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.

Call for Articles

7 African Powers Candle & Sage

7 African Powers Candle & Sage

Are you a practitioner who loves to write or has something to share? We invite you to submit your articles and ideas for consideration for publication in future issues. We believe that the success of our magazine depends in large part on the participation of real practitioners like you.

The contents of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly™ are primarily hoodoo, conjure, folk magic, indigenous cosmology, and topics related to the African derived traditions. This is what we have been asked for, and we mean to deliver! We also will offer a few articles in each issue outlining various aspects of hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork, laying tricks, botanical and zoological curios, candle magic techniques, dreamwork, divination, New Orleans gris gris, magickal formularies, working with the saints and psalms, doll magick, and spells, spells, and more spells from the best practitioners around.

This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise to the world.

If you have an unusual technique that you would like to share with our readers, please submit a letter outlining your idea. If the editors are interested, they will contact you.

All samples, queries, and correspondence should be forwarded to:

A Groundbreaking New Publication!

Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly

A family in New Orleans awakened not long ago to find a cross of moist salt on the front porch. Neighbors gathered and the newspapers carried headlines concerning the symbol that portended trouble for the members of the household, for Voodoo, hoodoo, and conjure, though subdued, still exists in that city.

If you should wake up tomorrow morning and find a cross of salt upon your front porch, what would you do?

If you live in Iowa or Michigan or even Pennsylvania, you might just sweep it off the porch and chalk it up to a neighbor’s prank. But if you live in Louisiana you might act quite differently – for a cross of salt, in the language if hoodoo, means trouble!

That is why Mr. and Mrs. Gautier of New Orleans thought twice before sweeping away the cross of salt that they found on their porch a few months ago and that is why neighbors flocked to the Gautier home to examine it and the newspapers carried headlines about it. For Voodoo and hoodoo is not dead in New Orleans. It has been trampled upon by the police, it has been scoffed at by the intelligent element of the city, it has dwindled, withered, lost many of its followers – but it still lives! (Hammond, 1930, New Orleans Times Picayune)

In 1930, the three  by two foot cross-caked mass indicated someone put it there in a thoroughly dampened condition. There were neighbors who insisted that they had heard strange noises in the early morning hours: there were others who spoke of seeing a dark form glide by the house: there were some who had heard nothing but the baying of hunting dogs. But on one thing all agreed: a cross of salt does not mean death. A coffin with a name written upon it with pencil dipped in vinegar would mean that, or a voodoo doll and a burning black candle left on the front porch, but a cross of salt placed on the front porch by someone other than oneself only means trouble.


One can imagine how the neighbors stood and gossiped when they heard about the event. Those familiar with being “fixed” or “crossed” might recommend throwing finely chopped basil leaves over the cross to destroy the “gris gris.”  Others would stake their all on a frizzly chicken, the most potent of all spell-breakers. But, gradually they would speak of other things and to recall the tales told by their grandmothers and great grandmothers of the days when Voodooism was at its zenith in Louisiana.

In the 1800s, tales of Voodoo in the Louisiana swamps were prevalent. Voodoo worshipers gathered on St. John’s Eve every year to celebrate their Holy Day with New Orleans’ own Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux. Every Sunday, they gathered at Congo Square to dance and invite the Voodoo spirits to mount them and protect them. Legends of Doctor Jean Montenee, who lived in a house on Bayou Road, say he was sought by those who wished to gain fortune, love, or domination over the mind of a hard master. Stories were told of the infamous Marie Laveaux, the greatest queen that the Voodoo religion ever served. Marie Laveau’s successor Malvina Latour, though a force in her own right, never did rise to the status achieved by Marie Laveau 1 or 2. Each of  these calm, deliberate and powerful names are not forgotten, for they once struck terror into the hearts of thousands. These names still remind us from time to time of  what many believed to be a  short, strange chapter in Louisiana history (Hammond, 1930, New Orleans Times Picayune). Truth be told, it was never a short chapter; but, more like an ongoing epic saga with many chapters defined by the cultural dynamics at a given place in time.

Today, Southern folk magic traditions such as hoodoo and conjure are emerging from the shadows and into the lives of everyday people. There seems to be more root workers, two-headed doctors, conjurers, Voodooists, and hoodoos more than ever before. People are flocking to related social networking sites, hungry for information about taking control of their lives, defending themselves from enemies and negative energies, thriving in a recession, and connecting to the world of the Invisibles. Websites pop up daily that specialize in the art of conjure. These websites feature “love doctors”, “rootworkers”, and “Spiritual Mothers” who offer a variety of psychic and spiritual services and carry the hard to get sticks, stones, roots and bones needed by the eclectic conjurer. Hoodoo practitioners cross every racial, political and socioeconomic line in contemporary society.

What is Hoodoo?

The prevailing contemporary definition of hoodoo posits hoodoo is a magic and folkloric system that taps into the ancient healing traditions of our African, Native American, European, and Latino ancestors and is not connected to the religion of Voodoo. I do not agree that hoodoo and Voodoo are separate from one another, in Louisiana. Perhaps because there hoodoo and Voodoo are not separate for many practitioners; rather, they are intertwined, connected, and complementary. In fact, a close examination of hoodoo in News Orleans may have elements of Obeah from the Caribbean, Gris Gris from Africa, and traiteur traditions of the Louisiana Cajun in its expression. The emphasis on magic is one characteristic that sets New Orleans Voodoo, or Creole Voodoo, apart from Haitian Vodou. The predominantly solitary practitioner is another difference. That said, as public perceptions of and attitudes towards Voodoo and Hoodoo change, there is a growing community of practitioners stepping into public view, holding public ceremonies and offering education for the curious.

In its purest form, however, hoodoo and rootwork tap into the primordial belief that every living thing has Spirit. Every rock, tree, root, and stone is connected to a single Divine energy and as such, is Divine energy. The practitioner understands that it is the root that connects and grounds the universal life force; thus, the ultimate power lies within the root.

Hoodoo and Conjure Magazine

The contents of Hoodoo & Conjure Magazine™ are primarily hoodoo, conjure, folk magic, indigenous cosmology, and topics related to the African derived traditions. This is what folks asked for, and we mean to deliver! We offer articles in each issue outlining various aspects of hoodoo, conjure and rootwork, including  laying tricks, botanical and zoological curios, candle magic techniques, dreamwork, divination, New Orleans gris gris, magickal formularies, working with the saints and psalms, doll magick, international conjure traditions, and applied magic techniques from the best practitioners around.

Our sources come from a culmination of growing up in New Orleans absorbing the culture, lifelong learning from family, teachers, and other practitioners, sacred texts, folklore literature, and what speaks to us through Divine channels. When you read a copy of Hoodoo & Conjure Magazine™, you can be confident that what you read is the real thing. Whether you are a beginner who is just intrigued by the notion of folk magic, want to pick up some techniques for your trick bag, want to learn about the African -derived and indigenous spiritual traditions, or want to keep up with the social world of today’s root worker, Hoodoo & Conjure Magazine™ delivers!

Here’s some of what you can expect with every issue of Hoodoo & Conjure Magazine™:

  • A presentation of the seminal folkloric texts and European grimoires that heavily influence hoodoo
  • Indian Spirit Guides & the Contributions of Native Americans to Hoodoo and Spiritualism
  • The Power of the Root: Magico-Pharmacology
  • Today’s women and men of conjure
  • International hoodoo and conjure – meet practitioners from around the world
  • Spells, works, and conjuring tips and tricks submitted by you, the reader
  • Our ongoing Voodoo Hoodoo formulary that you can add to your own personal spellbook
  • Working with the saints and psalms
  • Conjure artist profiles – meet up and coming new artists as well as established artists inspired by Voodoo, hoodoo, magick and mojo
  • Contests for free products
  • Interviews with well-known authors and artists

Did you know that hoodoo is one of the most effective types of folk magick around? It’s true. Not only will you benefit tremendously from the empowering nature of hoodoo and conjure, but you will also benefit a lot from the every day aspects that are an inherent part of  this kind of magicospiritual tradition. So why is a southern style folk magick a good thing, and how can having more information in your knowledge base benefit you? The first thing that you need to take into consideration is the fact that learning is a journey, not a destination. Most helping professions require ongoing education to keep up with the latest techniques and trends of their field. Hoodoo can be considered a helping profession because most rootworkers actively help others improve their lives using the power of the root. A person’s spiritual wellbeing is often directly associated with how fast or balanced their lives happen to be, and how connected they are to the world of nature, Spirit, and other human beings. This means that if you are interested in living your best life, you’d be well served to apply a little mojo to it. Hoodoo and Conjure Magazine aims to help you do just that.

What are you waiting for? Learn how to conjure your world, new orleans-style today!

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