The United States of Hoodoo

The United States of Hoodoo explores the influence of African spirituality, traditional religions, customs and Culture brought to the Americas by with the people taken during the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, in American popular culture.
It is written by Darius James and Oliver Hardt and directed by Hardt.

Documentary overview The United States of Hoodoo is a road trip to the sources of black popular culture in America. The film’s main character is African-American writer Darius James who is known for his often bitingly satirical and self-ironic texts on music, film and literature. The film’s story begins when Darius´ world is turned inside out after his father´s death.

Uprooted from his life in Berlin, he unwillingly returns to his childhood home. All that remains from his father is his mask collection and a cardboard box filled with ashes. His father had been a painter and sculptor, his work drawing deeply on manifestations of African-based spirituality.Yet while he lived he fiercely rejected any idea of being inspired by the old gods of Africa.

Back in a house that is now his, but not quite, Darius finds himself confronted with many questions about his own life. In need of answers he sets off on a search, not for his roots but for traces of the spiritual energy that fueled and informed a whole culture.

It is available for digital purchase and download from Amazon.

Umbilini is a primal force used by Zulu shaman to connect their minds with deities in the spirit realm.

Working the Snake Power: A Zulu View

My grandfather also taught me how to control my powers of seeing and how to sharpen them and make them more accurate and efficient. He taught me the art of breathing properly. He taught me the secret art of joining my mind to that of the great gods in the unseen world. He taught me how to sit still - very, very still - and eliminate all thoughts from my mind and call upon the hidden powers of my soul.
In short, my grandfather taught me the Zulu version of what is called in English, “meditation”. How to breathe softly and gently like a whisper until you feel something like a hot coiled snake bursting through the top of your head - a fearsome thing that is known as the umbilini. This umbilini, my grandfather told me, is the source, the primal source of the sangoma’s powers. A sangoma must be able to summon this umbilini at will through the beating of the drum and through meditation, very, very deep meditation.

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa - Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophecies, and Mysteries p.13

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa will feature in upcoming documentary Ancestral Voices 2 which will document shared African philosophies and ritual practices across the continent. See how you can support this much-needed educational resource.
Ancestral Voices 1
(Vimeo on demand)

Decolonising the mind: The misunderstanding of traditional African beliefs

By Cosmic Yoruba

May 6, 2014 — There are few religions as globally misunderstood as African traditional religions. Whether it is being wrongly labelled voodoo, juju or witchcraft, indigenous African faith systems tend to be associated with darkness, animal and human sacrifices, violence and general backwardness.

[Continue reading article at This Is Africa.]

Ancestral Essence

I close my eyes to travel across the dark veil of my mind. I travel beyond the perception of my outer consciousness, I travel out of my body into a world where am I one with everything; however I am aware of my individual consciousness.

 I can communicate with the elements, the clouds in the sky and the wind that carries them. We now know each other`s names as we are related at this level of our intelligence.

The elements will tell me their secrets and how this illusion is sustained and created.

 I am greeted by my ancestors who are my guardians and my guides as I travel through time and my inner space. We travel to my previous visitation to this dimension, to learn from my mistakes and to pay debts to others as a result of my previous arrogance and ignorance.

I know I am now awake and merely dreaming in the illusion. Once I have completed the assignment, I have to remember my steps back to the illusion. I awake in my current dream.

This may sound like a fantasy to some; however it is an African reality to many.

 I would rather hear that what comes from someone`s inner self than that which comes from their outer studied knowledge.

Trust yourself as no one else will truly trust you. Your words are worth gold when you start digging them out of yourself. Keep the faith in yourself, for that is your true religion.

We are here by divine right.
We are not here by chance nor luck.
We are here because someone decided to eat the worst parts of a pig in order to survive.
We are here because someone’s grandma stayed quiet while she was repeatedly sexually violated.
We are here because someone’s granddad escaped a southern chain gang for killing the man that repeatedly raped his wife and fled North.

We are here because someone had audacity to survive American terrorism.
We are here because someone had the audacity to set up all black towns, churches and societies.
We are here because someone had the audacity to run for political office.
We are here because people had the audacity to march and protest.

We are here because you can not kill what can not die. —Egbe-Egun Ancestral Society


Witchcraft Among the Azande

Consistently across the Continent there is the understanding of the supreme life force (Creator/God) that exists in all natural things, yet it is widely understood that it is the ancestors who assist with personal your experience.

The first thing to remember is that your ancestors are you, they exist within your DNA, so never give in to feelings of detachment, it is an illusion. As a starting point connect with someone within your direct lineage who was a respectable person, someone who you had a good relationship with i.e. grandparent. If you do not know any of your past family members pray to the positive ancestors within your lineage to guide you.

Across many African societies many people use ancestral altars as a way to pay homage and communicate with past loved ones. You can do the same in your home; creating a sacred space dedicated to them this practice helps many people focus their minds to increase their connection, however communication is not limited to your altar space, you can do this anytime. You can also pour libation whilst calling on an name of an ancestor, traditionally water or alcohol is used you can pour this to the ground in their honour whilst stating your prayer.

There is no right or wrong way to set up your altar, use your intuition to decide what items you wish to include on it, some people use candles to draw in the energy of the ancestor they are trying to contact or add a photo of them, you can also include flowers, incense, crystals/stones, perfume or particular colours.

Speak to them from the heart, be sincere and respectful ask them to guide, protect you and provide understanding, thank them for being present in your life. Communication may not take place initially but it will happen, it is essential to increase your levels of awareness as communication is very subtle and can be found in all aspects of your life particularly in nature, take note if you keep seeing a particular animal or insect, pay attention to your dreams/visions, notice the amount of synchronicities in your life, observe the signs and symbols, listen to your emotions, inner thoughts, the conversations you overhear etc. Communication can take place in multiple forms, but when it happens you will know your intuition will confirm it. When it happens be thankful for the more you acknowledge these moments, the more frequently they occur.

Upcoming documentary Ancestral Voices 2 will cover ancestral communication in more depth. Donations required to help complete the post-production.

Ancestral Voices 1

or DVD

Very Black Is… @l_enchanteur

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was a slave revolt in the French colonyof Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Republic of Haiti. The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt which led to the founding of a state. Furthermore, it is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred and as a defining moment in the histories of both Europe and the Americas. The revolt began with a rebellion of black African slaves in April of 1791. It ended in November of 1803 with the French defeat at the Battle of Vertières. Haiti became an independent country on January 1, 1804, with Jean-Jacques Dessalines being chosen by a council of generals to assume the office of governor-general.

The first effective maroon leader to emerge was the charismatic François Mackandal, who succeeded in unifying the black resistance. A Haitian Vodou priest, Mackandal inspired his people by drawing on African traditions and religions. He united the maroon bands and also established a network of secret organizations among plantation slaves, leading a rebellion from 1751 through 1757.

The Fight For Freedom Is Never Ending Until We Are ALL FREE
(Pictured) General Toussaint L'Ouverture.