Musings on Rootwork

Hoodoo A Conjure Craft

Hoodoo, A Conjure Craft by Alexis Scobee

This is the transcript of the flash media post. I am including it because I think it is informative and extremely relevant. As such, it’s educational to people who are new to the tradition.  If you are an American worker of magic (any kind) it is important to learn about the various traditions of American Folk Magic.  Yes — the US has a folk magic tradition. How could we not? We are a melting pot. People brought their traditions from the countries they emigrated from and transplanted them to a new land. The land then changed these traditions and melded a unique and NEW tradition.  This is the way culture works!!! Hoodoo was brought to the U.S. by African slaves….it is now a vital part of  American folk magic culture. What is more, there are regional differences in the US. We are such a large country that areas of our nation differ culturally. This makes our country distinctive and unique in the same way that all countries are unique by virtue of their history and population.

Transcript: Hoodoo, A Conjure Craft

A rootman/woman is merely someone who uses roots mainly in acquiring medicines, poultices, and other healing applications for physical more often than spiritual illness. They heal people through spells, candle burning, and the use of incense, Psalms, and seals of talismans. The Theban Alphabet, also known as the Witch’s Alphabet, is used in Hoodoo spells. When writing a binding, love, protection, or any curse spell the practitioner would use the letters from the Theban. Hoodoo extensively uses herbs, minerals, parts of animal’s bodies–such as fur, teeth, bones, horns, and claws– and possessions of an individual. Unlike formal religions, Hoodoo does not have a structured hierarchy, an established theology, clergy, laity (members of a church or religious group), or order of religious worship services. Nevertheless, Hoodoo is thought to be strongly Christian in the way that God is the archetypal hoodoo doctor.
Zora Neale Hurtson stated “The way we tell it, hoodoo started way back there before everything. Six days of magic spells and mighty words and the world with its elements above and below was made.”
Most practitioners use the Bible as a talisman (an object believed to give magical powers) and as a spell book. Hoodoo uses the “Secrets of the Psalms” to conjure. The bible is also carried for protection. Hoodoo and Voodoo are often mistaken for one another. In reality, Voodoo is a religion, whereas Hoodoo is a group of Magical Practices. In Haiti, Cuba, and many other Caribbean Islands, they worship Vodoun Gods (called lwa or loas, which are biological or archetypal ancestors, saints, angels, or archangels), this is Voodoo in practice. Because Voodoo has worship rituals and moral structure, it is considered to be a Western Religion. Cultural History American Hoodoo is thought to begin with the African slaves, particularly in the American Southeast. Historically, its existence has been documented in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Hoodoo, also known as Conjure, is a form of traditional folk magic that originated from Africa. It incorporates practices form African Native American Traditions and European magical practices and Grimoires (a textbook of magic). The goal of Hoodoo is to allow people access to supernatural forces to improve their daily lives by gaining power in many areas of life, including luck, money, love, divination (foretelling the future), revenge, health, employment, and necromancy (attempting to communicate with the spirits of the dead).
Most spells and practices were passed down from person to person to become the next Hoodoo doctor.
But some hoodoo practices were passed down an entire family line because most spells and practices are within the realm of “folk remedies” or “common knowledge” (like old family remedies; “my grandma always said….”) Conjure Craft Contact with ancestors or other spirits of the dead is an important practice within the conjure tradition. Conjuring also deals very heavily with the work of nature. Not just using roots and stones but understanding how one must treat the Earth. Gris Gris, Juju, or Mojo Bags/Sacks Juju or Mojo is a blessed object that is said to keep evil and negativity at bay. Hoodoo practitioners are known to carry Gris Gris bags or sacks that contain good Juju objects like rice for fertility and white sage for cleansing the soul. They say that Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. But what if those words involved using sticks, stones, roots and bones? Like spells of love, cure, prosperity and even malicious deeds of death, destruction, and horror. This is Hoodoo. Hoodoo Vs Voodoo Poppet Much like Voodoo dolls a Hoodoo poppet is a doll made to represent a person for casting healing, fertility, or binding spells on that person. Poppets are believed be infused with the life of their makers.

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