Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why I like Hoodoo

Hoodoo crosses cultural and spiritual bridges and boundaries. With all the years I have been studying and practicing spirituality and magic, I have always enjoyed finding the commonalities between the different arenas that exist. Now although I see this within the Hoodoo practices and beliefs, others may not, but this is not a problem, just something I like to observe and may bring up from time to time. So, if I ever make comparitive examples, I am not trying to synchronise other practices into Hoodoo more than they should be, just relating it to other things as a point of reference.


My own spiritual, religious and magical practices have developed over the years, forming what has become "My Path", and something I think we should all do. We were created as individuals, even though we belong to Great All Is and are in fact all One, but as livingbreathingthinking people, we have our own minds, our own memories, and so we should be able to decide what we do with them. Having had my main focus on Traditional Paganism and Kabbalah, I find Hoodoo speaks volumes for me, not because Hoodoo is those things, but because of certain aspects that got ingested as it were.


Hoodoo finds its roots in Africa, and although I was born in England, I live in South Africa. This is where I call Home, where my feet rest, on African soil. Although my roots are firmly placed in English soil, those same roots stretch across the oceans and the tree above the ground is growing on African Land.


I get to put herbs, roots and powders into my mortar and pestle and grind them up, mixing them together and watching the different colours and shades all swirl and mix together. I get to sing to these herbal mixtures, to the spirits and to the Power. Wortcunning at its best. I get to speak with Saints, Loa, Spirits of all natures, Spirits that are closely connected to the Land that I stand on, and they speak back to me. I use my knowledge of Kabbalah to call on the Archangels, which aids in the petitioning of the Saints; and the Psalms, being of Hebraic origin, speak volumes to me. My interest in the old Grimoires comes into play when the use of the talismans and seals is required, and because all of the pomp and ceremony has been removed from such, I can easily relate to this as I like to keep my own practice simple and straight forward. I have never been one to go through lengthy rituals, as Power and Spirit are all around us, waiting for us to just open our mouth and speak with It, or turn our ear to listen. It's simple, plain, but we as humans like ceremony and often tend to complicate things. Not that I dislike ceremony, it can be a very beautiful and powerful thing, but I like the practical approach greatly.


What I like most about Hoodoo is the sychronicity between religions and spirituality. Don't forget that Hoodoo is not a religion, and is not a religious practice, but if any practitioner is going to include religion, in the traditional sense, then it would be Christianity. So what we have is a magical practice which causes change in our life and environment, has influences from Kabbalah, European folkmagic, Native American spirituality and African tradition, which is met with Christianity and Catholicism. You may think this is a strange mix, calling on God and the Saints to aid in your magical work, but when you really get down to the roots and bones of any religion, there is a current that flows through all of them. No matter what you follow or believe, you cannot discount the fact that this universe, planet and you came from something, somewhere, a Power or a Force that is everything, an energy that moves through all things. Call it what you like, it is not the gods, the spirits, the loa, or any of those entities that we can contact and speak with, it is something that is in everything which our minds can comprehend and in everything our minds cannot manage to comprehend. This common aspect of all religions is what I like, bringing them all into the same arena and allowing them to talk to one another as friends, brothers and sisters, all children of that eternal Power. Instead, we fight, allow our egos to try and gain the upper hand over our fellow brother or sister, and this Power still flows through us, intermingles with the space between and in and out of both of us, mixing us with each other and everything, making us one, making us whole. Yet we still decide to force our seperation from each other and from that which is all of us. This, I don't like.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candle Magic

(All pages mentioned in this article can be found at )



When doing candle magic, make sure your candle is NOWHERE near flamable objects. Sometimes things can get a bit rough with the candle and the spirits working on your behalf, and the flame can get pretty wild. Take note of the example picture. This was a standard candle bought at the supermarket that I used for myself, nothing special about it and nothing different from all the other candles in the packet (except for the oil that was used to anoint it, but it burnt normally for the first third of its length).


Candle magic is a very prominent feature in Hoodoo practice, from the lighting of properly dressed candles of colours that represent the energy of the work, to glass-encased Novena and Vigil candles, different shaped candles such as crucifix, skull, lovers, etc. and double action candles. What I am going to discuss here is the use of standard freestanding coloured candles.


We should of course start at the beginning, i.e. with the colour representation of the candle as you will need to know which candle to use before doing anything else.


·         white - spiritual blessings, purity, healing, rest

·         blue - peace, harmony, joy, kindly intentions, healing

·         green - money spells, gambling luck, business, a good job, good crops

·         yellow - devotion, prayer, money (gold), cheerfulness, attraction

·         red - love spells, affection, passion, bodily vigour

·         pink - attraction, romance, clean living

·         purple - mastery, power, ambition, control, command

·         orange - change of plans, opening the way, prophetic dreams

·         brown - court case spells, neutrality

·         black - repulsion, dark thoughts, sorrow, freedom from evil


Some people will want to time their candle lighting practice, and some may be a little more particular about this. We find that there are planeatary hours and moon phases that a lot of folk like to stick to. This is a personal affair and a lot of practioners will not bother with this aspect of magic. However, one rule of thumb that does seem quite prominent in Hoodoo candle burning is that a spell to cause increse should be done between the hours of 6 and 12, when the hour hand of the clock is moving upward, and for decrease, when the hour hand is moving downward, i.e. between 12 and 6 (don't look at your digital watch, it won't help :o) ).


If you are using the candle to represent someone, then you will want to inscribe their name on it first. I have found that the use of a marker works, but the traditional way to do it is to inscribe using a needle or some other sharp point. Alternatively you could also write out your petition on a piece of paper with the name of the person written several times and place that beneath the candle. If you are using hair, nail clippings or anything of a personal concern, then you can load it into the candle by making a hole and then covering it up with wax.


The manner in which you use the candle is to first dress them in an appropriate oil (which you can find in the Red Mojo Curios Store). To apply the oil you would either rub it onto the candle in an upward or downward motion. For any magic that is of a positive or attraction nature, rub the candle upwards, for negative magic such as domination, hexing, and banishing, you would rub downwards. If you want to increase the effects, then also get the powder and sprinkle it on the candle once it has been dressed with the oil, or roll the candle in the powder to make it fix.


However, a couple of things to keep in mind when dressing. Do not apply too much oil to the candle or you may drown the wick, and when applying powders, make sure that it does not have any elements that is highly flammable or they could cause the entire candle to set alight. Check the details of the powders first to make sure you can safely use them on your candles.


Depending on what you are working toward, some candles can be burned over a series of days, such as money or love drawing, in which case you can snuff out the candle at intervals and relight them the next day. You can place pins at intervals along the candle length and when the pin drops, you snuff out the candle. In some cases you may use more than one candle, such as breaking up a couple where you might want to move the candles further and further apart each day. If you are going to be doing something of a dominating or hexing nature including uncrossing, then do not snuff out the candle until it has burned to the bottom.


Whilst the candle is burning it is customary to say prayers, read Psalms or make petitions. You can sit and visualise your desire, but always make sure you do so in the present tense.


When you need to extinguish a candle, do not blow it out, rather use a candle snuffer, saucer or pinch it out with your fingers. The reason for this is because it is said if you blow the candle out it means the spell has finished, but if you pinch it out or snuff it, you can return to it at a later stage.


Disposing of the remains of the candle depends again on your working. If it is for a positive and drawing work then you can take all the remains, put them in a mojo bag and carry it with you, or bury it in the yard. If it is for a crossing or uncrossing, then placing it on your enemies property or throwing it into a body of natural water that is running away from your home is more appropriate. For more info on disposal of ritual remains, please reading the "Laying Tricks and Disposal" article in the About Hoodoo section.


How to interpret the candle is also an important aspect as certain things can happen during the burning that are a little out of the ordinary. Below is a short list of some of the meanings. You can also read the wax remains once the burning has been done, in which case you look at the patterns that were formed, this is called ceromancy. Although there are some guidelines that other people suggest, which you will find below, I have found that the candle can sometimes speak to you and tell a story as it burns, so use your own interpretation of what you see.


From the book "The Magickal Power of the Saints - Evocation & Candle Rituals" by Ray Malbrough:


The candle emits black smoke when lit: This signals that the candle is beginning to remove negative energy from your desire.


The candle emits white smoke when lit: This signals that your prayer will be answered but not without a struggle.


A strong or high flame: The candle is working by sending out a large amount of power and strength to manifest your desire. This indicates that your prayer will be answered rapidly.


A weak or low flame: The candle is working slowly to remove an obstacle or to bring about positive vibrations. You will have to pray a bit longer and harder to overcome some opposition.


A jumping flame: Spiritual warfare may be occuring on your behalf. If the candle is a war-type candle, the person you are trying to affect is fighting back. {some interpret a flickering flame as a spirit presence}


If the candle crackles: This is thought to mean that the spirits are pleading your case on your behalf. The louder the crackling, the stronger the opposition against you.


If smoke wafts toward you: Your prayer has been acknowledged and will be granted quickly.


If the smoke wafts away from you: Perseverence will be needed to achieve your desire.


If the smoke turns to the right: You will need to use a bit of patience with success coming from using your head.


If the smoke turns toward your left: You are becoming too emotionally involved with the situation and are in danger of subconsciously sabotaging yourself so that your prayer will not be answered.


Some additional signs are as follows:


If the candle does not want to burn then it usually means some other work needs to be done before this one, such as cleansing yourself or the space you are working in. It could also mean that a different type of spell needs to be used.


If the flame splits into two or more flames then the centre or dominant flame represents you. If used for protection then the other flames represent your enemies. If in a domination spell the person is being aided. If it is for love, then it can indicate a division in the relationship and if it splits into three flames in this instance, then there is a third party interfering.


If the entire top of the candle catches alight then the spell is being fought off, but will more than likely be successful.


If the candle goes out during the burning, then someone was working against you if it was for protection. If for a working against someone then they managed to fight it off and another spell must be performed.


If you extinguish the candle flame and it relights itself, then the work is not finished and you need to stay and complete it.


But as mentioned, use your own discretion. I did a Pay Now spell and the candle had finished burning to the bottom. I decided to snuff it out and as I was reaching for my snuffer, the candle went out by itself. I took it as the spirits I petitioned telling me the spell was complete and in action, not that the person was fighting against the spell.


Now if you are in an environment where you cannot do candle magic, such as in a house where you live with people who do not agree with these acts, or you need to keep it hidden, then you can do some of the spells by burning the candle at intervals and then hiding the candle away. If you are going to do this then let the candle burn for at least 15 minutes before extinguishing it.


Alternatively you can get me to do a candle lighting on your behalf. For more info please go to the Candle Service page.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What is Hoodoo?

I am currently creating a new site for Hoodoo, specifically aimed at the South African folk, but not solely of course. This is the article that is going up on the site about what Hoodoo is.


With its main roots in Africa, Hoodoo became a mixture of various religious and spiritual practices, and yet it remains non-religious itself. Bringing together Christianity, Kabbalah, European Paganism and even Native American practice, Hoodoo, although labeled as African-American folk magic, has been and still is, practiced by both black and white folk alike.


Nobody is certain as to the origins of the word "Hoodoo", although there is a good argument on the Lucky Mojo site (very much worth checking out) that it originated from the Spanish word for “Jewish”. In Palo (a Cuban practice of Central African Mkisi-worship) there are two major groups, Palo Cristiano (Christian Palo) and Palo Judio (Jewish Palo). Although this does not refer to the practice of the Jewish faith, it does refer to the idea of not giving themselves over to Christianity. However, Judio is pronounced hoo-dyoh.


Hoodoo itself is a very practical and straightforward Art that incorporates the combination of herbs, roots, oils, and various other things, including sigils and seals found in various Grimoires to make up powders that can be laid as a trick, oils to anoint, mojo bags or gris gris (pronounced gree-gree) to carry with you, or various bath salts, waters, colognes and floor scrubs to cleanse and protect yourself or your home and business. The list of what can be done with Hoodoo is exhaustive, so this very short list is just that, very short.


There is some confusion as to whether Hoodoo is Voodoo, and I have to agree with others, no it is not. Although some practitioners may incorporate the Orisha and Loa of Vodou, it is not Vodou itself. In some cases, especially the New Orleans practitioners, they may use the words interchangeably or refer to "Voodoo Hoodoo", however the practice of Hoodoo itself does not use religion, whereas Voodoo does. If a Hoodoo, Root Doctor or Conjurer is going to petition the aid of any spirit, it will be the "Black Man" of the Crossroads, the Saints and a small variety of deceased people who were considered to be powerful in their practice such as Black Hawk, but there is no worship involved in the practice of Hoodoo unless, as I mentioned above, the practitioner is also incorporating Voodoo and giving specific reverence to the Orisha and Loa.


However, in the practice of "New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo", the actual practice of Haitian Vodou is not as fierce. There is no need to go through initiation ceremonies such as Kanzo and so they do not necessarily become mambos and houngans. It tends to be more focused on Creole Voodoo in this respect.


As for myself, coming from a European background and being born in England, I tend to stick more closely to the more common Hoodoo practices and do not refer to it as Voodoo in any way. I am also a Kabbalist and Traditional Witch, and so I find the old Hebrew sigils and seals from the Grimoires of Solomon and Co. to be more useful, and will work with the Saints and the Psalms. If I am to call any spirits outside the standard mainframe of Hoodoo, then it will either be the Celtic Gods and sometimes I will bring myself into the presence of the Loa for the simple reason that I live in Africa. Some may feel that this is a mix and match scenario which is not a good thing to do, but if you look into the Voodoo Hoodoo way, then you will notice that this has already been done. The Loa themselves have been associated with various Saints. This was mostly done during the times of the slave trades when Catholicism was being forced upon them. They found similar attributes between their Loa and the Catholic Saints, and therefore used the names of the Saints. If one looks at the Loa we also find cognates between them and the Celtic Gods, in fact, I remember having some very informative conversations with an old Zulu friend of mine where we compared the practices of the Zulus to that of the Celts, and the similarities are astounding. I am sure that spread through Africa, especially considering the wide spread of the Zulu people over the ages. There are many bridges that can be found between all spiritual practices and religions if we are willing to take the time to find them.


To give you an example, Chango, one of the Seven African Powers, is a Warrior and the Orisha of lightning, dance and passion and his best known symbol is the oshe, a double bladed axe. Does Thor ring any bells? Of course when we start finding Black Hawk, who was Native American, and various Mexican deities in the general Hoodoo mix, we can see that it is very eclectic in approach anyway.


The manner in which Hoodoo Tricks work, although a simple practice, is quite complex. There is a level of Sympathetic and Contagious Magic involved, whereby you either represent your intent through the act of creating a symbolic similarity to the outcome you desire, or through causing the magic to spread from the trick into the person. However, I have found it more complex than that. Having studied various traditions and practices from a variety of Paths, I tend to get a little analytical at times. Some may say that the herbs, roots, and all other items used in the blends contain their own energy which does the work, and although this is true, there is still more to it. When a blend is being prepared, the intent of the Root Worker or Conjurer also infuses into the remedy. I find this probably the most important aspect. I tend to go off into spontaneous song with words and sounds coming out of my mouth that I don't recognise from any language I have ever heard, and it instills a mild trance whilst grinding and mixing the remedies. This spontaneous singing seems to imbue the blend with Power which is synonymous with the intent that it holds. Other practitioners may recite prayers or chant Power Names whilst preparing their blends, but the main thing is the outcome. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, and I have had enough proof of the effects of my blends to know that they work. If you go to the Services page you will see a photo of the first love spell I did for someone. Have a look at how the flames begin to twist around each other. They were literally dancing together in a loving embrace.


There is a great deal that can be said about Hoodoo and the variety of traditions that are incorporated in its practice, but instead of making this a very lengthy page, I will attempt to cover as much as possible in the associative pages.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oogy Boogy Demons

Recently on a group some poor soul asked for suggestions and guidance on using a Ouija Board to contact Demons. I say poor soul because the responses that came flying through were purely to ridicule him. He was told that if he is going to do it, then to please get someone to record it so that when he gets ripped to pieces, we can all see.

Is this the reaction of a fool? If you ask my opinion, yes it is. The word “demon” has obvious connotations, mostly in reference to the Christian ideology of a big bad evil thing. However, when dealing with “demons” in magical practice, we find a very different perspective, if we do our proper homework and research.

From Online Etymology Dictionary - :

“Demon - late 14c., from L. daemon "spirit," from Gk. daimon "deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity" (sometimes including souls of the dead); "one's genius, lot, or fortune;" from PIE *dai-mon- "divider, provider" (of fortunes or destinies), from base *da- "to divide" (see tide). Used (with daimonion) in Christian Greek translations and Vulgate for "god of the heathen" and "unclean spirit." Jewish authors earlier had employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim "lords, idols" in the Septuagint, and Matt. viii.31 has daimones, translated as deofol in O.E., feend or deuil in Middle English. The original mythological sense is sometimes written daemon for purposes of distinction. The Demon of Socrates was a daimonion, a "divine principle or inward oracle." His accusers, and later the Church Fathers, however, represented this otherwise. The Demon Star (1895) is Algol.”

So what do we have? A spirit, which could refer to many things; a deity or guiding spirit from the Greek, and even including the souls of the dead, which could include Aunt Agatha; and then moving on to being the god of the Heathens (i.e. my god, and I wouldn’t call him unclean, pure heresay I tell you), and the Demon of Socrates being his own inner oracle. So where is the evil, oogy boogy Christian interpretation?

People hear the words “Ouija” and “Demon” and they immediately rebound back to their good and righteous childhood with prayers to the Messiah before going to bed. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that viewpoint, but I will say it is immensely misguided, ESPECIALLY when coming from people who claim to have done their research and communed with “spirits”. I do think most of these people do not move further than their own skulls, imprisoned in bone that confines the processes and creates illusion. But that is just my opinion and rant.

But let me give you the other side of the coin. A lot of folk think that there is either evil things or good things. Some would posit the idea that the Fae have butterfly wings and the Angels are all love and light. If you think this, then you have not encountered them in their true sense. The InnerContacts, Sidhe, Hidden People, Pale People, Fae…are not always fluffy, in fact they are very seldom are if ever, and the Angels are not always going to smile and give you a muffin. So when dealing with any spirit, whether it be Fae, Angel, Demon, whatever, there are always risks involved. They are not good, nor are they evil, they just are, like people walking the earth that you meet with and encounter every day. Your next door neighbor may be a very gentle and kind soul, but that does not mean he does not have it within himself to kill his family. The key is to educate yourself, which not a lot of people do, and then when ready, go for it. I am not sure whether to say tread carefully through the thorns and bramble, or just start ploughing your way through as fast as you can to get to the other side. That is something you will need to decide for yourself.