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 The Asson

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Tankgrrl
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Join date : 2009-09-19

PostSubject: The Asson   Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:30 pm

The Asson, the calabash rattle that is the symbol of office of the hougan or mambo, usually is called a ritual rattle by ethnologists. It is a calabash taken from the calebassier courant tree, which is the tree-reposoir par excellence of the great mystere Danbhalah Wedo. The calebasse ordinaire is pierced with a hole to receive a handle.

The Houngan or the Mambo traditionally holds the asson in his hand, along with the clochette, or bell, which represents the magick powers of the Occident, or Ethiopia. The asson is held between the right thumb and index finger; the bell between the ring finger and the second finger.

the fruit of the calebassier courant and the calebassier ordinaire has been chosen as an attribute and a symbol of command, because, it reflects geometrically the magick principle, that is, the elevation or the assumption of the raw material fo the sacrifices which propitiants deposit ritually upon the socle of the poteau-mitan. The asson or calebasse courante makes a perfect geometric symbol in that by itself its metaphysical symbol being the abyss and chasm it represents a sphere or perfect circle; further more, it grows its own handle, a fact which, in the symbolic geometric, signifies that the calabash itself is controlled by the straight line formed by the handle.

Inside the asson are stones and the vertebrea of snakes which give the asson its sound. These stones and vetrebrae are considered bones of the ancestors worshipped in Voodoo. So the bones and vertebrae make the calabash a musical instrument for rtual power. When the asson "speaks" the sacred spirits of the ancestors appear. Therefore, the sound of the asson represents magically the powers of the ancestors from whom Voodoo is handed down. This element of the orthodox tradition is the vertebrae of the snake, since the mystere Danbhalah wedo is supposedly the oldest of the ancestors. It represents all the astral powers or all the powers of the ancestors who are identified with the stars, at the head of which the sun (legba) and the moon (erzulie) magically preside.

Furthermore, the asson is surrounded with a network of porcelain beads of all colors representing the rainbow serpent Aida wedo. The asson has under its command all the loas or occult powers of the astral ancestors, for this reason one may see the houngan strike these ritual designs: he strikes the veves with the asson to release the astral power and then to utilize it.
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