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VOODOO

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VOODOO

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 pm

• voodoo •

Pronunciation: vu-du • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: 1. A religion practiced chiefly in Haiti and Louisiana, brought over by slaves from Dahomey, now called Benin. It is focused on the snake deity, Zombi, other deities, and dead ancestors. These are contacted via trances that are often brought on by drugs, passionate dancing, or a combination of both. 2. Magic spells and charms that adherents of voodoo believe convey magic powers over the living, the dead, and the undead (entranced zombies). 3. Wildly deceptive or delusive fakery.

Notes: Voodoo is generally perceived in the West as an exotic form of sorcery and magic, but it remains a religion in Haiti and a few other Caribbean countries. The practice or belief in voodoo is voodooism, which opens the door for voodooist, a believer in voodoo or practitioner thereof.

In Play: Today voodoo is associated with spells and witchcraft: "I think my wife put some sort of voodoo spell on me so that every time I start to speak with a beautiful woman, I begin to stutter." Metaphorically, it is the trademark of utter unreliability: "Al Garithem tried to prove his point with some voodoo statistics that he picked up on the Web, but everyone in the audience could see right through them."

Word History: Today's rather scary word came from Louisiana French voudou imported from Haitian Creole vodoun. The original word was vodun from the Fon language. Fon was spoken in former Dahomey and was brought to Haiti along with the religion by West African slaves. Later the religion spread to southern Louisiana, where the word for it became voodoo with its current meaning. (Today we thank N. J. Olson for suggesting this charming, enchanting, positively spellbinding Good Word.)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed May 23, 2012 11:58 pm

I have been in voodoo shops in New Orleans that have all sorts of bottles with weird stuff in them to attract a lover or take revenge on an enemy. Some of those who study this say that the black community as a whole adopted the Haitian practices and mingled (conmingled) them with elements of the Catholic church, especially saints and Mary. The legendary high priestess Marie Laveax supposedly did midnite rituals in the nearby forest, complete with drums and snakes. She performed ar least partially naked and sold stuff at the end of her show. Her house still stands where you can see it and buy the above mentioned potions. Rumor has it that several versions of voodoo are still being practiced in the NOLA area. Marie's grave can also be seen in a downtown cemetary.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu May 24, 2012 12:55 am

Voodoo doesn't have a corner on the weird market. In West Virginia there are "churches" in which the pastor empties a big bag of rattlesnakes onto the congregation. They handle the snakes and most are not bitten. If you get bitten you die and that proves you didn't have sufficient faith. If one knows how to handle rattlesnakes they can be picked up without danger. I have seen it done at a sideshow. I haven't seen it done at a "church". There is a Voodoo baptism in which the candidate gets in a box that has holes drilled in the top. A rooster is decapitated and his blood runs through the holes and on to the candidate. A religion popular among the Roman Empire Army, baptized similarly but used a bull as the blood source. Perry, what is the name of this religion? I have forgotten.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu May 24, 2012 11:44 am

http://www.h2g2.com/approved_entry/A8976324

The link says half the Roman army were into Mithraism, a mystery religion. Apparently there were seven stages, each of which included a baptism by blood. Interesting discussion.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu May 24, 2012 8:28 pm

Strange, all.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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