Born in the Caul: Spirituality and Vodou with Louvel Delon

178 – Born In the Caul: Spirituality and Vodou with Louvel Delon

Louvel Devon is the owner of Chicago’s Occult Book Store. In business for almost a century, it is the oldest book store of its kind in the world. Louvel was born “in the caul” which means that he came out with part of the amniotic membrane still covering him (because it’s often over the face they call this a “cowl” or “veil”) and it’s a good omen for the child, often indicating he or she will go on to great things! From an early age, Louvel had a fascination with the spiritual and eventually he turned his interest into his business.

Louvel committed to his spiritual side by following his journey all the way to Haiti to be initiated as a Hougan, a male Haitian Vodou practitioner, but his story is also a great lesson in perseverance and making your own luck. Louvel Delon started working at the Occult Book Store when he was sixteen and became part of Chicago’s spiritual and magical community from an early age. By staying tight with the people in the circle, he eventually was able to take the reins and is now moving the store into its second century.

In this interview, you’ll have a chance to hear some of Louvel’s interesting upbringing (his memories start before he was one year old and some members of his family thought that he might be a “walk-in”, which is when an older, more advanced spirit enters the body), his leadership of the store as they become more than just a place to buy books, but a home for magic in the community, and he gives us a crash course in Vodou. If you’re interested in learning something about how real Vodou is practiced in the Modern Age (not just what you see on TV or in tourist shops), then you’re going to get a lot out of this discussion with Louvel Delon!

To see Louvel in action at his store, check out this interview that Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts did with Louvel Delon for her Haunted Road Trip channel, it’s a good preview for our longer form discussion in this episode.

This week’s song takes its inspiration from the death curse aspect of Voodoo that’s been so sensationalized over the years, the idea that even if there’s nothing wrong with you, you can die because you believe in the curse. It’s a phenomenon called  “Voodoo Death” after a paper written in the 1940s by American sociologist, William Cannon.

This song is based on one of the coolest spells in Dungeons and Dragons inspired by Black Magic. According to the D&D wiki, “You utter a single word of power that instantly kills one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not.” Chuck Palahniuk uses the same idea in his novel, Lullaby, as well. In this case, it’s a single word that can have an extraordinarily deleterious effect on those who believe in it: “no”.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My least favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As nasty as a death ray.

The only reason you’re alive,
Is because she’s not in one of her moods,
The only reason you’re still warm,
Is because you’re being pursued.

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Your ego bleeds like a stuck pig,
As you soak up the rejection.
Yeah, it sucks you’re out of luck in,
Using your erection.

Poked through like a voodoo doll,
Ripped a hair right out from your head,
You failed your only saving throw,
And now you’re gonna be dead…

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As deadly as a blade.

In a word,
With a word,
In a word,
With a word,
Power word, kill.
In a word,

She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.

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