In large part due to the popularity of Voodoo in pop media and movies, there are many common misconceptions about how to use Voodoo dolls. Many people seem to think that the primary reason to use these dolls are to exact revenge upon your enemies, or perhaps to cast a hex or spell. When you buy these in the store, it would be common to find them along with pins, intended to be stuck within the dolls to cause pain upon their look-a-likes. Many websites you may find online even portray an illusion such as that Voodoo dolls may provide one with good luck and fortune. Some even provide some really strange methods on how to use voodoo dolls. It’s almost as if the perversion of African tribal religions detailed within Hollywood lore was intended as a political move to make Africans seem savage.
Regardless, historically, the falsehoods mentioned earlier never took place in the majority of ancient African sub-religions. Most of the pins used were actually used for directing energy and healing targeted areas. Although voodoo is often considered a ‘black art’, it originates with Vodun which is a very legitimate religion comprising of elements of animism and folk magic. Most of what Vodun followers practice are positive in nature and served as a guideline for how many African tribes lived and governed themselves. Although they did not use the word ‘karma’, most of them had generally similar beliefs. It is important not to try to misuse a voodoo doll to harm others. It is believed that doing so may force bad luck upon the user. Conflict, depression and bad luck are among the believed punishments. These tools are to be respected, not just for their traditional use, but for their cultural and historical importance.
You see, in animistic religions such as Vodun, it is believed that inanimate objects have souls, and the same is thought of voodoo dolls. Remember to act kindly and not endanger the delicate balance of life. If you think you have a Voodoo with negative attributes, there is thought to be a way to cleanse it. To do so one would simply wrap it in a white cloth and sprinkle it with plenty of sea salt. One would then take it into the woods or to a river and provide an offering to the spirit within. Fruit, coins, or even kind intention are sometimes thought to be adequate gifts.
This is a guest post by Robert Malcom.
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