voodoo beliefs

What Do Followers of Voodoo Believe?

Voodoo is one of the most misconstrued religions in the world. Most people form an opinion on the religion by watching Hollywood movies and shows. However, everything that is shown about Voodoo on-screen is false and somewhat discriminatory.
A religion heavily based on oral traditions with no holy text or set of beliefs; Voodoo is a religion mostly followed in the Caribbean islands. It is the main religion of Haiti and Jamaica. However, some people in the South Eastern United States also follow Voodoo, such as in Mississippi and New Orleans.
Most people do not know what Voodooists believe in. But, just like any other monotheistic religion, Voodoo tradition is centered on one supreme God. This primary God is mighty and cannot be reached by ordinary Voodooists. It is due to this reason that Voodooists rely on other spirits to communicate with their God. These spirits are called lwa or loa in Haiti. They are considered to be powerful spirits that have African roots. There is a hierarchy of spirits, and loa is the primary type of spirit. Some of them even have a holiday dedicated to their name. There are also minor spirits that have different roles. Each community has its loa. It could be in the form of spirits of influential family members or the beloved. It is believed that God gives some of his power to the loa who can communicate with God.

The spirits offer advice, assistance, and protection to Voodooists during observances and ceremonies. There is a reciprocal process as followers need to perform rituals to get the loa to help them. It could be in the form of animal sacrifices. Voodooists also hold ceremonies to thank the spirits for good fortune, blessings, and protection. Followers need to follow the customs of the religion and their community if they want to have a good relationship with the loa. Thus, Voodoo influences daily activities and decisions.
The loa is believed to communicate with Voodooists through possession. The soul of the host is temporarily displaced for the individual to become the medium. Voodooists believe that the possessed do not experience injury or pain while they are possessed. The loa provides advice, prophecies, and instructions. It is also thought that the loa can rebuke followers if they fail to meet their duties to their community, family, or the loa. Becoming possessed is considered to be a privilege in many Voodoo traditions. The loa have the freedom to choose who they want to possess whenever they want. Voodooists that are possessed are said to be elevated in status to others.
With an abundance of observations and rituals, Voodoo is a very diverse religion. It is about personal experience as followers get to experience communication with the loa and other spirits directly.


What Is Voodoo?

Unlike how it is portrayed in most Hollywood movies, Voodoo is not devil worship, black magic, or a cult. Most documentaries around Voodoo are misleading. People that follow the Voodoo religion are not occultists, sorcerers, or witch doctors. It is not a practice that focuses on controlling or hurting others.
Most Voodoo followers have never even seen a Voodoo doll, let alone used it. Moreover, Voodoo practices vary from place to place. It is not a universal practice that has a set of rules like Christianity. It is a lot more diverse than that.

So What Is Voodoo?

It is a religion that has African roots. It was brought to the Caribbean and the Americas with the slaves. Voodoo incorporates various African, Native American, and Catholic traditions. It is practiced in different parts of the globe. However, there is no accurate data to find out how many people follow Voodoo. Keep in mind that Voodoo does not have a global authority or scripture. It supports individual responsibility, empowerment, and experience.
Voodoo is more community-centered. Each part of the world follows a different form of Voodoo. However, it is mostly practiced in Haiti and New Orleans. The complete human experience is embraced by Voodoo. Anyone can practice Voodoo and may use it according to their set of beliefs without having to deal with any limitations.

What Do Most Voodooists Believe In?

Before you can understand what Voodooists believe in, you need to understand how they see this world. Voodooists believe in an invisible and visible world. They believe that the two worlds are intertwined. It is believed that when people die, they transition into the invisible world. Hence, the spirit of our ancestors is still with us. They inspire us to do things and keep a watch over us. Besides just our loved ones and ancestors, there are Lwa that live in the invisible world. They have an archetype of human personality.There are different types of Lwa and each Lwa has a family.

Voodoo followers can form a relationship with the Lwa for seeking counsel and getting help in the visible world. Voodoo is not different from honoring and studying impressive historical figures. For instance, if someone wants to make a social impact, they would study more about Martin Luther King Jr. and will try to inhabit their characteristics.

A Voodooist would in a similar manner form a relationship with a Lwa to embody its principles and understand how they can spiritually connect for brining personal transformation in the visible world. The Great God is considered to be distant and it is due to this reason that Voodooists access the Lwa which are similar to Catholic saints.

Voodoo has priests and priestesses that are committed to following the spiritual path. They guide people. Voodooists focus on supporting and enriching their community. Voodoo is more about survival. It is about social activism and healing. Voodoo is the official religion of Haiti and many Haitians that move to the United States bring their religion with them.