9 amazing facts about the cult of voodoo
Due to the popularization in Hollywood movies, the cult of voodoo was perceived, perhaps, as one of the most feared and misunderstood. Most stories about voodoo talking about the dark mysterious religion which revolves around animal sacrifices, overlaying harmful spells and harm to others by means of dolls. However, it is quite far from the truth.
Therefore, let's order will deal with misconceptions about voodoo.
Three different types of
In fact there are three main types of voodoo, each of which is developed in their field and in certain regions of Africa.
West African voodoo magic is still practiced by some 30 million people, especially in countries such as Ghana and Benin. Here rituals and beliefs are very numerous and almost untouched by outside influence of other religions.
Louisiana Voodoo - a unique cult that is practiced mostly in Louisiana and southeastern United States. Religion Voodoo, brought to the New World by black slaves from West Africa, has undergone major changes under the influence of the Spanish and French settlers and Creole population.
Haitian voodoo type, which is practiced in Haiti, has undergone significant changes under the influence of the French and Christianity.
The strong parallels with Christianity
At first glance, it seems that religion, which revolves around spirits, potions and ancestor worship, has little to do with Christianity. However, voodoo has explicit parallels with this world religion.
In the case of Louisiana and Haitian voodoo, many Christian traditions have been incorporated into this flexible system of beliefs. In the center of voodoo practices are spirits, and many of the central figures in this pantheon are Christian counterparts. So Aida Webo - a virgin image of Mary, while Papa Legba - is a mirror image of St. Peter. In the West African voodoo magic, there is a very Christian concept, such as the one Supreme God - ruling everything.
The adoption of the Catholic Church
In fact, the parallels between voodoo and Christianity are so strong that there is no animosity between the two religions, and they peacefully co-exist in many areas. Today the priests of both religions are working together to help bring peace and prosperity to Africa, the home of voodoo.
In fact, Pope John Paul II, spoke of the high esteem with which he refers to the practice of voodoo priests, acknowledging "the fundamental virtue" inherent in the teachings and beliefs of Voodoo. John Paul II was even present at the ceremony of voodoo in 1993, helping the bonding kindest co-existence of these two seemingly opposing religions.
voodoo dolls is actually much more complex than is usually portrayed in Hollywood films. They do not represent the person, in the sense that what happens to the doll will happen to a person. Doll is associated only with a particular person, as a rule, when attached to her human photographs, or some of his intimate things such as strands of hair.
voodoo doll can be used for many different purposes, including for good. Using voodoo dolls in itself is not evil or dark matter, but, like many secular and religious symbols, dolls may become an instrument of evil only by the will of the person that uses them.
There is a stereotype that voodoo - dark religion that was created in order to help with the dark forces to control people and to bear the expense of the spirit and the body. But in reality, voodoo is much more used for healing and herbal medicine. One of the most important reasons for the call of the Spirit in the rituals of voodoo is an attempt to ask for his help in the healing of the sick and wounded.
Healing can be both physical and spiritual. Therefore, experts can focus on healing a broken heart or a change of fortune for the better.
Voodoo priests and priestesses did admit that they are not omnipotent. When it comes to diagnosis and treatment, if they deem the situation beyond their control, they will be encouraged to seek the assistance of modern medicine.
In many cultures, it is believed that white magic is used to heal, and the black do evil and dark matter. According to the cult of voodoo, there is no difference between white and black magic side. In this case, when the magic used for evil or bad things, it's called Red magic. Color Spirit - red, and when a man allows evil "loa" take possession of it, his eyes turn red, showing the presence of evil.
Finding a striking resemblance to Christianity, voodoo pantheon of spirits has three main levels. In the upper part there is one God, which is now for a man so incomprehensible that it is impossible to describe. The next level - the spirits who are constantly interacting with mortals. The personality of the deceased family member plays an important role in the spiritual life of voodoo supporters, so the veneration of ancestors - is an important part of voodoo. The third level of the Pantheon voodoo - it's own death.
One of the fundamental concepts of Voodoo is the relationship between these two levels: Papa Legba is one of the most important "loa" (spirits), it is a kind of gatekeeper between the mortal world and the divine world. All death by binding to loa, pass through Legba, and it opens the gates between the worlds. As a reflection of St. Peter, he is also the guardian of the house, and the patron saint of travelers.
It is often possible to see dances with snakes voodoo followers. Snake is an extremely important element in voodoo mythology. Damballah or Danballa - a serpent-God, and the oldest of the Pantheon voodoo. It is said that he was called upon to create the world. Damballah created water from the skin, the stars in the sky came from its rings. He is married to Aida Webo, and they feed each other eternal love, that is a balance between the masculine and the feminine.
Damballah symbolizes wisdom and intelligence, and is associated with such symbols as white, eggs, bones and ivory. Defender helpless and young children, and persons with disabilities, he carries souls of the dead to the afterlife. The priests and priestesses possessed by the spirit of Damballa not say, instead, they hiss.
The Sacrifice of animals
Animal sacrifice has always played an important role in the rituals of voodoo, but the reason is not in a morbid fascination with death and blood. Perfume (Loa) Blood energy is used for communication with the mortal, along with the common control their daily lives. Voodoo priests believe that the blood of the victim combines vitality with animal vitality loa.
Meat and animal blood is often prepared and consumed as part of the ceremony. The sacrifice of certain spirits, more often, bring those animals who are with them are most associated: for example, chickens often offered Damballah, spirit-snake.