1. What first prompted your interest in Voodoo, and how do you feel it’s improved your life? Chance, coincidence, accident, fluke, luck — if you believe in such things! Since childhood I’d been practicing love magic. I think we all do. Every child on earth knows without question that magic works, and what teenager hasn’t cast a love spell, lit a candle or made a promise to the Gods of All Things Sexy — if only they’ll make Mr. or Ms. Right appear in time for an invitation to the prom?
But I’m also a psychologist, and I’d been working hard as a relationship counselor and therapist for many years, and I felt I deserved a holiday. So I went to Haiti — the home of Voodoo and Caribbean magic — really just for a break. But I was able to attend some Voodoo ceremonies while I was there, and what I saw was more powerful than any magic I’d ever known, so of course I wanted to learn!
By luck and good fortune — if you believe in such things — there was a priestess on the island who was willing to teach me, but only if I became a Voodoo practitioner myself. Most of the real magic of Voodoo is carried out in secret and can only be taught to initiates, which is why she insisted I became part of the “inner circle” first. And that’s exactly what I did.
How has it improved my life? Well, I specialize in love magic and let’s just say that my bed is never cold and I’ve usually got a smile on my face. 2. In Va-Va-Voodoo, you say “Voodoo and therapy go surprisingly well together.” Talk about some of the ways these concepts complement each other. There are loads. Let me give you just a few examples.
Say a couple comes to me for relationship counseling because of a sexual problem — one or both of them just isn’t interested in nookie anymore. The therapeutic aspect is to find out why. What’s the basis for their lack of intimacy? Is there a communication problem? Are they just not spending enough time together? Are they under stress? Or is there a deeper issue here? The answers to these questions can help the couple reconsider or reprioritize their lives so they have more time for each other, more confidence in themselves and more interest in love. That may be all they need.
My Voodoo training allows me to help in other ways though. For example, there are recipes for aphrodisiacs in my book and for scented and sensual massage oils as well as tantric practices that will stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood of even the most uninterested lover (to paraphrase Shakespeare). The two approaches — Voodoo and counselling — work really well together in situations like this.
Or let’s say a woman (or a man) comes to me wanting a Voodoo charm to attract a new lover (quite a few of these are described in the book). That’s fine, of course, but I can also add value to the Voodoo with my counseling skills. Asking questions like “Why do you feel you need a Voodoo charm? Why do you believe you can’t attract a man by yourself?” can really help the client understand limitations she is imposing on herself and, hopefully, she’ll leave with greater self-knowledge, more self-confidence and greater personal power than she arrived with — as well as a charm she can use!
Because it works, this is the approach I also take in the book: therapy and Voodoo going hand-in-hand for the benefit of the reader. 3. You cover a lot of ground in the book: misconceptions about Voodoo, ethical questions and practical advice. What one thing do you most hope readers will take away from Va-Va-Voodoo? Well, it would be nice to see more love in the world. Or if not that, then at least more red-hot pumping sex! I hope the book helps people learn more about themselves and gives them a few techniques they can use to spread a little love and light. That’s my real wish. 4. Is there such a thing as “too much Voodoo?” With something as powerful as love, should practitioners limit their participation? The book teaches Voodoo for love — so what you are really asking is “Is there is too much love in the world?” Or maybe the question is “Should we limit our participation in good wholesome sex?” I think most people would say the answer to both of those questions is no way! And I’d absolutely agree with them.
I guess your underlying point, though, is “Is it right for Voodoo practitioners — or readers — to use love magic or sneaky techniques to make someone to fall in love with them?” My answer to that question is “Are you saying that we’re all totally innocent and not using sneaky techniques anyway?” Don’t we all use charm, charisma, body language, and other forms of subtle magic (as well as cheesy chat-up lines) to influence the people we fancy? Every time we slap on the make-up, put on our sexiest clothes, drench ourselves in perfume, twiddle with our hair, lick our lips, or do that cute thing where we look up at the man we’re trying to hook from underneath our fringe, aren’t we being manipulative? Or maybe you’re suggesting that we don’t know what we’re doing? Ha! We know we’re doing it all right — and we’re being a lot sneakier than Voodoo, which is straight, upfront and honest about it. That’s the only difference. 5. Va-Va-Voodoo offers a wide variety of spells, ranging from the simple to the more advanced. What is your favorite surprisingly simple bit of Voodoo that anyone can work?
The whole of life — and certainly the whole of love — is surprisingly simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The best advice I can give anyone — and the most important thing you can ever do to find real love — is simply to love yourself first. There’s nothing more attractive than a charismatic self-assured man or woman who knows their power, has their baggage well packed and neatly stored, and who actually likes themselves. That’s the real trick to magic — and to finding, keeping and making love. 6. The participants in the ritual examples you cite are often male/female. How will the magic you describe work for same-sex relationships? Is there anything same-sex couples need to take into account when exploring Voodoo? It’s just a writer’s convenience (or laziness if you prefer) to use male/female examples, but there’s nothing at all in Voodoo or in this book that won’t work for same-sex couples. In fact, one of the Voodoo spirits we work with extensively in Va-Va-Voodoo is Erzulie, who is the goddess of love and also the patron spirit of same-sex relationships. Erzulie adores everyone equally and actively encourages exploration in love.
7. Some of the situations your book discusses show people who are being unknowingly influenced. Can Voodoo be performed on a willing recipient and, if so, what is the effect?
Yes, of course. There are a lot of exercises in the book that couples can do together. The chapters on tantric massage as it’s practiced in Voodoo, the love rituals and the relationship counseling practices, like how to communicate more effectively with your lover, are all designed for couples to work through together.
With all magic, the effect depends on the intention you have in mind. If you’re practicing the chakra massage I give instructions for in the book, for example, I think you’d have a pretty clear intention in mind. And you’ll certainly know when it works because the effect will be stand-up in-your-face obvious. That’s the power of Voodoo. 8. In his foreword to your book, Ross Heaven compares the practice of Voodoo to Buddhism and Christianity. What similarities do you see when you set Voodoo side by side with these other faiths? Voodoo is a world religion like any other, and the official religion of Haiti. It has one God, a pantheon of helpful and healing spirits, much like the Christian angels, and reveres the ancestors, just as Buddhism and some other religions do. In fact, if you look to the core of any religion — Voodoo, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other — you will find that all of these practices share similar ideas. What a shame that most religions don’t practice what they preach. They all speak of peace and love, but look how many religious wars there have been — although never in Voodoo!
9. Can Voodoo be countered? What happens if two people cast an attraction spell on the same person? Oooh, two questions for the price of one. First, can Voodoo be countered? The short answer is yes. For example, some clients come to me for help because they sense that they or their relationship has been damaged by someone who has sent negative magic against them. Then it comes down to a battle of wills. If negativity has been sent their way by a weak magician, then a stronger magician can undo it and even return it with interest to the person who sent it.
It’s the same answer to your second question. If two people are after the same lover (lucky him — or her!) then it comes down again to personal power: whoever’s spell is stronger and whoever has the most powerful intention and self-belief is going to win.
Of course, there’s another factor involved as well: is the man (or woman) on the receiving end of these spells strong enough to resist them both? That’s often the real test of a Voodoo practitioner’s power. Hopefully, this book will help.