Tag Archives: houdou

Are the Orishas or Vodun the same as Angels?

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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, they do not actually live in or as forces of Nature such as Earth or Fire.

For example, one called Gabriel may deliver messages from Olorun, but he is not the Voice of Olorun.  That is Orunmila.

In diaspora systems when people had to hide their African faith, they often used Angels and Saints to represent Orishas.  So confusion in this is understandable.  In fact, some Angels may be very happy to represent Orishas and dutifully carry prayers and thanks to protect the lives of slaves and others living under religiously oppressive regimes.  So as I said in the Hoodoo Orisha article, don’t be quick to change everything you do that is working for you just because your information is updated.  Just make a note of it.  If you find that something may be more effective without the Angel or Saint middleman, then fix that.  Otherwise, “if it ain’t broke…”

Why are many Hoodoo practitioners now calling Orishas?

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Orisha Online Altar is moving to a new domain, Orisha.me

Please update your bookmarks and links. This site will be up until April or May of 2023 to give everyone who is linking to us time.

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.