“ My journey into Vodou began with the most unusual of circumstances. Early one morning in 1984, Papa Legba introduced himself to me by asking if I knew how to get to the Borsh Building here in Philadelphia. As busy producer, I had a film crew in tow and wasn't looking for someone to stop me on my early morning expedition across Market St. I pointed the building out to the old African American gentleman, and turned back to my script and unruly crew. A moment later, I lifted my eyes, only to see the old gent fade -- literally fade -- into the Christ Church cemetery across the street. Same place where Ben Franklin's buried. I gulped hard, glanced at the camera man next to me and asked "Did you see that?" He looked steadily back at me, and said "See what? You want this shot or not?" I went on with my day, but the old gent was firmly seated in my mind and I've never been without his presence since...”
Mambo Vye Zo Komande la Menfo DaGinen is a Mambo Asogwe of Haitian Vodou and a Third Degree Priestess of Servants of the Light (SOL). Although these two paths might seem miles apart, they are in fact, very similar. Mambo Vye Zo's journey to a djevo (the sacred initiatory chamber) in Jacmel, Haiti began 20 years ago when The Opener made Himself known to her, and became a guiding force in her life. All through her occult practice, Papa Legba has shown the way, to stronger ritual, clearer vision and deeper faith.
Initiated as a Magus in the SOL in 1996, Mambo brought her personal journey in Vodou to the School, as one of it's many paths of practice and discipline. The School holds that all paths to the Divine are valid. Vodou is but one of those paths that can be taken. With the full approval of her initiator mother, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, and through her actions and leadership, Mambo continues to fulfill her vows of priesthood, both in the SOL and in Vodou.
In early 1999, Mambo made a promise to serve Legba fully in Vodou, if he would open the way for her to do so. She found the opportunity to go to Haiti in January of 2003, and fulfilled her promise to Spirit to serve in the capacity as Mambo. During her time in the djevo, the Lwa told her initiators that she was to be elevated to full rank, to be consecrated as Mambo Asogwe. She took the asson under a full moon during her suleliye ceremony.
She was crowned Mambo Vye Zo Komande la Menfo DaGinen (Old Bones Commands With a Strong Hand, of Ginen) in January of 2003, by Houngan Dye Ki Don, Houngan Fritzner Georges of Cyvadier, honor to him. Mambo Vye Zo returned home and began to work with Mambo Shakmah Winddrum of Philadelphia, petit fey of Mambo Rose Fabre, Croix de Mission (1960), currently of Philadelphia, honor to them both! Mambo Vye Zo works regularly with Mambo Shakmah in Philadelphia, Papa Edgar Jean-Louis of Belair, Haiti and Papa Lerine Lazireau of La Fond, Haiti. Mambo Shakmah and Papa Edgar both have taken Mambo Vye Zo into their lines, giving her their grandparents and ancestors to serve. Ayibobo!
It was Mambo Vye Zo's initiatory oath to the Lwa that she would strive to help gain recognition and validation for the Vodou faith. Her work as Mambo is dedicated to showing the world how beautiful the Vodou faith is, how generous the Lwa can be and how Vodou is the footprint for many of the faiths in the world today. She accomplishes this through ritual, art and teaching. When asked why she does this work, her answer is simple "Because when I call to the Lwa, they answer."
Mambo continues to fulfill her vows of service through seminar and performance to local colleges and universities, as well as her books and through educational classes. As an artist, she gives voice to the spirits through sculpture and painting, and currently is building spirit altars for her varied clientele.
If you would like to know more about Vodou, Servants of the Light or Mambo Vye Zo, please contact Mambo Vye Zo. She will answer any and all questions you may have.