I read for a client last week. This person has had more services and ceremonies than is healthy, in my opinion. Two Lave Tets and one Maraj Lwa in Haitian Vodou; Warriors and a Rogancio in Santeria; dabbled in Palo (I shudder to think of what that meant) and is now pursuing Quimbanda with someone. Really dude? Put down the tcha-tcha and back away from the altar.
I don't do/agree with multiple initiations in various traditions, particularly in the ATR. African Traditional Religions may seem alike, but they are not. Ogoun in Santeria is not Ogoun in Haitian Vodou nor is he Zarabanda in Quimbanda or any other configuration. These spirits may share a root in Africa, but that's as far as it goes. And generally, the person bleating at me about this is someone who won't commit to a path, but rather is willing to "sample" and then do his or her own thing. I don't do "things". As a Mambo Asogwe, I took an oath to practice Haitian Vodou. Period. I hold one other initiation in Western Ceremonial Magic. That's it. I am a Vodouisant and it works for me. My life is stable, healthy and firmly grounded. I give thanks. I have worked very hard for it to be good. And that included not straying off the path that Spirit pointed out to me. Mesi anpil.
I am beginning to see the wisdom in not doing divination, especially for those who treat it like a parlor game. People such as my client are not interested in hearing the truth. They want to hear their own version, just from my mouth. I had another client spend a month emailing me the same question regarding multiple initiations in multiple traditions, just rephrasing it over and over. I finally stopped anwering this person. How many times can you say something and the person not hear it?
I am weary of this nonsense.
Your head is a very special, and very unique place. You are not supposed to fill it up with things that don't belong in there. You are born into this life with a specific set of Spirits. It's your job to figure out who they are and then work with them. Some of us manage this early on, while others spend time looking. And then there are those who fill their heads with whatever they find or think they need or want to try. They keep adding to the mix, until one day, their head blows up - with addictions, with anger, with frustration, with depression. That's where multiple initiations in multiple traditions can lead. I know there are people who seem to handle this quite well. But I would point out that those people often have a single practice they go back to over and over again. That single practice is their mainstay. So those multiple initiations don't really stick in my honest opinion.
I and mine believe that keeping to one practice is how you grow in Konesans. You can't learn a dozen languages and do them all well. Two maybe, three if you are gifted. And not just swear words, okay? I mean, read, write and speak proficiently in three languages. If you can't do that, then you can't do three magical/religious traditions either.
If you can, then you have my admiration -- and my pity. Admiration for the talent, and pity for the practice. I can barely keep my one set fed, fetted and happy. I mean really? When do you find time to do laundry? Inquiring minds want to know.