Gumbo is Gumbo: The Enmeshment of N.O. Voodoo Performance and Ritual

Offerings left at the possible site of Marie Laveau's tomb, St. Louis cemetery No. 1.

Performance and ritual, these entities can be as far apart or as close together as one's vision. The earliest written records of Voodoo Ceremonies in New Orleans are in the Times Picayune. They describe scantily clad rites that are both scary and sinful. Oh mainstream media, is it a guarantee that they miss the point? In the early to mid 1800's these public ceremonies were run by legendary Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. Accurate or not, the earliest historical record of public rites are primarily … [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...]

Top Ten Reasons Voodoo Will Never Die

"Possible" Tomb of Voodoo Priestess Marie Laveau, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. This site is the second most visited grave in the U.S.

We have great music. We got skills -- slavery, kidnapping, rape and murder make a religion fierce. We don't care whether you believe or not, Voodoo moves forward anyway. It's in your blood, the earliest evidence of modern humans were in Africa, it's in all our DNA. Fear is a great motivator. Voodoo is nothing if not feared. Voodoo invented mojo. Voodoo can dance. It dances on fire, water, and in the corners of your mind. Voodoo smells heavenly. Open the nearest bottle of Florida … [Read more...]

Congo Squared Redux

Grave in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

 The following is a spoken word piece I wrote after my initial post-Katrina visit to New Orleans. The words ring as true today as they then. Just in case you were wondering, yes a tour guide did indeed comment on me and my friend while we were drumming and dancing in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and call us a “supposed” voodoo ritual. I laughed out loud. It’s the 21st century now, not the 19th but the ghosts of the Crescent City still whisper. After Katrina the spirit still floats. The trees of t … [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...]