Voodoo is a religion that was brought to the Western coasts by slaves from Africa. It is believed to have started in Haiti in 1724 as a snake cult that worshipped many spirits pertaining to daily life experiences. The practices were intermingled with many Catholic rituals and saints. It was first brought to the Louisiana area in 1804 by Cuban plantation owners who were displaced by revolution and brought their slaves with them. Beliefs
At first glance, it seems that a religion that revolves around spiritual possession, potions, and the worship of ancestors would have little to do with Christianity. However, there are strong parallels; in the case of Louisiana and Haitian voodoo, many Christian traditions, beliefs, and figures have been incorporated into this flexible religion. The spirits are central to the practice of voodoo, and many of the central figures have Christian counterparts.
Aida Wedo is a virginal figure of Mary, while Legba, the guardian gatekeeper, is a mirror image of St. Peter. In voodoo, important spirits that believers connect with are called the loa
(or lwa); in some locations, these loa and their families can be called by the names of the
Catholic saints they represent. In West African voodoo, there is a very Christian belief that there is one supreme god ruling all.
A voodoo ritual can be performed whenever the voodoo rituals feels necessary, for special occasions, or in the privacy of individual homes or communities. Voodoo rituals can also be performed by a single person, by the entire organization, even by a small group of voodoo friends. Voodoo rituals may be restricted in certain parts of the community or town and can encourage or underscore the passages between the voodoo religious or voodoo social states. The purposes of rituals are varied; they include compliance with religious obligations or ideals, satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social bonds, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one's affiliation, obtaining social acceptance or approval for some event — or, sometimes, just for the pleasure of the ritual itself. Rituals of various kinds are a feature of almost all known human societies, past or present.
They include not only the various worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also the rites of passage of certain societies, oaths of allegiance, coronations, and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sports events, Halloween parties, veteran parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions
prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like handshaking and saying hello are rituals. In any case, an essential feature of a ritual is that the actions and…