New Orleans Voodoo

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The Voodoo outlined in all the other sections of this site deals with the voodoo that originated in Haiti. Another kind of Voodoo arose in the United States in the 1800s, as white planters and their slaves fled the rebellion in Haiti. This is called New Orleans Voodoo, as it is found mostly in New Orleans. The differences between Voodoo in Haiti and Voodoo in New Orleans are significant.

Evil Magic vs. White Magic

In New Orleans Voodoo, there is evil magic or left-handed Voodoo as well as white magic, or Juju. Evil magic includes mojo (a curse) and the much-publicized voodoo dolls. These are obviously meant to cause others harm. Juju consists of making good luck charms like rabbit's feet and monkey paws, as well as good hexes like romantic spells.

Gris Gris Bags

Gris gris bags are another part of New Orleans Voodoo. They are, in essence, recipes for magic, containing all the needed ingredients. They are called gris gris, or gray gray, because they can be a mix of black and white magic. For use as white magic, they are often hung on a wall or above a door. For black magic, they may be left on a doorstep as a warning.

Marie Laveau and Other Voodoo Queens

Marie Laveau is the most famous person associated with New Orleans Voodoo. She was extremely skilled in Voodoo, having studied with Doctor John, a famous Voodoo doctor. She told fortunes, made gris gris bags, and put curses on people, becoming quite wealthy in the process. She was very popular and was both feared and revered. Many rumors rose up that she could appear in two places at once and that she could drive people out of their minds with her gris gris.

Late in her life, Marie Laveau gave up Voodoo and embraced Catholicism, leaving a plethora of rivalling voodoo queens in her wake.