The history of mankind is littered with many belief systems, some of which still exist today, and unusual rituals that have emerged in this direction. However, some of these ancient beliefs are recognized, for various reasons, very different from their original form, “misunderstood.” Here is one ancient misunderstood belief in history, the voodoo belief that emerged in Africa. With the “biased contribution” of many works of popular culture in modern times and especially some Hollywood films, the West African belief in voodoo is associated with many negative concepts such as evil and black magic today. However, the reality is very different from what it seems. The process that causes witchcraft belief to be associated with negative concepts is very interesting. Here’s what you need to know about voodoo, an ancient African belief wrongly associated with evil and black magic.
Voodoo is a belief system that originated in West Africa and has spread to different parts of the world over the years.
However, the voodoo religion, widely known today, is a belief that originated among Africans who were enslaved by different European civilizations and brought to today’s Haiti as part of their slavery activities. So, although the origins of the belief go back to earlier times, today the voodoo faith flourished in Haiti in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The missionary activities of Christian clergy in the 16th century caused various Christian accounts to spread to the Voodoo doctrine.
The missionaries’ efforts to “Christianize” Voodoo had an important place in the “enslavement” activities of European civilization. For example, the characteristics and even the names of some saints and important people in Christianity are identified with some of the sacred objects in the Voodoo doctrine.
So much so that today some experts argue that the voodoo faith should be accepted among sects of Christianity. Although this ancient African religion contains many important elements of Christianity, the elements that were there in their original form have also been preserved.
According to some experts, the voodoo belief that emerged in Haiti was an act of rebellion by enslaved Africans.
The Africans, who were brought to Haiti to work the sugarcane fields and struggle to survive under difficult conditions, faced inhumane treatment. The voodoo belief was a response to this inhumane treatment…
Sacred beings called loa have a special place in the voodoo faith.
Because in the voodoo religion, all spheres of life and all elements of life are associated with Loas. These sacred spirits are considered the regulators of many different elements, from birth to death, and from life to the universe.
Loas are depicted in many different ways, as they are associated with different elements. These sacred spirits, who are believed to play a dominant role in all spheres of life, are sometimes depicted as a serpent and sometimes as a human.
The voodoo religion has no spiritual leader, center, or written source!
This gives the ancient African religion some very interesting features. For example, it is not possible to know how many Loas are included in the Voodoo doctrine. For this reason, every person or community who believes in the voodoo religion establishes a close relationship with the sacred loa, which is associated with a more important issue in their daily lives.
For example, the Loa, which is believed to be responsible for the process in this region in communities that live by hunting, has a much greater importance compared to other sacred beings. Rituals in the voodoo doctrine are also taking shape in this direction. For example, among the offerings to sacred spirits associated with the sea and fishing, items used for fishing predominate. Holy spirits, who are believed to be responsible for the seas and other elements related to the sea, are also believed to love colors associated with the sea such as blue and white. For this reason, these colors are mainly used in religious ceremonies dedicated to related spirits.
Dancing, animal sacrifice to sacred spirits, and many other elements are among the important rituals in the belief system.
Many of the rituals developed within this ancient belief system are of great importance to the Voodoo faith. On the other hand, these rituals are also at the heart of Western efforts to show that the voodoo religion is different from what it is.
Voodoo rituals are used in some black propaganda campaigns coming from the West.
Dancing is one of them! This ancient ritual caused the belief to be associated with “evil”. Because this dance ritual involves a kind of trance state. This leads to unrealistic claims that voodoo believers have “their souls possessed by the devil”.
Another voodoo ritual, which resembles a kind of play and in which some ancient narrative is set in motion, is one element that causes the belief to be associated with “evil” by Western sources.
Evil, cruelty, possession, and black magic are the most common accusations that the voodoo faith faces. However, in fact, the purpose of these “interesting” rituals in the Voodoo doctrine is to “find healing” and contribute to the working order of the universe. For example, the purpose of sacrificing animals for the Loas is to activate the sacred spirits responsible for maintaining order in the universe!
The voodoo belief is now associated with evil and black magic.
In the emergence of this situation, there is a colonial understanding aimed at devaluing and, if possible, abolishing the religion of “African slaves”. This historical black propaganda has continued into modern times through popular cultural products, especially Hollywood films. For example, nowadays it is possible to see many films that focus on “voodoo dolls” used in black magic.
Whereas voodoo dolls are an object used for witchcraft and magical activities of African origin called “Hoodoo”. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, practices such as black magic, human sacrifice, and the glorification of evil are not included in the voodoo religion.
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