3 Ways To Identify A Legitimate vs. Fake Priest in African Spirituality

Sena Voncujovi
3 min readJan 15, 2021

As a third-generation practitioner of West African Ewe Vodu, I have encountered hundreds of practitioners and priests in my life. Here I share three tips on how to separate the good ones from the bad ones.

  1. Legitimate priests do not go around looking for clients, clients find them. Legitimate priests usually get new clients from referrals from past clients. If a priest starts messaging you on social media with stories of how your ancestors or spirit guides spoke to him/her, they are more likely that not a fake. Do not fall for their tricks.
A legitimate priest (left) get clients through referrals based on trust, not direct messaging you on social media (right).

2. Legitimate priests do not offer get-rich-quick spiritual solutions to your financial problems. In truth, as I have said before, there is no quick solution to becoming successful using spiritual means but many fake priests exploit those looking to make fast cash. There are indeed ways that people use African spirituality to attract wealth and positivity, however, this is often a medium to long term process which requires both spiritual and physical effort from a person. Many fake priests often use magic tricks to fool people into believing they can make a person rich quickly with minimal effort. Any priest saying they can make you rich overnight is a fraudster, especially those with photos of them around money. If they can make you rich, why do they not make themselves rich first? Do not let your greed lure you to dubious priests.

Fake African traditional priests posing with money claiming to make people rich “instantly”.

3. In a spiritual reading or divination, legitimate priests will not ask you about your problem before they do the reading. Legitimate priests usually do some form of divination or communication with the spirit world before working for a client. Under normal circumstances, the oracle should reveal your problem, not you. Only fake priests who have no skills in divination will ask many personal questions even before they do the reading. When you encounter a priest, be silent and let the diviner do the work.

The Fa (Ifa) Oracle (left) is a common divination tool used by diviners knowns as Bokors (right) to solve people’s problems. The oracle should be able to say what is wrong with you without you telling the diviner in a legitimate reading.

I’ve listed three simple tips to identify legitimate priests from illegitimate ones with the hope that it will prevent seekers of wisdom from being exploited by fake priests giving our traditions a bad image. What has been your experience with African traditional priests? What tips do you have for beginners?

To learn more, you can visit our Facebook page, ReVodution: Voodooo Education, or visit our shrine’s website.

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Sena Voncujovi

Afro-Asian Pan-African| Herbalist | Afa (Ifa) Diviner | Founder of ReVodution & Jaspora (Japan Africa Diaspora)| PKU Afro-Sinologist