Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Where to Start with the Voodoo?
Question for today: Where does one begin with the Voodoo? Spells? Oils? Candles?
This is a very good question. So many people think of Voodoo as simply a system of magick, which is truly tragic. It is so much more than magic. As I have said before, it is a way of life for those who believe.
The preconception of Voodoo as simply a system of magic is understandable given the manner in which it is protrayed in popular media as well as on many websites. The focus is typically on what "it" can do for you and how quickly and effectively "it:" can do it. Alternately, the focus is on what a person can do with "it" to change people, places, and things.
Sure, there is a lot that can be done with "it". But first, it is a good idea to know what "it" is, dontcha think?
For those of you who already know, bear with me. This post addresses those who are not in the know.
When I speak of Voodoo, I speak from the tradition in which I am familiar, and that is New Orleans Voodoo. This is the tradition into which I was born, and all of my responses to questions are couched within this context.
Voodoo is a religion first; though, the religion does include a magickal tradition. Voodoo is a way of interacting with the world; it is a tradition based on healing and walking in harmony with the forces of nature - earth, wind, fire, and water. It is a tradition in which we acknowledge the interrelatedness of all things, and we acknowledge the world of the Visible as well as the Invisible. We acknowledge our relationships with self, family and community, and with our ancestors past, and our ancestors yet to come.
So where is the magick?
Well, I never recommend starting with the magick, because the magick is irrelevant if there is no relationship with our ancestors. If you are just starting out, forget the candles, the oils, and the spells. I recommend a person starts with the ancestors.
The ancestors are not just my ancestors...those with whom I am related by virtue of blood. The ancestors include all of those who have gone on before us - universal, archetypal, yours, mine, and ours.
Answer to today's question: You start with your ancestors. Make an ancestral altar and develop a relationship with them. The rest will be shown to you.
To learn how to create an ancestral altar and the basics of ancestor reverence, join Planet Voodoo's Conjure Corner where you can find all of that information and much, much more.