20+ Differences Between Hoodoo And Voodoo

Magic, rituals, dark caves, and omens. It all sounds like a plot of a story with witches, but what if it’s real? It is, in fact, pretty real.

Types of folk magic are still practiced in today’s day and age, and it was more prevalent until the concept was suppressed for going against the beliefs of Christianity.

But why was it? What exactly are Hoodoo and Voodoo? Despite sounding similar, they have a stark difference that the instant article will attempt to cover.

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Key Differences:

Hoodoo:

  1. Hoodoo is considered to be a type of folk magic associated with a spiritualistic attitude. 
  2. Hoodoo is practiced by people who identify as Roman Catholics who refer to both the African concept of God as well as the religious saints who believe in Catholicism.
  3. Hoodoo is actually the result of religious persecution and suppression of Voodoo.

Voodoo:

  1. Voodoo was considered to be a religious spirit in the French colonies of the 18th century that is still practiced today.
  2. Voodoo is practiced by people who identify as Non-Roman Catholics.
  3. Voodoo is believed to be the original religion of Hoodoo. It is considered to be the way of life by those who believe in it and practice it.

Comparison between Memorial Day and Veterans Day

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History

Hoodoo is a mixture of foreign beliefs to suppress African origin, which is still considered to be unholy and looked down upon by Catholics. 

The word ‘Voodoo’ was derived from the French term ‘Vodu.’ Back in the 18th century, the Europeans played a role in suppressing the practices related to Voodoo in the French slave colonies by forcing African slaves to convert to Christianity.

Interest

Hoodoo is treated as a hobby, a source of economic income, or a sort of charity act to assist people who need the services of folk magic.

Voodoo is the practice of an ancient pagan religion that was dominant in Haiti. It continues to thrive in the former parts of the French colonies that are today known as Mississippi and Louisiana. 

Elements

Hoodoo follows the way of spiritualism and invokes loas by way of catholic saints. It is merely a fraction of Voodoo practices but is more largely focused on the spiritual path.

Voodoo has been responsible for establishing religious practices that are used to invoke the power of loas in the African Gods and deities.

Religion

Hoodoo is merely a combination of practices described in Voodoo along with a few foreign beliefs to suppress its African origin. It was a belief that emerged due to the religious persecution and suppression of Voodoo.

Voodoo is the original religion that used to be dominant in Haiti. It is purer than Hoodoo and is an ancient pagan religion that is still looked down upon in a majority of Christian societies.

Theory

In theory, Hoodoo is a form of folk magic that is used to gain personal power through the knowledge of nature that is used to empower oneself by gaining access to the power of God and supernatural forces for improving or declining a particular situation.

In theory, Voodoo is a type of a culture that depicts the way of life, which addresses various fields like culture, philosophy, art, music, heritage language, medicine, justice, spirituality, and power.

Place of Influence

Hoodoo thrives more in the Southern part of America.

Voodoo thrives more in the former French colonies of Mississippi and Louisiana. 

Practice

Hoodoo is practiced by those who identify as Roman Catholics who refer to both the African concept of God as well as the religious saints belonging to Catholicism. Those who practice the phenomenon of Hoodoo are known as Root Doctors or Healers. 

Voodoo is practiced by those who identify as Non-Roman Catholics. Those who practice the phenomenon of Voodoo are known as Vodoisant

major differences between Hoodoo and Voodoo

What exactly is a Hoodoo?

In a theoretical sense, the practice of Hoodoo is considered to be a form of folk magic that is used to gain personal power through the knowledge of nature. It is used to empower oneself by gaining access to the power of God and other supernatural forces.

It is ultimately used by ‘Root Doctors’ for improving or declining a particular situation that may or may not affect an individual in drastic means.

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Scope of Hoodoo

  1. Hoodoo practitioners are often known to be called ‘Root Doctors’ or a healer.
  2. Root Doctors or Healers believe they acquire personal power through the knowledge of nature.
  3. Root Doctors or Healers assist people by gaining access to the power of God and other supernatural forces through the practice of Hoodoo.

What exactly is Voodoo?

The term ‘voodoo’ has originally been derived from the French word, ‘Vodu.’ From this, it can be understood that the term Voodoo is, in fact, of an Afro-Haitian origin.

In a theoretical sense, the term ‘Voodoo’ is considered to be a type of culture that depicts the way of life of an individual comfortable with Pagan beliefs.

The practice of Voodoo addresses various fields like culture, philosophy, art, music, heritage language, medicine, justice, spirituality, and power.

It is, in fact, much purer than Hoodoo and is considered to be an ancient pagan religion that is still looked down upon in a majority of Christian societies.

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Scope of Voodoo

  1. Voodoo practitioners are often known to be called ‘Vodouisant.’ 
  2. Voodoo as a culture or a religion depicts the way of life.
  3. It addresses various fields like culture, philosophy, art, music, heritage language, medicine, justice, spirituality, and power.

contrast between Hoodoo and Voodoo

History

  • Hoodoo: Hoodoo is a mixture of various foreign beliefs that have been added in order to suppress the African origin of the practice, which is still considered to be unholy and looked down upon by Catholics.

    It is a form of folk magic that is used to attain power through the knowledge of nature that can help an individual improve or decline a particular situation.
  • Voodoo: The word ‘Voodoo’ was derived from the French term ‘Vodu.’ Thus, the term ‘Voodoo’ belongs to an Afro-Haitian origin.

    In light of the history of ‘Voodoo,’ it is interesting to observe that back in the 18th century, the Europeans played a role in suppressing the practices related to Voodoo in the French slave colonies.

    After that, the practice of Voodoo then became obsolete and underground ever since the Europeans had forced African slaves to convert to Christianity and banned the practices of Voodoo. Today, Voodoo is still known for its religious practices.

Interest

  • Hoodoo: Hoodoo is more likely to be treated as a mere hobby. However, in recent times, it has also been a source of economic income for professional Root Doctors and healers.

    It may also be seen as a sort of a charity act to assist people who need the services of folk magic.
  • Voodoo: Voodoo is considered to be the practice of an ancient pagan religion that was dominant in Haiti. It has an Afro-Haitian origin. It continues to thrive in the former parts of the French colonies that are today known as Mississippi and Louisiana.

Elements

  • Hoodoo: The practice of Hoodoo follows the way of spiritualism. In the practice of Hoodoo, one gains power by invoking loas by way of catholic saints.

    The practice of Hoodoo is merely a fraction of Voodoo practices but is more largely focused on the spiritual path.
  • Voodoo: The practice of Voodoo has been responsible for establishing the ancient pagan religious practices. In the practice of Voodoo, one gains power by invoking the power of loas in the African Gods and deities. 

Religion

  • Hoodoo: Hoodoo is merely a combination of practices described in Voodoo along with a few foreign beliefs to suppress its African origin. It was a belief that emerged due to the religious persecution and suppression of Voodoo.
  • Voodoo: Voodoo is considered to be the original religion that used to be dominant in Haiti. It is purer than Hoodoo and is considered to be an ancient pagan religion that is still looked down upon in a majority of Christian societies.

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Source of Hoodoo

  1. Hoodoo is a combination of various kinds of beliefs that have been mixed together to hide the African origin it comes from.
  2. Hoodoo is a result of suppression and religious persecution of pagan practices like Voodoo that were looked down upon.

Source of Voodoo

  1. Voodoo is a way of life, i.e., a religion or a belief that was scrapped by the major believers of Christianity in the 18th century. 
  2. Voodoo remains unchanged and authentic in order to preserve its true meaning.

Place Of Influence

  • Hoodoo: Hoodoo as a practice is considered to be more prevalent in the Southern part of the United States of America, although it may be referred to by anyone who identifies as a Roman Catholic who refer to both the African concept of God as well as the religious saints belonging to Catholicism.
  • Voodoo: Voodoo as a practice is more prevalent in the former French colonies of Mississippi and Louisiana.

    However, it was suppressed when the Europeans found the French slave colonies adopting the Voodoo practices in the 18th century since it was looked down upon by Catholics and Christian beliefs.

Practice

  • Hoodoo: Hoodoo is practiced by those who identify as Roman Catholics who refer to both the African concept of God and the religious saints of Catholicism. Those who practice the phenomenon of Hoodoo are known as Root Doctors or Healers. 
  • Voodoo: Voodoo is practiced by those persons who identify as Non-Roman Catholics. Those who practice the phenomenon of Voodoo are known as Vodoisant.

    Interestingly, Voodoo was considered to be a prevalent practice as an authentic and ancient pagan religion that was dominant in Haiti.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why is Hoodoo considered to be a type of folk magic while Voodoo is a religion?

Back in the 18th century, the Europeans played a role in suppressing the practices related to Voodoo in the French slave colonies by forcing African slaves to convert to Christianity.

Thus, while it was still a religion, the practice of Hoodoo was established but with special terms.

In simpler words, the practice of Hoodoo is a mixture of foreign beliefs to suppress the African origin, which is still considered to be unholy and looked down upon by Catholics. 

Thus, while Voodoo is considered to be the authentic and original practice, Hoodoo is simply a reformulation of the same, resulting from the suppression and religious persecution of Pagan rituals and practices in the dominant Christian societies.

Q2. Is the Voodoo religion still prevalent?

Voodoo as a practice is still prevalent in the former French colonies of Mississippi and Louisiana.

However, it was suppressed when the Europeans found the French slave colonies adopting the Voodoo practices in the 18th century since it was looked down upon by Catholics and Christian beliefs. 

Q3. Does practicing Hoodoo bring a bad influence upon those targeted?

Hoodoo is more likely to be treated as a mere hobby. However, in recent times, it has also been a source of economic income for professional Root Doctors and healers.

It may also be seen as a sort of charity act to assist people who need the services of folk magic.

Practicing Hoodoo does not necessarily bring a bad influence upon those who are targeted through the practice, but it is a form of folk magic that can influence both good and bad.

Q4. Why did the Europeans convert the believers of Voodoo into Christianity?

The majority of the Christian society, along with the Europeans, played a role in suppressing the practice of Voodoo and converting the believers of Voodoo into Christianity back in the 18th century since they looked down upon the ancient Pagan rituals and practices that they considered to be a bad omen.


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