Misterios/Miste/Mysteries and Mastery
Another term that is often used to refer to the Lwa is “Mysteries” (Miste in Kreyol and Misterios in Spanish). This word is very important when considering the Lwa. Why? Because it has a lot of depth to it, and many levels to that depth.
Whenever I hear or see anyone claiming to be the “Vodou Master”, “Guru”, or “Adept”, I often fall to the floor laughing. What these individuals fail to realize is that the Lwa are known as Miste (Mysteries) for a reason. It is because no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. They are mysterious. Each individual Lwa is a Mystery with more depth than we can imagine.
By calling his or herself a Master or Guru, that person is in his or her mind assuming that he or she knows it all, therefore, that individual’s mind becomes closed to new thoughts, ideas, and learning. He/she closes him/herself off to learning more, as he/she thinks they already know it all. No one can know everything that is Vodou. No one. It is too wide, too deep, and too large. A lifetime is certainly not long enough to learn everything.
You can be a master pianist, a master typist, etc. But how can you master something you will never know everything about? You simply cannot. One can hold a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience, and indeed be a very good Vodouisant. One cannot – however – ever be a Master!
In Vodou, one never stops learning. Everyday there is something new to learn. Knowledge is scattered all over the world. Everyone holds a small piece. As such, all of this would need to be gathered together to really “know” – if that were even possible.