Monday, March 30, 2015

Salem Season 2 - Witch War

WGN's hit series, Salem, returns for a second season starting on April 5, 2015. The second season is titled, Witch War.

Brush up on season one below.

Season 2 trailer:

If you like the opening theme then here is the full song. It's Marilyn Manson's "Cupid Carries A Gun".

Salem is perhaps the best witch show to air on t.v. to date, primarily because it remains true to actual witch lore and to the witches that people actually believed existed, the witches people feared. In Salem the witches perform the classic behavior and actions associated with witches, such as cursing, putting "live things" and other objects in people and hag riding, that have continued down into hoodoo and other folk magic traditions. That's right. You read correct. A hag, sometimes called "Boo Hag" or "Slip Skin Hag" is a witch who has left her body at night and who attacks sleeping people to either rape or torture. This is classic European lore that has become a contribution to hoodoo.

Trivia: In the series when a witch leaves her body to ride a victim she will always appear as a horribly old and disgusting hag even though the witch herself might be young and beautiful. This is explained as the witch's soul is corrupted by her pact with the Devil.

Should Witches Charge For Spells?

A series of articles has exposed the insane ignorance of modern self-styled witches who are closer to Fundamentalist Christians than any pagan religion of the past. Should witches charge for spells? The overwhelming majority of Wiccans claims one should never charge money or exchange goods for spells. Yet ironically and historically the "witch or practitioner for hire" has always been associated with witchcraft and is the main activity of witches and other magical practitioners. The term "craft" means art, skill, practice or trade. The last three, skill, practice or trade, all refer to a service that is rendered in exchange for profit or the exchange of goods. An art, skill, practice or trade is how a person makes a living. An art, skill, practice or trade does not mean "religion". The real practitioners of magical systems have always charged for services. Only members of modern made-up religions such as Wicca object to historical truths because what they do is not based in historical truth but rather an invented fantasy.

The United States Of Hoodoo (2012)

I'm posting a link to the full documentary below as it gathered a bit of interest over the past few years. However, a bit of a warning. The documentary has nothing to do with hoodoo. There is only one small segment about Robert Johnson that even remotely comes close to hoodoo and even then it's only extremely superficial stuff. I really do not think the documentary maker/author knows what hoodoo is. Personally, I found the documentary to be a bit boring and discombobulated. Many of the segments never "synced" with each other and never melded into a coherent whole. The "New Orleans Voodoo" segment was a joke, as usual. Not only did the documentary maker seemingly not know what hoodoo is but he also didn't seem to understand that "New Orleans Voodoo" is a form of black exploitation, having been invented by white people and with white people making up the majority of "practitioners" today. I also had issue with some of the stuff told by that "Native American Shaman". I Googled that so-called tribe he claimed to be and he could be either Shawnee, Lakota or part of a made-up fraternity and not an actual Native American. So I don't know what the truth is there. I did find the end of the documentary to be touching. So my best advice would be to approach the documentary from an artistic stance and then you might not be so disappointed.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Farside - Hoodoo Conjure: Low Country Shamanism

Okay, the first part of the show is good. About midway in the author starts making some mistakes that I need to point out.

1. Hoodoo is not confined to the coastal regions of the Carolinas or Georgia. Hoodoo is found all across the South, everywhere there were slaves from Virginia to Oklahoma and everywhere in between. Additionally, after slavery it was then spread to the north when freed slaves and their families moved to the north in search of employment.

2. Hoodoo is not entirely an African-derived practice. The author seems clueless of the huge impact of European folk magic and even Native American practices that were merged with African practices to create hoodoo.

3. The author's main informant appears to be a white man, one "Doc Coyote". This is problematic and more than likely represents another case of white academia using a white go-between to inform him and his readers of black culture. If the majority of practitioners of hoodoo are black then I strongly suggest you have black informants as your main sources or information.

4. Hoodoo is not a system of magic that was left over after his religion was stripped away due to the slave trade. As I mentioned above, hoodoo is conglomeration of African, European and Native American elements.

5. The author was too polite regarding the question of Wicca and semi-implied that hoodoo and Wicca are on equal grounds are are more similar than they are dissimilar, which is not the case at all. The difference is night and day. One is a legitimate tradition and one is a modern invention. In my opinion when he was asked about Wicca he should have just said something along the lines of, "They are in no ways similar" and leave it at that.

6. Graveyard dirt is not primarily used to get the qualities you want for yourself as the author repeatedly states. This is a modern invention and not part of traditional hoodoo. Graveyard dirt is part of working with a spirit to accomplish an end. It can be used for good or bad. However, most practitioners use graveyard dirt as part of enemy work or to protect themselves. For enemy work the graves of sinners or evil people are chosen. For protection, the graves of family members are often used. There's a whole complicated lore of gathering and using graveyard dirt that the author seems ignorant of which reveals that the author is probably being fed wrong information by his white informant.

7. The author is ignorant that "New Orleans Voodoo" is not a real tradition, but rather a modern invention similar to how Wicca is. The traditional practice in New Orleans, as well as Louisiana and the rest of the South, is hoodoo, not Voodoo.

8. The author presents nothing new. Everything the author speaks about is available for free online. I think I will pass on purchasing and reading this book.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Just Letting Folks Know I'm Okay

I've gotten a dozen or so emails from people asking if I'm okay. For those who don't know, a tornado hit last night. It struck less than a mile from my house. I'm fine and my power only went off for 3 minutes. However, and this is the scary part, the tornado warning wasn't issued until after it was already over with. And to make matters worse, they were filming it the entire time and it aired on t.v. They kept saying that it was just a "gustnado", a rotation of dust caused by the edges of the front and not an actual tornado. I was actually watching it on t.v. for about 4 minutes and realized that it was right by my house. Then all of a sudden dozens of powerlines and transformers start blowing. It was crazy. Then the weather guy's eyes got real big and was like, "Uh....this is not a gustnado but an actual tornado". Scary.

Anyway, my city is cursed. We are a tornado magnet. Anytime a tornado forms in the vicinity it immediately heads straight for my city and they have even been known to change directions in order to hit us.

Also, the path of this tornado was almost identical to the tornado that hit back in May of 2013. Back then the tornado struck the end of my street and I was without water for 3 days and without power for a week. Of course the weather was in the upper 80s and 90s then so it was excruciating. I got out okay in this one.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tasha's Love Work Experience

This is Tasha. The name is a pseudonym to protect her identity. Tasha hired me for love work. The work manifest almost immediately. She emailed to tell me how pleased she was with the work so I asked her if she would write something for my blog.

Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:34 PM
From: xxx
Subject: Re: review

I'm writing a review of my experiences with Doc. I contacted him on January 30 and he was very prompt and polite with his replies to me. On February 9 I decided to have a reading with Doc after taking time to consider what I should do regarding my situation. I purchased the hour reading just to be safe. The first half of the reading was nice but I felt like I was doing most of the talking. When I mentioned this Doc said he was trying to tap into my energy. The second half of the reading blew me away. Doc mentioned things I had written down to ask about before I even brought it up! I was really shocked and couldn't process all the information at that time. My situation is a bit complex. I'm 6 months pregnant and my baby's father left me for his ex. They moved in together and he denied that he was the father of our baby. I took some time to process what Doc had told me. On February 27 I decided to go ahead and hire Doc to do his spells for my situation. I'm not going to lie, I was uneasy in paying the $500 he was wanting but I decided that our baby needs to have a father in his life. Exactly one week later I get a knock on the door and guess who it is? His ex had kicked him out and he said he had nowhere to stay. So I take him back in and he's still here. He hasn't said one word against our baby since he's back and seems to be happy. I will be honest that this whole thing is not what I expected. I mean I thought that it would be more dramatic or something but this whole thing was really smooth, like too smooth. When I think about I get goose bumps. All I can say is that Doc is the man. I can honestly say I would recommend him because I saw good results. 

Spring Has Sprung!

Today is the Spring Equinox, first day of Spring, and I am so thankful it is finally here! This winter has been incredibly dreary and I don't know how much more I could take of it. But now the grass is turning green, the henbit, flowering pear, and red bud are in bloom and the weather is warming up! I'm so happy! Easter is just a little over a couple weeks away. Nature is waking up and the birds and animals will soon be thinking about making little birds and animals. I love this time of year. Let's hope this weather sticks around for a while before plunging into the stifling heat of Summer.

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Working With St. Joseph

Today, March 19th, is St. Joseph's day. My readers may or may not know that St. Joseph is like the unofficial patron saint of New Orleans, having his veneration brought there with Sicilian immigrants. What my readers may not know is that veneration of St. Joseph is popular in all areas across the nation with high percentage of Sicilian immigrants. In fact, St. Joseph is to Sicilians what St. Patrick is to the Irish.

So most people know that St. Joseph was Jesus' foster father, not biological, but the earthly father figure for Jesus. Joseph and Mary never consummated their marriage, which is why St. Joseph is often portrayed as holding a lily, the symbol for virginity.  St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade and taught Jesus this skill as well. It is from this that St. Joseph in his role as Joseph the Worker, began to be called upon to help people obtain jobs. Other than job getting, St. Joseph is called upon for money, to quickly sell a home or property, and for an easy or painless death. When it comes to selling a home or property, the work or spell involving burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down on the property has become the most widely popular method of working with St. Joseph. However, most people may not realize that the reason why the statue is placed upside down is because one is causing stress and discomfort to St. Joseph in order to "encourage" him to work fast. In all actuality, this is a typical Italian form of folk magic by which a person threatens or mistreats a saint in order to ensure that they do what the practitioner wants. For another example of mistreating a saint which comes from Italy, reference the practice of stealing St. Anthony's baby and hiding it and not giving it back until St. Anthony returns what was lost.

On March 19 in New Orleans and in other communities across the nation with a large Sicilian population it is customary to create a St. Joseph altar as a means of repaying St. Joseph for his help through the past year. In New Orleans, and in past decades, there were altars on nearly every corner. Today, most altars are found in churches and businesses, with some still keeping the family altar tradition alive. The altars all contain a statue of St. Joseph, flowers, and just about every single item of food you can imagine, from main courses to deserts. Among the food items that are a must on the altar are fava beans and lemons, which I will discuss in detail below. It is also quite popular to offer St. Joseph bread and especially bread that has been baked into the shape of carpenter tools.

If you would like to work with St. Joseph I would encourage people to practice this traditional method of creating an altar for him on his feast day as a reward for his aid. To work with St. Joseph you will need an image of him, either a statue or a religious picture. St. Joseph's colors are green and brown, though it is quite popular to dress his feast day altar with green, white and red, the colors of the Italian flag. You will need a glass of water and a white, brown or green candle. If you have a novena candle with his picture then this can also serve as his image as well. Pray his novena for 9 days and make your promise to him that if he fulfills your request that you will create an altar to him on March 19 of next year. If you are using St. Joseph to sell your home quickly you can also purchase a "St. Joseph Real Estate Spell Kit" and follow the instructions provided.

St. Joseph's Lemons 

One of the weirdest traditions associated with St. Joseph altars is the inclusion of lemons. Many people my wonder why in the world would lemons be left as an offering to a saint? Well, the answer lies in Italian, specifically Sicilian, folk magic. In Italy there is a strong belief in the evil eye. One way to repel the evil eye is to use a lemon. A lemon, which is stylistically the shape of an eye, is pierced with nails and hung near the door to repel the evil eye. Overtime the inclusion of lemons on St. Joseph altars was meant to symbolically protect against the evil eye. If that's not strange enough then the following will really confuse you. According to local lore in New Orleans, if a woman can steal a lemon from a St. Joseph altar on his feast day without anyone seeing her then she will quickly marry. You will find this concept of stealing a lot in folk magic practices, some of which I've touched on in other blog entries. In this case the act of stealing the lemon is meant to repel the evil eye that would otherwise prevent the woman from getting married.

St. Joseph's Beans 

St. Joseph's Beans, a.k.a. African Mojo Beans, Mojo Beans, Wishing Beans, or some combination thereof, are the most traditional element found on St. Joseph altars. These beans are in fact nothing more than fava beans. Today, most St. Joseph altars will contain a bowl or basket of dry, raw fava beans for people to take from. In days past it was traditional for people to steal fava beans from St. Joseph altars just as women would steal lemons. Any bean stolen from a St. Joseph altar was believed to be lucky and to draw money. If the bean is placed in the cupboard then it is believed the family will not go without food for that year. It was from this practice that we get the inclusion of "Mojo Beans" in hoodoo, though today they are usually just bought at the grocery store or an occult shop instead of being taken from an actual altar. Why fava beans? Fava beans will grow and thrive in even the poorest of soils and so are a symbol of prosperity even in the hardest of circumstances and situations. As beans they also "swell up" in water, another symbolic representation of prosperity.

The following prayer to St. Joseph dates back to the year 50 AD.

Prayer to St. Joseph The Worker for job getting:

Prayer to St. Joseph to sell A house:

Prayer to St. Joseph for any need:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Method Of Long-Term Candle Burning

Recently I blogged on the 6-12-6 candle burning method which you can read by clicking HERE. Another traditional method of candle burning, especially long-term candle burning is the Monday-Wednesday-Friday method. This method was documented by Harry Middleton Hyatt as being the most popular method for long-term candle burning.

In order to understand this method readers will need to understand that times were different in decades past. Many people worked day jobs, temp jobs and seasonal work and thus did not work consistently. Most people also didn't have a lot of money to spend on fancy items that many practitioners buy today. People used what they could easily get and better yet, they stretched it out as long as possible, which is the very essence of the Monday-Wednesday-Friday method.

The Monday-Wednesday-Friday method is basically an extension of the 6-12-6 method projected onto the week. In the 6-12-6 method, the candle is burned at the morning or beginning of the day, at noon or the midday and at evening or the end of the day. So the Monday-Wednesday-Friday is burning a candle at the beginning of the week, the middle of the week and at the end of the week. The candle, preferably a jumbo candle in the proper color for the situation or else in white, is marked, blessed, prayed over, dressed with oil, rolled in herbs or powders, etc., or however one fixes their candles. Then in conjunction with the 6-12-6 method the candle is burned on Monday starting at 6:00 AM for 15 minutes and then pinched out. At 12:00 Noon the candle is lit again for 15 minutes and then pinched out. Finally at 6:00 PM the candle is lit for the last time that day for 15 minutes and then pinched out. Of course the petition is repeated upon each candle lighting. The same process would occur for Wednesday and Friday with Tuesday and Thursday being days of rest in between the work.

Readers may ask what's the point of the Monday-Wednesday-Friday method when all one has to do is to light a 7 day glass enclosed candle or a Catholic religious novena candle and and just repeat the prayers or petitions as it burns each day? The answer is that this method predates the use of 7 day glass candles for magic. The quaint paper and/or silkscreen glass candles didn't appear until the early 70s, being a twist on the Catholic religious novena candles minus the saints and re-purposed for specific conditions. This method also allows one to stretch the candle further and thus save money. A jumbo candle used in this method will last weeks, possibly even months.

My suggestion for fellow hoodoo and conjure folk is to return to this method when one is doing long-term work. Like with the 12-6-12 method, it would be a shame for this to completely die out. So if you are faced with a situation that requires long-germ work, do keep this method in mind.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Working With St. Patrick

Since today is St. Patrick's Day I thought I would go ahead and write a bit about working with St. Patrick. Working with St. Patrick comes from New Orleans Spiritualist practices where St. Patrick is primarily invoked to run off and banish enemies from one's life. For New Orleans Spiritualists, St. Patrick can be kept in a bucket, similar to Black Hawk, or he can be kept as a statue on the altar, normally kept with other statues. St. Patrick is not picky.

Let me start with a brief history of St. Patrick. St. Patrick was not Irish by birth. In fact, he was Roman-British. He was born circa 398 AD and at the age of 16 he was captured by Irish pirates and forced into slavery. He later ran away and was able to return to Britain. St. Patrick had a vision and converted to Christianity. He then returned as a missionary to Ireland to help convert the pagans. There are many legends surrounding St. Patrick. The most famous one involves how he drove out all of the snakes from Ireland. In this story the snakes are actually symbolic of pagans and the story itself is a retelling of Patrick's Christianizing of Ireland. However, for New Orleans Spiritualists, the snakes became symbols for enemies, hence why St. Patrick is called upon to banish enemies from our lives.

With regards to the driving out of snakes it should be stated that snakes could also be symbols of demons and this could be taken to mean that St. Patrick can be called upon to help us banish our personal demons and vices, such as addictions, as well as actual demonic entities. However, these are not the only reasons why St. Patrick is invoked. In Ireland, St. Patrick is believed to help in childbirth, to help stop seizures and to ward against the evil eye.

There are many other legends surrounding St. Patrick that speak to his miraculous powers. In one legend St. Patrick transformed himself and his companions into deer in order to escape the wrath of pagans hell-bent on murdering them. In another legend, St. Patrick used a bell to drive off demons in the form of blackbirds or crows, another reference to St. Patrick's power to banish evil. In another legend St. Patrick was attacked by a group of pagan women who refused to convert. The women began to hurl curses and spells at St. Patrick and in retaliation he drove them into the sea where they were transformed into mermaids. They could never again return to land and when they died they were lost forever as they had no souls, or so the belief was. One day when St. Patrick was elderly he was walking the beach and a mermaid startled him. The she-fish humbly asked if it was possible she could be saved. St. Patrick, in an arrogant fashion roared back that sooner shall his walking staff burst into full bloom than an evil creature such as she be saved. Almost immediately the walking staff burst into full bloom with multiple flowers of different hues and perfumes. St. Patrick was immediately humbled and realized that he had acted foolish and that salvation was available to all who sincerely seek it. The mermaid let out a cry of glee and disappeared beneath the waves. Of course that is my favorite St. Patrick legend!

If you would like to work with St. Patrick you will need to chose whether you want to work with him in a bucket or just as a statue or image on your altar. You will need an image regardless, whether you put it in the bucket or on your altar. It can be a statue or religious picture. St. Patrick's color is green. So add green decorations to the bucket or to the altar. His symbols are the shamrock, the Celtic cross, a bell, and a walking staff. Some people may add serpent symbolism as well but I personally wouldn't as the goal is not to keep the snakes around but to banish them. St. Patrick has no special day of the week as far as I know but Saturday is a good day to call upon him for banishing enemies. Traditionally, the novena to St. Patrick is started on March 9 and concluded on March 17, the anniversary of St. Patrick's death.

Now, as I'm not a New Orleans Spiritualist, I am not familiar with everything they do with St. Patrick. What I can tell you is from my experience that he is not a picky spirit. I've found that for offerings St. Patrick enjoys water, salt, bread, salted fish, potato soup, oatmeal, and milk and honey. He enjoys an occasional beer but doesn't seem to like any other alcoholic drink. Offerings of multi-colored bouquets of Spring flowers is also an acceptable. Because he's not a picky or demanding spirit it's possible to ask him to protect you and your own for a year and then pay him his offerings on his feast day. Or you can just call upon him when you need him, which appears to be what I think the New Orleans Spiritualists do. Regardless of how you decide to work with him, St. Patrick can make a wonderful spirit to have on your side.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!