Voodoo Myths & Misconceptions Busted!
What was the first thing that jumped in your mind when you heard the word?
You may have felt many emotions, but one of the most common ones is “fear” like most people. And why wouldn’t you? Humans fear the unknown. We are hardcoded to do that. And that is what needs correction. To benefit from Voodoo, you have to first dispel the myths and misconceptions you have about the practice.
Let’s do that today.
Myth#1: The Voodoo Doll
How many movies and shows have you seen that use Voodoo dolls in the reflection of the person the practitioner wants to control. Fact alert! There is no such concept in the original Voodoo.
Surprised? Well, that’s how little you knew about Voodoo.
What are called Voodoo dolls today are actually the brainchild of John Houston Craige who wrote the book “Black Bagdad: The Arabian Nights Adventures of a Marine Captain in Haiti”. It was in this book that he mentions about a Haitian prisoner who pricks a doll with pins. Yes, it’s a work of fiction.
Here is another fact for you – Voodoo dolls, as they are called today, come from European witchcraft practitioners and not Africans. The only dolls used in Voodoo are that of Loa, who are considered as a link between the practitioner and Bondye (Good God). Not humans.
Myth#2: Human Sacrifice
That’s a big NO. Voodoo does not require human sacrifice. Again, this myth comes from the writings of a Sir Spencer St. John. In his book, “Hayti Or The Black Republic”, he wrote a lengthy chapter about cannibalism being central to the practice of Voodoo. There is no truth to this chapter and is merely a man’s fickle imagination. This has been long debunked as a myth.
Voodoo takes its name from a West African religion called Vodun. And as a religion or as a practice, it does not support harming other human beings.
Myth#3: Worship of the Devil
Voodoo practitioners came from West Africa as slaves to the United States and most parts of Europe. Since they were slaves, they were not allowed to practice their faith. In fact, slaves were not even considered humans back then. So, when they followed something that the Western culture did not understand, it was termed as the worship of the Devil. After the rebellion in Haiti, the Western countries started connecting the practice of Voodoo to bloodshed and violence too. And that’s how history remembered it.
Hollywood has also not left any stone unturned to make all practices of the African continent as black magic and taboo.
Truth Can Be Strange, But It's Necessar
And we have just touched the surface today. As you learn more about Voodoo, you will find that it is not a cult, devil worship or black magic. It is a religion with its own set of practices. Practices that show results.
Its practitioners are not witch doctors, but followers of a religion of their forefathers. Like other religions, Voodoo practices may differ from one practitioner to another. But, all of them believe in the connection between the spirits in the visible and the invisible world. We connect with the Loa to rid the problems of the people in the visible world.
We are priests and