Maya Deren: Art, Magic, and Voodoo in Transfigured Time

Witch's Cradle by Maya Deren with Marcel Duchamp photo by SLPTWRK. Licensed under CC 2.0

The true beauty of Maya Deren is that she was a renaissance woman. Most people never get past the required freshman film viewing of Meshes in the Afternoon ( a film which she shot in two weeks on her honeymoon,) but her work is so much more. She was a legend, film theorist, poet, journalist, dancer, photographer, filmmaker, and Vodou priestess. Maya Deren's innate spirituality shone through in all that she did. The L.A. Weeklydescribed Maya Deren as “Fellini and Bergman wrapped in one gloriously … [Read more...]

Frequently Asked Questions About Ancestor Altars

Maman Brigitte altar photo by Lilith Dorsey. Copyright 2014

Yesterday I wrote in detail about Creating  Ancestor Altars in Santeria, Vodou, and Voodoo . Anyone can create an altar or shrine for the ancestors and it is a great way to begin to open up your spiritual avenues. Many people do have questions, and I am going to do my best to answer them.-What do I do if there was some unsavory bastard in my family and I don't want to honor them?Hell, if you wouldn't have them in your home while they were alive, I certainly wouldn't have them there after … [Read more...]

Creating Ancestor Altars in Santeria, Vodou, and Voodoo

Energia y Espiritu Altar #5 photo by wendEwho! Thompson. Text added. Licensed under CC 2.0

Ancestor Altars and shrines are a part of many different religions. They are present in Christian homes, Buddhist homes, Pagan homes, and even in Atheists' homes. They can be as simple as a glass of water and a picture of Grandpa, or given an entire room to spread out in. Let me begin by making the distinction that altars are usually created for a specific purpose, while shrines are generally set up as a way of honoring what is represented. A ancestor shrine is a site to honor those who have … [Read more...]

How Anti-Pagan St. Patrick Became Voodoo’s Damballa !

St. Patrick photo by Gordon T. Lawson. Licensed under CC 2.0

In Voodoo inside out, upside down, and backwards are often all the same thing. It's this creative way of thinking that allies Ireland's St. Patrick with the Haitian Vodou God Damballa. St. Patrick is notorious in legend for driving the snakes out of Ireland. However, today's article by Independent.ie tells us that it was most likely Pagans that were removed from Ireland by the saint. More specifically the group Crom Cruich, which used the snake as it's symbol. Crom Cruich literally translates to … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Erzulie- The Faces of Love by Tehron Gillis

untitled photo by !paco! Text added. Licensed by CC 2.0

Love, what other meaning does life need to exist? Do we need to exist?  It begets our greatest of accomplishments and forgives our deepest shortcomings.  As the oxygen of our spirits it pumps through our divine anatomy, and in the anatomy of the divine it is Erzulie that is the heart.  A heart that breaks for our transgressions towards each other, that hardens in the face of injustice, and quickens when enraged.  As we study the rhythms of the heart we begin to learn the many faces of Erz … [Read more...]

Part 2: More Truth About Voodoo Spells

Trash Voodoo Art on Ouidah Beach photo by Willem Heerbaart. Photo cropped and text added. Licensed by CC 2.0

This is the continuation of my previous post about Voodoo Spells. Desperate people can be willing to sell their souls and empty their wallets for the mystical, magical Voodoo spell. It doesn't have to be like that though. There are some basic Voodoo truths you need to know first, and I'm going to lay it all out for you. 6. Promises, Promises Please keep your promises and ritual obligations. This goes without saying, but Voodoo and Vodou spirits are notorious for holding you accountable. On … [Read more...]

Voodoo’s Bride of Death: Maman Brigitte

Detail Maman Brigitte flag by Leticia, photo by Lilith Dorsey

You might know her from the roses in her hair, the eye sockets in her skull, or the icy Voodoo hand there to hold if you need it. Maybe you don't even know her name. It's Brigitte, Maman Brigitte. She is the ancient primal feminine power.In Haitian Vodou she is honored as the first woman buried in every cemetery. Alongside her husband Baron Samedi, she guides and protects all who seek her blessing. Here devotees find wisdom, connection and healing justice. She is very often associated the … [Read more...]


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