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Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Re: Advice on an offering

Unread postby Dr Johannes » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:20 am

Asking the "universe, cosmos etc" what it would like in return would be the most polite option to me.
Taking good time to hear the answer, being patient, passive and intently listening to the answer would be the first offering.
Once that is done and you recieved no answer, go on to divination of some sort.
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Re: Advice on an offering

Unread postby Mama Micki » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:02 am

Donate to a charity that is related to whatever you received. If you received money, give to the poor. If you received love, give to those you are alone, especially children. If you received justice, give to those you need justice.
Gracias, Jesus Malverde!
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Re: Advice on an offering

Unread postby Joseph Magnuson » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:05 pm

A great question/post in this thread with 4 amazing answers! Thanks for those ideas!
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Need assistance with charging and cleaning my items

Unread postby Batticia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:37 am

Help, I need assistance with charging and cleaning.

Usually I would use a candle and incense for charging my items.

1) Can I charge something to be used without a candle or incense?

Same question for cleaning my items.

2) What bath-type cleaning can I use to bring positive results to my work?
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Re: Need assistance with charging and cleaning my items

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:19 am

Batticia,

1. the concept of "charging" items for magical use simply is not part of hoodoo or conjure practice. It is found in some hermetic occult practices as well as in Wicca and other hermeticism-influenced branches of Neo-Paganism. All that aside, you are at the Lucky Mojo Forum, where we discuss and describe how to use Lucky Mojo products in the practice of African American conjure.

So there is literally NO answer to your first question within our traditions. Sorry.

The closest concepts we have are fixing, dressing, feeding, and praying over objects, and in addition to incense smoke or candle flame, we may use oils, perfumes, baths, washes, or sachet powders -- and most of our products come in a number of those forms. to take into account the type of item we are working with its water-resistance, its fragility, its portability or immovability, etc.

Further, we do not use one all-purpose type of product, but vary the product according to the type of situation or condition we are addressing. For instance, we use Fast Luck products for gambling, Love Me products for love, and Court Case products for legal matters.

2. However, we are VERY good on ideas for cleansing around here! Cleansing and bathing are such big topics in this forum and in our tradition that you will not find a single answer, nor will i waste my time trying to write you a book on the topic in one Forum post. Rather, i suggest that you read the following web pages and Forum threads and then come back with further, more specific questions, if those pages do not give you enough information (which i doubt, because it would take 8 hours to read all of these pages!).

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice (HITAP): Bath Crystals and Floor Washes in the Hoodoo Tradition
http://www.luckymojo.com/baths.html

Lucky Mojo Curio Co. (LMCCo): Baths and Washes we make and sell at Lucky Mojo (CLICK ALL THE LINKS!)
http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocatbaths.html

Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR): Category:Cleansing
http://readersandrootworkers.org/wiki/C ... :Cleansing

Lucky Mojo Forum: Baths and Washes in Hoodoo, Rootwork, and Conjure Spells (THOUSANDS OF POSTS!)
baths-and-washes-in-hoodoo,-rootwork,-and-conjure-spells-f7.html

Lucky Mojo Forum: Ask Us for Conjure Help with Cleansing, Health, Healing, and Blessings (THOUSANDS OF POSTS!)
ask-us-for-conjure-help-with-cleansing,-health,-healing,-and-blessings-f37.html

You will definitely find answers in these pages. Start with the first one and proceed from there.

Good luck!
baths-and-washes-in-hoodoo,-rootwork,-and-conjure-spells-f7.html
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Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby BlakkkSOL22607 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:56 pm

If anyone can answer these, I am ever so appreciative.

I grew up in the deep South and there are a lot of things that are just automatically recognized as part of tradition although I never knew WHY and where the tradition came from or reason for it. I don't understand them but sincerely seek the answers. Some of them are:

1) "don't put your bed with the foot facing the bedroom door" (my biological mother used to get real mad when I was in my room moving furniture but never told me why when I asked her about this)

2) "don't split the pole" when you are walking on the street.

3) the proper placement of a dreamcatcher (some say directly suspended over your bed, some say over your front door, some say over your bedroom door, right beside your bedroom or front or back door, some say in the east window to your bedroom, some say in any window as long as it is in your bedroom...et cetera).

And there's a lot more. Thank you if anyone can give me the answers to these.
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Re: help with traditional hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:00 pm

1) If your feet face the bedroom door the undertaker's men will carry you out dead that way. It is courting death to sleep that way.

2) "Splitting the pole" splits your friendship or love affair with that person. There are ways to remedy it when you split the pole. One is to say "Salt and Pepper" or "Bread and Butter, Salt and Pepper." This means you belong together.

3) Dreamcatchers are something from the 1970s and 1980s, not part of traditional hoodoo. They are supposed to be Native American, but i do not know of ever seeing mention of them before the 1970s and 1980s.
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Re: help with traditional hoodoo

Unread postby BlakkkSOL22607 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:43 pm

Thank you so much Miss Cat,

You are so smart. For many years, no one has told me...it is almost as if it was considered 'taboo' to speak of such things. For example, I grew up that children were to courtsey before their elders, let's say like, whenever coming home from school and the parents were keeping company, and we got wooped if we did not speak to them in a proper greeting. It is like we were supposed to be second class citizens or something.

I understand greeting elders and speaking to them with and treating them with fullest respect. Some things I wish would have never changed. But we were not taught certain things, even the type of French spoken amongst my parents and maw-maw and pawpaw and all them because we were told, they spoke it in front of us to keep us from knowing what they were saying.

So, a lot of stuff we just had to learn on our own, via researching it, and not dare ever asking. And so a lot we learned the hard ways.
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Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby Temont » Mon May 14, 2012 6:58 am

I was raised with some family members who practiced different forms of magic but I am training myself all alone. I have a reading scheduled with Ms. Cat (Yipee!!!) and I have done quite a few spells alone, so far all have worked well--very well. I have just begun to buy more products for my work but I live too far from Cali to actually train with LM.

I was wondering about the energy that I have to put out for spell work. For example... before I found LM website, my ex was slandering me horribly for no reason at all, very cruel things. I was so upset that I lit a candle and chanted my own written desire along with burning some of his hair, I asked that it come back on him--the next day he was in a horrible accident....

I tried other things after that--mostly positive, including reconciliation between he and I. All have worked very fast, with obvious signs to link the results.

1) There have been a couple of times when I know something else was with me, I can't explain--I was in a trance... Is this supposed to happen, am I going too far?

2) I noticed that it takes a lot of energy from me too and I was wondering what kind of energy is supposed to go into my spellwork (mental and emotional), or if the ritual is more important?

3) I've also noticed that my dreams have become more vivid and memorable--I haven't had dreams like this in almost ten years....Does this have meaning?

I'm not sure if this post belongs here, I have a lot of questions but my reading is not until the middle of next month so I'm wondering if anyone else might be able to give me some more insight.
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Re: I'm fairly new and curious about energy

Unread postby MissMichaele » Mon May 14, 2012 8:47 am

Temont wrote:but I live too far from Cali to actually train with LM.


Wait, what? You do realize that Miss Cat teaches a correspondence course, right?


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Re: I'm fairly new and curious about energy

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Mon May 14, 2012 9:06 am

Temont,

1) If you work with spirits or are a natural spiritualist, you will no doubt feel or sense the precense of spirits.

2) The degree to which you expend energy in a spell will vary with the kind of spell work, the estimated resistance of the target(s), and your own personal investment in the situation and its outcome.

3) The ability to receive messages through dreams is independent of doing spell work. Some people who dream true never perform spell work. Some people who perform spell work have no gift for dreaming true.

I have moved this post out of the "Ethics of Magic" and into the "Questions about Magic and Divination" are, because it is not about ethics, but about simple spiritual issues encountered by all spirit workers.

Good luck, and i look forward to our reading together.
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Re: I'm fairly new and curious about energy

Unread postby Temont » Mon May 14, 2012 12:42 pm

Miss M! Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I didn't catch on to that... I will look into it further. I graduate with my bachelors at the beginning of the year and I was thinking that when I finished, I would see about going. I have my first large order of LM coming soon :D I will be checking in... This is awesome. Miss Cat, I am aware that some people who do not practice have the dreams. Up until 20, almost all of my dreams were vivid and informative... until 25, they were occasionally vivid and 'telling'. I don't know how to 'control' my visions or premonitions--they have always kept me safe, up until the end of '10 when I was actually drawn into a negative person's spirit without knowing it... Long story, but I now have a five month old with this man who has been giving me a hard time. I am soooo happy and grateful that I found you all! I would love to learn so that I could share and teach also (in this area, we have to be a little bit 'quiet'). I know several people out this way who are very 'gifted' and we don't really have an outlet or direction... this site and forum has been a blessing to me and my family already, thank you all!
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Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby phonehappy » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:52 pm

Sorry if this has been asked before

Can we work on spells together? I'm not just talking about spells that effect us... I'm asking if we can collaborate on something for someone else. For instance maybe something for healing of illness for someone else or even revenge on a friends husband who sleeps with every other women he can.

I'm a.d.d and he has the best concentration and focus and even spirituality.
I'm just so interested in this walk of life but I can't focus that well during ritual.. I will keep practicing Haha that should be another question in itself..
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Re: Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby starsinthesky7 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:04 pm

Yes. A friend of mine collaborate all the time. The key is this has to be someone you trust, and know that they arent going to have ill intentions towards your work.

Clients collaborate with professional rootworkers all the time as well.

Also, an exercise for you is to just concentrate as long as you can. You dont have to concentrate for hours or even more than 10 minutes. Something you can simply do is say"come to me john doe" and repeat that statement at 3 times, or 7 if you can.

I dont have ADD but I know i could never sit and concentrate on something for a long time either so do what you can do. Feel confident about your work and move on.
Thank u St. Martha for everything you have done on my behalf.
Thank u St. Elena! I appreciate your great help.
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Re: Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby Lord SP » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:56 pm

starsinthesky7 wrote:Yes. A friend of mine collaborate all the time. The key is this has to be someone you trust, and know that they arent going to have ill intentions towards your work.

Clients collaborate with professional rootworkers all the time as well.

Also, an exercise for you is to just concentrate as long as you can. You dont have to concentrate for hours or even more than 10 minutes. Something you can simply do is say"come to me john doe" and repeat that statement at 3 times, or 7 if you can.

I dont have ADD but I know i could never sit and concentrate on something for a long time either so do what you can do. Feel confident about your work and move on.



@Stars I love your wisdom.Best Wishes to All :D
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Re: Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby Joseph Magnuson » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:37 am

My wife and I constantly work things together. Go for it! Also, feel blessed that you have a partner that you can share with. Many on here, it seems, do not!
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Re: Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby phonehappy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:24 pm

I can share anything with him :D He feels my excitement and gets excited too!
Thanks for responding Stars. & Joseph Mag.
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Re: Can my fiance and I work on magic rituals together?

Unread postby starsinthesky7 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:20 pm

Great! That is a good relationship to have. Its always great to work with someone or collaborate because you can bounce ideas off of each other. Many clients come to me and are upset because they dont have someone they can connect with and share their knowledge with.
Thank u St. Martha for everything you have done on my behalf.
Thank u St. Elena! I appreciate your great help.
Thank you St. Peter for opening the gates&roads!
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Getting spouse on board with hoodoo?

Unread postby more_mojo » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:06 pm

My wife is fairly weirded out by anything occult, which limits me on exploring hoodoo. I have been very reluctant to even bring it up directly. I don't have anything particularly "scary" on mind, mostly protection and success workings. I don't need anything to controlling, just persuasive enough to get her on board.Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Getting spouse on board with hoodoo?

Unread postby Doctor Hob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:21 pm

Before trying any work on her, I would suggest starting simply. Gradually introduce things into the house, without making a big deal about it, and be willing to answer any questions she has in a calm, simple manner. Something like an ancestor altar can be a good start. Just make a small space for pictures of a few respected ancestors, and give them candles and glasses of cool water. Don't do any work, at first, but slowly acclimate your wife to the idea of it, and ease into it from there.
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Re: Getting spouse on board with hoodoo?

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:50 pm

ANother good intro into magical work is to buy her one or more of the "Hoodoo Food!" booklets about cooking with magical herbs. Tell her this looks like fun -- that the herbs and spices have certain meanings and people who use this old-fashioned way of working can make love cookies, or money-drawing pies, even salads to protect a marriage! Show her how this is not "occult" (secret) knowledge but rather part of old Southern family traditions.

Good luck!

Here are the booklets. Each one contains 17 or 18 recipes. You can order from right here in the Forum by clicking the blue Add To Cart buttons.

BOO-GRI-HF10
Hoodoo Food! The 2010 Conjure Cook-Off and Rootwork Recipe Round-Up
$4.00

Image

Image

BOO-GRI-HF11
Hoodoo Food! The 2011 Conjure Cook-Off and Rootwork Recipe Round-Up
$4.00

Image

Image

BOO-GRI-HF12
Hoodoo Food! The 2012 Conjure Cook-Off and Rootwork Recipe Round-Up
$4.00

Image

Image

Good luck!
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Re: Getting spouse on board with hoodoo?

Unread postby more_mojo » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:10 pm

Great ideas, thanks!
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Re: Getting spouse on board with hoodoo?

Unread postby MissMichaele » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:26 pm

If she's wary of "the occult," she might be more comfortable with the Christian aspects of hoodoo, such as the use of Psalms, and addressing prayers and petitions to God and Jesus. Even if she doesn't want to see anything else in the house, you can still do a lot of good work that way.

You can also present candles and honey jars and such as "three-dimensional prayers that keep working even after I'm done talking to God."

My healing and justice altars have pictures of Jesus on them. I always welcome his support for my work. You can too, and it'll assure your wife that any "nasty" power is kept out of your home.

I also have pictures of powerful folks who have passed on, whose spirits I work with: Dr. Martin Luther King, Aunt Caroline Dye, Bayard Rustin, Rev. Howard Thurman, Frederick Douglass -- Christians all!

Hope this helps,

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Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby Brian Kennedy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:04 am

If I understand it correctly Hoodoo did evolve over its history; it added practices and ideas from various sources. But on the face of it it seems as if Hoodoo has stopped its evolution and became kind of "frozen in time" circa 1940 or so. Is that true or are new things being added, new beliefs and practices being brought in?

On a kind of related historical/ethnic note; is Hoodoo still mostly a black cultural thing? I hope in this age of political correctness that I phrased that question correctly.

What prompts the question is I was telling my cousin about me carrying a mojo bag (from Lucky Mojo!). He commented that back when we were kids (late 1950s in the Florida panhandle) that no white person would get caught carrying a mojo bag, that was a black thing. (I realize that is not completely true, some white folks, either openly or covertly, relied on Hoodoo to solve problems, but my cousin is basically correct in saying that Hoodoo was largely a black thing).

He went on to comment that he thought Hoodoo had died out among the blacks, with newer generations having less or no interest in it. He added that whatever interest there still was in Hoodoo was most likely "white New Agers" (his words, not mine).

Has Hoodoo become a kind of historical artifact that no longer is part of its original culture? I would be curious to see what other folks think. It is hard for me to get a feel for it as I have not lived in the south since the late 1960s.

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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby MoonBreath » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:35 am

HI Brian,

I'm sure lots of Black folk still do conjure, but I live in a mostly white area, so I don't have much of a chance to interact with them.

(Edited to remove speculation.)
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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby Mama Micki » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:28 pm

Carrying roots, herbs, and other objects in a bag goes back to prehistoric times and was practiced by every culture around the world.
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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:41 pm

Brian Kennedy wrote:

1) It seems as if Hoodoo has stopped its evolution and became kind of "frozen in time" circa 1940 or so. Is that true?

No, not in my experience.

New items enter all the time. For instance, silk-screened glass vigil candles, now so popular, were only introduced into hoodoo circa 1976. The use of digital images only entered hoodoo in the 1990s. Glass coaster petition covers are new as of 2012 and are gaining popularity rapidly.

Likewise, dangerous things are continually being subtracted from hoodoo practice by practitioners themselves: No one i know still uses tar oil (creosote), blue vitriol (copperas, bluestone), or liquid mercury (quicksilver) in rootwork. These were still in use in the 1970s and 1980s but have gradually faded away due to folks reading and heeding the information currently supplied on FDA warning labels.

2. Are new things being added, new beliefs and practices being brought in?

Yes. See above, and also please see the essay "High-Tech Hoodoo: Conjuring Through New Technologies" by Kast Excelsior in "The Black Folder" book. Kast is an African American practitioner. You may read about him here:

http://readersandrootworkers.org/wiki/Kast_Excelsior

He has also discussed the topic of High-Tech (evolving) hoodoo on the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show.

3. Is Hoodoo still mostly a black cultural thing?

Yes, in my experience it is. However, we must also acknowledge issues of copy-cat faddism and cultural appropriation.

4. [My cousin] commented that back when we were kids (late 1950s in the Florida panhandle) that no white person would get caught carrying a mojo bag, that was a black thing. (I realize that is not completely true, some white folks, either openly or covertly, relied on Hoodoo to solve problems, but my cousin is basically correct in saying that Hoodoo was largely a black thing).

I agree. When i began to study and practice hoodoo in Oakland, California in 1964, i was the only White person i ever saw in the Black-owned candle shop that i frequented. Then, when i moved to Chicago in the Autumn of 1964, i was the only White person in the shop i went to there. I later met other Whites who practiced hoodoo, including a White man with an African-American wife.

5. He went on to comment that he thought Hoodoo had died out among the blacks, with newer generations having less or no interest in it.

I do not find this to be true at all. I just spent the afternoon with an African American family who drove 100 miles to come to my shop -- a grandmother and her two adult children, one in her 30s and the other in his 40s. I have known the grandmother at least 20 years (she is about my age) and i first met her in a candle shop in Oakland. Considering that this family had to make a 1 1/2 hour drive each way to see me and could have shopped in Oakland, and that the two adult children wanted readings from me, i would say that hoodoo has not died out in their families.

Likewise, if you are any good at parsing accents by sound alone, you could listen on the Lucky Mojo Rootwork Hour on Blog Talk Radio and keep a running count of people by accent, dialect, and ethnicity. Black people, especially from the South, are regular participants.

6. He added that whatever interest there still was in Hoodoo was most likely "white New Agers" (his words, not mine).

I have operated a candle shop for 20 years now and found very little White New Age interest in hoodoo.

In the past 5 years there has come upon us a wave of White Pagans (not New Agers) using the term "conjure" who have some strange idea that "hoodoo isn't a Black thing," but they stand out by their conspicuous oddities -- like making Oil of Brighid and calling it a hoodoo oil, for instance.

Meanwhile, there is actually much more interest in hoodoo from Hispanics who are attempting to designate hoodoo as a form of Hispanic influenced African-Catholic religion along the lines of Santeria, Lukumi, Palo, Voodoo, or Ocha.

Some of my customers are Asians as well. They are generally looking for solid folk-magical supplies and, just as hoodoo long ago accepted Lucky Buddha and Oriental Garden oils, they easily accept Follow Me Boy and Money Drawing supplies.

Racial issues are not at an end yet, by the way -- and they still prevent many White students of hoodoo from ever actually understanding it. I teach a year-long course in hoodoo and find it quite common that my White students cannot complete their homework assignments because they are unable to meet with and befriend Black people (one of their class assignments) and when they fail at this, they drop out of the course and we never see them again.

7. Has Hoodoo become a kind of historical artifact that no longer is part of its original culture?

Not in my experience -- but of course, i run a large spiritual supply shop specializing in African-American products, so of course i see a lot of Black customers.

8. I would be curious to see what other folks think.

Well, this forum is a free-for-all in a way, but it is also the customer outreach branch of the Lucky Mojo Curio Co., and you have just heard from the owner of the shop.

9. It is hard for me to get a feel for it as I have not lived in the south since the late 1960s.

From the time of the Great Northern Migration onward, hoodoo has been practiced in the North and Midwest as well as the South. I learned a lot of solid information in Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, and Harlem. There are still old-school hoodoo shops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Detroit, Oakland, Chicago, Philadelphia, and so forth.
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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby Miss Tammie Lee » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:07 pm

I live in Florida. I have lived all over Florida from the Panhandle to Miami/ Ft .Lauderdale and back again to to the Panhandle. Hoodoo is alive and well where I am from.

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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby Joseph Magnuson » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:58 am

Miss Cat's above post is one of the most knowledgeable things on "modern" hoodoo I have read in a long time. Re-read it and commit it to memory.
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Re: Hoodoo still evolving?

Unread postby Brian Kennedy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:32 am

Thanks for information. I appreciate folks taking the time to write.
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A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby CuriousKate » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:40 pm

I'm not entirely sure if this goes here. I'm new to hoodoo and I was wondering if you actually wrote spell incantations, words that rhyme set towards a certain goal, in this path.

I know this may sound somewhat odd but I'm trying to switch my personality from my sun sign, Sagittarius, to my moon sign, Gemini. As I'm guessing that everyone's personality is made up of a bit of both.

I would also like to ask your opinion on this spell.

What tools you would use, how you would use them and how you would improve the spell itself.

As I said I'm new to hoodoo.

Forever trapped in the shadows of Sagittarius,
I search for a way to break free,
To find my place among the Gemini,
To become the woman I seek to be!
Mighty Mercury, hear my cry!
Help me flip the coin on it’s head,
No longer shall I follow the sun,
But the beautiful moon instead,

What once was fire now dies to embers,
Leaving behind a lonesome howl,
The stirrings of a new beginning,
As wind sweeps forth from the South,
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby MissMichaele » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:03 pm

Welcome, CuriousKate!

Hoodoo being an African-American (mostly) Protestant magical tradition, we use free-form prayers rather than incantations. This is a beautiful poem that may even have magical power, :) but if this were my spell, I would be taking baths with King Solomon Wisdom and Cast Off Evil, drinking teas of bay leaves and five-finger grass and borage, lavishly sweetened ...

...which puts me in mind of the Jewish custom of giving children a taste of honey right on the slate when they learn the alphabet, so they experience sweetness as they learn to read.

You could decorate cookies with the symbol of Gemini to have with your wisdom teas.

And while you're doing all that, you can be reading the psalms aloud. There are several possibilities -- Psalms 69 if you view the Sagittarius way as a collection of unhealthy habits, or Psalm 62 if you feel that your Sagittarian way of life needs forgiveness. You'll find many other possibilities here:


Do this, or something like this, regularly, and you'll soon find you have memorized your Psalms well enough to start riffing on them in free-form prayer.

If you do use the poem you found -- it's too pretty not to use for something -- I would be very wary of that line about the "lonesome howl." You sure don't want that in your new life.

Best of luck,

Miss Michaele
Last edited by MissMichaele on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to reflect the fact that this poem was found elsewhere on the web, and may not be original
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby CuriousKate » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:58 pm

Well the reason that I included the word howl is that that's mostly what winds do. They howl. Also fire is associated with Sagittarius and air is associated with Gemini. Also it's not that I'm ashamed of being a Sagittarius or that I have the view that it's bad for me, it's simply that Gemini are known to be much more creative. And since that's my moon sign anyway, I want to bring that ability into my life.
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby Colette » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:25 am

Miss Michaele has given some beautiful suggestions. I think the key issue here is that if you're asking us about Hoodoo, we'd be sharing Hoodoo tips along the line of how something is traditionally done - a spell and a prayer/psalm that would be in line with your intention (e.g. King of Solomon & Psalm 62) and, for the petition paper, clear formulation of your goals ("Success in ..." "Personality change from ... to ...", something like that).

If I was to add an item of personal significance to me - e.g. if I associated a particular object, image or poem with psychic vision and I was working that spell - then I'd put it on the altar, but I wouldn't use it as my main focus/prayer/petition.
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby CuriousKate » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:15 am

Well I know that I've read somewhere that hoodoo is a mixture of other magical practices. So I don't know why I wouldn't be able to incorporate a incantation into my spell?
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby aura » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:40 am

Hi CuriousKate,

Hoodoo is not simply "a mixture of other magical practices." It is its own tradition.

As has been said many times on this forum, there is no hoodoo-police that will stop you from using an incantation - or practicing any which way you like; nor will it prevent your work from being effective, but don't expect what you do to be traditional hoodoo. Although it is true that there are influences from a number of different practices that are included in rootwork (particularly Native American with some Jewish and a bit of European as well), it also doesn't mean that it's a magical ''free-for-all''.

Like you said in your first post, you're new to hoodoo. We've all told you that working with passages of Scripture or Psalm is more traditional (by far) than incantation which is not a part of the traditional practice which belongs to the heritage of Black, mostly Protestand (Baptist being predominant) African Americans. A good article to read with respect to that history (if you haven't already!) is the following: http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodoohistory.html
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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby MaryBee » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:56 am

Some rootworkers involve astrology in their work; you could always read Psalms and take baths during the moon phases or astrological signs that you wish to emphasize in your life.

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Re: A little help on writing a spell?

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:08 am

CuriousKate,

Although you write, "I am new to hoodoo," you have been a member of this forum for almost two years now (you joined us on December 13, 2011), so this comes as a bit of a surprise to me.

About one year ago, in December 2012, you wrote in a thread about crossroads rituals, "I am considering doing the crossroads ritual to become a better writer. I write mostly fiction." You were seeking to improve your writing skills and were willing at that time to undergo one of the more arduous hoodoo rituals known.

Shortly after that, in January, 2013, you wrote, in a thread about the use of menstrual blood in hoodoo: "I'm guessing none of you have ever heard of blood magic? I'm an eclectic witch and use many different types of magic from many different places." You thought that African Americans knew nothing about blood magic? Huh? I folded your post into the long-long thread on menstrual blood spells, hoping to give you a free clue, and i hope you picked up on it.

Now, in November 2013, after posting a bardic incantation, and being told that this form of poetry is not traditional to the practice of rootwork, you write, "Well I know that I've read somewhere that hoodoo is a mixture of other magical practices. So I don't know why I wouldn't be able to incorporate a incantation into my spell?"

The answer to your question is simple. Hoodoo is not yours to make or remake. It is not the provenance of "eclectic witches." It is African American folk magic. Until you understand that, you will go around and around with us in circles. Two years you have been here -- look it in the face: Hoodoo is African American folk magic. Absorb that.

Yes, like African American people, who are generally of mixed races and cultures, hoodoo is a mixture of magical beliefs, knowledge, and practice from several cultures (African, Native American, Anglo-Saxon, Gaelic, Jewish, etc.) but it is a SPECIFIC MIXTURE. It is not a random mixture. It is a mixture created by and perpetuated by and developed by African American people, and although it is mixed, and there are regional and chronological variations in the mix, it is always recognizable as what it is.

It is not is not a mixture that you, or anyone who does not claim African American culture as his or her own, can simply appropriate and pretend to possess and rewrite. You may join in -- black American society is not a closed or formally initiatic society -- but if you do so, you need to start with the understanding that you will begin as a guest.

Imagine being invited over to your black school friend's house for dinner, and the family sits at table and the father says to the older brother, "Son, please say grace." If you are a good guest, you will bow your head and listen. It may be the same as the grace said in your house, and it may not be the same -- you might be Jewish, for instance, or Hindu -- or you might not even have ever heard the word "grace" used before in the context of eating dinner, because in your family it is called the "blessing" or because such a thing is never done in your house at all. But ... if you are a good guest, you will listen, and learn.

And the next time you eat at that home, you will listen again.

Is the "grace" always the same, or does the wording vary?

Is it always the older son who says it, or do the children and parents take turns?

If you come to dinner often enough, will YOU be asked to say grace?

If you are asked to say grace -- can you do so appropriately, without saying it in Hebrew or Hindi, or stumbling in your words out of embarrassment and fear?

This is how i learned to say grace, and this is how i learned hoodoo as well. I listened.

You, curiouskate, need to listen.

People are being very patient with you, trying to educate you, trying to tell the truth, but you are not listening.

There is no rule-set that governs hoodoo. There are no hoodoo police who will say that your incantatory poem is not allowed in hoodoo. But, truly, although recitation of Psalms is traditional in hoodoo, the poetic or bardic form of spell-casting you are representing is not authentic to this tradition, and you cannot expect us to welcome it as part of the texture of African American folk magic just on your mistaken say-so.

If you are really interested in hoodoo -- where it came from, what it is, who are its culture-bearers, and how it is practiced -- you might enjoy reading these web pages about it. Perhaps then you will understand the viewpoints of those who are explaining to you that incantations, bardic poems, and "writing spells" are simply outside the cultural provenance of conjure and rootwork:

Hoodoo History from "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" by catherine yronwode
http://luckymojo.com/hoodoohistory.html

Hoodoo and Religion from "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" by catherine yronwode
http://luckymojo.com/hoodooandreligion.html

Good luck!
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby CuriousKate » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:58 pm

So you're saying that hoodoo isn't for an Electic witch who wants to learn all forms of magic?
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:51 pm

CuriousKate,

I'm not in charge of hoodoo. I don't claim to define who should or should not practice it. But i am saying that you are not making a very good job of understanding it or working with it.

If you had any respect for the tradition, you would learn and absorb its precepts. In two years here, you have not done so.

The fact that you want to add poetic chants to your work and still call your work "hoodoo" just shows how out of touch you are with this well-loved and long-treasured flower of African American culture.

I am not trying to send you away. I am trying to invite you in. Please leave your European-style rhymed incantations at the door. Thank you.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby CuriousKate » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:56 am

Well to be fair, as I've learned there are two forms of Hoodoo. The African American one and one that was developed in the Appalachian Mountains. That one is a mixture of Celtic and other forms of magic.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby aura » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:02 am

Hi CuriousKate,

One of the many books that influenced hoodoo is ''The Long Lost Friend'' that was carried by many mail-order houses that supplied products to the African-American community. But it is German, not Celtic. You can read about that influence here: http://www.luckymojo.com/powwows.html. Other books that provided influence include ''The Black Pullet'' and ''The Key of Solomon'' which were also available.

That said, the practices described in these tomes are their own - NOT HOODOO. They are from European magical influences and as you can read in the information provided on ''The Long Lost Friend'', ''first published in German for Pennsylvania Dutch hex-meisters, after the translation of 1846 it had a tremendous influence on the Anglo-Saxon folk magicians of the Appalachians.''

So keep in mind that the folk magic of the Appalachians is the folk magic of the Appalachians - it is also not hoodoo.

There is cross-over between many folk magical practices and so many do become confused as to what belongs to who. For example, as a practitioner of Catholic folk-magic I work with certain Saints - I am also aware that when I do so I am not practicing traditional Hoodoo, I am practicing Catholic folk-magic. I also do practice old-fashioned Conjure, but it does not include the portions of my practice that are directly informed by my Catholic back-ground and study of the work of Albertus Magnus!

In the same way, you can be an eclectic witch - but out of respect for the cultures and practices you borrow from - it is preferable to be aware of what is and is not a part of each respective belief system. Those systems exist for a reason, have grown out of a culture and a context, and practice is much richer when we can recognize that and get to know it rather than white-washing it with our own socio-cultural bias.

But then, that's just my own 2c on the subject.

Blessings and may you find your way.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby CuriousKate » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:10 am

I'm just going by what Bryon Ballard said. She's the one that called Appalachian Folk Magic "Hooodoo".
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:23 pm

Curious Kate,

Well, Byron Ballard is not dealing with historical truth, alas. The idea that "There are two forms of Hoodoo [...] the African American one and one that was developed in the Appalachian Mountains" is simply NOT TRUE.

I will not go so far as to call it an deliberate bald-faced lie, falsehood, or fabrication, but i will state, clearly and for the record, that there is no historical or reality-based substantiation of the culturally appropriative fantasy that Byron Ballard is promoting.

Look at some simple logic:

Thousands of songs by Appalachian white (European-American) rural folk musicians were recorded during the 1920s -- ballads, reels, jigs, novelty pieces, courting songs, dance tunes, gospel songs, comedy songs, children's play-party songs, old 19th century (and earlier) songs, and contemporary social and political commentary songs.

Among all these recorded pieces by Appalachian white (European-American) rural folk musician, I have not found a single one that mentions the word hoodoo.

Meanwhile, thousands of songs by Southern black (African American) rural folk musicians were recorded during the 1920s -- rags, blues, work songs, reels, jigs, novelty pieces, dance tunes, gospel songs, comedy songs, children's play-party songs, old 19th century (and earlier) songs, and contemporary social and political commentary songs.

Among all these recorded pieces by Southern black (African American) rural folk musicians, I have found more than 100 that mention the word hoodoo.

A term for magic so common in one culture that it is recorded over and over and over again in that culture's songs obviously originated with and belongs to the people who used that term.

A term so UNcommon in a culture that it never appeared in that culture's recorded songs is obviously not a term known to that culture -- at least not at that time.

Without the word "hoodoo" to describe the practice, it becomes obvious that Appalachian folk magicians were not practicing "hoodoo." They have their own form of magic, and folklorists have studied and described it for about a hundred years now -- but hoodoo was not a word they used, nor did their magical practices closely resemble what the same generations of folklorists have known and published accounts of as "hoodoo" during a century of observation of and contact with Southern black folks.

Mosey on over to the Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics sub-site of my Lucky Mojo web pages and read the lyrics.

http://luckymojo.com/blues.html

These songs are all -- every one -- written and performed by black Americans. Each song in the archive was selected because it contains words such as hoodoo, goofer dust, candles, graveyard dirt, mojo, jomo, toby, trick, black cat bone, spider dumpling, and jinx, and/or describes common hoodoo concepts such as being hoodooed, being fixed, poisoning through the feet, crawling on all fours, sweeping the feet with a broom, and selling your soul to the Devil at a crossroads. These are common words, terms, concepts, and practices in African American hoodoo culture.

None of these words or phrases appear in Appalachian folk song of the equivalent era. They are absent from Appalachian folk musical culture because the practice of hoodoo is not found among Appalachian folk magicians.

Some of the pages at "Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo" contain mp3 files. PLAY THEM. Listen and learn, my friend ... listen and learn.
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Are Practitioners Gifted in a Specific Area?

Unread postby jpbollma » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:51 pm

Good evening,

As a practitioner of hoodoo are certain people more gifted in certain areas of work such as love magic, crossing, healing? If so, are there ways to determine what your strong suit is other than just trial and error? Would a reading be in order? As I read through the Canfle Magic and Black Folder books, I have kept most of my work related to home blessing/ happy home, and attraction work.
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Re: Are Practitioners Gifted in a Specific Area?

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:13 pm

Yes, people often have specialties -- and just as often, may find themselves unsuites for certain types of work.

Think of a baseball team -- some are pitchers, some are catchers, some play outfield. How do they choose which position to play -- well, usually they keep track of their successes and failures, and in addition a coach helps guide their path.

In hoodoo we do not simply learn from books -- we learn by observing our own successes and failures and by being guided by and working alongside those with more experience who are willing to teach us.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby jpbollma » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:23 am

Thank you, Catherine. I have been working with several products each week from the shop in order to become more familiar with them. I have also been reading quite a bit from Theory and Practice because I want to make sure I understand the true historical nature of the practice. I currently reside in Downtown Detroit, and it has been a bit difficult for me to find others to learn directly from. I know of one shop in the area that sells Hoodoo material, but I really don't have a way of knowing if the shop is authentic.

From my understanding, many African Americans had moved north for economic reasons during the early-mid 20th century so I am sure that living in a city that is majority African American there must be other practitioners here as well to learn from. Anyhow, I really appreciate that you provide so much information free of charge on your site in addition to the great products I have purchased. This site seems to be a great way for people such as myself to find historical information for a true understanding of Hoodoo.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:09 pm

jpbollma --

Thanks for the kind words. We do our best to be of service!
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:13 pm

Tonight a former customer of mine who lives in the South and posts regularly in Facebook groups devoted to the subject of African American folk magic wrote a status update about cutting another car off in a parking lot and being followed into the Post Office and verbally "attacked by" the other driver, a "black woman" who "clawed at" her. (Yes, the ex-customer is white, and the skin colour of her attacker came before the gender).

She noted that the woman's mother was there too and that the mother called on the name of Jesus and pronounced the word Lord as "Lort." (For non-Americans, i would like to note that it is a very common African American pronunciation to use a final soft "t" sound instead of a hard "d" sound in words like "good" ("goot") and "had" ("hat").)

The former customer called out the attacker as "a black woman" twice, mocked the old mother's "Lort" pronunciation twice, and also mocked Christianity twice.

Well, i felt very strange about it. This nice white woman supposedly practices conjure, after all, and while i did understand and sympathize with the fact that she was upset by the assault of the angry and irrational woman after the parking lot imbroglio, i did not understand why she was going on about the woman's skin colour, or the woman's mother's accent, or the pair's religion.Taken in context, her words sounded racist and mockingly anti-Christian. So, being me, i spoke my feelings -- and, well, no surprise, she blocked me.

I am not calling this person out by name. I have no need to embarrass her, as she is already embarrassing herself. But i do feel heart-sick at this sort of ungracious activity on Facebook -- and make no mistake, this is not the first time i have seen racist remarks and photos on Facebook among white would-be hoodoo practitioners -- and i am left wondering what disconnect leads some white folks who claim to be interested in conjure to think that it is okay to mock the accents and the religion of exactly those black people who best could teach them this work.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby Mama Rue » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:02 am

That is just sad. I could call that a whole bunch of other things but I'll just mash them all into this tiny, three-letter word, S-A-D. Miss cat, you mentioned that the wretched woman practiced hoodoo. The spirits she needs to call upon for her works, I reckon they abandoned her long ago, if they ever graced her to begin with.

I thank you for underscoring, stressing and reiterating the need for the connection to the spirit of conjure in your work to those outside of the tradition by race, ethnicity or culture. Your outreach arms are very long, but sadly, some are still going to slip on through, untouched by the truth, taking their prejudices and ignorance with them... Bless their hearts.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:44 am

Mama Rue,

Thanks for the comment. Lest my words be misunderstood (not by you, but by some theoretical future reader), i want to add that i am not in any way saying that white people who study hoodoo need to put up with crazy-angry black people, nor am i saying that crazy-angry black people should get some sort of free pass for bad behaviour for any reason.

I don't like to see folks mock random crazy-angry people by race, regional accent, and religion at any time, because, as we all know, crazy-angry behaviour knows no racial, regional, or religious boundaries -- but i think that it is especially sad, to use your good term, when, out of frustration at a random crazy-angry encounter, an ostensible seeker after spirit immediately jumps to reflexive mockery of the race, regional accent, and religion of those whose culture she is studying.

Well, i'm ready to let it go. Enough hand-wringing.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby Dragonfly72 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:39 pm

Question (I hope that I'm in the right thread!): can any magic system be used on any target or it should be adapted to the target i.e., if the target is Russian, then the folk-magic system ti be used should be a Russian folk-magic? I believe it's not the case, but have to ask...
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby MissMichaele » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:06 pm

Dragonfly72 wrote:Question (I hope that I'm in the right thread!): can any magic system be used on any target or it should be adapted to the target i.e., if the target is Russian, then the folk-magic system ti be used should be a Russian folk-magic? I believe it's not the case, but have to ask...


I'm an umpteenth-generation Euro-American. I've done successful hoodoo work on South Americans, Europeans living overseas, African-Americans and Native Americans ... so far. I think it's more to the point to adapt the system of magic to the WORKER's gifts and training.

Good luck,

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Hoodoo initiation necessary?

Unread postby Samirakat » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:31 am

Is there such a thing as a hoodoo initiation? Do you need to be initiated to practice hoodoo effectively? Thank you! :)
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Re: Hoodoo initiation necessary?

Unread postby natstein » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:53 am

HEllo Samirakat,

Nope, no initiation is needed to become a hoodoo practitioner. You just need to have a gift for the work. Other traditions with their roots in Africa that have similarities to hoodoo, such as voodoo, candomble, Palo ect... do require initiation.

Peace~

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Re: Hoodoo initiation necessary?

Unread postby Christian Hanson » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:01 pm

Greetings Samirakat,

Initiation is not needed or necessary to practice hoodoo. Many times, tricks may be passed down along a family line, but if you feel called to the work and gifted for it, begin studying and applying what you know.
be well,
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Re: Hoodoo initiation necessary?

Unread postby MissMichaele » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:25 pm

natstein wrote:HEllo Samirakat,

Nope, no initiation is needed to become a hoodoo practitioner. You just need to have a gift for the work. Other traditions with their roots in Africa that have similarities to hoodoo, such as voodoo, candomble, Palo ect... do require initiation.

Peace~

Nathen


Just to clarify, Samirakat: Vodou, Candomble, Palo, etc., are Afro-Caribbean religions with deep African roots. They hold worship services in honor of African spirits, and they also do folk magic which might look something like hoodoo -- not necessarily at the same time.

Hoodoo is a folk-magic tradition practiced mostly by Protestant Christians; African-American Baptists in particular, but there are others. When they hold or attend worship services, they go to a Baptist or other Christian church.


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Re: Hoodoo initiation necessary?

Unread postby natstein » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:12 am

Thank you for Clarifying that Miss Michaele! I didn't really explain the difference at all! I just wanted to make sure it was understood that there are traditions that can have a similar appearance to some hoodoo practice because of their shared origins but they typically require some initiation. I always love how you are able to explain things so clearly.

Peace~

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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby elsie » Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:46 pm

Hello,
I've been reading the forums as much as possible since I've joined and have noticed that some stress the importance of anointing oils on a clean body. That made me wonder if this was always the case since daily bathing as a norm is fairly modern.
If anyone could offer any insight, I would be very grateful.
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Re: Basic Understanding of Traditional African American Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi, elsie,

I would not say that any practice is "always the case" in hoodoo. Its origins are too diverse, both regionally and culturally, for it to form a monolithic practice. Rather, it is a set of copacetic and complimentary practices. I think most people feel more comfortable putting oils (or powders, which you did not mention) on their bodies when they are freshly clean, but there are times when that is not possible, and yet one still wishes to put on something.

For instance, if you were leaving work to go to a casual dinner date with a lover, you would not always be able to bathe, but you might "freshen up" your makeup and perfume. That would be the time to apply love oils or powders as well.

Good luck!
catherine yronwode
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