Hoodoo and Conjure: Black Cat Dust


Black Cat Dust for Good Luck?

Hoodoo and Conjure magazine seeks to bring information about Southern conjure practices that are little known, interesting traditions. Most folks have heardBlack Cat Bone about the horrible practice of boiling a black cat alive in order to procure that one special bone that will render a person invisible, provide protection against black magic, or bring good luck, especially with regards to gambling. The Black Cat Bone was a most coveted bone by believers, and even today, there is a power and mystique associated with it due to the fact that its procurement involves such a taboo. Animal cruelty is not an acceptable activity, and while it was not considered such by practitioners in the past, it is in no uncertain terms considered cruel today. This taboo, along with the actual ritual itself, is believed to imbue the hoodoo with certain forbidden attributes gained by going through the actual experience of the ritual. But, there are many paths towards a similar destination, and perhaps the newer works created with a newer morality will prove to be just as powerful.

In addition to the special bone used for gambling, there was also the practice of killing a black cat in order to get a left front shoulder bone as an ingredient for a powder which was created to keep the law away. Called Black Cat Dust, this powder was believed to bring good luck in every area of life, from getting a job to making friends and keeping away enemies (Hyatt, 1978).

How is Black Cat Dust Made?

Black Cat Dust consisted of the powdered left front shoulder bone mixed with a ground up lodestone. The combination was then placed inside a bottle of Jockey Club Cologne and worn to attract luck. The technique for grinding both the lodestone and the black cat bone was similar – it involved grinding each back and forth using a window screen. Now, in the past, screens were undoubtedly made of sturdier material than today’s screens. To grind a bone to powder, Madrina Angelique suggests using a box grater. Heating up the bone makes it more brittle and easier to grate. She says it takes a long time to grind bones and that you have to take it real slow (Madrina Angelique, 2013, personal communication).

Read the full article Black Cat Dust in Hoodoo & Conjure: New Orleans

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New Issue! Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans


Hoodoo & Conjure: New Orleans

Hoodoo & Conjure: New Orleans

The long awaited follow-up to Hoodoo and Conjure #2 is here! This special edition, Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans, reads like a fine wine that only gets better with age –  this issue will not disappoint you!

The timing for this issue could not have been better. With the nation tuning in every week to American Horror Story: Coven to catch a glimpse of Voodoo and witchcraft in New Orleans on TV, we have managed to release Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans at the same time. We even have stories in this issue that are touched on in AHS: Coven; albeit, briefly (Mary Oneida Toups, Tituba, Marie Laveaux and Madame LaLaurie) –  all of which were planned over a year in advance of knowing what the show was even going to be about. Serendipity? Syncronicity? Or could it be the Universe telling the world it’s time to take notice of the importance of New Orleans in the grand scheme of super natural things?

In all its gloriousness and fabulous writ, Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans brings to you a fantastic collection of articles from a variety of notable as well as up and coming authors. As the title suggests, the majority of the articles center on New Orleans Voodoo, hoodoo, and Old New Orleans Witchcraft; however, we also include some fantastic articles about Appalachian conjure, goetia, international conjure, formulas, recipes, graveyard work, New Orleans style Day of the Dead with Sally Ann Glassman and much more!

Here we go…are you ready?!!!!

Mary Oneida Toups

Mary Oneida Toups

GET THE ORIGINAL STORY OF MARY ONEIDA TOUPS BY THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR, 6th generation New Orleans born Alyne Pustanio! Mary Oneida Toups is recognized to this day as the most powerful witch to have practiced in New Orleans in the 20th century. She was the founder of a powerful coven—The Religious Order of Witchcraft—the first to be recognized by the State of Louisiana as an official Church. According to Pustanio, “Toups’ Religious Order of Witchcraft formed the central axis of a powerful network of practitioners dedicated to the pure, unfettered study and practice of Old Style European witchcraft that still exists in New Orleans today. Many things about Mary Oneida (she preferred just Oneida) are shrouded in mystery, such as her origins. She is said to have been born in Mississippi, in the heart of Delta country, in April 1928 and, like many youths of her generation, when she reached her teens she began to feel restless and took to the road. Hitchhiking, exploring the back roads and byways of the rural South, her path eventually brought her to New Orleans, where she soon became part of a burgeoning bohemian movement already thriving there.

The New Orleans of the early 60s was filled with a current similar to that moving through cities such as San Francisco and New York, a youthful current of exploration and discovery, sometimes aided by drug use that culminated in the Summer of Love and Woodstock moments. In New Orleans, where everything has always been more laissez faire or laid back, the moment crystallized in an “Age of Aquarius” kind of esoteric awakening. Oneida arrived here just as this new awareness was about to bloom” (Pustanio, 2013).

Tituba, Copyright 2013 Jen Mayberry

Tituba, Copyright 2013 Jen Mayberry

READ ALL ABOUT TITUBA, THE BLACK WITCH OF SALEM by the founder of the Dragon Ritual Drummers and the Niagara Voodoo Shrine, Witchdoctor Utu! Utu tells us  ‘As hazy and mysterious a figure as Marie Laveau, many rumours, truths and fiction reflecting from the same mirror, legend and notoriety has been gaining decade after decade, long after her death. Not many people know, but all the hysteria and panic of witchcraft that led to the witch trials, all the hype and horror that has led to a juggernaut of tourism and magik, was because of a Caribbean Voodoo girl, and her name is Tituba ” (Utu, 2013). Utu gives us the back story of Tituba, and then shares with us how the conjurer can develop a relationship with her and work with her spirit.

In addition to these two exciting stories, Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans contains the following articles and authors:

  • New Orleans-Style Day of the Dead with Sallie Ann Glassman by Alyne Pustanio
  • In Memorium: Coco Robicheaux by Alyne Pustanio
  • Digging in the Dirt by Dorothy Morrison
  • Food as Medzin by Madrina Angelique
  • The Graveyard Snake and the Ancestors by Dr. Snake
  • Holy Death and the Seven Insights: A Gay Man’s Story of Self-Transformation and
  • his Search for Love by Carolina Dean
  • Adventures in Ghost Hunting by Carolina Dean
  • It Might be a Sign of Things to Come by H. Byron Ballard
  • Wicca and Voodoo: Bringing the Two Together by Nish Perez
  • Wicca and Voodoo: Rhythms by Louis Martinie
  • Crimson Light through Muddy Water: Southern Goth as an Occult Reality by Tim Broussard
  • Mystery Of a Sacred Sastun and The Trinity of Stones: An Interview with Winsom Winsom by Rev.Roots
In Memorium: Coco Robicheaux. Copyright 2013 Alyne Pustanio

In Memorium: Coco Robicheaux. Photograph copyright 2013 Alyne Pustanio

New Orleans Rope Doll

New Orleans Rope Doll. Photograph copyright 2013 Denise Alvarado

We  also have a good portion of the magazine devoted to applied conjure, such as:

  • Spell Work with the Dead by Madrina Angelique
  • How to Bury an Enemy by Madrina Angelique
  • Uncrossing Land by Aaron Leitch
  • Dem Bones by Danette Wilson
  • Conjure with the Goetia by Devi Spring
  • The Wishing Tomb of Marie Laveaux by Denise Alvarado

We also have formulas and recipes, as well as an illustrated tutorial How to Make a New Orleans-style Rope Doll. And that’s not all!

Whether you are a loyal reader or finding us for the first time, I am sure this collector’s issue will find a home on your coffee table or nightstand for years to come. So, relax, grab some coffee or tea, have a few snacks handy and get yourself a copy of Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans and witness all its fabulous glory. Much love and care went into its creation, and I hope that you find it every bit as satisfying to read as it was for me to create it.

Read more  and purchase a copy at http://www.creolemoon.com/books.htm#TLMBqQs5psQa9O8W.99

Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans. Artwork copyright 2013 Denise Alvarado

Hoodoo and Conjure: New Orleans. Artwork copyright 2013 Denise Alvarado

Your Tarot-Scope Winter 2011


Everyone knows what a horoscope is, most of you probably read your own horoscope every day, if not occasionally. A tarot-scope is different from a horoscope in that a horoscope is determined based on the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets in relation to one another for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac; whereas a tarot-scope is based on a random throw of a set of tarot-cards, called a reading, for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Now gifted-reader Carolina Dean throws the cards in order to reveal, instruct, and prophesize YOUR winter tarot-scope exclusively for readers of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)

Get your gris-gris on as the nights grow colder,  the days longer and romantic relationships have the potential to become more intimate. Marriage or a similar commitment could soon be in the cards.  If you are single, be careful not to become so involved in your job duties that you miss out on a possible love-connection at your place of work or business. Wear a violet leaf in your shoe to lead you to new love.

Taurus (April 21 – May 20)

Steady-work brings added stress on the job. Your experience and attention to detail will enable you to successfully meet deadlines in record time, however, be wary of a newcomer with something to prove. A female associate with good judgment becomes a powerful ally. Light a candle to Martha the Dominator.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

With the bitter cold setting in, there is a natural desire to stay warm at home. However, the opportunity to break through personal obstacles and open the way for greater spiritual growth presents itself when you join a cause or charity helping the less fortunate. Make a sacrifice of your time and energy and reap the rewards of the spirit of renewal. Rise before dawn and bathe is silence.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

With a new year around the corner, now is a great time to cut and clear un-healthy ties and form healthy ones, especially in the area of love, romance and friendship. There is a natural tendency to resolve to change outmoded behaviors. However, the cards suggest setting a few small realistic goals rather than several large ones in order for your works to be crowned with success. Build an altar to your own success.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Now is a great time to reconcile your gains and losses in the previous year and give yourself a pat on the back for all you have achieved. Begin your plans for greater success in the new year. A business partnership with a trusted friend could be in the offing. Lay your burden down, at the crossroads.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Romance blooms when a proactive love-interest won’t take no for an answer. Step out of your comfort zone, shy Virgo, and see how the other half lives. A shake-up in the power-structure at work brings drastic changes—- but relax, your job is secure. Light a candle for those less fortunate.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

A fresh coat of paint and new furniture is just what the doctor ordered as a financial windfall allows you to give your home a much needed facelift.  A letter brings unexpected news and major transformations shatter preconceived notions.  Ward your home with sage and salt.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Frustration sets in as you find you have more projects than you can shake a stick at and you aren’t getting anything done. Goals which seemed in sight before now seem out of reach. Don’t wear yourself to a frazzle— prioritize your projects in terms of short and long-term goals. Carry high john for strength.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Adventurous Sagittarius longs to travel, but responsibilities keep you close to home. Keep cabin-fever at bay by visiting friends or taking your romantic partner for a day trip in your down time. Carry comfrey root to avert disaster.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

This is a year that you would rather forget. Despite your hardships, however, you learned many valuable lessons which have afforded you new wisdom and a strength which you did not know you possessed. Now is a time for celebration before you face your next challenge. Bathe in hyssop to cast off evil.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 19)

Your outer strength belies your inner doubts and fears, despite which you are able to forge ahead with plans and achieve goals in a relatively short amount of time. With the past behind you, a new beginning and a fresh start is now possible on all fronts. To walk over evil, fear not…..

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your successes, but don’t forget about the ones who helped you get to where you are today. A mentor imparts a powerful lesson that causes you to reevaluate your present path. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Pay homage to the ancestors.

Carolina Dean is a Witch, a Rootworker, Magickal Craftsman, and Gifted-Reader born in the deep south. He is the Assistant Editor and a regular contributor to Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly. Visit www.carolinaconjure.com for more information.

Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly Trailer



At long last, Issue #2 has arrived! And it is even better than the first! Over 150 pages of authentic hoodoo and conjure from a variety of traditions, not to mention we have jam-packed it with information about New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo. Read about Louisiana superstitions, New Orleans Gris Gris, how to grow a botanica in your backyard, and home protections and wards. We’ve got information on the Voodoo Doctors of New Orleans, Pomba Gira, red brick dust, Indian Spirit Hoodoo and St. Anthony. Learn how to invoke Archangel Iophiel, make a business Elegba, and feast your eyes on Altars, Crossroads of Power.

This issue features our very first international submissions, one about Belizean indigenous death rites by Winsom Winsom and our featured cover story about Mama Moses and the conjure tradition of the underground railroad by Witchdoctor Utu. These articles will NOT disappoint you.

As far as charms and formularies, we’ve got a whole section on sex and love magic, protection charms, a Lavender Lust bottle for same sex couples,  how to make Jupiter Cakes and more!

As for folklore, read the very informative and entertaining How Br’er Rabbit Lost his Foot, the Dreaded Plate Eye, snake lore in conjure and more.

And that’s not all!

We’ve got book reviews and a contest to win a jar of crossroads dirt and a Papa Legba talisman.

Believe it or not, there is even more than this. And well, to find out everything that’s in it, you’ll just have to pick up a copy!

Book bound, full color bleed, 156 pages of pure, fabulous conjure!

Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly is the only printed popular magazine to have ever been published with a focus on New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo. Forever the subject of horror movies, Voodoo dolls, zombies, and novels with supernatural themes, New Orleans is a culture with a serious history behind its story of magick and religion that should be understood, appreciated, and remembered, as opposed to simply exploited and misappropriated. While Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly aims to be entertaining and practical, it also strives to be informative and educational.

The Underground Railroad and Freedom Riders on the Same Road to Liberation


Harriet Tubman aka Mama Moses

Harriet Tubman aka Mama Moses

She was born a slave and severely abused by Massa, yet; she never gave up the fight. In fact, she not only refused to give up, she won the fight for freedom, and brought more than 70 slaves to freedom with her.

Tubman  suffered severe head trauma as an adolescent that left her with life long debilitating temporal lobe damage (Larson, 2004). It is said that she refused to help restrain another slave so that he could be beaten because he had left the fields without permission. The other slave ran away and as he did so, his Massa threw a heavy weight at him which missed him and hit Tubman instead, cracking open her skull.  She was left without medical treatment for two days and sent back to work in the fields. For the rest of her life, she suffered from disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, and headaches. She also experienced powerful dreams and visions, which she considered to be divine revelations from God.

Harriet Tubman, also known as Mama Moses, is known mostly for her humanitarian and anti slavery efforts.  She escaped slavery in 1849 and went straight to Philadelphia, where she rescued her family. Using the safe houses and antislavery activists that comprised the Underground Railroad, she brought family members and dozens of others, one group at a time in the dark of night, out of the state and into freedom. It is said that Mama Moses never lost a passenger (Lowry, 2008).

Notice published in the Cambridge Democrat (1849), offering a reward for the return of Harriet Tubman and her two brothers

Notice published in the Cambridge Democrat (1849), offering a reward for the return of Harriet Tubman and her two brothers

Large rewards were offered for the return of many of the fugitive slaves, but no one then knew that Mama Moses was the one helping them. When the Southern-dominated Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, requiring law officials in free states to aid efforts to recapture slaves, she helped guide fugitives farther north into Canada, where slavery was prohibited.

Volume 2 of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly features an article about Harriet Tubman by new contributor Witchdoctor Utu. Utu is the founder of the Dragon Ritual Drummers, the Niagara Voodoo Shrine, and is a member and drummer for the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple. Utu has a unique perspective on the conjure tradition as it was brought  to and developed in Canada.

As one who lives and works at the “end of the Railroad”  so to speak here in St. Catharines Ontario Canada, I have a rather unique perspective on the traditions of Hoodoo, Voodoo and the conjuring ways of  the North American tradition. It is here that many of the freedom seeking slaves brought with them, across the U.S. border and into my region in Niagara, via the Underground Railroad,  an entirely distinctive brand of conjure.  Harriet Tubman, the legendary conductor of the clandestine movement that brought  several hundred people to freedom in St. Catharines alone, resided here for many years… While Quakers and Christians of a few sects were supporters and enablers of the cause, the religious and spiritual nature of those that made the journey over the years was as diverse and colorful as the quilts that came to symbolize the movement. Indeed, many of the freedom seekers were renowned root doctors and conjurers, and like Harriet Tubman herself, diviners. Spells of  invisibility, protection, and animal totemic magick  were common and paramount to each and every journey. At the height of the movement, there was a bounty on her head  for $40,000 dead or alive. Harriet began to be known as “The Moses of her people”  later becoming known as “Black Moses” and now more commonly as “Mama Moses”.

One of the unique traditions presented in the article is the reverence for Mama Moses and her followers. According to Utu, when you need to break free of a situation, when you want justice served, when you want to attain more knowledge of the mysteries of the swamps and marsh, or when you simply want to honor a legendary spirit who divined and conjured her way to freedom never to be caught, developing a relationship with Mama Moses is the ticket.

I am  deeply touched by the story of Mama Moses and grateful for this unique conjure tradition that is shared with us by Utu. Details about Mama Moses, building a shrine to her and suggestions for honoring her and her followers are provided in Volume 2 of Hoodoo & Conjure Quarterly, which will be out next month.

Ninety-eight years after the death of Mama Moses, the fight for freedom and equality was still going strong. A court ruling had passed desegregating interstate transportation and hundreds of people fighting for freedom rode through the south on buses to test the new law. Those who rode the buses were called Freedom Riders.

Fifty years ago, the Freedom Riders arrived on buses to New Orleans and were greeted at their destinations by angry, violent mobs. Yesterday, five of the original Freedom Riders stepped off the bus onto the paved streets of the Crescent City. This time, “they were greeted with music and thunderous applause” (Urbaszewski, 2011). My, the times they are a changin’.

Read more about the arrival of five of the original Freedom Riders in New Orleans on May 16th, 2011 at NOLA.com.

References

Larson, K. C. (2004). Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. New York: Ballantine Books

Lowry, Beverly (2008). Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. Random House.

Utu. W. (in press). Harriet Tubman and the conjure tradition of the underground railroad. In D. Alvarado and S. Marino (Eds). Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly, Vol 2. (pp. 36-42). Prescott Valley, AZ: Planet Voodoo.

Urbaszewski, K. (2011, May 16). After 50 years, 5 original Freedom Riders arrive in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from:  http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/after_50_years_five_original_f.html