Monday, October 22, 2012

History of Voodoo Witchcraft

Voodoo is said to have originated within the ancient African and Native American cultures, where the shamans, or the female oracles, conducted their rituals to ensure their spirit followed the path of their God, and could join with him once the body returned to earth. Before a person may become a shaman or oracle of their village, it was important that the spirits were able to enter the body, and that the body was strong enough to withstand the power that came from above. The rituals were a village affair, with dancing and singing preceding the important choices the leaders had to make. If the wise person proved their strength, then they alone possessed the knowledge that their God wanted them to be passed on to the King and the rest of the villagers. To be a shaman or an oracle, great responsibility is placed upon that person. After their initiation ritual, they must be on hand to connect to the spirits of their world at any time.
For the oracle or shaman to receive the messages, they must first be aware that nature has a spirit, and everything contained in the world must be treated with respect, just as they would wish to be treated. People from Voodoo cultures believed that the spirits of the ancestors remained on the land to go between themselves and the afterlife. In Native American Voodoo, these ancestors are known as Kachinas. Many were afraid that if they angered the spirits, then their lives may take a turn for the worse, and so they followed the strict laws and customs from their wise person.
Healing was a main function in the African and Native American cultures where Voodoo was practiced. In order to gain the spiritual knowledge for healing, the Voodoo wiseman must enter a trance-like state, before listening and watching for images pertaining to the questions. This trance-like state was achieved through their lifestyle, often using herbs, music, fasting, or meditation to improve their abilities in allowing the spirits to use their bodies. The messages are received, and then the healing rituals can begin, with the use of charms, fetishes or dolls, or simple administration of natural elements to the individuals. Being able to heal the sick was a main point of reverence in the wise, as they had to have the strongest spiritual influences to both diagnose the condition, and also the knowledge to prescribe the items needed to cure the individual.
Voodoo, while this practice stems from African and Native American shamanism, most often it is linked with New Orleans, a French colony situated in Southeastern Louisiana. New Orleans was originally a city brought about through the slave trade, with people from all over the world making up its population. Stories circulated from the slave trips of demons and spirits, and gradually a new culture was passed down from the foreign ancestors that mirrored their ancient lifestyles. The lives of those who believe in and practice voodoo are greatly led by the superstitions and notions that are prevalent in the community. They place their trusts in the spirits, and in the nature around them to treat them with respect, providing they follow simple tasks. Have you ever stepped over cracks in the pavement, or refused to look in a cracked mirror? Even sometimes throwing salt over your left shoulder after you've spilled it? These quirks are very much a part of the ancient voodoo curses of Africa, Native American practices, and also Catholicism, which was making its way across America at that time. 
The voodoo priests and priestesses of New Orleans have many practices they follow, from their use of dispensing herb pouches for illnesses, or for the creation of voodoo dolls. The voodoo doll has many different uses in other cultures, but for the people of New Orleans it was said to be used for retribution purposes, or for the healing of the customer when they cannot give their time for long periods. The doll is usually a cloth figure, with a part of the user (such as a lock of hair, or a piece of clothing) to ensure that the figure is securely linked. The ritual taking place can then continue without the target present, and the effects can be witnessed either immediately, or a few days after. The voodoo doll has also been used to send messages to the spirit world, either to be sent on to another person, to ask for guidance, or to give thanks for the life they lead, to ensure that nature rewards them.
During the time when many people converted to Catholicism, Voodoo was seen as an attack on their faith, and practitioners were forced underground, although many still attended Mass as they had done previously. Many of these underground Voodoo practices began to include Catholic references, such as signs of the cross, or praying to the Gods and saints of their religion. The Catholic church decided that Voodoo was not a threat to their church, and that it is possible to live harmoniously with the two religions together. This mix of religion has not diminished throughout the ages, and New Orleans remains a large voodoo capital today.
J. Roslyn Antle - High Priestess - - Real Witches Offering Real Help With Your Real Problems
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