Dr. John Montanee
A New Orleans Voodoo Grimoire
The Elevation of Dr. John Montane
© 2014 Andrieh Vitimus
Dr. John Montane is a critical and often untold part of the story of New Orleans Voodoo. At Starwood in 2012, I was part of a larger ritual created by Priest Louie Martinié to elevate Dr. John to the status of a Loa. This had been the second large ritual to elevate the spirit.
At the ritual, we had several members of my working group present. We were all dressed in white with red head wraps. I had brought my Papa Legba cane. Normally, at most public rituals or rituals at another Voodoo house, I tell all the students and members not to get possessed unless we are explicitly asked to engage in possessions. Priest Martinié invited me to assist in the ritual, which was a great honor.
The ritual was a New Orleans style ritual. The energy was crackling even at the start of the ritual. We went from the Bamboula into the calls to Legba and then something quite interesting happened. Louie explicitly motioned that he wanted us to get possessed. Legba possessed me and then one by one Legba possessed every member of my working group. The door was opening VERY wide indeed. In fact, Legba possessed others. In hindsight, I should have realized I may be witness to the partial birth of a new Loa in the tradition.
The ritual continued and the drumming continued increasing in power. We started dancing and drumming hard for Dr. John Montane. Louie had concentrated drums for that purpose (Dr. John was said to be a famous drummer). Veves for Dr. John had been previously worked through. The energy was absolutely tangible, powerful and building. Something was coming. You could feel it in the air. It was there. The moment came.
I could feel Dr. John come to the threshold of the door that was open. It was like he, at this point, did not quite know how to interact or interface with multiple people at the same time. He was there however. As soon as I had those realizations, a couple of my students shook violently and fell down which is a sign of possession. One of my students fell down, shaking violently but rhythmically and was fully possessed. Doctor John had made it to the physical world fully. I ran over to the person to protect the person’s head and body. I tested the possession and made sure the person did not get hurt. I could see that Louie was taking care of someone else in possession. The possession was absolutely real, you could feel the energy streaming off the person and it lasted more then a few minutes.
Often time, when you are first getting possessed by a new entity that is unknown to the horse, this seems to be the pattern. In my experience in Voodoo (and I am a priest), I have seen the possessions get more and more refined as the spirit and horse build a better and more complete interface. Falling down, shaking and having potentially little control over the body while in possession usually means the interface between the horse and the spirit has not been refined enough. In this case, I believe that part of the interface problem was on the spiritual side. Doctor John was also learning how to exist in multiple bodies at the same time, and how to step into a willing horse. I got the distinct impression that as more and more work possession rituals were attempted, that he would get better at this part of the process. The mere fact, that he could cause verified possession by that point in time was a sure sign to me that he was ready to be elevated and ready to be born into this new and fantastic state.
From the ritual, I experienced there was no doubt in the power and efficacy of the ritual. It seemed like Doctor John had been born into the new state, but like a baby had to learn how to crawl and then walk. I am sure as the work with Dr. John continues; he will grow and become a most helpful, beneficial and extraordinary spirit to work with. Given the history of New Orleans Voodoo and his contribution to the current, this is truly a fitting and deserving honor for Dr. John to receive. Even participating, I personally learned a tremendous amount about the interface between spirit and the horse. I was doubly honored to see the progression of a most exceptional dead forefather move to a more exalted state. I hope in the near future, Dr. John has enough strength to travel and visit us in our temple. It was a tremendous experience, and I can not thank Louie enough for hosting it.
Andrieh Vitimus can be reached via his website at andriehvitimus.com.
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