Rainbow Goddess Aida Wedo: Voodoo Prism of Possibility

Rainbow Egg photo by fdecomite.

Pray bigger. Your dreams should be big, your prayers must be bigger. I did a large public Voodoo ritual many years back dedicated to Aida Wedo, the rainbow serpent bride of Haitian Vodou or Vudu. She is the wife of Damballa Wedo and together they form a divine union. My ritual was about imagining things better than you could possibly imagine. I asked people not to wish for a car but for a vintage Mercedes. They were supposed to expand their desires, try to stop thinking small, stop limiting … [Read more...]

Voodoo Love Spells: Love Potion Number 9,10 and 11

Love-candle photo by Bogdan.

On my last trip to Jamaica after a heartfelt conversation with a Rastaman I found sleeping on the beach at sunrise, I finally asked him what he thought the key to Caribbean culture and spirit was? He responded simply “Love and pain.”I think those words are very wise. In a way I think that is what the soul of voodoo is about too. That's some big stuff, Love and Pain. I've done psychic readings professionally for over 20 years now, and I used to answer the phone to my customers “Love or money … [Read more...]

5 Lies You May Believe About Voodoo and Santeria

Toothpick Voodoo. Photo by Juha-Matti Herrala. Licensed under CC 2.0

We all believe some wild stuff. Experience, for better or worse, shapes our existence. It happens everywhere but particularly regarding the subject of religion, stereotype and myth abound. Much has been written about this by Richard Dyer who theorizes that stereotypes function to "make the visible invisible." This is where religion lives, in this space between the visible and invisible. Let's "see" what we can find when we look at the most popular stereotypes surrounding the traditions of Voodoo … [Read more...]

Sounds of the Spirit: New Orleans Voodoo and Haitian Vodou Drumming

Djembe 4 by Dave Gates.

Nothing typifies Voodoo spirit better than the drum. Literally the heartbeat of the tradition, the drums are the hands of Voodoo. They carry the messages of the divine through their skins. It reverberates and permeates our bodies and we are trance-formed. In New Orleans Voodoo and Haitian Vodou there are rhythms for each specific Lwa or deity. It is like the Lwa's theme song, it is played both to call and to honor. Music is present at all rituals.The first famous Voodoo drummer to gain … [Read more...]

St. Expedite: The Patron Saint of Hurry Up

San Expedito altar and offerings. Photo by Paul Lowry.

It's All Saints Day today and my mind is drifting to all the saints honored in Voodoo and Santeria, also known as Lukumi. The one that jumped out first was St. Expedite. For those who have never heard of him before, he is a godsend/goddessend to Voodoo and Santeria practitioners, folk magicians, and other devotees worldwide. This time of year is traditionally one for honoring the ancestors and it is important to note this Saint is given tribute not only in New Orleans,but Haiti, Spain, Portugal, … [Read more...]

Appetite for Ancestors: Samhain the Voodoo Way

Happy Samhain from Voodoo Universe

In Afro-Caribbean Religions like Voodoo, Vodou, and Lukumi or Santeria the true spirits of Halloween are the ancestors. Festivities run from October 30th to November 2nd. There are delectable dumb supper feasts, elaborate ancestors altars and offerings galore. It's a time for reconnecting, remembering and honoring all those who have gone before. It is their blood that runs through our veins, they are the primary reason we are here. Les Baron and Les Gede or Whose That Guy With Only One … [Read more...]

Sell My Soul: Commodification in Voodoo and Santeria (La Regla Lukumi)

Botanica photo by Daniel Lobo

Sex sells. Sin sells. Voodoo sells. It's true, I didn't make it up. There has always been controversy around money and religion, and when we add psychics and spirits we just up the ante. The current season of American Horror Story Coven uses a bizarre mix of reality and supreme fantasy to get its point across, a major clothing manufacturer places a giant veve ( ritual symbol) for Papa Legba in its store window to sell t-shirts, and I'm left shaking my head. Shantrelle Lewis did a piece on the … [Read more...]


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