A pilgrimage to Haiti is a necessity when practicing Vodou. By putting your feet on Haitian soil, you truly stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before you. The very soil of Haiti is saturated with the blood of the ancestors. To become a vodouisant is to become part of Haiti and its history. You cannot proceed further on this path, until you have returned home to Haiti, to feel the energy of the land and the warmth of its people.
Each year, Sosyete du Marche returns to Haiti with the goal of bringing that energy back to the peristyle here in America. We offer three unique and special pilgrimages to Haiti, beginning in the spring:
Spring : A visit to Souvenance during Easter. This is the strong hold of Rada worship in Haiti. At the foot of the massive Mapou tree, we make offerings and pray to Papa Dambala to give us the strength and fortitude to follow the righteous path for another year. We bathe in the holy river and we sing with the servitors who gather to give thanks to God and the ancestors for their lives.
Summer: A visit to Saut D’eaux (Sodo), to climb the falls of Dambala and to perform our Lave Tet of the Falls. A humbling experience, we do not go when the festival is on in July - we go just before, when its quieter and you can feel Dambala’s rumble in the water and stones beneath your feet. An hour long hike up the mountain leaves you breathing hard but feeling alive. The descent into the grotto is electric and the sound pounding like your heart. The icy water chills you to the bones and the tingle of power is unforgettable. We leave offerings under the fall, in Ezili’s grotto and we give thanks to all the folks who accompany us to the waters edge.
Fall: Fet Gede, the time of the ancestors and for the conclusion of the year. We go to either Jacmel to witness the march to the cemetery or to Port au Prince for the parade. Either way, it is an unforgettable trip, that brings us closer to the Dead than any other time of the year.
Each trip is planned according to the number of folks who can make the dates. The prices do not include airfare to Port au Prince or your bar bill. But once you are on the ground in Haiti, it is all inclusive, except for your bar bill. Transportation, hotel rooms, two meals a day and a translator bring the experience to a manageable level.
The Pilgrimages are open to everyone, including folks who are not a part of the Four Circle program. For each trip, individual costs will vary (such as a single room supplement or if there is something special happening that we wish to attend). Participants will be mailed detailed trip portfolios, with itineraries, immunization suggestions, travel tips and much more. We use Jacqui Labrom as our inland travel agent, via her Voyage Luminaire. A resident of Haiti for more than 25 years, Jaxx is fluent in French and Kreyol, and is well known through the country as a bona fide expert on Haitian culture, art and travel. For any additional information, please contact Mambo Vye Zo.