|Voodoo is a practical religion, playing an important role in the family and the community. One's ancestors, for instance, are believed to be
a part of the world of the spirits, of the Loas, and this is one way that Voodoo serves to root its participants in their own history and tradition.
Voodoo teaches a respect for the natural world.
There are healing spells, nature spells, love spells, purification spells, joyous celebration spells. Spirits may be invoked to bring harmony and peace, birth and rebirth, increased abundance of luck, material happiness, renewed health.
Unfortunately, the public’s perception of voodoo rites and rituals seems often to point to the evil or malicious side of things.
The fact is, for those who believe it, voodoo is powerful.
It is also empowering to the person who practices it.
|Myths and Misconceptions
Vodou has come to be associated in the popular mind with such phenomena as "zombies" and "voodoo dolls". While there is ethnobotanical evidence relating to "zombie" creation, it is a minor phenomenon within
rural Haitian culture and not a part of the
Vodou religion as such.
|Another practical aspect of Voodoo ceremonies is that participants often come before the priest or priestess to seek advice, spiritual guidance, or help with their problems.
The priest or priestess then, through divine aid, offers help such as healing through the use of herbs or medicines (using knowledge that has been passed down within the religion itself),
or healing through faith itself as is common in other religions.
|The practice of sticking pins in "voodoo dolls" has history in healing teachings as identifying pressure points.
How it became known as a method of cursing an individual by some followers of what has come to be called "New Orleans Voodoo",
which is a local variant of hoodoo is a mystery.
Some speculate that it was one of many ways of self defense by instilling fear in slave owners. This practice is not unique to New Orleans "voodoo" however, and has as much basis in European-based magical
devices such as the "poppet".
A Poppet is a Maiden or Mother Goddess doll.
It is used in harvest or other festivals to symbolize the fertility of the Earth and/or Goddess. In some instances, dolls are used to represent the male gender instead of the female (corn dollies, scarecrows and the Wicker Man of the Druids are examples). Poppets are believed to be infused with
life by their makers. The doll is a “little life,” symbolic of the inner person.
Poppets may also be made to represent a person, for casting healing, fertility, or binding spells on that person. Such dolls, associated with witchcraft, may be made from a carved root, grain or corn shafts, fruits such as an apple or lemon, paper, wax, a potato, clay, branches, or a cloth image stuffed with herbs. This use of poppets is known as “image magic."
They are also known as Poppits and Pippies.
Sometimes these dolls are mistakenly called "voodoo dolls".
New Orleans Voodoo is a system of folk magic used in New Orleans and surrounding areas of Louisiana, in which objects like roots, gris-gris bags, powders, graveyard dirt, and "poppets" or "voodoo dolls" are employed for magical effect for the purpose of material gain or against an enemy.
There is a practice in Haiti of nailing crude poppets with a discarded shoe
on trees near the cemetery to act as messengers to the otherworld,
which is very different in function from how poppets are portrayed
as being used by "those who practice voodoo " in popular media and imagination.
So . . . . the finalization is up to you as to whether you believe
that voodoo is good or bad.
This information was obtained from various Internet Resources
along with the Encyclopedia