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An American Vodou House

Sosyete du Marche, Inc. Ceremonies and Services

Kanzo: Managing Expectations

To the one who asks for more, MORE is required…” -- A communication from Legba during a fet three years ago, when someone asked Him about kanzo.

All candidates for Sevis or Kanzo should review the following ranks and their level of commitment in order to make an informed and sound decision. You should take the time to think about this decision in regards to your ability keep to these commitments. Our goal is to make sure that each candidate understands what each rank involves so you can make an informed choice. Make sure you consider your personal, family, and work responsibilities before making your decision. One of the houses’ main tenants is – “Do not make a promise that you can not keep.” Please contact Mambo or Houngan if you have any questions.

Kanzo Outcomes: Managing expectations

Kanzo is a very big deal, both in Vodou and in life. A commitment is not something you should make lightly. An oath taken cannot be broken. By entering into Kanzo, you are starting a relationship with the Lwa. They are alive, sentient beings, who require dedication, commitment and monogamy in from their servitors. One doesn’t simply toss an offering to the Lwa and then go off to a party somewhere.

We are always asked about “later”, as in “What comes later?” Work is my usual reply. Much work. When you kanzo, you are embarking on a mystical voyage of love, devotion and dedication with a particular energy. Give that Energy all you can and it will reward you with guidance, clarity, balance and even opportunities galore. Ignore it, and you risk the opposite - lack of focus, depleted energy and a life that seems to derail whenever possible.  All this is not to scare you off, but to give you clarity right up front. To quote Yoda, “Do, or do not.” It’s that simple -- and yes, that complex. So let me lay down a couple of guide lines to help you manage your expectation of what follows Kanzo.

After your Batem, you are like a brand new battery, fully charged and ready to go. To give that charge the best possible opportunity to manifest in your life, you will have a few restrictions to follow. Some dietary ones (like no salt, for example) and some personal ones (like no sexual contact) for 40 days following the kanzo. This isn’t designed to punish you, but rather, to help you settle into and absorb the new charge that we’ve given you.

In our house, you will also have a few wardrobe restrictions. Modesty is probably the biggest one for folks to get their minds around. But you are not alone anymore. In fact, you’ve been partnered with an energy that is very protective and wants only you for Themselves. To satisfy this desire, you need to stay focused, to keep small in the world for now, and to be Theirs. That translates as a particular color to wear, a way of dressing and a mode of behavior that may require things like no bar hopping for those 40 days. When your 40 days of restrictions are done, we hold a Desounen Kolye, to finish your kanzo rites properly.  The Desounen Kolye is done to feed the ritual items you receive, placate the Lwa and send you off with a full set of tools to begin your journey in the world of Vodou.

Kanzo Responsibilities and Obligations

Sevis Tet Expectations

Congratulations on becoming a Sevis Kanzo in Sosyete du Marche! Your restrictions are the same as we outlined above. Once you have Dessounen Kolye, you are required to attend all fets of the house.  Additionally, it would be expected of all Sevis Kanzo that they do daily mediations for their Ancestors, Weekly mediation for their Met Tet and monthly service work at the peristyle. That would mean working in the herbal gardens during the summer, setting the temple for monthly service and attending choir practice with the Tambor.

Hounsi Expectations

Congratulations on becoming a Hounsi Kanzo in Sosyete du Marche! Your restrictions are the same as we outlined above. Once you have Desounen Kolye, you are required to attend all fets of the house, and to help out at classes for Circle One students.

  • You are expected to know the Priye Ginen.
  • Accurately sing at least 55 songs of the house reglemen
  • Accurately salute the Lwa when they arrive in service.
  • Additionally, it would be expected of all Hounsi Kanzo that they do daily mediations for their Ancestors, Weekly mediation for their Met Tet and monthly service work at the peristyle. That would mean working in the herbal gardens during the summer, setting the temple for monthly service and attending choir practice with the Tambor.

SuPwen Expectations

Congratulations on becoming a SuPwen Kanzo in Sosyete du Marche! Your restrictions are the same as we outlined above. Once you have Desounen Kolye, you are required to attend all fets of the house.  Additionally, you will be expected to:

  • Sing solo certain portions of the Priye Ginen during the fet.
  • Accurately sing and lead songs of the house reglemen
  • Accurately lead service segments along with Mambo and Houngan
  • Plan, manage and lead at least 2 fets during the year.
  • Be available and provide help on the day of and the day after all fet’s.
  • It is also expected of all SuPwen Kanzo that they do daily mediations for their Ancestors, Weekly mediation for their Met Tet and monthly service work at the peristyle.  This means mentoring new students, teaching the first Circle One class on Ancestors, and serving in the Temple as needed each month.

Kanzo Outcomes: Asogwe Expectations

Congratulations on becoming an Asogwe Kanzo in Sosyete du Marche! Your restrictions are the same as we outlined above. After Desounen Kolye, you are required to attend All fets of the house, and to teach any or all of the classes for Circle One students.

  • Sing the Priye Ginen solo during a fet.
  • Accurately sing and lead songs of the house reglemen
  • Accurately lead service segments along with Mambo and Houngan
  • Plan, manage and lead at 50% of the sosyete's fets during the year.
  • Be available and provide help the day before, day of and day after all fets.
  • Additionally, it would be expected of all Asogwe Kanzo that they do daily mediations for their Ancestors, weekly mediation for their Met Tet and monthly service work at the peristyle. It is also expected that an Asogwe Kanzo will be leading or at least, preparing to lead their own house, and performing their own fets for the public.

** Each rank assumes the commitments of the all lower ranks plus additional responsibilities.

There will be a set of requirements sent out for items needed to be brought with you for the kanzo.  They will include, but not be limited to new sheets, clothing, beads and rhum.

 

Copyright 1995 - 2016.  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.