Voodoo is a monotheistic religion with many traditions and rituals. Common sects of Voodoo are Haitian and New Orleans. Voodoo is the predominant religion of Haiti, while the New Orleans practice of Voodoo is sporadic and mostly solitary. The religion of Voodoo calls their god, Bondye; he is all-powerful and all knowing.
The contact between Bondye and the individual who practices Voodoo is vital. If an individual wants to change jobs, they will contact Bondye for his decision and through the signs he sends to the individual, they will either change jobs or stay with the current one.
The Voodoo religion allows for the presence of spirits that maintain contact with the living. Iwa is a spiritual mass comprised of the departed family members. Their purpose is to advice, warn, and interact with the loved ones still residing in the physical world. If a loved one chooses to ignore a departed spirit, this is a dangerous action. Honoring the spirit of the departed is a deeply followed ritual in the Voodoo religion. The twins are another spiritual force in Voodoo and it is compromised of the forces between good and evil. The recognition of the twins’ presence in the practitioner’s life allows for the individual to honor them and this will result in a balanced life with a positive center.
Voodoo allows for the presence of priests and priestesses. The focus of the clergy in the Voodoo religion is to initiate healing, interpret dreams or prophecies, perform the initiation ceremony of new priests/priestesses, and conjure spells and potions. The largest focus of Voodoo is for healing. Disease, mental fatigue, birth defects, toothaches are a shortlist of ailments that a Voodoo priest/priestess is expected to heal.
The Voodoo religion has religious services that are usually held outdoors. The priest/priestess will lead the service. Drums create the backdrop mood while group dancing is an intricate part of the Voodoo right. Iwa will appear at the service and will attaché itself to an individual. The individual will surrender their physical body to the spirit of Iwa. Depending on the mood of Iwa, the service will have a good message or an evil one. An animal is sacrificed during a Voodoo service. This is done to replenish the spirit of Iwa. The animal’s spiritual energy feeds Iwa’s spirit and energizes him.
Voodoo is also practiced in solitary. The voodoo doll is a symbolic version of a person that will have a curse cast upon them. The priest has the power to cancel the curse and will use potions, herbs, or rituals to rid the individual of the curse. The priestess/priest has the power to predict future signs for an individual through the use of chicken entrails, feathers, or blood. The predictions are a direct message from Bondye and once he has cast his decision it will not be changed.
Contemporary Voodoo has been influenced by the Catholic religion. Rituals now use the rosary, crucifix and other icons of the Christian religion. When the missionaries tried to convert the practice of Voodoo to Catholicism the result was a melding of the two religions instead of a choice between the two.
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