The Mojo of Jesus

Attracted by the colour of hoodoo, people seem to make a beeline for the saints. Saints are accessible and much of that has to do with exquisite iconography that is so readily available for them. People make spiritual choices based on aesthetic criteria all the time and I think this is one of the reasons the saints have such magnetic charm - their images are visually very evocative. Additionally, when faced with the Christian framework of these New World paths; people with occult leanings, I think, find the saints to be an easy doorway to access these traditions without having to face up to the broader Christian underpinnings.

In terms of hoodoo; historically, the inclusion of saints was really very tiny and mostly limited to a select few geographic regions; not surprisingly these regions were more densely populated by practising catholics. For the most part hoodoo is a Protestant tradition - you wouldn't think so when you look around online! I know I for one am fond of talking about the saints.

However, if you want light a rocket under your rootwork and give it some real spiritual clout - even when petitioning the aid of saints - you have to square it up with the big JC. That's right. Nobody delivers the goods like the King of Kings. If you want to make mince meat of any obstacle, manifest any goal, overcome any enemy then the Lamb of God is an unstoppable, indomitable, inexhaustible treasure house of spiritual force. Can I have an Amen?

I invite you to discover the power of the magical Jesus. In fact I dare you.
Jesus the greatest conjure man ever to walk the earth.
Jesus the master of miracles.
Jesus the magician.

I was taught a powerful trick by Momma Starr: take a picture of Jesus and put it under anything you are working on, whether it be a jar, candle - whatever. Put that picture there and see what happens! Just the image of Christ is so potent that I have found by adding this simple element the speed and efficacy of a spell is radically boosted.

This is the true beauty of hoodoo as a spiritual path; you get to discover Jesus in a whole new way. I'm not talking about the Sunday school version.

His Spirit and power will reveal Itself to you and ooze down into your work, your mind and your spell-craft and blow open your mind to a whole new dimension of Christ and what he means on the most secret inner levels. He can reveal Himself to be something completely different; something magical,  extraordinary and entirely unorthodox.

Become a truly antinomian magician.

In fact, I would say that if the idea makes feel squeamish then it might be especially useful for you to work with Jesus directly. Go to that uncomfortable place, expose it and see what happens. If you are a Neo Pagan and you are about to unfollow from my blog, then I would like to point out that the early Hermetic magicians would invoke the power of Christ right along with Abraham, Hermes and Anubis - all in one the same conjuration! They didn't have Jesus issues because they knew a powerful Divine name to conjure by when they saw one. And they weren't afraid to call it out, either.

If you are a would-be hoodoo then you gotta get you mind and your heart wrapped around the role of Jesus in this tradition. He cannot be deleted from hoodoo - anymore than the Lwa can be from vodou. So why not look Him in the eye and see what He has to say about your juju? Why not call on His power for you next candle working? I am willing to bet my last penny that you will be very, very surprised by what you find.

Earlier this week I was working on a new client's case. It's a story that really touched me, a grave injustice and tragedy had befallen this family. I was busy preparing a lamp for the case and as I was putting it all together I felt the Spirit move around me so I stopped and I began praying; at first quietly but as the intensity of my words began building I felt  this sudden wave of force come down and I switched over into Tongues - ordinary words no longer being adequate for what was being expressed - an urgent primal call swept through me. Suddenly I had a vivid spiritual encounter:

I see Jesus ablaze in golden light. A network of stars; constellations knitting together his body and robe. Woven throughout this is an exquisite chain of sigils, symbols and divine names cycling eternally throughout His luminous form. And in that moment He seems utterly alien to me - cosmic and inexplicable. Ineffable. Magical. Timeless. Breathless and startled I discover my body becoming filled with a gentle surge of peace and heat. It extends everywhere, into the lamp, the walls, floor, ceiling - everywhere. 

I sat quietly like that for a few minutes, dazzled, and then eventually pulled myself together and lit the lamp...

Now, I am not saying you go all bat-shit 'hallelujah' crazy, waving your bible around. This isn't about religion. I am simply inviting you to discover what is probably the most powerful magical secret held within this tradition, hidden in plain view.

The "Lord is my Shepherd, I Shall Not Want" Mojo Bag:

A holy card of Christ the Shepherd (any picture of Jesus will work)
Three coins
A magnet/lodestone (I prefer magnets)
High John the Conquer root
Master root
23 Psalm printed out
Red thread
Pine resin
Magnetic Sand
A Picture of yourself
I Shall Not Want oil

A red flannel bag.
A vigil light adorned with picture of Jesus Christ.

Inspired by the beauty of Psalm 23 I formulated the "I shall not want" bag as a perpetual abundance mojo. It calls on the Divine promise issued in Psalm 23, and Christ the Shepherd for its power.

On the back of the psalm you should declare all areas in which you shall no longer want in your life; money, love, career, friendships, knowledge, peace of mind etc. Then cover and cross it with your name seven times. Seven is the number of Christ but it's also the number of victory. Dress it with I shall Not Want Oil in the quincunx pattern. Fold this up towards you and wrap it around the Master root, then wind it up with red thread praying: the LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want. Tie it off.

Take the picture of Christ the Shepherd and place upon it your pic, so that you are being held by Jesus. On that put the magnet/lodestone and feed it magnetic sand and I Shall Not Want oil. On the magnet place the three coins. I use these little Chinese lucky coins that I bought in bulk because I send bags all over the world and I like to use a universal symbol for money. Also, they are really pretty!

Next, fold the holy card around all of this to form a packet and tie it in with thread to keep it together.

Take every single ingredient, one at a time, and pray the 23rd psalm over it - declaring at the end of the psalm once again the areas in which you shall no longer want:

The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want for money.
The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want for friendship.
The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want for safety.

Place them in the bag as you do this and then finally breathe life into the bag and tie it off. Feed it some oil and whiskey and place it in under an over-turned bowl so that you can burn a the vigil over it. Dress and fix the vigil - light it and let it burn over the bag. Take the bag in your hands daily and pray Psalm 23 over it, feeding it oil and breath each time you do. When the vigil has done burning the bag should be rocking and ready to go!


Divination, divination, divination

The value and power of accurate divination when doing spellwork professionally has been on my mind a lot lately. Firstly, when a client comes for a consultation and you are able hit the nail on the head with your reading, or even perhaps pull out a few secrets or little facts that only they could have possibly known; this goes a long way to establishing confidence and trust in your abilities and in the work itself. Which in turn helps create good rapport between the worker and client.

You could be the most fabulously powerful magician in the world but if you can't read adequately then you are flying blind. Secondly, you really do need to know what the shape of the situation is so you don't take on work that you are unable to successfully conclude or handle. Naturally, nobody is able resolve every single job successfully but you want to be able to assess carefully what is and is not possible in any case and be sure to build your work on top of that - flowing with the pattern of events rather than against them.

Then there is the matter of the client themselves - you might be able to do the job successfully, but even so some clients might prove very difficult to work with. I find it is good to be forewarned so I know how to handle a client appropriately.

Then finally, divination is really powerful for guiding any decisions regarding what kind of work would be most suited to any case. This is either by deduction, looking at the reading as a whole, or more specifically by doing extra divination to see what kind of work should be done; how long for; ingredients employed, as well as for decisions regarding which saints, spirits and so forth you might want to work with. You know that old saw: genius is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration? Well, sometimes I feel like one could say: rootwork is 1% conjuration 99% divination!

The ratio is probably a little exaggerated there, but you get the point...

If you divine accurately, you are able  see the important connections, relationships and forces at play in any given situation - and with the blessing of the Divine sometimes all that is needed is a gentle magical push or pull in exactly the right place; creating a cascading domino effect, leading to the perfect outcome.

It doesn't always work that way but with a bit of practice, good divination can certainly help make this kind of thing happen more frequently.


Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly: Fall 2010!

How cool is this! Check out the Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly. Its a new journal for rootworkers and eclectic practitioners of the magical arts with a special focus on New Orleans Voodoo, Hoodoo and folklore! 

Another neat thing is that it includes a feature length piece by yours truly! If you found my Venus "Love-Tub" Lamp post tickled your fancy, you might like to check out the Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly because it gives that working in full detail; including all the herbal ingredients and planetary conjurations along with theoretical underpinnings - offering detailed instructions for performing the spell yourself.

More than that the journal includes workings, articles and reviews by a whole team of skilled practitioners. I am happy to say I have been invited to become a regular contributor and I am thrilled to be writing for such an exciting publication.

From the press-release statement:

Recognizing the resurgence of folk magic and the growing community of hoodoos, healers, and conjurers, Planet Voodoo (www.planetvoodoo.com) has created a new, high quality journal that meets the needs of today’s conjurers and the curious. Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly journal shares historical and contemporary information about aspects of the conjure arts, including magico-religious practices, spiritual traditions, folk magic, hoodoo, and religions with their roots in the African Diaspora and indigenous herbology. Each issue of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly magazine brings you original and traditional formulas, spells, tutorials, root doctor, spiritual mother, and conjure artist profiles, workshop listings, book, product, & website reviews, and more!
Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly is a thoroughly researched periodical created by New Orleans-born author, artist, rootworker, and PhD level social scientist Denise Alvarado and her business partner Sharon Marino, and New Orleans style Voodooist, eclectic witch, and Wiccan High priestess. When you read a copy of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly, you can be confident that what you read is the real thing. Whether you are a beginner who is just intrigued by the notion of folk magic, want to pick up some techniques for your trick bag, add to your personal grimoire, want to learn about the African -derived and indigenous spiritual traditions, or want to keep up with the social world of today’s practitioners, Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly delivers!

The content of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly comes from a variety of channels. There is a veritable hoodoo admixture of contributors that includes several notable authors, as well as “regular folks” from the hoodoo and conjure community. The intentional input of professionals and experienced lay people involved in varying degrees in the magickal arts guarantees the reader receives multiple perspectives, a broader base of information, and cross-cultural and cross-regional views of occult phenomenon. Our contributors include Aylene Pustiano, New Orleans author, occultist and paranormal researcher who specializes in New Orleans folklore; Dorothy Morrison, a practicing Witch for nearly 40 years, and award-winning author of numerous books on Witchcraft and its practical application to everyday living; Chad C. Balthazar, a gifted reader and rootworker, avid blogger, current resident of Amsterdam who was born and raised in Africa, and descendant of a line of mediums, dreamers and madmen; Madrina Angelique, Tarot Reader, Conjure Woman and Mojo Witch, as well as Madre Nganga of Munanso Centella Ndoki Nkuyo Malongo Corta Lima Cordosa and Iyalorisha of Ile Ori Yemaya, born and raised in rural Georgia, and student and practitioner of traditional southern hoodoo since childhood; Papa Curtis, a gifted intuitive trained in the arts of traditional Rootwork, Hoodoo, and Dowsing; and Matthew Venus, a rootworker and eclectic magician who has been practicing, studying and teaching the magical arts for the past twenty years; as well as Sharon and myself, of course.

So don't miss out and get your copy!


Triumph of the Sacred

Not sure what this phrase means, exactly. It came to me during an ecstatic experience. I suppose we could ask what does it mean to you, dear reader (if anything)? Open thread... muse away.


Most Powerful Tools the Arte

Without a doubt my most potent and often used tools. 
  1. The dropper, for oil. 
  2. The engraver, for inscribing candles, fixing vigils, moulding wax doll-babies.
  3. Thread, for everything... (wrapping, sewing, tying).
I can work without any tools if need be, but damn, these three are so handy...


The Full Canvas and its Threads.

It's kinda spooky because I have been sitting on this post for a few days trying to figure out how to frame what I am trying to say without sounding whacky. Well, less whacky than usual.  Then Rufus Opus posts this. It kind of comes from the opposite end of where I was going but it really hits the nail on the head.

More specifically, I was sitting contemplating the differences between the main thrust of classical western magic and folk magic systems like hoodoo. It occurred to me that western magic's preoccupation with language, symbol and sign-making (whether this be in the form of sigils, pentacles, barberous words, angelic languages or their equivalents), these all seem kinda like the aristocratic literary twin of the tangible sympathetic and very material processes of hoodoo.

And with that I mean to say, is, that the sympathetic gestures that are encoded in these sorts of hoodoo spells are a kind of manifest language. A kind of divine script that permeates the natural sympathetic signifiers found all around us and then seized upon and deployed in conjure. Sweet things, for instance, mean more than that yummy taste - in the magical context their potency extends far beyond the sensory experience of taste and on to the much vaster abstract symbolic value of sweetness itself. What it means when something is delightful, attractive, magnetic - or what it feels like when people get together in happiness. It's sweet.

That's all encoded in a cube of sugar just as it might be in the seal of Venus.

Yet the sugar is different - its language is direct, more primal. Sugar needs no translation. Sweetness is inscribed upon it wherever you go in the world, whoever tastes it. That essential quality, is what I am talking about. Those essential primal signifiers permeate all of creation, kind of like the fingerprints of God.  These fingerprints are everywhere - in the stickiness of sticky things, the sharpness of pins, the sourness of lemons, the magnetism of lodestones - their meanings and values all fantastically capable of functioning with as much magical precision as any arcane cypher, any angelic script.

Rufus remarks: You take a symbol and do something symbolic with it, but you tell a story.

Exactly. These stories can be threaded together with the most common of objects; the winding up of thread; by cutting apart; sewing together; by setting aflame; burrying; nailing down or tying a knot. This vernacular of the ordinary when transposed to the magical context becomes the syntax of the Divine.

Considering what Rufus has to say about manifestation process through the spheres, it's not all that surprising that the magical materiality of this kind of sympathetic vernacular can be so effective when wielded skilfully. Perhaps the reason that happens is because these things are already manifest, and by employing them in spellwork we are able to pull on the very same threads woven by God throughout all of creation - that full canvas.

Oops, still came out kinda whacky.