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.