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What Do You Know About Voodoo?

Voodoo is one of those things that a lot of us tend to see as something relatively spooky. As far as some of us know, voodoo is nothing but sticking pins in dolls and sending bad vibes to people. Is that all there is to Voodoo? Well, let’s take a look.

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There are 3 main types of Voodoo

West African Voodoo is filled with an extensive amount of beliefs and rituals that are still virtually unchanged since their beginnings. Louisiana Voodoo is somewhat similar to West African Voodoo, but also pulls from beliefs brought over from Spanish and French settlers. Haitian Voodoo is heavily influenced by Christianity and French beliefs.

Voodoo Dolls

With Voodoo dolls we often think that the general idea is that what happens to the doll, happens to the person. However, the doll is simply used as a symbolic representation of the person in question. To make the doll resemble a specific person, a photo or something that was in intimate contact with the person (like a lock of hair, a piece of their clothing, etc) is attached to the doll. This is where the pins come in handy. The pins are used to attach items to the doll, not as an instrument for pain. Voodoo dolls are used for a wide array of things in Voodooism, and most of them are benevolent. So, the idea that everyone who practices Voodoo is sitting at home sticking pins in dolls hoping to harm people, simply isn’t true.

Spirits

Another common misconception about Voodoo is that people use it as a method to summon spirits to do their bidding. The thing is, it’s the other way around! People who actively practice Voodoo actually see themselves as the servants of spirits. Things like drum dances, prayer, and animal sacrifices are used in an attempt to communicate with these spirits.

The “Iwa”

The “Iwa” are the ‘lesser spirits’ of the spirit world that Voodoo practitioners often communicate with. Practitioners often ask them for advice on life and attempt to learn more about themselves on a spiritual level.

A whole new world

A central belief in Voodooism is that there are two worlds that are interrelated: Visible, and Invisible. They believe that death is what separates the two worlds, and that our ancestors and passed loved ones live in the invisible world watching over us.

Healing

Voodoo is often used in an attempt to heal people from illnesses. Through prayer, rituals, and herbs, the “Iwa” are invoked to help cure people who are not doing so well.

Black Magic

In Voodoo, there is no black magic or white magic. When a spirit is summoned by someone with ‘evil’ intentions, it is described as ‘Red Magic.’ This is because it is said that the spirit is red, and when the spirit possesses you, your eyes turn red. Sketchy to say the least.

Animal Sacrifice

If you’re like me, the idea of having animals sacrificed is just plain wrong. But, the fact of the matter is, animal sacrifices have been going on in certain practices for a long time and it simply is just the way it is with them. The one thing that, to me, makes it a little less terrible, is that the animal is typically cooked and eaten by everyone. Voodoo has also never included human sacrifice.

I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t know anything about Voodoo before, and I did have that very typical image of it in my head. You know, the dolls and the pins. Doing posts like this is always fun because I get to learn a lot about something I didn’t know anything about before, and I hope you learned something too!

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