Saturday, November 07, 2009


. . . is a complex belief system brought to the western hemisphere from Africa and given both an old Catholic and a New World spin. In fact, there are a dozen or so similar religions (Cuban Santeria is probably the best known) -- that more or less share the pantheon and tenets of voodoo/vodou.

The symbol above is called a "veve." Each god/dess has his or her own. This one happens to be for a spirit called Erzulie Freda, and you can see a portion of it on Adin Swift's torso on my new book's cover. Erzulie Freda, quite a lovely and vivacious creature, figures heavily in the storyline.

However, voodoo can be turned to dark purposes. Jackson Spey must confront these in To Be Where You Are.

If you'd like to get a sense of the mystery and magic of New Orleans-based voodoo, click on the post title. It will take you to the MySpace page for Dr. John "the Night Tripper." Look on his playlist in the upper right corner, and click on the song "I Walk on Gilded Splinters." (Don't worry if you can't make out some of the lyrics; I believe they're in Creole.)

It was really tempting to expand and even focus on this element of TBWYA, but I had to rein in the impulse lest Jackson's and Adin's story got lost. This is their book, after all.

However . . . I don't think I'm done with voodoo yet.


Tam said...

I must say I am clueless as to voodoo as a real religion. My knowledge comes from Scooby Doo and other authoritative sources like that.

However I LOVE that symbol/tattoo. Very cool, however not cool to have it if you have no clue what it represents.

I do love it when I actually learn something as a byproduct of reading an enjoyable book.

K. Z. Snow said...

Scooby Doo does voodoo? Whoa. I won't let my dog near it. ;-)

The veves are all really beautiful, Tam, but I'm just superstitious enough not to put one on my bod or in my house. My knowledge of this stuff is still far too limited. (And of course I took a bit of artistic license in the book, so I'm hoping that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt!)

Tam said...

I think it's also kind of disrespectful to put a symbol on your body that someone holds sacred if it's not your belief, just because it's "pretty". I'm not superstitious as I'm a non-believer but I just think it's rude to adopt other peoples' sacred symbols as an accessory.

I'm sure a little artistic license will be fine. You didn't write an academic text book. :-)

Oh and Scooby Doo ALWAYS defeats the evil voodoo princess. I'm sure your dogs could learn much from the Scoobster and keep you safe.

Kris said...

Totally off topic, but I friggin' hate the timezone thing when I'm eagerly awaiting for a certain book to be released. It's damn frustrating.

Jeanne Barrack said...

Oh the stories I could tell you about voodoo...
But then I keep hearing Cole Porter's song lyric, "Do, do that Voodoo that you do so well"...

Word veri:
I don't know what it means, but I think it's Voodoo!

K. Z. Snow said...

I agree, Tam. It isn't very cool to appropriate any cultural or religious icon unless one is familiar with and respectful of its meaning.

Kris, was that really you? Or was that your "nice" twin?

Jeanne, I'm afraid to ask about those stories. Do you mean firsthand experience? (And I know what you mean about the Cole Porter song; it slid through my head, too!)

The Word Veri you got does sound like a name of a loa.

Kris said...

Damn. Good Kris got out of the box again. Back. *cracks whip* Back, I say.

K. Z. Snow said...

I can relate. Castanet tries pulling that crap with me all the time.