Given that the protagonists of the novel are Voodoo practitioners, the novel itself contains a great deal of Voodoo terminology. In the novel, Voodoo is an effective art: PaPa LaBas practices from his Mumbo Jumbo Kathedral, and at one point his assistant is taken over by a loa whom she has neglected to feed. Voodoo itself is traced back to sharing a common ancestor with Judeo-Christianity in ancient Egypt, with Osiris as the first recipient of Jes Grew, whose effects and powers are interchangeable with that of Voodoo. Moses steals the Petro aspect of the Voodoo secrets from Isis. Other classic mythological figures include Dionysus, who is portrayed as a follower of Osiris, and Faust, who receives his magic not through a deal with the devil but through connections with black Voodoo practicitioners.
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