Spirituality, Top Stories

Voodoo, Voudon and Hoodoo: Explaining the Differences

What is Voodoo?

In most religious beliefs, having one’s body, mind and/or spirit be taken over by someone (an energy or other entity) from a different plane is not really something to be desired; however, in Voodoo, it is something that many people actually work hard to achieve.

Followers of voudon also believe in a universal energy and a soul that can leave the body during dreams and spirit possession. In Christian faith and religion, spiritual possession is usually considered to be an act of evil, either Satan or some demonic entity trying to enter an unwilling human vessel. In voudon, however, possession by loa is desired.

In a ceremony guided by a priest or priestess, this possession is considered a valuable, first-hand spiritual experience and connection with the spirit world. Voodoo, also known as Voudon, refers to “a whole assortment of cultural elements: personal creeds and practices, including an elaborate system of folk medical practices; a system of ethics transmitted across generations [including] proverbs, stories, songs and folklore. Voudon is more than a belief.

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Voudon and Bondya

Voudon teaches belief in a supreme being called Bondye, an unknowable and uninvolved creator god. It is an Afro-Caribbean religion that originated in Haiti, though Loa are the spirits of Haitian Voodon and Louisiana Voodoo. They are also referred to as “mystères” and “the invisibles” and are intermediaries between Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning “good God”) — the Supreme Creator, who is distant from the world — and humanity.

Contrary to popular belief, the loa are not deities in and of themselves; they are intermediaries for, and dependent on, a distant Bondye. Unlike saints or angels, however, they are not simply prayed to, they are served. They are each distinct beings with their own personal likes and dislikes, distinct sacred rhythms, songs, dances, ritual symbols and special modes of service. A voodoo doll is a sensational caricature of voudon.

If you are into magic, witchcraft, and/or faith healing, you’ve undoubtedly run across Voodoo and Hoodoo. But are you aware that these two belief systems are completely different from each other even though they may, at times, look like the same thing?

The Hoodoo and the Voodoo

The main difference between Voodoo and Hoodoo is that the former is an actual religion while the latter is not. Voodoo has its own rituals, leaders, teachers, representatives, and services, plus two distinct branches: the Vodou of New Orleans and Louisiana, and the Vodue of Haiti. Hoodoo, on the other hand, is not a religion, has no organizational structure, and is practiced by individuals, sometimes called root doctors or root healers, who claim to have certain magical powers.

Voodoo arose in Haiti, whereas Hoodoo arose in Africa. Both were originally practiced by oppressed people in those places, and both came to America via slaves brought into the country during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.

Per Voodoo belief, Bondye does not directly intercede in the lives of human beings. Consequently, Voodoo priests and priestesses call upon the Loa, spirits who work for Bondye. Different Loa are responsible for various aspects of human life. Generally a Voodoo service will be conducted in Creole, a Haitian French dialect.

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2 Comments

  1. thank you this insight. appreciate this difference culture reads and one was good to know and understand the differences. who knew thanks
    ludroselafrance

    1. Thank you, so very much, for taking the time to read the article and post a comment. I am always looking for topics that are not only interesting to me, but that would appeal and benefit the reader in some way as well. If you have any suggestions, please email me at TamiTime@7thsensepsychics.com or add a comment here.
      Thank you again and blessings.
      Tamara/Tami
      x827

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