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Hoodoo - Any Links Please?


Guest Herneoakshield
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I would like to find out more about Hoodoo practices but havent really got a clue where to start, So if any off you can help by pointing me to a couple of good websites or recomending an author or two to look out for I would be greatful.

 

I've had a brief look at Catherine Yronwodes online book called 'Hoodoo in theory and practice', but knowing next to nothing about it I don't really know if this is a good starting point or not.

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Cat Yronwodes is probably the biggest name out there in terms of Hoodoo. You might also like to look at Houngan Ray Malborough's books, although opinion on his work is sharply divided, so approach with caution.

 

A bit of background on hoodoo - unlike Vodou, hoodoo is a form of folk magic, not a religion. It originated among the protestant African American Communities of the Deep South; not Catholic Louisiana as did New Orleans Voodoo.

 

Where hoodoo has a religious aspect, it often involves the reading of psalms over a burning candle dressed with certain oils or powders. It has no links to paganism, being an exclusively Christian form of magic and for that reason you find a lot of pagans like to steer away from it.

 

I sometimes use the methods and materials of hoodoo when working magic but I adapt them and carry the work out under the patronage of a certain loa, creating a sort of hybrid of Vodou and hoodoo.

 

Hoodoo is a very tangible, form of magic, for want of a better word, using using physical objects such as herbs, candles and powders. A classic example, seen in the film "The Skeleton Key" is to place a line of brick dust across your doorway in order to ward off those who mean you harm and to protect your home.

 

Hope this helps! Any more questions, let me know.

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Thanks Crow, Funny you should mention the Brick dust in Skeleton Key, I saw the film recently and its that which has spurred me on to find out a little more about it (minus any hollywood Glitz) I hadn't realised it was pretty much an exclusive christian form of magic, I thought it was just a form of folk magic without religious conotations to it.

 

I shall go and read Cat Yronwodes online book and see what else I can find. I was kind of looking at the possibility of in a way Melding some of the magics from Hoodoo into the Hedgewitch path (in its more tradition aspect) something to look at I think.

 

I first heared about hoodoo or came across references to it a few years back when I wass listening to alot of Delta Blues music from the likes of Robert Johnson and others, obviously it has quite an influence on the music because it (from what I know) is a very inground belief amongst the culture of the area these musicians came from.

 

Thanks again Crow. :)

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An awful lot of blues music has references to Hoodoo or New Orleans Voodoo in it :)

 

Some Hoodoo is secular magic, yes, like the brick dust, but sorry, I should have been more clear. What I meant to say was that where there's a religious aspect it's protestant but there are certanly bits of the folk magic that have no religious connotations to it.

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Some Hoodoo terms turning up in blues music:

 

"Been sharpening my razor with a black cat bone" from Dr John's "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal, You" - a black cat bone is used in protective magic and is also used, allegedly, to bring a lover back to you. Legend has it that it can help make you invisible but I take this as more "unnoticed when necessary" rather than literally invisible ;) The song is about a man plotting revenge on the ex-best friend who abused his hospitality and seduced his woman.

 

"Got my mojo working but it don't work on you" from Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working" - a mojo is a small cloth bag containing various magical herbs and other objects. Some types are associated with male virility and are "dressed" or annointed with semen. In the song the man is lamenting the fact his mojo can't attract the girl he fancies.

 

This also seems to be the blues convention the Beatles are alluding to in their song "Come Together" - "he got juju eyeball... he got muddy water, he one mojo filter"

 

Any other examples anyone can think of? I shall try to translate them if you like. :lol:

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You sprinkled hot foot powder, mmm

mmm, around my door

all around my door

 

from Robert Johnson's Hellhound on my Tail

 

also

 

Oh-ah, she's gone

I know she won't come back

I've taken the last nickel

out of her nation sack

 

 

From Robert Johnson's Come on In My Kitchen.

 

any Idea what a nation Sack is?

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and of Course theres Bessie Browns Hoodoo Blues Which is full of references as the title would suggest. Lyrics are as follows:

 

HOODOO BLUES

by Bessie Brown

 

I'm on the war path now, I'm mean and evil I vow,

Some woman stole my man, to get even I've a plan.

 

Gonna sprinkle ding 'em dust all around her door

Gonna sprinkle ding 'em dust all around her door

Put a spider in her dumplin', make her crawl all over the floor

 

Goin' 'neath her window, gonna lay a black cat bone

Goin' 'neath her window, gonna lay a black cat bone

Burn a candle on her picture, she won't let my good man alone.

 

Got myself some gris-gris, tote it up in a sack

Got myself some gris-gris, tote it up in a sack

Gonna keep on wearin' it till I get my good man back

 

I was born 'way down in Algiers, I wear conjure in my shoes

Born 'way down in Algiers, I wear conjure in my shoes

Gonna fix that woman, make her sing them hoodoo blues.

 

TRANSCRIBED BY: Chris Smith (chris@skerries.demon.co.uk) 1 Oct 2000

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Good old Robert Johnson ;)

 

Hot Foot Powder is a mixture used in both Hoodoo and New Orleans Voodoo ( the word voodoo refers to the spellcasting tradition that originated in the city and draws on Hoodoo) It's generally used to drive an enemy away and consists of, among other things, cayenne pepper, black pepper and crushed snail shells. You sprinkle it on an enemy's doorstep, and its activated when they walk over it; metaphorically giving them a hot foot out of there.

 

Afraid I can't help with the Nation sack... haven't heard of this.

 

"Ding'em dust": This is probably Goofer Dust; essentially Hot Foot Powder with graveyard dirt added to it; a very powerful hexing agent.

 

"Goin' 'neath her window, gonna lay a black cat bone" - again, seems to refer to bringing back an errant lover. Presumably the bone is laid under the bedroom window where the man now sleeps.

 

"Burn a candle on her picture" - dressed candles are burned on the picture of the target of the spell .

 

"Got myself some gris-gris, tote it up in a sack

Gonna keep on wearin' it till I get my good man back" - Gris Gris is a generic name for magic or magical objects. She's referring to a mojo bag that is worn on the person until the desired effect is achieved.

 

"I was born 'way down in Algiers, I wear conjure in my shoes" Algiers is a suburb of New Orleans. Some people refer to hoodoo practitioners as "conjure men" or "conjure women", so wearing conjure in one's shoes is probably is reference to foot-activated magic of the hot foot powder type. Perhaps she has the picture of her rival in her shoe, dressed with certain powders, so she can literally grind her down.

 

As you can tell, hoodoo and New Orleans Voodoo have a somewhat different ethical system as regards love spells, revenge spells, curses, hexes and crossing work than do Wicca or many other spellcasting traditions. .

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  • 2 weeks later...
Afraid I can't help with the Nation sack... haven't heard of this.

 

I have been doing some looking about these and found the following description...

 

a nation sack is a mojo hand, conjure bag, toby, or root bag -- one that is only carried by women -- and it is worn hanging from a belt at the waist, not around the neck. Furthermore, during the 1930s its use, by that name at least, seems to have been restricted to the region immediately around Memphis, Tennessee. It's basic use is in spells of female domination over men.

 

there was alot more to the description about the taboo of men touching a nation sack etc. but the above gives the basics.

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This is very interesting. I did a 'ritual' of sorts for New Years, which not African (at least I don't think so) but sounds something like hoodoo. I remember reading about this ritual about a year ago and while looking for something else, I found it again. I adapted it a little. This is probably the second time I have performed a 'ritual'

 

I took some pots and pans and went to all the portals(windows and doors) in the apt and banged them to make noise while asking to drive evil engery/spiritis/negative etc away. (Feeling a bit silly as I did this at first, but must say, I felt rather energiezed aftwerwords)

 

I then sprinkled salt water on to each portal and asked for protection.

 

I took Anise oil and sage, both used for protection and Anise I believe, is also used to increase psychic awareness. I mixed the Anise with the sage until the sage was absorbed with the oil then went to every portal and left a little at each again asking for protection and to help me to better focus on the positive.

 

Then I used apple wine to cross my threshold to keep unwanted negativity out while allowing protection for those who entered.

 

I thought this sounded a bit like hoodoo when I was reading this and I didn't know that at the time. :)

 

Although Hoodoo is generally African, can it be equated with other 'magic' spells?

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Sounds like a great ritual, Gipsymoon! I personally don't see why you couldn't combine other elements of magic into it; goodness knows it's drawn on enough magical sources itself; everything from Appalachian folk magic to Irish traditions.

 

I should actually point out, though, that Hoodoo is not African; it's American. :) African-American if you like, but it definitely originated in America itself.

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Thanks Crow, I hadn't realized that it was American, although I knew that it is popular in NO, I thought it orginiated in Africa. Either way, it now has my interest and I will be doing more research.

Thanks for the information :lol:

 

Although it leads to still more studing. It seems as soon as I get done with one particular school of thought on the beliefs of different cultures, I get interested in others. Still trying to wade through Greco/Roman beliefs. :)

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A quick primer:

 

The way the various systems break down is as follows:

 

Vodun, Muti, Sangoma - these are, varyingly, the religious beliefs and/or associated magical systems of West, Central and Southern Africa.

 

Vodou, Candomble, Santeria, Quimbanda, Lukumi - Religions and associated magical systems originating in such areas of Central and South America such as Haiti, Brazil and Cuba. They draw on Vodun and other African traditions and share many of the same gods, but also draw on traditions as diverse as Catholicism, freemasonry and European Paganism. Note that they are syncretic religions with beliefs evolving over time, rather than what might be called eclectic belief systems.

 

New Orleans Voodoo - a spellcasting tradition originating in the city and using elements of Vodou and Hoodoo.

 

Hoodoo - originates in the Protestant Deep South rather than the formerly French and traditionally more Catholic areas.

 

"Voodoo" as lazy scriptwriters term it - a fictional cult and/or magical system full of zombies, human sacrifice, snake worshipping and stabbing poor innocent dollies with pins.

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I'd never even heard of Hoodoo until tonight, thanks for all the info Crow and thanks for bringing the topic up Herneoakshield. I like to learn something new once in a while =]

BB, Bethx

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  • 4 months later...

I would like to find out more about Hoodoo practices

 

From what I remember, the luckymojo site by Catherine Yronwode, had her online book that you mention and had a lot of fascinating info about Houdou workings. ( i was mesmerised!)

It’s a very wide ranging site, the only negative aspect I found was that most of the spells or workings relied on, ingredients which could be only be purchased at their store, so what at first appeared a box of goodies wasn’t quite as useful as it seemed.

Still it was a favorite spot of mine at one time, and probably the best collection of workings I’ve so far come across. ( i still pop in from time to time.)

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If you scout around there are plenty of recipes for the preparations Cat Ywrondes mentions. Some of them, like Four Thieves vingear, are relatively easy to make at home and need only simple, everyday ingredients like garlic, certain spices and some red wine

 

I think the thing to remember is that in America, Hoodoo and New Orleans Voodoo - and even to an extent Vodou itself *coughcoughMamboRacinecough*- is a business. People make money from it and they make good money. It's unfortunate, but the commercialisation of spellcasting is an undeniable fact. So be careful with your money, do some research, and check that the person you're buying from is well respected. :D Caveat Emptor!

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herneoak shield and crow, you both had it real close, the nation sack is the notion sack of the memphis area, a mojo worn only by women.

jape

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Isn't that exactly what Herne said, though?

 

"A nation sack is a mojo hand, conjure bag, toby, or root bag -- one that is only carried by women -- and it is worn hanging from a belt at the waist, not around the neck. Furthermore, during the 1930s its use, by that name at least, seems to have been restricted to the region immediately around Memphis, Tennessee. It's basic use is in spells of female domination over men."

 

Or do you mean that you think the name "nation" is mistaken? I haven't heard the song in question so whether it's sung "nation" or "notion" I couldn't say.

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in reply to.....

 

Some of them, like Four Thieves vingear, are relatively easy to make at home and need only simple, everyday ingredients....So be careful with your money,

 

Thanks Crow, I usually try and make things myself if I possibly can, one is lack of funds but also, I’ve yet to find somewhere over here,( Greece,) that sells those nice thingies we’d all like to have. Like you say there’s lots of `how to ‘information out there if you look.

Blessings nightingale. :blink:

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Isn't that exactly what Herne said, though?

 

snip

 

Or do you mean that you think the name "nation" is mistaken? I haven't heard the song in question so whether it's sung "nation" or "notion" I couldn't say.

118207[/snapback]

 

Oh yes, so he did. I recognised 'notion' as the probable word straight away, 'sewing notions' etc. and googled it. A lyric search shows both spellings. Just trying to be helpful.

jape

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  • 1 year later...

The tv series ‘Supernatural’ features many references to hoodoo.

 

According to wikipedia hoodoo is “Closely related to Palo in practice, but, like Obeah, lacking Palo's theological and liturgical aspcts … the reason for the striking similarity between these traditions is that the core beliefs underlaying hoodoo derive from Congo/Angola. While in Haiti there exists a Vodou denomination known as the Makaya, that shares many similarities to Palo”.

 

Palo was a key feature in a two-part special of ‘Sea of souls’

 

It’s quite interesting how these sort of things are portrayed in the media and how they can influence people ( Herne became interested in finding more about hoodoo after watching ‘The Skeleton Key’; ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ is often given as a reason for the increase in the popularity of Wicca and magic amongst teenagers.

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  • 2 months later...

You could also try Magickal Formulary Spellbook 1and 2 edited by Herman Slater, they are both interesting reads, complete with spells, I have them both (but they are on loan right now). You can buy them on ebay for £11.99 each which isn't too bad.

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The tv series ‘Supernatural’ features many references to hoodoo.

 

According to wikipedia hoodoo is “Closely related to Palo in practice, but, like Obeah, lacking Palo's theological and liturgical aspcts … the reason for the striking similarity between these traditions is that the core beliefs underlaying hoodoo derive from Congo/Angola. While in Haiti there exists a Vodou denomination known as the Makaya, that shares many similarities to Palo”.

 

Palo was a key feature in a two-part special of ‘Sea of souls’

 

It’s quite interesting how these sort of things are portrayed in the media and how they can influence people ( Herne became interested in finding more about hoodoo after watching ‘The Skeleton Key’; ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ is often given as a reason for the increase in the popularity of Wicca and magic amongst teenagers.

209458[/snapback]

 

Interesting! Makaya, as far as I understand it, is a very secretive rite and is more about magical acts than religious service.

 

Actually I was quite impressed by the Skeleton Key. Quite a lot of it was well-researched and fairly accurate. Except the last part of the film of course, but then it was a movie...

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