Santeria, Voodoo, Obeah, And Similar Religions

The reading for this week actually correlates very closely with a topic in my Personality Psychology class. This is the of humanistic psychology, and its origins which lay in the original foundations of existentialism. This addresses the main questions of why are we here and what is the purpose our existence? The reason why I connect this to this weeks reading on various religions that began in Africa, is because I hold to the belief that many people find their purpose, and identify through religion. However, as psychology argues how we perceive our own reality is the result of our constructs. As was noted in the reading, Santeria and Voodoo are very closely related to each other. Nonetheless,  regardless if these charms and practices are used for good or evil, I think is the result of how one perceives their own reality. One of the biggest issues that I think can arise from studying followings in Voodoo and similar practices today, is we now have more science on our side. As the article connects, behavior of individuals who were claimed to be chosen by certain African Gods, we said to present with the same behaviors as someone with whom today we would claim to have multiple personality disorder. Furthermore, although I am aware that I do not hold the common opinion on this matter, I think it is important to note that priestesses, and those who were chosen to be the “vessels” of other worship gods, often came from a family of it. For me personally, this raises questions in my mind about how much people brought into these practices, or if it may have been a societal pressure.  In addition, I still wonder why the concept of voodoo itself, to many people in New Orleans, is still thought of as a dark practice. Seeing as my mother grew up in this city, as a child my grandmother have certain superstitions and rules we had to follow in order to get what she would refer to as bad juju. Of course, this comes from a woman that lives a haunted house, and gets mad every time we bring up the top of Ojai boards, which she’s never allowed in her house, even when my mother was young..

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