Re: How to use voodoo sigils? By: Siriso / Beginner Feb 03, 2018
Post # 4
1.) They are called Veve, and they are representative of Lwa (the spirits of Vodun/Voodoo). Think of them sort of like calling cards.
2.) Though they're largely used interchangeably, the terms refer to different systems. Vodun is the older, West African tradition. Vodou is the 2nd oldest, based out of Haiti (probably the closest you'll get to actual Vodun these days), Voodoo is based out of New Orleans and is the most Westernized of the three you'll commonly hear. There's also branches in other Carribean locales (Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc.). "Vodoun" is a commonly used term coined by Michael Bertiaux in his "Vodoun Gnostic Workbook." His tradition blends some Hermeticism and other Western beliefs into it.
3.) Vodou is NOT a magick system, it's a religion. Most who practitce Vodou and all of its variants practice Hoodoo, which is a folk magick system. It's a blend of West African, Native American and Christian folk practices. Most all Vodou practitioners practice Hoodoo, but not all Hoodoo practitioners are Voudisants -- if that makes sense.
4.) Vodou is a religion that ultimately believes in a creator god (named Bondeye), though he does not interact with the moral world. Instead, there are "great spirits" or Lwa/Loa/etc. (the spelling varies) that interact with the moral world in his stead. These Lwa are reverred and/or petitioned by Voudisants to various ends. Vodou places a large emphasis on reverring your ancestors and the Ghede (the dead). There's various beliefs about the soul, ethics, etc. that vary from House to House.
5.) You will have an EXTREMELY hard time finding information on Vodou as it's a VERY initiate-oriented religion. It's also as of late been plagued by many scam artists taking advantage of Americans and Europeans seeking to join Haitian houses (so do be aware of that and be careful when seeking out instructors). I was fortunate enough to be initiated into a U.S.-based sub-branch of a Haitian house and learned directly that way.