Conjure As the Latest Cash Cow Trend?

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The Voodoo Doktors of New OrleansThere 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.

Shoe and Foot Track Magick by Carolina DeanThen, there are those who are not indigenous who have respectfully adopted indigenous spirituality and traditions and do not promote an air of superiority, though they are as white as those that do.

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?

planetery magickWell, 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 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.

8 thoughts on “Conjure As the Latest Cash Cow Trend?

  1. Great article. I seems that many are not after true understanding after all or are misguided in someway by their lower desires.

  2. Hi Denise,

    I want to take the time to leave this comment and thank you for recognizing something in my work that you thought was worthy of inclusion in Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly.

    For the record, I contributed (and will continue to contribute) to HCQ because I have always loved to write and share my experiences with others and because as a shy, young, gay man growing up in the oppressive South I loved reading…it was my escape from the taunts and teasing of my classmates.

    When I began exploring my own spirituality, before the age of the internet, books were mostly the only resource available to me. So I often feel that by sharing what I have learned and experienced along the way I am giving back to the medium that I love so much and helping the next “carolina dean” come into his or her own as well.

    Again, thank you for the opportunity to do this!

  3. Let`s leave the naysayers to what they do best, sit around and carp at others more successful than them.
    The truth is there is nothing they can say or do that will affect us negatively. We have a wonderful child in Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly and everyone who sees her falls in love. We will raise her to be strong, smart, and “above the pack”.

  4. is I never fail to find all of Denise’s work to be fascinating and greatly respect her for putting so much effort into keeping these unique traditions alive and in context. Its hard to understand why anyone would attempt to steal her work or to criticize her or to steal her fame as it were. She’s only brought New Orleans Voodoo to the web quite openly and, apparently ceaselessly prolific in that same task. There really is nothing that comes close online and she deserves much greater respect from readers of her blogs and quarterly. I’ve read a lot of whats online at present ( youtube videos, blogs, conjure forums, hoodoo forums, lucky mojo forums, voodo websites, rootwork websites etc. ) and Denise really stands out in her honesty and in her educated discussion and analysis ( check out her blog on War Water, for example ).I think we all have much to learn from her and her projects and it disturbs me to see that some people have atempted to take advantage for their own self-aggrandizing ends.


  5. I started to study Hoodoo back in the early 2000 by taking the first course that Cat Yronwood offered, which is still being offered and one of the most thorough learning process of Hoodoo that I know. No, I have not completed it…yet. Hoodoo, then, was not known well. People thought you were referring to Voodoo, which Hoodoo is not, in that Voodoo is a religion and Hoodoo is not. Now, Hoodoo is becoming more “mainstream” very quickly, and, of course, there will be more and more charlatans, dilettantes, intellectual property thieves, etc., just like the “newage” movement had. However, with this wonderful magazine, a person really interested in Hoodoo, has a guide to the truth of Hoodoo. THank you, for this great gift to the Hoodoo community. I plan to subscribe forever and never to never discard an issue.

  6. I guess I am a little late to the game but I just found myself reading all of the posts on this site today…I couldn’t stop. oh and that’s a good thing. One thing I noticed though is that I find it ironic that you have been called an appropriator of culture recently by some of the people who commented here who were completely in support of you. After that big drama last year these folks changed their tune since from what I understand are not involved in the magazine anymore. It is unfortunate that they should target someone who is bringing so much to the online conjure community. This magazine is evidence of that. They should put their childish whining and complaining aside and quit penalizing the rest of us who benefit so much from your work.

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