Voodoo, translated from the language of the von people (who lived in the African kingdom of Dahomey, which existed on the coast of West Africa from 1620 to 1900) means “spirit”, “deity”. This is a religious tradition, the basis for which was the cults and views of the aforementioned people of the background and the neighboring Yoruba nation. In addition, the beliefs of the inhabitants of central Africa (Guinea, Angola, the Congo, Senegal, etc.) had a considerable influence on the formation of the Voodu religion. On the island, from 1492 it was called Espanola (“small Spain”), later Santo Domingo (“Holy Sunday”), and only in 1804 called Haiti (from the “Aichi”, which means “mountainous island” in the Indian language), and thence to America and Mexico – the religion of Voodoo was introduced by black slaves. They, since 1503, were forced to bring to Haiti, the Spanish colonialists, almost completely exterminated the local population (the Indians of the Tainos) and badly needed cheap labor.

Most of the slaves, according to the researchers, were prisoners of war and people accused of any social misconduct, in particular, for witchcraft (lese-majeste). It was thanks to the last (among which there were many priests) that the Voodoo religion spread to Haiti everywhere, and at the beginning of the last century it penetrated the United States. Nowadays in New York alone there are about 100 shops where customers are offered religious accessories and even sacrificial animals for conducting Voodoo ceremonies. The terms Voodoo, Voodoo, Hudu are synonyms.

This is not quite true. These terms serve to name different spiritual systems. The religious movement in Haiti is called Voudou, and the ministers of this cult call themselves “loa (” loa “), and not” vodouisant “(the term is often used by foreigners). In some cases, the name mentioned is written as “vodoun” (vodun, voudun). And, since not everyone knows the rules of French spelling (according to which the final “n” in this case is not pronounced), the Haitian religious trend is sometimes mistakenly called Voudan.

Vodou is the name of the whole system of beliefs of several nationalities of Benin (a state in West Africa, formerly called Dahomey). Devotees of Dahomey (Benin) Water also call themselves “servants loa”

Voodoo (voodoo) is a religious tradition of African Americans. It differs from the above by the fact that the original system of beliefs and cognitions is lost, the accents are shifted towards witchcraft rituals.

Hoodoo – in some regions this term is used to refer to witchcraft rituals.

There are not so many followers of Voodoo in the world.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. According to the most approximate estimates, in the world today there are more than 50 million adherents of this religious trend.

Voodoo is a religious tradition, contrasted with other beliefs, actively planted by the colonialists.

This is not quite true. Both Voodoo and similar shamanistic traditions were often assimilated with other religious directions, since the open worship of “pagan gods and symbols” was strictly prosecuted. Therefore, for example, Santeria (santeria – “the way of holiness”, from the Spanish Santo – “holy”), widespread in Brazil, Cuba and the islands of the Caribbean Sea, is a synthesis of Spanish Catholicism and African shamanism. Under the guise of veneration of Christian saints, in the churches of this religion worship the spirits (orisha), and each of them corresponds to a certain dance, emblem, color, number, offering (in the form of food or a sacrificial animal), etc. For example, the guardian of the gate of Legbu is worshiped under the name of St. Petra, Damballa was renamed into St. Patrick (common in these individuals – the ability to manage the snakes), and, worshiping the Virgin Mary, the followers of Santeria actually praise the goddess of fertility and love Erzuli.This fusion of beliefs was accompanied by the fact that among the symbols of Voodoo, Santerii, etc. there is a cross (for example, it is spread from flour on the back of an animal sacrificed loa), which, however, has no relation to Christianity. In this case, the cross is an ancient shamanistic symbol, embodying the four sides of the world.

In Brazil, the forms of beliefs combined by the term “Makumba” are also popular. These include candomble, which differs from Santeria in that the saints, who are “devoutly worshiped” by adherents of this religion, Portuguese names, and Umbanda are the result of the merging of shamanism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In some cases, Voodoo is ranked among the Brouerians practiced in Mexico, but it should be borne in mind that this tradition is the result of the unification of Christianity and the religious beliefs of the Aztecs.

However, it must be remembered that this assimilation took place only externally, and, in fact, Christianity and the varieties of shamanistic religious traditions are different. For example, followers of Voodoo do not accept the concept of the Last Judgment, they believe that a person has 2 souls (one is imperishable personality, and is called gros bon ange – “big good angel”, the second, ti bon ange – “little good angel” – something like a guardian angel or conscience), etc.

In the sanctuaries of Voodoo, both men and women dance naked.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. In religion, Voodoo and actions (dances, hymns, sacrifices, etc.), and attire are strictly regulated. Women are required to appear at religious ceremonies in white robes, men in suits.


Religious ceremonies Voodoo often turns into an orgy with a pronounced sexual orientation.

Although in some cases during the ceremony, the women possessed by Erzulie (Erzulie spirit, personifying the love passion) can vividly show sexual interest, however, firstly, this impulse will focus only on the chosen one of the lovely lady (groom or husband) secondly, it will not be of an orgistic, but of a ritual character.

A person who during the rituals of Voodoo becomes obsessed with one of the spirits, behaves very aggressively or falls into prostration.

Not necessary. Much depends on which loa is being planted in a person. For example, Obatala (in Santeria – the spirit of purity, which opposes evil) bestows calm and confidence in behavior and speech, charm, witchcraft skills and love of white clothes. The introduction of the spirit of prophecy orunla into a person is manifested in the fact that the possessed uttereth advices or predictions (in this case the voice will always be masculine, sonorous and deep, regardless of who exactly this spirit inhabits). But those who are dominated by Legba (Legba, the guard of crossroads, the spirit guarding the gates to the underworld and allowing the person to communicate with loa and the souls of their ancestors), lose the ability to move and most often lie as if paralyzed.

In the followers of the Voodoo religion, only African loas are planted.

Most often it is really so. However, there are exceptions. For example, Mademoiselle Charlotte (Mademoiselle Charlotte) – a spirit that represents herself in the form of a white-skinned woman and settles more often in white followers of the Voodoo cult. Obsessed with this loa acquire charm, secular manners, skills of etiquette and perfect knowledge of the French language (even if they did not speak it before).

The obsession gained during the Voodoo ritual, in everyday life, can only interfere with a person.

Not always. For example, people obsessed with Ochosi (the spirit of healing and hunting) gain vigor and speed of movement, the ability to track down the enemy and prey, which allows them to succeed in the role of spies or hunters. And those fallen under the power of Shango (the spirit of storms, lightning and thunder) lose sensitivity to the effects of fire and electric current, demonstrate remarkable physical strength and skills of possession of firearms.And although people under the influence of the mentioned spirits should make a lot of efforts in order to keep themselves from destructive actions, in some cases obsession of this kind is very useful (for example, during military operations or uprisings).

In some cases, people who are possessed by loa commit actions that are dangerous to their lives and health.

Yes, this happens if, for example, Dumballah (Dumballah, a spirit that protects snakes and who is the keeper of marriage ties) dwells in a person. As this deity adores the water, the obsessed can get to the nearest pond, and simply drown. To prevent such a sad outcome, large containers of water are placed directly in the sanctuary, plunging into which the possessed and spirit will appease, and will live. The people over whom Gede rules (Ghede, the god of the realm of the dead, the patron of cemeteries and sexual attraction) are very fond of rum flavored with a few peppers, and during the ritual they easily empty a whole bottle of the drink (which is not so useful for the stomach of the possessed).


The main thing in religious ceremony Voodoo – the confluence of parishioners in the sacred trance.

In some areas of Voodoo (for example, in Santeria) obsession is pushed to the background, and the most significant role is assigned to the prophecies pronounced by a professional priest named “father of the secret” (babalawo), trained in the art of talking with the spirits of ancestors and patron deities less than 10 years.

The Voodoo spell is a very effective and at the same time not very complicated ritual (although connected with cemeteries and blood sacrifices), which can be performed independently.

Yes, in magic, the spells of Voodoo are considered to be the strongest and lasting in impact. However, firstly, this kind of magic is not associated with cemeteries, or with dead people. Yes, and the sacrifices that are made to placate the spirit assistants in love affairs (for example, the goddess of love Erzuli), are most often the offering of sweets, cakes and other sweets. Secondly, the sacrifice made is not at all a guarantee that spirits will fulfill the desire of a person who addresses them, because they differ in their willfulness, impermanence, and sometimes they can interpret the request in their own way. Therefore, it is almost impossible to predict the consequences of such treatment. And, finally, people who do not have experience with the spirits, in case of error in the ritual, risk not only not getting what they want, but also worsen the already existing state of things or become obsessed with the called spirit (which can sometimes have very sad consequences). After all, the Voodoo priests learn to communicate with spirits for more than one year, go through several stages of initiation – and only after that start their activities. Therefore, if a person is going to use the magic of Voodoo to solve his problems, the best choice would be to turn to a professional.

All the Voodoo priests are engaged in black magic.

Wrong opinion. Priests, depending on the level of initiation, specialization, etc., can be divided into several categories: male priests are given the title of Hungan, Hungan S Pwen or Hungan Asogwe, women – Mambo, Mambo S pven or Mambo Asogwe. Their activities are mainly the preparation and conduct of rituals, as well as the transmission of prophecies and predictions from spirits that enter into participants in religious ceremonies or in the priests themselves. Helps the priests in their activities Unsy. People who are professionally engaged in black magic are called Bokors, and it should be noted that the Hungans and Mambo not only disapprove of their activities, but often do not consider the Bokors as followers of the Voodoo religion.

Voodoo wizards are able to zombify people and resurrect the dead, turning them into their slaves.

This is not quite true. Voodoo adepts are not engaged in the resurrection of the dead. And terrible stories about the dead-zombies appeared for several reasons.Firstly, some sorcerers do use the so-called “zombie powder”, or to punish apostates who left secret societies, either to carry out revenge, or simply to obtain a free labor. The said drug, among other things, includes tetradotoxin, a potent poison of animal origin (for example, it is found in fugu fish meat), which in small doses causes a slight narcotic effect, and in case of an overdose, paralysis resembling death. Having tasted the “zombie powder” a person falls paralyzed and goes through the burial ritual. Under the cover of night, the sorcerer makes her way to her victim, “revitalizes” her with a plant called a “cucumber zombie” – while the “revived dead man” can move, but the memory and the ability to talk do not come. However, both speech and memory can return to the zombie if it eats salt (it is sodium chloride, according to the researchers, which can neutralize the effect of tetradotoxin and unblock the transmission of nerve impulses).

Secondly, for “zombies” often give out mentally ill people (for the maintenance of which in specialized clinics some states simply do not have enough funds). This gives the family that has sheltered the “resurrected relative” some advantages: both free labor and respect for neighbors (according to Haitians, the gods return the deceased relative to those whom they wish to show favor). However, the DNA tests conducted each time prove that there is no kinship between the “resurrected dead” and the family containing them.


And, finally, rumors of “zombification” were blown out by dictators who mercilessly dealt with their opponents, and blamed the “mysterious disappearance” of people for the adherents of Voodoo. Sometimes rumors of this kind were used to intimidate citizens and gain a special reputation of the ruler. For example, the dictator Fran├žois Duvalier, who came to power in Haiti in 1957, declared himself the embodiment of Gede or Baron Samedi (the patron of cemeteries and the realm of the dead), and also founded a secret police whose employees were called “Tonton macoute” – an evil entity , according to devotees of religion Voodoo, combining the features of a werewolf and a vampire). Rumors have been dismissed that these people are all polls – sorcerers, and are able to zombie any person who dared to oppose the authorities.

During the Voodoo ceremonies, magical rituals are often performed – that’s why there is always a doll on the altar, pinned with pins and symbolizing a person, to whom a negative influence is directed, which is intended to worsen the health of the individual, or even to take life.

On the altars in the churches of Voodoo, you can often see dolls, but with magical effects on people these images are not related. They can symbolize the lora-ora (orishas) and serve as an object of worship. In healing practice, Voodoo uses “bocheo” – figures of people carved from wood and equipped with small holes in certain places of the trunk and extremities. In these holes during the healing session, small twigs are inserted – this ritual is designed to normalize the flow of healing energy in the human body and, thereby, improve his health, restore vitality, etc.

By performing magical rituals accompanied by the making of a doll symbolizing the person to be influenced (often to strengthen the effect it is supposed to fix a hair, a piece of clothing or a thing belonging to a particular individual on the doll), then stitching needles into it to harm, wizards (bokors). And the impact of this kind is not at all the prerogative of Voodoo. Such dolls, made of wax, clay, grain, fruit and material, were called kolossoi, and were the object of witchcraft back in ancient Greece.Later, the ritual of influencing a person by harming his image, called poppet (from the Latin pupa – “doll”), was actively practiced by black magicians in many countries of the world.


Sometimes animals are sacrificed to spirits, and sometimes children, and murder is done with particular cruelty and bloodthirstiness.

First, children have never been victims at religious ceremonies of Voodoo. The myth of human sacrifices arose at the beginning of the nineteenth century, apparently for the reason that in some cases, when referring to the spirits of ancestors (called ara orun – “people of heaven”), the ritual begins with imitation of their death. In fact, the basic principle of this religion is “do no harm (to yourself and others),” therefore, it is not prescribed to sacrifice oneself or other people, even for the purpose of indulging the gods. Secondly, animals (most often chickens, and only in special ceremonies, in which only priests-sheep, bulls or goats participate) are killed quickly, twisting or cutting off their head. Tales of the bloodthirstiness of the Voodoo priests allegedly biting off the heads of the sacrificial animals appeared because in Haiti for the amusement of tourists, some people (whom the local population call degenerates) do in fact perform the above actions, but do not have anything to do with Voodoo.

In the Vudu sanctuaries you can see human skulls used for various purposes.

Skulls during the actions of this religion can indeed be used, but it can only be about the tortoises of sacrificial animals. Parts of human skeletons do not apply to Voodoo ceremonies.

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