Mark Alexander Moellendorf, also known as Hougan Aboudja, has been serving the Vodou mysteries of L’Afrik Ginea for many years, one of the world’s foremost experts on Haitian Vodou and one of our favorite Priests on the planet! Sadly, we lost our beloved Houngan on July 17th, 2012 ~ my heart is broken and will never heal from this loss ~ I know he will be with me and Erzulie’s always…
“Do I believe that the river is alive, that the mountain moves, that the leaves of the forest have something to say? Yes… yes I do.”
― Houngan Aboudja
An accomplished Houngan Asogwe (Senior Priest in the Haïtian Vodou Tradition), Aboudja is a dynamic spiritual leader with a transformational style and well over a decade of experience. Erzulie’s is honored to include one of the most knowledgeable and respected Houngans in the world as an esteemed member of our Vodou family!
Though raised in the U.S., Houngan Aboudja was initiated in Haïti at Kalfou Lamontin by his spiritual father and mother, Feddy Senat – Vante Pa Fe’m Bo Houngan and Nancy Pierre Senat – Satela Bo Manbo who, together, where initiated by their father, Monsieur Emile Senat called Dje YaTande – Bo Houngan daGinea Menfò who was initiated many years before by the celebrated Monsieur Ibrahim Alexandre called Salbadja – Bonjan Houngan daGinea Menfò ki mache Zantayi Gelefwe!
During his initiation to the priesthood, Aboudja received ason zye kale (with eyes open) directly from the hand of Met Loko Atisou… ki ba tout asogweman 21 grenn kolye pou chache lavi mitcho lavi mitcho-tcho… as well as the authority of 3 Lewa (3 Kasik e Maj), passing each of their domains. Many priests stood witness to his ason, including his manman hounyo Manbo Jocelyn Joseph (Kalfou Lamontin), Houngan and Konfyans Kay Joseph “Le Colonel” Bateau (Fontamara, now Miami), Houngan Yvonne Jour-Lecœur (Fontamara), Manbo Joumabon (Port-au-Prince and Brooklyn), and many others. Finally, after proper respect given Gran’n Met-La, Primye Met ‘Bitasyon, and tout Gran Sosyete L’Afrik Ginea, Aboudja was baptized Yabofè – Bo Houngan kidi Rakonte daGinea Menfò. His lineage is fwan Ginea nèt.
Houngan Aboudja takes very seriously his responsibilities as a priest holding antique lineage, adhering strictly to the régléman of Vodou and to the ancestral traditions, obligations and practices of his lineage. He is well-know as an unabashed and outspoken advocate for adhering to, and preserving, the “old way” of doing things in Haïtian Vodou and, over many years, he has had the great fortune to learn firsthand from and work with some of the oldest, most respected elders of the Haïtian tradition, keen to learn all he can from these most senior of priests.
From his own father, Feddy Senat and his father, the ansyen bon Gran’n Emile Senat, an many other elder priests, Aboudja learned the complex and complicated history of the tradition, the oral history of the ancestors and L’Afrik Ginea, the old rituals and ways of doing, the old songs for calling and sending. He learned the traditional leaf medicine of Haïti also, both the holistic and phytotheraputic applications (medsin fèy), as well as the spiritual and liturgical applications (fèy travay/fèy pwisan) of the many leaves and roots. As knowledge grew, Houngan Aboudja learned to speak the language of the Vodou spirits, to understand the order of GOD’s creation reflected in the liturgy of the temple, and to understand the mysteries behind. And this was the very transformative moment when Aboudja became a master.
Over the years, Houngan Aboudja has officiated many ceremonies (including initiations) and assisted many others in New Orleans, Miami and Brooklyn, as well as Haïti… in Port-au-Prince, LaPlaine, Cyvadier, Fontamara, and Kalfou Lamontin. Like many other houngan, the responsibilities of priesthood demand Houngan Aboudja assume a number of very specialized roles, including Spiritual Consultant, Healer, Counselor, Raconteur/Metaphor-Maker, Advocate, Teacher, and Scholar well-known for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of the Haïtian Tradition (thanks to his father and many, many other elders). An inherently conceptual-thinker, Houngan Aboudja easily masters complexities without loosing sight of the BIG picture ― adept at treatments and workings to solve all manner of issues, and even the wickedest of problems.
Applied Ministry ― including the full range of Haïtian Vodou religious ceremonies and traditional services including illumination • “rasanbleman” • obligations (both individual & family) • initiation • baptism & head-washing • marriage • funerary rites.
Spiritual Consulting ― areas of special expertise include holistic & phytotheraputic treatment • cleansing, purification & blessing • house blessings • new business ventures/business growth • overcoming competition • legal issues (both civil & criminal) • stopping harassment or gossip • protection • uncrossing & expedition • justice for a betrayal or other wrong-doing • other specialized work for all manner of problems
Educational Consulting ― expert interview/teaching/lectures • advocacy • pilgrimage & guided tours (incl. sites of both spiritual and historical significance)