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  1. #1
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    Hang ups about Hoodoo

    I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

    From what I've read the practise is steeped in Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity I don't feel particularly at home in. However, I don't feel right taking Hoodoo out of its religious framework. It feels like I'm cherry picking the parts that interest me, and discarding the rest.

    I mean I already feel bad as I don't have African ancestry; I already feel like I'm treading somewhere off-limits.

    I'm not sure what to do. I'd love to know my fellow Cauldronites' thoughts and opinions.

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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by troll maiden View Post
    I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

    From what I've read the practise is steeped in Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity I don't feel particularly at home in. However, I don't feel right taking Hoodoo out of its religious framework. It feels like I'm cherry picking the parts that interest me, and discarding the rest.

    I mean I already feel bad as I don't have African ancestry; I already feel like I'm treading somewhere off-limits.

    I'm not sure what to do. I'd love to know my fellow Cauldronites' thoughts and opinions.
    Well... I dunno. Which parts of hoodoo would you like to 'borrow'?

    Disclaimer: All I know about this subject is what I learned from the Oracle...
    Wiki at Pedia. But it seems to me... you can work the folk-magic aspects without getting too involved in the religion.

    Say a couple things intrigue you. Call them Techniques A and B. Now, if Technique A occurs across multiple systems, then I'd say you probably won't be 'appropriating' it, any more than you'd be stealing candles & wine from the Catholics.

    Otoh, Technique B might be wholly unique to the system. But I think if you get into its meaning and intent, you could then adapt something from a broader system, and then feel less like a thief. Or, better yet, you could use that info compose your own Technique-- which would be badass, because it'd be culturally and personally meaningful to you.

    Also, it seems like the Christian elements weren't always there. (I get the anti-Catholic sentiment, though. It's taken me years to fight my personal prejudices there.) I'd like to suggest looking for solid, extant, pre-Christian materials, but I'm not sure those'd be easy to get.
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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by troll maiden View Post
    I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

    From what I've read the practise is steeped in Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity I don't feel particularly at home in. However, I don't feel right taking Hoodoo out of its religious framework. It feels like I'm cherry picking the parts that interest me, and discarding the rest.

    I mean I already feel bad as I don't have African ancestry; I already feel like I'm treading somewhere off-limits.

    I'm not sure what to do. I'd love to know my fellow Cauldronites' thoughts and opinions.

    Catholicism, whaaaat? Where on earth did you get that from?

    The vast majority of Christian influence in Hoodoo is from Protestant denominations.

    For an overview of the topic, see http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodooandreligion.html

    Once you're done with that, I very much recommend starting at the beginning of cat yronwode's online text on hoodoo and working your way your way down. It's a lot to digest, but very much worth it if you are really interested in Hoodoo. You can find it here: http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodoo.html
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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by troll maiden View Post
    I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.
    Allaya has great advice for a starting place.

    I think the other thing to consider is looking carefully at what you're interested in and why. I think a lot of people ping on hoodoo because it's a functional system of folk magic and other practices, and they want that, without necessarily realising that there are (many) other functional systems out there.

    Taking a functional system out of context, or using it without understanding the context it comes from can both cause problems (i.e. things may well not work as expected, plus the issues of appropriation, both of which you'd presumably like to avoid. Or the system may make assumptions that you're not willing to follow through with, about consequences and changes for the user.)

    One option some people use is to look at other systems (i.e. hoodoo) and then look at things in cultural contexts and cultural systems you have more comfort in, and figure out what the equivalents might be.

    For example, if you realise that a working system probably needs some method of cleansing, what methods of cleansing are in the contexts you already use? If you realise that other systems have a method of removing unwanted effects - uncrossing in the case of hoodoo - how do the cultural contexts you are familiar with do that thing? A lot of stuff is common human needs, so they're probably present in most cultures. There are exceptions, but usually investigation will help you figure out why and give you more ideas for what to do about that.
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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by MadZealot View Post
    Well... I dunno. Which parts of hoodoo would you like to 'borrow'?
    The magic part really. My interest was piqued ages ago by an episode of Supernatural. But I wasn't really able to explore it given my situation at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadZealot View Post
    Disclaimer: All I know about this subject is what I learned from the Oracle...
    Wiki at Pedia. But it seems to me... you can work the folk-magic aspects without getting too involved in the religion.
    I actually haven't read that much about it...all I know is pretty much gleaned from the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia.

    I did read that the Christian aspect only started to appear in the 19th century. So I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadZealot View Post
    Say a couple things intrigue you. Call them Techniques A and B. Now, if Technique A occurs across multiple systems, then I'd say you probably won't be 'appropriating' it, any more than you'd be stealing candles & wine from the Catholics.
    That's a good point. I mean it's not like Hoodoo practioners have a monopoly on putting stuff in jars and pouches.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadZealot View Post
    Otoh, Technique B might be wholly unique to the system. But I think if you get into its meaning and intent, you could then adapt something from a broader system, and then feel less like a thief. Or, better yet, you could use that info compose your own Technique-- which would be badass, because it'd be culturally and personally meaningful to you.
    There's definitely some stuff that seems unique to the practise. Like foot-track magic, and bottle trees, which I'm definitely going to read up on.

    I don't know about techniques, but the idea of balance certainly lends itself nicely to Ma'at. Who I'd feel more comfortable working with.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadZealot View Post
    Also, it seems like the Christian elements weren't always there. (I get the anti-Catholic sentiment, though. It's taken me years to fight my personal prejudices there.) I'd like to suggest looking for solid, extant, pre-Christian materials, but I'm not sure those'd be easy to get.
    It's not so much anti, as just uncomfortable. Like an itchy jumper, it may look appealing. But in practise it just doesn't suit. Over-coming prejudices is deffo a slog. But very worth it in the end.

    Probably not, I'll see what I can scavenge in terms of sources.
    Last edited by troll maiden; 23 Jan 2017 at 02:45 PM. Reason: typos abound

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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Allaya View Post
    Catholicism, whaaaat? Where on earth did you get that from?

    The vast majority of Christian influence in Hoodoo is from Protestant denominations.
    Feeling right daft over here. I've been reading up a lot recently about various African traditions. I think they've blended together in my head.


    Quote Originally Posted by Allaya View Post
    For an overview of the topic, see http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodooandreligion.html

    Once you're done with that, I very much recommend starting at the beginning of cat yronwode's online text on hoodoo and working your way your way down. It's a lot to digest, but very much worth it if you are really interested in Hoodoo. You can find it here: http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodoo.html
    That's great, thanks. I'll have a look tomorrow when my brain's less of a fuzzy mess.
    How funny, I stumbled over that site earlier. I started to have a look but my sleepy brain protested. So I book marked it for later perusal.

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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    Allaya has great advice for a starting place.

    I think the other thing to consider is looking carefully at what you're interested in and why. I think a lot of people ping on hoodoo because it's a functional system of folk magic and other practices, and they want that, without necessarily realising that there are (many) other functional systems out there.
    That's a good point. Maybe I should read around more before settling on this particular practise. I know when my brain latches onto something it just kinda runs with it. I need to learn to sit down and mull things over before rushing a decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    Taking a functional system out of context, or using it without understanding the context it comes from can both cause problems (i.e. things may well not work as expected, plus the issues of appropriation, both of which you'd presumably like to avoid. Or the system may make assumptions that you're not willing to follow through with, about consequences and changes for the user.)
    Exactly. The more I think about it, the more I don't feel right ripping the practical side from the spiritual one. It just feels disrespectful. I know I was pretty flippant in an earlier comment, but what you've said has given me pause to thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    One option some people use is to look at other systems (i.e. hoodoo) and then look at things in cultural contexts and cultural systems you have more comfort in, and figure out what the equivalents might be.
    I've got a 'to-research' list knocking about somewhere, I'll make a note there. But I think in the meantime I'll focus on the rest of my practise. I need to strengthen what I have before trying to shove more stuff in there.

    Many thanks!

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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by troll maiden View Post
    I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

    From what I've read the practise is steeped in Catholicism, which is a branch of Christianity I don't feel particularly at home in. However, I don't feel right taking Hoodoo out of its religious framework. It feels like I'm cherry picking the parts that interest me, and discarding the rest.

    I mean I already feel bad as I don't have African ancestry; I already feel like I'm treading somewhere off-limits.

    I'm not sure what to do. I'd love to know my fellow Cauldronites' thoughts and opinions.
    HooDoo is not in and of itself steeped in Catholicism. That is getting into Santeria among other things.

    HooDoo is not exclusively black either, drawing on African, Indigenous American and other roots such as folk traditions that entered Appalachia and the Ozarks. HooDoo is actually a melting pot.

    A lot of the foot track stuff for example comes from Native American influence, of calling up bad medicine on ones path. Also, Tabacco in Hoodoo is another influence from the indigenous tribes of the Americas.
    Last edited by Hummingbird; 7 Feb 2017 at 07:55 AM. Reason: foot track

  9. #9
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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Hummingbird View Post
    A Reminder:
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    Our rules generally prohibit editing after more than 2-3 minutes. (Correcting typos or minor mistakes is OK, but don't forget to fill in the "Reason for Editing" box so that we know what's going on.) This is because after that long, several people have already read what you've written, and they won't see the changes you make. Because of that, they will have difficulty following the conversation when someone replies to your new, updated post.

    If you need to correct or add anything significant after those 2-3 minutes, you should just reply to yourself and give the correction or additional information in the new post. Double-posting is not considered bad behaviour here, and this will help keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.

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    Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo

    Quote Originally Posted by Morag View Post
    A Reminder:
    Hi Hummingbird,

    Our rules generally prohibit editing after more than 2-3 minutes. (Correcting typos or minor mistakes is OK, but don't forget to fill in the "Reason for Editing" box so that we know what's going on.) This is because after that long, several people have already read what you've written, and they won't see the changes you make. Because of that, they will have difficulty following the conversation when someone replies to your new, updated post.

    If you need to correct or add anything significant after those 2-3 minutes, you should just reply to yourself and give the correction or additional information in the new post. Double-posting is not considered bad behaviour here, and this will help keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.

    This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder. No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

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