What is Voodoo?
Voodoo is one of the world's oldest forms of religion which has been associated with witchcraft and has been around in Africa since the beginning of human civilisation. Those who practice voodoo believe that nothing and no event happens on its own but that all things are connected, following this theory what you do to another, you do to yourself.
Rituals involved in voodoo ceremonies include prayers, singing, dancing and the sacrifice of animals, those following the beliefs of voodoo believe that god manifests through the spirits of dead ancestors and so must be honoured in these rituals.
Music and dance play a key role in the rituals and this has often been portrayed as the lead up to sexual frenzy and orgies, this however isn't true. Voodoo dancing is an expression of spirituality, a way of connecting with divinity and the spiritual world.
The ancestors of those who follow the voodoo religion are thought to be part of the world of spirits and these spirits can be called on to help and give protection and guidance. The voodoo priest or priestess can also use herbal remedies or medicines which have been passed down through families to help those who are sick, with faith healing playing a big part also in the religion. Voodoo has always wrongly been categorised as an evil form of witchcraft with the rites and rituals being performed for evil doings however this is untrue.
The misconceptions of voodoo
Despite voodoo being one of the oldest of all religions it has been characterised as being barbaric and primitive based on superstition and fear, the Europeans seem to fear anything that comes out of Africa and especially anything they don't fully understand.
Voodoo has however adopted several elements from Christianity but despite this when the French colonised Haiti they saw the voodoo religion as a threat and prohibited the practice of the religion severely punishing those who took part in rituals. The struggle to banish the religion of voodoo lasted over three centuries but despite every effort it couldn't be stopped and voodoo is still practiced today in a number of countries.
The power of voodoo
Due to the strength the Africans gained from their religion, voodoo survived the persecutions of the French and it is thought that the voodoo priests used their religion to determine how to fight the political battle in order to win it. In 1804, the Haitians finally won the battle and independence and today the practice of voodoo reflects its history.
What is Voodoo?
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