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Forums -> General Info -> Voodoo

Voodoo
By:
Post # 1
Here is some info on New Orleans Voodoo.

Voodoo Rituals

Voodoo rituals are very amazing. There is dancing, chanting, and offerings are given. In the center is of all the dancing or chanting is an altar with dolls and objects and offerings that the Loa you?re trying to ask for help are associated with. Rituals are sometimes done on the day of the Loa, or on the number of the day of the month.

An example of this would be if you were going to do a ritual for Papa Legba. His day is Monday, favorite number is three, and his colors are red and black. His favorite offerings are candy, cigars, corn, and tobacco. On the altar you could make a doll dressed in red and black. You can give him a offering of one of his favorites. You could also put three of something, like stones, on the altar. Papa Legba is the first and last to be invoked in a ritual because without him there would be no communication between you and the other Loas.

Also, each Loa has their own Veve or vever. The veve is a symbol that, like a Voodoo doll, my guess, represents the Loa in the ritual. They are usually drawn on the floor with cornmeal or other powders. My guess is that you place your altar, offerings, and sacrifices, if you do that, there. Due to some disputes, there are sometimes multiple Veves to one Loa. There is a picture of one of the Veves of Papa Legba in my photos.

Please tell what you know about Voodoo. Tell me if I get anything wrong. If you want some more information please feel free to visit my bio.

-Cheniere
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 2
Good job chenerie^-^

Love and Light xx
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 3
Here's a very brief history of Voodoo -http://www.omplace.com/articles/Voodoo_History.html

The practice of Voodoo is probably as old as the African continent itself. Sometimes written Voudou, Vodou or Voudun, the word itself means God Creator or Great Spirit. It has been greatly distorted and misused; human sacrifices, vampires, dripping blood and devil worship all make the stuff of spooky novels and Hollywood movies. Yet none of these originated with or ever belonged to Voodoo!

Voodoo is a life affirming practice that encourages its participants to better understand the natural processes of life and their own spiritual natures.

If one looks at the dictionary, Voodoo is likely to be defined as an ancient religion from Africa that involves the cult of Ancestors, of various animistic spirits, and the use of trances to communicate with such spirits. It is true that Voodoo did originate in Africa. Today it is practiced by millions throughout the world, in Africa, the Caribbean, Central, North and South America, in various forms, often with elements of catholicism mixed in. However, its main purpose remains as always to heal: to heal the individual in relationships within himself or herself, with others and ultimately with God.

Around 1510 the slave trade began, slaves being taken from the West Coast of Africa (Gulf of Guinea) from what is now Senegal and Gambia to the Congo region. The slaves who were torn from their native lands brought with them their beliefs and regional practices. Many were first brought to the Caribbean islands to work the plantations and be forcibly Christianized. Their owners ("masters") did not recognize the mystical qualities of their native ceremonies. Rather they considered them to be savages, incapable of abstract concepts or spirituality. Of course the denial of their humanity made it all so much easier to keep them as slaves. Yet in the terrible conditions of their enslavement, the Africans' only hope lay in their very faith. Amidst broken tribes and families, they found unity and solace in God and ancient rituals. It certainly also gave them a deep sense of inner freedom.

Although African slaves came from many different regions, most influential were the tribes from Nigeria and Dahomey. In 1729 the Dahomey conquered their neighbors the Ewes and sold their prisoners to the slave ships often in exchange for European goods. Many from Dahomey were also kidnapped. Both tribes had incorporated snake worship into their rites and some priests of the religion unwillingly found themselves on route to Haiti and the new world. Within one generation of their arrival, these priests had already established temples (hounfors) and developed a following in spite of their captivity and severe opposition of the French and Spanish churches. The term Vo-Du came from the Fons of dahomey. The other great influence came from Yorubaland (Nigeria), the site of the sacred city of Ile-Ife. Among the Yorubas, the Loa (Lwa or Spirits) are known as Orisha. Other people that contributed to modern Voodoo in the new world are the Aradia, Nago, Ibo, Congo, Senegalese, Mandingo, Ethiopians, Sudanese and Malgaches.

The Voodoos believe in the existence of one supreme God, a very abstract, omnipotent yet unknowable force. Below this almighty God, Spirits or Loa rule over the world's affairs in matter of family, love, happiness, justice, health, wealth, work, the harvest or the hunt etc. Offerings are made to the appropriate Loa to ensure success in those areas. Each Loa has its preferred fruits or vegetables, color, number, day of the week, etc. The Loa also manifest through elements of nature such as the wind and rain, lightning and thunder, the river, the ocean, springs and lakes, the sky, the sun, certain animals, trees and stones. Furthermore every element of nature, animal, tree, plant, fruit or vegetable is sacred to a certain Loa or Orisha.

Ancestors are consulted for guidance and protection. A rich and deep body of mythology and tales exists attesting to the amazing memory and poetic ability of the "Griots" who passed it orally from elder to youth and so on throughout the ages. It is truly a remarkable body of spirituality and a code by which African life was ruled. A very complex system of divination also exists known as "Ifa". It is said that the word Loa or Lwa itself derives from the French "Loi" (Law).

Upon their arrival in the West Indies and the New World, the slaves found themselves unable to continue the practice of their ancestral rites, sometimes under penalty of death. But they quickly understood the essential similarities between their beliefs and those of the Catholics; the Catholics praying to their Saints to intercede to a higher God in their favor. That is in fact the exact criteria used to "make a Saint", the ability to obtain miracles. A substitution took place: the Loa often taking the name and some of the attributes of the Saints. The elaborate ceremonies and costumes of the church also had great appeal for the Africans. I do not think that the Africans and their descendants would have seen it as a direct substitution rather than as an added path of expression of their deep-seated faith and beliefs.

In the Spanish Islands, the new religion became known as Santeria (the worship of the Saints). In other islands and in New Orleans, the term Voodoo remained. Because of its unique blend of French, Spanish and Indian cultures, New Orleans offered a perfect setting for the practice and growth of Voodoo. In 1809 many Haitians who had migrated to Cuba during the Haitian revolution found themselves cast out and came to New Orleans. They brought with them their slaves who incorporated their rites and beliefs to those of the existent slave population - Africans from Senegal, Gambia and Nigeria previously brought to Louisiana by the Companie des Indes. Voodoo in Louisiana was enriched and revitalized. It also incorporated the worship of the Snake Spirit (Damballah Wedo / Aida Wedo). To the Africans Voodoo was not only their religion, it was also their natural medicine, their protection and certainly a way of asserting and safeguarding a sense of personal freedom and identity.

Today about 15% of the population of New Orleans practices Voodoo. Modern Voodoo has taken several directions: Spiritualist Reverends and Mothers who have their own churches, Hoodoos who integrate and work spells and superstitions, elements of European witchcraft and the occult, and traditionalists for whom the practice of Voodoo is a most natural and important part of their daily lives, a positive search for ancient roots and wisdom. The practice of Voodoo involves the search for higher levels of consciousness in the belief that -as indeed all of the ancient scriptures teach - it is we who must open the way towards the Gods. for when we call out from our hearts, the Gods hear and indeed are compelled to respond. Voodoo is a powerful mystical practice between (Wo)Man and God thus saving him/her from further estrangement from the very universe that (s)he is born into.

Love and Light
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 4
Furthermore, I've noticed that some people think Hoodoo and Voodoo is the same thing.Hoodoo and Voodoo are both practiced in Louisiana and have many things in common.HOWEVER,there are differences between the two. Voodoo is a religion and Hoodoo is an African American system of folk magickal practice that has typically been handed down from generation to generation. Many Hoodoo practitioners in Louisiana are Roman Catholic and also practice some form Spiritualism or Spiritism. They do not typically invoke the loas (African deities) as in Voodoo, and instead use Catholic Saints that represent the loas. This Catholic shroud is the result of a historical atmosphere wherein the only legal religion permitted in the state of Louisiana from the 1600s to 1812 was Roman Catholicism. There is no conflict between those who practice Voodoo and those who practice Hoodoo in Louisiana and they are perfectly complementary.

Hoodoo practitioners work with both hands - for "good" and "evil". The "root doctors", as they are called in Louisiana, and the "bokors" as they are called in Haiti, are also healers. Some characteristics of Hoodoo magic include candle burning, the use of incense, the use of Psalms from the Bible, and seals and talismans from the 6th and 7th book of Moses.

Love and Light xx
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 5
I see we read the same article. And there is a HUGE diffrence between Hoodoo and Voodoo. This is from the Historic Voodoo museum in New Orleans.

Today, a newer set of definitions is used. Voodoo, (originally called Vodoun in Africa), is used to define the spiritual practice in which the magic that is effected through the gris-gris objects and invocations, is solely the work of spirits. Hoodoo, meanwhile, has come to be the practice of superstition in which the gris-gris magic is invested in the object (a doll, a potion, a candle etc.) or invocation alone, without the force or even the knowledge of the spirits. Therefore, Voodoo is the spiritual practice that uses gris-gris, while Hoodoo is a superstition in the gris-gris alone.
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 6
I know a voodoo priestess. She is an old black woman. She believes in the power of serpents as many voodoo practitioners do. She will bind evil spirits and such into snakes and then kill them and bury them. She is genuine and she is effective. She makes a healing powder, that she won't tell me what's in it. It is divine. She sprinkles it over a sore body part and in minutes, the pain is gone.
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 7
Excellent post guys.
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 8
I love this post too^-^ ))

Love and Light xx
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 9
Here is some info on Gris-gris bags and Voodoo Dolls

Gris-gris (gree gree) is a type of charm. It can be a bag of items or a doll. The doll is made of sticks and Spanish moss most of the time. There is a picture of spanish moss in my photos. The doll represents a person and you pin object, symbols, herbs and the picture of the person. Once i read somewhere that you can put it between different color candles for different things. I also heard somewhere you can put a gris-gris bag on it. Sometimes Voodoo dolls represent the spirits or saints for the altar.

Gris-gris bags are a bags filled with objects like symbols, herbs, grave yard dirt, bones, skin, teeth, stones and other items that mean something to you. Its usually for protection or luck and worn on the person. The items in the bag aren't the main power though. It is the purpose you put on it. Loas, or spirits, bless the bag and give it powers.

Please tell me if I get anything wrong.
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Re: Voodoo
By:
Post # 10
Ok now for sure I do love this post.Fabulous job Cheniere))

Love and Light xx
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