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Author Topic: Hang ups about Hoodoo  (Read 2071 times)

troll maiden

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Hang ups about Hoodoo
« on: January 22, 2017, 06:58:53 pm »
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. :)

MadZealot

Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 04:39:54 am »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
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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Allaya

Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 06:45:30 am »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
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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Jenett

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 07:56:57 am »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
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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troll maiden

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 03:44:20 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;201732
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 from: MadZealot;201732
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. :whis:

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 from: MadZealot;201732
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 from: MadZealot;201732
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 from: MadZealot;201732
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 Edit: January 23, 2017, 03:45:25 pm by troll maiden »

troll maiden

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 03:52:49 pm »
Quote from: Allaya;201734
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. :o


Quote from: Allaya;201734
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.

troll maiden

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 04:14:16 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;201736
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 from: Jenett;201736
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 from: Jenett;201736
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! :)

Hummingbird

Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 08:46:12 am »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
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 Edit: February 07, 2017, 08:55:18 am by Hummingbird »

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 03:02:00 pm »
Quote from: Hummingbird;202426



 
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Hummingbird

Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 05:04:03 pm »
Quote from: Morag;202444
A Reminder:
Hi Hummingbird,

[URL=http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/misc.php?do=vsarules]Our rules[/URL]  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
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 09:52:56 pm »
Quote from: Hummingbird;202449
The time difference was under two minutes.

 
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Blu3Wanderer

Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 01:50:58 pm »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
I'm interested in incorporating Hoodoo into my practise but I have some reservations.

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

 
Hi there troll maiden! :) I've been doing a bit of study in this area myself. I am in begging stages of developing my own ethics in the area of culture appropriation and understand why you are concerned, but I have come to a different conclusion.

I read your first thread "What is hoodoo" from several years ago, and someone suggested The Lucky Mojo owner/writer Cathrine Yronwode. I absolutely love her articles and websites.

In one of her articles she addresses the ways many different groups, including neo-pagans and wiccans, use or integrate Hoodoo in their practices. She takes a fairly open stance in her article "Is Hoodoo a religion: can Wiccans and neo-pagans use Hoodoo". She says "Hoodoo is not a religion in itself, but it is almost always practiced in a religious context -- and that context is, far more often than not, African American Protestantism... So, sure, Wiccans can practice hoodoo if they want to -- no one is stopping them -- but they are guests at the feast, because hoodoo is primarily the folk magic of Black American Christians."

Please also check out Chief Amachi's youtube videos on the deep African roots of Hoodoo, very deep!

Honoring the traditions and wisdom of the sources of any knowledge is crucial, as is understanding it from the perception of the creator's origin.

I think it's also appropriate to point out that Hoodoo is a mash-up of several practices and sources, it is not strictly tribal African in nature. It's not a "pure" or strict linage, it continues to evolve with it's practitioner's available resources/background (look at the differences between it's African roots and the Christian influences that are both incorporated). Hoodoo seems a lot like chaos magick to me, but that's just a personal opinion.

 I personally do not feel that I am "stealing" this information because I am developing a deep appreciation of the cultural aspects of the native and African roots and diligently work to not work out of context with it. I also do my best to look at the consequences/aftermath which my magick could possibly have and try to think them through carefully. Intentions, intentions, intentions.

Of course this is just how I have come to feel about it. It I hope you don't miss out on the practical components of practices such as hoodoo out of pure fear. Mistakes made in humble attempts can't hurt :)

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 10:09:32 pm »
Quote from: troll maiden;201722
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. :)
I agree with Blue. I am african american and my family is protestant christian. Both sides of the family are deep south US and my grandmother uzed to practice folk traditions for lack of better words. I never heard of it called hoodoo. My aunt has a funny little name for it. Its weird. My family wouls pray against evil spirits but use hoodoo (which we didnt call it that) to bless and protect our homes.

I read one site and it said that Hoodoo uses biblical scripture in their practices. The author says if you dont use the bible its not hoodoo. Many non African americans practice hoodoo (us south isnt all african american) but in my humble opinion it would be off "for me" to practice something thats not part of my heritage. I am a confirmes catholic but dont practice anymore. My question would be do you believe in god? And how do you view the bible?

As for shoulds/shouldnts, it is up to you. Since its a practice, a lot of which are home practices, maybe finding your own home practice would give an idea of hoodoo. You dont have to call it hoodoo to practice. Many people have bias about it and its up to you.

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unveiledartist

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Re: Hang ups about Hoodoo
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 12:37:27 am »
(Replying to all in thread so no quotes on purpose)

Southern US is mainly protestant.  I never heard my family speak against catholics when I visited them but my family here up north have an itchy bug with it. Maybe because there isnt a lot of catholic churches down there (protestant church on every other street corner and Nothing open on sundays but gas stations. Completely bible belt).

As for hoodoo, not even my family wouos tell us notherners even though we are family. The consensus is since we are up north (though virginia is a southern state) we are like "whites" so everything stays within family and community. Mostly family if that.

Then you may get most families that lost a lot of their traditions while others is mix matched.

My advice as a whole is to look into the culture first. African american culture has a rich history. Learn about the bible and baptist, pentecoastal, and non denominational (among others) denomination. Read the full bible. Biblical knowledge is a cornerstone of our culture.

One time I came from Mass and went to talk with to a social services. An african american guy i talked with after i left asked what church i go to. I said catholic. He says "you disowned us, huh."

Also, you notice people ask about two things race and religion. So id keep that in mind.

Not speaking for all african americans. I just notice a strong pattern that even though i dont know half the people i meet, we "get it." If i were christian it would make my ancestral connection a whole lot easier. But with the Op. This is my opinion and experience only.
 

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