Voodooism Essay Research Paper VoodooismWhen you mention

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Voodooism Essay, Research Paper Voodooism When you mention the word voodoo to someone, the idea immediately conjures up those images we all see on the movies…spooky little black men wearing lots of grass, and poking pins into ugly dolls. But there is quite a bit more to this group of religious practices than this simple Hollywood notion. Voodoo as a practice is obsessed with the occult, primarily the ideas of possession and spiritualism; and functions quite often within the parameters of a mainstream religion such as Catholicism. Many people who practice it think voodoo augments, rather than contradicts, their belief in God, and the practice of their religion. The study of voodooism involves many components, and one of these is the concept of ?animism?. A belief similar to

?mana?, it is the concept that all objects, whether living or non-living, have spirits and souls of their own. These spirits are an embodiment of some vital element which gave the object life. It is a belief that the soul can, and most usually does, have a purpose and feeling, and one must always be careful to avoid offending these forces to avoid some rather nasty consequences. As with all beliefs, voodooism has its practices, customs, and traditions. As we have discovered earlier, voodoo deeply involves the occult and spiritism. Spiritualism is specifically the communication with the ghosts or spirits of the dead, and more specifically, any forces these spirits can exert on the world of the living. In voodoo, magic is seen to draw its power from these supernatural forces. A

large part of spiritualism is the concept of possession, that is to say the occupation of a living body by another spirit, which fights for control over the body and manifest its presence in all kinds of peculiar ways. Some voodoo priests(esses) feel they can predict the future, by using supernatural forces to allow their life force to travel around and see visions of what it to come. These practitioners also believe in folk medicine to cure illness, but beyond that the use of sometimes bizarre rituals to prevent or cure ailments and other problems. They provide charms and the like to ward off evil spirits, and all of us have heard of voodoo dolls. These practitioners are also very concerned with death and dying, perhaps because it is seen as a gateway into the supernatural.

Throughout history, Christianity has had a hard time with voodooism. For instance the Catholics have made serious attempts to stamp out voodoo , especially in Haiti. They have attempted this at certain times by forbidding the beating of the drums at any temple. But in some ways it is a lost cause. Catholicism and voodooism are so closely interwoven in Haiti that to most Haitians they are one and the same. To the average Haitian, there is nothing wrong in being a good Catholic and a believer in Voodoo. Voodoo enters the Catholic system because it is believed that the Catholic religion does not give men and women direct contact with God and his supernatural powers. It is a unique integration between the religion that was in Haiti before missionaries brought the Christian religions,

and Catholicism. After attending the seminar and researching the topic of voodooism and other such animistic religions; I have come to realize that there is more to voodoo than sticking pins in dolls and what we see in the movies. Voodoo is a very complex and comprehensive set of beliefs deeply rooted in tradition and loyalty by those who practice it. It is one of those things in which you become as involved as you want to. There are so many ways and occasions in which a person can become involved in voodooism. I have discovered that people who follow these beliefs also have great respect for their bodies and other deeply-seated feelings about their beliefs. As for myself, I do not believe I could follow this religion because some of the concepts and the foundations on which the