LABYRINTH, The Caves of St. John
Haitian Vodou is an art. I consider the vodouisants as great artists and Vodou as a theater of the sacred. The trance-induced visions, epiphany and catharsis that are created within the ritual act, play on the elemental nature of life and death. It is a ceremonial process whose subterranean language is made of earth, fire, blood. Incarnate is that great metaphysical fear at the root of all ancient theater. What animates these rites comes from a darkness within. The fires that burn in the caves of St. Michel illuminate the spirits that exist there. These spirits are the ancestor. They are the foundation, the psychic heritage and spiritual principles that have lasted from generation to generation. These spirits, served through ceremony and sacrifice, are the life-giving force for the vodouisant.
Haiti contains a profoundly religious mind because it exists in a wasteland. This necessitates an inner strength that is unknown in our secular, economically privileged world. Direct, unfiltered communication with the unconscious, what the vodouisant calls 'esprit' or ' les Mysteres', acts as a source by which suffering can be translated through ritual forms. These are ancestral movements that are without real explanation except that this very human urge propels them through the nightmare of history and is impossible to destroy.