In this article, we’ll cover the aspects of the Voodoo magic that will prepare you for the actual practice of this art. So let’s take a look at the essential parts of the Voodoo and also how to do voodoo magic safely and appropriately.
- What Voodoo really is?
- Understanding the spiritual structure of Voodoo
- First steps for baby witches
- Don’t rush. Enjoy the ride!
What Voodoo really is?
If you don’t know what Voodoo is, let’s first quickly cover that part.
Did You Know?
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Casting your own magic spells takes skill and patience and isn’t recommended to do it alone in most cases. I provide these “do it yourself” articles for educational purposes, but it is strongly recommended that you consult an experienced spell caster such as myself and allow me to do the work for you.
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Voodoo derives from the African term “vodun” which means “spirit”.
Voodooism is associated with the Yoruba population, who lived in the present areas of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The roots of this religion, however, go back to 6,000-10,000 years ago. Voodoo is practiced in the areas of Africa from which it originates, as well as in Haiti and some areas of Louisiana in the United States of America, taking different forms from area to area.
The voodoo beliefs and practices are very different than what you see in the movies and are based on a spiritual structure.
I’ve written a much longer article about voodoo magic in this article.
Understanding the spiritual structure of Voodoo
Believe in a supreme deity
Although Voodoo is considered a polytheistic religion, in reality, it worships a supreme divine entity that commands natural and supernatural forces.
In the tribes of Benin, the deity is called Mawu, while in America, it is known as Bondye or Bon Dieu.
However, unlike the Christian God, the supreme voodoo divinity is seen exclusively as a transcendental figure who does not interact directly with his devotees except through his intermediaries, that is, the spirits (voduns).
- This supreme being is also called by other names, which vary according to the divinity to which one addresses. As a creator, Mawu / Bon Dieu is also known as Dada Sêgbo. As a personification of life, he is known as Gbêdoto, while as a divine being he is known as Sêmêdo.
- According to other sources, “Mawu” is the name of the moon, which, together with the sun (Lisa), forms the pair of twins children of the creator called Nana Baluku.
Recognize the two forms of voodoo magic
Voodoo is a religion of dualism with forces that represent happiness and sadness, good and bad.
Consequently, Voodoo takes two forms: “rada” and “petro”.
- “Rada” is the good or white magic practiced by a “houngan” (priest / king of voodoo), or “mambo” (priestess / voodoo queen). Sparse magic, which is the predominant form of Voodoo, is characterized by devotion to healing through herbs or faith, but also includes divination of dreams and prediction of the future.
- “Petro” or “congo” is evil or black (or more correctly red) magic. This form of magic is practiced by a “bokor” (witch doctor). The “petro” magic is characterized by orgies, death curses, and zombie creation. “Petro” is practiced less frequently than “rada”, but it is the form we often see in Hollywood films.
Venerate the “loa”
The “loa”, also spelled “Iwa”, are the spirits.
Some loa are the descendants of Mawu / Bon Dieu, while others are the spirits of the ancestors of the believers.
Good loas are more or less equivalent to archangels and saints and can be worshiped using the Christian symbols they most resemble. While bad loa are the equivalent of demons and devil.
I’ve listed the main loas below.
Some are more important to African voduns, while others play a more predominant role in the voodoo practices of Haiti and New Orleans.
- Sakpata is the eldest son of Mawu / Bon Dieu, he is an “ayi vodun” or spirit of the earth. Sakpata is the leader of all diseases, and his children represent diseases such as leprosy and skin conditions and pain.
- Xêvioso (Xêbioso) is the second son of Mawu / Bon Dieu, he is the “jivodum” or the spirit of heaven and justice. Xêvioso is manifested by fire and lightning and is often represented with a ram and a double hatchet.
- Agbe (Agwe, Hu) is the third child of Mawu / Bon Dieu, he is the “tovodun” or the spirit of the sea. Agbe is considered to be a source of life and is represented by a snake (also known as Damballah / Dumballah and Le Grand Zombi).
- Gu (Ogu, Ogou, Ogoun) is the fourth child of Mawu / Bon Dieu and is the spirit of war, iron, and technology; moreover, it represents the source of evil and criminals.
- Agê is the fifth son of Mawu / Bon Dieu and is the spirit of the forest and agriculture and reigns over the animals of the earth.
- Jo is the sixth son of Mawu / Bon Dieu and is the spirit of the air. Jo is invisible.
- Lêgba is the seventh son of Mawu / Bon Dieu and is the spirit of the unpredictable nature of life, and for many, he is also the guardian of the worlds of life and death, similar to Saint Peter. Its “petro” counterpart is Kalfu. Lêgba is often represented as an elderly man, although in some cases he is represented as a young man.
- Gede (Ghédé) is the spirit of sex, death, and healing often represented as a skeleton figure similar to a clown with a hat and sunglasses. It can be identical to Legba.
- Erzulie (Ezili, Aida Wedo / Ayida Wedo) is the spirit of love, beauty, the earth, and the rainbow. Her ability is to predict the future from dreams, and she is famous for her kind and caring personality. Erzulie can correspond with the Madonna.
Some loa names are used as family names by loa groups. Among these, Erzulie / Ezili, Ghede, and Ogou.
Respect your ancestors
The voodoo religion includes the worshipping of ancestors, whether they have just died or are the founders of the clan (the Toxwyo) to which the living belongs.
- Voodoo practitioners believe that each individual has two souls. The most important soul, the “gros-bon-ange” (great angel), leaves the body immediately after death to present himself to Mawu / Bon Dieu before going to Ginen, “the island under the ocean”.A year and a day after the death of “gros-bon-ange”, the descendants of the person can recall it and put it in the “govi”, a small bottle of clay, according to the ritual of the sacrifice of an ox or another precious animal (the Congolese term for “gros-bon-ange”, “nbzambi”, is at the origin of the word “zombie”).
- The minor soul, the “ti-bon-age” (little angel), is more or less the equivalent of consciousness and is believed to remain in the body for up to three days after death.During this period, it seems that a “bokor” is able to convince the “ti-bon-age” that the body is not dead, encouraging him to animate it in the form of a zombie.
Embrace voodoo ethics
Remember that the basis of animism is naturalism and tribalism.
The ethical expression of Voodoo is manifested with moral rules to maintain the community, a community ethic of honor.
Defamation is punished, denigrating the family itself, the clan, stealing another’s wife, or unfairly preventing someone from cultivating the land, among other aspects, always linked to nature, the tribe, and the celestial-terrestrial unit.
Learning the truth about voodoo dolls
The use of the voodoo doll as a torture method is very famous. However, the doll can also be used to bless a person using different colored needles.
It can also be used to make a person fall in love by using hair or bits of clothing belonging to that person.
The voodoo doll is part of the talisman called “gris-gris”. It is a piece of fabric or a leather bag on which verses of the Quran are engraved containing numbers associated with the person who will wear it.
This method is often used in Louisiana.
Consider the consequences
As it happens for all kinds of magic, always consider the consequences of your rituals, spells, and ceremonies and keep in mind that the kind of energy you create is critical for a spell to manifest and, most of all, consider that magic always has a price. This is especially important when it comes to black magic.
First steps for baby witches
If you are new to Voodoo, please educate yourself enough to know all you need to perform spells and rituals safely.
Voodoo is a powerful kind of magic, and if done wrong can easily create problems and negativity around you.
My favorite books on Voodoo magic
I always read a new book before I dive into topics I’m not familiar with.
That’s the reason why, especially if you are a beginner when it comes to Voodoo, you should take some time to learn everything you can before you start practicing it.
So, if you want to dive into spells and rituals The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook by Denise Alvarado is a great option, especially because she grew up in New Orleans, the modern cradle of this fascinating craft!
If you are more of a theory witch and you just want to learn more about the story of Voodoo, and its origins The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook by Kenaz Filan is a good one!
Don’t rush. Enjoy the ride!
Voodoo, like many other forms of magic, should be experienced like a journey taken step by step. This How to Do Voodoo Magic article is just the first step in your journey.
I know that many of us would like to “use” magic instead of “living” it, but this is not the best way to create a nice good spiral of flowing energy!