Hoodoo and Conjure magazine seeks to bring information about Southern conjure practices that are little known, interesting traditions. Most folks have heard 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).
If you were wondering what is inside Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly Issue #2, this blog will answer that question. It is over 50 pages longer than the premiere issue and chock full of good and interesting information. I hope you have a minute or two because we have a lot to cover including our new contributors and some fabulous new artwork to go with their incredible articles.
For those of you interested in the Native American influence on Hoodoo and conjure, I have written an article Indian Spirit Hoodoo that discusses some of the various Native American herbs and curios that can be found in New Orleans Hoodoo.
Indian Spirit Hoodoo by Denise Alvarado
Appalachian Hoodoo practitioner Byron Ballard, also known as Asheville’s Village Witch, reminds us of the benefits of DIY Hoodoo in her article Homegrown and Homemade: How to Grow a Botannica in Your Backyard.
Homegrown and Homemade by H. Byron Ballard
A fascinating look into the journey of Doc Miller and his legendary Hoodoo Drugstore is presented in Issue #2. Who knew that it would be a mess of cobwebs that would make a believer out of Doc Miller?
Doc Miller’s 21st Century Hoodoo Drugstore by Denise Alvarado
CHARMS AND FORMULARY
Of course we have a nice selection of charms and formularies for those applied folk magic practitioners out there. The illustrious Dorothy Morrison brings us her Sex Magic Formulary with artwork by our new artist Inga Kimberly Brown.
Sex Magic Formulary by Dorothy Morrison
For our readers interested in GLBTQ issues in the ATRs, Chiron Armand brings us his article The Lavender Passage. Armand is a magickal practitioner for almost a decade, he is an initiate in the Unnamed Path shamanic tradition.
The Lavender Passage by Chiron Armand
We have a new column brought to you by Koz Mraz called Myth, Magick, and Motorcycle and he takes us along his journey to Joshua Tree. You may be interested in knowing that it is Koz’s band Studio Voodoo that provides the music for our video trailer.
CONJURE ARTIST PROFILE
Contributed by Alyne Pustanio is our featured conjure artist profile on The Slow Poisoner (alias Andrew Goldfarb). According to Pustanio, Andrew Goldfarb “is a one man surrealistic-rock-and-roll- band from San Francisco. He strums a guitar shaped like a dying swan and sings about swamp women, weeping willows, furtive rituals, cosmic paranoia, creeping fungi, forgotten diseases and witches in the woods. He keeps time by thumping on a kick drum rigged with sleigh bells, and while performing displays elaborately painted signs that bear the title of each song being sung…” (Pustanio, 2011, p. 109).
The Slow Poisoner by Alyne Pustanio
And as the infomercials say “But wait, that’s not all!” We also have a couple of new contributors that offer their experiences with conjure from an international perspective. Witchdoctor Utu gives us a unique glimpse into working with Mama Moses (Harriet Tubman) and the ancestral spirits of the underground railroad in Canada. Utu discusses the historical background of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and shares with the reader how to build a cairn to honor Mama Moses and the ancestors. He 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.
Mama Moses and the Conjure Tradition of the Underground Railroad by Witchdoctor Utu
And then we are proud to have African-born Winsom Winsom from Belize, a very wise woman I am honored to call my friend and soul sister. Yes, that is her real name and it means “Covering of the Ocean.” She shares with us her experiences with the death rites of Belize. Winsom holds multiple initiations including initiation into the West African fetish healing tradition and initiation in Matanzas, Cuba as a Priestess into Santeria. Winsom studied and worked with healers such as Sobonfu Some, and Malidome Patrice Some and has taken part in Rituals in New Orleans Priestess Miriam and others. According to Winsom, “I continue to bring about the synchronization of my art and spirituality and believe “true power originates internal spiritual enlightenment, and that we must use this power to reach our higher selves: creating harmony”. Yeah, now that’s what I’m talking about!
Cry a Bucket of Tears for My Daughter by Winsom Winsom
Continuing with our international contributors, we have with us Doktor Snake, legendary bluesman, cult author, and Voodoo conjurer from England. He shares with us the story of how his Hoodoo mentor Earl Marlowe first taught him How to Your Soul to the Devil at the Crossroads. Doktor Snake also wrote the kick-ass forward for my new book the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook.
How to Sell Your Soul to the Devil at the Crossroads by Doktor Snake
No magazine about Hoodoo, conjure and the indigenous traditions would be true to the cause without the inclusion of folklore. Oral tradition is the cornerstone of indigenous knowledge. It is the means by which our ancestors pass on their wisdom and ways of life so that we may benefit and carry them to generations to come (Alvarado, 2011). Following this train of thought, we have included not only the article by Doktor Snake, How to Sell Your Soul to the Devil at the Crossroads, we also bring to you How Br’er Rabbit Lost his Foot or The Rabbit in Magic and Folklore by Matthew Venus and the Plate Eye by Carolina Dean.
How Br’er Rabbit Lost His Foot or The Rabbit in Magic and Folklore by Matthew Venus
Of course, our resident New Orleans folklorist and my homegirl Alyne Pustanio presents a fabulous article on The Gree Gree Men: Voodoo Doctors of New Orleans as only she can tell it.
The Gree Gree Men of New Orleans by Alyne Pustanio
We have gotten some very good feedback about the tutorials we offered in the first issue and so we have continued to meet the needs of our readers by providing some very unique tutorials in this issue, as well. For example, Aaron Leitch, author of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, and The Angelical Language: Vols.I and II brings us an Offering Ritual for Archangel Iophiel where he not only tells how to petition this angel for assistance but also provides a tutorial for making Jupiter Cakes.
Among my personal contributions to this issue of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly is the very New Orleans Voodoo tradition of How to Make Red Brick Dust that follows my Curio Spotlight on Red Brick Dust.
How to Make Red Brick Dust
I also provide a tutorial for making Ant bed Conjure Dolls to go with my article on Mississppi Death Conjure or Killing Hurts. Don’t let the title scare you off – this is a class of works that goes way back in the Hoodoo tradition before Hoodoo even arrived on these shores. There are also a couple of video tutorials that go along with the article and tutorial that can be found on our YouTube channel hoodooconjurejournal.
Part 1 of Mississippi Death Conjure is based on a class of hoodoo spells referred to as “death conjure” or “killing hurts”. Part 1 illustrates the creation of two conjure doll babies and their preparation for the ant bed spell.
Part 2 of Mississippi Death Conjure documents the “Ant Bed Spell”, based on a class of hoodoo spells referred to as “death conjure” or “killing hurts”. Part 1 illustrated the creation of two conjure doll babies and their preparation for the ant bed spell.
Now, its no secret that I am a lover of doll conjure, having authored two books that focus exclusively on that subject, Voodoo Dolls in Magick and Ritual and The Voodoo Doll Spellbook. Another of our contributors is also a well-versed doll conjurer in his own right, Carolina Dean. Between the two of us, you can be sure to find something on doll conjure in every issue of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly. Dean gives us a slightly more palatable tutorial than mine in his article Spirit Dolls. He tells how to prepare the doll, how to call a spirit into the doll and how to work with it for any practical magical purpose.
Spirit Dolls by Carolina Dean
Then we have for you another type of fetish tutorial brought to you by Madrina Angelique. This is How to Make a Business Elegba specifically for the layperson. For those who may need a little help with their businesses and finances, try making one of these powerful fetishes and see what happens.
Making Elegba by Madrina Angelique
Finally, if you thought the artwork was off the hook in the premier issue, wait til you see this issue! The screenshots I have posted for this blog gives you a good idea of what to expect but there is so much more I am NOT showing and that you will only find in the magazine itself. I have created some powerful pieces to complement our contributor’s articles, and Karen Miranda Augustine has provided us with her take on Pomba Gira while Ricky Pustanio gives us his interpretation of the gree gree men. We also have two new artists, Inga Kimberly Brown and the Slow poisoner, aka Andrew Goldfarb. And we cannot forget the fantastic photography provided for us by Matthew Venus. I’m telling y’all, you won’t want to miss this issue!
There is much more to this issue than I have presented here, but this will give those of you who have yet to see the magazine a good preview of what you will find within its pages. No go forth and get your own copy of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly #2, the magazine that looks, feels, and reads like a book!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
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.
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.