The Game of the Warrior Goddesses of Voodoo and Santeria

Santeria Catholics, Havana, Cuba photo by Bruce Tuten. Text added. Licensed under CC 2.0

Life is a game, you can buy it at the toy store. (No, I'm only kidding!) But sometimes life is a series of clues, stories and signs to be interpreted and nurtured. Goddesses can help us do that. They can help us roll the dice and move forward in the right direction. In the Afro-Diasporan traditions of Vodou, Voodoo, and Santeria (La Regla Lucumi,) there is an entire legion of goddesses, or divine energies called Loa or Orisha, that have their own strong and intense feminine power. In many … [Read more...]

More Suggestions for Finding Godparents in Voodoo and Santeria

Legba veve in the cemetery. Photo by Lilith Dorsey

Questions to ask yourself   Are you sure you have the time, energy, and dedication to enter this tradition? Very often I meet people who tell me they don't have the time necessary to devote to Santeria/ Lucumi or Voodoo. My response is usually "do you have the time to devote to bettering your life?" For example, I knew a woman once whose son suffered from severe autism, with frequently violent episodes. As he got older the fights she had trying to restrain him got more and more … [Read more...]

6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Finding Godparents in Santeria or Voodoo

Priestess Miriam Chamani of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, one of my Godmothers. Photo by Lilith Dorsey, copyright 2014.

Finding godparents is a really complicated process. You could end up with someone who manipulates you, takes lots of money from you and leaves you with nothing, or even lands you in jail. I have heard of all of these things happening when people end up choosing difficult Santeria (La Regla Lucumi) or Voodoo godparents. Now, I truly believe we all have our lessons to learn, but if we go into the process with our eyes open, and keeping a few key points in mind, the process of joining an ile … [Read more...]

Would You Go to a Voodoo Funeral Home? Could you?

Would you go... photo by Lilith Dorsey.

The whole thing started with a hand. Not a mojo hand, made of herbs and other spiritual items, that jazz legends like Muddy Waters and Lightning Hopkins liked to sing about, but a real hand. J.S. Holland on the blog Report from the Florida Zone writes today about a Voodoo Funeral Home that found itself in an interesting situation back in the late 1990's. The story is this, in November 1997 a hand was discovered in the Manatee River. The hand had been removed by funeral embalmer Paula … [Read more...]

History of Haint Blue- the Color of the Dead

Haint Blue Victorian Porch ceiling photo by Lake Lou. Text added by author. Licensed under CC 2.0

  There are blues that you get from sleepless nights, But the bluest blues to me, Are the blues that make me hot and cold and make me want to shiver And make me want to end it all by jumping in the river, Are the blues my naughty sweetie gives to me, gives to me. The blues my naughty sweetie gives to me.   The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me- Words and Music by N. Swanstone, Charles R. McCarron and Carey Morgan (This song came on while I was … [Read more...]

Honor Your Ancestors and Native People with Corn Maque Choux

Corn Maque Choux photo by Lilith Dorsey. Copyright 2014.

New Orleans has a unique flavor all its own: the jazz, the Voodoo, the streetcar, and the food. Oh, how we love the food. Maque Choux is a Southern Louisiana corn delicacy. As usual in New Orleans, no one is exactly sure how the dish got its name. Maque Choux (pronounced Mock Shoe) could possibly come from the Cajun French term maigrchou, which translates as “thin child” and may refer to the thinning of the recipe with cream or milk according to wisegeek.com. The recipe is similar to creamed … [Read more...]

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 … [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 … [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...]