Let’s not forget that Marie Laveaux and Dr. John Monenet made a business out of selling their powerful gris gris charms. Dr. John was an expert herbalist and healer and could make a gris gris for any occasion. Same for Mam’zelle Laveaux. She specialized in court cases, love, and in revenge. She knew how to use gris gris to manipulate the system. Just the mention of being gris grised by the Boss Woman, as she was known by locals, was enough to freak a person out into acting like a fool, or desperately coming to her for a cure. There is a certain level of genius that comes with hoodoin’ as a business. She was the go to person for the cause and effect, and she was the go to woman for the cure or reversal. Both ways she got paid.
by Koz Mraz
Retracing the Easy Rider movie route with actresses Katee Sackhoff (24, Battlestar Gallactia) and Tricia Helfer (17th Precinct,Dark Blue, Battlestar Gallactia) we rode motorcycles from L.A to Louisiana to the Voodoo Music festival. The ladies met on set and found a common bond motorcycling and formed www.actingoutlaws.org and their 2500-mile motorcycle trek on BMW 1200 GS from Los Angeles to New Orleans was in Support the Gulf Restoration Network http://healthygulf.org/ , the only environmental advocacy group exclusively focused on the health of the Gulf of Mexico.
Katee and Tricia’s mission is to raise awareness and support for Gulf Future ensuring coastal communities have the resources they need and making sure we learn the lessons of the BP drilling disaster to keep this from happening again. Their motto is Do Something. Watch their launch @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUn_LTIEozc
I’ve written a lot of stories in my time; everything from movie scripts, TV screenplays to song lyrics. As a Moto-Journalist, I’ve traveled Hong Kong to Hollywood filling pages with photos and prose. Usually struggling with traditional writing conventions, I have no plot, no theme, no storyline; just an endless ribbon of road that unfolds before me. This trip though, is more of a rewrite. Yeah, we’re gonna follow the basic route Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper did in the classic 1969 biker-flick, Easy Rider. Sure, we’re meeting up with actress/motorcyclists Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer on their charity ride from Los Angeles to Louisiana in support of the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), but Easy Rider wasn’t scripted; they made it up as they went along and this story too will write itself. Two thousand two hundred miles, five days, two guys, and two girls with one agenda: to ride long and hard. To quote Captain America, “Yeah, I’m hip about time, but I just gotta go.”
Along the way, we stopped at the Joshua Tree Inn. It’s where Gram Parson (The Byrds music group) died in 1973. Room 8 is supposedly haunted and touted as “Home of Gram Parsons’ Spirit.” It was a really bizarre true story made into a movie called Grand Theft Parsons starring Johnny Knoxville that’s well worth the watch. The site of Parsons’ desert cremation was marked by a small concrete slab, which has since been removed by the National Park Service and relocated to the Joshua Tree Inn.
Koz Mraz is a moto/photo journalist for Quick Throttle magazine and contributor for Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly. His column, Myth, Magick and Motorcycles chronicles his adventures traveling around the country visiting sacred sites and capturing his activities in the world of the haunted in everyday life with extraordinary people. Koz lives in Los Angeles and is one half of the dynamic, award-winning production team known as Studio Voodoo. The intoxicating mix of music and technology that is Studio Voodoo is as much about the symbiotic partnership of founders Koz Mraz and Ted Price as it is about the myriad elements that make up Voodoo’s visionary sonic and sensory cocktail. Studio Voodoo is proud to be part of the film score for the new movie Discover the Gift. The film will be released in June, the message is supreme and uplifting. It’s a compelling , well shot and directed movie…and the sound track rocks, of course.
Check out what the Dali Lama has to say…
With such a wonderful reception to the premier issue, we are now starting to get the questions:
When is volume 2 going to be out?
What are the topics about?
Volume 2 will be out by the end of May. And though I can’t tell you everything that is in it, I will tell you that it will have more content than the first issue…about 30 pages more, and the subject matter? Again, off the hook!
For example, here is a sneak peek of one of Madrina Angelique’s articles. If a picture ever told a thousand words, this one says that much and more:
A fabulous new artist has joined us, Inga Kimberly brown, and this is a photo of her great grandmother. Inga’s grandma Marie represents so much of what southern hoodoo is all about. She was black and Cherokee Indian, and that cigar…you’ve got to love it!
New Orleans Voodoo has always been a tradition with women in charge. We call them Queens in New Orleans, but it is the same thing as the Mambos of haitian Vodou. The Spiritual and Reverend Mothers dominate the Spiritualist churches. Yet in other related traditions, women are not held to the same status as men. This is an issue we are addressing in Volume 2.
Stay tuned for more glimpses into Volume 2 of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly.
There are so many folks taking advantage of the tradition into which I was born and which is my lineage. It simply amazes me how many folks take a course or read a few books, join a forum or two and “practice” for a couple of years or less and then see fit to criticize those of us who didn’t have to learn it that way. Like, we don’t fit in to their cozy little insignificant worlds, we don’t fit the definition of “rootworker” or “hoodoo” or “Voodoo” that they have closed their little minds to. Funny how these same people were supporters of the very folks who stole my work a few months back. Things that make you go hmmm…
The fact is that the appropriation of indigenous spirituality and religions is nothing new. Non indigenous people have been taking what they want from my ancestors for a long, long time, without respect. They just take and do what they want with the spirits and traditions and criticize us, the ones from whom our traditions and spirituality are stolen, as if we are less than or somehow not worthy of their approval. Somehow, we can’t possibly know more than they know because they have fallen into the deeply ingrained societal belief that people of color are not equal to White folks. They would never admit this though, and would fight to the finish denying what is the absolute truth because of sheer arrogance and ignorance.
In fact, the contributors to Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly are from a variety of different backgrounds, some of which are of European descent. Most of these folks I didn’t even know before publishing the magazine but when approached about the project they were intrigued, enough so that they were right on board with us. And get this… they don’t get paid. I have funded the entire project myself and I have haven’t even been paid yet, much less have the ability to pay others. Yet they are eager to contribute and are dedicated to the purpose. They believe in the magazine as I do and know we are successful and know our success will continue to grow. So where is this so-called cash cow?
But, a legitimate question has been raised, and that is, just what is the allure of this fabulous publication that yes, was my idea? How is it that Chad Balthazar, a Lucky Mojo graduate, and Carolina Dean, another Lucky Mojo graduate, would actually contribute to the publication? And how could it be that the one and only Aaron Leitch would find this project worthy of his contribution? And Madrina Angelique, one of the strongest and most intelligent spiritual women I know, why would she waste her time writing for a magazine I created? Why would a successful author like Dorothy Morrison give away her time and talent? Oh, and why would Catherine Yronwode subscribe to the magazine and give us her complements for a job well done? Just what is the allure anyway?
Well, I could tell you what the allure is. All you have to do is pick up a copy and hold it in your hands and see for yourself. You can see the love and respect that forms the very essence of the publication, you can feel the positive energy that surrounds it, and if you read it, you can even learn a thing or two.
But don’t take my word for it. We are getting glowing reviews at Amazon.com. Here are a few of the reviews we have gotten thus far:
“I received my copy at the beginning of the week and I just can’t put it down. It’s full of wonderful articles, stories, pictures and more. It’s obvious that a lot of time, energy and love went into putting this journal together. Kudos to all that participated in it’s making.”
“I recently received my copy of this magazine. It arrived quickly, despite being sent to an APO in the mid-east. I have to say that this journal blew away my expectations. I started reading it as soon as I opened my box and didn’t put it down until I reach the back cover. The articles are well planned, and the artwork is superb. I am already starting to re-read many of the articles so I can better understand and put to use the knowledge and techniques described. Can’t wait to see the next issue!”
“Denise Alvarado has outdone herself with this quarterly magazine! It is more of a book rather than a simple mag. They cover so many different “techniques” of VooDoo and HooDoo and I especially enjoyed the Folklore and Folk Magic articles. This is a MUST for anyone who is interested in VooDoo and HooDoo whether you are a beginner or an old soul. I highly recommend this publication and cannot wait for Issue 2 (or as I said, their second “book”). Bravo!”
“Conceived by Denise Alvarado (The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, Voodoo Dolls in Magick and Ritual, The Voodoo Doll Spellbook) and her business partner and brought to you by Planet Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly is a full color journal published four times a year. It is bound in the same manner as a paper-back book and contains several recipes, a template for a hoodoo-doll, formulas, spells, tutorials, beautiful art and photographs, as well as articles written by some of today’s most talented writers and practitioners. As the first of its kind, it will definitely become a collector’s item. I look forward to the next issue!”
“For a start, I must say that this is a beautiful book rather than a journal. It is “perfect bound” like a paperback book, and so far transcends simply the title “magazine.” It is also a beautiful work of art. The detail that has gone into this journal is superlative. I have never seen a journal packed so full of useful information. I have spent the last couple of decades reading journals, and usually find only one article per journal useful; on the other hand, I found every article in this journal most useful. I was unable to put it down, and stayed up reading it until the wee small hours of the morning. I have since referred to it several times.
This is the very first issue, and clearly will become a collector’s item. For this reason, I suggest buying two.
I most highly recommend the Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly. If you are even half way interested in any magickal tradition, you will find the Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly a superb, even necessary, addition to your shelves.”
“This is a great magazine covering topics not found in many other periodicals. I have always enjoyed Denise’s books and artistry and the art work in the magazine is a real treat. If you are interested in these traditions I would recommend this magazine, it is very well done. Keep it real!”
And so, there you have it. HCQ sells itself. It is real, it is pure eye candy and real substance, and it is everything and more that it was envisioned it to be. I for one, am very grateful to all of my contributors for making the journal such a success. And though we can’t milk money out of the cow just yet, when we do, and I know we will much to the chagrin of the naysayers, we have plans to give back to people of New Orleans who continue to struggle as a result of hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast oil Spill. Yeah, we are humanitarians too. Damn, guess that makes me doubly inauthentic.