Voodoo, the Macabre
FIRST DRAFT, Version 1.5, April 3, 1998
By Sam Chupp
Revisions and additions:
Ratalon@CajunNights, May 23th, 1999
Katana@CajunNights, December 20th, 2000
This work is dedicated to Luisah Teish and Alice Walker, the two women who got me first interested in Voodoo stuff. — Sam
A Natural Wealth: The Gods of the African Diaspora”, in Gnosis, issue #28 (Summer 1993)
Secrets of Voodoo, Milo Rigaud, City Lights Books San Francisco
Quotes from Dean R. Koontz’s novel Darkfall used without permission.
Disclaimer and legal information
One cannot speak of New Orleans without also mentioning voodoo. This animistic, matrifocal religion is deeply fascinating, and adds its mystery and mysticism to the already mysterious New Orleans mystique.
What follows is a set of guidelines for Voodoo in the World of Darkness, more specifically, for Voodoo in the World of Darkness MUSH called “Cajun Nights.” It is written in the style of a White Wolf supplement, although it is certainly not an ‘official work’, nor is it for sale. This work will be given away free to anyone who asks for it – as long as the copyright statement below is preserved.
All original material is Copyright, 1998, by Sam Chupp. This document may be reproduced freely for personal use only as long as copyright information remains attached. If you would like to show your appreciation, send a donation to the ACLU earmarked for the defense of religious freedom in the United States of America.
This document contains a number of references to White Wolf’s World of Darkness, their trademarks, and their proprietary game information. This document is virtually useless without any number of Storyteller books by White Wolf, Inc. – to order those, visit www.white-wolf.com.
No mention of trademarked names in this document in any way is meant as a challenge to that trademark.
This document is not for sale, nor for distribution on a mass scale. It is intended only for my personal group of gamers on the MUSH called Cajun MUSH. This material offers an alternative view of voodoo in the World of Darkness. White Wolf, Inc. has published a perfectly lovely voodoo system by now, I’m sure, so if you don’t like this one, you can certainly attempt to use that one – but not on Cajun.
A note about real life Voodoo
Real life Voodoo is an afro-diasporic religion that was carried along with the slaves that brought it from Africa. It changed as it traveled: Haitian voodoo is not the same as Cuban voodoo and is not the same as New Orleans voodoo. By the time the religion reached New Orleans, the slaves cloaked their religion in the dominant Catholic paradigm. They, rather intelligently, convinced their masters that they were following Catholic saints, not their African gods and goddesses. But their Old Ways were preserved through the use of this ruse. Much of the observances with Voodoo center around the 17,000 Orisha, also called the Loa. These are various spirits of nature and powerful ancestors who represent a concept or idea. Mysteres are prayed to, asked to intercede, and in certain instances, actually take possession of voodoo practitioners.
What does it mean to be a Voodoun?
Being a full Voodoun means that you have a relationship with at least one Mystere, though there are those who are part of the religion that are never Touched. These relationships range from a fleeting touch to being fully recognized by the Mystere. A Voodoun may learn to use these relationships to get Mojo through, a kind of magical power for Voodoo magic. The Voodoun can then use this Mojo to ask their Mystere for special favors, and these favors take the form of magical effects. The Mysteres, however, do not form extremely deep relationships with Voodoun. As a result, they are ultimately limited in what they can accomplish, whereas a Houngan is not. Note that a Houngan is merely a voodoun who has been Initiated, although “merely” here is about the same as saying, “She is merely pregnant.” So, it is correct to use the term “Voodoun” to include all Voodoo magical workers, even though usually if someone is a Houngan, you’d best refer to them as such (it’s like calling a Ph.D. an “Academic”).