Most people believe that Voodoo is black magic, specifically the kind that involves sticking pins into wax dolls. However, this is a very narrow view of one of the world’s oldest religions and is tantamount to saying that Christianity is nothing more than Easter eggs and Christmas carols.
Voodoo has its roots in Africa, but its system of beliefs was formed from a number of different ethnic groups who wove in their own principles and practices. The structure of Voodoo, however, is generally credited to Haiti.
The term “voodoo” is taken from the West African word vodun, which means “spirit.” Its basic premise is that all things are connected, and all events have purpose. There are no accidents. There is also a deep respect for living things and other people, because what you do to others you do to yourself, because you are ultimately one.
Voodoo has a very vivid view of the spirit world, and these spirits (of wealth and abundance, for example) are invoked in rituals and prayers. Dance is thought to be one of the most powerful ways to connect to the spirits. It is believed that the spirits can possess believers.
There are voodoo priests who offer spiritual guidance and are usually considered as leaders of the community. Aside from being approached for advice, they are also seen as powerful healers. The priests use herbal medicines. This herblore—as well as the principles and rituals of voodoo—are passed on from generation to generation.
While voodoo has been associated with harmful spells, most of the spells are for love, healing and joy.