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That White Powder

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That White Powder

Unread post by Frenchie » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:56 am

Well I was thinking the other day about the whole Anthrax scare deal we had going on a few years back. Did anyone ever think that it might have been some Hoodoo work someone was doing and not necessarily someone spreading Anthrax. Now I'm talking about the cases where they identified the white powder as NOT being Anthrax.
Any thoughts on this?

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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by Literarylioness » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:45 am

In Washington, D.C. where the mail was scanned by the government, they found a lot of ''innocent" powder! I think a lot of people were sending sachet (fixed) mail to various judges and lawmakers, which makes sense.

Fixing mail is one of the best ways to get where you need to go with the right people.


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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by J Simulcik » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:07 am

Absolutely. I think the real question is how many people that read about the non-anthrax powder recognized that some of it might be hoodoo or some similar practice. Reminds me of the Coke can pubic hair incident involving Associate Justice Thomas and Professor Hill in the early 90's. Miss Cat commented on it here: http://www.luckymojo.com/layingtricks.html#food
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by nagasiva » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:11 am

OH YAH. catherine and i were joking for a while last year about starting a line of sachet called 'Harmless White Powder', perfect to send to your post office, or something similarly hilarious. :lol:
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:07 pm

If you go here:
http://groups.google.com/groups/search? ... rch+Groups
you will see i first began posting about the anthrax scare and "harmless white powders" back in March of 2003. Here's a sample:


Newsgroups: alt.lucky.w
From: catherine yronwode <c...@luckymojo.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 04:22:39 GMT
Subject: Re: Powder Throwing Arrest.

"Sarah L." wrote:

> Just heard on radio that a man has been arrested in Seattle for
> tossing an orange powder. Dawns on me that what with extremely
> heightened concern about possible terrorism here in the states, those
> of us disposing of ritual remains, blowing and tossing powders, and
> doing other magical jobs, might wisely be mindful of the increased
> chance other folks will not understand if they observe us in action.
> And of the fact that law enforcement will be extra jumpy.
> I don't know yet the full details of this incident, I see The Seattle
> Times is now reporting:
> "In the incident downtown at 4th Avenue and Pike Street, police
> arrested a man after he threw an orange-colored powder at a woman. The
> powder was determined to be harmless and police speculated it was
> orange-flavored fiber laxative Metamucil."
> I don't yet know if the man knew the woman, what his intent was, what
> the powder was. Thought it would be helpful to pass this on, I myself
> had not thought yet of the possibility of my magical work causing
> others to freak out and possibly arrest me. Also anything sent through
> mail is under heightened scrutiny again.
> Sarah Light

The week after the anthrax outbreak, the US Postal Service was
stopping and checking all mail, some with sniffer dogs. I recall
reading in Newsweek that 600 (six hundred) pieces of mail had been
found in ONE WEEK that contained "powders" and not one of those
powders was anthrax. Folks are obviously sending each other powders,
throwing for each other, and so forth -- and, yes, this is a tough
time to get caught doing that because ... well, because.

Last year, one of our mail-order customers was arrested (but later
released) for laying down powders around the courthouse where she was
to be tried on traffic warrants. The sheriff said he understood why
she did it and he did not press charges, although her face was in the
local paper, which was pretty embarrassing for her.

cat yronwode

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and here's another sample of the posts i made back then on the subject:


Newsgroups: alt.religion.voodoo, alt.religion.orisha, alt.lucky.w
From: catherine yronwode <c...@luckymojo.com>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 04:46:00 GMT
Subject: Re: Rootwork - number of people

Sandra wrote:

> Can anyone give me an educated guess on the number of people in the US
> today who practice/believe in rootwork?

> Thanks very much,
> Sandra

Well, about 35 million people in the US are African American.

I'd say that half of them have family experience with at least some
elements of hoodoo and can give a few examples of spells or tales they

Even if only 1/10 of African Americans in the US are very familiar
with the practices and use them regularly, that would be about 3.5
million people -- a significant number of folks.

That's just my guess, but i think it is supportable. And that's just
the *black* folks who use hoodoo. Others do too, including whites and

It is always of interest to me to see how "invisible" hoodoo is to
mainstream middle-class European Americans, even when popular black
movie stars mention it in movies. I remember a scene in an Eddie
Murphy movie called "Harlem Nights" where Redd Foxx describes a very
common hoodoo spell (interestingly, he seems to be ad libbing the
scene, as was his wont as a comedian). I have asked dozens of white
folks who have seen the movie if they understood the scene and none of
them did. It was just incomprehensible to them. But the spell Redd
Foxx describes in that movie is known to almost all of my African
American customers, even if they have not used it personally.

Ditto for the hoodoo references in popular blues and rock'n'roll
lyrics. White people hear the words but don't realize what is being
said. yet the lyrics in blues songs that refer to "a mojo hand" or "a
black cat bone" are referencing commonplace knowledge in the black
community. See Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics:

When the anthrax scare was on, shortly after the 9-11 terror attacks,
there was a period of time when all the mail to Washington DC was
being opened and examined for anthrax spores -- and Newsweek magazine
reported that, for reasons no one in government understood, 600
letters had been opened in one week that contained "powders" that were
not anthrax. These were all in letters addressed to government
officials and judges in Washington. DC. Well, it was obvious to me
what was going on, but not to the folks at Newsweek. Latinos also use
hoodoo-style powders, by the way.

And then, when some archaeologists were digging up a house in
Baltimore to see what material objects of conjure could be found in
the old slave and servant quarters, well, i was contacted by a
Baltimore TV reporter who asked me if anyone still used that stuff.
She thought it was all some sort of long-lost mystery. I gave her the
name of a rootworker to contact -- which she did -- and she called me
back and said, "My God, i had no idea this was still going on!"

Like i said, it's "invisible" to some folks.

cat yronwode


So, yes, that idea has been on my mind and i have spread it out into the world for the past 6 years now.
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by kittynmoon » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:04 pm

Wow, lightbulb. Thanks, Cat. That puts a whole new perspective on the past events for me.

My uncle was just held up at the airport a couple of weeks ago because his little travel size bottle of baby powder exploded in his suitcase and when it ended up at the other end it was filled with a white powder that was seeping through. It caused quite a stir and he thought he was going to be arrested. He was held up for more than 7 hours while they tested the baby powder. Apparantly, it had a nice soothing Aloe in it.

Even Harmless White Powder has the power to cause great chaos these days!

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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by Chagrinedgirl » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:20 pm

Kittynmoon, did they say they thought it was anthrax or drugs? Your poor uncle, it'd be funny if I hadn't gone through post 9/11 security a time or two.
So be it
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by kittynmoon » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:08 am

They were worried about anthrax. The dogs sniffed it right away and gave it a clean sniff check which ruled out drugs. Poor dog if it had turned out to be anthax.

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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by Shadileigh » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Just last weekend, I was traveling and had to go through security at a Florida airport. In my purse I was carrying my mojo for protection. While I was putting my shoes back on, I saw the security guard stop my purse and call another guard over. He pointed to something on the screen (I'm guessing it was my mojo- because the only other items in my purse were a hairbrush, cell phone, and my wallet). The second guard, who happened to be African-American said something that I couldn't catch, and they let my bag pass. I was nervous that my bag would be stopped again on the return flight, but luckIly there was no delay. Does anyone know if there have been any problems with getting mojo bags through airport security? I was so worried that they'd think I was toting drugs or worse. :)

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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:05 pm

I have travelled with mojo bags through airport security, no problem. As in your case, most of the inspectors were African American -- and not a word was said.
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by cognitivedissonance » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:23 am

I carried one on Amtrak this last week, they didn't even open my bags. There could've been anything in there.
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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by route95 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:50 am

In my experience, Amtrak doesn't do the same type of security measures as airports do, so there would be way less to worry about. THought I've only taken Amtrak on the Northeast, so it may be different in other parts of the country.

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Re: That White Powder

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:50 am

When I travel, I actually don't carry my mojo bag on me, but stow it away in the luggage in a bag that says "Religious items, don't touch." Place Oregeno in a petition paper that i fold into a packet and place in my luggage and I haven't had a problem so far.
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