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France Leclerc


Voodoo is a religion that seeks guidance “from the spirits of those who have come before us.” The word voodoo means “spirit” in the Fon language of the country, formerly known as Dahomey (now Bénin), Voodoo’s birthplace.

The religion has a female main god, Mawu, the creator of all things, but she is represented by many significant deities. A Voodoo priest is a man or a woman who can summon the deities, a skill that is often passed from one generation to the next. Each priest is the custodian of several divinities represented by structures that often appear to be just a pile of rocks or old metal to an uninformed eye.

In a ceremony, the priest invokes the gods to manifest themselves and offer advice or prophecies in matters of love, health, family, finance, and so forth. This is typically done thru offerings and sacrifices to the gods: the priest determines what needs to be offered, including live animals and potions made of powder from dried bones or skulls of animals that can be purchased at a Voodoo market.

Contact is made with the deities thru rhythmic dances to the beat of drums; initiated devotees then fall into a trance that enables their bodies to be inhabited by spirits. Sometimes “guardians” wearing masks and colorful costumes are the ones that connect with the gods. Alcohol is always offered to all the deities’ representations at the beginning of the ceremonies...Read more:

France Leclerc

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