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Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

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sacredspiritualguide
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by sacredspiritualguide » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:42 am

I have worked with spirits and entities since I can remember. I can't tell you the number of times I have asked this question and gotten a different responses. However, what I can tell you is that there is more to having a soul than living and dying. We are truly infinite. Each of has our own place in the cosmic order of things. The spiritual word is more 'real' than the reality we are experiencing now. I will also tell you that each moment we are alive is precious and a gift. As long as you listen to your heart, you will be ok. :)

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Apollo Dark » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:02 pm

MissMichaele wrote: A reading, though, might help you discover the purpose of your life.
And this is why sometimes it is good to reach out. Sometimes the big answer of the world your in, come from the answers inside yourself.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by katklawz » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:17 pm

Ive currently soul searched and came to terms that this is my calling. It is the air that I breathe and it TRUELY MAKES ME HAPPY. Its more then spells its LIFE!

Anyway ive just started studing some. I just wanted to know the thughts of my fellow hoodoo family (everyone and anyone who practices) What should my next step be in terms of studying? What is the next best reading material to follow before I start my hands on progress?

hoodoo for me is the Root of magic and as eager as i am to perform my first spell what matters to me most is the history and doing EVERYTHING THE RIGHT WAY. Protecting myself when casting and etc...

(This post was edited by the writer, katzklawz, after two moderators had replied, in order to remove the words Wicca, Wiccan, and magick (with a k). You would not think to see it now, that this was once a post about "Wicca is my calling" and "ive just started studing some Wiccan" and "Wicca for me is the Root of magick" -- but it was. We both replied very politely and offered the querent help locating his or her fellow co-religionists, only to come back and find the post stripped of all references to Wicca, as if they had never been there at all, making our replies look foolish and off-topic. Playing games with the forum mods is not nice. Read on to see what happened next.--cat)

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Mama Micki » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:06 pm

This Forum is about Lucky Mojo products and traditional hoodoo, which originated with African-American Christians. If you have questions about hoodoo or LM products, feel free to ask; otherwise you may be better off posting in a Wiccan or Pagan forum.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:49 pm

Dear katklawz,

As Mama Micki explained, this is not a forum about Wicca at all.

This is a forum for primarily Christian hoodoo folk magicians who purchase and work with Lucky Mojo spiritual supplies.

Sorry we can't help you. Do a google search for a Wicca forum and i am sure you will find what you seek.

And, yes, i noticed that you have just edited your post after two people took the time to reply to you about Wicca, and your response to us was to go back and take the words Wicca and Wiccan out of your post and replace them with the word hoodoo or with no word at all. That is gaming your moderators, and that just got you banned.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by new2hoodoo » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:55 am

DarkEmber wrote: I'm originally from Eunice, Louisiana (near Lafayette) and grew up with a strong current of Hoodoo in my family. My grandmother was a practitioner as was my mother.
Im living in eunice louisiana and i am now just getting my hands wet with hoodoo. I would like some one to help me on my journey.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:20 am

Dear new2hoodoo,

Hoodoo is not a religion, so i am unclear why you posted in this thread, but...

The best way to learn hoodoo is to hang around with older folks who are practitioners.

You are located in an area where the African American hoodoo tradition and French Creole traiteur tradition combine and overlap, and if you stay with this path, you will find yourself becoming the culture bearer of a vibrant and vital current of folk magic.

I myself learned a lot from Mr. Matthew Murray in Lafayette, Louisiana, but he passed away several years ago. He certainly left behind some younger associates, so if you want to learn face-to-face, not on the internet, then it is up to you to find those folks and make friends. If they are older people, your help in lifting and carrying, taking them shopping, and fetching things for them will win you a way into their hearts and they will very likely teach you a lot.

This article may be of interest to you:

http://www.southern-spirits.com/blancha ... ghway.html

Good luck, and stay in touch if i can be of any assistance as a teacher.

And now, let us return this thread to its ACTUAL topic, which is religion.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by mWn_2 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:14 am

Life is so enormous, that it has no meaning. If there was a meaning, the moment you found the meaning, it would be over. But you can't finish off life like that. You write a million books about it. Still, it is ever-expanding. So there is no meaning to life. Meaning very rudimentary meas-- minds in the world are always trying to explain life off as this or that. You can't explain it off. Because it contains you, it is you. Everything that you discover is just a small aspect of it. Whatever meanings you give it to, whatever definitions you give it to, are just your notions about it. Life is far beyond meaning. Life is beyond meaning. And that's why it's so beautiful.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by new2hoodoo » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:29 am

Yes i know hoodoo isnt a religion. But i was looking for help on how to do spells. Right now i am doing a honey jar spell that i got from bloody mary from new orleans. But i was looking for something else that could go with it to help sweeten my target to me. But i will be doing the menses spell.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Joseph Magnuson » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:47 am

new2hoodoo: I believe Miss Cat was just pointing out that you are posting in the specific section of our forums that is for the discussion of Hoodoo and Religion, specifically, as the thread title denotes.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by new2hoodoo » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:33 am

Ok thanks.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by JayDee » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:09 pm

I have a question that has pondered in my mind for sometime, iv seeked the answer but have not found it and thought I would ask on here. I appologise if im posting in a unrelevant spot. My question is why do we do spell work, or hoodoo, working with oils, candles, insence etc when asking God for something, when we simply can go to him in prayer and ask? This has been a hang up for me when doing work. I was raised Baptist. I know God answeres prayers and have seen it, iv also seen work be done and be answered as well. Trying to bridge that gap of understanding in my mind. thank you!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Mama Micki » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:57 pm

It is certainly possible for prayer to be answered without "equipment" like oils, candles, etc. These tools are to help us focus on our goals and desires, so we can be clear as to what we are praying for. Please read this:

http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/real.html
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by JayDee » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:06 pm

Thank you Mama Micki for the response, I have read that. I have read most of Cats work and been on the site for a few years. This is a question that always pops in my head when thinking about work and religion and I thought Id ask the professionals as they prolly know better then me and can help me find the answer im looking for. Thanks!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:16 pm

j82,

Christianity is a religion that was overlaid atop many earlier religios, most particularly Judaism.Now, Judaism, like many Middle Eastern religions, does have a role for an acceptance of magic -- and so did Christianity, for almost 2,000 years. Meanwhile, Christianity was also overlaid on top of other religions, like European regional pagan religions, and those practitioners retained some of their magic (and religion, too, which is why the practice of Christianity varies from one area to another). Anti-magical sentiment was found among Christians, especially during the Inquisition, but interest in magic has never faded, and so, depending on what sub-set of Christianity one belongs to, one will find varying amounts of acceptance of magic and practice of magic. African Americans brought their own magical practices to the Americas, and melded these with Native American, European, and Jewish magic, creating hoodoo.

Like many other forms of folk magic, hoodoo has as one of its premises that certain roots, herbs, and other natural curios were put on Earth by God for the use of the wise, both in medicine nd in magical"doctoring. The usual proof-text is:

Ezekiel 47:12:
"And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine."

Revelation 22:2:
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Jimmy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:34 pm

Hello to all.

My apology if this topic is not posted in the appropriate forum. I understand the origins of hoodoo, that is not religion, and should not be confused or mixed with the practices of other religions. My question is how do hoodoo practitioners who are not Christian reconcile hoodoo practice with their identified religion (e.g. Wicca, Santeria, etc.)?

Hope you are well.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:27 pm

Jimmy,

Welcome to the forum -- and i have merged your post into the long, long thread on religion.

The answer to your question going to vary by the individual.

1. Some people leave hoodoo when they finally realize that its base is seriously, unmutably African American Christian and that they cannot change Black culture to suit themselves, or call what they do hoodoo and expect to be understand by Black Americans.

2. Some people "translate" into their own religion and feel quite comfortable doing so.

3. Some people try to bullshit their way into claiming that they practice some super-special form of hoodoo that is actually Haitian Voodoo (and then they get into a fix when actual Haitians ask WTF they are doing pretending to be Voodoo initiates).

4. Some people try to bullshit their way into claiming that they practice some super-special form of hoodoo that is actually White Anglo-British folk-magic (and then they get into a fix when actual Black Americans ask WTF they are doing pretending that hoodoo is "Appalachian Granny Magic").

In my experience, #2 is the most commonly chosen option.

For those choosing option #1, here is a song:

Steve Adams - Jesus Is My Friend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFMBQY45uTE

ENjoy!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Euoi » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:03 pm

Hello all. I have several questions regarding black arts, hoodoo, and demons.

I am a demonolater, so I with frequently demonic entities. I'm also getting into hoodoo as well. I love its simplicity and ease.

I see that hoodoo uses a lot of Christian symbolism and prayers. I don't have much problem with this, but I would like to work with demons more. Is it okay" to substitute the Christian parts with demons?

Also, are black arts products used for any workingwith dark spirits? I'm thinking of using the incense mixed with some herbs and copal resin for a manifestation incense in evocation.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Joseph Magnuson » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:59 pm

Hello Euoi,

I suggest you start here:

Hello and welcome to the Lucky Mojo Forum.

If you are interested in hoodoo, here are some links for you. Read these web pages from cat yronwode's "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" for more preliminary information:

Hoodoo History:
http://luckymojo.com/hoodoohistory.html

Oils:
http://luckymojo.com/oils.html

Baths:
http://luckymojo.com/baths.html

Powders:
http://luckymojo.com/powders.html

Incense:
http://luckymojo.com/incense.html

Candles:
http://luckymojo.com/candlemagic.html

Herbs:
http://herb-magic.com

Conditions and how we can address them:
http://luckymojo.com/hoodooataglance.html

Now that you are here in our forum, please take a moment to notice that the board is divided into four parts:

1) News and Announcements about the Lucky Mojo Curio Company and this site.

2) Lucky Mojo Spiritual Supplies and how to use them, listed in threads by product type and product title.

3) Life Conditions and Situations, with recommended Lucky Mojo products, spells, and advice.

4) The Online Hoodoo Community, including sites, events, and outreach sponsored by Lucky Mojo.

When you post, it helps your moderators, who are recompensed volunteers, if you post in the area of the board that is best suited to the archival of your question or comment. That way moderators will not have to move your post or merge it into ongoing threads.

If you can't find a post you made, it may have been moved or merged. Go to your profile by clicking on your name and "search recent posts" -- you will find it.

Within each board section there are STICKY threads -- ones that always stay "stuck" to the top. These are popular discussion-threads that you can read and add to if your questions or comments fall into one of these oft-broached topics. If you don't see a "sticky" that relates to your question, feel free to start a new thread in the relevant section.

We do have a few "thou shalt not" rules here, and they can be found in the Forum Rules link at the top of each page. Most important for newbies are these four common errors to avoid:

1) Please do not come here asking for our formulas for conjure oils or for instructions on how to use spiritual supplies that you bought at a grocery store or at a competitor of ours; this is the Lucky Mojo Forum and is financially supported by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

2) Please do not spam the moderators by sending multiple duplicated private messages asking for personal help outside the board; many of our moderators do perform readings and rootwork spell-casting for clients, but they are professionals and you should approach them as you would any other professional.

3) Please do not post illegal copies of material from other web sites or from books.

4) Please do not post put-downs of any group of people based on their religion, race, or national origin, including derogatory comments about religions to which you may have previously been an adherent or comments in which you seek to falsely conflate any religion with the practice of evil sorcery.

I hope you find what you are looking for.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Turnsteel » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:29 pm

Hello Euoi. Welcome to the forum.
Euoi wrote: I see that hoodoo uses a lot of Christian symbolism and prayers. I don't have much problem with this, but I would like to work with demons more. Is it okay" to substitute the Christian parts with demons?
No. It wouldn't be hoodoo anymore, you can not just swap out the psalms to invocations/prayers to Asmodi or whoever and think it will be the same. That's not to say you can not work with both Christian symbolism and prayers and demons, look at the Goetia. Heavy duty demon magic, worked thro the spiritual authority of God and the Exorcist's relationship to God.
Euoi wrote:Also, are black arts products used for any workingwith dark spirits? I'm thinking of using the incense mixed with some herbs and copal resin for a manifestation incense in evocation.
Black Arts supply's are great for working with chthonic and demonic spirits. It can be used to help call them up, make offerings to them, dedicate tools or amulets to them, its a great multitask-er.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:17 pm

Euoi --

When you write that, "hoodoo uses a lot of Christian symbolism and prayers," you are not seeing the forest for the trees. Hoodoo is African-American folk magic. It is not a "system" into which you can "substitute" various "entities."

There have always been African-Americans who have worked in the European grimoire tradition (including working with the Solomonic, Goetic, and Mosaic seals), and you can familiarize yourself with the history of those people and their ways of working, if you wish -- but please be aware that the culture in which hoodoo originated and in which it is practiced today is Black American culture.

There are practitioners of hoodoo from a number of religions, and hoodoo itself has a mixed-race core of African magic overlaid with Native American, Scots-Irish, and Jewish practices, and, since the 20th century, it has also played into the "exoticism" of other cultures (especially Asian cultures), but the core of it is African American Protestant Christian.

If you are a guest in African American Protestant Christian culture (as i am, by the way), you ought to learn to be a good and welcome guest and don't start in by rearranging the furniture, using the pots and pans in the kitchen, and changing the channel on the TV set. Dig?

And this goes for everyone -- not just Demonolators. I tell the same thing to Wiccans, Heathens, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and members of African Traditional Religions.

I have merged your query into the long, ongoing religion thread, and, as always, i take your question as an opportunity to post another glimpse into African American religious culture. This time we will visit with the New Thought Movement, specifically the Religious Science denomination, which, on the West Coast, at least, has a high percentage of African American adherents.

Read about the New Thought Movement here, on this page sponsored by AIRR, the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers:

Category:Working Within the New Thought Tradition
http://readersandrootworkers.org/wiki/C ... _Tradition

And then watch this video from the East Bay Church of Religious Science in Oakland, California.

East Bay Church of Religious Science Men's Choir - Reggie, Paris and Rev. E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBUNVbeE9vE

Toward the middle of clip the congregation begins to sing the old Black Protestant gospel song "Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Set on Jesus)" -- but in this New Thought church the lyrics are always rendered as "Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Set on Spirit)." This is followed by a Religious Science responsive reading led by Reverend Eloise Oliver.

Reverend Oliver is a dynamic singer in her own right, as this next clip demonstrates:

East Bay Church of Religious Science_Something Woke Me Up This Morning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWzRKevbX04
"25 years anniversary of Rev. Eloise Oliver (Rev.E) at EBCRS, Oakland, California, USA - October/2010."
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Jimmy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:06 pm

Hello, everyone.

Cat, thank you for the welcome and response to my question. Your post made sense to me. I've appreciated reading through the volumes of posts, old and current, on this subject. Most especially, I appreciated reading the repeated message of what hoodoo is and is not and, further, not to make it something it is not. With that being said, is it fair to conceptualize hoodoo as a "technology"?

~Jimmy
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:43 pm

Jimmy,

I have read many definitions of the word "technology," but "folk-magic" is not a term found among those definitions.

From dictionary.com:

tech·nol·o·gy [tek-nol-uh-jee]
noun
1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
2. the terminology of an art, science, etc.; technical nomenclature.
3. a scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like.
4. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.


I have read many definitions of "folk-magic," but "technology" is not a word found among those definitions.

From dictionary.com:

folk magic
noun
any attempt to practice charms, spells, etc., to control events or people.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by JayDee » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:47 pm

Interesting thought, when you call it technology do you mean as a tool that does a job like an ipad does a job? meaning its stripped of its religious conditions? then no its not, it has its own rules and traditions that should be followed.

Lets ask this question, if Cat wanted to practice your belief system and wanted to do so in the classic hoodoo tradition using her Lord Jesus Christ rather then a demon in all the working that are in your books, would any one have a problem in your group with that? would they accept it and change? would it even work ? I think you know the answer is no. thus no difference in hoodoo.

now is hoodoo a tool in a sense yes candle do work, oils do work, herbs do work as God signed them with a signature to work and do things. elements are in harmony and at their best when allowed to do what they were created to do. So can you use some or many of LM products in your work yes.

can you say you practice hoodoo and leave out God, Jesus and the Bible and ignore those important aspects, the answer is no.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Jimmy » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:30 pm

Thank you, Cat and j82, for your thoughts.

Cat, I gave my question more thought after reading the definitions of technology and think I was working within the third definition. More so, I was trying to understand if hoodoo is a means to an end, which I now better understand it is not.

j82, you wrote, "...if Cat wanted to practice my belief system and substitute the Lord Jesus Christ rather then a demon in all the working that are in your books." I've not disclosed my belief system in this forum or that I work with demons, which I do not. Maybe my post was confused with another? Please know that I would not ever strip a practice or religion of what is intrinsic to it. I'm a firm believer in following practices, traditions, etc. as intended. To make changes to something makes it something it is not or ever intended to be.

Again, thank you both for your responses. I look forward to getting better acquainted with people on this forum and their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.

Hope you are all well.
~Jimmy
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Mama Micki » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:19 pm

j82, it was Euoi, not Jimmy.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by JayDee » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:12 pm

thanks for correcting :)
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by AonieD » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:26 pm

Hi there, I'm glad to find a community where I can learn and help others. Thanks for this opportunity.

I've recently finished a dedication period to honor my ancestors. Hoodoo is a thing that has been around me all of my life, but I've never before given it the look it deserves. I've been truly amazed and humbled to learn that this is good work to honor those who walked before me.

Does anyone have any advice from how to transition from dedication work to a practice? I am building the foundation for my work and I would welcome the input.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:46 pm

Hoodoo is the folk magic of African Americans, most of whom are Christians -- and most of whom are Protestant Christians -- and most of whom are Baptists.

The daily practice of Baptists is not liturgically specified, but most will pray at least a "Thank you, Lord for waking me up this morning," or an "Our Father."

Here are two you tube videos showing typical Black Baptist practices:

Old school Baptist Praying
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Wn4nj0R_A
Deacon praying during Devotion

Deacon Marshall Wheeler & Deacon Robert Wheeler Mt Pleasan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3WO4j5ZaHk
visiting at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Moultrie, GA.
(Mt Pleasant church Is In Green Oaks, GA)

If you read further back in this thread, you will see many more examples.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Asecerack » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:29 pm

Hey there,

A few burning questions on my mind.

I recently picked up a copy of "Candle at the Crossroads" and in it the author spoke of three main spirits that are commonly petitioned;
1) The Dark Rider,
2) Papa La-Bas, and
3) Daddy Death.
4) Aside from these three, are there any other spirits aside from those that are part of the Conjure tradition that are worked with, such as
5) The spirits of the First Nations such as Black Hawk,
6) The Ancestors,
7) The Dead,
8) Plant (root) spirits, and
9) The Haints.

10) Is there a formal hierarchy or reglemen, so to speak, as is in Quimbanda or Haitian Vodou?
11) Do the spirits from Voodoo cross over into Conjure as well?
12) Are the Haints the Saints or are they both different?
13) Does Conjure include other types of spirits as well such as Demons or the Fey?
14) Is working with other spirits outside of Conjure considered taboo?

Thanks a bunch :)
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:37 pm

Asecerack,

The Candle and the Crossroads is not a book abut African American hoodoo folk-magic. It is a book written by a well known Neo-Pagan author, the deviser of Fairy Seership, and is based on his on personal world view. It is interesting, but it will provide you with a Neo-Pagan's look at life.

1) The Dark Rider: This is a European term, rarely found in hoodoo, for a being sometimes called the Ol' Funny Boy and most often called The Devil.

Here is an African American song about the Devil:

Me and the Devil Blues by Robert Johnson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-hSbpai7vg

2) Papa La-Bas: This is French. We are not speaking French around here. They hardly even teach it in High School nowadays. This is nothing in hoodoo, nothing at all.

3) Daddy Death: Death, as a personified spirit, entered hoodoo primarily through European American folklore and song, and was evident British and German art in earlier centuries. To call Death a "Daddy" is grotesque and i have not found it among Anglo-Irish Americans (who use the term "Daddy" rather than "Papa") so this seems to be really idiosyncratic. It certainly does not reflect the African American hoodoo that i grew up around, and, frankly, it strikes me as frickin' weird.

Here is a typical Anglo-Irish paean to personified Death:

Ralph Stanley O Death
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xmRWj7gJEU

I know of one African American preacher's recording of a similar piece, with the "spare me over just another year" lyrics, but it is not a common song in African American church music. Here it is:

Rev. Anderson Johnson - Death in the Morning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53g6QC3CIKY

More widespread in African American folklore are the NON-personified descriptions of death like this one by the famous musician Nehemiah Skip James:

'Cypress Grove Blues' SKIP JAMES, Delta Blues Guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfdNUbE9w7g
SKIP JAMES (1902-1969) " Cypress Grove Blues " (1931)

4) Are there any other spirits aside from those that are part of the Conjure tradition that are worked with?: Ummmm yes. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Kinda totally odd that the Neo-Pagan author you cite left them out of conjure. I mean, really? Cause rootwork, conjure, and hoodoo is the folk magic of African American CHRISTIANS and, like, it would be very difficult to overlook the Lord God, Jesus Christ His Only Begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit if you were really describing actual hoodoo beliefs.

5) The spirits of the First Nations such as Black Hawk: No one venerates "spirits of the First Nations." The term is Canadian. This is the USA. Black Hawk is venerated by Spiritual Church adherents of the lineage of Leafy Anderson, an African American Spiritualist of the 20th century. If you are not a Spiritualist within an African American Spiritual Church, you probably never heard of the spirit of Black Hawk or else you are reading too much internet.

6) The Ancestors: Ancestors are not venerated as such (that is, as a class of beings) in hoodoo, but many people do have a mediumistic connection to their own family members who have passed, to departed friends, or to their own ancestors.

7) The Dead: See above under Ancestors.

8) Plant (root) spirits: Plants are embued with life and spirit, but they are not part of a cosmological hierarchy.

9) The Haints: Haints (haunts) are European style locational ghosts. They are not petitioned or venerated, either in European or European-American folk magic, and thus, not in African American folk-magic either.

10) Is there a formal hierarchy or reglemen, so to speak, as is in Quimbanda or Haitian Vodou? This one could go two ways.

I could say: There is no "formal hierarchy" of spirits in hoodoo because, unlike Voodoo, which is a religion, hoodoo is the folk-magic of Christians.

Or i could say: Yes indeed! Hoodoo does have a formal hierarchy of spirits, according to the Christian beliefs of most hoodoo practitioners. Let me explain it to you:

A) Above all is God the Father, also known as Lord God, Our Father, the Creator, Lord of Lords, the Almighty, Lord of Hosts, Jehovah, the Great Architect of the Universe, and other such names.

B) Next comes God's only begotten Son, whose mother was Mary. His name is Jesus, and He is also known as God the Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, The Lamb, the Redeemer, and the Saviour.

C) Third is The Holy Spirit, sometimes represented as a White Dove, also called The Comforter.

D) Then come the Archangels, highest messengers of God. There are many of them, but the best known are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. They make announcements concerning God's will and plans.

E) The regular Angels come next, and they are messengers as well. They convey thoughts from God to people. Among them will be found each person's Guardian Angel(s), personal spirits to whom God has assigned the task of keeping us safe and directed on a good path to salvation from sin.

Of these entities, by far the most often appealed to and petitioned is Jesus Christ.

Here are two songd about this important entity in the hierarchy of hoodoo. Open another browser window and let them play while you read on.

I Have a Friend Above All Others, Be with Me Jesus - The Soul Stirrers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NvpIF5i1-A
Sam Cooke, Paul Foster, and the Soul Stirrers, live at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, 1955.

Steve Adams - Jesus Is My Friend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFMBQY45uTE
Steve Adams, live at at the Southside Church of Christ in Los Angeles, 2013.

In these songs, the "Friend" is Jesus. His friendship is mentioned in other songs as well, such as "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "The Best Friend to Have Is Jesus," and "Jesus, Friend of Sinners."

11) Do the spirits from Voodoo cross over into Conjure as well? Nope. Nobody round here speaks French. And why would folks in Moultrie, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; or Jackson, Mississippi, want to chase after French books about some other religion that has no churches where they live and that they'd have to learn French to understand, when they already have a religion of their own and churches and gospel music and a whole lot of magical and spiritual information that they can learn from their own English-speaking grandmothers? It just doesn't make any sense!

12) Are the Haints the Saints or are they both different? For haints, see above. They are locational ghosts. Saints are either (A) holy people whose holiness has been attested to and certified by a religious clergy or B) members of a Chrstian conregation otherwse known as "the church" or "the body of Christ" or "the Saints." Many religions have saints in the sense of (A), and in the USA, the most prominent religion that has saints of type (A) is the Roman Catholic Church. However, not too many adherents of hoodoo are members of that religion. On the other hand, many of the Pentecostal and Sanctified churches in the Black Protestant denominations consider all floor members of the church to be saints, as in type (B). This was discussed at length earlier in this forum thread.

13) Does Conjure include other types of spirits as well such as Demons or the Fey? Well, the Devil has his Imps (courtesy of Celtic-Germanic folklore), but Demons and the Fey never made much of a splash in hoodoo. In fact, they are pretty much unknown. I'll tell you what, though, you are more likely to find folks working with "The Lucky Buddha" and "The Lucky Trunk Up Elephant" than with The Fey.

14) Is working with other spirits outside of Conjure considered taboo? "Taboo" means something like practices or customs or foods or activities forbidden by religious or cultural decree. There are no "Hoodoo Police" running around and marking things off-limits or out of bounds or forbidden or "taboo" -- but i will say this: Very few conjure doctors work with Pagan or Catholic spiritual entities. And why should they? They already have good religion and good churches. No need to go running after foreign gods and learning new languages like Spanish and French and Gaelic and cutting the heads off of chickens and goats.

My advice: If you actually want to learn hoodoo, make friends with African American practitioners. If you cannot do that because you live in another nation or on another continent, then read some academic books on the anthropology and ethnography of African American people, not Neo-Pagan books that make use of the terminology of conjure but never describe the real, actual people and their ways of being in this world.

Seriously, this whole "Voodoo-Hoodoo-Neo-Pagan" thing is getting waaaaay out of control and needs to be checked now.

Read back through this thread from the beginning (14 pages long) and click every link. Read or listen to what those links have to offer. It may take you several hours. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

Here's another song for you, before i take my leave.

"Jesus on the Mainline"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8bum4civI
Recorded by Alan Lomax in 1959.
Performed by James Shorty, Viola James, and a church congregation.

Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want!
Jesus is on the mainline, tell Him what you want!
Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want!
Oh, call Him up and tell Him what you want!

If you want religion, just tell Him what you want!

The line ain't never busy, tell Him what you want!

Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want!

The line ain't never busy, tell Him what you want!

If you sick and can't get well, tell Him what you want!

He will come in a hurry, tell Him what you want!

Jesus is on the mainline, tell Him what you want!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Miss Tammie Lee » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:08 pm

Thank you Miss Cat!!!

I hope that the lovely couple I met today will read this thread.

Thank you for the knowledge that you continue to share.

All the Best Always!

Miss Tammie Lee
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:17 pm

You are most welcome, Miss Tammie Lee.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Papa Newt » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:18 am

Well said, Miss Cat. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom.
Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course Graduate #1649G
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by magicmurphy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:40 pm

Indeed! This is really helpful. That said, their are a lot of folks thinking "Candle and the Crossroads" is genuine conjure around here; the author actually was a speaker at an event here in MN recently (he didn't speak specifically on conjure, more general Pagan philosophical topics). Nice enough fella. Yes, I've read his book. He does infer in the book that his Southern Christian upbringing and what he learned form his momma -- which he calls conjure, accurately or not -- is magic that folks of any religion can benefit from, and does state that using the Bible, its African-American roots, working with the dead, and the living spirit inherent in all things are what Pagans have to accept if they do... but I'd be interested in why his presentation is problematic.

If conjure has regional differences, and cultural admixtures are part of hoodoo's history (and future), and is practiced by folks of differing religions (as is demonstrated here on the forum) what else about this book should be called into question for the benefit of non-Christians who are indeed serious about learning hoodoo?

Please take this in the spirit not of challenge, but of one honestly engaging in discourse with experts, and of good scholarship and accuracy...Yes, I'm in nerdy academicky mode, but a reflection/response to this would be very, very helpful for folks who really do want to do right by conjure. Much obliged if you, ms. cat, and any of you, would be willing.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:23 am

Murphy, the very fact that this Neo-Pagan writer is teaching that conjure practices involve calling upon, venerating, or petitioning "Papa La-Bas" and "Daddy Death" is all the answer you need. I am not gonna say that his mother did or did not teach him to work that way, but i am gonna say that nobody outside of him has recorded such conjure beliefs from Virginia (his home state) and we do have good, long, strong records of conjure practices in Virginia.

We know that folks in Virginia do not speak French. One can't prove a negative ("nobody there venerated an entity called Papa La-Bas") but we can certainly say, "In Virginia, conjure (often spelled 'cunjure') is a regional name for African American folk-magic, and it looks different than what he is describing."

The only place in the USA where the name "Papa La-Bas" is recorded is in Francophone New Orleans. In 1946, Robert Tallant, a former writer for the WPA, put out a book that sought to prove that Haitian Voodoo survived in New Orleans almost 150 years after the last Black Haitian slaves came to Louisiana. He did this despite the fact that others before him had found little evidence of such survivals. Specifically, Tallant wrote of an offering: "The food was for Papa LaBas, who was the devil. Oldtime Voodoos always talked about Papa La Bas." Note clearly that Tallant's description of "oldtime Voodoos" safely relates to the indefinite past; they "talked," they do not "talk" in 1946. His book has remained in print and has been sold in New Orleans tourist shops since that time.

From there we jump several decades to the world of fiction. Tallant became one of the sources used by the African American author Ishmael Reed, in his 1972 novel "Mumbo Jumbo," which cleverly mingled Haitian and American folkways in a fantasy of New York City in the 1920s that was actually built upon elements from the life of the Jamaican Marcus Garvey and the American originators of the Black Muslim movement, such as Nobel Drew Ali. One of the major characters was named Papa LaBas and he was said to perform "hoodoo," although all the details of his work, including "feeding the loas" derived from anthropological and popular descriptions of Haitian Voodoo. Reed was lionized as the new voice of Black poetic fiction and his books -- eventually stretching to several novels -- were taught in universities. His fictional account of Haitian Voodoo-hoodoo in New York City of the 1920s was injected into academic discussions as the "authentic" voice of 1920s Black America -- and this in turn was used to prove that Tallant had been right.

Enter the academic voice of Henry Louis Gates and his repetitiously, endlessly requoted statement about an African deity: "His New World figurations include Exii in Brazil, Echu-Elegua in Cuba, Papa Legba (pronounced La-Bas) in the pantheon of the loa of Vaudou of Haiti, and Papa La Bas in the loa of Hoodoo in the United States." Yes, he was quoting a novel, Ishmael Reed's "Mumbo Jumbo," as his source!

Gates had jumped, via Reed's novels, from Tallant's unsupported and unsourced statement about an "oldtime Voodoo" in which Papa La Bas was a local Haitian-derived name for "the Devil" to "the loa of hoodoo." But hoodoo is not a religion that has loa (lwa) in it! And yet, somehow, this bizarre relationship, in which fiction by a Black author inspired academic "facts" taught by a Black professor, remained largely unnoticed by academics for years. When the voice of "Black Authenticity" spoke, people listened.

This house of cards should have come tumbling down in the mid-1970s, when the 1936-1940 interviews of rootworkers by the folklorist Harry M. Hyatt were belatedly published. Hyatt had interviewed, by his own account, 1,605 African Americans -- including in New Orleans -- and no one had mentioned Haitian loa or Papa La-Bas to him. But no one noticed, primarily because Hyatt was not academically connected, and he was White, and thus his work went into obscurity at that time.

I feel it quite safe to say that had Hyatt's books been published in 1936-1940, before Tallant and Reed and Gates, then Tallant's fantasy, and the strange riff that Reed and Gates built upon it, would have NEVER taken off as truth. However, by the time Hyatt self-published his work in a limited edition, spurned by academia, the fantasy was entrenched in academia. I myself heard it often growing up -- the whole Exu-Eshu-Legba-Papa-La-Bas riff. It seemed so real, so right, despite the fact that i had never found any evidence of it among the hoodoo practitioners i met or the hundreds of old blues songs i collected.

When the great Cuban immigration began to bring Santeria to the East Coast in the late 1970s, the academics took it in stride -- and even though Santeros themselves claimed that the first Santeria initiation in the USA took place in the 1950s, the first move the academics made was to conflate their previous Voodooesque "loa of hoodoo" fantasy with a new Santeria fantasy. Now hoodoo practitioners were secretly worshiping orishas. It was all about the Nigerian deity Eleggua!

Sure, i had read all the anthropological Voodoo stuff. It didn't jibe with what i was seeing in Mississippi, or Oakland, or Chicago, but i toed the party line -- until 1976 when Hyatt 's interviews became available and at the same time i was supposed to suddenly add this whole new Spanish tinge to everything. It wasn't enough to believe that the old Baptist ladies were worshipping loas, i was now supposed to go along with the new academic viewpoint that botanicas were just another form of candle shop. That's when i decided to get off the bus.

Quitting the Tallant-Reed-Gates program was difficult for me -- but when i decided to trust Harry Hyatt's 1,605 interviews instead of Tallant's one sentence, Reed's poetic novels, and Gates' embroidery on them, i joined the outcasts of academia. As recently as the mid 1990s i actually got into a heated argument with a professor from UCLA who claimed that hoodoo was a form of West African Santeria. They really, truly believed this stuff.

It was only in 1999 that cracks began to appear in the academic fortress of "hoodoo loa" nonsense. Gates was by that time a celebrated interpreter of African American culture and had been unquestioned (and often parroted) for decades, but finally Pierre Damien Mvuyekure challenged him, in an essay printed in "The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities," published by the University of Indiana Press.

Mvuyekure was subtle and did not go head-to-head with Gates. Rather, he began by describing Reed's novels and then side-stepped for a paragraph to describe "Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s theory of the Signifying Monkey, a theory partially inspired by Reed's Mumbo Jumbo."

Having established the true flow of influence -- from fiction to academia -- he went on to discretely speak of how "what Gates calls figuration is actually a reconfiguration" and he concluded that what Gates called "an unbroken arc" of spiritual descendency from Africa to Haitian Voodoo to American hoodoo is actually [an] "arc [that] has been broken, refashioned, and then welded."

That's how people call one another out in academia. Quietly but decisively. With politeness.

Do you understand now why the idea that a Neo-Pagan author adapted his ideas from the writings of Tallant, Reed, and Gates (or their derivatives) seems less far-fetched to me than that this Neo-Pagan somehow knows first-hand some secret truth that proves that the Black American hoodoo practitioners of Virginia worship Papa La-Bas?

Of course, the Neo-Pagans have not been following the recent subtle sea change in academic attention. They are still riding on the Tallant-Reed-Gates "hoodoo loas" bus.

And that's why, even now, you will find me talking back to modern White interpreters of Southern conjure, and not only to those who are still parroting the "hoodoo-loa" line, but also to their companions who are telling readers that Hyatt and all his informants were either wrong or not telling the truth.

Now, let's look at that for a minute. Sure, it makes sense that Neo-Pagans who were in lock-step with a discredited academic theory based on a surrealistic novel would keep supporting that theory, because that's all they know, but why would White Neo-Pagans also seek to discredit the work of Harry Hyatt and/or his 1,605 Black informants of 1936-1940?

Well, you see, now that Hyatt's massive work is no longer shrouded in obscurity and anyone can compare the words of his informants to the Tallant-Reed-Gates line, folks who want to support that line MUST claim that Harry Hyatt and those 1,605 Black Americans are somehow wrong. Because if Hyatt and his 1,605 interview subjects were NOT wrong or lying or stupid, and it becomes obvious that all of this Papa-La-Bas-hoodoo loa drivel rests on sand, then modern Neo-Pagans cannot promote the authenticity of their fabulous Voodoo-hoodoo and Santeria-hoodoo pantheons and they will be forced to cede the territory of African American hoodoo back to (gasp) the Christians.

This ... is ... what ... they ... don't ... want ... you ... to ... know ... about:

"We'll Understand It Better By And By " - By The Davis Sisters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwhgR-yvNI4

LOL!
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by magicmurphy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:56 am

I LOVE IT! Excellent excellent. Thanks SO much for this, ms cat, this just helped clear up a lot for me and fill in a lot of holes. (And it's gotten me ALL EXCITED!) :)

Frankly, the same holes that were present in Wicca's history until I read Hutton's "Triumph of the Moon". Finally, an academic paper trail and the real origins of the movement... and another book many American Pagans either can't read or won't believe. It's irritating.

This sort of patchy-patchy pseudo-academic approach to presenting created "histories" and "traditions" in Neo-Paganism has been endemic in the movement since Gardner published his first book (in which he did the clever trick of interviewing himself as an informant. Seriously.) I'm part of an academic Pagan Studies/Magical Religion/Esotericism group that has been working hard within the discipline of New Religions to critically engage with NeoPagan trads, only to find that we're at best ignored and in some cases pushed away for these mythical imagined histories that still seduce people new to the movement. (The old hats know better.) The fact that this approach still occurs - of cutting-and-pasting a "tradition" together and presenting it as ancient - is really puzzling to many of us.

I've analyzed it in my research, and you're correct -- there's still an unwillingness to cede any influence on Modern Paganism to Christian Culture. The truth is, all the magic and ritual work NeoPagans do is pilfered from Christian esotericisms, folk magic, and fraternal orders. The ones who know and are honest about this work with it. The ones that don't know, or aren't, well... there are too many of them, and they promulgate these invented "indigenous European trads" to folks genuinely hungry for an ancestral religion, book publishers make big bucks from them, and it just continues to be a big mess.

What you've confirmed for me -- which I've been looking into for quite a while now -- is that NeoPaganism's Eurocentricity is also promulgating -- intentionally or not -- a covert racism. It's that "gee, we're all open minded here, why don't more people of color hang out with us? I just don't understand; they have Pagan roots too, right?" GGGAAAAHHH!!! I have to cut many some slack for simply being a product of the enculturated white privilege this country raises them in, and acquiring the ignorance that comes with it, but it's just been too in-my-face of late to be patient with. The information you have given here is just the sort of trail I need to really launch into a proper critique of race/ethnicity/culture issues in the movement. Thanks so much. And YOU BET you're getting credit. :)

It's pitiful, really; there was a time when NeoPagans were happy to be creative innovators -- now they've swung to flailing around for ancestral ties. (At least, here in MN.) Most NeoPagans are just people who are looking for roots and to celebrate their own cultural heritage. They just don't know how to research it, and take the word of self-styled "experts" too easily, especially when they present whitewashed histories..... there is also a cohort fantisizing about somehow being an indigenous person somewhere because of the romantic identity politics that come with that notion. (That's a whole other can of live things.) It doesn't help that many of these folks are being presented false traditions and excuses to sidestep the genuine issues around being an American; that much of our identity is colored by our history of genocide, slavery, and apartheid in this country -- and these mythical ancestral tales are simply more comforting than really looking critically at who we are and what we are now accountable for.

For those of us that are actually serious about American folk magic and religion, and its REAL roots, Wicca and other NeoPagan trads alone just don't satisfy anymore; they're too easy to pull apart. interestingly, folks are adding in things that have some historical and cultural weight. It's part of the reason why I'm here and learning more about hoodoo. It's both spiritual and academic for me. And it's the right thing to do.

Anyway... none of this is news to you, I'm sure. :) Again, thanks for the academic trail, and I will definitely be looking up these sources. Like now. I hope we can correspond on this in the future. :)

Best,
Murphy
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:55 pm

Murphy,

I will be quite happy to continue this discussion here in the forum. Feel free to quote me, with credit, at any juncture you wish in your research and publications.

You may not be aware of it, but the topic of the recent "shading" of collections of African American hoodoo as variously
(a) Afro-Caribbean and/or
(b) identical to Anglo-American folklore and/or
(c) worthless in comparison to Anglo-American folklore
is under discussion in the internet community at present. People are taking sides. The more heated writers (in some cases bolstered by the dishonest bravado of internet anonymity) are calling names. Those with cooler heads (who use their own real names, generally) are more likely to describe the current spate of Neo-Pagan incursions into hoodoo as a matter of "cultural appropriation."

For my part, i am firmly of the opinion that Southern White folk-magic teachers have chosen the wrong whipping boy when they seek to convince their readers that Harry Hyatt's African American informants "just made things up so they could have the money" (direct quote) and that the folk-magic spells they related to Hyatt were worthless, ignorant, and "plain laughable" (direct quote). For one thing, they're outnumbered. For another, they are going to face stiff opposition from African American and neutral folklorists, as well as from the general African American population.

It would be easy and low to point to Neo-Pagan covetousness of personal attention as an obvious commercial factor that may affect their making of such accusations against Black hoodoo practitioners. It would also be easy to note the cloudy feelings that may arise when one sees White Southern Neo-Pagans claiming that the Hyatt interviews are valueless, while Jewish and Yankee Neo-Pagans do not make such claims. In other words, i am specifically NOT going to discuss the charges of "racism" that have already arisen on the internet.

So, leaving all that aside and speaking from a frame of mind that eschews condemnation while embracing compassion, i have chosen to interpret the unfolding of these claims as a manifestation of White-privileged BLINDNESS to Black America.

I also think i can demonstrate the source of this blindness, not in the wider cultural context of the South and its tangled history, but in the specific cultural context of how folklore studies and their academic publications intersect with the celebration of actual family traditions in the age of internet accessibility.

If you go back to Harry Hyatt's Volume One of Hoodoo-Conjuration-Witchcraft-Rootwork (HCWR) and read his introduction, you will find that he discoursed at great length about the differences between HCWR and his earlier book "Folk-Lore from Adams County, Illinois" (FACI). As he explained, FACI was a geographical survey of folklore and folk magic beliefs, while HCWR was a look at the folklore and folk magic beliefs of one then-segregated population, no matter where geographically located.

In describing why he chose this new tactic for the compilation of HCWR, Hyatt went on to explain that although he was ONLY collecting from African American informants for HCWR, he was well aware that Anglo-Americans also have folk-magic practices and that the two cultures interacted, despite the segregation laws that were in place during the time of of his work.

He then quoted many paragraphs by his professional root doctor informants (as distinguished from his "person on the street" informants) in which they replied to his questions about demography. What percentage of Negroes believe in hoodoo? What percentage of Whites? Do you serve Negro clients? Do you serve White clients?

Some of his professional informants told him that they specialized in serving a White clientele (and Hyatt noted that, during the Great Depression, this would have been more profitable to Black spiritual workers than limiting themselves to serving poor Black clients). He also compiled accounts in which Black clients described the race of their personal root doctors -- Black or White. Some did patronize White root doctors, but Hyatt did not follow through and interview those White rootworkers, for reasons explained below.

From his demographic data, Hyatt drew the conclusion that most Black root doctors averred that about 90% of Negroes "believed in" hoodoo at the time he was collecting, and that these same Black professionals figured that 40% - 60% of White people also "believed in" hoodoo or SOME FORM of folk magic. He then applied a cost-benefit ratio analysis to his proposed folklore collecting project and decided that the percentage of respondents would be higher per mile travelled and week spent on the road if he limited his work to Blacks. In other words, he CHOSE not to interview Southern Whites and to collect a core-sampling of Black folk-magic only. He said this, and explained why, precisely and clearly.

That decision on Hyatt's part -- to ignore Southern White folklore -- leaves a lot of White newcomers to hoodoo confused and feeling disenfranchised. "My momma did some of this too and WE weren't Black" is the burden of their refrain of complaint when they encounter the Hyatt interviews.

So, how can these White Southern Neo-Pagan authors reconcile the differences between the White Southern folklore of their ethnic heritage and the Black Southern folklore so massively displayed by Harry Hyatt? And how can they feel "included" in the current online interest in African American hoodoo?

The obvious answer would be for them to start on the solid basis of understanding their own culture first, before looking into hoodoo. We could help them out by telling them to ask their own families, their White neighbors, and their White friends, about folk-magic. We could suggest that they read the Foxfire books of the 1970s and consult the works of Vance Randolph, B. A. Botkin, and Wayland Hand.

But ... no ... that's not enough for them. Hoodoo suddenly got popular on the internet and they want THEIR share of the fame and interest NOW. So they resort to explaining the differences between their family customs and beliefs -- WHITE Southern folklore -- and Hyatt's collected interviews -- BLACK Southern folklore -- by attempting to discredit both Hyatt AND his Black informants! If all of the differences are discounted as "useless junk" (a direct quote) and are made to go away, then what remains will be only the similarities, the folklore that THEY know, namely WHITE Southern folk magic, which they believe to be the only right, proper, and authentic form of folk magic.

In other words, they are displaying a fundamental ignorance of, and disrespect for, Black culture by trying to claim hoodoo as their own through the avenue of discrediting Hyatt's interview subjects.

Some of them go a step farther, attempting to remove Black folk-magic even farther from their own Southern White communities as, paraphrasing Mvuyekure, they "break, reconfigure, refashion, and weld" it into a fabulous and fantastic construct of Haitian Voodoo and Cuban Santeria with Catholic overtones.

In short, they are re-exoticizing hoodoo as the magic of the "Other" so that they can claim the re-enchantment of their own culture under the popular names of hoodoo and conjure.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by magicmurphy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:12 pm

Ah, this is very very helpful. Thanks, ms. cat.

This particular Southern pattern was one I wasn't aware of -- issues around race, culture, religion, and magic take a different form up here in MN. (Worthless? Ignorant? Seriously?)

I just wrapped up a chapter critically engaging with NeoPagans' use of what reseracher Paul Johnson calls "secretism"in his work on Candomble houses in Brazil (2002); the pattern is the same. NeoPagan initiatory "secrets" aren't anymore, so in order to pull rank and status as an authority figure in these communities, the promotion of the reputation of having secret ancestral or family knowledge is what's used to compete with other houses for the precious resource of apprentices now that the religion itself and its traditions are a matter of public knowledge. Houses are in heavy competition with each other, and have to convince dedicants that they have something that the others don't. The fact is, they don't.

This sort of thing is still prevalent in some NeoPagan regional communities, with authors and purported lineage heads claiming secret indigenous European traditions, when much of what they present is a)fabricated or b) pasted onto similarly bricolaged work by the old English authors. The ironic thing is if folks in the NeoPagan community were still critically reading Gardner, Cochrane, Leland and the other older works, they'd be able to spot this. But they keep falling for it. Chas Clifton called this the "Grandmother" pattern (2006). Collect a bunch of random occult philosophies, appropriate some folk magic, invent a story about being initiated by your gramma or some other old lady and... bam. Traditional European witchcraft tradition. He does a fine job of skewering this old habit, depsite this, it still happens -- the ethnicity of said tradition is just what changes. (The whole "Celtic" fad in the 1990's gave way to "Norse" trads, then "Tuscan"... lots of busy old world grammas, if you were to believe any of it.) And,of course, the authors or teachers can claim all the expertise they wish in their invented gramma's tradition. How convenient.

So now they've exhausted European histories and are picking at hoodoo. Hm. I guess I shouldn't be surprised this sort of thing is happening re: hoodoo and NeoPagan appropriation, but it seems particularly brash. You're right, it's yet another example of eschewing historical and anthropological documentation for the perceived status being the head of a mythic history/lineage promises. And the uncritical use of the Internet. It actually sounds like it's gotten worse since I began collecting data. Man.

(FWIW, attitudes up hear in the icy north toward African and African-American culture and religion is one of respectful distance to outright nervousness. It's all under the umbrella of , "well that's not my culture, so I'll leave it be". I'm trying to remind folks that if you are an American, African-American culture is part of your culture. They just don't discern how much of our culture is African-American, especially in religion, the arts, literature... on and on... I know too many Pagans who are intimidated by it; a bottle of uncrossing oil makes them uncomfortable. If they know anything about hoodoo -- as hoodoo, not as hoodoo repackaged as gramma's witchcraft -- it's a system of magic you don't mess with... and they mistakenly associate it with Ifa Diaspora religions and orishas and not Baptist Christianity. Again, not good information, and no real desire to find it. Anyway...)

This pattern of taking hoodoo away from its documented history in African-American culture and reworking it into another invented lineage is easy to unravel, and, you're right, won't last long. We in anthropology began discerning between "appropriation" and "misappropriation" when it came to these issues; Magliocco (2004) stuck it to anthros by reminding them that cultural diffusion and admixture has always occurred; "appropriation" only came in to use when cultural tradition became "cultural property" and a commodity to be given, taken, stolen, and cashed in on. "Possessing" cultural property gives someone power and status and often economic gain when its bestowed on an eager audience who believes they can possess it too. She accused anthros of creating this concept and making themselves guilt-ridden about it as an academic crutch. And she's right.

I am interested in these more kooky arguments, though... is there a place you can direct me to where this arguing in the Southern NeoPagan context are occurring, especially these really appropriative ones? I'd like to analyze them. If you can, thanks.
And thanks for being willing to chat about this. :)

And yeah, I'll be in the practical parts of the forum too -- having an anthro degree sure doesn't make my honey jars work faster. ;)

Much obliged, ms cat.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:58 pm

As a side-note, it may be valuable to theorize as to why these Neo-Pagans and White Southern interpreters of folk-magic are tilting at the windmill of Hyatt, publishing statements like, "I think most of the stuff Harry M Hyatt wrote is bullshit. That doesn’t make me a racist it makes me a person who knows HER heritage.''

Why single him out for ridicule?

I believe that this has occurred because, as they themselves make apparent, these White authors are not very familiar with earlier collections of Black folklore, either academic or anecdotal; they are not engaged in primary exploration of present day Black culture; and they are unfamiliar with alternative, non-academically-mediated sources of historical Black folk-magic information, such as the WPA Slave Narratives and the texts of 1920s-1930s blues lyrics.

To them, it may have seemed that Hyatt was publishing Southern folklore, but identifying it as "Negro" and including within it things unfamiliar to them, not of "[THEIR] heritage," which, therefore seemed untenable to them. They believe Hyatt to be the ultimate African American hoodoo folklore collector, since they know no others. By discrediting his work and impugning the veracity of his interviewees, they may think they can stop up the free flow of information about African American culture and make themselves the gatekeeper-interpreters of all Southern folk-magic. Furthermore, by denying their reliance on written texts that describe specifically BLACK folklore, they can become the inheritors of their own WHITE "grandmother stories," to quote Chas Clifton's term. (For those following this discussion in later years, see Clifton's 2006 book "Her Hidden Children," especially Chapter 5, on "self-invention.")

Of course Hyatt's work is the largest collection of African American folk-magic ever assembled, but academics function in the world of scientific method. They do not calculate a source's value by its size alone, but also ask, "Can this data be independently confirmed?" And in Hyatt's case, it can be. The same material can be found in the earlier works of Leonora Herron, Alice Bacon, Mary Alicia Owen, and Newbell Niles Puckett and in the songs of Arnold Wiley, Jim Towel, and the Memphis Jug Band. To discredit Hyatt's 1,605 African American informants as "a dangerous crock" (direct quote) accomplishes nothing in the end, because researchers can read the exact same spells in a transcription of the lyrics to Sara Martin's 1925 recording of the blues song "I'm Gonna Hoodoo You."

Ultimately, given the number of independent data points collected by Hyatt in so many cities for so many years, the attempt to categorize the material as "foolishness" (direct quote) takes on the tone of a conspiracy theory:

One thousand six hundred and five Black people, from Macon, Georgia, to Memphis, Tennessee, told Hyatt the same things -- and if they were all telling the same lies to fool a White man, then they must have been in secret communication with one another. But what about Sara Martin, back in 1925? Surely she had no idea that Hyatt 's informants were planning this massive bamboozlement in 1936 -- or did she?

You see where this logic leads?
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by nagasiva » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:54 pm

hi Doc Murphy,
magicmurphy wrote:...This sort of patchy-patchy pseudo-academic approach to presenting created "histories" and "traditions" in Neo-Paganism has been endemic in the movement since Gardner published his first book (in which he did the clever trick of interviewing himself as an informant. Seriously.)
to be fair, Doreen Valiente, the Ferrars, and later Margot Adler did a service to rational scrutiny of Neopagan standards. factions have developed and publishing of break-out, do-it-yourself tradition-making hasn't made things easier. I do think it is somewhat unfair to hold religious to a very high standard in respect of history or sociology. the track record shows us a very spotty result from most religious through the course of time. it isn't completely fair to expect enthusiastic devotees to refrain from romance, or to divorce themselves from emotionally reporting what inspires them. I think that as long as we can find sites such as Ceisiwr Serith's analysis of the Charge of the Goddess, then things are headed in the right direction.
magicmurphy wrote:I'm part of an academic Pagan Studies/Magical Religion/Esotericism group that has been working hard within the discipline of New Religions to critically engage with NeoPagan trads, only to find that we're at best ignored and in some cases pushed away for these mythical imagined histories that still seduce people new to the movement. (The old hats know better.) The fact that this approach still occurs - of cutting-and-pasting a "tradition" together and presenting it as ancient - is really puzzling to many of us.
I think the dynamic you have to become familiar with is religious devotion on a 'bhakti' mode. heavy skepticism and rational scrutiny simply aren't necessary for engaging this, and the aim isn't to come to intellectual positions of defensible fact. the aims are at odds in some cases and this is fine.
magicmurphy wrote:...there's still an unwillingness to cede any influence on Modern Paganism to Christian Culture. The truth is, all the magic and ritual work NeoPagans do is pilfered from Christian esotericisms, folk magic, and fraternal orders. The ones who know and are honest about this work with it. The ones that don't know, or aren't, well... there are too many of them, and they promulgate these invented "indigenous European trads" to folks genuinely hungry for an ancestral religion, book publishers make big bucks from them, and it just continues to be a big mess.
and of course there is more than one faction of these; I am witness to a number of heated religious conflicts about lineage, history, and authority within specific trad-Wicca and similar contexts. those who follow out the self-initiation model as from within books such as those by an author whose work is popular here (Scott Cunningham) often come directly into conflict with those who are line-bearers from the actual initiatic authorities downstream from Gardner. thus, the argument isn't even always whether we're talking about ancient survivals or revivals, but why Wicca is authentic in certain forms and how. religion diversifies based on differences of opinion such as these, and Neopaganism is not alone in sporting these types of disputes.
magicmurphy wrote:What you've confirmed for me -- which I've been looking into for quite a while now -- is that NeoPaganism's Eurocentricity is also promulgating -- intentionally or not -- a covert racism. It's that "gee, we're all open minded here, why don't more people of color hang out with us? I just don't understand; they have Pagan roots too, right?" GGGAAAAHHH!!!...
I have seen less of that and more simple understanding that one is more likely to find people of the same ethnicity congregating amongst those whose focus is something cleaving to what claims to be a survival from a largely ethnic region (Celtic, British, Irish, etc.). I've noticed a sizable subset talking about Kemetic religion, but just as much there was a dearth of Asian, Arabic, and Indian participant, and i think it would have been unfair to have characterized them as promulgating covert racism just because of this absence. yes, those who spread their 'pagan' term (newly revivified as 'Pagan') to all non-Jews, non-Christians, and non-Muslims can be understood as only slowly emergent from a Christian encrustation. their notions haven't been challenged sufficiently to understand the severe limitations of awkward and culturally myopic views.
magicmurphy wrote:...just the sort of trail I need to really launch into a proper critique of race/ethnicity/culture issues in the movement....
make sure you ask them some of the same questions that i did about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism all of which i was studying. they had little to no interest in these, even though the I Ching and Tao Te Ching got STRONG support in Western publishing such as in coalition with Wilhelm/Baynes/Jung or in the wake of James Legge, Dover, etc.
magicmurphy wrote:...there was a time when NeoPagans were happy to be creative innovators -- now they've swung to flailing around for ancestral ties. (At least, here in MN.) Most NeoPagans are just people who are looking for roots and to celebrate their own cultural heritage. They just don't know how to research it, and take the word of self-styled "experts" too easily, especially when they present whitewashed histories.....
I chat with Neopagans and other odd religious quite often, and i think it may be helpful to identify the socioeconomic class, ethnic background, educational level, and general geographic area of those whom you are describing. I met quite a few Neopagans happy to explore and innovate in the San Francisco Bay Area, a good number of them from families emphasizing solid education and/or quite used to serious scrutiny sufficient to give them heavy doubts about all this ancientness. different lines of Gardnerianism, for example, provide different notions of what the liturgies and ethics mean, liberal in 'California Line' and conservative in 'Kentucky Line' factions. without having, oneself, a large view of the religion and its composition these kinds of streams of myopia and broad-mindedness might be overlooked. is MN by any chance a bit more conservative than CA?
magicmurphy wrote: ...For those of us that are actually serious about American folk magic and religion, and its REAL roots, Wicca and other NeoPagan trads alone just don't satisfy anymore; they're too easy to pull apart. interestingly, folks are adding in things that have some historical and cultural weight. ...
this time period and the rising global communications technology is a factorial multiplier contributing to a phenomenon that hit 'folk music' in the mid-20th century: at what point will it become impossible to identify 'folk culture' due to the 'contamination' by computers, mini-web-browsers, television, radio, and easily delivered books? when shall we rule that folk music can no longer be found by virtue of a suffusion of radios and discs? what shall signal the death of folk art in the mechanisms social and technical required to complete sales and persist as a supplier? what is the likely lifespan of folk magic in a determination of its folk quality, likewise? if you determined that all religions will pull apart like this, and that it is just easier with more recently constructed groups and their curriculum vitae becoming better documented and transparent to researchers, would this change your attitude about religious witches and pagans?

much as we had our disagreements about so many things, one of those that Carroll Poke Runyon and i always seemed to find solid overlap of perspective on was the importance of what he called (dubbed?) charter mythos. I accepted this as a facet of beginning religious. sort of like a starter yeast batch, or a seed syllable from which a complex religious composition might be based, the charter mythos need not be founded on anything real, and yet it may have the desired effect long-term. such functionality is plain within extremely novel groups such as Satanists who purport anything from ancient connections to Zoroastrian, Egyptian, or even Sumerian gods to serious estimations identifying emerging Satanism from the Illuminati, transdimensional or extraterrestrial races. is this really more unbelievable than the tremendous diversity to be found amongst their elder religious? I don't think so, it just gets spiffed up with science fiction, fantasy, and the latest popular narrative. it is reasonable to expect that religious and scientific social motivations will for the foreseeable future promote and derive different types and calibres of knowledge.

thanks for posting here. excellent conversation.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by nagasiva » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:39 am

catherineyronwode wrote:...Why single {HMHyatt} out for ridicule?

I believe that this has occurred because, as they themselves make apparent, these White authors are not very familiar with earlier collections of Black folklore, either academic or anecdotal; they are not engaged in primary exploration of present day Black culture; and they are unfamiliar with alternative, non-academically-mediated sources of historical Black folk-magic information, such as the WPA Slave Narratives and the texts of 1920s-1930s blues lyrics.
well, dang, it isn't for a lack of your trying to educate them!! I see you making reference to these quite often, especially locally and in apprenticeships, and i had presumed quite a bit online sufficient that people might get the idea. I wonder, comparably, whether Hyatt is an easy target because he is not about to be defended by academics, isn't alive to receive support from his family or friends, and the owner of the copyright is either in dispute or (UCLA) doesn't seem too terribly worried about getting it out there and supporting it.
catherineyronwode wrote:To them, it may have seemed that Hyatt was publishing Southern folklore, but identifying it as "Negro" and including within it things unfamiliar to them, not of "[THEIR] heritage," which, therefore seemed untenable to them. They believe Hyatt to be the ultimate African American hoodoo folklore collector, since they know no others. By discrediting his work and impugning the veracity of his interviewees, they may think they can stop up the free flow of information about African American culture and make themselves the gatekeeper-interpreters of all Southern folk-magic.
goodness, thereby denying the reality of an extant culture (because they have no lasting interest in participating in it themselves, only displacing it like orientalism or exotic appropriation)? you don't think the form (phonetics) has something to do with it too? (untrustworthy because it isn't in plain English?)
catherineyronwode wrote:Furthermore, by denying their reliance on written texts that describe specifically BLACK folklore, they can become the inheritors of their own WHITE "grandmother stories," to quote Chas Clifton's term. (For those following this discussion in later years, see Clifton's 2006 book "Her Hidden Children," especially Chapter 5, on "self-invention.")
is this in any way related to 'granny magic'? I'm familiar with the appeal to previous generations and the 'famtrad' (I made fun of it in creating the File of Alt.Magick.Tyagi Rules and Assorted Dogma (FAMTRAD)), but have no idea if these two things have an intersection - redundantly self-supporting the Appalachian Granny Magic trad by connection to my granny!
catherineyronwode wrote:Of course Hyatt's work is the largest collection of African American folk-magic ever assembled, but academics function in the world of scientific method. They do not calculate a source's value by its size alone, but also ask, "Can this data by independently confirmed?" And in Hyatt's case, it can be. ...To discredit Hyatt's 1,605 African American informants as "a dangerous crock" (direct quote) accomplishes nothing in the end....
quite so. we might ask what there is to be gained as well by mixing up Yoruban West African religion with Congo reilgion and African American Protestantism. surely people get a charge out of 'being right and informing the ignorant of the proper sinews of knowledge heretofore misunderstood'.
catherineyronwode wrote:Ultimately, given the number of independent data points collected by Hyatt in so many cities for so many years, the attempt to categorize the material as "foolishness" (direct quote) takes on the tone of a conspiracy theory ....You see where this logic leads?
not only that, we've seen other scenarios of conspiracy theory surrounding Hyatt by academic quadrants, with UCLA sinking the project to get the information out there and accessible to folks. a few visitors to the shop voiced the obvious "common sense" (? I don't always trust common sense!) notion that the powers that be with leverage saw an advantage in keeping African Americans from learning about their own remnant culture and thereby enabling their self-empowerment, fractionated by abduction though it was. was omission of the Jewish component to this picture by Hyatt (in his dismissal of merchant and pharmaceutical contributions) continued by those besides you who have been attempting to analyze the picture? I don't want to shift to the hypothesis of a conspiracy theory if i can avoid it, but i know why you say that.

did missionaries returning from deepest darkest Africa or the jungles of South America with tales of amazing peoples and animals receive dismissals from those back in their home town upon their return? it seems somewhat likely. were they to present sound cylinders having recorded those animals and jungle denizens would this evidence seem convincing to listeners? remnant transcription? in today's world, where so much relies upon the media format and accessibility of data presented to the viewing audience, perhaps phonetic transcriptions just seem like a weak prop to those used to reality television shows where 'common sense' notions lead them to dismiss 'outrageous' expressions plainly located outside their ken. maybe we need a 'Techno-Hyatt', with a camcorder and a built-in microphone, to wander all over the South and collect up 1600 more interviews, uploading them to Youtube or the Library of Congress! ;)
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by magicmurphy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:51 am

ms cat and nagasiva --

Yes, this is an excellent conversation. I'm enjoying the heck outta myself. :)

Per your question, nagasiva, the MN community (they call it "Paganistan" here in the Cities) is more culturally/socially conservative than the SF CA community that we all are aware of. The Californians have always been on the culture-changer tip.

My dissertation was actually on the Twin Cities Pagan community, and I'm proofing a manuscript on it to be submitted to Ashgate Publications by the end of this month (gotta hurry!). The community essentially gained its character because MN was essentially ignored by the lineage heads on the coasts, and they literally began DIYing it here in the 1960's. Eventually, Gnostica Books-turned-Llewellyn Publications hosted "Gnosticons" to bring in occult poobahs, and they were wildly successful, to the point that lots of folks moved here to the Cities thinking the place was crawling with Wiccans and other magical types. It wasn't, but now it sure is. :)

The early decades here, as a result of this pattern, resulted in some really innovative magical and ritual work (seriously, there are folks that do some amazing stuff here that's never been documented, or just by me) situated in this really peculiar Prairie-Home-Companion culture. (Google "Minnesota Nice" to get an idea.) The old hats never bought the Alex Sanders Gramma stories or took much of what was written uncritically, and have a terrific sense of humor about themselves. As the decades have passes, and a new generation has stepped up -- and suddenly social legitimacy became important to the community -- there's less critical engagement with sources, and more focus on "tradition" than innovation Admittedly, it's a pendulum swing, and it's relative -- folks in MN find the Californians waaaaaaay too "political" for their style.

(I'll admit that much of posts reflect having been embedded here in Paganistan for 12 years, simultaneously teaching course on race, gender, power and social change at local colleges, watching community's the shifts in priority, and being a little puzzled by it all. It's good analysis for an anthro, but a little frustrating as a community member when folks only ask for your scholastic perspective when you say what they want to hear. Anyway... )

I'm intrigued too, ms cat, as to why Hyatt is the "whipping boy" here; it was trendy to make Gardner a similar pillory to demsonstrate poor history (except his actually was, doh!) , but the same folks were clinging to Leland and Murray and their largely embellished work as the real deal. (Now, nobody reads anything truly historical up here, not even Adler. The made up stuff is sexier. Man.) I smell something deeper here than just dismissing an old dude's research as "bullshit" because they want to legitmate gramma....

Knee jerk anthro here: it really looks to me that the regional differences between the Upper Northern and the Southern Pagan cultures are really ripe for some serious -- and likely long overdue -- study. I'll hop on board with both your arguments that we're dealing with privileged blindness when it comes to African-American Christian influence on modern Paganism, but this notion of "Southern Heritage" is one cultural phenomenon that Northerners just don't get (they simply interpret it as pride in being racist, yikes, clearly there's more going on there), and it appears from how you frame their arguments in your posts (please please correct me if I'm wrong), this notion of what is one's "heritage" or not in this Southern Pagan context really seems to get hackles up. It's similar to the patterns I've been looking at regarding invented traditions and rewriting histories, and yet different...but there's something very intriguing to sink my teeth into here...hmmmmm...

WOW! Sign me up for the Techno-Hyatt project when it gets going! Seriously, grad students in anthro/social sciences (especially the ones on the academic lists I'm on) are always looking for projects to be made into theses... now that reflexive fieldwork (read: research done by a someone on their own community and getting the training in research methods to do so, very important now in folklore, religious, and language studies), you may find a crew of very interested folks to do updated fieldwork on hoodoo. Just sayin'... :)

Would love to be chatting on this over coffee with you all right now. :)

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by AonieD » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:03 pm

I understand the vodou does NOT equal hoodoo, but nearly all vodou believers I know do practice some form of hoodoo, especially candle magic. Pagan authors ransacking a tradition of underprivileged people for money is a sore spot of mine. I came by my root and candle knowledge honestly. My mother's family is from the Mississippi Delta for the past 6 generations, and I learned at the knee of my grandmother and the Pentecostal church.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:41 am

AonieD,

Thank you! You are so right.

Voodoo practitioners, both in Haiti and in the USA, have taken advantage of the books and informal teachings available in candle shops to learn hoodoo and have then called it Voodoo, although the two traditions are quite distinct and developed along different cultural lines for hundreds of years before being smooshed back together again by ignorant authors who thought that because the two words rhymed and they were both practiced by people of colour they must be the same word and mean the same thing.

Pagan authors have also "ransacked" the tradition of African American folk-magic to obtain quick knowledge of "spells" to recast as their own, and then claimed that these are Pagan teachings, when they are obviously from the Mississippi Delta, as you noted.

Yes, hoodoo is a "mixed" form of folk-magic, insofar as most African Americans are a "mixed" people -- but it would take a fool to not recognize an African American person, and to say, "Ooooh, he sounds Haitian!" or "He must be a Nigerian!" Respect and honour should go to the African American people whose folk magic tradition this is, and authors who try to claim hoodoo as their own culture's invention or the invention of Haitian people are in making fools of themselves.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by AonieD » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:13 am

Thanks for the reply! I admire all of the work you do, and you've done a great thing by researching, writing and starting a wonderful business.

I see vodou as my religion and hoodoo as what I do in service to my religion. I grew up in an orthodox Pentecostal church and I learned to pray very early on. There are a LOT of little old Pentecostal ladies with hand-stitched altar cloths, hoodoo oils and altar lights, and I'm so thankful I listened and paid attention. I've been doing hoodoo rootwork and setting lights for ten years, but it's only in the past six months that I've become very dedicated about it, and went though a long dedication and purification period to take on clients who aren't in my immediate circle of family and friends.

I have helped a client win a lawsuit and have done extensive, pro-bono healing work. I am making a shopping list, as I've run out of some essential materials and have decided to use your materials. I love that you have Special Oil no. 20! It's some very good stuff and pretty obscure and hard to find. I would love to take your class and become accredited in the AIRR, but my religious beliefs prevent me from doing crossing work or working with goofer dust, unless there is a very dire situation.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by MoonSunStar » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:29 am

Hi,
I've been to a few psychics and they've told me that I have past life connections with my current boyfriend. They also said that we're meant to be and also that I'm indebted to him from my past life, that's why I can't leave him no matter what he's done to me...And believe me, he's given me so much pain for the past 5 years but I still can't leave him...I've tried to many times but failed to...Is there any way to understand this past life debt/connection more??? I want to know more about my bond with him...And also how to be able to break free from it?
Thank you.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:20 am

Moon Star Sun,

Your question has been merged into the long topic thread on religion, because the matter of whether or not one believes that people experience reincarnation (being born into new bodies repeatedly) is a religious matter.

Most religions do not propose this theory, but some do.

The best known among those religions that propose the theory of reincarnation (including past lives and future lives) are Hinduism and Buddhism. One modern but small religion that also embraces this concept is Theosophy. For more information and discussion on these beliefs, we suggest you join a Hindu or Buddhist or Theosophical religious forum or read the following short informative pages on these religions provided vy AIRR, the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers:

Working Within the Hindu Tradition
http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wi ... _Tradition

Working Within the Buddhist Tradition
http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wi ... _Tradition

This forum, the Lucky Mojo Forum, is for help with the study and practice of African American folk-magic, which is called hoodoo or conjure. Most practitioners are Protestant Christians. It is a tenet or belief of most (but not all) Christians that "after death comes the judgement" -- that is, people have one life, which they live for either good or ill, and after death (either immediately or in some future moment), according the the specific Christian denomination's beliefs) they will be judges and either rewarded or punished. The ancient Egyptians held similar religious views as well, and this belief is also not uncommon in the world.

Here are some AIRR pages on Christianity:

Working Within the Protestant Tradition
http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wi ... _Tradition

Working Within the Catholic Tradition
http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wi ... _Tradition

Working Within the Orthodox Tradition
http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wi ... _Tradition

You d not have to be a Christian -- or of any specific religion -- to practice hoodoo, but since a great part of our culture is structured within a framework o Judeo-Christian beliefs, we are not the best folks to ask about reincarnation.

Good luck with that.

P.S. If you are living in an abusive unsafe environment or enduring emotional disappointments due to being with an unsuitable and emotionally incompatible boyfriend, we can suggest ways to free yourself and move on, through magical means, especially if he has somehow tied you to him in a spiritual sense.

There is a forum thread dealing with this -- its about peaceful divorce, but applies to unmarried couples as well.

There is also a thread about spells that can be cast for breaking obsession-like emotional ties to an ex.

Good luck.
catherine yronwode
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by MoonSunStar » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:29 am

Thank you Cat,
I'll look into the details of breaking free from this relationship...
But the thing is, somehow I'm not ready to leave him just yet. No matter how much pain I'm going through now, I still love him and want to be with him, I just don't understand why...
Hope all is well.
Thanks!

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by katie80lo » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:55 pm

im confused please set me straight love you guys im new to this

is calling on Gods for spell work bad ?

been calling morgan issias for my e xhusband to return with candels uh let me know if this is bad and should i clean myself for i have been a doormat free rent in my brain 17 yrs now i have twin daughters that miss dad and want him back i want to do this right but im all new to this thanks guys i walk and listen to you i have multiple scleriosis so this is very good for me to learn i want to protect my family.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Papa Newt » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:01 am

katie80lo- I'm not quite clear of exactly what you are asking for as your post, to me, is scattered.

First up, in hoodoo Pagan gods are not called upon at all.

Since you are new to Hoodoo I encourage you to read:

Hodoo, Conjure, and Rootwork African American Folk Magic
http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodoohistory.html#hoodoo

Hoodoo and Religion
http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodooandreligion.html

Because you are new and asking about reconciliation, I believe, you may want to consider a Reconciliation Spell Kit as it will come with all the items you need plus instructions to do the work.

Best of luck.
Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course Graduate #1649G
Thank you, St. Expedite!

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:22 am

katie80lo,

I know of no entity named "morgan issias" in the Christian religion, and since hoodoo is the domestic folk-magic of African American Christians, primarily, i see no reason to even go there.

Rconciliation work done for harmony and peace of the family is not wicked and there would be no reson to clean such benevolent energies off of yourself after performing such a spell.

You are too unfamiliar with this work to do it effectively, and i second Papa Newt's recommendation that you read the links he posted above about religions and hoodoo.

I also suggest that you consider working by telephone with a magical coach rather than striking out on your own at this point.

Good luck
catherine yronwode
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by LovelyDecadence » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:00 pm

Good late evening, all.

I have a question on combining witchcraft and hoodoo, as so the title says. I love all kinds of magic... some aspects of witchcraft call to me and some aspects of hoodoo call to me. I was wondering if there are ethics against combining, especially if instead of believing in God, I believe in the balance of male and female deities. I just enjoy being eclectic and appreciating and using different cultural magic/spells. Are there repercussions for this?


Thanks!

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:07 pm

The most obvious "repercussion" of "using" hoodoo spells is that by focussing on "spells" you may not actually learn about or understand African American culture ... which is the basis of hoodoo.

Ask yourself, "Would i try to combine Cantonese Taoist sorcery with Neo-Pagan witchcraft? Would i try to combine French Catholic folk-magic with Hindu folk-magic? Would i try to combine Australian Aboriginal religion with Tibetan Buddhist religion?"

If not, then why combine African American Christian folk-magic into your Neo-Pagan traditions?

Ask yourself, "Is this a friendship that i am seeking to develop with the African American community or am i trying to learn some tricks without really being part of the community or culture whose techniques i want to use?

I don't judge. I do have opinions, and i would offer them if asked (and i am sure you can read them to a certain extent between the lines here, in what i wrote), but i cannot judge your ethical standards for you.

Ultimately, only you know your own mind, and only you an see your own way clear.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by LovelyDecadence » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:30 pm

I do my research on everything I find interest in towards magic... I assume understanding/appreciating/becoming a part of the culture that you find magical interest in is part of and a pre-requisite to using it, otherwise that would backfire big time.

I don't have anyone I know here in Minnesota that does anything with magic, and am alone in finding research on things I am interested in. I don't have anyone to ask to know if there are conflicting variables with combining practices (when it comes down to physically using it) such as having to believe in God and only God or it tarnishes the magic. Things like that?

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:48 am

We may be talking apples and oranges here. You seem to be talking about magic and i am talking instead about respect for a culture.

I do not think that by "using" hoodoo to add a pinch of exotic spice to your own eclectic Pagan magical methodologies you could in any way end up "tarnishing the magic" of the African American community, because i do not think you would have ever partaken of the African American magical tradition in the first place. You would be a solitary armchair researcher, not be a root worker or a hoodoo practitioner.

Actually, this is a deep ethical issue, but to me the most serious question it raises is not about whether the magic would work or not -- it is about where one draws the line that separates happy-go-lucky eclecticism from insensitive cultural appropriation.
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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by magicmurphy » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:56 pm

LovelyDecadence --

Minnesota is crawling with magical practitioners of all kinds -- especially in the Cities, but other places outstate as well. if you aren't finding folks who are into or interested in magic, you simply aren't looking hard enough.

MN is also filled with excellent and ethical magical and religious teachers as well. I'd suggest searching for online connections, and Minnesota organizations, stores, festivals. You will find no shortage of kindred spirits and opportunities.

Good luck.

Doc Murphy
St. Paul, MN

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by MoonBreath » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:26 am

Lovely D, a lady I know who considered herself "pagan" did some searching like you, and tried some Hoodoo work. She found that the Hoodoo worked great for her - far better than the pagan spells she had been using. So if you are searching for tried and true folk magic, give the Hoodoo a try. Readings psalms and saying, "In the Name of the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost" isn't going to damage you ... but you may very well get a happy surprise in the end result. If you find it speaks to you, then perhaps you could delve deeper into the tradition and culture. Different things work better for different folks, and Hoodoo might work better for you ( just as it did for the lady I was talking about ), but you will never know until you give it a try.

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Susan Barnes » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:00 am

Hi Lovely Decadence,

magicmurphy is right there are many magical practitioners of all kinds in the twin cities. I met several at a sci/fi con in Minneapolis a few years back.

For more info on Hoodoo: http://luckymojo.com/hoodoo.html
Hoodoo History: http://luckymojo.com/hoodoohistory.html

For books on the topics : http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatbooks.html
And "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" a free online book by Catherine Yronwode.

Good Luck to you!
HRCC Graduate #1632 - Member of AIRR - Member of Hoodoo Psychics - Forum Moderator

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Re: Hoodoo and Religion: Voodoo Wicca Santeria Witchcraft Atheism

Unread post by Mary Bee » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:30 am

There are some fundamental differences between Neo-Pagan and Wiccan traditions and Hoodoo.

Hoodoo is based on African American Protestant Christianity. It has no version of the "threefold law" that is found in some Wiccan paths. Hoodoo practitioners do not generally cast circles, for example.

Some things that they do have in common: altar use, candle work, work with herbs, the use of sacred texts and chants.

I would suggest really immersing yourself in the study of Hoodoo instead of just adding some spells from it into Wicca. Try it out!
Mary
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