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Following is a list of terms and phrases that can often be found among practitioners of Hoodoo, Conjure and
Rootwork. This list if not exhaustive by far and I will make additions as necessary. They are:

 Anointing- A term used to describe rubbing a condition oil on an individual. It is sometimes used
interchangeably with dressing.
 Blessing- A type of spell or prayer intended to spiritually cleanse a person, place or thing while infusing it with
the positive energy of the divine and one’s hopes.
 Botanica- A retail store that sells spiritual goods such as herbs, oils, statuary, etc...
 Butting- A term used in candle-magick to describe the act of cutting the tip off of a candle, turning it upside
down and digging a new tip out of the bottom. Symbolically this is said to reverse people and conditions as
symbolized by the color of the candle or the words carved upon it. Sometimes also referred to as Flipping.
 Cold Reading- A type of technique used by disreputable psychics, mediums, and fortune-tellers which utilizes
general statements to determine details about a person. By gauging the individual’s reaction to these general
statements, an experienced fortune-teller can extrapolate more information about the subject giving the
appearance of having true psychic ability. This technique is also used in the entertainment industry by
mentalist, illusionist, and stage-magicians. Compare to Hot Reading.
 Condition Oil- A term used to describe oils which have been designed to address a specific issue or bring
about a specific condition. Examples include, Cast Off Evil Oil, Follow Me Boy, and Money Drawing Oil.
 Crossroads- A place where two roads connect forming an X. Crossroads are places of spiritual power where
magickal items are often disposed of and rituals pacts are formed.
 Curse- A type of spell intended to bring harm to an individual in some form and for a variety of reasons (i.e. to
punish, teach a lesson, etc...). Other related terms include: hex or jinx.
 Divination- The ritual process of gaining information about the past, present, or future either with the use of
tools such as Tarot Cards, Playing Cards, Sortilege etc...or without tools utilizing one’s own psychic faculties,
or through the observation of signs and omens.
 Dressing- A term which refers to rubbing a condition oil on an inanimate object such as a candle, a mojo bag,
or a talisman. It is sometimes used interchangeable with anointing.
 Feeding- The act of dressing a mojo bag with oil, or a lodestone with oil/magnetic sand to nourish it and keep
it strong to work for you.
 Hand- Another word for a Mojo Bag (see also "Root")
 Honey Jar- A type of spell which uses sweeteners such as honey, syrup, molasses, etc… in conjunction with a
candle(s) and designed to compel an individual to favor your petition in business, love, or court-cases.
 Hoodoo- A form of folk-magic originating in Africa which, through the process of syncretism, has absorbed
beliefs and practices from other cultures such as Native American spirituality and European Grimoires.
 Hot Footing- A type of spell or ritual intended to drive a person, such as an enemy or some other troublesome
person, away. It is synonymous with banishing in other magickal traditions.
 Hot Reading- The use of knowledge gained about an individual beforehand when performing a reading for
another individual. See also cold reading.
 Job- Another term for spell. Also working.
 Lady Hearted- A Root-worker or spiritual practitioner who is morally opposed to bringing harm to another
individual or animal through the use of spells and magick.
 Live Things In You- A term which refers to the belief that, through the use of magick, live beings such as
snakes, scorpions, and/or spiders have been introduced into the human body.
 Loading- A term which refers to digging a small hole in the bottom of a candle and introducing herbs,
personal concerns, oils, powders, etc… into it before resealing the hole.
 Mojo Bag- A type of talisman which takes the form of a small flannel drawstring bag containing an assortment
of animal, vegetable, and/or mineral curios believed to attract or dispel certain influences.
 Personal Concerns- A term used to describe anything that is associated with a person’s physical body either
having once been a part of it or having intimate contact to the body. Examples of personal concerns include
blood, semen, hair, clothing, one’s signature, photograph, etc…
 Poisoned Through the Feet- A term used to describe when a person has walked over or stepped through a
magickal powder that has been laid down in their path for the purpose of affecting them in a negative way.
 Reader- A Root-worker, or spiritual practitioner, who is psychically gifted.
 Root: 1) The part of a plant that attaches it to the ground 2) A spell, or working 3) A mojo-hand or talisman.
 Root-worker- A practitioner of Hoodoo. See also Two-Headed Doctor.
 Runs- A term used by candle-workers referring to the practice of lighting a new candle for the same intention
shortly before an old one has burned out until satisfactory results are achieved.
 Setting Lights- A term which refers to the process of preparing a candle for an individual’s petition and
praying over it daily until it has burned out.
 To Throw For- A term which refers to throwing down powders where a person will step over or walk through
them.See also Poisoning Through the Feet.
 Two Headed Doctor- A Root-worker, or spiritual practitioner, who is also a reader.


The Search for God

As a spiritually-minded person, I have had many labels in my life. At one point or another I have identified as a
Wiccan, Pagan, Rootworker, Two-Headed Doctor, or some variant. Some of the most common questions I often get

 What do you believe?

 Who do you worship?

When I was a child, I believed that God was an old man with white hair and a long beard who lived in the sky and saw
everything that everyone did. We were told that his grace fell upon a virgin who gave birth to Jesus, his "only begotten
son" who was also God himself. I was taught that he loved us, but only if we were afraid of him and obeyed his

When my spiritual journey took me away from Christianity and I found Wicca I was taught that "god" was our Mother
AND our Father. Through the cycle of the seasons the Goddess gives birth to the God who grows, matures and
becomes her lover; that he impregnates her and dies only to be reborn again. We did not worship them inasmuch as we
honored them, and we were empowered to take total responsibility for our thoughts, words, and our deeds.

When I rediscovered the folk-magic practices of the South and began learning more about Hoodoo and Conjure, Jesus
re-entered and I had to reevaluate my view and perception of him. Whereas I some magickal practitioners seemed to
treat Jesus as some kind of genie, or viewed him as a mythological figure, I see Jesus as the ultimate example of what
man's relationship with God can be.

I was recently reminded by a friend that no matter how spiritual you are, people will still question your beliefs. I was
somewhat shocked to discover that someone rather close to me, sincerely believed that I was a devil-worshiper. And so
it seems, that for several people, the question remains......
 What do you believe?
 Who do you worship?

And this was my response.

"That which has been called God and will herein be referred to as Spirit is neither male nor female, but rather is both
androgynous and asexual, and which exist as pure love. Because we as humans find it difficult to identify with
someone or something that is simultaneously male, female, and neuter we attempt to understand Spirit by associating
it as one or more of many archetypes, including male, female, and even sometimes animal forms as in Ancient
Egyptian and Native American belief systems.

For example, a woman who has been abused by men may find strength and comfort in a divine being who is a
Warrior-Goddess; or a gay man wishing to draw closer to God may see him as a beautiful man who loves and accepts

Many individuals find it extremely difficult to accept forgiveness and unconditional love, as represented by Spirit.
Therefore, rather than take responsibility for our own failings, humans have often painted their concept of God as
having traits which we find undesirable within our selves resulting in mythologies that portray God as jealous, petty,
and cruel, as well as loving, kind, and generous. Those who are in pain, who blame 'god' for their lot in life or who
feel disenfranchised or cast out by society may need to see 'god' as the Satan because they have never experienced true
love, or friendship.

All living things from humans to animals, and plants, all the way down to the “lowest” forms of life carries within
their self the divine spark which is that part of themselves that is Spirit and which is connected to all living things and
seeks to reunite with the original source of this light (the cosmic consciousness).

Spirit experiences what it means to be alive through the divine spark within all life. Spirit shares the full range of
human and non-human experience, such as falling in love, being scared, being lonely, being hungry, being happy,
being healthy, etc….Through the divine spark in the plants and animals, Spirit knows what it means to be sacrificed as
food in order for other life to continue, what it means to be planted in the Earth as a seed, to grow and sprout and join
the natural order.

Therefore, Spirit has the highest compassion for every living thing and the desire for all living things to reach their
highest potential and to be in harmony with one another."

The Divine Connection

While it has often been pointed out that Hoodoo is not a religion, but rather a system of magick, most practitioners
adhere to some form of Christianity and approach it from within that context. Spiritual Practitioners that operate from
within a Christian context generally fall into two categories. They are:

1. Catholic
2. Protestant

The roots of Catholicism can be found in Judaism. In fact Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all claim Abraham as a
common ancestor; and Judaism and Christianity count the Old Testament among their holy writings. Christianity began
as a sect of Judaism, lead by Jesus, that were considered radical, liberal Jews. Later, this sect broke away from
Judaism becoming a separate religion with its own beliefs and practices that we know as Christianity today. Some of
the main differences between Judaism and Christianity include, but are not limited to, the following:

 God as a Trinity
 Original Sin
 Jesus as the Messiah
 Concepts of Heaven and Hell
 The Papacy

Practitioners of Hoodoo who are Catholic may direct their prayers and petitions to God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary,
Angels, or even Saints. In those areas, such as New Orleans, where Catholicism was absorbed into the beliefs and
practices of Voodoo a Catholic practitioner of Hoodoo may also petition those deities associated with the religion of

The Protestant Church broke away from the Catholic Church during the Reformation initiated by Martin Luthor, to
protest the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Catholic Church. Luthor and other reformers disagreed
with the Churches stance on free will, purgatory, and the practice of indulgences. Also, in very general terms, Catholics
believe that an intermediary (such as a priest) is needed between God and man, whereas Protestants believe that direct
communication with God is possible without an intermediary.

Spiritual workers who were raised in any of the Protestant denominations usually direct their prayers and petitions to
“The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” or simply “in Jesus’ name.” In some instances where the biblical figure of Satan
merged with the trickster-deity of the crossroads, these practitioners may direct certain types of prayers or petitions to
the devil. However it should be noted that, in these instances, the devil and Satan are thought to be two completely
different entities. In other cases, they may direct their petitions and build altars to spirits of the dead or even to spirits
and/or deities outside their religion.
The Dead

Many Root-Workers start out working with spirits of the dead in the form of the Ancestors, the spirits of the dead
connected to them by blood. It is believed that the dead don’t die, but rather ascend to another level of being, from
which they can look on and assist us. From this higher level, the Ancestors can guide us in our daily lives, intercede
with the Godhead on our behalf and protect us in times of need.

The process of working with the Ancestors begins with the construction of an Ancestral Altar. Before I go any further,
I’d like to point out that many root-workers are Christian and adhere to God’s commandment in Exodus 20:3 to “have
not other gods before me.” Therefore, root-workers do NOT worship the Ancestors inasmuch as they venerate them.
The Ancestral altar is the place where this veneration ritually occurs. (See also The Ancestors)

In other instances, a practitioner may visit the graveyard to ritually collect dirt from a particular grave or graves for use
in spells and rituals. There are many variables to consider when collecting graveyard dirt for spells and rituals. Some
of these variables include:

 Location of the grave

 How the person died
 Obtaining permission
 Where to collect the dirt

In addition, graveyard dirt is not simply taken but rather paid for after negotiating with a suitable spirit. Some
practitioners regard working with Saints and Folk-Saints as a form of working with the dead since Saints were once
living human beings who also happen to have lived exceptionally virtuous lives. (See also The Dead)

Working with Non-Christian Entities

Whereas Hoodoo is based on the beliefs and magickal practices of various traditions (but devoid of their religious
dogma) in many ways it is still heavily influenced by Christianity as well as various African religions. The practice of
conjure includes the veneration of one's ancestors, engaging the dead to work for you, the devil at the crossroads,
powerful Saints, and non-Christian entities.

Some of these entities include the deities associated with non-christian religions. You will often find spiritual
practitioners who build altars and direct that petitions to deities from Non-Christian pantheons including, but not
limited to:

 Hinduism
 Voodoo
 Palo
 Yoruba
 Santeria

For example, Ganesha is a popular non-Christian Deity that is found in the practice of Hoodoo. He is often petitioned
to remove obstacles, open-the-way, bring good-luck, and confer prosperity upon petitioners.

Before petitioning a spirit or deity outside one's culture or religion, it is important to learn how that culture worships
and/or venerates that deity, what offerings are appropriate, and the sphere of influence that deity holds in the world.
For example, you wouldn't want to petition a deity known for granting lovers if your intent is to overcome an enemy.
Educating yourself about these spirits/deities will allow you to approach them with your petition in a semi-traditional
manner while being respectful to the beliefs and practices native to the culture from which that deity originates.


In addition to the spiritual powers listed above there exists a number of spirits that do not necessarily fit into any of the
categories already mentioned. They include:

 Familiar Spirits
 Plant and Animal Spirits
 Anthropomorphic Spirits

Familiar Spirits

While most people associate the term 'familiar spirit' with the shape-shifting entities which were believed to have
served Medieval Witches; the term can also refer to one's genius, or a type of tutelary spirit. Other terms synonymous
with familiar-spirit include Patron Saint, Guardian Angel, Daimon, Higher-Self. They function as a person's guardian
and teacher often communicating with humans through dreams and intuition.

Plant and Animal Spirits

The use of herbs, minerals and animal parts in the practice of magick is not exclusive to Hoodoo. In fact, their use is
virtually a world-wide phenomenon and modern medicine owes a great deal of credit to the ancient magicians for their
discoveries. Animism, a belief that spirits inhabit non-human entities, plays a large role in the practice of Hoodoo.
When a rootworker utilizes an herb or zoological curio, such as a rabbit's foot, they recognize the spirit dwelling within
it and which can be called up to favor their petition. (See also Doctrine of Signatures)

Anthropomorphic Spirits

Anthropomorphism, or more commonly personification, is the practice of ascribing human-qualities to inanimate

objects or abstract ideas. A popular example of an anthropomorphic spirit in Hoodoo is the Anima Sola, or lonely soul,
which commonly depicts a woman wearing broken chains amidst the fires of purgatory. She is often invoked for
release from suffering or to bring suffering to others. Other examples of an anthropomorphic spirit include Santo
Muerte, the personification of death as a holy spirit; and High John the Conqueror, a folk-hero representing the
qualities ascribed to the root of the same name.


Spirit Dolls are dolls which act as vessels for beings of powerful spirits who can be petitioned for a wide-variety of
purposes. These spirits can be the spirits of the dead, familiar-spirits, Divine-beings, a spirit-of-divination, and even
spiritual entities which have never had an earthly incarnation. These types of dolls are often found on altars where they
are objects of devotion. They are often petitioned with offerings such as water, candy, cigarettes, coffee, invoke
their power in the life of the individual.

Spirit Dolls can be made out of virtually any material such as cloth, paper, plastic, wood, etc… and come in an array of
shapes and sizes. Some people have been known to purchase pre-made dolls sold as toys such as Ken and Barbie ©
and embellish them with paint, clothes, glitter, bead-work, etc…; in some cases their heads and/or limbs may be
removed and used to make an entirely new doll. In other cases, Spirit Dolls can be made entirely from scratch in the
same manner as a poppet or Voodoo Doll.

Often spirit dolls are made and then a ritual is performed to invite a spirit to take up residence in the doll. Rituals vary
but usually consist of burning candles and incense/herbs as well as making offerings to entice the spirit into the doll.
Prayers are often offered up to the Godhead (or a powerful spirit known for assigning familiars).

To begin, you will need a doll to act as the vessel for the spirit. This can be a store-bought doll, or one that you have
made. You will also need to know if the doll will be dedicated to a specific goal or area of life such as love, prosperity,
health, etc... or for general use. For the purposes of this blog, I will be using a Barbie Doll whose spirit will assist me
in the area of love, romance and sex.

Once you have your doll and know for which purposes you will be working with its spirit, you will have to cleanse it
of any previous psychic connections. Fill a small basin with water, add an infusion of herbs known for their cleansings
and love drawing properties. Bath the doll in the infusion just as you would bath yourself when performing a spiritual
bath, beginning at the head and washing down and way from the body to remove negative conditions. Then, beginning
at the feet wash up and towards the body to draw in the spirit. As you wash the doll, you may say an extemporaneous
prayer or a bible verse.
When you have finished bathing the doll, set it aside on a clean towel to dry. When the doll is dried, smoke the doll in
incense while praying for the spirit to enter. It is important that as you pray you focus on the type of spirit that you
desire to work with and ask God (or your higher power) to send you only a benevolent spirit who agrees to work with
you. Later, you will dispose of the bath water at a crossroads or a tree by throwing it over your left shoulder towards
the east and walking away without looking back.

Continue to pray for the spirit to enter the doll. Keep in mind that this may or may not occur. In some cases it may
occur and you will not realize till later. Look at the photo above, do you see the figure just above the doll's head
looking down on the doll?
When the spirit enters the doll (see image above), redress the doll Since many mass produced dolls often look exactly
alike, many people will personalize the doll by giving it beaded necklaces, making special clothes, or pining jewelry to
the doll in order to make it stand out from other dolls and give it its own personality.

Once you have personalized the doll, anoint it with oil. and place it on the altar. It should then be given offerings such
as candles, food, candy, money---whatever you feel appropriate to the doll or what the doll communicates to you that it

Once the spirit is attached to the doll, the process of bonding begins. I often keep my dolls near me the first few weeks.
They sit with me while I am watching television, they will be next to me while I am at the computer, they will watch
me cook in the kitchen, and they will sleep on a pillow beside me at night. I often talk to my dolls as if they were a
flesh-and-blood individual and they will talk back. Spirit Dolls will communicate to you in various ways. They may
enter your dreams, they may speak through your intuition, you may hear them with your physical ears, or they may
place strong signs in your path, they may even speak to you through your divination tool.
Everyone has their own way of working with the dolls. I have heard one worker say to rub its chest or belly and look
the doll in the eyes while making your special request or communicating your need. This process can be enhanced by
the burning of candles or incense, playing mood music, etc…

Now with that being said, it is very important to remember that your Spirit doll is a helper, it is not a slave and it is not
a genie. Just like we require certain things to operate in this world, they need certain things as well. It is important to
treat them with respect, and show your gratitude for their assistance by making regular offering to them. Offerings vary
from doll to doll but can consist of candles, incense, candies, powdered herbs, liquor, water, etc…the doll will often
communicate to you any special offerings that it favors.

Sometimes you will work with a doll for many, many years, in other instances a doll will only work with you for a
certain amount of time having the belief that it has nothing more to teach you or offer you. The spirit may leave the
vessel and move on to another worker, or you may even be directed to give the doll to another individual. In some
cases when the spirit departs, the doll will disappear as well or it may simply exit the vessel leaving the doll behind as
a keepsake.

Working with Spirit Dolls requires a genuine commitment on your part. If you do right by your doll it will do right by
you as well. However, if you abuse the doll or fail to live up to your promises, it will not work for you and may even
leave you.


A Spirit Pot
A spirit house serves as a dwelling place for a disembodied entities and a means through which the magician can
communicate with them. They may take the form of a pot, a wooden-box, a jar, or even a doll.

Spirit Houses are not entirely unique among magical practitioners in that they are found in many magickal traditions
where humans have contact with non-physical beings. Examples of spirit houses include the European Spirit-Box; the
Govi of Vodoun; the Prenda/Nganga of Palo; the Geni Lamp in Arabic tales; the Brass-Vessel associated with
Solominc rites; a mojo bag; or even a spirit-doll. It would be difficult to compare and contrast each of these types of
spirit-vessels, therefore I will focus on those things which they have in common.

Each object consist of some type of receptacle inside which an additional object, or objects, are contained. In some
instances a few of these contained objects are not only traditional but also required. For example, a properly prepared
and consecrated Nganga will should always contain 21 sticks from various trees, among other things.

In other cases, that which goes inside a spirit-house will depend on the purpose that it is to accomplish. For example, a
Europeon Spirit-Box calls for quartz crystal and red thread in addition to anything associated with one's ancestors such
as their belongings, grave-dirt, cremation ashes, photos, etc..... On the other hand a Solomonic brass-vessel will often
require the sigil of the spirit and a drawing of the spirit, as well as herbs and offerings associated with the spirit. Mojo
bags, doll-babies, and spirit-bottles fall into this category as well.

The manners of operation for each of these types of spirit vessels varies from tradition to tradition. However, they each
follow a basic order.

1. An appropriate vessel is obtained and a home is prepared for the spirit inside.
2. Certain objects are placed inside the vessel that is believed to a) attract the spirit b) ground it on the physical
plane and c) provide it with tools it will need to accomplish its goals as determined by you.
3. The spirit is ritually petitioned to work with the magician in exchange for specific offerings and/or the ability
to evolve on a spiritual level.

The process of creating a spirit-house and obtaining a working spirit is arduous and can take a very long time to
successfully accomplish. There are dangers present in the process such as incurring a spirit's wrath by making the
incorrect offerings, unreasonable demands, or simply disrespecting the spirit. In addition, one must be careful to avoid
dealing with trickster-spirits who are not interested in assisting you in your magical work.

Again, offerings will vary from tradition to tradition and from spirit to spirit. Ancestors are often given a portion of the
family's meal, while other spirits require only a simple candle be burned nearby its vessel. Mojo bags, and doll-babies,
are often offered a few drops of condition oil or whiskey.

How to Construct An Ancestor Pot

The Ancestor-Pot is a sacred tool that allows you to make a physical connection with your ancestors on a deeply
personal level. It consists of a pot into which a portion of dirt from the grave of one's ancestors has been gathered. In
the modern era, when people die they are often buried in steel vaults, if they are not cremated. Before this time, they
may have been buried in pine boxes or simply a winding sheet. Over time, their bodies decomposed and returned to the
earth. Therefore when dirt was taken from a grave, it was believed that one wasn't simply taking dirt but rather the
essence of that person's body that had become a part of, and not apart from, the soil.

In another time, an individual's ancestor pot may well have included the bones of of their ancestor, however, many
modern practitioners have taken to including a ceramic or crystal skull in their Ancestor Pot as a substitute for their
ancestor's bones. Small libations of water or whiskey may be poured over the skull to "feed" the ancestor or it may be
anointed from time to time with oil. In addition, some folks even include dirt from an unused portion of the cemetery
to represent the "unknown" ancestors as well as samples of dirt from various places such as banks, post offices, jails,
hospitals, crossroads, etc.... to empower the dirt with the force of energy of that place.

Using Your Ancestor-Pot

My Ancestor-Pot is the focal point of my Ancestor-Altar. Being the dwelling place of the ancestors in the physical
plane, it is the place where I focus my eyes and direct my words when I am conversing with them. In fact, I often get
ideas, inspiration, and direction from them.

For example, at one point I had a money mojo that was working very well for me. Things were going so great I didn’t
think I needed to carry that mojo around anymore so I put it away in a little box where it was promptly forgotten.
When my money luck soured I pulled the little mojo back out, tried to feed it and get it working for me again to no
avail. Finally, I was having a conversation with my Ancestors who instructed me to place the mojo inside my Ancestor
Pot for three days. After three days I removed the money-drawing mojo-bag from the pot and it worked stronger than
ever! In fact, the same day I received a substantial windfall.

Sometimes when a spell is finished and I think it needs a little more oomph, I will take the petition that I created for
the spell and place it in the Ancestor-Pot, rather than disposing of it. The same can be done with talismans, jewelry,
and other objects as well. In other instances, if I feel that someone or something is interfering with my working, or it
needs more power I will remove a candle from the altar where it is burning and place it directly on the Ancestor-Altar.
If I have an enemy working against me, or someone is bothering me I will take their photograph or name paper and
place it directly under the pot face down and ask the Ancestors to keep them down.


Your ancestors are those spirits connected to you by blood and are your most powerful allies in the spirit world.
Working with the Ancestors begins with the construction of an ancestral altar which consists of white candles, flowers,
a glass of water, and mementos of deceased relatives. This altar is where you make periodic offerings to the Ancestors,
as well as communicate with them on a daily basis explaining what is going on in your life, your needs, and your
desires. If you choose, an Ancestor-Pot can become the focal point of your altar where you direct your attention and
interest when communicating with them. By placing items in or around the pot you can directly incorporate the
energies of the Ancestors into your workings.


The Devil at the Crossroads

A crossroads is any place where two roads intersect and form a sort of equal-armed cross, much like the plus-sign.
Crossroads are the place where the world of man and the realm of spirit meet. Therefore, they belong to everyone and
no one. Some folks divide crossroads into two types: male and female. Male crossroads are the three-way crossroads
that form a capital T; the three points representing the penis and testicles. Female crossroads are the typical four-way
crossroads which are said to represent the inner and outer lips of the vagina.
They are considered to be extraordinarily powerful and, as such, they are often the sites where spells and rituals are
performed, offerings are laid and completed spells are disposed of. For example, folks often dispose of a portion of
their used bath water at a crossroads after taking a cleansing spiritual bath in order to disperse the undesirable
influence that was washed away. Similarly, completed spell remains, such as Vigil Candles, are left at a crossroads
often in a paper bag or buried nearby.

Crossroads dirt is often collected and used in certain spells as well. For example, one recipe to attract a male lover calls
for dirt from a three-way crossroads. In other instances, you can use the crossroads to lead someone away from you by
taking dirt from their footprint and sprinkling a pinch or two of it in their shoes and then at every intersection between
their home and the town limits.

The Crossroads Ritual

In many cultures, the crossroads are associated with the practice of witchcraft and sorcery as well as with a number of
entities including Hecate, Mercury, Ellegua, Ganesh, Papa Legba, St. Peter, and The Devil. Also known as the Black
Man, the Devil at the Crossroads is not the Adversary mentioned in the Christian Bible but rather a helpful spirit that
became conflated with Satan when African slaves were forced to practice Christianity.

Many of these spiritual entities are known for their power over the living and the dead, the ability to move freely
between realms, removing obstacles, removing crossed-conditions, and opening the way. Arguably, the most famous
(and most misunderstood) Crossroads ritual is that of meeting the Devil at the Crossroads in order to gain mastery and
skill in a particular endeavor.

In “Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, Rootwork”, a collection of folklore gathered by retired Anglican Minister Harry
Middleton Hyatt between 1935 and 1939, several examples of the Crossroads Ritual can be found. Most of the rituals
follow a basic outline with a few permutations (i.e. time of day, number of days, etc…)

To perform the Crossroads Ritual, bring the actual item that you wish to master to the crossroads at midnight for 9
nights in a row. For example, if you want to be a better card-reader bring a deck of Tarot Cards; if you want to master
making mojo hands, you might want to sew a complete mojo hand over 9 nights.

As you visit the crossroads each night you may or may not see or otherwise be met by any number of black-colored
animals. On the final night, you will be met by a figure. It might be a person dressed all in black, it might be a black
man (i.e. a person of African descent); however he appears it will be the Devil. If you don’t show any fear, he will take
the item you brought from you and teach you how to use it properly. Finally, he will return the item to you and you will
then possess both mastery and skill with the use of said item.


Working with Spirits

Many Root-Workers start out working with spirits of the dead in the form of the Ancestors, the spirits of the dead
connected to them by blood. It is believed that the dead don’t die, but rather ascend to another level of being, from
which they can look on and assist us. From this higher level, the Ancestors can guide us in our daily lives, intercede
with the Godhead on our behalf and protect us in times of need.

The process of working with the Ancestors begins with the construction of an Ancestral Altar. Before I go any further,
I’d like to point out that many root-workers are Christian and adhere to God’s commandment in Exodus 20:3 to “have
not other gods before me.” Therefore, root-workers do NOT worship the Ancestors inasmuch as they venerate them.
The Ancestral altar is the place where this veneration ritually occurs.

Setting up an Ancestral altar is beneficial for many reasons some of which include, but are not limited to the following:

 It allows you to make a spiritual-connection with the other-side.

 It allows you the opportunity to develop a relationship with spiritual allies.
 It confers a certain amount of protection on you by inviting the spirit of loved ones who have passed to be an
active part of your life.
 It allows you greater access to information in the form of your ancestor’s wisdom and experience, especially if
they were a spiritual-practitioner as well or had a special talent or ability.
 It prepares you to work with other types of spirits and spirits that are not connected to you by blood.

Setting up an Ancestral Altar is fairly simple and there is no standard layout for one. Like other altars they will often
grow and change in relation to your personal belief-system, your understanding of how to put those beliefs into
practice, the items you have and/or can obtain, and sometimes by request of the Ancestors themselves.

When setting up an Ancestral Altar two major things that you will want to consider. They are:

1. Where to Place the Altar

2. What to Place on the Altar

Where to Place the Altar

Where to place your Ancestral Altar will depend on your personal-belief system, what you have available to use as an
altar, and the amount of space that you work in. There really are no hard-and-fast rules on altar placement. Sometimes
you will hear that an Ancestral Altar shouldn’t be placed in the bedroom due to privacy concerns when intimate
moments arise with your partner. However, there really is no reason that you can’t put your Ancestral Altar in your
bedroom except that it makes you feel uncomfortable to do so.

Just because your Ancestral altar is in your bedroom doesn’t mean that your ancestors are bound to that room. If an
intimate moment arises you can feel secure in the knowledge that the Ancestors would excuse themselves. If you have
no choice but to place your Ancestral Altar in your bedroom, you can cover it with a white cloth whenever you think
you may be intimate with your partner.
An altar can be made out of virtually any available flat surface. This could be a coffee table, the top of a chest-of-
drawers, a book-case, a shelf hung on a wall, an end table, etc… The only requirement for your altar is that it be large
enough to hold everything that you wish to place upon it. For example, my Ancestral Altar is the top shelf of a
bookcase which is located just inside my door.

Before setting up the altar it is important that the area be cleaned. I usually wipe down the area with a damp rag and a
few drops of ammonia followed by anointing the four corners and center of the altar with a tiny drop of Spirit Guide
Oil or Peaceful Home Oil.

What to Place on the Altar

A basic Ancestral Altar can be made with the following items.

 A White Altar Cloth

 A Glass of Water
 White Candles
 White Flowers
 Photographs and/or belongings of deceased relatives

The items are placed on the altar in a manner pleasing to the eye. The practice of using a white cloth, white candles,
and white flowers is derived from the belief that white represents both purity and cleanliness. Water is offered to the
spirits to give them refreshment. However, sometimes the Ancestors will request that you offer them coffee, whiskey,
or some other liquid to drink. When this occurs you should do as they ask. The Water is traditionally changed on
Monday, however I personally do this on Sundays as this was the one day of the week my entire family was sure to
come together.

In addition to the items mentioned above, you may also place items which belonged to the dead in life, or items which
they liked. For example you may have your grandmother’s glasses, or your father’s watch; you may choose to place a
certain brand of cigarette on the altar because it was favored by an Uncle, or a cross-word puzzle book because an
ancestor enjoyed completing them.

In some cases, you may even decide to do things at your altar that you ancestor enjoyed doing in life. For example, if
you mother loved to sew you may honor her by sitting before you altar as you sew a mojo bag or doll-baby. If your
grandfather loved to read westerns you may purchase a book to keep on the altar and read it to him a chapter at a time.

The only admonition when placing photographs on the altar is that you should never place pictures of the living
alongside pictures of the dead. In addition there may be a deceased Ancestor whom you are uncomfortable inviting
into your space. You two may not have gotten along in life, they may have been considered an ‘evil’ person, or have
died ‘bad’, etc… If this is the case, I would suggest that you work with the Ancestors whom you are more comfortable
working with in the beginning. After you have developed a relationship with these Ancestors, you may wish to ask
them to assist you in making peace with the other individual(s).

Working with the Ancestors

Again, how you work with your Ancestors, the prayers you say, the offerings you make, and how often you tend your
Ancestral-Altar will depend upon your personal belief system. For example, Catholics are known for having
prescribed prayers that they pray by rote such as the Rosary whereas Baptist prayers are often extemporaneous. It is up
to you to decide what form the veneration of your Ancestors will take.

As someone who was raised in a Baptist household, I often begin my veneration by lighting the white candle(s) and
reciting The Lord’s Prayer. This was the first prayer I learned in Sunday School and many lines within the prayer speak
to me on a deeply spiritual level for working with the spirits of my Ancestors.
For example, the prayer begins “Our Father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name.” These words acknowledge
God as our first-Ancestor, our Father. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. Anything which occurs at the
altar happens because God has willed it. “Give us this day our daily bread”, not my daily bread but our daily bread.
This is a reference to making offerings to the spirits and the benefits we receive in return for our devotion. “Lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a request to God that no evil spirit leads us astray or gives us bad
advice as well as a request that no evil befall the spirits which dwell at our altar.

This prayer may be followed by a spoken petition welcoming your ancestors into your home by name and asking them
to commune with you, be tended by you, and to offer their personal gifts, wisdom, and/or protection to you, your
home, and your living family (and yes even your pets).

Some people work with their Ancestors every day, some approach their Ancestral Altar once a week, and some work
with their Ancestors whenever they take a notion. I feel that it is very important to establish a regular practice of
praying at your Ancestral Altar, if not every day then at very least once a week. Whatever you decide it is important to
be consistent with your practice.

The Ancestor Doll

The Ancestor Doll is a doll that represents all of your positive ancestors known and unknown and, for this reason, the
doll will not have a face (see photo at right) nor will its gender be evident. However, in some cases a practitioner will
make a female ancestor-doll, a male ancestor-doll or one of each depending on their personal choices.

To make an Ancestor Doll, sew a doll from the used clothing of a deceased relative or relatives. Alternately, if no such
clothing is available, the doll can be made in white cloth. The doll can then be stuffed with bunting as well as those
items that are usually found on an Ancestor Altar such as personal artifacts, graveyard dirt, copies of birth/death
certificates, etc...

If you don't have any personal artifacts for a deceased family member, simply write their full name on a piece of paper
and include whatever pertinent information you have (birth/death date) as well as any happy memories or stories
involving that person. In this way you are preserving the memory of that event/story and creating your own personal
To use the doll they are held, talked to, and can be carried with you when traveling. In this way the Ancestor-Doll is
akin to a portable ancestral altar. The Ancestor Doll is the perfect choice for anyone who wishes to honor and work
with their ancestors but who has a limited amount of space to work with or for those who must work in secret for any
number of reasons.


The Plate-Eye is a type of disembodied spirit of those who have been murdered and which are known for its shape-
shifting powers. They are characterized by their large glowing eyes which are said to be as “big as a plate and blood
red.” Another curious characteristic of a Plate-Eye is that there is usually something off or wrong about whatever form
they assume. For example, a Plate-Eye taking the form of a dog may appear to have been run over by a vehicle.

Plate-Eyes were prevalent just after the Civil War, but their roots likely go back farther than that. Southern lore dictates
that during the war, wealthy slave-owners, worried about losing their fortunes, buried their treasure in dark woods or
marshy swamps. To protect their treasures until they could reclaim it, the vicious slave-owners would behead a slave
(probably the one who dug the hole) and bury it as a warning to anyone who would attempt to steal their treasure. It
was a common belief among many of the slaves that one’s spirit dwelled in the head, and so soon arose tales of a haint
(ghost) that harassed people who came near the site of their death.

During the Great Depression, the United States Government commissioned the Federal Writer’s Project (FWP) in an
effort to aid unemployed writers and fund their work. Over a period of two years from the mid 1930’s Genevieve W.
Chandler, interviewed over 100 individuals in the South Carolina Low Country as part of the FWP. In May of 1936
Genevieve interviewed Addie Knox, a Gullah woman, who describes her encounter with a Plate-Eye. Similar to the
Hyatt material, the story is written semi-phonetically and can be somewhat difficult to read.

Addie Knox describes how while walking home one evening around dusk she passes by a graveyard and enters into the
dark woods nearby. At one point she comes upon a fallen cypress tree blocking her path on top of which a bull frog is
sitting. Addie explains that she sees the frog turn into a series of animals that get progressively larger including a
cooter (turtle), and a black cat. Addie strikes the Plate-Eye with a stick several times and runs away as the Plate-Eye
chases after her getting bigger and bigger. She is finally able to get away from the dreaded spirit by showing no fear
and trusting in God.

According to the Gullah, the Plate-Eye cannot abide foul odors (a trait that they also assign to the Boo Hag) and so to
ward against it people would often carry a mixture of equal parts gun-powder and sulfur in a small burlap sack with
them to ward the Plate-Eye away.


The Boo-Hag, the Hag that Rides You, or simply Hags are terrifying entities found in cultures all over the world and by
many other names. They are described as both ugly, older women as well as young, beautiful ones. In either case, they
may or may not be witches but who are always possessed of strong spiritual powers.
Hags are believed to remove their skin at night and sneak into their victim's home to drink their blood, steal their voice,
or give them nightmares. A common behavior of the hag is to 'ride' the victim in his or her sleep depriving them of
needed rest. Over long periods, individuals have died of exhaustion. People who claim to have been "hag-ridden"
report waking up in the night with a sensation of something heavy on their chest and being unable to move. (See sleep-
paralysis). These victims often report being tired and exhausted the following day after having not gotten a good
night's sleep.

Methods of combating the Hag include laying a loaded shotgun across the head of the bed, since Hags detest the smell
of gunpowder (sulfur). Forks have also been placed under the pillow to prevent being ridden. Other tools used to ward
off Hags include placing a straw-broom or a colander under the bed in the belief that the Hag would have to count
every straw or every hole distracting her until the sun would come up.

If a hag was caught in the daylight without her skin, it was believed that she would die. Some folktales tell of people
finding the Hag's skin hanging in her closet and filling it with salt which is said to burn and severely injure her when
the Hag puts her skin back on.

Photo "Sad Bag Lady" courtesy of another time, this woman living
on the fringes of society would have been a prime target of suspicion for being a Hag.


The Lizard Man is a creature said to inhabit the swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina. For this reason
he is referred to as The Lizard Man of Lee County, but sometimes also as the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp.

The Lizard Man has been described as a humanoid cryptid which stands on two legs and is over 7 feet tall. He has been
said to have green scaly skin, and glowing orange eyes. Eye witness accounts describe him as having three toes on
each foot and three fingers on each hand. He is also said to be supernaturally strong.

The first reported sighting of the Lizard man occurred on June 29th, 1988 by Christopher Davis, then a 16 year old
young man. Christopher was driving home from work around 2 am and stopped near the Scape Ore Swamp to change
a flat tire. As he finished changing the tire, he reported hearing a strange noise behind him and when he turned to
investigate, he saw the creature coming towards him in an aggressive manner.

According to Davis’s report, the Lizard Man tried to take hold of his car, jumping on its roof as he fled the area. When
he arrived at home, Davis called police who observed that though Davis’ side-view mirror was damaged and there
were scratch marks along his vehicle where it is said that the creature ripped the vinyl siding off the car, there was no
corroborating physical evidence of Davis’ encounter with the creature.

Within the next few weeks, police received enough credible sighting of the creature to believe that witnesses were not
fabricating their stories, although they treated the sighting with a healthy dose of skepticism as well as concern for the
citizens well being. The general consensus among law enforcement officials was that the creature was more likely a
bear than an actual Lizard Man.

The sightings were enough to attract attention in the national media, which in turn attracted a significant increase in
tourism from visitors hoping to see the Lizard Man. One television station offered one-million dollars to anyone who
could capture the creature alive. However, as summer moved into fall, sightings began to decline, the last of which
occurred in July of the same year.

Early the following month an airman named Kenneth Orr stationed at Shaw Air Force Base filed a police report
alleging to have had an encounter with the Lizard Man in which he fired his weapon injuring the creature. Orr offered
some scales and blood as proof of his encounter, but recanted his statement two days later when he was charged with
unlawfully carrying a pistol and filing a false police reports. Orr citied his reason for fabricating the story was to keep
the story of the Lizard Man circulating.

In 2005 an incarnation of the Lizard Man was used in a television commercial to promote the South Carolina
Education Lottery.

In July 2005, the Lizard Man "reappeared" in television promotions for the South Carolina Education Lottery. Two
months later a woman in Newberry, South Carolina, reported seeing the Lizard man in her yard.

Early last year a couple in Bishopville reported damage to their car and evidence of blood. They also reported the
disappearance of their cat, all of which prompted many to believe that the Lizard Man had returned. The blood from
the couple’s car was examined by a Veterinary Lab in California who determined that the blood was canine in origin,
likely a wolf. Not long after these events the Sheriff discovered the bodies of both a cow and a coyote near the couple’s

Since that time, there have be no future sighting, but many believe that he is still out there.


Be Just and Fear Not

Unlike religions, such as Wicca, that accepts the practice of magick as part of its belief system and which advises its
adherents to “harm none”; Hoodoo-not being a religion-generally does not ascribe to any notion of karma. In fact,
since Hoodoo is essentially the separation of magickal practices from religious dogma, the ethics of conjure is left
entirely up to the practitioner and his or her sense of moral values.

Some conjure workers are said to be Lady Hearted which means that they are morally opposed to bringing harm to
another individual or animal through the use of spells and magick; while other workers will gladly curse your enemy
under certain conditions. Again, some workers are opposed to breaking up marriages so long as abuse isn't a factor. In
some cases, it may not be that the worker doesn't want to perform a certain type of spell or working, but that they may
have no talent for it.

This, however, does not mean that practitioners are completely free to do whatever they want with no consequences.
While Hoodoo allows for an individual to not only protect themselves by magickal means but also to retaliate against
those who have wronged them, they also hold to the belief that a spell must be justified in order for it to work.

Justified is a term that one will often hear about in the practice of Hoodoo, especially when the subject of curses arises.
Curses are a malevolent type of spell the effects of which can range from bad luck to death. Curses can be placed on
people (Longinus), places (King Tut's Tomb), and things (The Hope Diamond). The motivation for cursing can include
Envy (Snow White), Revenge (Tecumseh), Punishment (Angel, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), to Teach a Lesson
(Brother Bear), or to protect an object--mostly from theft (Religious Idols and other Holy Objects) or places
(Shakespeare's Grave).

The belief in curses can be found in virtually every culture and they are mentioned in the sacred texts of many
religions. Most religions forbid the practice of cursing, while others, citing the use of curses in their holy books, utilize
them to protect their selves from their enemies and other forms of evil. Every religion has a form of blessings intended
to protect people, places and things from curses. Non-religious individuals believe that curses are a product of the mind
and are psychological in nature. In a sense, people "curse" themselves because they believe that they are cursed.

In the Christian Bible, curses are seen as a wish, which can only be fulfilled by God and only when the curse is
deserved. For example, if you lay down a powder to curse one individual it will only have an effect on that individual
an no one else who happens to walk over the powder. Furthermore, it is believed that curses which are not justified or
deserved have no effect (Proverbs 26:2). In other instances, curses are used to prevent individuals from breaking
certain laws. In the Bible, curses can be used with success by those who have been wronged and/or oppressed. In
addition a curse which is both deserved and uttered by a person in authority is said to never fail.


Unlike Wicca or Ceremonial-Magick practices, Hoodoo does not require the practitioner to acquire exotic tools and
implements, or to cleanse them with complex rituals at magickally auspicious times.

Hoodoo was born out of the magickal practices of a people who were often denied personal possession beyond what
was absolutely needed and so magic was often conjured with what was on hand. For this reason the tools of conjure
are, more often than not, common every-day items that can be found in the average household or readily available in
Below is just a list of a a few such items and a brief description of how I've used them magickally.

Screwdriver: I have a Phillips head screw driver that I've used now for a couple of years for the express purpose of
carving words and symbols on candles. The thickness is about the same as that of a pencil and the pointed tip is
excellent for writing on wax. In addition, I use this tool to drive holes in glass encased candles for the purpose of
putting herbs and oil in those holes.

Brass Candle Holder: I have a long brass candle holder the type of which I can unscrew from it's base. You'd
probably think that I burn candles in this holder, but you'd be wrong. In fact, I use this candle holder like a candle-
snuffer to 'snuff' out candles. I've found that a metal spoon can be used just like a candle-snuffer as well.

Wine-Glasses: Wine glasses that have a flat base can be turned upside down and used like a candle-holder. Other
items such as personal concerns, curios, seals, etc..., can be placed under the wine glass as the candle burns down.

Tin Cans: Tin cans can be used for many purposes. I've burned tea lights/votive candles in tuna cans; I've burned
petitions and dropped them in tin cans to burn; I've used an engraving tool to engrave magickal symbols on the lids of
tin cans that have been removed from the can and carried them as symbols; I've melted wax in tin cans, I've used tin
cans as candle molds, etc...

Shoe Strings: I often save the old shoestrings and use them to do cord magick spells for myself.

Saucers: Pillar candles can be burned on top of saucers. In the Hoodoo tradition, saucers are turned upside down and
petitions, taglocks, etc... are placed under the saucer while candles burn on top of the saucer.

Stencils: Those plastic stencils that you can get from Walmart, Craft Stores, etc... that have the entire alphabet on them
can be used in conjunction with a pendulum for a makeshift Ouija board. Alternately, the alphabet stencil can be placed
in a picture frame and a coin or over turned shot glass can be used as a pointer.

Magnets: Some magickal practitioners may not agree with me on this one, but I've often used magnets in place of
lodestones in some spells.

Coin Purses: Coin purses can substitute for mojo bags in a pinch.

Coaster: The cork board can be removed from wooden coaster and magickal symbols can be burned into the wood to
make a talisman.

Cutting Board: I have a dedicated cutting board that I use as a candle board. I often spread out powders and herbs on
this board in which to roll candles in after anointing them with oil.

Ash Trays: Metallic ash trays can be used as braziers for burning incense, or paper petitions.

Picture Frames: I've placed a black piece of construction paper in picture frames and then used the the frame as a
magick mirror; in addition I have a paper talisman in a picture frame hanging over the inside of my front door to
protect my home and goods from intruders.

Dolls: Action figures and store-bought dolls can be used to house spirits, or named after an individual and used just
like a poppet or voodoo doll.

Board Game Tokens: I've often used game tokens such as those used to play monopoly (the shoe, money sack, etc..)
or clue (lead pipe, knife, rope) as charms in mojo bags.

Arcade Tokens: The token are often circular and engraved with symbols, that can be magickal with the right
imagination. The oldest charm in my medicine bag is an arcade token depicting a wizard throwing off his hat and
kicking up his heels in joy and is a reminder to myself to maintain a sense of humor.
Coins: Coins often depict symbols such as animals, luminaries such as the sun or moon, and/or vegetation. These
coins can be blessed and carried as talismans. For example I've heard of woman using the Sacajawea coins as
talismans to conceive a child, since it shows a woman carrying a child on her back.

Other items you'll find in a conjure worker's cabinet include candles, lead-pencils, brown-paper grocery sacks for
writing petitions, chamois/flannel cloth for sewing mojo bags, playing cards for performing readings, dirt from various
locations, personal-concerns, doll-babies, condition oils, herbs and roots to name a few.

As you can see, the practice of conjure need not be an expensive endeavor and most items needed to cast spells and
make charms are either readily available to the average person or otherwise easily obtainable.


Crossroads of Power

Altars are places where the world of man and the realm of spirit interconnect. Here, higher powers are petitioned
through prayer and ritual, spells are enacted, and offerings are made. Those who frequent forums, discussion boards,
and social networking sites will often notice that the world ‘altar’ is often misspelled as ‘alter”, which is a pet-peeve of
mine. However, upon further reflection, the word ‘alter’ means “to change” and in this respect I find this misspelling
entirely appropriate as one’s altar is the place where change often begins.

The subject of altars is one that often confuses those new to the practice of Hoodoo. One question that is often heard is
“Is there a standard altar layout”, the answer to which is invariably “no”. Many believe that in order to have a proper
altar it must be furnished with expensive equipment and materials, which is entirely untrue. Beyond a few basic
necessities such as candle-holders, saucers, candles, mirrors (for reversing spells), incense burners, altar-cloths, and
whatever statues or iconic imagery representing your personal faith, etc…there isn’t much that a practitioner needs in
order to build an altar.

Once the items are gathered, they are arranged on a flat surface such as a nightstand, coffee table, end table, bookshelf,
etc… in a manner pleasing to the eye. My main working altar is arranged on top of a child’s chest-of-drawers in my
dining room directly in front of my pantry. My herbs are lined up on the shelves of the pantry and the drawers of the
bureau hold candles, altar clothes, incense, and other items I use in my practice.

While some choose to have on main working altar on which they perform their spells and rituals, other practitioners
prefer to have several different altars dedicated to one purpose. Again, in my home, I have several altars including:

 Main working altar

 Money and Success altar
 Love Altar
 Ancestor Altar

In addition to these, I have a dedicated space where I performed divinations and an area specifically designed to
prepare and fix candles. However, I do not consider these areas to be altars.

My main working altar is positioned in my home so that as I stand in front of it I face North with the West (setting sun)
on my left and the East (rising sun) on my right. For this reason, I will often cast spells of a positive, or drawing-in,
nature on the right side of the altar; and spells of a negative, or moving-away, nature on the left side of my altar. This
right-side “good”, left-side “bad” corresponds to the European notions of the right-hand path and left-hand path of
good and evil that I learned while studying Wicca and with which I am comfortable.

The main working altar is the place where I perform spells and rituals that are not in alignment with the energy and/or
purpose of the other altars in my home. Here spells for safe travel, protection, blessing, justice and retribution, etc... are
performed. While in some instances spells of a diverse nature may be enacted on this altar at once, I usually reserve
different types of spells for different days. For example, spells for protection and retribution are performed on
Saturdays, while spells involving safe-travel are cast on Wednesdays.

The Love Altar

The Love/Money altars are used specifically for workings of Love and Money respectively. Therefore, all items placed
on these altars relate to those goals. For example, the Love-Altar (above) stands on the top of my bedroom dresser with
a beautiful, young man as the focal point. Above his head a sign incorporating Love Birds into its design welcomes
helpful spirits. The candle holders flanking the statue incorporate hearts into their design and a pair of matched
lodestones fed with magnetic sand can be found on the altar among condition oils, incenses, and love-drawing

The Money and Success Altar

The Money and Success Altar is on the top of my refridgerator and houses several objects related to wealth, prosperity,
and success. They include a small statue of St. Joseph for success in one's occupation; Hotei Buddha, the luck-bringing
demigod; and a Maneki Neko, who beckons wealth and prosperity.

In addition, there are green candles, and a large lodestone resting on top of a bowl full of change and paper-money to
draw in more wealth and prosperity. Other items include a piggy bank, an offering bowl, an incense burner, and a copy
of The Prayer of Jabez.

The Ancestor Altar

The process of working with the Ancestors begins with the construction of an Ancestral Altar. Before I go any further,
I’d like to point out that many root-workers are Christian and adhere to God’s commandment in Exodus 20:3 to “have
not other gods before me.” Therefore, root-workers do NOT worship the Ancestors inasmuch as they venerate them.
The Ancestral altar is the place where this veneration ritually occurs.

Setting up an Ancestral Altar is fairly simple and there is no standard layout for one. Like other altars they will often
grow and change in relation to your personal belief-system, your understanding of how to put those beliefs into
practice, the items you have and/or can obtain, and sometimes by request of the Ancestors themselves.

In Conclusion

Altars are powerful and highly personal sacred spaces which can be erected for virtually any need or purpose without a
great deal of expense. They can be as simple or as ornate as you like and you have a wide variety or choices in regard
to altar size, number of altars, deities, and other items placed on the altar. Outside of these general guidelines there are
no strict rules when it comes to building your altars and ultimately you will find that what is 'right' is what works for

Rabbit's Foot
Animal Curios are those curios which consists of the body parts of living animals which have been humanly collected
and preserved in some way. Examples of animal curious include but are not limited to, the following:

 A Rabbit Foot
 Ants
 Raccoon Penis Bones
 Chicken Bones

Most of these associations were developed through application of the Doctrine of Signatures, a belief which holds that
the Creator (i.e. God, the Universe, etc...) marked everything in existence with a sign, or signature, which indicates its
intended use. Furthermore, by careful observation one can determine the uses of a plant from an aspect of its form
such as the shape of its roots or leaves, its color, place of growing, or even its name.

For example, Walnuts are believed to cure ailments of the head because they resemble a human head; buckeyes are
carried for male potency, and to attract sexual partners as they resemble a young boy's testicles; in like fashion
ammonia, which sounds like harmony, is often used to cleanse objects of negativity; and Thyme which sounds like
time, is believed to draw in money as it has often been reported, "time IS money."

Selected Animal Curios and their Uses

 Alligator Foot/Tooth: These curios are used in conjure to attract good luck, money, and to win at gambling.
 Ant: Ants (living or dead) are used in conjure to send messages to others, curse enemies and force them to
 Badger Tooth: Similar to alligator teeth, a badger's tooth is used to win at games of chance.
 Bat: The whole-dried heart of a bat is worn under the left arm to win at gambling.
 Black Cat Bone- When obtained as part of a heartless ritual which calls for boiling the cat alive, the black cat
bone is said to confer invisibility or return a lost love.
 Black Cat Hair: Used to win at games of chance or to separate couples (usually in conjunction with black dog
 Black Dog Hair: The hair of a black dog is used to curse enemies, break up couples, and to banish people.
 Cat’s Eye Shell: These charms which come from an ocean-dwelling musk are used mainly for protection from
the evil eye and gossip.
 Crab-Shell Powder: Powder made from pulverized crab shells are used in reversing spells and to make people
back off.
 Cowry Shell- These shells, which come from a snail, have been used for divination and are said to act as the
mouth of God due to their resemblance to human mouths. They have also been used to decorate spell bottles
and voodoo dolls.
 Eggs: Eggs are used in healing spells to remove illness and curses. In addition, they are used to curse enemies,
discover the identity of a murderer, and their shells have been used as containers for spells.
 Frog: A live frog is used to win at games of chance by placing it in a mojo bag around your neck while you
are gambling; they are also said to grant winning lottery numbers by listening carefully to their croaking.
Finally, the left bone of a frog is said to stir lust in a person when it is bound to them.
 Human Finger Bone: The finger bones of a human being are used in charms and spells to attract and keep
money, win at gambling, and excelling at anything which makes use of the hands.
 Rabbit Foot: Probably the most famous and popular good luck charm, the foot of a rabbit is said to bring luck
in love, money, or business.
 Raccoon Penis Bone: The bone from a racoon's penis is used in conjure to win at gambling and attract a lover.
 Turkey-Bone: While the wish-bone is used for prosperity and money drawing spells, turkey bones were used
by girls along the Appalachian mountains to increase desire in their male lovers and make them more amorous.


Introduction to Herbs

Dandelion Flower
Herbs have been a staple in the magickal and healing practices of healers, shamans, and magicians since antiquity.
Even today many pharmacological advances have been made from careful study of how they used herbs, including the
discovery of aspirin and digitalis. However, many have wondered how the root-workers first learned their knowledge
of herbs.

Hoodoo is believed to have originated with Africans who were brought to America as slaves, mainly in the
Southeastern states where slavery was legal, and moved West across the nation. These men, women and children often
arrived on American soil with very few personal possessions, if any at all. They did not bring their native herbs with
them, and if they did those items were most likely taken away. The slaves found themselves in a place where they were
considered the property of abusive slaveholders and they didn’t know anything about the herbs, plants and curios of
this strange, new land. African and Native American slaves often found themselves working along side one another
and it is believed that through this co-mingling the slaves learned a great deal about the medicinal and magickal uses of
the herbs native to America.

One theory suggests that they were taught the use of herbs by certain spirits or deities. Other theorized that herbal
correspondences were arrived at via trial and error. Another theory in practice today, the Doctrine of Signatures, states
that God marked everything he created with a sign or signature. The doctrine of signatures refers to two individual
though related concepts in (Christian) European metaphysics, whose origins lay in the ancient reading of auspices and
other omens of the god’s will in antiquity, and which similarly bears upon the meaningfulness of resemblances. The
major usage is a doctrine that the Creator had so set his mark upon creation that by careful observation one could find
all right doctrine represented and even learned the uses of a plant from some aspect of its form or place of growing.

For the late medieval viewer, the natural world was vibrant with the numinous images of the deity: “as above, so
below,” an expression of the relationship between macrocosm and microcosm, the principle is rendered sicut in terra.
Michael Foucalt expressed the wider usage of the doctrine of signatures, which rendered allegory more real and more
cogent than it appears to a modern eye:
“Up to the end of the sixteenth century, resemblance played a constructive role in the knowledge of Western culture. It
was resemblance that largely guided exegesis and the interpretation of texts; it was resemblance that organized the play
of symbols, made possible knowledge of things visible and invisible, and controlled the art of representing them.” (The
Order of Things, p. 17)

The doctrine of signatures was given renewed thrust in the writings of the Swiss physician Paracelsus von Hohenheim
(1493-1541) and continued to be embraced until the 17th century. It held that plants bearing parts that resembled
human body parts, animals, or other objects, had useful relevancy to those parts, animals, or objects. It could also refer
to the environment or specific sites in which plants grew. Many of the plants that were so regarded today still carry the
word root “wort”, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning herb, as part of their modern name.

The radical visionary Jakob Bohme (1575-1624), a master shoemaker of Gorlitz, had a profound mystical vision as a
young man, in which he saw the relationship between God and man signed in all things. Inspired, he wrote Signatura
Rerum (1621), soon published as the Signature of All Things and the spiritual doctrine was applied even to the
medicinal uses that plants forms advertised.

The 17th century botanist and herbalist William Coles (1626-1662), author of The Art of Simpling and Adam in Eden,
found that walnuts were good for curing head ailments because ‘they have the perfect signatures for the head,” and as
for Hypericum “the little holes whereof the leaves of Saint Johns wort are full, does resemble all the pores of the skin
and therefore it is profitable for all hurts and wounds that can happen thereunto.” Nicholas Culpepper’s often reprinted
herbal takes the doctrine of signatures as common knowledge and its influence can be detected still in modern herbal

The doctrine of signatures was expounded in mainstream medical texts into the 19th century and has remained a
working principle of homeopathic medicine. Among practitioners of the occult, the doctrine of signatures has a more
specific meaning, in which the arrangement of magickal signatures is thought to have certain powers.

Selected Herbs & their Uses in Hoodoo

This short list of herbs was chosen for the fact that each and every herb listed is easily found within a grocery store,
spice rack or otherwise easily accessible to the average shopper. Once you are comfortable working with these easily
accessible herbs, you may want to experiment with other more exotic, hard-to-get herbs----many of which can easily
be ordered online these days.

If you are lucky to live in a larger-city there may be a Botanica close enough to you to purchase them straight away
and take them home rather than having to wait for them to be delivered to you. Shopping at a Botanica in your own
city has the added benefit of supporting your local economy, allows you the opportunity meet and interact with other
practitioners, and allows you to actually see the herb(s) in question before taking them home.

However, if you really want to challenge yourself, you will research those herbs that grow naturally in your
environment and cultivate/harvest them yourself. For example, in the town in which I live Lavender grows along the
side of the roads in late-spring/early summer so I never actually buy Lavender anymore!

 All Spice: An all purpose herb used for money, luck, healing, love and power. Burn allspice to draw prosperity,
courage, healing/health, luck, determination, magical power, energy, strength.

 Apple: Used in spells of love and health. As a natural sweetener, apples are used in Hoodoo Spell for love and
 Basil: Use to attract love and money and in ritual baths and to banish negative energy. Basil is used in love
bath, peaceful-home spells, and is said to bring wealth to those who carry it in their pockets. Basil is said to
attract customers to a business by placing some in the cash register, or sprinkling basil-water near the

 Bay Leaves: Used to keep away at bay. Bay is a strong anti-jinx herb that will protect your from hexes and
keep others from interfering in your life as well as your magical work.

 Cabbage: The dried leaves of cabbages are used in money spells to attract wealth and prosperity.

 Caraway: Caraway seeds protect one from Lilith, unclean spirits, the evil-eye, and other forms of negativity;
and it is often carried for this purpose. Any object which holds some caraway seeds is theft proof. They also
strengthen the memory, and a small bag of the seeds placed in a child’s bed protects the child from illness.

 Catnip: Believed to arouse lust in men catnips is used in love and attraction spells. Catnip is also used in
spells designed to make women more attractive and alluring.

 Cayenne Pepper: Banishing negative energy, purification, cleansing, healing and protection. Cayenne pepper
scattered around your house will break bad spells. Adding it to love powders will ensure that your love will be
spicy, and can inflame the loved one with passion. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in Jamaican food.

 Chamomile: The flowers of this plant bring success in games of chance and increases the power of other
money-drawing herbs and curios.

 Cinnamon: Promotes love, money, spiritual purification, gambling, lust, and a general success herb.
Cinnamon, when burned as incense, raises high spiritual vibrations, aids in healing, draws money, stimulates
psychic powers, and produces protective vibrations.

 Cloves: Whole cloves promote friendship, are used in spells to stop gossip, and draw in money and prosperity.

 Coconut: Whole coconuts are used to cleanse one’s house by placing it on the floor at the back of your home
and sweeping it through every room in your house and finally out of the front door.

 Coriander: The seeds of coriander draw new love, protects against illness, and promotes faithfulness in

 Cumin: Cumin seeds promote faithfulness in relationships and guards the home from evil.

 Dandelion: The root of the dandelion is used in spells for making wishes come to pass. It is also brewed into a
tea which is alleged to enable one to dream the future.

 Dill: Used in blessings and purification in respect to one’s romantic pursuits as well as one’s nature. Dill is
said to kill love-jinxes.

 Fennel: This herb is used to keep unwanted people from coming around your home or interfering in your life.

 Garlic: Used for protection, against the Evil Eye, to keep away unwanted visitors, and protect the household.

 Ginger: The whole root of ginger is said to protect one from Hag riding, when placed under your pillow. It is
used in love and money spells to bring fast results.

 Holly: Holly bring good luck and protects the home. When boiled in water on the stove, it fills the home with
a pleasant aroma. The water may be poured over the threshold to protect the home from lightning.
 Lemon: The leaves of the lemon-tree are used in cut-and-clear spells, that is, to remove one’s ties to past
negative relationships. The fruit itself is often used to send back the evil eye and in spells to “sour” another’s
luck by placing their personal concerns inside a slit in the lemon, pinning it shut and sealing it a jar of vinegar.

 Mint: Used to attract money and wealth, as well as to break jinxes, and prevent crossed-conditions.

 Nutmeg: Whole nutmegs are used for winning in games of chance. A powerful money hand can be made by
wrapping a whole nutmeg in a two-dollar bill along with chamomile and dressed with money-drawing oil.

 Onion: Onion skins are burned on the stove to attract money, and prosperity.

 Orange: Orange leaves/peels are used to make Orange Water, which is used in spells for love and attraction as
well as spiritual cleansing.

 Pine: Pine is used in spiritual baths and floor scrubs as a power-cleanser. It also attracts money.

 Rice: Dyed green-rice is called “lucky rice” and is used in spells for prosperity and happiness.

 Rosemary: Rosemary is one of the primary ingredients in Peaceful Home Oil and is used to protect the home,
empower women, and dominating one’s husband or romantic partner (along with angelica root)

 Sage: Sage, like the name implies, is used in spells to promote wisdom, make good decisions, plan your
future, and is often carried for protection when traveling. It is a primary ingredient in Crown-of-Success
Spiritual Supplies.

 Thyme: Thyme is used to bring sleep and rest, by warding off nightmares; as well for money-drawing,
gambling-luck and money-stay-with-me spells.

 Tobacco: Tobacco is often used as offerings to spirits, the smoke from tobacco may be inhaled and
subsequently blown into an area for purification or onto a person to drive out evil spirits or disease. A tea of
tobacco leaves may be sprinkled in a dwelling to drive out ghosts and evil spirits.


Mineral Curios are those curios which are made up on naturally occurring minerals. Examples of mineral curious
include but are not limited to, the following:

 Saltpeter
 Sulfur
 Lodestone
 Coffin Nails

Most of these associations were developed through application of the Doctrine of Signatures, a belief which holds that
the Creator (i.e. God, the Universe, etc...) marked everything in existence with a sign, or signature, which indicates its
intended use. Furthermore, by careful observation one can determine the uses of a plant from an aspect of its form
such as the shape of its roots or leaves, its color, place of growing, or even its name.

For example, Walnuts are believed to cure ailments of the head because they resemble a human head; buckeyes are
carried for male potency, and to attract sexual partners as they resemble a young boy's testicles; in like fashion
ammonia, which sounds like harmony, is often used to cleanse objects of negativity; and Thyme which sounds like
time, is believed to draw in money as it has often been reported, "time IS money."

Selected Mineral Curios and their Uses

 Alum: Used in conjure to stop gossip, confer protection, and grant luck.
 Ammonia: This chemical is used to cleanse and protect people and things.
 Black Salt: A combination of salt and charcoal, used for protection and cleansing.
 Bluing: Bluing is used in spiritual baths for cleansing and protection, to draw good spirits, and to win at games
of chance.
 Brick Dust, Red: Dust made from pulverized red bricks has been laid down across the threshold to prevent
the entrance from evil.
 Coffin Nails: Rusty nails are used to make War-Water, to curse enemies, and break up couples.
 Lodestone: These naturally occurring magnets are used in pairs to attract love or as a single stone to attract
money, success, or material things. They are usually dressed with a condition oil and fed with magnetic sand
to ‘train’ them, and keep them strong so they can continue to work for you.
 Pyrite: Also known as “fool’s gold”, this mineral is used in conjure for luck in attracting money either through
business or gambling.
 Salt: Perhaps the most common and easily obtainable mineral on this list, salt has a wide variety of uses
including protection, luck, banishing people, job-getting, and reversing jinxes.
 Saltpeter: Saltpeter is used to break jinxes and bring luck.
 Silver Dimes: Silver dimes are used for protection, money-drawing, luck in gambling, and job-getting.
 Sulfur: This naturally occurring mineral is mainly used in enemy work to throw curses, and banish people,
however it has also been used to reverse hexes and kill jinxes as well.


An Introduction to Condition Oils

The use of specially blended oils have a long history in the use of magick and were used as far back as the time of
Moses and most likely many years before that time as well. Today, magickal oils are not only used by Witches and
Pagans, but many other magickal and non-magickal spiritual traditions as well, including some denominations of
Christianity. However, it is in the Hoodoo tradition of folk magick, that the use of magickal oils has reached new

Today, many Rootworkers purchase their oils from reputable merchants, who manufacture them in great numbers;
however, one can still never be sure exactly what herbs and ingredients have been included in the oil. Rootworkers as
far back as 50 or more years ago actually gathered and dried their own herbs in order to make their own oils based on
formulas that were passed down to them through the generations. In foreign countries where people are still closely
connected to the land and herbs are still found in abundance practitioners still make their own oils from fresh

Because of the personal attention and freshness of ingredients used in making one’s own oils they are thought to be
much more powerful than those purchased from manufacturers. Should you choose to make your own oils, it is
important that you do your own research and make sure that you know exactly what you are putting into your

How Oils are Used in Hoodoo

Generally speaking condition-oils are used in two ways. They are ‘anointing’ and ‘dressing.’ Anointing means to rub
the oil on yourself, another individual, or even an animal. Dressing means to rub the oil on a candle, mojo bag,
talisman, or other inanimate object. Having said that, Anointing and Dressing Oils can be used in a myriad of ways.

 They can be worn as a scent for spiritual purpose.

 They can be wiped onto the person whom one wishes to influence.
 They can be used to "dress" a candle, a mojo bag, or a talisman
 They can be added to bath salts.
 They can be used in a magickal lamp.
 They can be used in conjunction with other magical items to create a focal point for the work being done.

The methods employed by practitioners to anoint or dress vary from person to person. These methods usually follow
some form of symbolism or tradition and may only make sense to the individual. The directions below are merely a
guide and you are encouraged to find what works best for you.

 If you are anointing yourself or another for the purpose of taking off hexes, banishing illness, or spiritual
cleansing, rub the body downward beginning at the head and ending at the foot. Then rub down the arms, out
at the hands; and finally down the legs and out the feet and toes.

 If you are anointing yourself or another to bring in desired conditions, draw love, money, or luck, rub the
entire body upwards from the soles of the feet towards the armpits, then from palms of hands to armpits, then
up over the head to the mould of the head.
Safe Practices: Essential Oils

Essential oils are inhaled or applied topically to the skin, but with few exceptions, they are never taken internally.

Of the most common essential oils, lavender, tea tree, lemon, sandalwood, and rose can be used undiluted. The rest
should be diluted in a carrier base, which can be an oil (such as almond oil), a cream, or a gel, before being applied to
the skin.

Many essential oils may cause irritation or allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. Before applying any new oil
to your skin, always do a patch test. Put a few drops of the essential oil, mixed with the carrier, on the back of your
wrist and wait for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs, was the area with cold water, in the future use half
the amount of essential oil or avoid it altogether.

Do not use essential oils at home for serious medical problems. During pregnancy, do not use essential oils unless they
are approved by a doctor. Essential oils are not appropriate for children of any age. Store essential oils in dark bottles,
away from light and heat and out of the reach of children and pets.

Flower essences are not essential oils, but they are not recommended for us in the eyes, on mucous membranes, or on
broken or abraded skin. Most flower essences contain alcohol as a preservative, so if you are sensitive to alcohol,
check with your doctor before using them.

Recipes: Condition Oils

1) Attraction Oil

Use this oil to attract anything that you desire.

 Olive Oil (carrier)

 Lodestone Chunk
 Lodestone Grit

2) High John the Conqueror Root Oil

Use this oil for power, mastery, and money.

 Olive Oil (carrier oil)

 Clove Essential Oil
 Whole High John Root (small)
 High John Root Powder/Chips
 Cinnamon Powder

3) Love Me Tender Oil

Use this oil to draw a new love or take a casual relationship to a new level.
 Grapeseed Oil (carrier)
 Vanilla Essential Oil
 Sandalwood Essential Oil
 Dill Seed
 Coriander Leaves
 Cinnamon Chips

4) Purple Power Oil

Use to attract a gay lover

 Olive Oil (carrier)

 12 Lavender Buds
 Sandalwood Essential Oil
 Lavender Essential Oil

5) Trinka-Five Oil For drawing money and prosperity

 Almond Oil (carrier)

 Mint Leaves
 3 Whole Allspice
 Thyme
 Cinnamon Chips

6) Wishing Well

Use this formula to make wishes come true.

 Grapeseed Oil (carrier)

 Sandalwood Essential Oil
 Whole Dandelion Root
 Sandalwood
 Drawing Powder


Definition of Terms

1. Ash-Catcher- Alternative term for any time of incense holder. As the name implies, the ashes from burning
incense collects on the ash-catcher to protect the surface on which the incense is burning.
2. Briquette Incense- Incense made from pressing a mixture of charcoal powder and saltpeter into a small brick-
like form and then scenting the resulting dried briquette with essential oils.
3. Censer- A vessel in which incense is burned. It is often suspended from a chain so that it may be swung about
to distribute smoke in a given area.
4. Coil Incense- Incense made from placing powdered sandalwood onto a thin bamboo or fiber core twisted into
a spiral shape. It is then allowed to dry and then scented with essential oils.
5. Cone Incense- Incense made by a process of combining sandalwood with other woods, gum and pressing it
into cone-shaped mold. It is allowed to dry and then scented with oils.
6. Fumigation- The exposing of something to incense smoke for the purpose of cleansing and purifying it.
7. Incensing- Refers to the covering of a person, place, or object with incense smoke. In the practice of magic
and spells this is often performed for the purpose of cleansing and empowerment. Also known as censing or
8. Powdered Incense- Incense made from a blend of wood fiber, saltpeter and scent, although dried herbs can be
added to the mixture. It is usually burned by shaping it into cones. It is also known as Loose or Self-Lighting
9. Rope Incense- Incense is made by placing herbs and other plant materials on rice paper, thin fiber, or bamboo
and then twisting the rice paper to form a 'rope'.
10. Stick Incense- Incense made by adhering powdered wood, herbs, etc... to thin sticks which are allowed to dry
and then scented with essential oils. Also know as Joss Incense.
11. Suffumigation- The burning of incense to produce fumes as part of some magical rituals.

Ritual Use of Incense

Incense has many uses in the practice of Hoodoo. They include

 To set a magickal mood.

 To purify the area of negativity.
 To release energy
 To carry prayers/wishes to the gods.
 As offerings

Setting the Mood- Similar to how color affect our biology, certain smells also bring up associations in our minds that
can have a profound effect on our mood. Our olfactory sense is the closest of our five senses tied to our memories, by
using scents tied to pleasant or unpleasant memories we can call up the needed energy for rituals and spells. Imagine
doing a love spell and burning incense that reminds you of your first boy/girl friend. Now imagine doing a love spell
and burning incense that smells like burning tires. Which spell do you think has the best chance of being successful?

Purification- The burning of incense has long been used by Pagans, as well as other religions to purify people, places,
and things. It is believed that the purity of the smoke, it’s pleasant scent, and the ingredients which make it up (usually
herbs and oils) drive out negativity and evil.

Release Energy- As I stated above, natural incenses typically contain dried herbs and scented with essential oils that
when burned release energy into the universe much like a prepared candle. This energy can be programmed by the
specific intent of our rite (spell, chant, meditation, visualization, etc…) Incense manufacturers now make specific
incenses designed to bring about specific wishes for love, success, money, health, blessing, etc…
Transmitting Prayers- In ancient times, the sky was believed to be the abode of the gods. Prayers, chants, spells,
etc… were performed accompanied by the burning of incense in the belief that as the smoke rises towards the heavens
and moved across the higher planes it would carry our wishes to God and spirits that would grant them.

Offering- Incense has long been used in folk magic practices as an offering/sacrifice to deities. This was often done at
the behest of a deity (Exodus 30:1) or in an attempt to appease him or her so that s/he will be inclined to favor one's

How to Shape Incense into a Cone for Burning

You will need:

 Pen and Paper

 Tape
 Compass
 Scissors
 Loose Incense
 Saucer


Using your compass, draw a circle on a sheet of paper. For the purpose of this article, I created a circle by tracing a
standard coaster on a sheet of orange paper. Cut the circle out of paper and then cut a triangle shape whose apex is the
center of the circle. When you are done your piece of paper should resemble Pac-Man.


Point Pac-Man's "mouth" towards you. Bring this "lips" together allowing them to over lap a bit. This will give you a
wide cone. To make the cone more narrow tighten the paper until the cone is the size that you desire, then use tape to
secure the cone.

Tightly pack the loose incense into the cone.


Holding your little cone up so that no incense spills out, place a saucer upside down on top of it and then turn it over.
Place your saucer on a flat surface.


Gently tap the cone and then slowly lift it up revealing your incense cone!

You can now light your incense.


The Use of Photos in Hoodoo

With apologies to Channing Tatum
One of the means by which folks successfully work magic is through a process called Sympathetic Magic and the use
of Personal Concerns. Sympathetic Magick works on the principle that ‘invisible bonds connect all things’.

Sympathetic Magic can be divided into two categories, Homeopathic Magick and Contagious Magick. The Scottish
anthropologist Sir James G. Frazer first described these types in his book The Golden Bough (1890).
1. Homeopathic Magic holds that “like attracts like.” A classic example of this type of magick is the melting of
a waxen image of an enemy resulting in his or her death.
2. Contagious Magic holds that “things once in contact with one another continue to exert an influence on one
another after they have been separated.” Tying up a man's nature by anointing a length of string with his
semen and then ritually tying it in knots is one example of Contagious Magic. People who believe in
contagious magic fear that an enemy can gain power over them by obtaining parts of their body, or personal
concerns. Therefore, they carefully dispose of their nails, hair, teeth, and even their body wastes.

In the modern era, the use of photographic images has become extremely popular with the rise of social media sites
such as Facebook and Instagram. However, the use of photographs are not new to the practice of Hoodoo.
In volume 4 of the Hyatt Material, a number of spells and procedures are given that make use of photographs or
photographic plates. Some examples include:
 Placing a person's photograph upside down in a basket to bring them misery.
 Sleep with a person's photo under your pillow at night so that they will think of you.
 Placing a person's photo behind the headboard to make that person follow you.
 Placing a absent person's photograph in a white handkerchief and then placing it in a bible to bring them back
after 9 days.
 Placing a person's photograph upside down in a bottle and burying the bottle upside down in the earth, as the
photo swells so will the person swell and when the bottle breaks that person will die.
 Burning a person's photograph resulting in their death.
 Leaning a person's photograph against a glass of water upside down and burning red candles arranged in a
triangle around this to cause the person to love you.

Many modern practitioners recognize that just about anything that can be done with a doll-baby can also be done with
a photograph. In some instances, folks have even cut a person's face out of a photograph and attached it to the face of a
doll rather than including it in the body of the doll. This often helps a person to make a strong connection in their mind
between the doll and the person it is intended to represent.

Because of their two-dimensional form, photographs can also be used as written petition by writing your petition either
across the actual photograph of the person or on the back of the photograph. Such petitions have many uses such as
adding them to bottle spells. They can be rolled up and inserted in all kind of bottle spells such as Hot Foot Bottles,
Break-Up Bottles, Vinegar Jars, and even Honey Jars. In addition, they may also be taped or glued to Vigil Lights to
represent the person the light is for or who it is to affect.

A photo may be substituted for a doll in a mirror box, you may write your own name across the forhead of a person's
photo to make them think of you, etc...the possibilities are endless.
Photographs aren't just limited to people either. They can represent anything that you wish to draw to you or move
away from you. A popular spell given by Cat Yronwode, and which I recently used with success, calls in part for
placing a photograph of any material object you wish to manifest on a plate and placing a lodestone on top of the
photograph. The photograph can be dressed with any type of attraction or drawing oil and the lodestone is fed
everyday along with your prayers or petition to bring about the thing in question.

Methods of Preparing a Photograph

In addition to the few spells given above, there are also a number of ways to prepare a person's photograph for use in
magic. In the Hyatt material, there are a few instances in which the corners of the person's photograph are either cut off
and thrown away or singed with fire. In some instances all four corners are cut / burned, in other instances only two of
the opposite corners (top left and right bottom, or vice versa) are treated in this way. The theory is that by cutting off or
burning the corners it keeps the person's spirit from escaping the photograph.

In other instances the eyes of the photograph are crossed out with a large X or cut out to either harm the person (i.e.
cross them), in the case of a curse; or to prevent them from having eyes for anyone else in the case of love spells.
Finally, vertical lines are often drawn across the person's mouth to mimic it being sewn shut to stop gossip and lies. I
must admit that preparing a photograph in this manner makes a dramatic statement and summons up the necessary
energy to enact powerful spells of hate and revenge.

Modern Magic with Photographs

The modern era has given us not only greater access to the photographs of others, but it has also given us new tools
with which to manipulate those images. With programs like photoshop or, the modern worker can now
digitally transform photographs to reflect what they wish to occur to a person or individual.

With a basic understanding of these programs you can take a photograph of a person and alter their looks by making
them appear to be sick, injured, or even dead. You can copy their face and paste it on the body of another person, for
example, placing the face of a physically fit person onto the body of an obese person or vice versa. You can take a
photograph of them holding hands with another person and exchange it with your own. You're limited only by your


As you can see, the use of photograph in the practice of magic is probably as old as photographs themselves and they
have a wide variety of uses.


The modern era has given witches, rootworkers, and other magical practitioners tools to which our ancestors did not
have access. Examples of such tools include cell phone with powerful cameras, and the personal computer. I have
touched on the subject of using software to alter photographs before, however, today I would like to show you how to
use those same programs to manipulate hand-written signatures to create customs name-papers and petitions.

Written Petitions: A Review

A written petition is, very basically, one's wish or desire in written form. Folks typically write their goal on a piece of
paper in the form of a key word or phrase a certain number of times---usually 1,3,7,9, or 13. For example if you wish
to get a job you may wish to write the words "Good Paying Job" on a piece of paper 9 times. Alternately, you may
write a description of the type of job you wish to manifest instead. Sometimes this key word or phrase may take the
form of a person's name, this is usually the person one's spell or working is to affect.
In some cases the the paper may be turned 90 degrees and a second key word or phrase may be written over the first.
This is called "crossing and covering". For example, lets say you want John Smith to love you then you might write
John Smith's name on a piece of paper 7 times and then cross and cover this with yoru own name also 7 times.
Alternately, you may write your with in the form of a command such as "Love Me".

Written petition are placed under burning candles, tucked in mojo bags, bottle spells, doll babies, etc...

Capturing & Manipulating Handwritten Signatures

One of the means by which folks successfully work magic is through a process called Sympathetic Magic ( a belief
that 'invisible bonds connect all things") and the use of Personal Concerns. Personal Concerns is a term used to
include anything that is associated with a person’s physical body either having once been a part of it or having intimate
contact to the body. They represent a practitioner's connection to another individual and are used to cast spells for good
or evil which are to have an affect on the person to whom they are linked.

One of the most often used forms of a personal concern is a person's handwritten signature. Handwriting is believed to
be as unique to a person as their fingerprint or DNA and therefore is a powerful tool with which to work. There are
also a number of ways to get a person's signature. Some of the ways I have captured a person's signature include:

1. As a tarot-reader I used to ask people to sign their name on a piece of paper which I would place over their
signifier card in the tarot-spread. I told my clients that it helped me to connect with them psychically, but what
I really did was keep their signature so that I can work magic for them. I even incorporated this into one of my
short stories.
2. When I was studying graphology, I would ask folks for handwriting samples to study.
3. You can scan or cut out a person's signature from any written correspondence they send you (cards, letters,
4. As a rootworker I have asked clients to send me color copies of their driver's license or i.d. card. These
treasures usually include a person's photograph, birthday, and signature and I often include them in a person's
mojo-bag, doll-baby, etc...where appropriate (but who is to say I don't keep a copy).
5. In social situations, people often ask me about my goods and services so I often ask them to write down their
name and email address for me to get back to them.
6. If, like me, you work in an office environment with a lot of paperwork it is easy to capture a person's signature
off of forms, notes, etc.. and use them in your spells and workings.
7. Finally, I have noticed a trend in which some folks include their actual handwritten signature as part of their
email signature for a more personal approach in business. These can be captured and used as well.

These are just a few, but not all, of the ways in which I have obtained a person's signature to be used in magic. If you're
clever enough, I am sure that you will think of some of your own. With advancements in technology such as camera-
phones and scanners it is remarkably easy to take a person's signature and manipulate it into a written petition.

For example, here is the autograph of author Kay Gibbons which I found on the inside cover of her book "Charms for
an Easy Life" which I found in a thrift store.
This photo was taken with my cell phone and then uploaded to my computer. Using a program such as I was
able to remove everything except Kay's signature producing the following image.

To create a petition, I then simply copied the signature 7 times in a row, increased the contrast and then re-sized the
image resulting in the following name-paper.

To create a petition, I then simply copied the signature 7 times in a row, increased the contrast and then resized the
image and the following image indicated my result.

Finally, you have your petition ready to tear out and be put to use.


Leaves from the (Family) Tree of Knowledge

What is a Receipt-Book?

When most people think of a receipt book, they think of those little books that landlords or small businesses may use to
write receipts and technically they would be correct. However, in terms of Hoodoo and various other magical practices
a receipt-book is a book of “things received” such as recipes, spells, formulas, techniques, stories, etc… In this
respect it is akin to the magician’s grimoire or a Wiccan Book of Shadows.

Like a diary or personal journal, a receipt-book can be used to note one's goals, weather conditions, daily personal
events, dreams, insights and musings about various topics, people, places, and things, including family traditions, local
lore, and information about the self in the form of an inner exploration of one's spirit, thoughts, and ideas.

What Goes in a Receipt Book?

When it comes to deciding what to keep in my receipt-book, I live by one rule, which is "if you don't want anyone to
know it, don't write it down." With that said, you can put anything into your receipt-book that you wish. Most of the
entries in my receipt-book can be categorized in the following manner:

 Magic, Spells, and Rituals

 Recipes & Formulas
 Signatures
 Family Traditions
 Newspaper & Magazine Articles
 Workshops and Various Research
 Local Legends and Lore
 Art and Photographs
 Quotes and Poetry
 Personal Insights and Musings
 Dreams and Divination
 Memorabilia (movie tickets, play bills, pamphlets)
 Magick & the Occult in Popular Culture

Why Should I Keep A Receipt Book?

In the days before the internet when life was slower and we didn’t have so many things vying for our attention the
practice of writing daily in a diary or journal was commonplace. Today, the art of journaling has become something of
a hobby for many people. More than a past time, however, journaling acts as a focus for one's creativity, a means to
listen to one's spirit, a form of meditation, and dealing with daily stress; in addition your receipt-book will become a
valuable resource in the recording of information that you will often refer back to in your studies. Maintaining a
receipt-book often gives the writer a strong sense of comfort in that he or she has an 'audience' for their thoughts,
feelings, and emotions; even if no one else reads the book. In addition psychology teaches that writing about our
problems and issues helps us to put them into perspective deal with them in a healthy manner.

On a personal note, when I begun my first receipt-book, I never thought I would be able to complete it; however, when
I did I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment which motivated me to continue the practice. That being said, it is
your own personal choice whether or not you should keep a receipt-book, however I would highly recommend the

Getting Started

As I mentioned earlier, when I started my first receipt-book I never thought I’d ever actually fill it up and so I
attempted to get everything I wanted into one book. That one book turned into a series of eight books. At that point, I
decided to begin making one book dedicated to a specific subject. For example, I have one journal dedicated to the
tarot, one to astrology, and one in which I record my dreams (see photo above).

To create my receipt-book I usually purchase the bound mead composition notebooks that contain 100 sheets, or 200
pages, of lined paper. Some folks might prefer to utilize a three-ring binder but I prefer to use a bound book. The first
thing that I do is personalize the notebook by creating a special cover for it which denotes the subject matter it is to
contain. When I am done I often laminate the front and rear covers to protect it from any damage.

A personal practice of mine involves thinking of one event or thing that occurred to me and write about it in a magical
way at the end of the day. For example, at one point in my life I worked in a customer-service position that required me
to sell lottery tickets to the public. By befriending the little ladies with their dream books I was able to learn their
methods of catching lucky lottery numbers, dream-lore, and rituals for good luck, which I logged into my receipt-book.
In other instances, I will inadvertently come across information which sparks my interests on a certain subject which
motivates me to do further research, which will be logged into the receipt-book.

I have to admit that after I had regular access to the internet, I stopped writing in my receipt-book on a regular basis in
favor of blogging. In fact, many of the early entries in my blog began as rough drafts in my personal receipt-book. It is
from my receipt-books that I compiled and organized my website; and which I often refer to when writing articles and
entries for my blog or magazine print articles.


As we have seen the practice of maintaining a receipt-book is a process which takes some effort, but which is highly
rewarding and beneficial in aiding the growth of the individual in his spiritual evolution. Although it is not a
prerequisite for practicing Hoodoo, I highly recommend the practice in that it is an excellent tool for organizing your
thoughts, recording your successes, techniques, formulas, etc…and will become a treasured and trusted friend to you
and one day to your heirs.


A Modern Method for Shaping Sigils

Sigil for "Money"

Preliminary: I'd like to preface this article by stating that the process I will be sharing below has its origins in a art-
lesson that was taught to me in the late 1980's by one of my most favorite teachers, Mrs. Ferrel.

Mrs. Ferrel was both my Elementary and my High-School art teacher and is a great source of inspiration in a lot of my
artistic efforts because she was one of the few people in my life at an early age who actually encouraged me to
discover myself as an artist and a creative being. In fact, she was the reason that I attended college in hopes of
becoming an art-teacher myself ---but life had other plans for me.

Now before I go any further, I must point out that Mrs. Ferrel did not teach her students how to make sigils, per se, or
even explained what they were. Her lesson was an exercise in creating abstract art from words. The actual words we
used at the time was our own names.

The Art of Designing Sigils

When I learned the technique I am about to share with you, there were no such things as computers, or at least they
were not as readily available and the process was done by hand. However, the advent of computers and programs such
as has streamlined the art of designing sigils and given the aspiring sigil-artist more tools with which to work.

The technique for designing sigils is as follows. Write down a keyword or short phrase which represents your goal.
Let's use "love" as an example.

Next, you would turn the word counter-clockwise so it stands straight up.

Then you would create its mirror image and place them side by side like so.

The idea of using mirrored-images here is that you want your sigil to work in both worlds; that is the world of man,
and the realm of the spirits. If you wish you can then remove portions of the symbol, divide it into sections, and re-
arrange them as I have done with the word "money" forming the sigil at the beginning of this article.

When you are done, you can add a bit of color to your design.
Finally, you can then leave the sigil as it is, or add additional symbols that have meaning to you and your purpose. For
example, I have added symbols below such as arrows, a bell, and X's (kisses) which speak to a finding love that will
lead to a happy marriage.

As you can see the technique is fairly simple, especially if you are adept at using computer programs that allow you to
manipulate images. With this simple guide, you are only limited by your imagination...and of course your bandwidth!


What are the Seals of Solomon?

The Seals of Solomon are magickal talismans attributed to the biblical King Solomon. They are purported to be
extraordinarily powerful in Ceremonial Magick, but many different magickal practitioners use them. On the following
pages you will find the various seals and a description of their powers.

To utilize the seals, first decide which seal best suits your need and determine the correct astrological correspondences
that relate to that goal. Next, copy the seal by hand on clean, unused paper. If you are not able to coy the seal by hand,
and you have access to a copy machine, then copy it in that manner.

Once you have the image copied, light a candle and incense and cut the Seal out of the paper. Write the name of the
individual the Seal is to affect on its reverse three times in a row. Write a keyword or phrase around the name in a
perfect circle so that all letters connect in one line and without lifting your pencil from the paper while writing the

If the Talisman is to affect two people, for example, bringing them together or driving them apart, cross and cover one
name with the other (both three times). Finally, write the keyword or phrase around the names.

During this process, focus your goal to the exclusion of everything else. Finally, empower the seal by anointing with a
condition oil, your sexual fluids (for love and sex spells), or blowing a sachet powder on the seal. Seals can be tucked
in your pocket, placed in a Mojo bag, placed under a candle, placed inside your shoe, hidden in mundane object, etc...
depending on it's purpose.

The Seals and their Uses

First Pentacle of the Sun

The 'El Shaddai' talisman which is alleged to bring the possessor all things they may desire.

Second Pentacle of the Sun

This design serves to repress the pride and arrogance of those who oppose the owner's wishes & plans.

Third Pentacle of the Sun

Serves to attract renown, glory, riches.

Fourth Pentacle of the Sun

Enables the owner to see others as they really are, not as they pretend to be. When the seal in the vicinity of friend or
foe, their true thoughts and secret heart will be opened.

Fifth Pentacle of the Sun

Invokes the spirits who can transport one from any place to any place, and in a short time.

Sixth Pentacle of the Sun

Provides invisibility to the possessor at request.

Seventh Pentacle of the Sun

This seal reputedly releases one from prison, opening all locks & breaking all fetters which bind one.

First Pentacle of the Moon

Open's all doors and locks, no matter in what way they are fastened.

Second Pentacle of the Moon

Protects against all perils by water, calms one in the event of natural phenomena such as electrical storms, hurricanes,
earthquakes or tornadoes.

Third Pentacle of the Moon

Protects against all dangers of travel, all attacks by night, and every danger from water.

Fourth Pentacle of the Moon

Defends from all evil, and from any injury to body or soul.

Fifth Pentacle of the Moon

Protects against all Phantoms of the night which may cause restless sleep or nightmares, and aids in obtaining answers
to questions or problems through dreams.

Sixth Pentacle of the Moon

A wonderful magical talisman, designed to bring rain. Place it in water, and as long as it remains there, the rains will

First Pentacle of Mercury

Conveys personal magnetism upon the owner.

Second Pentacle of Mercury

This Talisman is said to gain the impossible. granting wishes contrary to the order of nature.

Third Pentacle of Mercury

Influences the written word, tending to make one eloquent in letters, papers, or any writing. Used by all who wish to
impress others with there literary skills, particularly poets & authors.

Fourth Pentacle of Mercury

Assists in gaining knowledge & understanding in all things, and to penetrate the hidden thought of others.

Fifth Pentacle of Mercury

Serves to open doors of any kind, for nothing it encounters can resist or defeat it.

First Pentacle of Venus

Brings friendships to the possessor.

Second Pentacle of Venus

For obtaining grace & honor, and for accomplishing all desires in matters of the heart.

Third Pentacle of Venus

This serves to attract love, respect, and admiration.

Fourth Pentacle of Venus

Of great power, this forces any person the owner desires to come to him or her.

Fifth Pentacle of Venus

The seal which excites great passion and desire when shown to another.

First Pentacle of Mars

The Talisman for gaining courage, ambition, enthusiasm & all physical accomplishments.

Second Pentacle of Mars

Serves with great success against all kinds of diseases when it is applied to afflicted parts.

Third Pentacle of Mars

This seal is of value in resisting one's enemies, and for exciting wrath, discord & hostility among others.

Fourth Pentacle of Mars

Of great power of towards bringing victory or vindication in an argument or battle of any kind.

Fifth Pentacle of Mars

Causes all demons to obey the wishes of the possessor of this powerful seal.

Sixth Pentacle of Mars

The owner of this cannot be harmed. If attacked, the foe's weapon shall turn against him.

Seventh Pentacle of Mars

The possessor pronounces the Divine Names of El and Yiai to bring confusion to one's enemies.

First Pentacle of Jupiter

A Talisman for acquiring treasure for gaining business.

Second Pentacle of Jupiter

The Magical Seal for acquiring glory,honors, riches, & tranquility of mind.

Third Pentacle of Jupiter

Defends & protects against any enemy & against any evil spirits which may linger near one's person or home.

Fourth Pentacle of Jupiter

Serves to acquire wealth and honor.

Fifth Pentacle of Jupiter

This hath great power to assure visions.

Sixth Pentacle of Jupiter

Protects form all earthly dangers.

Seventh Pentacle of Jupiter

It has great power against poverty.

First Pentacle of Saturn

Designed to compel others to submit to the possessor's wishes & requests.

Second Pentacle of Saturn

Of great value when meeting with adversaries in business or competitions of any kind. It should be carried when
looking for work or negotiating any financial contracts.

Third Pentacle of Saturn

Good for protection against any plots made by others & for defense against evil spirits.

Fourth Pentacle of Saturn

This seal is liked by those who wish to impose their will upon others. It also alleged to bring good news to the

Fifth Pentacle of Saturn

Protects the home, and guards all treasures & possessions one may own.

Sixth Pentacle of Saturn

Pronounce an enemy's name and repeat 'Set thou a wicked one to be ruler over him and let satan stand at his right hand'
to cause the foe to be possessed by demons.

Seventh Pentacle of Saturn

This Talisman is reputed to make others listen and tremble before the words of the wearer.


What is a Magic Square?

Albrecht Dürer's Magic Square

A magic square, or kamea, is a representation of spiritual forces in a mathematical format. They are typically arranged
in such a way that any row is equal to the sum of any column.

While there are numerous magic squares, this section will deal with only those squares associated with the 7 classical
planets. Each of the seven classical planets have both a Seal and a Kamea, or Magic Square. Whereas the Kamea sets
forces in motion, the seal brings them to a halt.

There are other energies and forces associated with each Kamea, for example the intelligences and spirits; however, for
the purpose of this article we will speak only of the squares themselves as well as their seals.

The Magic Squares & their Correspondences

Square of the Sun

Seal of the Sun

Day: Sunday

Color: Yellow

Sign: Leo

Correspondences: Health, vitality, ego, power, success,

advancement, leadership, and growth

Square of the Moon Seal of the Moon

Day: Monday

Color: Silver

Sign: Cancer

Correspondences: Clairvoyance, sleep, emotions, astral

travel, imagination, women, birth, and reincarnation.

Square of Mars

Seal of Mars

Day: Tuesday

Color: Red

Sign: Aries, Scorpio

Correspondence: Male sexuality, strength, lust, anger,

destruction, medical issues.

Square of Mercury Seal of Mercury

Day: Wednesday

Color: Purple

Sign: Virgo, Gemini

Correspondences: Communication, intellect, writing,

contracts, information, wisdom, science, memory.

Square of Jupiter

Seal of Jupiter

Day: Thursday

Color: Blue

Sign: Sagittarius

Correspondence: Success, abundance, money, growth,


Square of Venus Seal of Venus

Friday Color: Green

Sign: Taurus, Libra

Correspondences: Love, pleasure, female sexuality, arts,

music, beauty, luxury, social affairs.

Square of Saturn

Seal of Saturn

Day: Saturday

Color: Black

Sign: Capricorn

Correspondences: Real estate, banks, debt, obstacles,

binding, knowledge, time, discipline.

How Magic Squares Can Be Used in Hoodoo

Sigil Magic

Those familiar with the Seals of Solomon and their uses in Hoodoo should have no problem making use of magic
squares and there are a number of uses for them. They are popularly used in the creation of sigils. To make a sigil, or
magical symbol, using a Kamea you must first determine a keyword that best describes your goal. For example, if your
intent was to be a successful physician, you might choose the word ‘doctor’ to represent yourself as being successful
in your chosen vocation.

Using the Western system of Numerology, render the keyword to its numeric equivalent:


4 6 3 2 6 9
Now add up all the numbers that correspond to the letters making up the word,

4 +6+ 3+ 2+ 6 +9= 30= 3

Now choose a square which corresponds to your goal. As in the example above, Jupiter rules success in one’s chosen
profession. Draw a circle around the first number in the given sequence signifying the start of the sigil, then draw a
straight line to the next number in the sequence drawing a parallel line across the last one signifying the end of the
sigil. In the case of a number appearing twice in a sequence, this is symbolized by two triangles joined at the upper-
most point. Finally, draw a square around the number which corresponds to the sum of the digits.

This will result in a sigil of the keyword. This sigil can then be used to create a talisman, or it can be drawn on a candle
to represent one’s goal, written on a piece of paper and tucked into your pocket, or a mojo bag.

Another example of using this method entails creating sigils of the names of individuals on certain squares depending
on your intention. For example, to create a sigil for the purpose of causing a specific person to love you, use the Square
of Venus to create a sigil of their name; if you prefer not to work magic on a specific person and choose to increase
your own general attractiveness, you may simply create a sigil of your own name on the Square of Venus.

You can use this process to manifest, attract, or dispel virtually any influence you desire. For example, to manifest a
new car you may create a sigil for the words "new car" on the Square of Mercury, which rules travel. To get a job or
promotion you may sigilize the job title you desire on the Square of the Sun for success.

Putting the "Magic" in Magic Square

Folks who find creating sigils somewhat difficult may utilize magic squares by simply creating a blank square and
lightly drawing in the numbers with pencil. Next, you would ritually draw the numbers in the square as you focus on
your intent. When using a magic square in this manner, I typically mutter an affirmative prayer over and over as I draw
in the number. If you desire, you may turn the square over and write your petition or prayer in a more direct manner.

Deploying Magic Squares

Once you have your sigil or magic square, just what are you to do with it? A sigil may be carved on a candle, drawn on
paper and placed in a doll, under a candle, in a mojo bag or worn in the shoe! A magic square may also be used in the
same manner. In the case of sigils or squares drawn on paper they may be anointed with condition-oils (or sexual fluids
in the case of love or sex spells) and/or smoked in incense before deployment. In addition they can be printed out and
glued to Vigil Lights, spell bottles, or painted on magic boxes. It may be helpful to think of your sigil or square as
another form of petition.

You will find that your sigils and squares are much more powerful when you utilize those colors, herbs, times etc...that
resonate on the same vibrational frequency in your spells. For example, for maximum power they should be created on
the day with which they are associated. Ceremonial magicians who make use of magic squares not only take into
account the day but also the hour in which a sigil is created.

For example, a sigil for second-sight may be created on a Monday in the Hour of the Moon. Magicians have formulas
for determining the planetary-hours of the day or night. However, it should be noted that the first hour of daylight each
day is associated with the planetary energy that corresponds to that day. Therefore, you would likely make your
second-sight talisman at sunrise on a Monday. If this is not possible, you may wish to perform your operation when
both clock hands are rising. In addition, it may be drawn in silver ink, smoked in herbs known for developing psychic
ability anointed with a condition oil for second-sight and placed under a fixed silver candle which is then lit with your
positive prayers.

On the Use of Planetary Seals

You may recall at the beginning of this article I mentioned that each planet is associated with a magic square as well as
a planetary seal. Whereas the square sets forces in motion, the seal brings them to a halt. What this means is that the
seals are used to ward off, repel, or lessen the negative influences of the energy associated with the square.

For example, Mercury, the planet of communication and travel, goes retrograde about 3 times a year for approximately
3 weeks at a time. What this means is that from our view on earth, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards
in its rotation around the sun. During such a retrograde those areas of life ruled over by Mercury are often disrupted.

To shield themselves from such disruptions a person might ritually cover the square of Mercury with the Seal of
Mercury and places this under a candle. The candle may be burned for a few minutes each morning along with one's
prayers or petitions for things to go smoothly in the realm of travel, communication, etc...Alternately, the Seal of
Mercury may ritually drawn on paper, anointed with Mercury Oil and placed in a mojo bag along with other protective
herbs, roots and/or curios.

In like fashion, the Seal of Venus may be used to dispel unwanted lovers; or the Seal of the Sun to keep from losing a
job or promotion. These are just a few suggestion on the use of the planetary seals. The clever magician will find a
myriad of other applications for these powerful symbols.

Bay Rum
Water--itself vital to human life--has always played an important role in religious and magickal rituals. Water is
commonly used in religious rites to cleanse people, places, or things. In the Baptist Church in which I grew up, people
were ritually immersed in a natural body of water by the preacher to symbolize their “rebirth in Christ”--an outward
sign of their inward spiritual transformation.

In the Catholic Church, holy-water (water blessed by a Priest) is often sprinkled on people, objects, or in dwellings
such as houses to bless and cleanse them of any negative energy.

In the Hoodoo Tradition, many different baths are often prescribed for various conditions. These baths often contain an
herb(s), mineral, or chemical in addition to the water depending on the need of the individual.

Many spiritual-waters began as herbal perfumes or colognes and thus often have an alcohol base despite being
identified as water. Over time spiritual practitioners began using these perfumes or colognes in accordance with the
magickal correspondences associated with the herbs they contained. For this reason, spiritual waters are often added to
baths, floor-washes, or rubbed onto the body. Some may be used to feed mojo bags, wash talismans, roots, or clean
candles before their use in spells. Finally, some spiritual waters may be used as offerings to spirits or the ancestors in
some cases.

Selected Spiritual Waters

 Holy Water may be made by putting three pinches of salt into a vial of water and fervently praying the 23rd
Psalm over it.

 Peace-Water is used to bring peace to an environment as well as to prevent negative people and/or entities
from entering the household. It may be sprinkled in the four corners of a room, or the four corners of a
property. To make peace-water brew a tea of fresh basil leaves, add a splash of bay rum and a few drops of
liquid bluing.

 War-Water is used to bring about disruption in a household by forcing its inhabitants to fuss and fight with
one another. To make effective war water, place three iron nails in a glass jar of water add some magnetic sand
and Spanish Moss. Traditionally, to use war-water you would break the glass jar on the doorstep of your
enemy where he or she would step in the mess and be "poisoned through the feet".

 Bay-Rum is an astringent perfume that has famously been used by men as an aftershave. It can be placed in
baths for personal cleansing, used as an offering to spirits, or placed on the tip of a broom which is used to
sweep a carpet to cleanse it of evil messes. To make bay rum add bay-leaves and allspice berries to a bottle of

 Florida-Water is a floral scented water that was originally used as a perfume cologne by both men and
women in the 19th century. It has many and varied uses in the Hoodoo Tradition such as an offering for spirits,
protection of the home (by putting it in a spray bottle and misting it in the air), protection, and cleansing
objects in a similar manner as Holy-Water.
 Blue Water is used to rid a person or place of negative energy, hexes, and crossed-conditions. It can easily be
made by adding liquid bluing to tap water and adding a pinch of salt. Pray the 23rd Psalm over the water and
make the sign of the cross to seal the working. There are several ways of using Blue-Water from taking a
spiritual bath, adding it to scrub waters, or leaving it sitting out in a clear glass somewhere in the home.