Friday, April 20, 2012

Beware The Fundamentalist Trap

It's important for us to remember that workers are not fundamentalist Christians, even though some of us come from that background. I was raised Southern Baptist for example.

When we discuss the bible, God, and the Christian elements of hoodoo/rootwork/conjure it's important to watch ourselves so that we don't fall into that trap of that way of perceiving things. The spirituality of conjure work is folk religion, it's a rather loose and highly personal interpretation of religion in which we reject the need or the belief in the importance of that which mainstream Christianity believes or feels is important. We don't care about going to Church, though some us attend churches. We don't care about the building, the pews, the choir, the hymnals, the preacher, the sermon, the Wednesday service, the Summer revivals, any of that stuff. None of the stuff matters to us. We may or may not go to church from time to time. Lots of us still go to church at least for Christmas or Easter, but when we do we don't give a damn what the preacher has to say if it's something we don't agree with. We don't need a preacher. We don't need an intermediary. We can go to God directly. We got the bible.

Now there is a "magical" side to the tradition. Some people don't like to use the word 'magic'. Use whatever word you want. I personally don't have a problem with the word magic. I feel I need to use it to distinguish between the stuff that various people do. Not all people in the tradition do the magic. Most only do healing and prayers and stuff. I don't personally refer to that as magic. So I use the term to refer to the people who are using the tools, the candles, the herbs, the house hold items, etc., for situations or problems that are not medical in nature. If you want to call it 'works' or even invent something else to use to refer to it, go for it. When most people use the term 'conjure' they are using it to describe to the magic side of the tradition. Because conjure is a synonym and an archaic term for 'magic'.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You! I get so tired of trying to explain this to people-- they just don't understand. Church is very important in my community, and we do go to church a lot. I'm actually a deacon in the church. But we ain't fundamentalists! We shout and praise God and sing, "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus", but we ain't no Bible-thumpers. I love people and don't judge. My mama taught me to listen to the voice of God within and in nature, and just like you said, don't pay no attention to the preacher when you disagree. Outsiders don't understand how we can be Christian and do the work and not be fundamentalists.