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Intro. NYC Vodou.

To: alt.pagan,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism
From: (Clifford Hartleigh Low)
Subject: Re: Intro. NYC Vodou.
Date: 15 Sep 1996 07:22:45 GMT

In article , (Oya & Pomba) wrote:

>   Either name your sources and try to research matching numbers of Vodou
> sources (which is what Madison writes about--Vodou, NOT Santeria) and
> we'll talk.  Until then, your comments are mere opinions (incorrect ones
> at that.)

I have not confirmed permission to name my Santeria colleague; my friend
familiar with Candomble and the Brazilian traditions is Daniel Pellizzari
( I will append his response. (For some reason I can't
seem to find his actual post on Deja News, so I'll use the rough draft he
sent me. The only difference is some odd word usage, as English is not his
first language.)

The fact that Madison has no Santeria experience makes "Pomba Gira
Botanica" even more absurd. Pomba Gira Botanica is nearly as plausible as
St. Mohammed's Synagogue. Though Candomble and Santeria are related (much
like Judaism, Christianity and Islam are) significant elements differ.
Pomba Gira does not exist in Santeria, any more than saints in Judaism. 

> You will never ever find a "Flora Pomba Gira" in
> > Brazil either-- one simply _cannot_ dedicate a Flora to her (or Exu).
> Why not? Considering that any of the orishas can conceivably own one's
> head if they choose to.

Actually no. Some can't. Sorry. 

> > Only a handful of the Orixas can consecrate a Flora. It is not a
> > personal choice, like picking wallpaper. 
>   Okay, WHICH of them can do so and how do you know?

You can't pick and choose which one to sanctify your little shoppe...
Eleggua cannot sanctify a Botanica, nor can his parallels in other
African-Syncretic trads. This information comes from both of my sources.
I'll dig up more of a list of those who cannot if required, but that's the
only relevant one.

But since _you_ claim to be an expert, I'm somewhat intrigued by the fact
you can't come up with a list.

> > Pomba Gira is the female form of Exu. Because of Xian Syncretism, he is
> > usually depicted as Satan and is the patron of lust, vengeance, and
> > greed. 
> Another flub on your part.  Exu is the Brazilian version of Eleggua (Papa
> Legba in Vodou) who is the trickster, the gate-keeper, and the
> representative of the cross-roads.

Not a flub at all. In the Brazilian trads he's syncretized with Satan.
Legba is not exactly Eleggua, and Exu is probably the most divergent of
the set. He _is_ a trickster, gatekeeper, and the representative of the
crossroads. He also drinks blood, ensnares and devours souls, and performs
most of the other attributes of the Xian Satan. The primary difference
being that in Umbanda etc, Exu is subservient to God. 

> Pomba Gira generally follows suit and is thus depicted as the
> > Whore of Babylon. One notable sphere which Pomba Gira covers which Exu
> > does not, is vampirism; both physical and metaphysical. 
> Pomba Gira is the orisha who deals with Sex, death, and the crossroads,
> and since she shares some of her responsibilities with Exu, is sometimes
> known as "Exu-Woman" the same way that Oya is sometimes referred to as
> "Chango-Woman." (You really don't know this stuff at ALL, do you, Cliff?

Pomba Gira is the female form of Exu in Brazil. Exus and pomba giras are
not consistantly orixas; they have many facets. Pomba Gira has most of
Exu's qualities, but a notable addition is psychic vampirism and a
profound fondness for prostitution. 

In the introduction to the Teixeira Neto book "Pomba Gira", the author
explains that there is a debate whether "it is inevitable that all female
mediums who work with the Pomba-Giras eventually succumb to prostitution."
Another refutatory quote might be "...both male and female aspects of Exu
exist. The Exu-Woman, sometimes known as Bomba-Gira or Pomba-Gira, as she
is popularly known, due to a linguistic corruption. Her Qabalistic name is

According to chapter two, the heirarchy which Pomba Gira follows is thus: 

The primary dark spirit of Quimbanda is Satan, who has three aspects-
Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Aschtaroth (also known as Rei das Sete
Encruzilhadas). The lattermost aspects rules over an entity known as Exu
Calunga, who in turn is the master of Pomba Gira. Like I said, western
hermetics _particularly_ the goetia have had a profound influence on the
Brazilian variants of Yoruba divinities.

From page 4: "Although they work mainly through female mediums, the Pomba
Giras, by in large, do not like women. Rather, they favor the desires of
men, although this does not mean that they do not occasionally attend
women's needs... her dwelling is at a "T" crossroads, that is, at the
crossroads formed by one street that leads into another without crossing

From page 7: "Pomba-Gira Rainha recognizes the general songs sung to the
other Pomba Giras... [Song 3] She is in the kingdom, raue- She is coming,
darava, suu- Queen Pomba Gira, raue- She is the Queen of Evil, raua."

Did you say you invited novices to an invocation of the Queen of Evil, and
didn't even know that she was? Did you permit the presence of children at
the calling of a spirit which corresponds with Lilith? Gee, you do good

Then again, perhaps I am mistaken. Those budding mages might have been
offerings. Inviting folk to dinners where they themselves are to be dined
upon is not unheard of. 

But that's probably just the horror author in me screeching out. I've
learned that when an event can be attributed to either incompetance or
sinister intent, the former is far more likely even if it doesn't rule the
latter out entirely.

> > incorporate a surprising amount of hermetic black magic, particularly
> > from the  Lemegeton, in religious practice. That book, also known as
> > the Goetia and the Lesser Key of Solomon, is almost exclusively
> > dedicated to the summoning of demons. Exu's altars are traditionally
> > adorned with copious amounts of animal blood, numerous miniature iron
> > pitchforks, and fistfuls of powdered sulfur. (For a picture, check my
> > old Exu page at ).
> > Rites to both he and his female counterpart tend to be ribald and
> > involve heavy intoxication. The plural forms of the names Exu and Pomba
> > Gira (as "exus" and "pomba giras") translate as "demons" and
> > "demonesses", respectively. The Yoruba etymology for Exu is xu--
> Cliff, all the stuff you're citing is associated with ceremonial White
> Men's "Black Magick" not Brazilian or anything else as far as I can tell. 

Wrongo. It's all Brazilian. The goetia has had a pronounced influence on
the Brazilian traditions. If you don't know that, then whatever Madison
was taught is bunk. Assuming she was taught at all.

The description of a classic altar to Exu is _shown_ in the photograph at
the URL I mentioned above. Devil statuettes, iron pitchforks, blood,
carcasses, and powdered sulfur. That is an authentic altar to Exu in

> Look, did anyone ever teach you how to READ A BOOK?  The Vodu loas,
> Santerian orishas, and Brazilian orixas (not to mention all the variants
> of them from countless Yoruban-based religions) are all the same, existing
> in each of those various pantheons.  Telling them they're not real is only
> going to piss them off.

Firstly, they are not the same exactly. I don't think anyone in Santeria
would tolerate something orgiastic occuring at a ritual to Eleggua.
However, a ritual to Legba or Exu could be _rather_ different. Exu
requires sulfur and is subsurvient to the three aspects of Satan I mention
above-- you won't see any of that in Santeria or Vodoun. 

> No, Mad claimed a "fam trad" DRUIDIC background.  She is not Wiccan nor
> has she ever been--neither have any members of her immediate family.

Madison makes stuff up as she goes along. 

She was born and raised on an army base in Germany. She was also born and
raised on a little island off of England. Sadly, she was also born and
raised in New York. She's a Prophetess. She's a Druidic fam trad High
Priestess. She's a Mambo. She's a medium for Pomba Gira. The story keeps
on changing! It's exciting, just like TV! 

Funny that Mad never mentioned this Druidic fam trad thing when I was in
The Company. I've never heard of a Druidic fam trad before-- from a person
of NY Jewish background. Can this be documented?

BTW: approximately how old is Madison? 

> done on group consensus and no-one does anything they are not comfortable
> doing.  No-one will be turned away on the basis of their spiritual

Not according to what prominent people in the Pagan scene of NY have been
telling me. I trust their word over that of yours. I am gratified to know
I am not alone in all of this, though simultaneously I am displeased that
it seems Mad has kept quite busy with her old tricks. 

> orientation or experience level.  Us is intended to be a safe and
> accepting place of worship and Pagan contact.

It is not safe; it is run by people with a propensity to engage in risky
rituals and cult-like head games. 


>I'm a brazilian magician, and even though I'm not an initiate
>of african-syncretic religions, I'm on direct contact with
>them since I was a child - as almost any brazilian, even
>those from regions of massive european colonization. I 
>attended to a vast number of circles from many brazilian
>branches of this tradition: Candomble, Macumba, Quimbanda, 
>Nacao, Umbanda and Xango. I have many friends who are
>initiates of one of this branches, and sometimes I even
>use some african-syncretic elements on my practice.
>The recent postings about NYC Voudu, Pomba Gira Botanica
>and Madison caught my attention. This woman claims familiarity
>with brazilian african-syncretic religions, but doesn't seem
>to have a minimal notion about Candomble, Quimbanda or
>any of the branches.
>Let's choose a Madison's text. Here it goes:
>> Sat. Aug 24th at 3pm there will be a circle for Pomba Gira, the 
>> Brazillian goddess of sex, death and the crossroads.  This will
>> be a circle of dance and positive physical transcendence, 
>>(Overcoming obstacles and broadening perspectives.)  (NYC Vodou.) 
>> Please bring food, drink, spiritual books for the free lending
>>library and canned food the homeless if possible.  Please be 
>>clean sane and sober.
>Seven lines, lots of nonsense.
>First of all, Pomba Gira is not a goddess: it's the female
>counterpart to Exu. Both aren't even regarded as Orixas
>by some of the brazilian religions. In those, Exu is seen
>as a messenger from the Orixas, the one who makes the 
>link between they and the mankind. The Pomba Giras are
>just a step above the Eguns, the spirits of the dead.
>A Nacao's pai-de-santo made me a curious remark one
>time, telling that the Exus and Pomba Giras are "the
>breed of the first wife of Adam". 
>And for the crossroads, they're related just to the Exus, 
>mainly Exu Tranca-Rua. When Pomba Giras appear related
>to crossroads, the only reason is that they are there
>to "make company" to the Exus.
>Someone who claims to do a Pomba Gira circle with such
>advice as "be clean sane and sober" doesn't seem to have a clue
>about what is dealing with. The Pomba Giras, as a "family",
>are known for their aggressive and ostensively sexual mood, 
>as anybody who has attended to a real Pomba Gira circle can testify.
>Maria Navalha, to stay with just one exemple, is depicted as a
>whore and a cold blooded killer, who slays men with a razorblade. 
>"Positive" ? Not much.
>A Pomba Gira circle is caracterized by heavy drinking, 
>obscene behaviour and a real "demonic" atmosphere. This
>simply doesn't fit with Madison's ritual. Nor are PG's 
>circles renowned by doing charity as "canned food for
>the homeless". In fact, if you promise something to
>Pomba Gira and neglects it, bad things can happen.
>"Dance and positive physical transcendence".  Give me
>a break. The only ones who can dance at a Pomba Gira
>circle are the PGs themselves. They're jealous and
>angry, and if someone dares to catch more attention
>or be more sensual than they, it's better run.
>A PG circle has a single goal: ask for favours, 
>often on sexual matters. If this sort of thing is
>called physical transcendence, my English is worse
>than I thought.
>Besides all this nonsense about Pomba Gira, anyone
>with knowledge of brazilian afro-syncretic traditions
>can point out some disparities. "Pomba Gira Botanica" ?
>There are no "botanicas" on Brazil:
>they're called Floras. And I have never seen a Flora
>dedicated to Pomba Gira or Exu. They're regarded
>as "hardcore" entities, respected and feared - definitely
>nothing to play with.
>It seems obvious to me that Madison is a fake. 
>I hope her rituals never attract the attention of
>the Pomba Giras, Exus or even the other
>Orixas, for the results can be really hazardous.
>Some clues to Madison: if you want to perform "lightside
>Candomble circles", try picking another Orixa. Or, 
>better yet, try picking another religion to claim
>mastery on. And if you are yaking so much about threats
>made to your child, then you *really* don't 
>have a clue about Pomba Gira. Seems that you're
>bringing the slayer to your own home.
>Good luck.
>Daniel Pellizzari     |  e-mail:
>Porto Alegre, RS, BRAZIL   |  IRC nick: Cronopium
>  kaZa kaotika -->


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