Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Brief History Of Voodoo

I hated summer as a kid -- no school, lots of sunshine. I did love to swim, but that hardly made up for the fact that I wouldn't be suffering under some delightful battle ax of a teacher (back in the days before teachers of young children started letting students call them by their first names and making them feel good about themselves) and collecting gold stars for every assignment done well. To make up for this loss, I would make up my own version of summer school. My first assignment that I have record of is from the first grade summer, a two-page report I titled, A Brief History of Voodoo. Even then, I knew it wouldn't be comprehensive as I only had access to a really dated version of encyclopedias and my great grandmother's stories from the island, New Caledonia, a place where people routinely feared the evil eye.

My brief history touches on sympathetic magic (or what is more commonly known as voodoo dolls), ideas of energy, the dark uses for power. I didn't make judgments one way or the other -- as a child, all religions seemed interesting to me. My great grandmother told of a woman who could curse you, another who could remove the curse. I put that in the paper as well. I wasn't writing for anyone in those days, just some imaginary mean teacher in the sky whom I adored. I suppose some things don't change that much.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while." Nurse Jackie

Cocktail Hour
Working on new videos!

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


jodi said...

Honey, you r so crazy! When they sprung me on June 01, I NEVER looked back. However, I did miss the order and routine of it all. We had a girl in my high school named Venus (I am not kidding) that was this pale spooky bitch that had the ability to cast spells and tell (hazy and general) fortunes. We were scared and amazed by her. xox

Scott said...


In either 3rd or 4th grade, my class had to write a paper on an historical figure we admired. Most kids wrote their papers on folks like Lincoln, or Washington...my paper was on Attila , King of the Huns. My teachers didn't know what to think of me.

After working a 12 hr-day, your pic was just what I needed! :)
Take care, Darlin'!

Laura Benedict said...

I loved to play school! Mostly I would torture my sisters with handwriting exercises and make them do shows for my parents in which we would lip-sync to our The Sound of Music album.

Here's my favorite school memory: In first grade I got in trouble with Mrs. Root for passing notes to the Schneidt twins even though they couldn't read. They had banned me from their birthday party and I was very angry. My mother told me to tell them that--because they were older than me--they were going to die first. That mom. What a hoot!

Hugs and hugs to you, sweet Voodoo Girl

Charles Gramlich said...

I liked summer but summer on the farm had very little to do with play. We worked out in the heat every day. But going swimming at the end of a hot day. That was magic.

the walking man said...

I hated summer because all of the pricks that used to wait for me to beat on as I left school, hung out at our house because both of my parents worked.

Summer meant finding new ways to get away from them. Thank God for Detroit and "the never question the age of the kid getting on the bus as long as he paid the fare" attitude.

Anonymous said...


You had one of those girls in high school, too? Ours was Aurora (real name Janet), who was Goth before Goth was cool (back in the 70's when it was just creepy). She could tell your fortune by placing a crystal in the palm of your hand! I was going to become a Catholic Priest! So far, I am a Jewish IT Auditor with a wife and two kids, but you can never tell! The fates can be funny!

I saw Janet recently in my home town. She was 48, never married and had (or so she told me) a house full of cats.

I wonder if she saw this future for herself back in high school...

Brian in Mpls said...

For some reason I tossed and turned last night worried to death about blind squirrels