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Episode 78 - Vodou and fertility

Françoise Molenaar

Feb 28, 2024

On this episode of the podcast, I talk with initiated Vodou priestess Nicole Nyiama Costerus, about the lessons from her fertility journey and the Vodou teachings that provide her with a holistic understanding of fertility, its challenges, and the importance of trusting life's timing. In the Vodou tradition, fertility is notably significant and linked to various spirits. Fertility issues and pregnancy loss are manifestations of deeper emotional or energetic circumstances that need to be addressed.

In a world of varying cultural beliefs and customs, Vodou stands out for its rich history, deeply rooted spiritual beliefs, and distinctive perspective on fertility and the soul. An integral part of many African traditions, and specifically famed in Benin, Vodou provides a unique lens to view and understand the ebbs and flows of life, from beginning to end.

What is Vodou?

Often misunderstood and misrepresented, Vodou is an ancient spiritual practice that predates many religions. Far from the Hollywood stereotype of needles and dolls, Vodou is centered on respecting and venerating spirits and ancestors. These spirits symbolize various aspects of life and nature, forming an intricate web of beliefs that sees the sacred in the world around us. From the major water spirit, Yemanjá, to those of lightning and earth, Vodou practitioners maintain a deep communion with these entities.

Vodou and fertility

For Vodou practitioners, fertility is not only a physical but also an emotional and energetic process. To address fertility blockages, Vodou priestesses who are adept at working with specific spirits and knowledgeable about potent herbs and rituals that can nurture fertility, can support aspiring mothers on their fertility journey. Yemanjá, the major water spirit, plays a key role here, symbolizing femininity and the life-giving aspect of water that is often associated with fertility.

The unborn souls’ messages

Vodou's understanding of the soul is far-reaching, extending to the realm of unborn children. This belief in the reincarnation of souls posits that the spirit of unborn children is essential, allowing the continuity of lessons in successive lives. During a pregnancy, Vodou practitioners identify and communicate with the spirits accompanying the unborn child, thereby establishing a deeply spiritual bond with the child, even before birth.

The meaning of pregnancy loss

Pregnancy loss, a deeply emotional and poignant juncture, is addressed uniquely in Vodou. Instead of seeing it as a tragic event or failure, it's seen as an opportunity to immerse in a process of consultation with the oracle system to unravel the deeper message behind the loss. Recognizing the crucial role of individual babies and their spirits, pregnancy loss becomes an occasion for prayer, ceremony, and ritual that honor both the spirit of the baby and the grieving process of the parents, fostering healing and a sense of closure.

Vodou, a misunderstood yet deeply enriching tradition, brings a unique and healing perspective to fertility, the soul of unborn children, and pregnancy loss. By embracing an interconnected view of nature, spirit, and the human experience, Vodou invites us all to see fertility not simply as a bodily function but as a sacred and spiritual journey.

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