Tag Archives: questions about vodun

Should I buy anti evil eye pendants for myself?

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Normal Evil Eye Pendant

Normal Evil Eye Pendant

If they are part of a ceremonial working or it is specifically sacred, you can and should if you need them.  If it is just a stand-alone item, you should not.  The reason why is that these sorts of items are activated by being given as gifts.

Evil eye is caused by a buildup or strong projection of negative energy from other people looking upon you with envy/jealousy or possessiveness.  When you buy a non sacred amulet for yourself, it is just another possession.

Sacred Ayatal Kursee Pendant

Sacred Islamic pendant with Ayatal Kursee for protection from the evil eye

On the other hand, when you buy an amulet that has a prayer or sacred symbol inscribed on it, or it has been properly consecrated, the protection factor is more than psychological or impulsive.  It is a gift from the Spirits.

So normal protection talismans such as eyes, figas, Italian horns, and the like should be received as gifts or bought to give to others.  Prayer inscribed amulets, small nkisi, and consecrated items can be bought for yourself.

Why are many Hoodoo practitioners now calling Orishas?

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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 are embracing their freedom of religion where they have it, and getting back to their roots.

Many though, are still comfortable with the Christian style of Hoodoo.  They don’t feel any particular call to a more African flavor of spirituality, and this is fine for them.  It is no less relevant or powerful, nor does it mean that someone has problems with other paths.  They simply prefer to do things the way they have done them all their lives, and not to change things up or abandon what have become solid and legitimate traditions.

So if you are one of the more biblically centered types, don’t feel pressure to do things another way if what you’re doing is working for you.  This is not a popularity contest.

Vodun FAQ: Are the Orishas Aliens?

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It is possible that some Orishas are physical extraterrestrials, where others are spirits or higher dimensional beings, and still others forces of nature to which we apply personalities so as to better understand them.  We can speculate, but it is difficult for anyone to say who is who or what objectively.  Each person who has experienced something can only speak from their own perspective.

One should approach this in terms of what works.  The most well known Orishas have endured time, human forgetfulness and ungratefulness, cultural upheaval, political opposition, and competing belief systems.  Those are invariably forces of nature who, though an alien could just as easily speak for them or be ridden by them as a human, are more than whatever physical body they may be using at the moment.

Another thing to consider is that if visiting beings could survive our atmosphere and live among us for any length of time, it’s likely that they’d be essentially human.  Though they may have been from a different planet and have further advanced technology, they’d be people.  It’s not too far fetched to think that without any regulations but their own sense of ethics, some may have come to our world for a visit or to stay.  Genetically, they’d have evolved similarly though, so it takes nothing away from the Orishas if humans or any other kinds of beings visited us.  They’re subject to the same laws of nature that we are, and when they die, the worms eat them the same as us.

The problem with alien intervention theory is that it could be demeaning to human genius and will.  Scientists have found chimpanzees who make tools, and whales who cooperate.  Is it really too much to think that a very intelligent human could have figured out that friction makes heat that can make fire?

Vodun FAQ: A Non African Having Orisha Dreams

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If you are a “non African” but you are having Orisha dreams, it can be a bit scary, especially if you have no knowledge of traditional African faith.  You may think you’re being approached by demons, or be told this by someone ignorant who means well but has politicised religion.

First of all, you should understand that Vodun is not witchcraft, though some may unknowingly attempt to use it for that.  Vodun is a belief system, and practitioners whether in Africa or the diaspora, worship the same God as normal Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  It’s just that, like Hindus or Buddhists, we “see” It in a different way.

It may help you to understand that the Orishas are somewhat like Angels.  They were, in fact, the original Angels from before Abraham, God keep his soul, was a twinkle in his great great great great…grandmother’s eye.  Not to be confusing, Orishas are not all exactly Angels, but they are where the idea of them came from.  Whether you should view the experience as positive or negative depends on why you’re being approached.  It could be that you are being taken under their special care, or that they have a message for you, or that you have done or are doing something that has wronged them or something they are in charge of, as assigned by God.

For the answer to this, you should trust your own soul.  It may be helpful to you however, to speak to an experienced male Vodun practitioner who is a child of Elegua, or priest on the matter though.  The reason you would want to go to a male is because, whether some like it or not, men have a better instinctive connection to Elegua, the gatekeeper.  A woman *can* do this for you, but if you want the best, you have to go to the best.  If the only one within your resources to get to is female, then this is fine.  Just don’t be surprised if she seeks male assistance or refers you to a male.

When you go to the priest or elder child of Elegua, they will most likely recognize you and which Orisha you have the most connection to right away.  They will probably also do readings to confirm this.  Tell them about your dream, and they will interpret it for you, and likely do readings to confirm that as well.  You may be given tasks at that point.

It’s good news if the Orisha is calling you home to them.  It does not matter at all if you are not Black.  We are all descended from people from Africa, and even some European pre Christian faiths are not too far from the Motherland.  If you have been called, you will be given instructions on how to be initiated to the Orisha.  You will not have to convert away from your current faith.  It just means that you have been given a gift to walk the path of a particular Angel, Saint, or Orisha.  It is similar to the experience of some girls who are called to become nuns.

Fairly Common Orisha Dreams

If your Orisha called himself Obatala or Olorun, or called himself God, but has an actual humanoid look, and you felt nothing but absolutely loved in the dream, then spiritually, that entity is the same as Jesus Christ.  You may have been touched by him specially so that you could de-politicize or de-Santa Claus other Christians or perhaps remind Pagans that Jesus himself is not their enemy.  This actually happens a lot.  Many are sorely traumatized by the wrong actions and craziness of Christians and Muslims, and reject Jesus and any lesser deity that reminds them of Jesus.  Where Vodun practitioners honor all avatars of the Supreme God including Jesus, many others do not, and this is a shame.  Man needs the idea of something that is greater than himself in order to improve himself.

Some martial artists get the call from Shango.  Once they’ve reached a certain level, it happens that some have a dream of fighting with him.  If one wins against Shango in the dream it means that they have gained a degree of self mastery that they should take the next step and actually become a warrior, not just a martial artist, in real life.  Somehow, they should take a position or post that will require they be ready to physically defend something.

If you dream of being a storm sweeping away trees and whatever is in your path, this is Oya.  Oya seldom actually shows her face, so the dream is usually that you are the storm or you are the only thing standing through a storm.  Some strong women have this dream.  If you are carrying a child or being followed by children in the dream, and they are not crying, then it means you should have children.

Oshun often reveals herself as a peacock, a woman in a flowing yellow dress, a young but stunning girl in a white dress with white shell beads in her hair, or a nude woman covered in honey.  If you are a man who works with metals or technology, and you see the nude woman covered in honey, it means you are working too hard or you have lost sight of what is important in life, and are being called like Ogun out of the forest.

Volcano dreams and dreams of being in a hot, barren wasteland where a very dark man takes your hand and tells you to follow him are Aganju dreams.  You need to travel and change your scenery, or you should not fear the unknown.

Other fairly common Orisha dreams are:

  • Dreams of a Black Jesus – an obviously very African man with white wooly hair who doesn’t necessarily say he’s Jesus, but you recognize him as such because it is the same Spirit.
  • Dreams of a Black or golden skinned Mary wearing a blue dress and a white or blue head scarf.
  • Dreams of an extremely pale but very strong looking man whose skin shines and his eyes are even white, with white hair, a white beard, wearing a long white robe.
  • Dreams of dancing with the sun and moon, and perhaps when you look down because your “feet” feel funny, you notice you have a fish tail or two fish tails instead of feet.
  • Dreams of a Siamese twin mermaid with a male and a female torso and heads.
  • Dreams of a red and black humanoid with a seahorse tail.
  • Dreams of departed relatives having a formal dinner with a strange man in a black suit and a top hat with purple accents.
  • Somewhat erotic dreams about a man or woman wearing red and black.
  • Dreams of being spanked with a red and black belt or stick that happen at a time when you are doing something you know is wrong.
  • Dreams of a woman in a long pink dress or robe crying that happen at a time you are thinking of being unfaithful.

The Orishas speak to everyone.  They don’t have a particular religious denomination or race.  They may appear to you as African looking people or as pale Europeans.  If you look at the art about them, they are represented in many colors.  So don’t freak out, just take the message.

There are many White people in Vodun.  We just like to think of them as light skinned. 😉