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Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

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Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

Unread postby heartexalted » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:51 am

When your incense burns down, such as the ash from incense powders, any use for the remains?
Maybe mix into a powder to sprinkle or dress a candle? Or put into a mojo bag?

I like the idea of putting prayers into the incense, activating it with fire, and then filling it with more prayer by adding it to yet another work or trick...
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Re: Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:35 am

heartexalted,

What a great question.

There are indeed uses for remnant ash in hoodoo, including incense ash and other ashes.

Name-Paper Ash, With or Without Quassia Bark:

It is a well-known and often practiced way of working to triple-refine a name or "concentrate" it by burning it, folding the ash into a second name paper, burning that, and folding the ash into a third name paper. This is used when no personal concerns can be had, as a way of concentrating the name.

It is common to fold Quassia Bark chips into the name-papers when burning them, that is, to burn the Quassia Bark with the name-paper each time and to mix the name-paper ash and Quassia Bark ash. Quassia Bark is the only herb i know that is routinely used in this way.

Back in the day when people wrote with fountain pens, sprinkling the ash of a name-paper on the second and third written iterations was also practiced because the ash actually stuck to the liquid ink as it dried.

Prayer Paper or Scriptural Verse Paper Ash with Incense, Powders, Dirt, or Herbs:

Burning a name-paper, prayer-paper, or a written verse of scripture, such as a passage from the Bible, on incense means that the name or prayer becomes part of the incense, and the ash from that contains the prayers and the name. The paper can also be burned without incense in the flame of a candle.

Such ash can be mixed with local dirt, graveyard dirt, sachet powders, powdered herbs, more incense powders, or sand as the case requires. Depending upon what the ash was mixed with and what you are working on, the resulting ash mixture can be

* sprinkled around the property,
* cooked into food,
* mixed with sachet powders for use in drawing designs on the altar
* used to line incense burners or candle trays

Ash Deposits for Eventual Interment, Scattering, or Other Disposal:

If you provide your altar with a brass bowl, especially one with a cover or lid (you can use an extra incense burner if you like), you can use the container to collect ash during the course of many days of work on the same general goal.

For instance, you may be working for money in the house with a weekly ceremony, and catching all the ash from that work for one year.

Or you may be working three times a week on a love job and catching all the ash on that for as long as you perform the work.

Or, if you are a professional root doctor with separate working altars for various client conditions, you may catch the ash from each altar separately until your container is filled.

However you catch the ash, whether by specific timing (one year), by job (until the work is finished) or by the container (until the vessel is filled), when the time is right, you can then dispose of the ash in a ritually appropriate manner (interment, scattering, sprinkling, etc.), according to the kind of work the ash came from and the goals that are held in mind for that work -- for which directions, please read my "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" web page "Laying Tricks and Disposing of Ritual Remains":

http://luckymopjo.com/layingtricks.html

Thanks for asking such a deep question. The answer is not that there is one way to do this, but that yes, it is good work and also, no matter how you work it, your method should have at its core the concept of concentration of energy and effect.

I have added this information to a new page on ASHES in my book "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" at http://luckymojo.com/ashes.html so that folks can find it there as well.
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Re: Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork

Unread postby Jibrael » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:44 am

Wow.
Thank you so much for this info.
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Re: Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork

Unread postby thatgirl » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:45 pm

Ash can act as a wick creating fire hazards, so be very careful if using it with candles. The ashes can be mixed with powders as mentioned above or alone for certain tricks.
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Re: Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:15 am

For a set of general traditional guidelines regarding disposal of ritual remains of all kinds, please see my "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice" web page "Laying Down Tricks and Disposing of Ritual Remains" from my free online book "Hoodoo in Theory and Practice:

Laying Tricks and Disposing of Ritual Remains in the Hoodoo Tradition
http://luckymojo.com/layingtricks.html

In addition, these are the forum threads that deal with ritual disposals:

Disposal of Spell Kit Remains Questions and Answers
disposal-of-spell-kit-remains-questions-and-answers-t12316.html

Disposing of Bath Water and Floor Wash Remains
disposing-of-bath-water-and-floor-wash-remains-t1140.html#p120548

Candles: Disposal of Ritual Remains
candles-disposal-of-ritual-remains-t7525.html

Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork
using-leftover-incense-ash-in-rootwork-t24073.html

Good luck!
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Re: Using Leftover Incense Ash in Rootwork

Unread postby MissMichaele » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:44 pm

An elegant and sensible way to work, Miss Cat. Thank you so much for passing this on.

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Ashes of Wood or Tobacco In Hoodoo

Unread postby greeneyes2 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:57 pm

I was thinking about this and have to ask... sorry if it has been asked before. I did a search and did not see it listed.

I am looking for the use of Ashes in Hoodoo.

Wood ash is the residue powder left after the combustion of wood, such as burning wood in a home fireplace.

Which makes me think this might be one way to implode a situation "combustion" or the by product of fire.
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Re: Ashes of Wood or Tobacco In Hoodoo

Unread postby jwmcclin » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:14 pm

There are several uses of ashes in Hoodoo, mainly the ashes from incense to the ashes from a candle ritual, cat wrote about some of their uses here (http://www.luckymojo.com/incense.html)

Your question has been merged into the general discussion of ashes in hoodoo, and more information will be found if you start reading this thread from the top, and follow the links.
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Re: Ashes of Wood or Tobacco In Hoodoo

Unread postby greeneyes2 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:29 am

Thanks so much...

What about using fireplace ash or cigarette ashes as a ingredient for like a vinegar bottle/jar or war jar.. I would think that might put a dirty burned up spin on things perhaps.
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Re: Ashes of Wood or Tobacco In Hoodoo

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:30 am

greeneyes,

You seem to want to create your own little system of personal symbolism, based on your own imagination, and then to have us all accept it as a valid way of working. To me, your posts sound as if you were a kid, first saying, "Let's pretend that fireplace ashes can be used 'to implode a situation'" and, when that didn't go over so well, saying, "Okay, then let's pretend that fireplace ashes can be used to 'put a dirty burned-up spin on things,' okay?" -- and hoping that the other kids will say, "Okay."

A more formal description of this way of thinking is called working by unverified personal gnosis.

Gnosis means "knowledge" -- and unverified personal gnosis is an academic way of saying, "You made that up and while you may believe it, there is no evidence that anyone else in the actual historically-known tradition you are describing ever believed it or did what you are describing that way. Sorry."

You see, unverified person gnosis is not how folk magic works, exactly.

Sure, all of the symbolic concepts in hoodoo came from someone's inventive mind, in that they are culturally-based, human-transmitted concepts, and not observable natural law in the way that math or physics are natural laws. In fact, the inventive cultural basis of every one of the world's many systems of folk magic is obvious, when you compare one region's folk-magic to another's and see how they differ, both in materia magica and in "ways of working."

However, in addition to the socio-cultural novelty inherent in each system of folk magic, there is also a long-running thread of stability in folk-magic, of conformity to the basic principles inherent in the system. Thus, when new technologies enter a culture -- photography, or audio recording devices, or candles, or packaged granulated sugar, to name four obvious examples -- they are, slowly or in a burst of popular enthusiasm, adopted into the magical culture, often within a few decades of their introduction.

For example, paraffin candles became commercially available after the U.S. Civil War, and were available in varied colours by the early 1920s, but it was not until 1936 that anyone observed hoodoo root doctors identifying certain colours of candles with certain spirits and certain mental, emotional, or spiritual conditions, and it was not until 1941 that the first book to deal with the topic extensively was published. Yet by the next year -- 1942 -- when a second, and then a third book that listed the meanings of candle colours were published in national distribution, the entire black culture of root doctors and their clients accepted this new methodology -- and it has remained a stable part of hoodoo ever since.

Now let's go back to your fireplace ashes. Fireplaces are not new technology, and ashes have been used in hoodoo since its far African origins -- but NOT in the way you have devised. It is highly unlikely at this late date, with fireplaces already on the decline as a technology, that your novel concept of their meaning will suddenly take African American conjure culture by storm, the way the concept of candle colour meanings did between 1936 and 1942.

So, since ashes already have a use in hoodoo, let's look at that use ... and let's start with African traditions, the basis of so much of the "ways of working" in hoodoo (as opposed to the "what is worked with," which are often natural curios and goods of Native American and European lore and legend).

In Africa, it is a commonplace among many tribes to use ashes as a form of concentrated spiritual marker (a "personal concern" or a "magical link" in the broadest senses of those terms) which conveys the essence of a plant, a place, a thing, or a person into a spell, rite, trick, or spiritual supply. You can read about this African usage of ashes in magic in any of the many anthropological books dealing with African sorcery and witchcraft of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as (to name a favourite one right off the top of my head, without going to my library) "Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande" by E. E. Evans-Pritchard (Oxford, 1937). Also you can see the use of ashes in the mooyoo or magical "load" in the nkisi ndoki figures of Gabon and adjacent regions. (See http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/wiki/Nkisi_Ndoki for details.)

As expected, this African way of working with ashes has survived in hoodoo in America -- for instance, during the 1930s the folkorist Harry Hyatt recorded a spell from an African American informant in which the name of a person was burned to ashes and used to represent the person in making a compound to be laid on the ground for foot track magic. During the 1960 - 1970s i too learned many such ways of working with the ashes of names, including a way to triple-refine a name by repeatedly burning it with Quassia bark as a sort of last-ditch or desperate substitute for an actual personal bodily concern. (See my book "Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic" for details.)

So, in conclusion, ashes have a long history of use in hoodoo -- but they have never been given the meaning or use which you have made up for them -- and since this is a long-standing and wide-based tradition, i believe that your best position with respect to it is to learn from others and become a part of the culture rather than spin out your own novel ideas and expect people to suddenly jump on your train of thought. They are already riding other trains of thought, and my advice to you is, in the words of Jesse Fuller, "Get your ticket at the station, best get on board."

Good luck.
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Re: Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

Unread postby Sunnyafternoon » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:00 am

Has anyone ever heard of the use of Bible ash as a magical ingredient? I have run across this idea four times in the past year (twice on Internet and twice on folk magic podcasts). I have never heard of this before. I would assume that it has to be a hoodoo or powwow item because of the use of the Bible, but I have a suspicion that someone just doesn't know what they are talking about. I can't even guess what a burnt Bible would add to a spell. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? I saw it used in a spell for personal empowerment and one for academic success without an explanation as to why it was being included. I'm just curious.
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Re: Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

Unread postby AnthonyMansker » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:13 am

Yes actually. Using bible verses burnt to ash is a traditional way of working for some folks. Some workers will write their petition over a bible verse that refers to or addresses the condition, burn it to ash, and use it in powders, oils, to dress candles, to blend with incense, etc...

Momma Starr speaks a lot of burning bible verses to ash for use in spell work. She is a very traditional southern worker and member of AIRR.

Many blessings!
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Re: Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

Unread postby catherineyronwode » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:04 pm

Anthony, more information on how Bible verses, name-papers, and prayer-papers are reduced to ash for use in spell-casting (complete with a couple of sample spells) can be found on my web page on "How to Use Ashes" here:

http://www.luckymojo.com/ashes.html

Thanks to all for asking questions here that lead me to create web pages at HITAP.

Enjoy!
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Re: Using Ashes in Hoodoo Rootwork Questions and Answers

Unread postby AnthonyMansker » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:58 am

Thank you Miss Cat! I will check it out! :-)
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