the mesmerists of eighteenth century Haiti and how they lent their own particular flavor to the Priye. And we will cover Rigaud’s mystical view points, as well as Metraux’s influential writings.

This class is open to students who have completed the First Circle and receive their Sevis Tet initiation. Participants will  need ritual clothing for service. For any additional information, please contact Mambo Vye Zo


Sosyete du Marche, Inc. is a Federally recognized 501c3 church, operating in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Your donations are tax deductible, and go towards supporting Sosyete du Marche, its mission to provide a safe haven for all worshippers, and to help those who need it most. To date, we have led medical missions to the Caribbean, supported Native Americans after Katrina and currently support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.