New Orleans Voodoo is a major interest to the curious travelers seeking old and new ways to connect with the invisible world.
According to Bud Johnson, Catholic Church’s acceptance of saints and spirits was a major factor in the Christianity’s ability to embrace the African spirituality.
Catholic Church religious practices has drawn upon African influence, African American beliefs and rituals, such as home alters with saints, candles, oil, and holly water.
This is the connection from the lost African spiritual magical past, into the modern age. Just like the Holly Spirit, African Ancestors communicated through signs; visions and dreams, sometimes with an audible voice, as exemplified in Hoodoo, Voodoo, Herb and Roots healing, oil, holly water, and Candles.
According to Joe Nickel, New Orleans was declared America’s most haunted city in 1999. The city’s oldest and profound occult traditions are the mysterious practices of Voodoo.
Voodoo’s African elements include worship of the ancestral dead, with the use of drums, clapping and dancing, during which the spirits may possess the believers. Voodoo spread from Africa and Haiti to New Orleans, during slavery.
One of the major Voodoo Tourist attractions in New Orleans is Marie Laveau’s grave.
Marie Laveau, known as the Queen of Voodoo, According to one source (Hauck 1996):
‘She led voodoo dances in Congo Square and sold charms and potions from her home in the 1830s. Sixty years later she was still holding ceremonies and looked as young as she did when she started. Her rites at St. John’s Bayou on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain resembled a scene from hell, with bonfires, naked dancing, orgies, and animal sacrifices. She had a strange power over police and judges and succeeded in saving several criminals from hanging.’
The French Quarters have Voodoo shops that carry a large selection of Voodoo kits and Voodoo dolls. An appointment can be made for a personal psychic reading for your convenience inside the shops, most of them have private consulting rooms, and consultants can give you instructions for using their products.
Although, if an open setting is preferable, there are Psychics stationed at the French Quarter Jackson Square, in front of the St. Louis Cathedral that can do tarot cards and palm readings cheaper.
This can be further explored at New Orleans museums, shops, temples, and tombs that relate to this distinctive admixture of religion and magic, commerce and to some, controversy.
With a small entrance fee, a visit to the Voodoo museum is a stop to remember. The New Orleans Tourism information centers have daily organized tours.