For Prophet

The Reverend Doctor Lady Bishop, "America's Premier Voodoo Priestess," wears both a crucifix and a Star of David around her neck.

"Voodoo is like gumbo," she says. "In gumbo, you have a little bit of everything."

Indeed. Bishop, a.k.a. JoAnn Jennings, uses every clairvoyant trick in the book, from tarot cards and astrology to numerology and palmistry, to give "prophetic" readings. But she's been a devout Catholic since she was 4, and she's studied a wide range of faiths, including Islam, Judaism and Mormonism.

"I consider myself a Vatican I, traditional Roman-Latin, apostolic, full gospel, cradle Catholic," says Bishop. "I've read all five holy books, but the Bible is the one I base my life around."

But what about the zombies, the voodoo dolls, and the curses? Isn't voodoo a forbidden "dark art"?

"When I went to Haiti, I did learn the other side of voodoo," Bishop says. "There is a dark side. But the original voodoo was for mixing herbs for healing, and mixing oils and things, which they now call aromatherapy."

Bishop found her vocation in fifth grade, when classmates gave her pennies for her to tell them something about themselves. Since then, governors, congressmen, and presidents have paid her a lot more for her services. After traveling extensively, she's currently settled in Arizona, where she's established a home at Voodoo Daddy's Magic Kitchen, doing weekly readings. And she gives 10 to 25 percent of her earnings to help homeless veterans (her husband was killed in Vietnam).

Bishop plans on being in Phoenix for a while, and she loves her gig at Voodoo Daddy's. "This is the closest I've ever come to New Orleans without being in New Orleans," she says. "I found the perfect place for a voodoo priestess in the middle of the desert."

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea