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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.

Origin

Voodoo was originally used by the slave girl Tituba (a witch who was accused of sorcery during the Salem Witch Trials), who was reported to have given the power to the witches of Salem. As a West African religion, it spread to the Caribbean by the slave trade and is still practiced in the world today, particularly a major religion in Haiti and Louisiana.

Voodooists believe in gods called "Loas", and are worshipped through rituals and syncretized with Catholic saints. The only known Loa who appears in Coven is Papa Legba, the Voodoo Loa of luck and travel and the Gatekeeper of the Spirit World.

Voodoo Queen

Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau, the 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 was the only known Voodoo Queen in Coven.

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.

Magics

Powers

Telekinesis
The ability to move objects with the power of the mind.
Transmutation
The ability to move instantaneously from one location to another without physically occupying the space in between, also known as Teleportation.
War Cry
An eerie scream that causes all that hear it to turn on one another, capable of making enemies fight their own allies.

Potions

Eternal Life
The eternal life was a magic potion, which contains the tears of an immortal being and renders the drinker immortal and unaging for so long as the immortal who is the source of the potion remains alive. 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 spirit Papa Legba.

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.

Rituals

Voodoo rituals are a unique ability of practitioners of Voodoo, consists in a magic circle and sacrifice of animals, thus they can invoke great powers. (Marie Laveau, Chantal[5])

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.

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 a snake and the drinking its blood. 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), cloth (from soldier's uniform). This power is most commonly called Necromancy.

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.

Summoning

An incantation to summon Papa Legba, used by Marie Laveau and Fiona Goode. It requires an inviting offer to the Loa. Fiona used some high-quality cocaine.

Incantation: "Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Papa Legba, ouvirier barrier pour moi. Agoe!"

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.
  • Although Papa Legba is the only appearing Voodoo God, the symbols drawn for the voodoo rituals of Marie Laveau are those of Maman Brigitte (Voodoo Goddess of Death) and Damballah (Voodoo God of Life, the Sky, and Serpents).
  • 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.

References

  1. Vulture.com, Ryan Murphy Reveals More American Horror Story: Coven Plot Details
  2. Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
  3. Episode: Head
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks
  5. Episode: Bitchcraft

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