Voodoo is known by many different names and spellings. Voodoo, Voodoo, Voodoo, Voodoo, and Sieve Law was based around the god Voodoo by people of West Africa Your during the 18th and 19th Centuries. (Robinson. 2010. ) These alternate spellings for Voodoo are gradually gaining popularity because of negative associations to the word Voodoo. While the exact Orleans of Voodoo remain a mystery, It Is believed to have began some 6,000 years ago In Africa. Slaves who were brought to Halt and various other islands In the Caribbean from Your now present day Togo, Benign, and Nigeria brought their religion of Voodoo with them.

Anthropologist Brian Handwork of National Geographic states a “spirit religion, like Voodoo likely evolved from ancient traditions of ancestor worship and animism. ” (Handwork 2002. ) The once banned religion of Voodoo is now the dominant religion in Benign. Approximately 4 million followers of Voodoo reside in Benign alone, making it the dominant religion of Benign. (Handwork 2002. ) Within the world of Voodoo, two forms of the religion can be found. They are in no way tied to one another.

One Is a legitimate religion which Is practiced in various parts of the oral such as: Benign, The Dominican Republic, Ghana, Togo, Haiti, and even within the united States, especially In Louisiana. (Robinson 2010. ) Another form Voodoo Is that of one Hollywood has created. It consists of evil rituals, strange ceremonies, and does not exist in reality. Hollywood like many others, have possibly confused Voodoo with the religion of Above, also known as Hoodoo; this is a common mistake made by many who are not educated on the differences between the two religions. Voodoo was fervently suppressed during the colonization of Haiti.

Today over 60 million people are practitioners of Voodoo worldwide. (Robinson 2010. ) Throughout South Africa religions resembling Voodoo known as Embank, Quicksand, and Condonable can be found. Condonable is also practiced in Trinidad as well. Above, a religion separate from Voodoo, yet similar to Voodoo is also known as Hoodoo. It is most likely why Voodoo has been marked with a negative connotation. Hoodoo is a form of conjuring, artwork, and witchcraft all In one. Hoodoo Is very closely tied to traditional folk medicine, and also Implements the use of superstitions and magic to protect and Improve the lives of Its believers.

Stephens. P. 5) In some countries, Above refers to religions such as Sanitaria and Voodoo; however it is also used to refer to the more generalize artwork Ana conjuring. I en voodoo community Is Touches on ten Lola and the community; Above is used on an individual basis for the purposes of healing, luck, protection, love, and even revenge. Above involves charms, talismans and spells. Power for these items comes from the Lola. Voodoo is mainly a religion based on positivist, while Hoodoo is generally more geared towards sorcery.

People often confuse these two similar yet very different religions; there is so much infusion between these two religions that a “Voodoo Doll” is actually a Hoodoo tool. (Stephens. 2010. P. 5) During the colonization of the Caribbean Islands the Roman Catholic Church began to baptize slaves in to Catholicism. At the time Christianity did not have a very strong foundation or presence in the Caribbean Islands. Many of the slaves during the 19th century continued to practice Voodoo while disguising it with parts of Catholicism. Ultimately this led to the practicing of Voodoo in secret, and even while attending Mass as well.

Many religions experience changes and adaptations over long periods of time. A wide variety of causes can be behind these changes. Martin Luther was responsible for what many would consider drastic changes to church. Voodoo is not the exception by any means; it is most likely more susceptible to change than any other religion. Voodoo contains no written documents. All Voodoo rituals and beliefs have been passed on for generations over a great period of time. The fact that Voodoo has been passed on verbally for generations makes it especially easy for parts of the religion to change. There is no discrimination in Voodoo.

Voodoo is a very democratic religion. Anyone who seeks to be a member or follower can do so. Race, sexual orientation, even a persons religion makes no difference. Anyone can become a hounding or mambo meaning a priest or priestess. (Stephens. P. 4) Voodoo is not a religion for someone who is an introvert, or a loner. There are usually many people involved in most Voodoo ceremonies or rituals; with the exception of several private ceremonies. There are often music and motion directors, singers, drummers, and sacrificial cooks. One of the most startling things one can eyewitness in a Voodoo ceremony is that of sacrifice.

Chickens, sheep, goats, turtles and doves can be sacrificed to feed the Lola or even to communicate with them. Blood from the sacrifice is poured on to the dancers and drunk by those who are possessed by the Lola. This type of ceremony brings a form of new life to the Lola. The sacrifice is then cooked and eaten by the Voodooist. (Stephens. P. 17) Animals used in sacrifices are not always sacrificed for consumption. Sometimes in Haiti, goats are hung from trees. Reptiles, amphibians and even black cats, or sometimes only parts of them are used to make charms and potions in Above. (Stephens. P. 7) Many of the animals that are to be sacrificed are handled and or prepared with extreme care. This is done to ensure the Lola are pleased with them. They are often washed, perfumed and prepared like they were to be in a show or competition before they are to be sacrificed. (Stephens. P. 17) Voodoo is a religion containing many beliefs, rituals and practices along with many other religions like Christianity, Islam. The beliefs of Voodoo are different even within a single city like New Orleans Louisiana. Some Voodoo temples might incorporate some Christian beliefs, while others might incorporate some Muslim beliefs.

Voodooist believe that everything in the world is Voodoo. Everything they receive in life, everything that happens to them is also believed to be Voodoo. Voodoo is thought to control pleasure, plan, weather, politics, Ana anything Tanat napes to someone whether it is good or bad on any given day. Voodoo is believed by Voodooist to be everywhere, even in other religions. Since Voodooist believe that Voodoo goes so far as to be in other religions, Voodooist do not have a problem belonging to other churches; many Voodooist do belong to other churches as well. Hoodoo is very much about the element of power.

Hedonists will take advantage of anything that will help them to receive that power, including quotes from holy books to images of the devil. Voodooist do not concern themselves very much with things like morality, but they are against greed and dishonesty. The primary focus for Voodooist is protecting themselves from the Lola and keeping the Lola happy. Many Voodooist believe in a single almighty God, however they believe he is to busy to trouble himself with everyday events and worldly affairs. They call him Bonded. Bonded is believed to have no emotions, or no personality. Stephens. P. 4) While they believe he is everywhere, they also believe he is distant, so he has divided his powers to other gods and the Lola. Voodoo is divided in to several different sects, each of these roofs choose to follow a different pantheon of spirits known as Lola. In the Your language this literally means mystery. (Robinson 2010. ) Lola are comparable to that of saints in Christianity. Saints are known for leading exceptional lives or accomplishing something exceptional during their lives, and are always thought of to have been great people. (Stephens. P. -6) Lola on the other hand are thought of as normal people, they can be good or bad, and they have likes and dislikes. Voodooist even believe they have favorite colors, brands of cigarettes, and foods. Some of the Lola like rum while other Lola like schnapps. The Lola are rather easy to please and somewhat predictable, but are extremely dangerous if they become offended. If the Lola are not properly honored or honored often enough their powers begin to diminish, this angers them tremendously. (Stephens. P. 5-6) More traditional beliefs in Voodoo include a “senior God” known as Loran.

Loran is believed to be unknowable. It is also believed that Loran gave a lesser god Bobtail the right to create all forms of life and the earth. Lola are everywhere, there are thousands of Lola; there may be fifteen in the very room where you are sitting. (Stephens. . 6) Lola can be in anything, but the do not become the object themselves. Voodoo spirits are believed to be everywhere. They are in trees, rocks, fire, water, and air. (Stephens. P. 6) Voodoo followers also believe there are hundreds of minor spirits. (Robinson 2010. Some of these spirits are known as Radar, they originated from Adenoma were the Your people lived. Other spirits were added later, they are known as Peter. Peter spirits are believed to be leaders in the new world who have passed. Some of these spirits are: Gage: spirit of the sea, Aid Wed: rainbow spirit, Gaza: protector, Bake: an evil spirit who takes the form of an animal, Baron Seamed: guardian of the grave, Tambala (or Tambala-wed): serpent spirit, and Celli (or Require): female spirit of love. (Robinson 2010. Voodoo, like many religions shares similarities with other religions. Due to the fact that slaves were forced to become followers of Catholicism, there are many similarities between the two religions. Both religions share the belief in a higher power or a Supreme Being. Or Catholics this would be The Holy Trinity, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Voodoo this Supreme Being is the Unknowable God Loran and the Lesser God Bobtail. Catholicism’s salts are Della to De real people won alive at an earlier time. I Nils Is very scalar to that of the Lola.

Each of these saints or Lola are usually given a single quality and are believed to have led or accomplished something exceptional in their lives. Both religions also have a belief in an after life, share in the tradition of sacrifice, and have a strong belief in the spirit world both good and evil. There are differences as well between Voodoo and Catholicism. One of these differences is the belief in salvation. Catholics along with other forms of Christianity believe they will be saved through the originates of their sins by God. In Voodoo, there is no relationship to forgiveness and salvation.

Voodoo is focused more on the calling of the gods to help guide one through the paths of life. (Davis 2006. ) Christianity and many other forms of religion are based around texts believed to have been created by a Supreme Being, Saints, or Prophets. Voodoo contains no such texts; rather it has been passed on orally through generation after generation. (Davis 2006. ) Ideally this paper will help to differentiate Voodoo from several religions that are intimately related, yet very efferent from one another. Voodoo is a religion like many others.

Voodoo has fallen victim to persecution and tagged with a negative connotation due to misconceptions and poor education about various religions found throughout the world. It is a religion that is divided like many other religions. Voodoo is a remarkably resilient religion. It has been in practice for around 6,000 years with not a single written text for it to claim, or to hold its traditions. Voodoo is a religion for people, people who have a faith so strong in their religion that it can pass from generation to generation or thousands of years orally.

Is it possible that Christianity or Islam could have done this? Voodoo is not a religion of black magic, Voodooist are not Satan worshipers. Some Voodooist may be members in the very church we belong to, whether it is Christian, Islam, or Judaism. Much of what many people think they know of Voodoo is simply untrue. Voodoo is a religion plagued with preconceived notions of death, and evil rituals. One should not be surprised by this; they are based on erroneous ideas that have been fostered by the media for over two centuries.