Happy Hoodoo Heritage Month: The Origins of Hoodoo

October 1


Welcome back to Glamour Magick Beauty. In case ya didn’t know October is Hoodoo Heritage Month! It’s the first of the month so let us start by learning the history of Hoodoo and it’s origins.

Hoodoo is Southern folk magic. Also known as Conjure, Afro-Christianity, or Rootwork but not to be confused with, Voodoo, a Haitian religion. That being said, Hoodoo is not a formal religion but a spiritual practice.

Hoodoo’s origins date back to the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. The slaves that were smuggled from West African to the United States already had their own religion. The vast majority of them practiced Yoruba which centers around seven African deities known as the Orishas. The remaining 20%, according to my research practiced Islam. So how does Hoodoo come into play? Well, Africans were “Other-ized” by slave masters. Meaning they had to convert to Christianity and being caught practicing anything outside of Christianity was punishable by death.

So, Black people had to get clever. Christian saints that had similarities to the Orishas were used as a way to disguise Yoruba worship. Now, keep in mind that these Black folk and many of Us today are a crafty and spiritually inclined people. That coupled with going through excruciatingly difficult times in slavery, I can completely understand why magick was used as spiritual refuge. Conjure, Rootwork, or Hoodoo was a way for Blacks to tap into a higher frequency to alleviate the trials of slavery and have control over their lives.

Magick is practiced all over the world so the creation of Hoodoo is just another case of humans being humans. Hoodoo has a splash of Christianity, a pinch of Haitian Voodoo influence and a boat load of everyday folk magick. Folk Magick, Conjure or Rootwork is simply using herbs and other natural elements combined with writing, intentions, candle, planetary and sigil magick, ancestor reverence and deity work.

Hoodoo was practiced primarily in the Southern states such as Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and throughout the Carolinas. The relocation of many Haitians to Louisiana in the 17th and 18th century brought Voodoo to the United States particularly Louisiana. Voodoo is an organized religion that centers around the worship of deities called Loa or Lwa.

Florida’s prominent Haitian and Latin presence makes it a hotspot for Voodoo and Santeria as well.

Like all other forms of spiritual practice be it an organized religion, white or black magick/law of attraction/manifestation, what One believes in is true. What One believes in and puts mental and physical energy into will thrive and shape their reality. Whether for the better or for worse.

That being said, I’d like to add that Hoodoo is a closed practice. It was created by African Americans during slavery and therefore it is special to Us. I encourage Outsiders looking to overstep boundaries to find your own magick within your community or your own magick within yourself.

I’m not going to dish too much about Our sacred practice.To my fellow African Americans we must gatekeep our culture and protect it. To listen to me talk about Hoodoo tap into the Glamour Magick Beauty Podcast.

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