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Friday, July 18, 2014

VooDoo







"Voodoo is a religion that originated from Africa in the Kongo and Fon regions approximately 6,000 years ago. "Voodoo" means "sacred" or "spirit" in Fon. They believe in a supreme god in Voodoo such as the god Bondye in Haiti. This deity is extremely powerful and intangible of humans. Only with the help of thousands of believers and spirits, can they reach Bondye, known as Ioa or Iwa in Haiti. Voodoo is a spoken tradition, so there is no one book to which a believer can refer.



"The practitioners of Voodoo, often called Voodooists, believe the real world is intertwined with the spirit world. When we die, we pass over to that unseen realm where we can still observe and even help or harm the living. The spirit world also contains the Lwa, which embody certain characteristics, such as bravery or kindness. There are numerous spirits each possessing different degrees of each characteristic. The Voodooist seeks their counsel and advice through ceremonies and offerings. Voodoo spirits can also take over the bodies of believers, commanding those bodies to do their bidding. There are no unifying sacred writings or scripture in Voodoo."


"Beliefs in these Voodoo spirits came to the Americas with Africans who were captured as slaves more than 400 years ago. People from different villages lived and worked together in the New World and combined their traditions. Voodoo continues today in Haiti, Cuba, Brazil and New Orleans, but this Voodoo is somewhat different from the traditional African version. In the Americas, slaves often mixed their African religion with their captors' Catholicism and with Native American religious beliefs. They melded Roman Catholic saints with their familiar Voodoo spirits. Voodoo priests, like Catholic priests, are respected members of the community whose intercessions with the spirits are necessary. Priests perform healing rituals as well as provide counseling and practical help. Spirits don't just assist people with their troubles, however. Just like Christianity, Islam and several other large religions, Voodoo features malevolent spiritual figures who can act out to do harm to the living. Part of the tradition of Voodoo is this spiritual struggle between the forces of good and evil." -curiosity.com



" Voodoo is based on the belief in the presence of powerful yet invisible forces (les invisibles) that directly affect our lives and behavior. In times of crisis, a believer may invoke the aid of these spirits, also referred to as loa, for support and assistance. (Christians can invoke the so-called Holy Spirit for similar support.) This conception of metaphysical forces that can be both harmful and helpful is found in all religions. The ancient Greeks called them daimones. Other religions refer to them as angels and demons. (Actually, the word demon derives from daimon, but carries only the negative aspect of the daimonic.) In shamanism, they are known as spiritus familiares, "winged ones," supernatural beings not unlike angels but different: If the shaman accepts and cooperates with these spirits, they become helpful. But if he or she rejects or resists them, they turn demonic and destructive." -Psychology today



A simplified explanation of VooDoo:  From WiseGeek.com:

"The widely held image of Voodoo in the Western world is one of wax dolls with pins sticking out of them and black magic. It is, however, one of the world’s most ancient religions. Voodoo arrived in the West during the slave trading days, and the basis of the religion came from Africa. The practice as it is most widely known was structured in Haiti, where a variety of different ethnic groups amalgamated their traditions into this form of the religion.

Voodoo is a West African word meaning "spirit," and comes from term vodun. The basic ethos of the religion is that everything in the universe is connected. Nothing happens by chance in this world, and there are no accidents. Everything that one person does to another, he is doing to himself, because he is that person.

Religious ceremonies contain prayers, dancing, and rituals, as well as animal sacrifices. The figure of the snake plays a major part in the rituals, and the high priest or priestess will embody the serpent’s power. Spirits of wealth, nature, and happiness possess the bodies of believers at the ceremony. Dancing and music are also major elements. In the West, the dancing has often been portrayed as sexual, but that is not its main purpose: it's a way to connect with spirits and the spirit world.

Voodoo is an important part of family life in any community that practices it. The high priest has a great deal of influence and gives spiritual advice when it is asked for. He or she is also seen as a healer and practices with herbs and medicines. The knowledge that the high priestess has gained will have been passed along through prior generations.

Practitioners also use spells, most of which are performed to evoke good, not harm. There are healing spells, love spells, and spells to celebrate joy. The image of black magic and harmful spells was mainly founded by Europeans who had a distrust of anything African.

Voodoo is practiced as a religion in a number of countries around the world. In Brazil, it is called Candomble, and in the Caribbean, it is called Obeah. In 2003, the government of Haiti sanctioned it as an official religion, so believers can be baptized and married within the practice. It has taken centuries for this official action to happen, however, and believers say it will take more than an official show of faith to make up for the persecution that followers have had to contend with. There are millions of people in Haiti alone who share this faith."

SYMBOLS (Called Veve or Vévé ):


In Vodoun (Voodoo) practice, Veves are intricate symbols of the Loas (gods), and are used in rituals. They are similar to the sigils used in ritual magic.  Each Loa has his or her own complex veve, which is traced on the ground with powdered eggshell or a similar substance prior to a ritual. The ability to draw a Veve correctly is considered to be a particular skill of the initiate. A veve is believed to be more powerful if it is drawn with the correct details.



OTHER SOURCES:

http://www.omplace.com/articles/Voodoo_History.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_African_Vodun

http://www2.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/voodoo/biglist.htm

Looking for an online voodoo spell? Try this link:
 http://www.ancientvoodoo.com/spell.php