If you read my blogs then you know that I don't shy away from the topics that the online crowd do. That's just part of my personality. I'm not scared to talk about certain subjects and I'm not scared of potentially putting of people or offending them. I'm not going to not talk about something for fear that someone may get offended. The reason being is that I do my best not to overstep my boundaries. As long as I'm within boundaries then if someone gets offended that's their problem. Because hoodoo/rootwork/conjure isn't an "anything goes" tradition.
Voodoo. We've all heard it. Everyone knows that people call this stuff "Voodoo". Today there are many black people who also think that hoodoo is Voodoo or that it is Voodoo stripped of it's religion, as in "just the magic". Of course this belief is incorrect. I'm currently in a little debate with a woman who claims that this is Voodoo AND Witchcraft. She is of course incorrect. The notion that this practice is Voodoo stems from the white "experts", primarily folklorists and anthropologists of the 1800s who were operating under the false and somewhat racist assumption that any type of spiritual practice associated with blacks was "Voodoo". This has snowballed throughout the years and has become perhaps the most popular term that outsiders label the practice as. We know this because when people think about Voodoo they automatically think of putting pins in dolls and burning candles and not actually venerating the Lwa, dancing around the Poto Mitan, or drawing a Veve. They automatically jump to folk magic. Calling this tradition "Voodoo" doesn't really bother me because it's such a old damn error. However, people really need to be educated on this topic as hoodoo/rootwork/conjure is not Voodoo and never will be. Voodoo is a religion. Hoodoo is a practice, a spiritual tradition. We don't work with the Lwa. If or when we work with the saints, we work with the saints. The saints are who they are and are not simply masks for African gods or spirits. Voodoo is a religion. Hoodoo is a practice. One more thing to help clear this up. Voodoo is the name of a religion. In the Voodoo religion the priesthood does not put curses on people, yet people think they do. Instead, people go to a bokor, a sorceror, a witch. They will do curses and even nasty stuff to people. People use the term "Voodoo" in this case but that term is used incorrectly. It's like saying someone put Christianity on Judaism on someone. Instead, they put sorcery or witchcraft on them, not actually "Voodoo", the religion. Louisiana Voodoo is such a complete mess I won't even touch on it here at all.
Witchcraft. We've all heard this one too. Hoodoo is witchcraft, right? Nope! People want to turn it into witchcraft. That has been happening since at least Hyatt. Hyatt mixed hoodoo up with witchcraft or presented it as if it was the same thing. It's not. There are witches and there is witchcraft, but Hoodoo is not witchcraft and never will be. Now, certain fundie religious people will try to say that Hoodoo is witchcraft. It's not. They do this because they view it as a threat to the power of the institutionalized Church. Hoodoo used to be IN THE CHURCH but slowly fell out when people tried to mix it up with witchcraft. In some places it's still in the church today. Even black people have turned their backs on their roots and have demonized the practice. Just like there are many black people today who think that the practice is Voodoo. Older generations weren't confused on this matter. They knew it wasn't voodoo. They know it wasn't witchcraft. They knew that witches and witchcraft were a real threat but they didn't claim to be witches or to be practicing witchcraft. No true conjure worker, root worker, whatever, will claim to be a witch. It just doesn't happen in real life. Online you will find all kinds of nonsense. And people really need to purge their minds of the twisted and adulterated concept of witches that certain white people created starting in the 1950s. I think that is what is confusing people. People don't know what a witch is anymore. They think that witches are good and that anybody who does any type of folk magic is a witch. Not true! I'm not going to harp on about this as I've written plenty on this subject. The easiest way for people to understand the difference is by using the "Witches vs. Witch Doctors" analogy. Witches are evil. Witch Doctors fight the witches. It's just that simple. A conjure worker plays the role of the witch doctor in removing witchcraft and spiritually fighting witches. People will call them "white witches" but in fact this is an incorrect term as there is really no such thing and true workers don't use the label of witch to describe themselves. Not in real life. Online folk are sure to disagree with me because they are in the process of hijacking Hoodoo and turning it into witchcraft. I will end on this. Real witches don't claim to be witches either. A real evil doer will pretend to be a doer of good. A real witch won't admit they are a witch. Instead, they will claim to be a conjure worker, a Santera or Santero, A Mambo or Hougan, or even a godly Christian. Real witches hide themselves and only the ones who are truly nuts get busted by the police.
So in conclusion, hoodoo/rootwork/conjure is not Voodoo nor is it Witchcraft. However, you will continue to hear it being called by these terms and there is nothing I nor anyone else can do about it. The real workers know what it is. The outsiders and the fako's don't.