Even within a tradition, everyone has their own take or filter in which they practice it. I LOVE hoodoo and totally honor it…even the strict traditional parts…but these traditional parts do get filtered within my own “feeling” for the practice. I don’t always practice according to conventional methods. I frequently practice according to spiritual direction (either an elder has directed me or or a spirit has directed me)
Traditionally, black hens were specified for use in cleansing or uncrossing; when an egg was used, it would traditionally be preferred to be from a black chicken as well. The reality nowadays is that most people have no connections to farms or rural living and it is unlikely that most people would have access to eggs that they know are from black chickens, and it does make sense that people would adapt to use what eggs are available.
One of my colleagues writes, “As far as egg reading, I view it similar to reading tarot cards. Traditionally, tarot would not likely have been available to the early black inhabitant of this country. I do notice that it is not uncommon that modern practitioners might include them into their divination set, though. I certainly wouldn’t say it is a general part of hoodoo, but it is present at this point. ”
Reading an egg before disposing of it is pulling in yet another opportunity to “divine” the condition. No, it is not standard, and yes, it has been imported.
I was taught to use what I have on hand as much as possible. Much of hoodoo is practical in nature. For example, the use of torn paper grocery bags to write petition papers on. It was paper one had on hand and if you are dirt poor, you use what you have on hand. Also, the use of red flannel for mojo bags has its origins in practicality. The plantation owners would give the slaves red flannel to make their clothing out of. So they used the scraps to make the bags.
In my mind, the use of the eggs you have on hand is therefore traditional. Besides, if you are rural, farm eggs are notoriously non-uniform and vary hugely in size. I have friends who raise chickens and their eggs look NOTHING like grocery store eggs. They are funky looking and oddly shaped!!! and on the farm, you don’t know whether an egg has been fertilized or not, so breaking it will sometimes give you a big surprise.
I had a friend in college who was raised dirt poor on a family farm and she said that once she got off the farm, she swore she would never eat a farm egg again because it really disgusted her to break open an egg and see a partially formed chicken fetus. You don’t get any surprises, frankly, with grocery store eggs.
The reason why Native American herbalism became a part of hoodoo is because the slaves had to adapt their magical methods to the plants that were in their region — another example of using what you have on hand.
Anyways this is my perspective on why hoodoo varies from region to region — history, culture, tradition, availability.
See Also Egg Limpias and Regional Differences