Voodoo, Voudou, Vodun, real Voodoo
Voodoo information and resources
Voodoo. Voodoo information. About Voodoo. Voodoo reading list. Books about Voodoo. Voodoo books.
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Voodoo. About Voodoo. Voodoo information. Voodoo links. Voodoo books. Books about Voodoo. What is Voodoo? Learn about Voodoo. Voodoo dolls. Voodoo. Loa. Lwa.

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Voodoo: An overview

"Voodoo is a belief misunderstood. It originates from the Fon word Voudon which means: the power; that who is invisible; the creator of all things. It is the infusion of Traditional African beliefs with Catholicism. Voodoo, since its conception in the western hemisphere, has been the target of countless opponents depicting it as being a sinister and abominable belief that possesses anyone who dares engage in its practices. Unfortunately this is due to the deliberate misconception of priests (orthodox) and the the misunderstanding of writers, anthropologists, scholars and many more who publish inaccurate and false information. The misconception of Voodoo is then perpetuated when the Hollywood producers take advantage of the public's misconception by making movies about blood thirsty Zombies and Voodoo priests and priestesses who buy and sell souls. Voodoo devotees, as in all other religions believe in an Omnipresent Creator and the Loa or Orisha. The Loa act as intermediaries (like the saints in Catholicism) between the creator and the human world. These Loa interact with people and things to help create and maintain a spiritual balance. Voodoo is a religion of the universe.
The way it works is through the energies and intelligence which are directed and manifested of ourselves and our universe.
There are various aspects of Voodoo:
Rada concentrates on the positive side of Voodoo only.
Petro concentrates on both the negative and positive sides
Secta Rouge concentrates on the negative side
Zobop concentrates on the extreme negative
There are distinct forms of Voodoo.
There is the Vodou as it is practiced in Wedo in West Africa. There is Voudu as it is practiced in Haiti.
There is Voodoo as it is practiced in New Orleans.
There is Voodoo as it is practiced in such cities as New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago.
Each of these forms of Voodoo has a particular character. This character is determined by the types of rites and loa that have evolved in these different locations. Also, each Temple or Hounfor within a given local can (and probably does) have its unique or distinctive elements."

Priestess Miriam: New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple

Another important element of Voodoo is ancestor veneration. The homes of most Voodoo practitioners have an ancestor altar. Practitioners will often prepare feasts for dead relatives or friends. They will also use these altars to seek assistance from their dead. In New Orleans, it is common to make an offering at the tomb of Marie Leveau, a famous Voodoo priestess. She is said to help those who leaver her an offering and ask her assistance. Feasts and altars will also often be prepared for specific Lwa, or Loa.
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VOODOO READING LIST

Because of the great variety in the practices and forms of Voodoo, there is also a great variety of quality literature on the subject. What follows is a list of suggested reading materials that begin to explain the various backgrounds and practices of Voodoo and Santaria around the world and links to help you find these books.


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Actress, storyteller, and priestess Luisah Teish dramatically re-creates centuries-old African-American traditions with music, memoir, and folk wisdom.

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This book gives an overview of the origins of New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo (root work) as well as instructions on performing some simple rituals yourself

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An exploration of the Yoruba religion that delves into the cult of Osun, a brilliant deity with a world-wide devotional base.


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An overview of island Voodoo

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This account of Haitain Voudou traces its origins in Africa to its full development in the West Indies island of Haiti. It also presents ways readers can use Vodou to enrich their own lives in terms of love, luck, and prosperity. Readers learn how to build their own magic altar and invoke Vodou spirits, how to make charms and amulets, and how to work spells and read signs of divination.

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Traces the development of this complex religion from it's sources in africa to Haiti and the Americas. It presents a straight forward accound of the Loa, their symbols and functions and the ceremonial calander of Voodoo.


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An authoritative introduction to the ritual orature, sacred songs, and festival drama of Osun Seegesi, and the contemporary meaning behind her mythology.

The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts

``the greatest percentage of Africans enslaved for the New World labor came from the Yoruba nation of Nigeria, West Africa. Author Karade traces the concepts of the Yoruba religion through its entrance into the Americas via Haiti, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Cuba. Readers of this straightforward text will find familiar concepts such as angels and even an elevated stature comparable to that of the ``son of God'' in the person of Orunmila, the prophet of Yoruba religion. Further, the text compares Yoruban religious concepts to those of other religions in order to make understanding the tradition even easier. Prayers and rituals (e.g., herbal baths, etc.) complete this handbook.

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This enticing compendium of the origins and practice of Vodou makes for a fascinating read, explaining how music, dance, and artistic expression are the heart and soul of this complicated religion


Four New World Yoruba Rituals/Book and cassette

Orin Orisa: Songs for Selected Heads

a clear, cohesive compendium to the songs and chants of the Orisha tradition and well-researched vital information on the tradition of the sacred bata drums

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The Osha provides the stories, history, types and manner of divination, the procedures of vestment, names of the deities and everything which is part of the Yoruba/Santeria Religion. A bold work of great intimacy with "The Religion."


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Lele's book is the most thorough print version to date of the orally transmitted oracles as they are currently practiced by American babalawos (priests) and santeros (practitioners). Joseph Murphy's Santer!a: An African Religion in America (1988) and Luis Manuel N#$ez's Santer!a: A Practical Guide to Afro-Caribbean Magic (Spring Publns., 1995) provide the necessary introduction to the traditions covered here. Lele gives traditional readings for each casting of the cowrie shells used for divination. He lists the associated proverbs, the spirits that speak, and the message, prohibitions, and subreadings for each configuration of the shells. Recommended for academic and public libraries

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Within the Santeria faith, the coconut is said to contain the wisdom of Obi, an ancestor who once fell from grace within this Afro-Cuban-based religion. Author and crowned Santeria priest Ocha'ni Lele assembled this book that teaches readers how to use the coconut, or the wisdom of Obi, for divination. Readers will learn how to choose the right coconut (find one that has milk sloshing inside), how to break it apart, and how to piece out the four sections of coconut that will be used to answer the questions brought to Obi. The idea is to drop the coconut pieces from waist height and study the patterns they form on the ground.

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This book discusses the role and function of the Ancestors in our everyday lives while detailing the proper way to propitiate them. Included are Offerings, Prayers and Reverence as well as the procedure for establishing the ancestor altar


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This book fills a long-standing need in the literature: Voodoo, Santeria, and Macumba as practiced today in cities throughout the Western world. It is not another history or sociological study, but a candid personal account by two who came to "the religion" from the outside. It includes descriptions of the phenomena triggered by Voodoo practice, divination techniques, spells and a method of self-initiation.

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This is the first book of its kind, presenting accurate botanical information about roots and herbs employed in conjure, with sample spells that will show you how to make and use your own mojo bags, spiritual baths, and incenses.

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IFA/Yoruba Fundamentals of the Yoruba Religion (Orisa Worship) - Chief FAMA. This book provides detailed instruction of practical usage of Ifa by practitioners and non-practitioners and answers many questions with respect to "How to Pray ' the Ifa Way."


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Traditional, oral wisdom compiled and shared with the world.

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This book will quickly become a guide and reference source for all people who wish to learn the Hoodoo system of folk magic.


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What are Voodoo dolls?

Voodoo dolls are generally a tool of New Orleans style Voodoo. Those who practice Santaria and Hatian Voudu do not use Voodoo dolls.
A Voodoo doll is a tool to help a practitioner focus their energy on a particular person (even themselves). They are most often used for healing, fertility, protection or to draw prosperity to their target. Very rarely, a practitioner will use a Voodoo doll to seek revenge on a person who has done them wrong. This is very dangerous, as misdirected negative energy tends to come back to the practitioner and it is frowned upon by most practioners of Voodoo.
A Voodoo doll is a representation of it's target. It can be made from any material the Voodoo doll's maker has access to, so there is great variety in the appearance of Voodoo dolls. Many have a very primitive appearance (like rag dolls), while some can be quite elaborate and beautiful! Fertility dolls tend to have an exagerated female shape and often appear pregnant.
Since a Voodoo doll is used to focus your energy and desires on a target, practitioners often place items associated with their target in or on their doll. Many Voodoo dolls come with small bags for this purpose. Pins can also be quite helpful in focusing on a particular part of a target's body, but are not needed to make your Voodoo doll work.
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