Everything You Need To Know About Voodoo

When you think of voodoo magic, you have a picture of an evil doll in your head? But is this what voodoo is really about? Keep reading and find out.

By Vera Aries
Everything You Need To Know About Voodoo

The Beginnings Of Voodoo

Voodoo magic is best known from a series of Hollywood production films that we have had the opportunity to watch. It is especially represented in the horror genre, and the explanation is very simple - most people are afraid of the notion and this kind of magic, or rituals, and the way voodoo is performed. Voodoo is shown in Hollywood as a form of demonic cult, communication, and attachment of the devil. This kind of magic is particularly popular in the United States, but it is claimed to have originated in Haiti. This is what Hollywood has presented to us, but what is the truth beneath it all? Voodoo as a phenomenon has always attracted the respecters of the tradition. The origins of ancient voodoo magic are rooted in Nigeria and Ghana. Voodoo as a religion today is encountered in African countries as a consequence of slavery. When brought into the new world, slaves practiced voodoo religion, which in America was considered a black magic. Slaves declared themselves as Catholics, and secretly practiced voodoo customs. Over time, voodoo magic interfered with other African religions and took on signs of Christianity, but they all considered it as a religion celebrating the devil. All rituals were used at night, which is why Voodoo magic began to be equated with black magic and demons and was not allowed to be practiced.

Directions In The Voodoo Magic

For voodoo magic we have read many times. But what is the truth behind the fiction of this ancient magical practice from Africa? Voodoo is a set of magical beliefs and practices used in some parts of Africa, South America, and Tahiti. The word voodoo comes from Africa, which in translation means spirit or deity. This practice arose in the 17th century on plantations in America by slaves, forced by West Africa. In America, the tradition of pagan practices is combined with Roman Catholicism. Voodoo religion believes in the existence of spirits. Voodoo is not just a religion, but also a kind of culture, as well as a way of life, so it is more precisely called voodoo culture than religion. There are two main directions in voodoo magic, "Rada" and "Petro." "Rada" is older and contains more traditional elements, and it deals with family protection. "Petro" was founded in the late 18th century by a priest named Petro, which is how these directions in voodoo magic got the name. He used flavors, opiates and drugs in order to lead his followers to ecstasy. Because of this, a negative image of Voodoo in the general sense is created in the public. No one knows exactly which flavors and ingredients are used for the poison, but it is presumed to contain substances from toxic animals and plants, as well as secretions from the frog glands and tarantulas and fish containing tetrodotoxin (one of the most toxic substances in the world). After consuming this poison, the victim remains paralyzed and falls into a coma.

Sacrifices In Voodoo Rituals

Voodoo supporters believe that the human soul is made up of two parts: the Great Guardian angel and the Little Guardian Angel, who during the dream or the trance is obsessed with the spirit of the "Loa" - the voodoo goddess. The purpose of the voodoo ritual is to create a contact with a spirit that helps the person who invites him to, for example, restore lost health, improve the standard of living, achieve his own desire, and so on. Sometimes, in some rituals, a reward flavors, in food or animal sacrifices is offered, because ghosts, as well as people, seek reward for their efforts and their services. It is actually about mutual help between people and the ghost - people supply spirits with food, flavor and other necessities, while they keep them from evil spirits and misfortunes. Rituals are held to celebrate successes in both spheres, that is, in the sphere of human life and the sphere of life of ghosts. Although this is the picture that we got from Hollywood, and is not so common in voodoo religion, is still something that is practiced by some people and used in voodoo magic rituals.

Myths Of Voodoo Religion

When it comes to voodoo, without a doubt, whether we refer to voodoo religion or rituals, there are a lot of controversy and different interpretations of this kind of belief. The dominant part is taken by the negative views of this cult, due to the way voodoo is presented to us, or due to some legends that are associated with voodoo. Some of them are true and part of them is myth. Keep reading and find out the most common myths about the voodoo, which are rarely practiced by the true followers of this religion

There aren't many believers in voodoo religion

Absolutely misleading opinion! According to most approximate estimates, there are more than 50 million adherents of this religious trend in the world today.

Voodoo dolls are used to hurt people

When the name "voodoo" is mentioned, one of the first associations is voodoo dolls. Researchers argue that the voodoo dolls practice is inspired from the New Orleans area, and hence spread to all areas where the voodoo bearers today live. But the belief and legend about the voodoo dolls and their magical powers is spread in books and films of horror. One of the most known myth is that voodoo dolls are made and used to hurt people. Although there are people who practice or are trying to make voodoo magic and dolls with the goal of hurting someone else, this is not the main purpose of voodoo dolls. In Haitian rituals, the dolls are never gnawed with needles. Damaging the dolls or making someone to be hurt, is against the ethics of voodoo religion. This misunderstanding might come from the practice of hanging dolls on three branches of wood in order to send messages to the spirits of the deceased loved ones. Dolls are sometimes used as religious statues, but usually they represent spirits or attributes of ghosts. For example, "Erzuli Frieda" is the spirit of love and luxury.

Voodoo priests can return the dead to life as zombies

Voodoo priests and priests are not interested in returning the dead to life. In fact, the basic principle of voodoo metaphysics is that people remain connected to the world after death. They also believe that death is part of life. However, the concept of zombies in Haitian Voodoo is complex and is not at all similar to Hollywood stories of zombies. In Haiti, the term "zombies" refers to a person who has lost her soul. This heartless state refers to the state of slavery in colonial Haiti. Authors claim that they have discovered natural chemicals and formulas that cause catatonia / schizophrenia and can be used in zombies rituals. The zombies rituals are very rare and occupy a place in rural Haiti. People practicing Voodoo religion are "obsessed" by ghosts, and obsession is considered as a frequent and useful occurrence in their ceremonies. However, obsession with ghosts and returning the dead to life in the form of zombies are completely different ideas. Obsession with spirits can cure, balance, and lead the believer.

Voodoo is irrational and religion full of 'devilish things'

The word "voodoo" immediately makes us think of something evil and illogical. On the other hand, misunderstanding about voodoo religion often comes from the fear because of her powers. When the slaves decided to revolt in Haiti at the end of the 18th century, the fear of voodoo religion expanded into the United States, where slavery was still legal. In the 19th and 20th centuries the Haitian Voodoo was considered to be underground and wrong. Many American films are full of fictitious stories of devil worship, human sacrifice, and voodoo dolls. Devils and demons are not respected in voodoo religion. The Voodoo people are calm when it comes to death, because they deal with the relationship of the worshipers through spirituality. Also, many Voodoo people use human bones. Voodoo practice has elements of magic, through which souls serve people. Voodoo religion is a monotheistic religion in which it is believed in the supreme God of absolute creation.

All Voodoo priest practice black magic

Misconception. Priests, depending on the level of dedication, expertise, etc., can be divided into several categories. Their work mainly involves the preparation and implementation of rituals, inspires the participants to take part in religious ceremonies. People professionally engaged in black magic, should take into account that voodoo priests not only disapprove their activities, but often do not consider them adherents of voodoo religion.

Voodoo Festival

The most interesting fact is that thousands of people from Haiti gather each year at the voodoo festival. The voodoo festival is maintained at waterfalls, which are believed to be holy. The holy waterfall on which there is a gathering is 250 Kilometers from Port of Prensa. Some of the Haitians who want to find themselves next to the waterfall at the festival save money a couple of months in advance so they can go and visit this festival. There is a belief that women who have difficulties in getting pregnant and who bathe under the waterfall, will get pregnant in the next year. Also this people believe that the "holy water" will help them cure some of the sick people who have come. Thousands of believers, who have some sickness, come to this waterfall and bathe underneath it in the hope that it will cure them! People in these waterfalls have been gathering and bathing themselves since 1947. Many of the people who come are completely naked and sink into the water, which they believe has various medical and beneficial effects.

The Final Word

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The belief that voodoo culture deals with sacrifice, cannibalism and curses comes from the book of S. St John "Hayti or the Black Republic" published in 1884. The book gave a lot of false information. Due to Hollywood's influence, in the mid-20th century, the true nature of the voodoo culture is revealed. Today it is practiced most in New Orleans. For centuries this culture has intrigued and scared people, however, one generalization can be done, contrary to the popular stereotype, voodoo is not only a source of evil and oppression, but can also be a source of healing and helping other people, and it is also a strong link with ancient ancestors. It all depends on who practices it.