Why do Vodun practitioners wear headwraps?

Vodun practitioners wear headwraps for various reasons.  In everyday life, it is a matter of preference.  Some do and some don’t.  In ceremonial situations, a headwrap is part of the costume of some Orishas or part of formal African clothing. Generally, male Orishas manifesting through human bodies or in human form wear a sort of bandana reminiscent of a “do-rag”, and female Orishas, a more formal “up-do” type of wrap.  Eshu often likes a red wrap under …

Continue reading

What do I do if I have angered a Spirit?

First of all, just because bad things are happening doesn’t mean that it is because you have angered a Spirit.  Most of the time, suffering is a normal part of life and happens due to very normal causes.  However, it is also normal for many people to do things unthinkingly that bring them suffering because Nature and the Spirits of Nature do not reward stupidity with blessings. Before you panic, there are very few people …

Continue reading

Why didn’t my Voodoo spell work?

Usually, the reason a spell or formula doesn’t work is that for some reason, it is against Nature.  Sometimes it is that the person doing the spell wasn’t prepared or qualified to do it.  Sometimes it is something that simply cannot happen, on the level of dropping a rock and having it fall up instead of down.  Sometimes the problem is that one’s Guardians or Head knows that getting what they ask for would be bad for …

Continue reading

What is Four Thieves Vinegar and what is it used for?

Four Thieves Vinegar is an infusion of lavender, sage, rosemary, and thyme in cider or wine vinegar.  It is widely used in the Voudou, Hoodoo, and Conjure in the African diaspora.  Like the Voodoo doll, its origin is European, but it has been very well adopted.  So the legend goes, four thieves during the black plague in Europe gave the recipe in exchange for their lives.  They said this is how they managed to rob plague …

Continue reading

Why I embrace community, but very carefully.

Events of the past few months in the Israeli Pagan community reminded me why I usually work alone or with a small, intimate group.  As will happen to any community of Pagans and mystics, the Israeli community has attracted vampires.  I don’t mean the blood sucking sort.  I mean psychic vampires whose only proactive behavior is to attempt to kill the soul of any person who dares refuse to play their game. Until now, I’ve …

Continue reading

What is a House?

In the context of Vodun diaspora systems, a house is basically a community or subgroup of the community.  It may be a local community or an international collection of people united with a particular leader or style.  Some have strict hierarchies and delegations of duties, while others are more like a coven without a serious hierarchy.  Others still are the altar mates of a priest/ess who seldom or never meet each other, but by supporting …

Continue reading

What is a Ndoki?

Ndoki is the Lingala word for magic, but in other languages it also means Spirit or mystical being.  Lately, in places that have adopted a eurocentric style of Christianity, it is being used for demons. In the eurocentric Christianity, any Spirit or mystical/extradimensional/alterdimensional being that is not God, an Angel, or human is considered a demon, and this is quite unfortunate.  For this reason, many children who are mentally challenged, ill, or simply independent thinkers have …

Continue reading

How do I become a child of a specific Orisha or Vodun?

Quite frankly, you don’t.  The Orishas of your head choose you at birth.  You do not choose them.  You cannot force any Orisha to take you by doing any ceremony or ritual. If your head is Shango, you may kill a thousand enemies in battle and put all their heads on a pike, bathe in their blood, and give them to Ogun with as much gusto as you can muster, but you will still belong …

Continue reading

Are the Orishas or Vodun the same as Angels?

Not really.  Some Spirits that some have called Angels may be Orishas, but they are not really the same thing.  In the west African Vodun Obatala is the king of the Orishas, and the Emissary of the Supreme God (Olorun).  They have many attendants.  In Jewish and Christian faith, these attendants are called Angels. The Orishas embody various forces of Nature, while Angels are beings sent to do specific jobs as individuals.  Though they may have specific duties, …

Continue reading

Why are many Hoodoo practitioners now calling Orishas?

In the past decade or so, many people who practice Hoodoo are turning to the Orishas.  Before, the connection to the actual African, European, and Native American deities was usually either unspoken or overridden. The reasons why they are now spoken and embraced is because more people now understand that there is no real conflict between the Spirits and Christianity.   Those who believe in the Omnipotent Unfathomable Creator worship the same God who Jesus did.  Also, more people …

Continue reading