High John the legendary Slave Trickster#2

Welcome to the online shrine of High John the Conqueror, an African-American cultural hero whose boundless optimism, wry sense of  humor and cheerful pursuit of his own desires allowed him transcend the horrors of plantation life while inspiring those around him with courage, hope and a deep-grained resistance to the psychic corrosion of slavery. And all…

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High John as an Afrocentric King

Same folks say that the best and most powerful prayer to High John is and always has been the 23rd Psalm; for added power, pray 3, 5 or even 7 times and claim whatever it is that you will not want for, e.g.: “I will not want for love/money/success/freedom/etc.” The Lord is my shepherd; I shall…

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High John as Bugs Bunny

Back in the late 1990s I ordered a John the Conqueror Spell Kit from a hoodoo supplier online. I don’t know why; it just sounded intriguing. Following the instructions in the package, I lit a candle first thing each morning and prayed over it as the sun rose, waving my “John the Conqueror” bag through the incense smoke and dabbing oil…

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High John Root (Ipomoea jalapa)

Name(s): High John, John da Conker, John the Conqueroo, John the Conqueror Gender: Male Element: Fire Planetary Associations: Mercury Genus: Ipomoea jalapa Side effects: A powerful laxative – do not ingest! Plant allies: Chewing John (Alpinia galanga) and Southern John (Trillium pendulum) Spirit type: Solar phallic / trickster Similar figures: Eshu, Hermes, Phra Ngang, Bugs Bunny, Br’Er…

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Loaded High John Statue

Around the summer of 2017, I was spending a lot of time praying to a Southeast Asian spirit called Phra Ngang, a ribald Cambodian mountain spirit sometimes known as “the Dirty Buddha.” What was weird, though, was that the more late nights I spent lighting incense and chanting mantras to Phra Ngang, the more I…

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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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High John as Petey Wheatstraw

There are many similarities between High John and Phra Ngang, the magical “Dirty Buddha” of the Thai black arts: High John The Conqueror Phra Ngang Multiple strands of Origin “John the Conqueror, the indwelling spirit of a magical root, would appear to be a melange of African deities, possibly combined with one or more powerful…

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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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