Like all the great religions Vodou has an external, public practice of rituals and ceremoniesãand also an internal, mystical dimension. Before Nan D…mi, works about Vodou have concentrated on the spectacular outward manifestations of Vodou observanceãhypnotic drumming and chanting, frenetic dancing, fits of spirit possession. But practically all reports on Vodou are outsider accounts, which means that they are stopped at the threshold. Mimerose Beaubrun, educated as an anthropologist, set out to write another such work, but in the process she met the woman who would become her ultimate teacher and guide to the religion's internal mysteries: Tante Tansia, whose knowledge, wisdom and spiritual power govern the text of Nan D…mi. Nan D…mi is the only account of Vodou's private, mystical, interior practice that has been offered to the public so far. Its content stands in the same relation to ceremonial Vodou as Zen to conventional Buddhism, Sufism to conventional Islam, the practice of the desert saints to conventional Christianity. Mimerose Beaubrun has been a student of Vodou for half of her life, but she is also an adept, and in this uniquely valuable work, she divests herself of all scholarly apparatus to speak from Vodou's purest heart. This English edition includes a fascinating introduction by Madison Smartt Bell, placing the religion and Beaubrun's memoir in historical context.