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JGammon: Spells, Magic, Hoodoo and Vodoun

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: JGammon: Spells, Magic, Hoodoo and Vodoun (was Training)
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 22:48:50 GMT

Hybiscus wrote:
> (Gammon Jason)] wrote: 

> > You are confusing Voodou with Hoodoo.  Now Hoodoo men and women, 
> > also known as "root workers" practice just the magick aspect.  Let 
> > me clear things up.  There will never exist a Voodou practioner that 
> > *justs* practices magic. For to do so will automaticly cast someone 
> > in the role of "hoodoo".  

I believe you are wrong. Most hoodoos i know DO indeed practice a
religion -- Protestant Christianity. A minority of hoodoos are Roman
Catholic Christians, especially around NOLA and in MD. This fact is
easily demonstrated by examining the role that invocations such as "In
the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" play in hoodoo
spells collected by oral historians, and the heavy emphasis root workers
place on the recitation of Psalms from the Bible for achieving magical

More details are online here:
  What Hoodoo is -- and Isn't:  
  Secrets of the Psalms: 

> > Now then Voodou priests and priestesses, called Mammas and Papas 
> > here in the states will work white magic free of charge.  There are 
> > others who practice black magic who do so for money.....most of us 
> > don't talk about these people, not out of fear but out of disgust.

In the African-American hoodoo community the custom of hiring someone to
work roots for you is a simple transactional relationship, like hiring a
plumber or a hair-dresser. It is not fraught with the judgementalism you
bring to it from your particular branch of Vodoun.  

> *(re Hoodoo) Does that make it
> sacrilegious to not pray to your
> Gods/Dieties and still practice magick?
> Or is it a sort of religious practice in
> itself to practice this magick?

As i said above, most practitioners of hoodoo are Bible-believing
Christians. Hoodoo is not a religious organization as such, but many
root-workers will tell you that recitation of Psalms and prayer "in the
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" -- as well as
intercessory prayers addressed  to specific saints if the practitioner
is a Catholic -- are almost always a part of their spell-crafting.  

cat yronwode 

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