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You haven't heard the news about civilization starting in Africa. We're more than just pins in dolls and seeing the future in chicken parts... You've been reading too many tourist guides!
Marie Laveau to Fiona Goode[src]

Voodoo refers to the magical framework, and the practitioners and adherents to them. Voodoo practitioners are humans with magical talent. Voodoo is also a religion, beginning as a tribal and spiritual belief in Africa brought over by the slave trade, beginning in Haiti and spreading to the Caribbean and Louisiana, most notably New Orleans. In Coven, as the witches settled in their new territory, a rivalry between them and the native Voodoo practitioners arose. The feud is still ongoing in present-day New Orleans.[1] A group of witches and voodooists are the focus of Coven and their rivalry is also addressed in Apocalypse.

Origin[]

Voodoo was originally used by the slave girl Tituba, the first witch to be accused of sorcery during the Salem Witch Trials. According to Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, Tituba gifted the Salem girls with Necromancy, a gift repaid with betrayal. She also described Tituba's heritage and knowledge as coming from a two thousand years old line of shamanic beliefs of the Arawak tribe.[2] As a West African religion, it spread to the Caribbean by the African diaspora and is still practiced in the world today, particularly as a major religion in Haiti and Louisiana.

Loas[]

Voodooists believe in spirits called "Loas", who are worshipped through rituals and syncretized with Catholic saints. Each and every one of them has their own vèvè, magical symbols drawn to summon them during rituals and spell crafting. Although Papa Legba, the Gatekeeper of the Spirit World, is the only Voodoo Loa who appeared in American Horror Story during Marie Laveau's rituals, the symbols of other Loas were drawn on the floor. Those were the Voodoo vèvè of Maman Brigitte, the Loa of Death and Lust; and Damballah, the Loa of Life, the Sky, and Serpents.

The Loas can bestow or grant beneficences and supernatural powers to Voodooists in exchange for sacrifices. Papa Legba was able to bless Marie Laveau with immortality, similarly to how the Old Gods bestowed strong magic powers and immortality upon the witch Scáthach.

As spirits, they are not susceptible to human weaknesses, thus being immune to all aging, disease, and death. They can move freely through the worlds, instantly teleporting through different places along with other magical yet to be defined abilities.

Mami Wata is also a loa spirit, capable of creating entire dimensions, endowing her people with magical abilities such as Telekinesis, as well as bestowing the title Guardians of Truth in the Mirror Dimension.[3]

Voodoo Queen[]

The Voodoo Queen is a title served to heavily famed voodoo practitioners and was given for their accomplishments in the Voodoo arts and for their power. Marie Laveau and Dinah Stevens are the only known Voodoo Queens in Coven and Apocalypse, respectively.

During the 19th century, Voodoo Queens became central figures to Voodoo in the United States. Voodoo Queens presided over many of the ceremonial meetings and ritual dances. They also earned an income by administrating charms, amulets, and magical powders guaranteed to cure ailments, grant desires, and confound or destroy one's enemies.

Magic[]

Powers[]

Injury Transference

The ability to sympathetically transmute physical injuries sustained to the body of another, chosen by the caster, along with the pain and bodily damage of the injury. Ghosts, zombies and androids are immune to the effects of this power, which could prove fatal to a witch wounded by a ghost. Also referred to as "Human Voodoo Doll".

Immortality
The magical ability to live forever and never age, allowing those afflicted by it an immunity to all aging, disease, and death. It can only be bestowed upon by a higher power and usually requires annual sacrifices.
Telekinesis
The magical ability to move objects with the power of the mind.
Concilium
The magical ability to control another's mind through sheer willpower.
Divination
The magical ability to gain knowledge through indirect means. According to Marie Laveau, voodoo practitioners can read the future using haruspicy with chickens.[2]
Life-Force Detection
The magical ability to sense life-force or lack of it. A variation of Divination.
Evil Sensing
The magical ability to sense evil. A variation of Divination.
Magic Sensing
The magical ability to sense magic in others. A variation of Divination.
Illusion Manipulation
The magical ability to create and manipulate illusions, causing others to see, hear, touch, smell, and/or taste things which do not actually exist, or cause them to perceive things differently from what they truly are.
Pyrokinesis
The magical ability to create, control and manipulate fire.
Levitation
The magical ability to propel oneself or objects in the air. A variation of Telekinesis.
Transmutation
The magical ability to move instantaneously from one location to another without physically occupying the space in between, also known as Teleportation.
War Cry
The magical ability to emit an eerie scream that causes all that hear it to turn on one another, capable of making enemies fight their own allies.
Descensum
The magical ability to descend into the nether worlds of the afterlife. Also known as Astral Projection.

Potions[]

Eternal Life
A potion that renders the drinker immortal and unaging for so long as the immortal who is the source of the potion remains alive. The potion contains the tear of an immortal being. It was only used once, Marie Laveau made this potion and tricked Delphine LaLaurie into drinking it. When Delphine drinks it dry, remarking its honeysuckle-like taste, she feels pain and collapses unconscious. During her unconsciousness, the Voodoo Queen takes her chance and murders Delphine's family and sets free her slaves. Immortality was given to Marie Laveau by the Voodoo loa Papa Legba.[2]
Power Granting Potion
The potion was a magic potion that grants another witch more powers. One of the ingredients is a dark heart. Queenie stated that Marie Laveau was making this potion to give her more powers.[6] This potion was likely responsible for Queenie survival during Hank slaughter in Marie's Cornrow City, as later she admitted to Cordelia having got some new powers that allowed her to endure.[17]
Fidelity Potion
A potion that makes a man loyal to his wife. The ingredients include the mistress' heart, something of choice belonging to the wife, such as her toenails, and optionally strawberries to make it go down the throat easier. The man is forced to drink the "smoothie" and falls asleep. Upon awakening, he does not remember any of this and is sexually attracted only to his wife. Dinah Stevens used this potion on a client that had an affair and wanted him to only be sexually attracted to his wife.[18]

Instrumental Crafts[]

Mind Control Dust
Similar to Concilium, it consists in launch a magic dust in the person who passes to be controlled.
Rattle Viper Sperm Incense
A powerful incense for removing jinxes and clearing away evil spirits using an incense, a lock of hair and a voodoo doll.

Spells and Rituals[]

Voodoo spells and rituals are a unique ability of practitioners of Voodoo, consists in a magic circle and sacrifice of animals, thus they can invoke great powers.

Voodoo Fertility Ritual

During the ritual, the priestess, surrounded by followers who play ritual instruments and chant, does a ritual dance while consuming a hot guinea pepper to attract the spirits then sacrifice a goat and spit its blood on the belly of the wannabe pregnant woman. After the ritual, she sleeps for four days and nights. The ritual also requires the seed of the man with whom the woman wants to conceive in a mason jar, put on the pyre where the hot guinea pepper was placed to warm.[10]

Reanimation Ritual

A voodoo ritual that causes corpses to rise as mindless minions. Marie Laveau would levitate above a voodoo symbol with eyes rolled back while she controlled the zombies. Performed with a veve, a traditional voodoo symbol. Reanimates the dead to do the casters bidding. The ritual includes the sacrificing of an unknown-species snake and then drinking its blood. The ritual also needs a albino Burmese python to coil around the user's neck. As material components, Marie Laveau had items that linked to the dead she intends to raise e.g: hair, noose (belonged to LaLaurie's daughters), and cloth (from soldier's uniform). This power is most commonly called Necromancy.[10]

Injury Ritual

Also known as pinning, the ritual hurts or kills a specific victim, the caster can manipulate pain and movement through the doll. The ritual includes a veve, a voodoo doll and a pin. This ritual allowed Marie Laveau to harm Hank Foxx miles away through the use of a voodoo doll, allowing her to draw blood and pin him to the ground.[7] Dinah Stevens used this ritual to harm a woman that had an affair with a married man for a client.[18] Marie Laveau implies it is a common power of the voodooists.[2]

Summoning Ritual

A ritual to summon Papa Legba. It requires an inviting offer to the Loa, such as high-qualify cocaine. Marie Laveau and Fiona Goode used this ritual to contact Papa Legba in an attempt for Fiona to become immortal.[14] Dinah Stevens used this spell for Cordelia in an attempt to get Papa Legba's help to stop Michael Langdon.[18]

Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Agoe!
— Incantation
Sound Nullification Enchantment

An enchantment to nullify sound. This enchantment appears to put a boundary around the object or area. After stealing the baby from the hospital for Papa Legba, Marie places the child in a closet that seems to have been enchanted by her to nullify sound. The spell appears to have created a boundary around the closet, as when Nan opened the closet door, the baby's cries were still muffled until it was brought out entirely from within its boundaries.

Protection Spell Breaking Ritual

A ritual to break a protection spell around a location. The ritual is performed with a Gris-Gris bag and a knife. The voodooist has to go to the location for the ritual to work. Once the ritual is complete, a lights creates a small burst and the voodooist's eyes turn turquoise. Dinah Stevens used this ritual for Michael Langdon and Miriam Mead as part of their deal, so they could enter Miss Robichaux's Academy and kill the witches.[9]

Voodoo Boundary Spell

A spell to create an invisible barrier around oneself or others. Marie used this spell in an attempt to prevent Michael Langdon from passing, but his powers were strong enough to negate her spell.[15]

Weaknesses[]

  • Mortality - Despite having magical voodoo powers, voodooists are still humans and share many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, being drained of blood by an afflicted person, gunshot, serious physical injury, etc.)[10][7][11][8][9][15]. However, some voodooists are able to resist mortality entirely via the annual sacrifices of animals and human beings to ancient deities, rendering them immortal.[14]
  • Emotions - A voodooist's magical powers are subject to the influence of their emotional state. Strong emotions such as happiness or anger can fuel a voodooist's power, while emotions such as fear and sadness may prevent a voodooist from properly accessing their powers.[10][14]
  • Distraction - Denying a voodooist from concentrating or giving full attention to their spells may render them ineffective. Since some spells are spoken verbally and take time to take effect, voodooists are vulnerable to attack before a spell's completion. Additionally, certain spells require items, tools, and/or special events during casting, therefore they can't be invoked on mere whim.[10][15]
  • Overexertion - The excessive use of voodoo magic can lead to disorientation, nose/eye bleeds, unconsciousness, and if taken to the extreme, death.[9]
  • Witchcraft / Voodoo - Voodooists are still susceptible to the powers of other voodooists. Despite according to Marie Laveau, the powers witches and warlocks possess originally came from voodooists', and in some cases, voodooists are in fact more powerful than witches and warlocks, Zoe Benson was able to successfully cancel out a spell performed by Marie Laveau in an attempt to harm the Acedemy with an army of zombies[5], and the Identity Spell Cordelia Goode cast on Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt and Mallory to disguise that they were witches could not be perceived by Dinah.[15]
  • Spiritual Entities - Deceased voodooists will lose their ability to perform rituals and spells, and all of their active powers if they become ghosts or pass into the afterlife.[16] Some magical voodoo powers have no effect on ghosts, as they are already deceased and immune to injury.[8]
  • Higher Beings - Demons, Angels, The Anti-Christ and Deities are much more powerful than voodooists. Michael Langdon were strong enough to negate the Voodoo Boundary Spell.[15]

Known Voodooists[]

Tituba †

Gallery[]

Notes[]

  • The feud between those who practice witchcraft and those who practice voodoo may be an allegory for the themes of oppression and racism. The Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau also mentioned to the current Supreme Fiona that witches stole magic from them after being betrayed and their secrets of magic introduced to other women though this is yet to be confirmed.
  • As stated by Voodoo/spiritual consultant Karen Kaya Livers in the American Horror Story video featurette "Inside the Coven - The Power of Marie Laveau", extras during the Fertility Ritual are actual members of a New Orleans voodooist community.
  • The discussion between Fiona Goode and Marie Laveau in "Boy Parts" implies that the voodoo ancestor Tituba was skilled in necromancy and black magic.
  • Unlike witchcraft, voodoo power is not affected in Hellmouths, as being shown that Queenie can successfully use her injury transference in Hotel Cortez.[8]

References

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