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Art of Voodoo


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#1    Spore

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 06:37 PM

Ironically, it was the enforced immigration of enslaved African from different ethnic groups that provided the circumstances for the development of Voodoo. Colonists thought that by desolating the ethnic groups, these could not come together as a community. However, in the misery of slavery, African slaves found in their faith a common thread. They began to invoke not only their own Gods, but to practice rites other than their own.
In this process, they comingled and modified rituals of various ethnic groups. The result of such fusion was that the different religious groups integrated their beliefs, thereby creating a new religion: Voodoo. The word "voodoo" comes from the West African word vodun,  meaning spirit. This Afro-Caribbean religion mixed practices from many African ethnics groups.
Within the voodoo society, there are no accidents. Practitioners believe that nothing and no event has a life of its own. That is why "vous deux", you two, you too. The universe is all one. Each thing affects something else. Scientists know that. Nature knows it. Many spiritualists agree that we are not separate, we all serve as parts of One. So, in essence, what you do unto another, you do unto you, because you ARE the other. Voo doo. View you. We are mirrors of each others souls. God is manifest through the spirits of ancestors who can bring good or harm and must be honored in ceremonies. There is a sacred cycle between the living and the dead. Believers ask for their misery to end. Rituals include prayers, drumming, dancing, singing and animal sacrifice.
The serpent figures heavily in the Voodoo faith. The word Voodoo has been translated as "the snake under whose auspices gather all who share the faith". The high priest or priestess of the faith ( called Papa or Maman) are the vehicles for the expression of the serpent's power. The supreme deity is Bon Dieu. There are hundreds of spirits called Loa who control nature, health, wealth and happiness of mortals. The Loa form a pantheon of deities that include Damballah, Ezili, Ogu, Agwe, Legba and others.
During Voodoo ceremonies these Loa can possess the bodies of the ceremony participants. Loa appear by "possessing" the faithful, who in turn become the Loa, relaying advice, warnings and desires. Voodoo is an animist faith. That is, objects and natural phenomena are believed to possess holy significance, to possess a soul. Thus the Loa Agwe is the divine presence behind the hurricane.
Music and dance are key elements to Voodoo ceremonies. Ceremonies were often termed by others "Night Dancing" or "Voodoo Dancing". Voodoo is a practical religion, playing an important role in the family and the community. One's ancestors, for instance, are believed to be a part of the world of the spirits, of the Loas, and this is one way that Voodoo serves to root its participants in their own history and tradition. Another practical aspect of Voodoo ceremonies is that participants often come before the priest or priestess to seek advice, spiritual guidance, or help with their problems. The priest or priestess then, through divine aid, offer help such as healing through the use of herbs or medicines (using knowledge that has been passed down within the religion itself), or healing through faith itself as is common in other religions. Voodoo teaches a respect for the natural world.
Despite Voodoo's noble status as one of the worlds oldest religions, it has been typically characterized as barbaric, primitive and a sexually licentious practice based on superstition. Much of this image however, is due to a concerted effort by western society, who have a massive fear of anything traditional, to suppress and distort a legitimate and unique religion that flourished among their enslaved Africans.

Edited by Spore, 08 March 2013 - 06:41 PM.


#2    eight bits

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:19 AM

Good article. When I read your title, I thought you might be writing about the line-drawings, vevers, that are found in voodoo, both as ritual elements and as decorations. Some are very beautiful.

Or, in another sense of "art of voodoo," the filmmaker and dancer Maya Derren went to Haiti to make a documentary film about voodoo, and ended up being initiated as a priestess. She wrote a famous book about it, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. Being a priestess allowed her access to film many things that an outsider wouldn't have been able to see, much less film. She never did finish the film, but her family completed the project after she died.

Here's a blog article about her, emphasizing the climax of her book, a first-person account of possession by the goddess Erzulie,

http://uncertaintist...ture-in-voodoo/

At the end of the piece is a current link to her posthumously completed film. It is not for the squeamish, since animal sacrifice is depicted unflinchingly.

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#3    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

View PostSpore, on 08 March 2013 - 06:37 PM, said:

Ironically, it was the enforced immigration of enslaved African from different ethnic groups that provided the circumstances for the development of Voodoo. Colonists thought that by desolating the ethnic groups, these could not come together as a community. However, in the misery of slavery, African slaves found in their faith a common thread. They began to invoke not only their own Gods, but to practice rites other than their own.
In this process, they comingled and modified rituals of various ethnic groups. The result of such fusion was that the different religious groups integrated their beliefs, thereby creating a new religion: Voodoo. The word "voodoo" comes from the West African word vodun,  meaning spirit. This Afro-Caribbean religion mixed practices from many African ethnics groups.
Within the voodoo society, there are no accidents. Practitioners believe that nothing and no event has a life of its own. That is why "vous deux", you two, you too. The universe is all one. Each thing affects something else. Scientists know that. Nature knows it. Many spiritualists agree that we are not separate, we all serve as parts of One. So, in essence, what you do unto another, you do unto you, because you ARE the other. Voo doo. View you. We are mirrors of each others souls. God is manifest through the spirits of ancestors who can bring good or harm and must be honored in ceremonies. There is a sacred cycle between the living and the dead. Believers ask for their misery to end. Rituals include prayers, drumming, dancing, singing and animal sacrifice.
The serpent figures heavily in the Voodoo faith. The word Voodoo has been translated as "the snake under whose auspices gather all who share the faith". The high priest or priestess of the faith ( called Papa or Maman) are the vehicles for the expression of the serpent's power. The supreme deity is Bon Dieu. There are hundreds of spirits called Loa who control nature, health, wealth and happiness of mortals. The Loa form a pantheon of deities that include Damballah, Ezili, Ogu, Agwe, Legba and others.
During Voodoo ceremonies these Loa can possess the bodies of the ceremony participants. Loa appear by "possessing" the faithful, who in turn become the Loa, relaying advice, warnings and desires. Voodoo is an animist faith. That is, objects and natural phenomena are believed to possess holy significance, to possess a soul. Thus the Loa Agwe is the divine presence behind the hurricane.
Music and dance are key elements to Voodoo ceremonies. Ceremonies were often termed by others "Night Dancing" or "Voodoo Dancing". Voodoo is a practical religion, playing an important role in the family and the community. One's ancestors, for instance, are believed to be a part of the world of the spirits, of the Loas, and this is one way that Voodoo serves to root its participants in their own history and tradition. Another practical aspect of Voodoo ceremonies is that participants often come before the priest or priestess to seek advice, spiritual guidance, or help with their problems. The priest or priestess then, through divine aid, offer help such as healing through the use of herbs or medicines (using knowledge that has been passed down within the religion itself), or healing through faith itself as is common in other religions. Voodoo teaches a respect for the natural world.
Despite Voodoo's noble status as one of the worlds oldest religions, it has been typically characterized as barbaric, primitive and a sexually licentious practice based on superstition. Much of this image however, is due to a concerted effort by western society, who have a massive fear of anything traditional, to suppress and distort a legitimate and unique religion that flourished among their enslaved Africans.

Heres an interesting true statement - 'I am not not writing on my pc'
Now if we apply a little bit of redundancy we can see that the nots cancel out to leave the still true statement - 'I am writing on my pc'
Clever isnt it?

Lets try another one - 'This is the same, same day'
It could become - 'This is the same day'
Clever hey?

Identical twins have special status in Voodoo because its believed they have a supernatural link. This link is believed to be how voodoo dolls work and how dieties influence reality. Could it be that the universe applies redundancy to identical twins in situations where it can get away with treating them as one person?

Then changes that happen to the unit which remains after redundancy effects both?


#4    Spore

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:29 PM

Mr Right Wing' timestamp='1362790260' post='4691996']


That is very interesting , I have not caught  on just yet.  I view that to be an even  better  topic  as well.


#5    himalyanmystic

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

View PostSpore, on 08 March 2013 - 06:37 PM, said:

Ironically, it was the enforced immigration of enslaved African from different ethnic groups that provided the circumstances for the development of Voodoo. Colonists thought that by desolating the ethnic groups, these could not come together as a community. However, in the misery of slavery, African slaves found in their faith a common thread. They began to invoke not only their own Gods, but to practice rites other than their own.
In this process, they comingled and modified rituals of various ethnic groups. The result of such fusion was that the different religious groups integrated their beliefs, thereby creating a new religion: Voodoo. The word "voodoo" comes from the West African word vodun,  meaning spirit. This Afro-Caribbean religion mixed practices from many African ethnics groups.
Within the voodoo society, there are no accidents. Practitioners believe that nothing and no event has a life of its own. That is why "vous deux", you two, you too. The universe is all one. Each thing affects something else. Scientists know that. Nature knows it. Many spiritualists agree that we are not separate, we all serve as parts of One. So, in essence, what you do unto another, you do unto you, because you ARE the other. Voo doo. View you. We are mirrors of each others souls. God is manifest through the spirits of ancestors who can bring good or harm and must be honored in ceremonies. There is a sacred cycle between the living and the dead. Believers ask for their misery to end. Rituals include prayers, drumming, dancing, singing and animal sacrifice.
The serpent figures heavily in the Voodoo faith. The word Voodoo has been translated as "the snake under whose auspices gather all who share the faith". The high priest or priestess of the faith ( called Papa or Maman) are the vehicles for the expression of the serpent's power. The supreme deity is Bon Dieu. There are hundreds of spirits called Loa who control nature, health, wealth and happiness of mortals. The Loa form a pantheon of deities that include Damballah, Ezili, Ogu, Agwe, Legba and others.
During Voodoo ceremonies these Loa can possess the bodies of the ceremony participants. Loa appear by "possessing" the faithful, who in turn become the Loa, relaying advice, warnings and desires. Voodoo is an animist faith. That is, objects and natural phenomena are believed to possess holy significance, to possess a soul. Thus the Loa Agwe is the divine presence behind the hurricane.
Music and dance are key elements to Voodoo ceremonies. Ceremonies were often termed by others "Night Dancing" or "Voodoo Dancing". Voodoo is a practical religion, playing an important role in the family and the community. One's ancestors, for instance, are believed to be a part of the world of the spirits, of the Loas, and this is one way that Voodoo serves to root its participants in their own history and tradition. Another practical aspect of Voodoo ceremonies is that participants often come before the priest or priestess to seek advice, spiritual guidance, or help with their problems. The priest or priestess then, through divine aid, offer help such as healing through the use of herbs or medicines (using knowledge that has been passed down within the religion itself), or healing through faith itself as is common in other religions. Voodoo teaches a respect for the natural world.
Despite Voodoo's noble status as one of the worlds oldest religions, it has been typically characterized as barbaric, primitive and a sexually licentious practice based on superstition. Much of this image however, is due to a concerted effort by western society, who have a massive fear of anything traditional, to suppress and distort a legitimate and unique religion that flourished among their enslaved Africans.
The west did not understand earlier the role of the traditional belief systems in shaping and supporting tribal populations
much of the books that appeared in the beginning have biased opinions and immature understanding of profound practices,
But now their are documentaries made by western ppl i saw one on national geographic which really respected and potrayed
very well some of the essence of voodoo.
Afterall religion should be free and no one can singularly claim a monopoly on god or religious practices even ppl who
worship nature are only worshipping god,greedy priests or good priests it depends ,they cause some trouble
but the essence survives and sooner or later ancient knowledge can be revived in true form or also modified in
ways to better serve the tribe,
hey only my opinion....................

[HIMALAYANMYSTIC

#6    Spore

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:46 PM

^^Very well put. :innocent:


#7    himalyanmystic

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:32 AM

View PostSpore, on 14 March 2013 - 05:46 PM, said:

^^Very well put. :innocent:
I have always been curious about all spiritual and esoteric practices ,
these i believe are not mainstream because christianity can be practiced by masses as it brings ppl together ,gives faith ,fear
and love of god ,so many things that make it great and special also probably one of gods ways of connecting ppl to
a belief system enmasse and giving wisdom ,joy and healing.So is islam,judaism.hinduism.budhism.etc. etc
But voodoo,some other ways that are considered pagan they are unique ,followed in a particular region,
they have their own beauty,outsiders can not feel the essence easily and anyway ppl give opinions and judgements and write books without actually spending
enough time understanding ,seeing ,observing listening,
Good voodoo priests help the village,they can cure many diseases,also in cases where they dont' do much they give hope to
the tribes man that is great placebo,also it keeps a tribe together ,see same belief in africa is cause enough to live together
and unity helps to have strong tribes ............ :tu:

[HIMALAYANMYSTIC

#8    Spore

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:04 PM

View Posthimalyanmystic, on 15 March 2013 - 04:32 AM, said:

I have always been curious about all spiritual and esoteric practices ,
these i believe are not mainstream because christianity can be practiced by masses as it brings ppl together ,gives faith ,fear
and love of god ,so many things that make it great and special also probably one of gods ways of connecting ppl to
a belief system enmasse and giving wisdom ,joy and healing.So is islam,judaism.hinduism.budhism.etc. etc
But voodoo,some other ways that are considered pagan they are unique ,followed in a particular region,
they have their own beauty,outsiders can not feel the essence easily and anyway ppl give opinions and judgements and write books without actually spending
enough time understanding ,seeing ,observing listening,
Good voodoo priests help the village,they can cure many diseases,also in cases where they dont' do much they give hope to
the tribes man that is great placebo,also it keeps a tribe together ,see same belief in africa is cause enough to live together
and unity helps to have strong tribes ............ :tu:



Exactly, I think most tribal or indigenous faiths only get that kind of negative feedback.


#9    Spore

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:34 PM

Thought this would be an interesting subject once again. American Horror Story Coven provided some good detail on Vodum in New Orleans







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