The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook
By Kenaz Filan
(Destiny Books, Paperback, 9781594774355, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 16, 2011
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A guide to the practices, tools, and rituals of New Orleans Voodoo as well as the many cultural influences at its origins
• Includes recipes for magical oils, instructions for candle workings, and directions to create gris-gris bags and Voodoo dolls to attract love, money, justice, and healing and for retribution
• Explores the major figures of New Orleans Voodoo, including Marie Laveau and Dr. John
• Exposes the diverse ethnic influences at the core of Voodoo, from the African Congo to Catholic immigrants from Italy, France, and Ireland
One of America’s great native-born spiritual traditions, New Orleans Voodoo is a religion as complex, free-form, and beautiful as the jazz that permeates this steamy city of sin and salvation. From the French Quarter to the Algiers neighborhood, its famed vaulted cemeteries to its infamous Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans cannot escape its rich Voodoo tradition, which draws from a multitude of ethnic sources, including Africa, Latin America, Sicily, Ireland, France, and Native America.
In The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook, initiated Vodou priest Kenaz Filan covers the practices, tools, and rituals of this system of worship as well as the many facets of its origins. Exploring the major figures of New Orleans Voodoo, such as Marie Laveau and Dr. John, as well as Creole cuisine and the wealth of musical inspiration surrounding the Mississippi Delta, Filan examines firsthand documents and historical records to uncover the truth behind many of the city’s legends and to explore the oft-discussed but little-understood practices of the root doctors, Voodoo queens, and spiritual figures of the Crescent City. Including recipes for magical oils, instructions for candle workings, methods of divination, and even directions to create gris-gris bags, mojo hands, and Voodoo dolls, Filan reveals how to call on the saints and spirits of Voodoo for love, money, retribution, justice, and healing.
Kenaz Filan (Houngan Coquille du Mer) was initiated in Société la Belle Venus in March 2003 after 10 years of solitary service to the lwa. Filan is the author of The Haitian Vodou Handbook, Vodou Love Magic, Vodou Money Magic, and The Power of the Poppy and coauthor of Drawing Down the Spirits. A frequent contributor to PanGaia, Planet Magazine, and Widdershins, Filan is the former managing editor of newWitch magazine and lives in Short Hills, New Jersey.
“Kenaz Filan’s new book is quite simply the best book on New Orleans Voodoo I have ever read. It is extremely well researched detailing spirits, practitioners, and rituals, that are well known in the Crescent City, but which have never been covered in a book like this before. Kenaz takes great pains to show that Voodoo of New Orleans is a unique system of magic distinct from, but with relations to both Haitian Vodou and Hoodoo, and provide a much needed window into the ever evolving magic of America’s most occult city.”
-Jason Miller, author of Protection & Reversal Magick: A Witch’s Defense Manual
“To understand a spiritual practice one must understand both the history and culture in which it flourished. In The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook, Kenaz Filan begins with the critical eye of a historian before investigating New Orleans Voodoo as both a spiritual science and religion. He strips away myth and fallacy, leaving us with fact, and gives us an insider’s view of the faith’s deepest mysteries. It is the first book I’ve read by an experienced houngan dealing with one of the South’s most enduring, powerful legacies. This volume is a welcome addition to both the casual historian’s and active practitioner’s library.”
-Ocha’ni Lele, author of Diloggún Tales of the Natural World, Teachings of the Satería Gods, and The Diloggún: The Orishas, Proverbs, S
“A winning blend of urban and religious history from famed New Orleans Vodou priest Filan . . . A unique supplementary travel guide for anyone planning a trip to NOLA or readers interested in the city’s rich voodoo tradition.”
-Kirkus Reviews, August 2011
“Well researched, well written, and a delight to read, I highly recommend this to readers who want to understand how and why New Orleans voodoo is different from the island varieties.”
-FacingNorth.net, October 2011
“One reviewer said The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook―is quite simply the best book on New Orleans Voodoo I have ever read. I would amend that to,―it’s the best book on New Orleans and Voodoo I’ve ever read.”
-Psychic-Magic, November 2011
“Plenty of practical prayers and recipes follow, as well as instructions for divination, candle-workings and concocting magical oils, etc. Overall, this is a well–researched and highly engaging read.”
-Frater Puck, Behutet Magazine
“Filan does an excellent job in presenting good information, and offering caveats for the rest. And while the Handbook is not a spell book, the information provided on the spirits, saints, oils and candle magick, plus the best explanation of what a voodoo doll is (and isn’t), is a wonderful entry into this work for anyone who wishes to pursue it further. Fun and informative, The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook is a great resource for anyone interested in this style of magick, or who’s planning a ‘magickal vacation’ in the Crescent City”
-Leni Hester, Witches and Pagans Magazine, October 2012