The dual nature of High John the Conqueror

I was coming up with a list of idioms the other day that reminded me of High John and realized how many different characteristics and traits could be combined into a single a prayer while still remaining true to the energy of that spirit: “High John, give me balls of brass, nerves of steel, a…

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Magical Bath & Liquor

Killing time during “shelter in place” orders, I figured I might list a few of my favorite magical hoodoo oil recipes – I didn’t get these from any recipe book but simply based the combinations listed below on my own intuition and research, with the self-imposed constraint (mostly observed) of never using any oil or…

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Spiritual Songs

Conjure (also known as “hoodoo” or “rootwork”) is a style of African-American folk magic practiced in the Old South, before the American Civil War. For hundreds of years, millions of men, women and children representing countless African tribes were kidnapped and brought to the New World to work on cotton plantations and cut sugar cane,…

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Plantation Slaves working the fields

Every culture seems to have its own definition of “black” and “white” magic; a few I’ve encountered over the years: High magic (“theurgy”) calls on God (or gods) for self-improvement; low magic (“theurgy”) manipulates earthly or underworld forces to satisfy practical survival needs White magic respects human free will; black magic is coercive and boundary-violating…

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Churchyard necromancy

The term “necromancy” comes from European sorcery, where it was originally “nigromancy” – a type of dark magic focused on summoning demons into blood drenched circles and triangles, accompanied by lengthy prayers in Latin. Over the centuries, “nigromancy” evolved into “necromancy” and came to mean any kind of magic or divination involving the human dead,…

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Astrological Forces

Total overkill, but one rainy afternoon about 10 years ago I cross-referenced all of the most commonly used hoodoo roots & herbs with their supposed astrological and elemental associations, as well as their genders – 95% of this info is from theย Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook By Karen Harrison. Ingredient Type Gender Planet Element Acacia Herbs Male…

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Sleeping Buddha Fetish

In the Thai black arts (so-called “saiyasart”) it would be considered blasphemous to “load” a statue of the Buddha like this, but since it’s fairly common to do so in Santeria, Mexican brujeria, etc, I figured it would work fine for Hoodoo too – once a figure like the Buddha (or Jesus, for that matter)…

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High John as a Medieval King

If you treat High John like a Plant TEACHER – not just an “ingredient” – and are sensitive to such things, you will most likely discover in time that he is opinionated and can talk – not audibly, but as a common-sense voice in your head you can make out if you create the space…

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