Is Voodoo Black Magic?
There are a lot of questions I get asked about Voodoo, and this one comes up probably more than any other. Someone asked me this again just the other day. Is Voodoo Black Magic? As much as I want to scream about this popular myth, it is easy to understand how Hollywood and popular media has given the public this idea. In reality, almost nothing is farther from the truth.
Magick Done By Black People
The Voodoo religion was from it’s very beginnings a system done by people of color. It is a combination of beliefs that were transplanted with slaves from Benin, Nigeria, and other West African countries. In Haiti and other regions, Voodoo and Vodou began to mix with some of the indigenous traditions into the beautiful and strong religions they are today.
Is Voodoo Evil ?
Since Voodoo is a tradition that grew out of slavery, oppression, and colonialism it can seem like it is focused on curses, hexes, and the like. Devotees of the religion used curses, hexes, and other serious magick to protect themselves and their families.
Yet mainstream Christians still like to perpetuate this myth. The internet is full of alarmist “reports” about evil Voodoo. The Christian Blog Radical Living by Seth Barnes presents one such report where “Voodoo lingers like a dark cloud over the atmosphere. Voodoo curses are the number one cause of death in Haiti.” He goes on to say how followers of Christ are not effected by these curses. He neglects to mention that most practitioners of Haitian Vodou are also Christians.On many occasions I have seen followers become possessed by the “spirit” of Christ, and deliver sermons worthy of any Sunday mass. But fear however is power, and as long as the fear of an unknown evil will fill offering plates, this nonsense from those who are uninformed will continue.
People Can Be Evil
Just like in any religion there can be extremists and lunatics. As the Lord Acton quote says “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo are powerful systems, capable of producing great change. Through prayer, offering, divination, and proper guidance almost anything can be accomplished with Voodoo. But for every hundred healings there is one story about misguided and misinformed practitioners who get caught digging up bones, or trying to kill someone. This is what people hear, remember, and base their opinions on.
For those wishing to learn the real truth about Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo there are over 400 posts here on this blog discussing almost every aspect of the religion, or you could just read my book Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism which discusses the basics of these ancient traditions.