Monday, February 3, 2014

"Mexican Santeria/Voodoo"

This is another "tradition" that I need to expose as being bull shit. It's just like New Orleans Voodoo, so much so that it's rather scary.  Just as New Orleans Voodoo is bull shit and is nothing but mutant hoodoo, "Mexican Santeria/Voodoo" is mutant Mexican folk magic that practitioners try to turn into a religion and claim it as being Santeria or Voodoo.

When I say Mexican I mean Mexican. These practitioners are normally Mexican and either live in Mexico or they have immigrated to the U.S. They are just like New Orleans Voodoo in that there are people within this practice who call themselves priests and priestesses, even though they have never been initiated by a genuine priest in either Santeria or Voodoo. Like with New Orleans Voodoo, these people will happily perform, for pay, any of the services that a genuine priest would perform and they hold dances and ceremonies which attempt to mimic the actual services of the two religions.

Legitimate Santeria is well known to be heavy in places such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and in New York City and near Miami, FL. Legitimate Voodoo is found in Africa and Haiti but can be found in Florida as well. Mexico is not really known for being a center of Santeria or Voodoo.

Like with New Orleans Voodoo, it is possible to tell Mexican Santeria/Voodoo from legitimate Santeria and Voodoo by a variety of things. Most "priests" in New Orleans Voodoo and in Mexican Santeria/Voodoo, will dress up almost like drag queens. Their dress is over the top and heavily theatrical and does not match the dress of legitimate priests. There dancing is absurd and is nowhere near the traditional dances of Voodoo or Santeria. The rituals and ceremonies tend to have a "Wicca" like-feel to them with regard to how the deities are addressed. Also, they may mix and match deities. One of the things that gives New Orleans Voodoo away is that they freely work with deities not only from Voodoo, but also from Santeria and even pagan gods. A similar thing will happen with Mexican Santeria/Voodoo, where they will incorporate all kinds of spirits and claim this is part of their tradition.

So, if you see a group of Mexican people who claim to be Santeria or Voodoo then I would be a bit cautious. Check them out to see if you notice any more warning signs that they are of the fake "Mexican Santeria/Voodoo" instead of the legitimate practices.


  1. Doc,

    Let me begin by offering you a bit of praise for your insightful and informative blog posts. I always enjoy what you have to say. Thank you.

    In regards to your warnings and commentary about fraudulent Hoodoo practitioners, I have a few questions that I hope you can answer for me.

    There's much discussion (especially on the internet) about what qualifies a legitimate Hoodoo worker, and sometimes those qualifications conflict or contradict each other; leaving things slightly eschewed (for me, at least).

    For instance, whenever the history of Hoodoo is explained, the common understanding is that the practice was "birthed" from the interactions of the early European and African immigrants/slaves with the Native Americans; each of them sharing, trading, and mixing lore that has over time become what is traditional Hoodoo today. In that same vein, I've seen Hoodoo described as a non-denominational practice or craft in which there is no inherent religion; although a great many of the practitioners subscribe to the Protestant sect of Christianity (which I read on Lucky Mojo). Similar to how some say that Witchcraft is a non-denominational practice/craft, popularized by those of the Wiccan religion, even though the two are not mutually exclusive.

    If this is the case, and Hoodoo is in fact a non-denominational craft, then why does it seem unacceptable to, for instance, dress an orange or yellow candle in a Road Opening oil, roll it in lemongrass herb, and light it before an image of Ganesha while praying for the removal of obstacles?

    Understandably, Ganesha is an Eastern deity, and has no traditional ties to Southern North America, Africa, or early Europe for that matter. But, then again, wasn't that the same case for those early cultural groups that pioneered the Hoodoo practice? Meaning, they mixed and matched what occult lore was available to them at the time to create a cohesive magical practice for themselves. And as the knowledge of the people grows, should their practice not grow with them?

    For some, this is a touchy subject, and I understand the sentiment. There is a traditional Hoodoo standard that has been established, and should be honored as well as respected. However, is that standard serving as a well-rooted foundation from which the practice can (respectfully) grow and expand? Or is it serving as a stifling hindrance?

    I think that sort of questions will always be present with any sort of tradition, because as enriching and reliable as a tradition can be, it also has it's drawbacks from the proverbial reins being pulled too tight.

    Then, there's the conflict of practicing styles. One worker will insist on knocking a finished vigil candle thrice upon the working table to seal the fix, while shunning the worker that chooses to breathe onto the candle as a scam artist. Then, there are those practitioners that say that there are many different styles in which to work. I've seen this particular argument get pretty intense sometimes, and it baffles me. Again, I get that there is an established standard to the practice. But, we are talking about magic here, which is a highly intuitive practice. It makes sense to me that there would have to be some sort of "breathing room" for intuitive creativity in order to have an intimate experience with the magic, because that "feeling" is what makes it all work, and produce results. But, there are a lot of Hoodoo workers out there painting a much more dogmatic approach, which I think kinda kills that "feeling". So, which is it?

    These are just some of the thoughts I've been rolling around in my head. I have presented them to others, and have received some very insightful feedback. However, things still don't seem completely clear.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I apologize in advance if I have in any way caused any offenses. My only intent here is learn more and grow larger.

    God Bless

    1. A real conjure worker/root worker doesn't work with Hindu gods nor do they work with any pagan gods. They don't call themselves witches. They are primarily Protestants, mostly Baptists but there are a minority of Catholics and other denominations. A lot of this bull shit has entered into hoodoo from the online crowd, the people who have never been taught a thing from real workers and who only take online classes or learn from online teachers, some of which claim to be "old school" but which truly aren't. A lot of pagans and witches are being drawn to hoodoo/conjure because they don't have a craft of their own and they want to steal from it. So there's a huge field of fakes and wannabes catering to the pagans and witches and giving them what they want. However, the real thing is not being taught online. If you know what hoodoo is you can spot a fake a mile away. Nobody fights over how to fix a 7 day candle. They only came out in the 1970s so there is not one way to fix them.