Voodoo is not a lost art in the city of New Orleans. Where else could you find items like House Blessing Spray and Away All Evil Spirits furniture cleaner at the local grocery or drug store? Voodoo, with its litany of spells, gris-gris, candles and charms, is an exotic gumbo of traditional African spiritual beliefs with Catholicism. Brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans from West Africa and the Dominican Republic in the 1700s, the practice of voodoo was at its zenith in the 1830s, during the reign of celebrated mulatto priestess Marie Laveau, whose life is the stuff of legend and whose grave in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of the city's most visited. Voodoo is a religion long misunderstood, according to Priestess Miriam, who presides over the modern day Voodoo Spiritual Temple on the edge of the French Quarter in the city’s Treme section. Voodoo incorporates both white and black magic, with intense spirituality at its center.
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