New Orleans Voodoo Magic

| Friday, May 7, 2010 | |
New Orleans Voodoo Magic Cover New Orleans is stock full of folk tales of Voodoo Practitioners who can transform into animals or cause animals to invade others. Rather than transforming into wolves, the Voodouns are generally reported as becoming cats.

As late as the 1940’s, stories of frogs, snakes, lizards and snails inside the bodies of the cursed flooded New Orleans. Family members’ bearing witness to these creatures expelling from the bodies and then disappearing shrouded numerous cases of unexplained deaths. In Jim Haskin’s book, “Voodoo and Hoodoo”, the author records actual spells that were supposedly used to invoke living creatures in the body. The spells usually involved the blood of the creature or a powder made from the dead creature being introduced into the food of the intended victim. Once ingested, the victim proceeds to grow living creatures in the stomach, veins or under the skin. Needless to say, there were spells for casting out living creatures in the body as well. Herbs were generally used to cleanse the body and drive away any living creatures that may have been inflicted!

One can only assume that much of the legends that have arisen in New Orleans were spawned by fear and superstition. It is human nature to fear what we do not understand. Voodoo could be perhaps, one of the most misunderstood Religions that have ever existed. Its presence in New Orleans has brought with it a veil of mysticism that has shrouded our fair city and confused its onlookers. The magical history and folklore of New Orleans even inspired local best selling author, Anne Rice, to produce a string of novels about a family of witches, The Mayfair’s. No matter what one’s opinion may be of Voodoo and Witchcraft, no one can come to New Orleans and not be curious as to its wonder.

The roots of Voodoo have been traced all the way back to Africa before 1100 AD. In his book, A Brief History of Voodoo: Slavery & the Survival of The African Gods, Mr. Andy Antippas gives an overview of this fascinating history. The Yoruba people of Southwestern and eastern Dahomey and Togo/Nigeria founded a great city called Ife. It is from the religious beliefs of Ife that Voodoo as we know it today has evolved.

The Voodoo religion is based on one main supreme deity and several demi-gods called loas or lwas. The loas are much to Voodoo as the Saints are to Catholicism. Each one serving a specific purpose. It is estimated that by the 1750’s, 30,000 slaves a year were being immigrated into Haiti bringing with them the Voodoo religion. In the language of the Dahomey tribes, the word Voodoo means Gods or Spirits. The Dahomians believed that these spirits had the ability to enter the worshippers. This was believed to be a valuable experience, warding off illness and misfortune.

One of the most supreme and powerful loas is Damballah-Wedo, the serpent god. He is represented in Voodoo rituals by a snake. The dance with the snake symbolizes the unity between our world and the world beyond. The dancer and the snake become one.

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