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This nOde last updated February 26th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
(7 Cauac (Rain) / 7 K'ayab (Turtle) 69/260 - 22.214.171.124.19)
voodoo (v¡´d¡) noun
1.A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of Dahomean slaves, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.
2.A charm, fetish, spell, or curse holding magic power for adherents of voodoo.
3.A practitioner, priest, or priestess of voodoo. In this sense, also called hoodoo.
voodooed, voodooing, voodoos
To place under the influence of a spell or curse; bewitch.
[Louisiana French voudou, from
Ewe vodu and Fon vodun.]
- voo´doo adjective
Voodoo, religion of Haiti, also practiced in Cuba, Trinidad, Brazil, and the southern United States, especially Louisiana. Voodoo combines elements of Roman Catholicism and tribal religions of western Africa, particularly Benin. Adherents worship a high god, Bon Dieu; ancestors or the dead; twins; and spirits called Ioa, African tribal gods that are usually identified with Roman Catholic saints. During voodoo rituals, the worshipers invoke the Ioa by drumming, dancing, singing, and feasting, and the Ioa take possession of the dancers, enabling them to perform cures and give advice.
Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like
those of rabbits and we who are the heirs of the witch-doctor and the
voodoo. We artists who have been so long the despised are about to take
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. Egoist (London, Feb. 1914).
In his book _Count Zero_, science fiction writer William Gibson put the orisha in the heart of cyberspace, his computer-generated astral data plane, and it worked far better than any hoary Egyptian deity or Irish fairy would have. Gibson, who tossed in those gods when he was bored with his book and happened to open a National Geographic article on voodoo, told me in an interview that he felt "real lucky, because it seemed to me that the original African religious impulse really lends itself much more to a computer world than anything in Western religion...It almost seems as though those religions are dealing with artificial intelligence.". Gibson also pointed out how similar vévés are to printed circuits.
- Erik Davis - _Trickster At The Crossroads_
Bobby eventually meets Beauvoir, a member of a Voudoun/cyber sect, who tells him that in cyberspace the entity he actually met was Erzulie, and that he is now a favorite of Legba, the lord of communication... Beauvoir explains that Voudoun is the perfect religion for this era, because it is pragmatic - "It isn't about salvation or transcendence. What it's about is getting things done ."
Voudoun is a religion that deals intimately with consciousness. The rite of possession can be seen as an attempt to overwhelm the dominant 'ego-program,' 'reboot' the biocomputer, and replace it with one of the other 'subroutines' from human 'ROM' (the collective unconscious of mythic archetypes.) If a global brain is to be erected, perhaps it might be the religion best developed to tap into and relate to its unconscious side... in any case, it would not be surprising to see AIsassuming personalities derived from human folklore and legend, including traditional systems such as Voudoun. After all, this might be the best way for people to relate to them, to erect a 'technology of the sacred.' _Count Zero_ shows a different path for the vector of technology - toward the 'Heart of Darkness' of Africa, the lunar continent, instead of into the 'Rising Sun' of Japan.
In the Haitian pantheon, each loa or divinity has its associated veve , or mystical diagram. This diagram is drawn with white chalk in order to invoke the entity. Modern observers of veves have often noted, with some surprise, that their intricacy first reminds them of circuit diagrams. (Preston Nichols, in _The Montauk Project_ sequel, suggests that early pioneers of electronics in the U.S., such as JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons, may have been heavily involved with Magickal orders such as the OTO. Even today, masters of complex electronic systems are frequently called 'wizards.') This is interesting because, in Haitian folk belief, these designs are drawn on the ground, precisely because they believe that geomantic force flows through the conduits of the image. Veves represent a "technology of the spirit" - the houngan is a first-rate semiologist, for he understands the ways symbols mediate between the numinous (the absent) and the material (the present.)
In many areas of postmodern/cyberpunk life, we are seeing a curious collision of the past and future, perhaps to form 'modern primitive.' There is a reawakened interest in the marking and inscription of the body, an important feature in Voudoun ritual. Neopagan zippies go to Raves to hear ambient music, a curious fusion of techno-industrial music with sampled 'New Age'-like sounds from nature and 'world beat' music from preindustrial cultures around the globe. Ravers take MDMA or ecstasy, a drug which they claim puts them into a form of Levy-Bruhl-like participation mystique. Certainly, the rapid rhythmic beat of the Rave is an important ingredient in the experience; one that makes it very similar in many ways to the Voudoun ceremony, where shifting drum rhythms drive most of the exterior and interior activity.
The rave beat has its roots in house, rap, and even 70s 'funk,' which, as most honest ethnomusicologists realize, have their roots in African rhythms. In his book _The Planet Drum_, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart talks about the use of rhythm by all kinds of societies to 'drive' consciousness. (It's not a new realization; Plato feared musicians precisely because he knew that changes in musical canons often led to changes in governance.) The accelerated rhythm of the rave may be symptom of a speed-obsessed information society, or it may be cause, seeking to push us all into the hyperacceleration of Timewave Zero. As Ravers discover new levels of 'ecstatic' communal identification, they are not so far apart from the folk of Haiti, who like them, go to hear the drums, be with their fellow believers, dance, and escape from the spectacle and harshness of ordinary life.
- _The Ghost in the Machine: Haitian Voudoun and the Matrix_ by Steve Mizrach (Seeker1)
"...most of what goes on in
Voodoo has to deal with like channeling and again that's a
pre-linguistic area of consciousness. This is what people like Jung, Joseph
Campbell or Maya Deren were trying to
deal with when they were looking at this kind of stuff. When we have
many personalities, I think Voodoo channels some of the really basic
core personas. That's the whole Voodoo thing in general."
- DJ Spooky
604 entity Voodoo People
Member: Paul Jackson
604 release _Psychedelic Voodoo_ compilation MixCDx2