A couple years ago, Vice posted an article on former OTO member Sallie Ann Glassman who’s devoted herself to Vodou and community activism in New Orleans’ 9th Ward aka “The Bywater” to well heeled immigrants. Among the points touched on in this piece is that her practice is not static but alive and growing and that as a vegan, she’s pursued theurgy without utlilizing blood sacrifice. I’m not really advocating that as superior to other practices — just good to know that some folks can see alternatives.
An excerpt says:
“‘I was really involved in the Ordo Templi Orientis [the magical fraternal order founded by Aleister Crowley],’ she explains, refilling the water bowl for Ayida. ‘For a while I was the second-in-command; some title or another. I realized I just wasn’t interested in getting power for myself.’
“Glassman moved to New Orleans and discovered traditional Vodou culture in 1976 through patrons at a bar she tended. By 1980, she was leading ceremonies in her home for the locals. Surprisingly, it’s not race or nationality that separated Glassman from the Vodouisant traditionalists—it’s her veganism. While exaggerated by films like Angel Heart and The Serpent and the Rainbow, not to mention Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, ritual animal sacrifice does still play an important part in Vodou ritual. As Glassman began observing these ceremonies, she realized that her dietary ethics would need to be reconciled with her community.”