Intro to Hoodoo
In this area you will find some basics of conjure and the tools used. First, a short lesson on what sets conjure and hoodoo apart from other magickal techniques.
Conjure also known as African American Folk Magic, Folklore, Hoodoo, or Rootwork (terms that are used interchangeably) has unique characteristics different from practices of pagan or witchcraft traditions. You will see some similarities, however, conjure has it’s own special flavoring of bible psalms, zoological curios such as animal parts, minerals, special coins, collected dirt, botanical roots, and herbs. Poppet dolls, candle magick, mojo bags, the use of personal concerns, foot track magick,, crossroads and graveyard magick, along with the disposal of ritual content in places such as the crossroads, rivers, or graveyards are all part of traditional hoodoo. The elements of hoodoo are symbolic of what you are trying to achieve. Today, hoodoo is blended folklore and beliefs of African culture, Native, Protestant, Catholic, and European culture. You can see the similarities of charms, mojo hands, bottle spells, and other magickal crafted fetishes used in hoodoo with the folk practices in the different practices. Family recipes and folklore are key ingredients to working hoodoo and the influences on the practice of hoodoo can vary from family to family as well as regional area practices.
Hoodoo was born from the magickal/spiritual practices brought over to America through West African slaves. Because of the Great Migration, the ever growing and changing knowledge and teachings of hoodoo spread through the U.S. and hoodoo became popular and landed right into the local pharmacies, allowing local African American customers to purchase medicinal and magickal products. Hoodoo was marketed and available across the U.S. through mail order as well. Most of the traditional African American folklore, however, was underground and kept as an oral tradition. Many locals traveled hundreds of miles to root doctors such as Aunt Carolina Dye or Doctor Buzzard.
Hoodoo is a system of magick, practical magick. It is not a religion, but most practitioners hold faith in spirituality, Catholicism, and Protestant. Traditional rootworkers work with the bible, Catholic saints, spirits, deities, and angels. Sigils and seals from grimoires or Jewish Mystic Qabalah are used as well. Spirits of the dead, ancestors, African spirits, saints, plant or animal spirits, Native spirits, angels, or deities are called on to aid the workers magick. It’s become an ever growing practice, but at the core, Hoodoo is African American spirituality. The long history of hoodoo has seen it’s transformation, however, traditional hoodoo is still set apart in unique ways from New Age and Neo Pagan practices.