We are a traditional shrine, a place that offers spiritual aid and consultation located in Accra, Ghana. Our mission is to make traditional West African Spirituality accessible to anyone interested, especially the youth; we seek to awaken spiritual selves for both individual and communal benefit. Our project is made possible through the guidance of experienced spiritualists referred to in the Ewe language as Bokors. Though the initiative is led primarily by the Voncujovi family, the Afrikan Magick Temple includes three partner shrines headed by seasoned authorities on West African Vodu and Afá (Ifa), an ancient Yoruba system of divination. Thanks to Christopher Voncujovi’s eclectic spiritual past, our temple incorporates mystical practices from other traditions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Kabbalism, and Buddhism. What we hope to achieve is not to solely offer a potential means of self-actualization but also restore a lost pride amongst Africans, a pride that was lost with the incursions of Christianity and Islam, as well as the manifest evils of colonization.
The word Voodoo or Vodun comes from the Fon language, spoken in present day Benin. Vodu can be translated simply as “spirit.” As a set of traditions, Vodu is practiced by the Fon and other closely related ethno-linguistic groups such as the Ewe people, who are concentrated in Togo, Benin, and Ghana. Vodu acknowledges that there is a spiritual plain that is interconnected with—and can therefore affect—the observable world. The ultimate purpose of Vodu is to allow practitioners to live in harmony with nature and society. Vodu, like many other African religions, utilizes ancestor worship, divination, spirit reverence, and spirit possession in its practice. Syncretic variants are also practiced in the new world, in such places as Haiti, Louisiana, Brazil, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Vodun has suffered great stigmatization as a result of colonization and concomitant Christianity as well as unflattering portrayals in popular culture. It is important to note that even in Ghana, where Mr. Voncujovi’s shrine is located, many practitioners of Vodun are often ostracized. This stereotype has been perpetuated partly because Vodun practitioners do not have a voice in society. Afrikan Magick Temple is committed to telling the authentic story of Vodun from the perspectives of healers. Ifá or Afá in Ewe refers to an ancient system of belief and divination which refers to the verses of the Odu Ifá, an ancient Yoruba oral corpus. The Ifá geomantic system consists of 256 signs (Odus) in hierarchical order. Each of the 256 signs of Ifá has its own songs, stories, vodus and guidelines that are employed by the diviner (bokor) to interpret and solve a given problem. It is a life-long journey to learn all the mysteries of Ifá because each of the signs are connected to approximately 800 verses, which include the necessary rituals, dietary restrictions, herbal remedies, and proverbs to help a person in a given problem.
In Eweland, one who has been in initiated into the highest spiritual rank or Ifá (Afá in Ewe), is referred to as a Bokor. In Yoruba land, these individuals will be called Babalawo. Our Bokors have knowledge and training in both the positive or defensive and negative or offensive uses of Vodun. Negative and offensive in this case may bring to mind connotations of evil or dark magic but this is far from the case. In times of hardship, such as war, negative forces are petitioned to fight for the individual or individuals facing hardship. Vodun is to some extent dualistic and acknowledges that there is no day without night, no right if there is no wrong. These forces need to be balanced and there are in fact Bokors who possess quite an arsenal of positive and negative energies. Balance however, lends itself to action that is compassionate and beneficial to ones neighbors.