Saints, Sinners, Statues and Syncretism in Santeria and Voodoo

Oya Offering Box, featuring picture of St. Theresa. Photo by Lilith Dorsey.

One of the most puzzling things for people both inside and outside the traditions of Voodoo and Santeria, also known as Lucumi, is the inclusion of other religions' iconography. It is not uncommon to see statues for Caridad del Cobre on an Oshun shrine, or St. Patrick during a ritual for Damballa.If you inquire about this to practitioners, you will most likely get a variety of answers ranging from colonial oppression, to secrecy, to beliefs that these individuals were part of the religion … [Read more...]

Divination Space Station: Awo Robert Ogbe Di

Yoruba Divination board, photo by Cliff1066TM

Just in time for October 4th, the traditional feast day for Orunmila or Orula,the Orisha of divination, the latest installment of our divination series. We are honored to present an interview with Awo Robert Ogbe Di. When did you start divining? With what method? Wow, it's been a while! I got a tarot deck as a gift when I was a kid, maybe 14, and I played around with it until I figured out how to read with it, though it took a long time to put down the book because I was always worried I would … [Read more...]

King Chango Cashew Chili Recipe

Altar for Chango Feast and Ritual, photo by Lilith Dorsey

King Chango is the Santeria Lord of fire, passion, and the drum. His consummate masculinity shines through in all that he does, even when he wears his wife's clothing as a disguise. Chango is a warrior god, said to wield a double edged sword of justice. If you are interested in more information about Chango, I recommend the book Santeria: A Practical Guide to Afro-Caribbean Magic by Luis Manuel Nunez. This recipe is suitable to use for any Chango feast or ceremony, or when you just want to spice … [Read more...]

Cleaning House with Voodoo and Santeria

Oshun altar for the feast of Caridad del Cobre.

“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” -Johann Wolfgang von GoetheI have been lecturing on Voodoo and Santeria for over fifteen years, and believe me I get a lot of weird questions. Many people wish to connect with the energies of the religion but are not initiated or under the proper guidance of their spiritual godparents. I had one woman after I became distracted after the end of my workshop come over dip her finger in the liquified candle wax fro … [Read more...]

Hoodoo, Voodoo, We do!

Lilith Dorsey, Dr. John and Priestess Miriam at Krewe du Vieux

There is definitely more information about my connection to this topic than could be contained in a single post, and after I finished yesterday's sampling I realized maybe I should explain more. I have a book, Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism, which I was encouraged to pen by my dearly departed friend Isaac Bonewits, who also wrote the forward to the book. He convinced me of the need for something that would address every basic question that a practitioner might have. I am honored and pleased … [Read more...]

Hoodoo, Voodoo, I do!

Orisha Mural in Spanish Harlem, NYC

 The Future of the Past Fairies, Gnomes, Ghosts, and the powers of nature have always been my friends. Unlike many other pagans my age I was raised in these traditions. I am a native New Yorker, like the song, and as soon as my pre-teen legs were allowed to take the subway I made my pilgrimage to Magickal Childe. There I would covet and hover over ritual volumes even wilder than my young conjurer's imagination. My friends and I joke about how, at that time, we believed the future … [Read more...]