My practice is Hoodoo. I’m a budding root-worker. A Conjurer.
First let me square some things away.
The one thing to remember with Hoodoo is; it’s not a religion. Wica/Neo-Wicca is a religion. Voodoo is a religion. Santeria is a religion. Hoodoo is not. It’s all about the magick. It’s a fusion of ‘what works’, and it’s influence came from every religion, from every culture that came here to the States, and from those who were already here. To examine the threads that holds the tapestry of Hoodoo together, is practically a crash course in American history. So yes, you will see things from Afro/Caribbean Traditions, Native Spirituality, European Witchcraft, Eastern religions, Santeria, Voodoo and even Christianity. The only constant with Hoodoo practitioners is the ‘work’ or spell-work. The deities & spirits however are variable and subjective based on the individual. Hoodoo worker’s are spiritual, not religious.
A big component in Hoodoo is the use of Christianity. This may make some in the pagan community squirm in their seats a little, but I assure you we ain’t having Sunday School here. ‘Heretic’ is certainly the best word to describe a Hoodoo worker; like myself, that integrates bits of Christianity into their work. Such as the Saints, the Trinity, the Psalms and the Bible. Those who are familiar with Hoodoo know that these things are commonly used, and to really understand why that is, has to do with the history of it's fusion and a time when one had to hid their spiritual/religious practice behind Christian elements.
Because of this major component in Hoodoo, every now and then I get asked “How can I use the Bible and practice magick?” “How is it that I can meld two idea’s together that seem to oppose one another?” Simple. Personal interpretation. I read it, understand it; view and examine all things “Christian” through a pagan’s eyes.
That means, that whatever the church down the street is teaching or preaching, to the one 10 miles away. To the bible belt, straight up to the Vatican herself. I could give two craps about they’re interpretation. They can have all the cliff notes and Bible Studies they want, to indoctrinate the people to all be on the same page. I could care less. It’s all pagan to me.
Now, every root-worker may have their own reasons or beliefs, that make them able to incorporate some things from Christianity with ease. Here I’m sharing just mine. Below are some things I have come to know and understand, so I can do the Hoodoo that I do so well.
First, I think many pagans already know that Christianity did absorb* (see side note at end) many things from paganism. Holidays is the most well-known. Demonizing pagan deities is another. But that’s really not the end of it.
Based on my studies, I’ve formulated my opinion or conclusion, that the most influential on Judaism and Christianity was from ancient Egypt. Actually, the whole idea of absorbing gods is very reminiscent of a common practice by the ancients. The Egyptians certainly absorbed and morphed characteristics and qualities of other Gods into theirs, even within their own pantheon. It’s true that there’s nothing new under the sun.
Monotheism actually came from paganism. The first time this belief came up was from the Egyptian King Akhenaten or Amenhotep IV, reigning between the mid 1300 BC, who tried to introduce a doctrine of monotheism; which is viewed by some scholars that he may have been the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that later became Judaism, then Christianity.
Here’s a quick list I put together of similarities I’ve noticed:
* The Trinity – Egypt: Osiris, Isis, and Horus.
* Resurrection – Egypt: Osiris Myth
* Born of a Virgin – Egypt: Osiris Myth
* The Ten Commandments – Egypt: called The Law of (Goddess) Ma’at
* Heaven and Hell – Egyptians did have something comparable to ‘hell’. Where you would not reincarnate to another life on earth, or have your soul ascended to Upper Egypt; which was in the sky, and be immortal with the Gods and the ancestors. If your heart was judged to be impure, then it would be thrown to Ammit, who would devour your soul, and it will become restless forever. This is call the Second Death.
* Judgment of Souls – Egypt: The Hall of Two Truths (see above)
* The Cross – Egypt: Ankh
* The Conquering Lion That Breaks Every Chain (aka Jesus) – Egypt: Goddess Sekhmet myth.
* Amen – From Egyptian God Amen/Amun/Amen-Ra. His name was used after ending a prayer in Egypt, because all things go to Amen-Ra, he made everything, even the lesser gods and goddesses, thus respecting Amen-Ra. The Alpha and The Omega.
* Sin – A Mesopotamian God that ruled the moon
* The Good Shepard – Egypt: Osiris Myth
* Psalm 23 – Most quoted of all Psalms during a funeral. From Egyptian Hymn To Osiris (the god of death, rebirth and resurrection); also found in The Book of Death
The Bible may possibly reveal how Egyptian myth and religion and others influenced Judea-Christianity:
* Joseph (interpreter of dreams) – Governor of Egypt
* Moses – Raised by Egyptian royalty. Author of the 10 commandments. Scholars believe this may Amenhotep IV himself, or derived from him.
* Hebrews/Israelite’s/Jews (same people, called different names at different times) – Enslavement in Egypt, Babylonia and under rule of Rome.
* Jesus – Mother & Father fled to Egypt to escape the death order of King Herod, with baby Jesus. They stayed 13 yrs. That means Jesus grew up in Egypt.
* New Testament story of the child Jesus teaching in a Temple – It was at an Egyptian Temple; he was still a child (see above).
As far as Goddesses mention in the Bible:
* Ashtoreth/Asherah – Is an adopted Babylonia Goddess that the Hebrews/Jews worshiped at on time.
* Eli and Eloah and Elohim – Names interchangeable used for the Abraham God in Judea-Christianity. Hebrew translation. Eli is masculine. Eloah is feminine. Elohim means they. He. She. They. This is known in sects of Jewish mysticism.
* King Solomon – Allowed Goddess worship, and allowed his many foreign wives to worship their gods and construct temples unto them.
Magick in the Bible:
* King Solomon – Was a ceremonial magician. Who could conjure and cast out demons. Book: The Key to Solomon. Highly revered in Hoodoo.
* Moses – Turn a lake into blood. Walking stick turned to a snake. Parted the Red Sea. Pretty bad ars magician if you ask me. Moses is revered as a magician in Hoodoo too.
* Joseph – Interpreter dreams.
* Jesus – Do I really need go there?
Below is a list of the Psychic phenomena found in Bible (source unknown, had this in my file for years).
1. Clairaudience: Acts 9:4; Job 4:15-16; Exekial 17:1-8
2. Clairvoyance: 2 Kings 6:16-20; Acts 7:55-56; Esther 17:8
3. Fire Immunity: Daniel 3:21-27
4. Healing by Magnetized Objects: 2 Kings 4:29; Acts 19:11-12
5. Healing: Matt. 8:13-15, 12:10-13; Luke 4:40; Acts 3:4-8;
Acts 9:33-34, 39-41
6. Healing of Obsession: 1 Samuel 16:14-23; Numbers 21:8-9;
1 Kings 17:7-24; 2 Kings 4:18-29,37 and 5:1-14; Matt. 8:16;
Luke 4:35, 9:11 and 14:2; John 4:47-54; Acts 16:16-18
7. Immunity to Poison: Acts 28:3-6
8. Independent Voices: Ezekiel 1:28; Deut. 9:12-13; 1 Samuel 3:3-9;
Matt. 17:15; John 12:28-30; Acts 7:30-34, 8:26 and 29, 9:14-18
and Acts 12:7-10
9. Independent Writing: Exodus 24:12, 34:1 also 31:18 and 32:16 ;
Deut. 5:22 and 9:9
10. Spirit Writing: Daniel 5:5 also 2 Chron. 21:12
11. Inspiration of Spirit: Ezekiel 2:2; Job 26:4; Mark 13:11;
John 14:26; Luke 12:12 and 1:15; Acts 4:31 and 6:10; Acts 2:2-4;
1 Cor. 12:8
12. Materialization: Genesis 3:8,18:1 and 32:24; Exodus 24:10-11;
Daniel 5:5 and 10:10; Ezekiel 2:9; Matt. 28:2-3; Luke 24:15-31;
John 20:17-30; Acts 5:19-20
13. Dematerialization: Acts 1:9
14. Ministering Spirits: Hebrew 1:13-24 and 2:5
15. Prophecy: Acts 2:17-18, 19:6 and 27:10-11, 21-26, 31, 34;
1 Cor. 12:1-11 and all of chapter 14.
16. Spirit Levitation: Ezekiel 3:14 and 8:3; 1 Kings 18:12; Acts 8:39
17. Telepathy: Luke 5:22
18. Trance: Genesis 15:12; Daniel 8:18 and 10:9; Acts 10:10-16;
Acts 11:5-17 and 22:17
19. Transfiguration: Acts 6:15 Matt. 17:2-3
20. Trumpet: Exodus 19:13,16,19; Exodus 20:18,31:18 and 34:1;
Deut. 5:22 and 9:19; Revelation 1:10
21. Spirit Power: Acts 16:25-26
Then there’s that whole nasty part in the Bible that says: “suffer not a witch” part. When reviewing the origins of those passages, the word that was used in Greek: pharmakeia. Which means poisoner; a druggist. When we translate it to English, it means pharmacy. The Hebrew word used was kishsheph: could mean sorcerer, practitioner of black magick. Linguistics aside, we can accredit the addition to the words, witch and witchcraft to King James, who ruled 1590 AD with his Bible version, who himself was fearfully superstitious of witchcraft, as he reigned during the height of ‘witch hunt’ craze in Europe, Secondly, witchcraft as we know it today was not a part of the culture in Bible times. Abraham, Moses, Saul and Paul did not have witches in their culture, what they had were medicine-men/women, psychics, herbalists, astrologers and polytheism.
* I say ‘absorb’ here and not ‘steal’ because every convert was once a pagan. It’s really no surprise to see pagan customs cross over to Christianity. First, that’s all people knew. Monotheism, was a rarity compared to the rest of the world religious beliefs. Secondly, Pagans were prosecuted, therefore anyone who was a practicing pagan had to hid, and most certainly did so under the guise of Christianity. Understandably, Roman Empire Constantine played a big hand to ‘Christianize’ pagan holidays, after he himself converted. Actually, Constantine was fighting against the spread of Mithraism (that’s a whole other history lesson by itself). However, let’s avoid wide sweeping statements about stealing, because that’s not entirely the case. Not every pagan idea, belief or custom, was carried over into Christianity with ill-intent. Some were done with true intention to Christianize. Others things were not. It’s also my belief that this fusion, influence, absorption is always happening and that we can trace these even further back to the beginning of time.
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