SDM header

An American Vodou House

Four Circles Program: First Circle is Hounsi Bossale

Four Circles Year 1, Class 1: THE ANCESTORS IN VODOU
Class begins again on April 1, 2016. Registration begins March 25, 2016.

01 webIn this first class we aim to set a base line for learning. We will cover topics such as the recent scholarship relating to Haitian history,  Vodou’s role in Haiti, Vodou’s history and the Ancestral lineage that is the hallmark of all Vodou practice.

Vodou is the Creole religion of the island nation of  Haiti. Through music, art, song and dance, the practitioners, the priests and the servitors of Vodou dance in close communion with the  Spirits of the faith. It is a joyful, graceful mix of Ancestral belief,  historical fact and syncretic religious faith. Although Vodou is a life long commitment of service and worship, we designed this class for the  practitioner who may not be able to join a house just yet. And because people from all over have been contacting us, we felt offering this class on line was an excellent method for helping people decided whether they want to go further in the practice.

In this first class, we will touch on some of the basics of Vodou. Vodou is the Fon word for Spirit and in this class, we will begin by talking about how all of life is infused with Spirit. My own Gran Papa, Luc Gedeon used to say, "There is nothing that is not Vodou - because everything is spirit". Ayibobo to that Papa!

We'll first cover some of the history - where is Haiti and how did the Vodou faith move across the Atlantic and into modern  consciousness as a practice for anchoring oneself in both the world of  men and the world of spirits. We'll talk about three of the major  nations of Lwa - Rada, Petro and the Gede. We will become familiar with the major spirits of the Vodou pantheon - Legba the gate keeper. Danbala and Aida Wedo, the creation  serpents. Ezili, the Lwa of love and abundance. Ogoun, Lwa of war and  iron. The Gedes, clowns of death and healing.

Each registered student will receive a package of materials to study as they participate in the online class. This package includes Mambo’s book Serving the Spirits, The Four Circles On-Line text book, class syllabus and letter of welcome. You can read further about this by following the link below to the OnLine Class. Students who take the class are welcome to attend fets when the sosyete holds them.


When you register for the class, you will receive two books. The first one is Serving the Spirits, the Religion of Vodou and the second is the Four Circles On-Line text book.  This is a copy of the material in all 22 videos. With these elements, your first year education will be well rounded, and you can begin to successfully serve your Ancestors and spirits.

The class is a series of short videos, covering the basic beginner lessons on Vodou. They are not in depth looks, nor are they meant to be. Rather, they accompany the Serving the Spirits book, giving you an overview of the topic. The Serving the Spirits book is the more in-depth explanation.  There is approximately 3 hours of video, broken into 5 to 10 minute segments. Each segment covers a portion of the book’s topics - from history to art to the Lwa and the Ghede.

 Then, you’ll be asked to join the private Sosyete du Marche Four Circles Program group on Facebook. There, other students will be listed, who will be joining the conversation, comparing notes and asking questions. Mambo Lisa is the moderator, and will be your “Mistress of Acolytes” for the duration of the class. Mambo will also be present to help answer questions, and direct traffic. Only students of the Four Circles class will be authorized for membership. This is a Facebook group specifically for those people who have paid their tuition and are receiving information for said tuition. If you are not signed up for the Four Circles, you will not be granted access to the group.

Completion of the class grants you access to the private Sosyete du Marche, Inc. Facebook group, an open invite to our fets here at the houmfort and “At-Large” membership in the society. It’s a great way to become a part of a Vodou sosyete, and enables you to learn at your own pace, so when you do make it out for a fet, you won’t be totally lost in the action!

The videos will be available for review until March 31st. At the end of March, we will reset the site to begin class again. The Facebook group will always be active and you can gather there “electronically” to discuss chapters, styles and workings.

We built a question and answer list to help answer any concerns you might have:

How much does it cost? $150.00.

When does it begin? April 1, 2016

What’s included?  The two text books - Serving the Spirits, and the Four Circles On-Line workbook.

How long does it run?  The class will be available until June 30, 2016. After that time, the password and ID will be taken off.

How does it differ from live class?  Online classes allow for a bit more in depth explanations of techniques, pronunciations,  etc.

Will there be video? Yes.  I have about 120 of minutes of protected video that only SDM students will be able to access.

Will it be live?  No.  I will not be doing live video, but you can post questions in the Sosyete du Marche Four Circles Facebook group, where I will be available to answer your questions.  Each week I will record a live video responding to all the questions posed in the Facebook group.

Will you be moderating the group? I will, but I also have assigned a Sosyete member to be the Met Bossal for this class. His name is Dean Stephens and he will be answering questions along with myself. (A mambo’s work is never done!)

Can you tell me more about the Facebook Group?  Students can access the material and the group anytime to discuss issues with other students.  A gallery is also available for students to share current homework.

Will there be home work?  Yes, there will be assignments for each video segment.  It’s how I and Met Dean will know that you comprehend the material! Students are encouraged to post photos of their altars, their candles, etc. Whatever the homework assignment is.

Is the class segmented or do I get everything at once?  I have designed the class so you will have access to all the information at once and can play with it as you like, at your own speed.  New weekly videos will pop up with additional tidbits and tips.

What kind of site is being used to host this class?  I'm using our private web site, on a secure server, with two firewalls for safety.

How will I access the site? When class begins I will send out log-in information to all registered students.

What else will be on the site? Along with the Videos I will be posting the major questions as they come up, and the solutions.  I will also do a weekly video addressing these questions.

Is this for Beginners or Advanced students?  It's for everyone.  I've made it so it is information that can be used by all levels.

How will you accept payment?  PayPal

What will happen after I sign up?  I'll send you a confirmation to saying welcome to the class. At that point you'll get an email inviting you to join the SdM Four Circles Facebook group prior to class and meet some of the other students.  I will ship out books and CDs as soon as you register, so you can get a jump on reading. Then on April 1, 2016, I will send out the login information and you will be ready to begin.

How do I sign up? Registration is open for Year 1 Class 1 begins again on March 25. Payment will be accepted via Paypal. Please contact Mambo Vye Zo with any questions regarding class.

Four Circles Online Registration


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.