Voodoo is a religion, and can not be learned from a book anymore than Catholicism or Judaism can be taught through a single book. It can take years of preparation to become a true Voodooist, in the same manner that it can take years to fully convert to Judaism or Catholicism.
Voodoo isn't a craft like Wicca. In Wicca or Wicthcraft, one can read a book, do a ritual be a practicing Witch in about 3 days. It is almost as easy as becoming a Protestant but doesn't cost as much. Wicca wasn't even a word 50 years ago. It just kinda sprang-up. Protestant faiths are man made and also kinda just sprang up in recent days. The Earth only has 2 true religions, other than Voodoo-and that is Catholicism and Judaism. Islam, is a bunch of rants by some Arab man who got pissed off at the Jews and decided to re-write the Torah and Catholic bible.
There is definitely a movement that is out to discredit not only the racial make-up of many famous Creoles-so that the U.S. can pretend that African-Americans had some broad range of social living during the 1800's but also a number of attacks on Louisiana Voodoo by Hollywood. The first season of HBO's "True Blood", which is a vampire series set in Louisiana had a story-line of an African American woman, who cast fake Voodoo spells! This was so insulting, that a religions that is strictly observed by millions of people in the U.S. was made out to be a fraud on national t.v.!
The first thing that people do when they can't understand New Orleans Voodoo is to make stuff up or get very hostile and attempt to say that it is a "gumbo" and contains all of these mixtures from everywhere and therefore, there is no right or wrong way to write about Voodoo or New Orleans. Well, that simply isn't true. Many books by white and African American authors are unhistorical and written for a marginally educated audience who know less about "authentic"Voodoo practices in Louisiana, than they are willing to admit to their readers.
There is this ranting, person from Ohio, who goes by Moloch. www.molochsorcery.com Moloch thinks that Voodoo is now a field that only whites are experts in. One can read his defense of "Urban Voodoo" on Amazon.com and know his agenda.
He is typical being that his site is decorated with Dungeon and Dragons wall paper, so he has an active imagination. He sells Mojo bags for like 350.00 and thinks that he knows everything about New Orleans and the root working tradition. He even has nerve to offer a lay-away plan!
When pressed about his lack of real knowledge on New Orleans, he does what white gay male Voodoo scam-artist do- he gets very hostile and claims that New Orleans has no real culture because it was all mixed up and you can "ad-lib" a mojo bag! Umm....well....no you can not "ad lib" a mojo bag or Voodoo and consider yourself an honest and knowledgeable person. This person swears that because they read some "Golden Dawn books" and joined an online Yahoo Sorcery Member's group(where other white people told him that he would make a good New Orleans Voodooist-according to Moloch's online interview; where he answers his own questions and basically interviews himself!)-that he can just jump into New Orleans and start selling Mojobags and Voodoo items. Simply taking a red cloth bag and putting some herbs & roots doesn't mean it is anything other than a bag of dirt & sticks. That isn't what makes a Mojo bag work and without the preparer being a member of the religion-they can not prepare a real working mojo bag. That can be done in Wicca but not Voodoo.
People like Moloch are all too common and really giving the religion of Voodoo a bad name. These kids are trying to approach the religion of Voodoo like they approach the craft of Wicca. VOODOO IS A RELIGION! VOODOO IS NOT A CRAFT TO BE CRAFTY WITH! It is not an afternoon hobby.
A large uneducated U.S. populace plays a role in why so much of fake history and garbage is being recycled by authors, media and historians. Writing fake books and aggressively slanting history for a political agenda would never fly in Western Europe(except England) and even parts of Western Africa or the Caribbean but this has become too common with the local media, Universities of New Orleans and many book authors, who write about Louisiana. Even the Roman Catholic church-has gotten into"creative" lying regarding historic Creole and Mexican Catholics.
Harry Middleton Hyatt was an Anglican Protestant minister(Massa Hyatt with his black "boy"-YOUR NAME TOBY! Go find me a Lucky Root Boy! All these "Negro" roots are for gambling and card playing. That's exactly what I will write in my books boy! Fetch Negro Protestant boy! Fetch me some High John Conqueror Root!)who collected folklore as a hobby. Raised in Quincy, Illinois, Hyatt received his M.A. and D.D. at Kenyon College and Oxford University. Hyatt was a scam artist, who didn't do any real leg work, in finding out the true traditions of hoodoo and African American root work in the South. He set the tone for 99.9% of every white and black author, that publishes books on Voodoo or Hoodoo. Most American writers copy other writers. Nothing is original. Notice 99% of books published in America and carried by main stream book stores are recycled material-that has been done a million times before! Real books-that tell real facts often do not get published or even gets banned by book stores. (Come on Negro black girl. Help Massa Hyatt hold up this white Hoodoo Queen. She is Ivory and perfect in every way-unlike you Sambo girl! Fetch Massa Hyatt some Sal Negro and bring me good luck!)
If you read most books on supposedly Voodoo or Root working-the author subscribes almost every root to "gambling and luck"-and this is where the misinformation comes into play. When slaves or free black arrived off of slave ships, from Africa-they weren't invited to any casinos. This "gambling" magic roots business-is the brain child of Hyatt, who couldn't get any real information on the topic so he just figured since blacks had these "back room card houses" and "juke joints" in the South-during the 1930's, 1940's-that he would just say blacks and people of color-only used roots to "gamble."
So, when you buy a book, written by a white American author-on the topic of Hoodoo,Roots,Voodoo and other Voodoo traditions-all one reads about is gambling and luck. That's non-sense. If every so called "root" in Voodoo or Hoodoo brought luck and riches-wouldn't African Americans all be living in Beverly Hills, 90210 and not the St.Bernard Projects in New Orleans? Voodoo is for spiritual fulfillment, peace, self-power and ancestor worship. Voodoo is not for simply using roots and candles for winning at BINGO!
There are some very successful and well known "stars" who owe most of their fame to Voodoo, Hoodoo, Voodun or Santeria "God mothers" or "God fathers"-Jennifer Lopez, BB King, Selma Hyeck, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Ellen Degeneres. Notice none of these people thanks "Jesus" as they win award after award-for being ridiculously famous and popular.
New Orleans Creole(French,Spanish,African,Caribbean Native American) Marie Leveaux "did work" on many famous royal women of Europe. Aristocrats in France and women of the Royal line in England and Spain-would seek out her powerful New Orleans Voodoo rituals. (Marie Leveaux was a Vodooist, who appeared to have an ability to channel and command spirits and also Voodoo Loas but she was also a devout Roman Catholic. She was not African American and even this photo has her too dark. Maire Leveaux was not the daughter of any African Slave. She barely had any African blood-she was a New Orleans Quadroon.)
So someone, along the way in American white interpretation of Voodoo roots told some serious lies. Plus, most Southern blacks had gotten so brainwashed by Protestants-that they also became ignorant on roots, herbs and Hoodoo therefore African Americans also had to read Hyatt, to fake regaining knowledge on their own supposedly heritage and now they can't be trusted in their writings! That's just how tragic African Americans had become under Protestant churches and people like Hyatt.
After the War, many whites created these Voodoo books that supposedly taught Voodoo and how to do Voodoo spells. They are mostly bogus and made up. Many African American profiteers are also coming out with books on Creoles in New Orleans conjuring rituals and root-work but attributing it to Southern black plantation root-working. Voodoo was something that was put in place by Creoles in New Orleans and not blacks. There have been so many black feminist writers who are dead set on making Mother Henriette Delille and Marie Leveaux into "black power movement" Louisiana figures. Well, neither of these ladies were blacks. Both of these women were nurtured by a Creole community, that wasn't really much connected to African Americans, in those days.
"Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic" by Catherine Yronewode, is science fiction. She says that she has researched this "black tradition" but she has roots that are not described in the manner, which they are used in Voodoo. Catherin Yronewode makes a point of saying the herb thyme is used for money(which it is not. Everyone would be rich if that was true!),High John root was used by Native Americans and not Creoles in New Orleans (she isn't educated on what a Creole is and didn't get that Creoles used this root so she made up some other stuff) and doesn't refer the herb Sage for the cleaning of demonic forces, in ones home. These are basic guidelines and this author from California can't even get the basics down, let alone writing a book and running some type of "mojo supplies" shop. I feel sorry for her clients.
Christopher Hyatt, has hit new lows with such literary garbage. This book should be taken out of print. This guy has nerve to rant about black and Latinos in his book but he is supposedly writing about Voodoo? This isn't a book of religion but a book of fake spells and watered-down Santeria that came about when Chris Hyatt had one of his California Meth episodes. There is no authentic Voodoo anywhere in this book. This person has read some books on Santeria and decided that he will modify some "spells" and call it Voodoo. Unless your in the Voodoo religion, if you are making contact with spirits; they are most likely nothing more than your trickster cousin, who died as a little boy, playing with your head. This is hands down-the worse attempt of a white author to write about Voodoo and Santeria. In fact, this person just made up everything in this book from his Long Beach, Ca. apartment.
He has had no contact with New Orleans Creole community, NY Puerto Rican community or Miami Cuban community-so he has decided that he can practice Voodoo simply because some Mexicans in Los Angeles butcher their own meat and he thinks that the spine of a pig can be used as an animal sacrifice! Is he serious? Yes he is!
Some people think that unless your born into Catholicism or Judaism, that no one would ever do the lengthy biblical studies that both of these religions require for potential converts to these 2 faiths, well Voodoo is even older than these 2 faiths and more hands-on. Moses, the Egyptian-African Jewish peasant, who led the Jews from Egypt, was even trained in Voodoo traditions.
Much of being successful in Voodoo has to do with your family ties to the religions. Creoles of New Orleans were tied to Voodoo through their Afro-Caribbean roots/African roots and also to the "Mystery Schools" of old French aristocracy. Voodoo's foundation is alot to do with ancestor worship of those who were also observant of the religion, therefore Voodoo doesn't work for all people but some are called to the religion. Non-Creoles of Louisiana, may not know why Creoles built shot-gun homes from New Orleans and into Plaquemines-but Creoles know. African Americans do not know about this. Creoles know why our grandfathers planted banana trees but non-Creoles do not. (Creoles believe that Louisiana Creole shot gun homes can not hold demonic spirits or bad energy due to Cosmic currents being moved directly from the front door, down the hall and out the back door. Most possessions occur in Old English colonial homes-like the ones in the New Orleans Garden District and the North Eastern U.S. due to the designs and the way these homes hold energy. Creoles understood this in La. way before Feng Sway was even popular or known in the U.S. The New Orleans Garden District has more cases of people killing due to possesion than any other part of lower Louisiana.)
Many people, around New Orleans, like these random African Americans who maintain these cults of googly-eyed white kids, numerous drug addict gay white men and these white women, who go to Haiti, get some over priced Voodoo ritual and come back to New Orleans thinking that they are Voodoo Queens or these hostile gay white men who just can't seem to stop writing racist lie after racist lie about Creoles, Marie LeVeaux , or New Orleans-will never be true Voodooist. They're all frauds. They know nothing and have no real knowledge.
So, people get frustrate because most of these Voodoo-Hoodoo books only deal with "spells" and not the fact that Voodoo is a religion and not a craft or hobby.