Voodoo Basics

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"Black magick has been a great inspiration in literary works, films and even plays, perhaps precisely because these channels where we get misinformation but has come to adopt as topical, is the case of voodoo in countless films presented to us as a champion of black magic when really it is a practice white magic used to heal and alleviate diseases."

- KUYB Team

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Voodoo Basics

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The voodoo religion

Voodoo, Vodun, Voudoun are different spellins of what is one of the world’s more exotic religions. For the sake of clarity, it is referred to in this website as ‘voodoo’. Voodoo combines certains aspects of both ‘religion’ and ‘magic’ as such terms are commonly understood and accepted. However, the believer in voodoo does not differentiate. All aspects are part of the whole.

As with a majority of religions, Voodoo varies in many details depending on locale and country. The Voodoo of Haiti is exceedingly complex and difficult to fully understand. Its rituals are based on an intrincate series of premises involving man, soul, and many divinities.

There is no church hierarchy, no official written liturgy, and this naturally results in the variations. Voodoo, to a great extent has been perpetuated by word of mouth, and this has contributed to the many interpretations.

With a few exceptions, Voodoo as practiced in the United States, is an offshoot of the original. American Voodoo is based primarily on the ‘magical’ aspects of this unusual religion. However, one of the basic principles of Voodoo holds true regardless of how applied. This basic principle is the belief that certain actions, call them rituals, spells, or whatever, will cause favorable results as desired by the practitioner.

Veve of Simbi voodoo

Veve of Simbi. Patron of magicians. Carried for power with spells

Veve of Erzulie

Veve of Erzulie, Goddess of love. Carried for success in all affairs of the heart.

veve of damballah

Veve of Damballah, Supreme god. Kept on hand for power in Voodoo rituals.

veve papa legba voodoo
Veve of Papa Legba, God of the Crossroad. All prayers need the help of his symbol.

Talismans, Charms, amulets, Veves

The Voodooist will use any of these in order to promote chances for protection and success. A veve is a Voodoo symbol representing any of the loa (Voodoo divinities). A veve can be engraved, drawn, painted, or outlined with flour or other powders. Each loa has its own distinctive veve. Some of the more important ones are shown. Veves will vary since the designs are not strictly formalized. However, certain basics designs are included in each regardless of the background and training of the voodooist who fashions it. Veves will be drawn on parchment, or engraved on rings and medallions to serve as good luck, power, and protective talismans.

In addition to the veves, a Vodooist will use talismans, charms and amulets derived from almost any other religion. Especially important are Catholic statues, tiny or large. Pictures representing various saints are in great demand since they will be placed on the altar to be prayed to. The cross is carried for good luck, and the Bible will be kept on or near the altar since it is the Voodoo great conjure book and thought to bring success to any ritual. Pendants, rings, seals bearing occult designs are treasured charms.

Voodoo ‘Garde’, a Talisman for protection

A bocor is a practitioner of magic, and his magic is usually a form of witchcraft or black magic. To protect the innocent against the bocor’s charms and spells, sometimes a Voodoo talisman or ‘garde’ is prepared as shown. It can be dran and printed on parchment paper or animal parchment. It is believed to be a very powerful form of protection against evil, and copies are kept both in the home and on the person.

'Garde' Example.

 Use of Obeah Stick Or Staff Of Moses

There are two forms of Obeah Sticks both being symbols of power. One is a carved staff a snake-like groove encircling it. The other, which is far mroe expensive to procure, is a staff having a raised snake carved from its top to bottom. This latter staff is called a 'Staff Of Moses' Obeah stick. A voodoo priest will gave at least one kind of Obeah stick to perform hexings and crossings with. The staff is anointed with Power oil to dress it. To put a spell on somene, the staff is pointed directly at the person, and whatever spell is desired, is spoken  aloud.

Related Articles:

Voodoo Charm Bag
Voodoo Dolls and Protection
Elements Used in Voodoo
Candles on Voodoo
Spirits of Voodoo
Is Voodoo Just a Superstition?
Dictionary of Voodoo Candles


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