The word Voodoo tends to evoke images of poppets being stuck with pins to hurt others, but is that really all that Voodoo spells are? Voodoo has gotten a bad reputation mainly because people don’t understand the history.
Voodoo itself is a religion that has evolved over many years, and Voodoo spells really aren’t all that different from many other witchcraft practices. Let’s explore the rich history of Voodoo, how it became what it is today, and what the similarities are to other forms of magic practice.
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A brief history of Voodoo
Voodoo originated in West and Central Africa from an indigenous religious practice called Vudun. It is traditionally a tribal, shamanic practice that incorporates a belief in spirits, magic ritual practices, and possession by spirits.
During the slave trade, these beliefs were brought across the ocean and into the Caribbean, Louisiana in the United States, and parts of South America. It is an interesting example of a kind of cultural and religious synthesis.
Slaves who were brought abroad were also indoctrinated with Western Christianity. Rather than abandoning their traditional practices, the two religions were merged. It is a fascinating example of a melding of cultures, beliefs, and traditions.
Branches of Voodoo
Most people don’t realize that there are different branches of Voodoo. Haitian Voodoo is quite different than Voodoo practiced in Cuba or in Louisiana. However, they all share some similarities. Stemming from the Vudun tradition of Africa, there is a belief in the ultimate highest deity. This Supreme deity is responsible for creating everything in our world from the plants and the trees, to the humans and animals that inhabit it.
According to Voodoo tradition, the supreme God left the management of Earthly things to lower level spirits. These are the ones that are typically worshipped and called upon in magical practice. The religion of Voodoo also holds ancestors sacred. There is a belief that ancestors remain with us after death, although they are invisible. This division between the visible and the invisible world is an important aspect of the Voodoo religion.
Some branches of Voodoo incorporate a sun god and moon goddess, which represent the masculine and feminine aspect. This is actually quite similar to some beliefs in the Wiccan religion. Voodoo also incorporates witchcraft practices into its religion. Whereas Voodoo is a religion, witchcraft is not. Witchcraft is simply a practice that involves harnessing energies to create a desired effect. This is where Voodoo and witchcraft share some common ground.
General witchcraft practices
The practice of Witchcraft spans many traditions and rituals that have been handed down for generations. There is white magic which seeks to only cast spells for the betterment of humanity as a whole. Selfishly motivated spell-casting is frowned upon.
Then there are more traditional or folkloric witchcraft practices. Practices such as gypsy magic or traditional Pagan witchcraft practices do not necessarily forbid the use of magic for selfish purposes. Whereas the white magic tradition places great emphasis on the Law of Threefold Return, which teaches that any energy you put out into the universe shall be returned to you threefold, sending out any negative energy is discouraged.
Many traditional witchcraft practices do not worry about this so much, or at least the practicing witch has decided he or she is willing to accept the consequences of her actions. If the Law of Threefold Return is believed, then the action is so necessary that the consequences are worth it. However, some traditional witchcraft practices are dismissive of the dangers of energies returning to you at all. Most practicing witches believe that there are consequences to one’s actions, and as long as they carefully foreseen and deliberated, any action is warranted. The witch or wizard must simply accept responsibility for the consequences.
Then, of course, there is the black magic school of thought which believes that magic should be used for selfish purposes. The world is seen as an unfair and difficult place, and black magic seeks to restore Justice when the laws of karma or energetic return have not done their job successfully. In this instance, it is perfectly acceptable to use magic for revenge, binding, or banishment of any kind. Black magic practitioners also believe that using magic for personal gains, such as prosperity or love, is also perfectly acceptable.
Voodoo and witchcraft
As you can see Voodoo as a religion has its unique set of beliefs, but the magical practices that are incorporated into the practice and used by Voodoo believers, share many similarities with other witchcraft practices. This is probably because people as a whole share similar challenges and desires no matter where they’re from and what they believe.
Do you have someone in your life that is causing you harm or just generally making you miserable? A banishing spell could ensure that this person leaves you alone. A binding spell would prevent them from bothering you anymore. Binding spells bind an action or a behavior, they don’t literally tie someone up. So, what if somebody is gossiping about you, for example, and it’s causing you harm? You could cast a binding spell on their tongue so that they never speak ill of you again.
Maybe you are you struggling with weight gain and have tried everything but just can’t seem to get on top of it. A binding spell cast upon yourself can prevent you from engaging in harmful behavior toward yourself. So, if overeating is your problem you could cast a binding spell to prevent yourself from doing it. Or let’s say you want to lose weight by doing more exercise but you’re having a really hard time finding the motivation. All witchcraft practices could find a way to cast a spell to give you the energy that you need to achieve your goals.
Another example is if you’re having a really hard time getting out of a toxic relationship. A witchcraft spell of protection can surround you like a shield so that when you leave the relationship, nothing bad will happen to you. These kinds of spells can be achieved through Voodoo practices, Wiccan practices, white magic practices, or black magic practices. The concept is the same, though the rituals and practices vary.
Let’s outline a few of the voodoo basics. Although these practices vary greatly from place to place, there are definitely common themes. The practices of Haitian Voodoo are going to be quite different than some of the practices in Louisiana or the Dominican Republic. However, we will look at a couple of common practices and just keep in mind that there are definitely variations out there.
Crossing and uncrossing
One way to look at crossing and uncrossing is that they are kind of similar to white and black magic. Crossing refers to any kind of magical practice that causes someone harm, basically like a curse or hex. On the other hand, uncrossing refers to the magical practice that reverses those negative spells. When you find a Voodoo uncrossing potion or remedy, its purpose is to reverse negative energies that were placed upon you or someone for whatever reason.
Foot track magic is a cornerstone of the Hoodoo tradition. It involves making magical powders and sprinkling them onto the ground where the target is supposed to be walking. The belief is that once they step on this, the potion will poison them. Symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, backaches, and water retention in the legs, are all common complaints of people suffering from foot track magic crossings.
Another common method of spell-casting used in Voodoo and Hoodoo is laying tricks. It is similar to the foot trick magic but broader. Potions, herbal mixtures, or other items that are spiritually charged will be strategically placed where the intended target will come into contact with them. Some items might be buried in order to lay the trick and secure it, others may be strategically hidden in the house to exert the most influence on the intended target. There is also the ancient Conganese practice of placing bottles in trees. These bottles act as talisman, as they contain the wishes of the person who places them there.
Ritual baths are also a common Voodoo and Hoodoo practice. They are used to cleanse the body of negativity or bring about other changes the practitioner wishes to manifest. By using special combinations of oils and herbs in the bath, certain desired effects can be brought about. Voodoo practitioners remove negative energies by washing in a downward stroking fashion, whereas bringing about good fortune requires an upward stroke. Sometimes the leftover water is used in other spells such as floor washes.
Candles are used for divination, prayer, or magical purposes in most religions. It is also an important component of Voodoo and Hoodoo. Candles are used as a way of focusing the energy in witchcraft, and invoking the element of Fire. They are also used as a way of showing devotion to gods or goddesses. This even applies to Christianity.
In Voodoo, candles are designed for a specific purpose according to the belief of “like attracts like.” Certain colors of candles will attract specific types of energies or serve a specific purpose. In Voodoo and Hoodoo, candles are also shaped to represent the energy that is desired. A white candle may be used to attract clarity and spiritual guidance, whereas a red candle would be used to attract love and passion. Sometimes candles are formed in the shape of a person or other object.
Many of the Voodoo supplies required for spell-casting are also very similar to the materials used by other witchcraft practices. Some of the required supplies include baskets for harvesting things, jars for collecting and holding potions or other herbal mixtures, a dropper for dispensing essential oils or other potions, a cauldron, and a chiminea, which is like a miniature fireplace that works very well for burning loose incense. This is very similar to a copalera or the Pagan cauldron.
Voodoo spells also incorporate the use of incenses and herbs. Frankincense and myrrh, for example, are used quite frequently. This is similar to traditional witchcraft, which often incorporates the use of frankincense for cleansing. Rosemary is used for protection and warding off evil, whereas thyme is used for peace of mind and protecting money. There is a great deal of crossover regarding the medicinal and spiritual benefits of herbs.
Voodoo spells also incorporate the use of crystals and minerals. Amethyst is used for health and spiritual protection, and quartz crystal is used for blessing, protection, healing, and health. The use of crystals and minerals in witchcraft practice from Wicca to white magic, to black magic and Pagan or traditional practice, is widespread. Voodoo is no different. By harnessing the energies of these stones, the spells that are cast are given extra potency.
Voodoo magical oils
For a comprehensive guide to making magical oils, potions, and other Voodoo spells check out “The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook” by Denise Alvarado. It is a fantastic and sprawling collection of Voodoo and Hoodoo history, spell making magic, and basically, anything else that you need to know about Voodoo and Hoodoo tradition. Here are a few spells from her collection.
This magical oil is for blessing yourself and any items on your altar or other ritual objects.
- 4 drops frankincense
- 2 drops Myrrh
- 1 drop cedar
Blend with 2 ounces of olive oil.
This is the recipe for anointing oil, which can be used for blessings and consecrations.
- Frankincense 35 Drops
- Myrrh 35 Drops
Blend with one ounce of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This Hoodoo attraction oil recipe is from “Charms, Spells, and Formulas” by Ray Malbrough © 1999 Ray
Malbrough. This oil will attract love and money. Mix equal parts of:
- Grated Lemon Peel or Lemon Flowers
- Lovage Herb
Add a small piece of lodestone to each bottle, and add 2 tablespoons of this
mix to 2 oz. of grape seed oil.
Voodoo is rich with tradition!
I hope you feel a little bit differently about Voodoo now that you’ve read this article. It’s really nothing to be afraid of, in fact, it has a wonderfully rich cultural tradition. Interested in trying out some spells? Check out our article on Voodoo love spells. And if you’re not interested in doing that much work and research and you’d rather have somebody cast the spell for you, go to Kasamba. At Kasamba, professional spell casters are very experienced in all aspects of Voodoo practices and rituals. You can get your first 3 minutes for free and 15% off of your first session for new customers. Let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Pros of voodoo spells
- Is not evil or bad
- Many similarities to traditional witchcraft
- Can be done your own way
- Create very specific spells with household items
Cons of voodoo spells
- Can be confusing because of the many different branches of Voodoo
- Most information passed down through word-of-mouth so hard to learn