BePos wrote: "I have to be careful with the number of herbs to add."
No, you do not.
Please, please, go back and RE-READ the HITAP page on mojo hands. You are twisting yourself into counting fits over NOTHING.
Listen to me, please -- for some reason i cannot understand, because i have NEVER taught this -- a bunch of my students, all of them Caucasian or Asian, and none, as far as i know, African American -- have gotten this idea that i somehow told then that a mojo bag "must" have a certain number of ingredients.
I have never written this on the web, i have never written it in a book, and i do not teach it in my course.
I actually went to the HITAP mojo page and added more information tonight, trying to STOP this well-meaning but twisted rule-making in my name.
I never made those rules. I never was taught those rules. I never taught others those rules. I just tried to give a map of the territory.
THE MAP OF THE TERRITORY LOOKS LIKE THIS:
Some toby makers count out ingredients, and there are some numbers more frequently found among the "counters" than others. Of those who count, more tend to prefer odd numbers than even numbers. Of those who prefer odd numbers, the most common numbers they have told me that they favour are the numbers 3, 7, or 9.
Some toby makers don't count out ingredients. Nothing bad will happen to you or to your mojo if you don't count the ingredients, because all that not counting means is that you will be one among many root doctors who never count the ingredients and they are JUST AS TRADITIONAL as those who do.
To understand why certain people who are new to hoodoo and come to it from other cultures, especially those of European or European American background, insist on imposing make-or-break rules regarding magic on a system that has very few such make-or-break rules, you will have to rad the introduction to "Hoodoo herb and Root Magic." People who insist that a horseshoe "must" point in a certain direction or that a spell "must" rhyme or that magic "must" be performed at a certain phase of the moon are coming to hoodoo and trying to force it to comply to their own culture's rigourous beliefs in make-or-break rules. These people do not understand what they are doing -- it seems so natural to them, after all, to beset their magical work with make-or-break rules -- but those of us who have worked in conjure for a long time look at them and shake our heads. WHY? Why? Why don't they join US instead of forcing us to adopt their rules?
And then, after getting maybe half of them to relax their rigid rule-making, well, guess what? They decide that what we said was "There are no rules in hoodoo."
NO. That is not what we said either.
Christ Almighty, save me from my well-meaning but rule-obsessed students, customers, and friends!!! And while you are at it, Lord, please save me from those well-meaning students, customers, and friends who claim i've said "There are no rules in hoodoo." AMEN.