The six steps of initiation into the Afrikan Magick Temple are meant to guide the initiate toward a spiritual awakening or self-actualization. Anyone interested in becoming an initiate should email us directly to schedule the ceremony and discuss the costs involved. For reduced rates, we suggest group initiations of two or more. Internship and volunteer opportunities are available for individuals willing to dedicate their creative talent toward the enrichment of the shrine. The associated costs of initiation for these individuals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, refer to Internships .

Note: Blood sacrifice is an inherent part of Vodun. Although at our shrine we try to limit bloodshed, it is still unavoidable. Some individuals may find certain rituals uncomfortable to watch. If this is a serious problem for you, perhaps, West-African Vodun is not for you. To learn more about ritual sacrifice, please watch our videos.

The following are the six steps of initiation:

1.Introduction to the Ewe language

In order to fully understand Ewe spirituality, one must first have a basic understanding of the Ewe language. During their first few days in Ghana, initiates will be taught the basics of Ewe language by learning the alphabets, language structure, pronunciations, and salutations by a qualified Ewe language teacher. This introductory class will allow initiates to fully immerse themselves within Ewe culture during their stay in Ghana.

2.Basics of Ewe healing practices

What do you do when someone falls sick? How do you spiritually cleanse yourself with herbs? How can I do rituals when I’m not in Africa? This part of initiation will accustom students with the philosophies and practices of Vodun in a contemporary world. It will, firstly, include several informal discussions, film screenings, and seminal readings on various Vodun related topics such as Ewe culture, gender in Vodun, modernization, the environment, decolonizing the African mind, and more. This part of initiation will intellectually stimulate the initiate thereby allowing them to view Vodun from various perspectives. Secondly, initiates will go into nature (bush) with the bokors to learn how to pick and use certain medicinal and spiritual herbs.

3.Herbal bath of Abraxas

Abraxas refers to a universal consciousness— that when experienced—the boundaries between self and all else are dissolved. Afrikan Magick Temple uses this force to open spiritual doors for the practitioner. An herbal bath is made consisting of many disparate elements such as animal hides, oils, water from the Red Sea, Ganges, Nile, and Volta as well as Zamzam (well water from Mecca). During the ceremony, the practitioner may begin to feel tremors. Sometimes these become very pronounced and uncontrollable. The reason for this is that the bath breaks the natural “shell” around an individual. This “shell” exists to protect that individual from negative energy. It also, however, prevents positive forces from reaching the individual. The Abraxas bath breaks this initial “shell” so that once can physically feel and connect with energies. The strength of each shell depends on the individual; some individuals will need more work in the ritual than others. This ceremony is a requisite for beginners in spirituality who want to experience and not just talk about spirits and energies. This ceremony is also beneficial for the advanced spiritualist, who wants to more wholly feel the spirits or energies with which he or she is working. Read more about Abraxas in Our Spirits.

4.Initiation into Torgbe Dzorkpata:

Dzorkpata or Torgbe Dzorkpata is one of the two patron spirits of Afrikan Magick Temple. Christopher Voncujovi has worked with this Vodun for twenty-three years. Dzorkpata is a Mars sphere entity. His colors are, unsurprisingly, pronounced shades of red and his element, also unsurprising, is fire. His ruling, or most active days, are Tuesdays and Saturdays. The word Dzorkpata can be translated to “sudden happenings” in Ewe. The character of this deity can be likened to the Archangel Samuel (Sameal, Sammael or Samil) who is often referred to as “Venom of God” or “Wrath of God.” He is a Vodun that share similar characteristics with the Yoruba deities Baba-lu Aye, Ogun, Shango, Aggayu. Dzorkpata is a spirit that every initiate of Afrikan Magick Temple must have for protection. Read more about Dzorkpata in Our Spirits.

5.One-on-one Divination

We believe in creating a unique spiritual path for every initiate because everybody is different. Therefore, divination will be done by one of our seasoned diviners to determine which other spirit (vodun) is compatible with the initiate. Divination will provide initiates with several spiritual, behavioral, and moral guidelines to fulfill their destinies. Although the system of divination used varies, we generally use cowrie, mirror, or Ifa divination.
Note: Initiates are expected to cover the costs for the spiritual items purchased to make this vodun, however, no workmanship will be charged. We cannot estimate a cost because we are still unaware of which Vodun will be selected.

6.Introduction to 4 to 7 cowrie divination

Introduction to cowrie divination provides initiates with the basic skills to divine with the spirit world through an ancient Ewe divination system. Healers will consecrate cowrie shells and teach initiates how to use them. By the end of the two weeks, initiates will be able to ask basic yes/no questions as well as learn the general patterns and their meanings. We believe in the spiritual independence to avoid the evils of dogma. We are not interested in becoming a religious organization that dictates how initiates should act or think. We want to create individuals who can critically think for themselves and will positively impact their communities around the world. This can only be achieved if we promote spiritual literacy: the ability to effectively communicate with your inner self and spirit guides.


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Photographs by Gigi Gatewood and Pele Voncujovi

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