Also Vodou, Vodoun or Vodun.
A religious system with followers predominantly in Haiti in the West Indies, and in other countries to which Haitians have immigrated.
Developed by African slaves brought to Haiti by the French between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, Voodoo combines features of African religion with the Roman Catholicism of the European settlers.
The term voodoo is thought to be derived from the word for 'spirit' in the Fon language of Dahomey, now part of Nigeria.
The voodoo religion involves belief in a supreme god (bon dieu) and a host of spirits called loa. Most voodoo practices involve the loa, which are often identified with Catholic saints. These spirits are closely related to African gods and may represent natural phenomena such as fire, water, or wind or dead persons, including eminent ancestors. They consist of two main groups: the rada, often mild and helping, and the petro, which may be dangerous and harmful.
Voodoo rites include special ceremonies in which the loa have the power to make their presence known. These are characterized by music and dancing that lead the participants into a trancelike state in which they are possessed by the loa. The spirit temporarily displaces the astral body of the possessed person and occupies his or her physical body. The individual thus possessed is said to be mounted by the loa and behaves and acts as the loa directs, usually in a man ner characteristic of the loa itself. Priests called houngans or priestesses known as mambos preside over these ceremonies.
Other voodoo practices include animal sacrifices and pilgrimages. The focal point of a pilgrimage is usually a Christian church identified with a particular voodoo spirit. The most important of these pilgrimages take place in July and honor Ogou (Saint James) and Ezili Danto (Our Lady of Mount Carmel).
Another aspect of voodoo is called 'work of the left hand', which includes belief in zombies.
Today, Voodoo is still practiced in Haiti, as well as in some of the southern states of the USA.
See Heptameron, Demonology, Demonomancy, Grimoires, Rootwork and Voodoo in Mental Health, Ve-Ve Diagrammes Rituels Du Voudou: Ritual Voodoo Diagrams, Voodoo Charms and Talismans, Voodoo Fire In Haiti, Voodoo Handbook of Cult Secrets, Weird Science: An Expert Explains Ghosts, Voodoo, the Ufo Conspiracy, and Other Paranormal Phenomena, The Chakra Store, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (2) Turner and Coulter, Patricia and Charles R., Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Oxford University Press; (3) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group.
| || |