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The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook Paperback – August 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774355
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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 Sater&iac)

“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)

“I recommend The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook for those who want to learn more about the culture and beginnings of the spiritual tradition. ” (Pagan Book Reviews, August 2013)

The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook is about so much more than Voodoo. Using Voodoo as the lens through which the city of New Orleans is viewed, Kenaz Filan weaves a tale equal parts history, tourist guide, and introduction to Voodoo as unique as the city itself. Filan touches on topics as diverse as the evolution of race relations within the city and the proper use of ritual oils. If you are planning a visit to the city or just want a fresh perspective on a fascinating American city, pick up this book.” (Witches’ Almanac, December 2013)

From the Back Cover

SPIRITUALITY / SHAMANISM

“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 the Voodoo of New Orleans is a unique system of magic distinct from, but with relations to, both Haitian Vodou and Hoodoo. In this very readable book he manages to capture the spirit of New Orleans Voodoo 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 and The Sorcerer’s Secrets

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.

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Customer Reviews

Very informative, a great read.
Tiffany Hopkins
Taken together, the sections of the book inform each other and easily demonstrate the practical, mystical, eclectic and wonderful system that is New Orleans' Voodoo.
A.H. Derman
With regard to this book, it is just as bad as you can imagine.
Honest Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brother Ash on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the "New Orleans Voodoo Handbook" Kenaz Filan gives readers a guide not only to Voodoo as it is practiced in the city, but also the culture and history that has shaped it. Someone looking for a simple cookbook of spells and formulas will be sorely disappointed. The author being an initiate of Haitian Voudon knows that the way the religion is truly taught is through its stories, and this book has plenty of them. Part 1 of the book uses the first six chapters to cover the colorful history of Louisiana, and New Orleans. Beginning with La Salles Expedition, and covering topics such as the beginning of the industrial revolution, Jim Crow laws, and Hurricane Katrina along the way. This section also details the works of writers that have contributed to the study and preservation of local Voodoo lore, like Zora Neal Hurston with her seminal work " Of Mules and Men", and Robert Tallant author of "Voodoo in New Orleans", and the novelization of Marie Laveau's life, "Voodoo Queen". The author manages to pack a lot of information into the first 56 pages of this book, and gives the reader a real feel for the roots of Voodoo in the Crescent City.

Part 2 of the handbook covers the various colorful traditions of New Orleans. There is a great primer on Mardi Gras, the party that the city has become famous (or infamous) for. You'll learn not only the Roman and pagan history of the festival, but also how the celebration as we know it today has come to be. From there, Filan moves on to music with great stories about Dixie Land Jazz, Delta Blues, and Zydeco. Of course no book about New Orleans, Voodoo or otherwise would complete without discussing the cuisine that is made there.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Couvillon on September 13, 2011
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As a member of the Vodou community of New Orleans, I was quite pleased with Kenaz's book. As he states in his introduction, to understand New Orleans voodoo, you must understand New Orleans. He mentions food, jazz, drink, and architecture to show how voodoo and those who practice it, has influenced almost every aspect of New Orleans' culture. One of the most important aspects of Kenaz's book is where he explains how New Orleans voodoo is different than the vodou practiced in Haiti, but that it is just as viable a religion. How Vodou has been able to survive and even grow is its ability to adapt to new cultures and absorb aspects of other religions. For those who are upset with the book-remember its title: New Orleans Voodoo.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By danielle on March 12, 2014
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While this is still a good book to read with lots of information it is more of a history lesson for why there is Voodoo in New Orleans and who brought it there. I was expecting a beginners guide to practicing. If you are looking for a how to handbook this is not the book for you. Still I suppose if you want to practice a religion especially one as complex as Voodoo it is very important to learn the history before you can begin to learn the rituals. Still an excellently written book very well researched and has a great guide for spots to visit if you are ever in the Big Easy.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura P on October 15, 2011
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The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook is a thoroughly well researched and well written book that takes you into the history, culture and spirituality of New Orleans. The writer really brings the history, the place and the people alive and gives a solid context for the reader to get an appreciation and understanding of New Orleans Voodoo. It was a great read and a valuable resource.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Witchypoo Bats on May 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book teaches you of Voduo, hoohoo, calture, history, and describes places and people apart of New Orleans. It does have spells, descriptions of candles, colors and other basics. Good for getting your feet wet. I enjoyed reading it and found it's information both useful and interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Muzic Maniak on August 15, 2013
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My ex-girlfriend was just obsessed with New Orleans. The music, the history, the architecture and, of course, Voodoo captivated her. After she read this book, I gave it a read and found it enlightening. I knew very little of the history of New Orleans Voodoo, but this easy to read book gave me an appreciation for a religious tradition i had only known about from short references in other books. This is NOT a book about HOW to practice Voodoo. This is a book about what New Orleans Voodoo is and isn't. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Voodoo, as well as to anyone travelling to New Orleans on vacation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Vanwagenen on July 17, 2013
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All religious movements seem, at their conceptions, to be a melange of folk wisdom and local superstitions. New Orleans, the crossroads which felt the effects of French, English, Afro-Caribbean and Aboriginal influences, has spawned what may be the first authentic American religious movement. The author gets to the core of it in this book.

The critical reviews of this work are partly correct. This is not merely a collection of of spells, and buying this book won't suddenly allow one to kill his enemies from a distance. As a skeptical fellow, I'm grateful for that. As a guy who spent a chunk of his childhood in New Orleans, I simultaneously appreciate the deference and respect the author shows us natives, all while he pulls no punches, rigorously explaining the origin of the spiritual movements which have come to be associated with the crescent city.

Aside from people interested in Voodoo and folk magic, this excellent book will be of interest to students of cultural anthropology, geography, sociology and history.
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