Hoodoo and Voodoo
No, Hoodoo is not Voodoo. Those two are not interchangeable.
While there are some things which are used in both, they are rather different. Voodoo is a religion with priests, priestesses, and a specific set of God/Goddesses that they worship. Hoodoo on the other hand is a way of living, a practice. In fact, Hoodoo is a practice without a specific god/goddess pantheon required. That being said, Hoodoo does have ties to religion, in many cases Christianity. Where one can be both a Voodoo practitioner and a devout Catholic, one can work Hoodoo and be a Christian.
Another distinct difference between the two is that Voodoo is not necessarily an African-American tied practice while Hoodoo is.
Hoodoo comes directly out of the needs of the newly enslaved Africans and their troubles. For that reason, Hoodoo is very practical. It is concerned with creating a better life for the practitioner by dealing with things like money and relationships.
Beginning in Hoodoo
There are some who say that such learning should be handed down from teacher to student. I don’t know about you, but I consider the entire world a classroom since the advent of the internet. There are, of course, things one should always understand. What you meant is not always how you get. In short, your intention is sent out into the universe for it to answer. If you aren’t specific, you might not get what you asked for. In all truth, even if you’re specific, you might not get exactly what you’re thinking of.
A friend told me a story of a woman caught on top of a house in a flood. She prayed to God for rescue. A rowboat came. She ignored it and prayed some more. I’m sure you’ve all heard this before. If you are doing working, be certain you are on the lookout for how your answer shows up.
Then there is this one, the old joke, a man prays daily to a saint to win the lottery. He prays everyday fervently. Finally, one day the saint answers, “My son, first you must buy a ticket”. Your intention to do the working is not the same as doing the working. Some of the things required to do what you’re looking for involve sacrifice of money and time as well as some element of risk, be sure to consult your local ordinances if it sounds like it might be illegal.
An excellent book for starting in Hoodoo is Stephanie Rose Bird’s 365 Days of Hoodoo.
It not only discusses the realities of getting started in the Hoodoo tradition, but it gives you practical step by step instructions of how to do something such as create your first mojo bag or make floor wash.
Looking to get started in Hoodoo? Cosmic Corner stocks a number of different things which may be useful to you such as VanVan oil or simple candles into which you can carve your intentions.
Browse Hoodoo specific items here.
Alledria Hurt is an author and relative newcomer to the world of paganism, but a quick study. She is also the owner of Sista Ghoul Booktique, a small bookshop currently located in the back of Cosmic Corner. You can learn more about Sista Ghoul Booktique here.