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Obeah and Wanga

From Thelemapedia

The terms Obeah and Wanga come from the following line in The Book of the Law: Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach. (AL I:37).

In his Commentaries, Crowley explains:

The obeah is the magick of the Secret Light with special reference to acts; the wanga is the verbal or mental correspondence of the same. [...] The "obeah" being the acts, and the "wanga" the words, proper to Magick, the two cover the whole world of external expression.

He goes on to say:

Magick is the management of all we say and do, so that the effect is to change that part of our environment which dissatisfies us, until it does so no longer. We "remould it nearer to the heart's desire."
Magick ceremonies proper are merely organized and concentrated attempts to impose our Will on certain parts of the Cosmos. They are only particular cases of the general law.
But all we say and do, however casually, adds up to more, far more, than our most strenuous Operations. "Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves." Your daily drippings fill a bigger bucket than your geysers of magical effort. [...] Remember that every word and deed is a witness to thought, that therefore your mind must be perfectly organized, its sole duty to interpret circumstances in terms of the Will so that speech and action may be rightly directed to express the Will appropriately to the occasion. Remember that every word and deed which is not a definite expression of your Will counts against it, indifference worse than hostility. Your enemy is at least interested in you: you may make him your friend as you never can do with a neutral. Remember that Magick is the Art of Life, therefore of causing change in accordance with Will; therefore its law is "love under will", and its every movement is an act of love.
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In Afro-American practice


The Obeah refers to the Jamaican afro-american religion related to Brazilian Candomblé, the Caribean Santeria or the Haitian Voodoo.

In the Jamaican patois the term "Obeah Mon", or "Obeah Man" means "Father of the Saints", where the "Saints" are the gods and other spiritual entities.

The Obeah is an initiatory and secret religion, practiced onlu by a selected few. To an Obeah Mon is alowed the use of any religious or magic system fueled by the powers of the Obeah but, depending of the case, he may concern to the repercutions from the gods and the natural order of the things caused by his acts.


Wanga (or Mare Wanga) is one of the magical practicises of the Voodoo, related to the patuá of Brazilian Candomblé. It´s made of certain materials (the exact nature of them varies form Wanga to Wanga, according the desired results) that are conected inside bootle or pocket. The recipient is then closed and carried by protection, healing or luck.

Each Wanga is dedicated do a certain Lwa, being closed by a certain tie knew as the Lwa's "point". The point brings the energy of that Lwa to inside the Wanga. Specialy powerfull Wangas may need also a full ritual to accomplish, with songs and dances related to that Lwa.


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