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Najah Lightfoot : A Look into La Source Ancienne O...

Najah Lightfoot : A Look into La Source Ancienne Ounfo Vodou and Good Juju

Najah Lightfoot is an initiated member of La Source Ancienne Ounfo, a private Vodou society in New Orleans, Louisiana, a sister-priestess of the Divine Feminine, and an active member of the Denver Pagan Community. She keeps her magick strong through the practice of Kung Fu, the folk magick of Hoodoo, Pagan rituals and her belief in the Mysteries of the Universe. She finds inspiration in movies, music, and the blue skies of Colorado. Najah Lightfoot is also a regular contributing author to the Llewellyn Almanac series. She has a recent release of a book, Good Juju: Mojo, Rites & Practices For the Magical Soul

 

Q. You have such an eclectic practice. Could you let us know about some of the variations of the magickal world that you pull your influences from?

A. I am influenced by New Orleans Vodou, African/American Hoodoo and European Witchcraft. In the year 2000, I completed a community herbalism class, which was my first introduction to the Goddess. Also, in the early 2000’s I became an integral member of a formalized drum circle, which was my first introduction to drumming, chanting and calling the directions as a sacred rite.

From those early beginnings I followed my spiritual journey which lead me to study African American Folk Magic known as Hoodoo, mental and physical training in the art of Shao-lin Kung Fu, self-study and private study in the world of Witchcraft, and formal initiation into a private Vodou society located in New Orleans.

 

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Q. You mentioned La Source Ancienne Ounfo, which is a private Vodou society in New Orleans, Louisiana. Could you tell us a bit about this society, the energies/spirits that you work with, some of the basic principles, and practices? 

A. Vodou is a religion. As such it falls under the parameters one does to keep their faith and connection to their Higher Power strong and intact. It is a religion of initiation which requires one to meet certain requirements as they advance along the path. We work with the Lwa, who are the messengers, and divine spirits we call upon, just as others call upon their gods and goddesses, Angels, saints, divine beings, spirits, guides, or Higher Power to assist them in this thing called Life. We call upon the Lwa through song, ceremony and vèvès.

Practically speaking, our House which is the name for Vodou society, holds public ceremonies many times throughout the year in New Orleans, so people can come and participate in a Vodou ceremony, that is ecstatic and blissful, and transforming, which is so difficult to describe in words. A Vodou ceremony is really something which needs to be experienced, rather than explained. Some of the yearly ceremonies which La Source Ancienne holds is the annual Head Washing Ceremony for Marie Laveau, which occurs around June 21st and also Fet Gede, which is the annual ceremony to honor our ancestors and loved ones who have gone before us. Fet Gede is normally held on the first of November.

Q. Many of us have heard about Marie Laveau, but outside of New Orleans we might not know exactly her place in the Vodou community. Can you enlighten us on how she is revered in La Source Ancienne Ounfo or perhaps how she shows up in your personal practice?

A. The Divine Marie Laveau is my spiritual guide and spiritual ancestor. She helps me, guides me and assists me when I properly and respectfully call upon her. It was through working with her, my studies of African American Folk Magick a.k.a. Hoodoo, and several trips to New Orleans, I came to meet Sallie Ann Glassman who is my Manbo, and the wonderful people who make up our house La Source Ancienne Ounfo. A beautiful statue of Marie Laveau created by the fabulous artist Ricardo Pustanio, graces the lobby of the New Orleans Healing Center, where anyone can come and pay their respects and offer prayers.

Q. You have written for the Witches Almanac for quite a long time. What has been your favorite aspect of participating in this highly recognized book for witches on many different paths?

A. I have been blessed to write for Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac, Witches’ Companion, Spell-A-Day and the Witches’ Datebook. I recently signed my contract to write for the 2021 Spell-A-Day. It is fascinating to me we write a year in advance for the almanac series. Writing articles keeps me fresh an author. I love getting my author copies in the mail, because I’m always excited to see the articles by the other contributing authors, as well as the art work, which is always fantastic! One of my favorite aspects of writing for the almanac series is I able to give back as a writer, to books which I trusted and helped me learn so much in the early years of my path as a spiritual seeker and novice Witch. I am deeply grateful to be part of the Llewellyn family.

 

Q. You just had your own book published called Good Juju: Mojo, Rites & Practices for the Magical Soul through Llewellyn Books. What can you tell us about this book and how your influences have manifested into this book?

A. I am blessed to live in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado. Living at 5,280 feet, we have a unique relationship with the sky, mountains, the sun, and the moon. Daily I am inspired by Nature, the Goddess as she expresses as the Divine Feminine, and my spiritual-magickal practices which includes the sacred religion of Vodou, the powerful martial art of Kung Fu, and the African-American folk magic of Hoodoo.

Good Juju is a handshake with Spirit. It is the good vibes and positive vibrations one receives from aligning themselves with Nature, the Earth, their ancestors, and magical spiritual practices on a daily basis, which uplifts their mind, body and spirit.

My book is written for the person who is just beginning to step their toes into the waters of magick, as well as for the person who has been on the spiritual/magical path for a long time. My hope is everyone will find something of value, as they journey on the path of magical spirituality.

 Q. As an experienced, eclectic practitioner, and a woman of color, what suggestions could you offer to some of the new Witchlings out there? Do you have any suggestions for those interested in the Vodou path, or how to get started on a path they might not have access to in their community?

A. I can deeply relate to not having access to one’s community as I live in Denver, and my spiritual community is located in New Orleans. It can be very difficult to be separated from one’s spiritual community. Yet there are many events and ways to connect with people of like mind in your own area.

We are living in unprecedented times where social media and websites can connect us to communities, virtually and physically. I do like impress upon new Witchlings (wonderful word) if you desire to join a group or society, do yourself a favor and actually meet people in person, if possible, before you make any commitments. People can be vastly different between their online personas and their real and in person selves. 

If people are interested in learning about Vodou, I highly recommend Sallie Ann Glassman’s book, Vodou Visions and the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot. Both are exceptional in being able to impart knowledge a person can use to begin working or studying about the Lwa. I would also like to recommend The New Orleans Oracle Deck by Fatima Mbodj. The art work on the cards is fantastic and is great way to bring diversity into the use of decks for divination.

And on a personal note, I try to get to New Orleans as often as possible. I’m very happy I’ll be returning this year in October to teach workshops and participate in Fet Gede, as a House member.

 

Q. Last but not least, with your book just coming out, a few lucky locations (including my own) are getting to do a book launch and a Workshop. Can you tell us a bit about what the workshop in Portland, Oregon on September 28th at Queen Meb will entail?

A. I am so excited to come to Portland! Thank you for gifting me with this opportunity to share my knowledge, skills and abilities about how I came to study African American folk magick, initiate into Vodou, my sincere love and appreciation for the Divine Marie Laveau, as well some rites and rituals that can be used on a consistent basis to help develop and strengthen a magickal spiritual practice. We’re going to have a great time!

 


You can find more info on Najah Lighfoot on her Facebook Page and Website

Her event has already begun selling tickets for this September at Queen Meb which you can find a link for here. If you don’t live near the PNW, Portland, Oregon area, keep an eye out for her and other upcoming events.

  • Author Posts
Owner, Product Fabricator, Tarot Reader , The House of Twigs, Keven Craft Rituals, Queen Meb
Head Mistress of THoT, and THoT: the School of Ritual, Owner of Keven Craft Rituals, and q. Meb ~ Queen Meb the Portland witch shop with handmade skincare products, organic goods, tarot, metaphysical items, home & hearth decor, A practicing eclectic-solitary witch, she works with energy healing / reiki master, psychopomp and psychic work, witch attunements; specializing in tarot and channeling since 1995. Erika rides the cusp of the Alpha / Omega and favors the Morrighan, Isis, Hecate, Freya, and Cernunnos.
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Owner, Product Fabricator, Tarot Reader , The House of Twigs, Keven Craft Rituals, Queen Meb
Head Mistress of THoT, and THoT: the School of Ritual, Owner of Keven Craft Rituals, and q. Meb ~ Queen Meb the Portland witch shop with handmade skincare products, organic goods, tarot, metaphysical items, home & hearth decor, A practicing eclectic-solitary witch, she works with energy healing / reiki master, psychopomp and psychic work, witch attunements; specializing in tarot and channeling since 1995. Erika rides the cusp of the Alpha / Omega and favors the Morrighan, Isis, Hecate, Freya, and Cernunnos.

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