to ultalise be connected too and to be honoured with communication with certain energies , goes in their essence, far beyond ritualistic acts of devotion. In my mind our lives or certain cultural aspects come into the equation strongly when forging a relationship or having a connection to certain spirits. For example when working with Ghedhe or Pombia Gira or Exu it becomes obvious that a black Haitian or south American from the ghettos would have even without practice, a true link to these spirits authentically ,true spiritual connection to such rather than say a white middle-class European who was not culturally from these backgrounds or ever been to Africa or Brazil,just as a woman who had never experiened prostitution first hand in her life would have less of a true connection to Babalon or Pombia Gira. Thats not to say that we can't build a relationship up in ritualistic devotional practice to these spirits but if we do not have certain basic foundations already we will not have a full relationship or be connected to such things .To my mind in having a relationship with Ghedhe you need to have had experienced in life death , you need to have a strong spiritualist elements ,in as the fact many of my friends have died on the street , I can form a natural relationship with such because DEATH has effected myself in a lot of aspects , in losing the people I have loved in my life profoundly to connect with these aspects of honouring the dead and Ghedhe .My connection is also to the street , to the dispossessed from my own life experiences and sexuality through my previous exploration of prostitution in my life all these factors come into my relationship with Ghedhe because you need to understand , death , sexuality , violence and the elements of street life to connect or be linked to such on a level. Inn Pombia Gira and Exu I also find a natural connection relationship due to my life background that I would not have otherwise. I am white British but due to my background lifestyle I can have a link to such things that most people who are not African or Brazilian could not . In that I feel and know , that you can only have a true relationship with such spirits if you have these basic understandings on a deeper level of communication , the experiences in life which are linked to the essence of such dieties. Without such ritual devotion is empty because you cannot have a deeper understanding of the spirit or natural link to it or fully connect or utilise such energies. In that devotional elements are not the starting point as such ,because if you practice devotional aspects of ritual, it does not guarantee building up a relationship with these or other spirits if you do not have a full understanding of the root of the essence of them . For how can we expect to forge a full relationship with them if we do not understand first hand from our own lives experiences , to beable to in our actions empathise communicate with such. In this aspect I feel it is often overlooked the fact that devotional practice will not equal a true relationship with the spirits , that there has to be a deeper root to being chosen by them or true communication , or else all is play-acting at spiritual communication in shallow acts of superfluous devotion. That devotional ritual without the for mentioned link to these spirits is worthless and nothing more but a mind game of us fooling ourselves that we have a link to the spirit or divine communication without basic understanding of what this entails. In this I feel if is important though not to bypass the importance of devotional practice , we realise that true spirit contact can not be attained by just this that several other factors that effect how deep our relationship with certain spirits goes , depending on our backgrounds and understanding fully of the essences of such .Devotional practice to myself serves as a link a basic reaffirmation of a relationship with certain energies spirits I already have , but not as the only roots of communication connection with such .So it is important when practising we realise devotion all elements do not even if they cement a relationship with certain spirits equal direct enlightenment or communication to the source or spirits themselves in full possession contact .