"Perhaps no portion of Louisiana history is more shrouded in mystery than that which relates to the origin of the peculiar superstition called Voodooism," wrote the Daily Picayune on page 10 of the June 22, 1890, edition. Truer words have seldom been published.St. John's Day, the feast day of John the Baptist, is this Saturday, and it's reputed to be the holiest days on the New Orleans Voodoo calendar. It joins Catholicism and Voodoo, fact and folklore, Europe, Africa and America, in a quintessentially New Orleans way. But is the link between St. John's Day and Voodoo more fact or folklore?Much of the written record of the Voodoocelebration of St.
John's Day comes from the sensational accounts published in newspapers. According to the reports, it was on St. John's Day that Marie Laveau, the so-called queen of New Orleans Voodoo, was reputed to preside over the religion's biggest spectacle.
that portion of the lake shore between Bayou St. John and Milneburg is
thronged by the curious, and in former years many of the orgies would
scarcely be deemed improving to the refined or cultivated," the Daily
Picayune wrote on June 26, 1872.
Salt, pepper, a cat and a
black snake were all boiled in a pot, the "New Orleans Times" wrote two
days later. But that recipe sounds so generically heathen that you
wonder whether it has more to do with what happened in a Voodoo
ceremony or in a critic's mind.
St. John's Day falls close
to the summer solstice, the longest day in the year and an important
day in Catholicism and older European religions.
"All the other saints are
celebrated on the days of their deaths, but St. John's celebration is
on his birthday," says Sallie Ann Glassman, an American who was
initiated into the Voodoo religion in Haiti. "It falls close to the
"The celebration is rooted in earth-centered practices," said Barbara Trevigne, a historian of New Orleans culture.
Voodoo as folklore
But Brenda Marie Osbey, the
state poet laureate, grew up in the religion in New Orleans. She
contends that much of what has been written about Voodoo is simply
false, including the application of that name to New Orleansrel......
When pop star Avril Lavigne and the late Pope John Paul II visited Indonesia, a Javanese mystic was called in to work his magic and ensure a rain-free event. INDONESIAN mystic Haryobintoro Tjakra enters a small hut and kneels before the tools of his trade: incense, a bowl of dirt, two black umbrellas and a ceramic burner on which he piles chunks of wood. Bowing his head, he lights the burner, sending fragrant fumes swirling up to the hut’s exhaust fan, and prays in Javanese: the rain must stayaw...'Voodoo-cursed' woman is jailed
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Voodoo is a religion that originated in Africa
and was brought to Haiti by slaves, where it is still widely practiced by most
inhabitants. Most aspects of this religion are positive and it affects all
aspects of the people's lives, such as morality, economics, safety,
relationships and health.There is a revered God, an assortment of
spirits, and many rituals. Worshippers communicate with their God through the "loa"
or spirits. This relationshiop is based on trust and mutu...'Spy' used voodoo to shield general from Taliban
A british army translator accused of spying for Iran was a voodoo priest who used black magic to protect the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan from the Taliban, a court heard. Iranian-born Daniel James, 45, who was the personal interpreter to General David Richards, told the Old Bailey that he used pictures, dust, candles and seashells to cast spells protect his boss. He also said he did Tarot card readings for other personnel at the Allied HQ in Kabul to predict the future. James is alleg...Voodoo Day celebrated in Benin
Thousands of followers have gathered in Benin in the seaside town of Ouidah to celebrate National Voodoo Day. They met at a beach called the point of no return, where slaves left on ships for the Americas centuries ago, taking their religion with them. Followers of the once-banned religion have been dancing, drumming, praying as animals are slaughtered in ceremonies. Of Benin's seven million citizens, 65% believe in Voodoo. The day has been a national holiday for a decade. "There islitt...Rainmaker ritual helps date ancient droughts
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When michael harner, an American professor of anthropology, began teaching shamanism and shamanic healing in the early 1970s to Westerners, it was largely unknown outside of academia. Now modern-day shamans, typically referred to as “shamanic practitioners,” can be found throughout the US and Europe. Many thousands of them owe their education to Dr. Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS), the non-profit organization he began in 1985 to study, restore, and teach shamanism and shaman...Peru shamans perform protective ritual
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In the tiny West African country of Benin, voodoo has been practised for 10,000 years, but efforts to preserve its ancient oral traditions are exacting a harsh toll on its faithful, splitting families and pushing people deeper into poverty. Benin is unique in recognising voodoo as an official religion, followed by two-thirds of its 7.6 million people. It involves a pantheon of gods and spirits whose intercession is sought through animal blood sacrifice. But to survive, voodoo needs a new generat...Voodoo priest: "My exorcisms get results"
The nondescript red-brick block in north London barely warrants a second glance, but inside one of the flats is concealed a bizarre world barely comprehensible to most people. This is the home of Malcolm Poussaint, a self-styled "voodoo priest" who performs harrowing exorcism rituals on children as young as six whom their parents believe are possessed by demons.Mr Poussaint sees nothing wrong with what he does. It is, he insists, work that has to be carried out."If the child is no...