Eclipse Savannah-style -- Hoodoo mystic says cosmic event can bring country together

I spent part of Eclipse Day with a Hoodoo mystic. Not voodoo. Hoodoo. And he has a message for us: let's use this cosmic event to heal the divisions harming the great country we all share.

"I can be naive sometimes," Jamal Touré told me Monday in Savannah. "I want to be naive about this Eclipse because I need to plant the seed. The madness will continue until we find a way for people to come together in goodness."

"On this one day, when the moon moves past the sun, we will have a new day for the second time. It's a rebirth for the sun. It can be a rebirth for our troubled country too."

Touré conducts tours for visitors to Savannah, dressed in traditional African garb and explaining the Gullah-Geechee traditions that Africans brought with them to the southeast United States as they were sold into slavery.  He explained that Hoodoo is the religious tradition practiced in the "low country" of Georgia and South Carolina." Hoodoo's more famous sister, voodoo, occurs more to the south.

"But we don't need to go to New Orleans or Hollywood to give us our culture," Touré says somewhat indignantly.

In addition to preaching African spiritual tradition as founder and performer of his Day Clean journeys, Touré is a professor of political science and marketing at Savannah State University.

Whether or not it's in his syllabus, he's telling his students to make the most of the symbolic potential of a solar eclipse, where the moon temporarily blots out the sun.

"On this one day, when the moon moves past the sun, we will have a new day for the second time. It's a rebirth for the sun. It can be a rebirth for our troubled country too."

Touré's ebullient personality and positive message are sorely needed in the Deep South right now. The ugly dispute over preserving monuments of the Confederacy have millions on edge. But in Savannah, the gracious seaside city of public squares and respect for privacy, there have been no violent demonstrations, no unauthorized vandalism of history.

Savannah's Eclipse Day started bright and promising, but afternoon rainclouds swept in, as they do most every day. 

Despite the efforts of the Savannah Voices -- a combination of professional and student singers to coax the sun out of the sky -- so it could be darkened by the moon, the Eclipse was not visible in this proud city.

Voices Executive Director Maria Zouves was philosophical. "We have a little bit of a rivalry with Charleston, up the coast, and for the eclipse we wanted to provide something of comparable value to what they were doing." Her solution: have the Voices sing O Sole Mio as the eclipse amazed and frightened those on the ground. 

But it didn't.

Touré's eclipse wishes, however, aren't dependent on sunny skies, just tolerant personalities. 

Let's listen to Savannah. 

John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four books including "Pope John Paul II : Biography."