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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Religion, Spirituality, & Philosophy  |  Other Religious, Spiritual, & Philosophical Paradigms (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  What is Hoodoo? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: What is Hoodoo?  (Read 10485 times)
Tha Oracle
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« on: March 05, 2009, 05:10:07 am »

Hoodoo or folk magic, is a practice that is performed in many parts of the United States. Hoodoo is a form of predominantly African-American traditional folk magic. Also known as conjure, it is a tradition of magical practice that developed from the syncretism of a number of separate cultures and magical traditions.

Hoodoo incorporates practices from African and Native American traditions, as well as some European magical practices and grimoires. While folk practices like hoodoo are trans-cultural phenomena, what is particularly innovative in this tradition is the "remarkably efficacious use of biblical figures" in its practices and in the lives of its practitioners.

The goal of hoodoo is to allow people access to supernatural forces to improve their daily lives by gaining power in many areas of life, including luck, money, love, divination, revenge, health, employment, and necromancy. As in many other folk religious, magical, and medical practices, extensive use is made of herbs, minerals, parts of animals' bodies, an individual's possessions, and bodily fluids, especially menstrual blood, urine and semen. Contact with ancestors or other spirits of the dead is an important practice within the conjure tradition, and the recitation of Psalms from the Bible is also considered magically effective in hoodoo. Due to hoodoo's great emphasis on an individual's magical power, its basic principles of working are generally felt to be easily adapted for use based on one's desires, inclination and habits.

Home-made potions and charms form the basis of much old-time rural hoodoo, but there are also many successful commercial companies selling various hoodoo components to urban and rural practitioners. These are generally called spiritual supplies, and they include herbs, roots, minerals, candles, incense, oils, floor washes, sachet powders, bath crystals, and colognes. Many patent medicines, cosmetics, and household cleaning supplies have been also aimed at hoodoo practitioners and have found dual usage as conventional and spiritual remedies.
Hoodoo and Voodoo are often mistaken for one another. Some believe that the terms may have a common etymology. Simply put, Voodoo is a religion, whereas Hoodoo is a group of magical practices.

The ancient African religion of Vodoun is an established religion with its ancient roots in West Africa. Its modern form is practiced across West Africa in the countries now known as Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso, among others. In Haiti, Cuba, and other Caribbean islands, the worship of the Vodoun gods (called lwa or loas) is practiced in a syncretic form that has been greatly modified by contact with Catholicism. The Voodoo of Haiti and Louisiana Voodoo are better known to many English speakers; similar practices among Spanish speakers in Cuba are called Santeria.

Hoodoo shows obvious and evident links to the practices and beliefs of African folk magico-religious culture. The Hoodoo practiced in the U.S. by the enslaved Africans was brought from West and Central Africa, specifically, the area that is now known as the Congo and Angola, Togo, Nigeria and other West African regions.
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Belfazaar
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 05:05:04 pm »

As a Voodoo practitioner, I find this an interesting take on Hoodoo.  Yes. Hoodoo is a predominantly Afro-centric practice. It, as any of the offshoots of the Ifa and Vodun traditions of West Africa, calls on Spirit, just as Voodoo/Vodou (New Orleans and Haitian respectively). The primary difference between Voodoo/Vodou and Hoodoo is the practical application versus the ceremonial 'pomp and rigor'.  Having attended ceremonies for both Voodoo and Hoodoo, I've noticed a few minor differences, but Spirit is Spirit and transfers through beautifully.

Also noticed was more of a penchant to call on Chango through Hoodoo as opposed to Ellegua, Papa Gede, Papa Loko or other prominent Voodoo/Vodou Spirit Forces.

I am confused about the issue of 'necromancy' and 'gaining power' in this area of ones life.  Both traditions Voodoo/Vodou and Hoodoo are steeped with Ancestral Reverence, honoring the Ancestors and acknowledging their efforts to influence our lives, positively, long after their passing.

Both Voodoo/Vodou and Hoodoo can trace its African roots back more than 7,000 years and were, most notably found in the Dahomey Kingdoms (modern day Benin)... Both are monotheistic beliefs calling God by many names, including Bondye, Olorun and Odulamare.  Both understand that God in His/Her infinite wisdom and capacity created the Orisha/Lwa to serve man through their daily needs while God continues the process of seeing to the 'proper running of the universe'...

Both paths are more focused on prosperity of the individual, home and family than they ever were control work or revenge... But, as with any faith that touches Spirit so closely, there will always be individuals that push the envelope and work towards more negative practices, such as revenge and control workings.

The word "voodoo/vodou/vodoun/vodun" is the Fon word for "Spirit".

I did, however, extremely enjoy this take on Hoodoo.  Kudos to you, Oracle.
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Vitae Dominae,

Belfazaar Ashantison
Founder and Elder, House of Mystic Echoes
Founder of NOVA (New Orleans Vampire Association)

"Wizard's Fourth Rule (from Temple of the Winds): "There is magic in forgiveness, the magic to heal. In forgiveness you grant, but more so, in forgiveness you receive." (Terry Goodkind from the Sword of Truth Series)
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