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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hoodoo, Voodoo, Conjure, Witchcraft. What is it?!

I can get bogged down in terms.  Sometimes if can't name something I can't seem to move forward.  Perhaps you've experienced the same issue.

I shun from using the word "Hoodoo" from the simple fact people confuse the word "Hoodoo" with "Voodoo" and I get tired of explaining the difference.  Short and simple - "Voodoo/Voudoun" is a religion with its own set of deities and ancient, time-honored practices.  It is a religion of the African Diaspora.  I respect the tradition and practices of Voudoun, and while there may be cross-over of certain techniques, I am a Pagan Priestess of the Goddess and it is not my practice to work within the African Traditional Religions.

Hoodoo/Conjure - think New Orleans.  Think of the South and slaves, American Indians and European immigrants.  Think of the Applachian Mountains.  Think of the Mountain people, gathering herbs and roots and pieces of leather.  Think of candles lighting in the dark and walks to the graveyard.  Think of washing yourself  down to rid yourself of something negative, or washing yourself up to bring in something positive.  Short and sweet you done got yourself some Conjure.  I love the word "Conjure".  It brings to mind images of stirring a pot, speaking a mysterious incantation and something wonderful arising from the cauldron.  Sounds similar to "Witchcraft" doesn't it?

Not all Witches perform spellwork.  Witches are just as varied as any other group of people, and the performing of spells is not required to call oneself a Witch.  However for me, spellwork is one of the things I love to do and what keeps my Craft strong.  Get it? Is it beginning to make sense why the word "craft" is included in the term "Witchcraft"?  To keep your craft strong you must practice it, just like any other art.  Part of keeping my Craft strong includes honoring the Full Moons, because I practice my WitchCraft as a Goddess religion.  That is my choice and it works for me. 
There are many similarites between Hoodoo/Conjure and the Craft.  The use of candles, the crafting of talismans or mojos.  The use of herbs and roots.  However traditional Hoodoo workers are usually of a Christian background and the Bible is used heavily in their work.  Normally you would find a Hoodoo worker within the community of a Christian church. 
A Witch would normally be found in the peasant community, gathering herbs, helping to heal the sick, bless homes, the farm, the cattle, and also helping with childbirth. Sounds like a Priest or Priestess, doesn't it.  I don't shy away from the word "Witch". I love it.  I reclaim it.  It has been misused and abused and it's about time it was returned to it's rightful position in our society.  I really dislike it when women are referred to as "Witches" in a derogatory manner.  Call them what you mean, say "Bitch" not "Witch"!

In this age of the internet, there are a plethora of sites one can go to find deeper meanings and explanations of the above.  I'm not going to list them here, for that is part of the journey of the Mystery.  If you wish to know more, have fun on the journey.

As always I wish you Bright Blessings on your Journey!

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