Friday, March 07, 2014

Urban Voodoo by S. Jason Black and Christopher S. Hyatt

Urban Voodoo: A Beginner's Guide to Afro-Caribbean Magic, S. Jason Black and Christopher S. Hyatt, PhD. Tempe AZ: The Original Falcon Press, 1995. e-book, 162 pps.

On some occasions, police and/or reporters have referenced satanic rituals where the proper label should read afro-caribbean. [Satan is from the christian theos originally]. Lay people-- aided by the hysteria of religious leaders-- in a general way fail to distinguish between practices which derive from a source other than the Middle East. People sold into slavery who originated in African often brought their tribal beliefs with them. They were forced to disguise their ancestral spirits as Roman Catholic saints. Voodoo in its various modern forms is practiced by more people of mixed ancestry nowadays than before the Civil War. [Urban Voodoo uses the word "voodoo" to denote practices of any system that is derivative from Caribbean and/or African roots].

Like me, both authors find much of what passes for "New Age" as distasteful and hinky. There is no talk of "positive thinking" or any misinterpretations of Eastern Karma in Urban Voodoo. Historical knowledge is extensive-- for example on page 81 it is noted that the cross was used prior to the advent of Christianity by Africans-- and easy to understand. The authors also take issue with the passivity inherent in Christianity. Voodoo is much the opposite, requiring active participation in order to get done what needs to be done. Page 98 tells us that miracles/magic "are made both by the spirit and the man."

sapphoq reviews says: My first non-casual exposure to any form of voodoo occurred in the swamps of Louisiana. Although not a practitioner, I understood that this was an ancient magic which was in stark contrast to the "New Age" white lighters and the McWiccans. Urban Voodoo reminded me of those times. For those searching for The Old Times, this book is certain to leave one thinking and re-evaluating what it means to incorporate magic into one's life journey. 

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