Musings on Rootwork

Archive for the category “Curanderismo”

Egg Limpias and Regional Differences Part 2

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


Egg Limpias and Regional Differences

There are a variety of ways to read an egg. A fellow worker reminded me recently that the traditional hoodoo method of egg reading involves rolling an egg from a black hen across a person’s body while reading Psalm 51 and then throwing an egg against a tree to see if it looks clean or normal.

In Texas, we read the signs of the egg the curanderismo way, in which we do an egg limpia and then read the signs of the egg by breaking it into a glass of water.  Since an egg picks up the energies of the person being cleansed, the cracked egg in water will reveal patterns, images, and various spikes that the worker can read to determine what kind of junk (if any) was picked up off the person.

In Texas, hoodoo is very influenced by the presence of Hispanic folk magic as well as the more traditional African based hoodoo methods. There is a lot of crossover. When people talk about regional differences, this is the kind of thing they mean. Hoodoo is not the same everywhere. There are family variations and cultural variations. If a person needs an egg reading, it does not matter what kind of egg it is. In curanderismo, a white grocery store egg can be used.

It’s like using the phases of the moon to time your workings. You *can* do that if you have the luxury of time, but if you don’t, throw moon phases out the window and get your working done! Same with a cleansing and an egg reading. A cleansing and egg reading may not be able to wait until you can get a hold of a black hen’s egg, but the likelihood that you have a white grocery store egg right there in your fridge is extremely high. (As a side note, if you are going to use the egg from the fridge, let it sit out for a while to bring it up to room temperature).

Those who promote one tried, true, authentic way to get something done forget that there are varieties and flavors in hoodoo. It is not one great mono-practice. People are influenced by their environment, which varies greatly across the United States. You use what the locality and the culture offer you.

Further Reading: http://www.ancestralapothecary.com/blog/2009/11/05/a-day-of-limpias/

Curanderismo http://texas-hoodoo.com/curanderismo/index.html

See Also Egg Limpias and Regional Differences (part 2)


Jinx Removal with an Egg

Jinxes are very real. Many people believe that their bad luck is from a jinx put on them or that all their wrong decisions made are the cause of a jinx being put on them, or even being too close to a person who has a jinx on them will cause bad things to happen to them.

First off, and this is important: identify what or whom you believe to be the source of your bad luck. Divination by pendulum or tarot is a good place to start for information on what or whom has caused your jinx.
There are always signs that a jinx has been placed upon you. It can be more than just a string of bad luck. Some times the signs are more obscure. Some examples might be: breaking a mirror, seeing your face in the mirror by candlelight, a bat flying into your house, a rooster crowing at night, an owl outside hooting three times in a row (owls are well-known sources of evil in Mexican folk magic), a picture falling, getting out of bed on the left foot or wrong side or seeing three butterflies in one place. Objects may also cause bad luck. (Think: did someone that you have an uneasy relationship with suddenly, out of the blue, give you a small gift? This gift may carry their jinx upon you!)
If it is the case that a cursed/jinxed object has been given to you by someone who has the Evil Eye for you, or wishes you ill, this is what you can do with the object.Take the jinxed object  and get rid of it by either burning it or throwing it into running water — like a river. You can also make a mojo bag by putting cleansing herbs such as agar and basil or purchase a pre-made good luck bag. Place the jinxed object in your mojo bag (assuming the object is small) and bury it at the crossroads. Either way you choose, now recite the 37th Psalm, the one that hoodoo practitioners call “The Uncrossing Psalm”.

In these situations, you need a jinx remover spell that will cleanse you of the jinx. It needs to be done right away! You can have a bad day from a jinx all over you . . . wake up with a new jinx on you . . . or get up on the wrong side of the bed from a jinx on that side of your bed. A jinx is a series of bad things that happen to you. A relative, a stranger, or a miserable person can easily throw a jinx on you as you pass them by in the house, street, or restaurant.

In curanderismo, eggs are used as a cleansing agent and jinx remover. Here is a way to cleanse yourself with an egg.

 Jinx Egg Removing Spell

From The Ancient 17th Century
Voodoo Book of Le Grand Sorcery

There is also an Egg Cleansing Limpia, a popular ritual in Mexican Folk  Magic.  Here are some great instructions for an Egg Cleansing (Limpia) (You may also want to see the Egg Spell for Spiritual Defense at the same site)

I could probably go on and on about jinxes, their causes and their cures, but this is enough for right now! I will no doubt post more about jinxing (aka crossing) in later blog posts.

Don’t Let Differences Get Between You

Spirituality — we all have our spiritual side. For the same concept and feeling, there are a thousand different words for it. Why argue that you use one word for the Divine and I use another? That you have one method of prayer and I have another? One way of expressing charity to fellow humans and I have my own way? When I talk to a Christian, I remember that the words God and Jesus are like my word “The Divine” or “The Universe” or “The Spirit of Life.”

Hoodoo is the same way.  There are many regional ways to practice it.  Each area will have its own traditions and methods.  When hoodoo is taught in families, each family will have its own traditions and ways and reasons for doing things.

In Texas.  hoodoo is strongly influenced by the Hispanic tradition of curanderismo.  Herb associations will be unique and the plant life here is different.  We also have our unique saints. For example Santisma Muerte and the Virgin of Guadelupe are big here.

When I see people bickering over small things or ways, it totally puzzles me. If your way works — it works.

blessings to all and a happy 2015 to you.



Curanderismo in Texas

I thought these links  would be interesting to people who follow my blog. I’ve been researching curanderismo in Texas ever since signing up for the free course through Coursera.org about curanderismo.

Healing Magic: Curanderismo and its Practice in San




Jody Blackburn, Folk Healer and Tarot Reader


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