Can you help me? Do you know another term for Southern Spiritualism? Since the 80s, I've been a practitioner of Southern Spiritualism, an American tradition of African-based practices. I never hear the term used anymore, and no one knows what I'm referring to when I use it, so I'm hoping there's a term more people are familiar with.
I do not know what else to call what I practice, because I did not learn it from a book but from a community. The only other term we had for it back in the 80s was "American voodoo."
Here is a bit of cultural context that might help you identify the tradition:
* I worked in an occult shop that catered to practitioners of Southern Spiritualism.
* The shop was in a black neighborhood in a major urban area.
* Some of the elderly black women who shopped with us would have insisted they weren’t doing Voodoo but just doing what their mom did. I understand that sensibility, because I come from a European shamanic family tradition; often, family traditions do not call themselves witches
or the like, but use an obscure or lyric term. (Check out my last post
. Among other things, it discusses the power of sometimes not using a label.)
* We who gave psychic readings in the shop were not called “psychics” but “spiritual advisors.”
* In the shop, we dressed candles for clients, which we burned for them.
* We sold ritual paraphernalia like that used in voodoo.
About fifteen years ago, after three decades of operation, the shop closed. Its owner and the practitioners who worked in the shop are all disbanded. I would not know how to get hold of them to ask for other names of the tradition.
It is a beautiful, rich, and powerful system. If it sounds familiar to you, and you know more terms for it, I'd love to hear them.
If memory serves, we considered “root magic” identical to what we did, and “root doctors” a proper terms for ourselves, but those terms were so unfamiliar we did not use them.
LOL, on one level, I do not care what the system is called, because it is part of my cells now. But folks get confused when I discuss it, so it would be really helpful if there is a commonly known term I could use.