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To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.folk,alt.magick
From: tcatherine yronwode 
Subject: Hoodoo/Conjure (was Re: Can a voodoo priest answer ...?)
Date: 16 May 1997 11:43:49 -0700

Jonathan Alexander wrote:
> Well here are the following questions I have and I was wondering if
> someone could answer them:

 I am not a voodoo priest, as per the subject line of your post, but i
shall attempt to answer your questions in the spirit they were intended
and with the presumption that you are slightly confused about the
terminology associated with certain African-derived religions and
magical practices. 

> 1. When is it a good time to use voodoo?

Vodoun or Voodoo is a religion. One does not "use" a religion. However,
there is something called "New Orleans Voodoo" which is actually a
combined form of debased Vodoun and African-American Hoodoo. It is a
form of folk-magic.In every other part of the country EXCEPT around New
Orleans, it is called Hoodoo or Conjure.  The proper time to use it is
when you want something done which cannot be accomplished by physical other words, in any circumstance that would call for magical

> 2. When is it a bad time to use voodoo or I should say the wrong time?

Again, Vodoun is a religion, not a magical practice, so i shall answer
as if you asked about Hoodoo or Conjure: the only bad time to use it is
when you are unsure that you want to do so. Among other things, it can
be used to bring blessings, for healing, to attract love, to find a job,
to bring in luck at gambling, and to drive an enemy away -- so you can
see that there would be many reasons to use it.  

> 3. Have you ever cursed someone?

No, not really. I know how to do it, but in my life, getting along with
folks and avoiding conflict are higher goals than hurting others. 

> 4. Have you ever been cursed?

Yes, once, by a person who admitted having done so. I broke the curse
using an old German technique, the SATOR square. 

> 5. Have you ever made a voodoo doll?

No. By the way, in European magic, these dolls are called poppets.  In 
hoodoo they are called doll-babies or dollies. They are not unique to 
African-American magic. 

> 6. What is a voodoo doll?

It is usually a cloth doll in the form of a man or woman, stuffed with
herbs and personalized with something that belonged to the person one
wishes to affect (either for good or for evil). Some folks maake their
dolls out of moss and feathers instread of cloth. They may also be
carved of wood. To use the doll, one performs upon it the operations
(again, either for good or evil) that one would like to see happening to
the person thus represented. 

I hope these answers help you...

catherine yronwode
Hoodoo Catalogue:

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
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