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Mysteries and Secrets of Voodoo, Santeria, and Obeah Paperback – 10 Sep 2008

1 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn Group Ltd (10 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550027840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550027846
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,010,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The secrets of Santeria, Voodoo and Obeah are among the oldest enigmas in the world. Their roots go back to pre-historic Africa - perhaps even beyond that. From the 16th century onwards, the slave trade brought these ancient mysteries to the West, where they blended strangely with traditional Christianity: the ancient African gods became identified with legendary saints. This integration of the two faiths slowly evolved to form the many varieties of Santeria, Obeah and Voudoun that are widely practised throughout the world today. Their characteristic dancing and drumming seem able to invoke strange states of mind in which almost anything is possible.Even stories of zombies - the walking dead - still persist. Is there a rational explanation for them? Contemporary Voudoun priests, priestesses, magicians and enchanters use rare herbs and spices as well as charms, dolls and talismans to control the natural world in ways that science cannot always explain. Accounts of their inexplicable successes are examined in depth. Most intriguing of all are the claims that are made for their love philtres and aphrodisiacs. What powers do these old religions still possess?

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Format: Paperback
Don't waste your money on this, it's a waste of ink. Repeats misconceptions and nonsense - you'll learn more through Google than you will with this book. Perhaps someone should explain the use of Google to the authors, that way they wouldn't have written this tripe!
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This is a disappointing, poorly focused book which rambles discursively and anecdotally around the subject in a fashion which would shame a first year degree student. Give it a miss.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b5f98e8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b872e7c) out of 5 stars Ethnocentric Foreword Sets the Tone 12 Nov. 2008
By Pegi Eyers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At first glance "Mysteries and Secrets of Voodoo, Santeria and Obeah" looks like a serious scholarly work but it is actually anything but. The eurocentric foreword by Reverend Canon Stanley Mogford establishes a tone of cultural superiority and sets a baseline for the book by his definition of Christian supremacy over all other religions or spiritual traditions. He states that conversion to Christianity is a universal principle and that unchristian or "primitive" societies are an aberration. One must assume that the authors support this view. It would not have been surprising to read nonsense like this forty years ago, but to be printed today? What were the publishers thinking? The authors' outsider tone is condescending and colonialist and their speculative research meanders in and out of cultural histories that could not have possibly been linked to the Santeria tradition. In a generalist, muddled way, they tie in various mystical traditions as if all are equal in superstitious triviality, so they MUST be connected ie. the Minotaur of Knossos, the Venus of Willendorf etc. By constant reference to the Santeria/Christian syncretization, they imply that Santeria did not stand alone as a fully-functioning valid spiritual tradition for centuries before encountering European domination. Because of its old-fashioned tone of imperialism, this book represents what can happen with the worst of ethnocentric-based study, and is to be avoided in favor of works on Santeria and Obeah by practitioners of those traditions in their own words (or anti-ethnocentric writers).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b6a6f18) out of 5 stars This book fell far from my expectations. I wanted ... 1 Mar. 2015
By J. Savage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book fell far from my expectations. I wanted to learn about each of the religions. This mostly implies no difference between the religions, and the book doesn't describe the philosophies and practices near what I had expected. It continuously goes off topic and it is composed so chaotically I had a hard time reading it. I did learn a small amount, but honestly, I think I could have gotten just as much insight from this book if I just searched the internet.
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