Lave Tete

Lave Tete a Connection with the Loas. Artwork by Alex Grey
Throughout different cultures, the importance of the head receiving sacred energies in order for an individual to be aligned to his/her destiny, had been documented for centuries. Haitian Vodou is no difference, this is why the ceremony of Lave Tete (French for head washing) or Koule Tete (Creole for cooling the head) is very important ceremony. It is more than a ceremony for an individual to become attuned to the energies of the Loa. But, to be a clean vessel for the elements that exist within his/her spiritual quadrant.

Lave Tete cleanses the individual and/or would be Voodouisant to receive accurate spiritual calibration on the pwen of the Loa.

Depending on the regleman (rules) of the Mambo or Houghan the Lave Tet is done for one or three days. In my lineage it is done for three days. The unconscious mind receives a lot of psychic stimulation through the invocation of the Loa. It is by the awakening of the unconscious mind, that a process of self-abnegation takes place toward everything that had hindered his/her spiritual journey. At the same, the process prepares the individual for the perilous journey to become a future Hounghan or Mambo.

During the ceremonies a lot of old imprints and energies that had affected the individual negatively become exorcised and replaced with positive archetypes from the Loas. Through proper training, the Voodouisant learns how to invoke these images later on by conscious effort.

After the head is washed with certain herbs and other sacred rituals are done to the head, the Kouché follows. Kouché (or Creole for to sleep) takes place in the Badji (the room of the Houghan or Mambo which contains sacred images, drinks, and paraphernalia of the Loas). For the next three days the Voodouisant is prayed over and place under strict diet.

Once the process of Lave Tete is completed, the seven days that follow the Lave Tet must be free of sex, alcholol, pork, tobacco, eating out, masturbation, cursing, going to the cemetery and, visiting anyone who is sick.

The purpose of these short term taboos is to give your spirit time to enjoy the new energy that is in your life. During these seven days the individual is to go to church to pray, and set up a simple altar and pray to the Loas and ask for light to manifest in every aspect in his/her life, and enjoy the conscious awareness of the new psychic stimulation in his/her

The next seven days after the Lave Tet, the individual begins to grow in his/her awareness of the Loas. The Voodouisant will also start to be made conscious that the Loas are a constant presence in his/her life and thus he/she will have to learn to control their forces.

There is another part in the making…be on the lookout for it.

Guinea Jacmel

13 Replies to “Lave Tete”

  1. I’m contemplating on my first Lave Tet and reading this article was extremely helpful and answered the many questions going through my mind!! Very well written article….

  2. This article is well written. Great article. But, one thing that i would like to know is; during the lave tet will the recipient of this ceremony will become possess by its ” Lwa Met Tet ” ? why the – kouche – for 3 days in a ” badji ” at the priest/ess house for ?

    Thank you

  3. I’m about to go through that process next month, Lets say a year later if possible can you tell me what has been the most difficult thing you had to go through and how has this rewarded you.

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