I spent some time yesterday trying to explain what exactly traditional conjure work is to a person who claimed to be a Druid and hoodoo practitioner. By the time our conversation was done I think I just may have caused him to question if he actually understood what this practice is. From my perspective, I believed it was obvious to me that he was working off of the assumption that hoodoo was "just magic". So I think I will try once again to explain what hoodoo or conjure work is and why it's not "just magic" and why all the mixing, matching, and blending going on online indicates that people still don't have a clue what this stuff is.
1.) There are three names used to describe it. You can use the terms hoodoo, rootwork, or conjure. However, most people use terms like 'worker', short for 'spiritual worker', 'root worker' or 'conjure worker' instead. Also, most workers don't really use a name for what they do. In fact, many old-school workers believe the term hoodoo is a negative term, kin to meaning putting a curse on someone.
2.) Hoodoo/Rootwork/Conjure is a spiritual tradition. It's not 'just magic'.
3.) Workers pray to the biblical God and use the Bible heavily in their works. We do not work with pagan gods or spirits. We do not work with the Orisha. We do not work with the Loa. We do not work with the Hindu gods. We do not work with the Greek gods. We do not work with pagan gods, period.
4.) Though hoodoo/rootwork/conjure is not a religion it does have a theological outloook on reality. That outlook includes an all-powerful creator God and lesser spirits that can intervene on our behalf. Those spirits include our ancestors, saints and biblical figures.
5.) We venerate the ancestors.
6.) Some workers work with the saints. However, it's not as common as it is portrayed online. Online everyone works with the saints. The majority of workers in real life are Protestant. The majority of people who work with the saints are Catholic or people who have been trained by Catholic workers. You can work with the saints if you choose, just keep in mind that there is this false perception about the saints because almost everyone online works with them. It's not like that in the real world.
7.) We are witch doctors, not witches. The term 'witch doctor' can be applied to us because we undo witchcraft and oppose witchcraft. We fight witches! By witchcraft I am referring to evil-doers, people who do black magic against innocent people. I'm not referring to Wiccans or Neopagans. Note: Don't call us witch doctors though. LOL Just call us a worker.
8.) We don't do 'spells'. We do works, jobs, tricks, remmedies, etc. and we call upon God and use the Bible in these works.
9.) People need to be aware there is a difference between a professional worker and the stuff that is passed on down through the family. Most of the work found in the tradition is remmedies for health complaints and life's little problems. You know, how to stop a nose bleed, how to cure a tooth ache, how to break a fever, how ensure a safe delivery in birth, how to charm off warts, etc. Other than these healing works, the next most found works involve works for protection.
10.) The Creator has embued all things with his spiritual power. We learn the powers of the plants, stones, dirts, animals, etc., in nature.
11.) We use items from nature or items we can easily obtained from our homes or environments. We are not dependant upon occult shops for our supplies. We can shop at these shops if we so choose, but we are not dependant upon them.
12.) We don't do unjustified work. Witches do unjustified work. People who want nasty, unjustified things done to people they don't like go to witches. We can do strong, harsh work when needed, but we will not do things that are unjustified. Ex- We won't put a death hex on someone just because they called you a name or because you think they are trying to steal your boyfriend. Most workers won't even mess with death work period. Many workers won't do any dark work at all.
13.) We do not believe in karma, the Wiccan Rede, or the law of three. We believe in consequences and there are consequences for everything we do, good or bad. Sometimes something good may have bad consequences. I'm not trying to scare anyone, just trying to inform people that this is how it is. Ex- you doing work for money may take money away from someone else. Say a person may drop a $100 bill and you find it. That person has lost and you have gained. But these little losses and gains usually work themselves out in the end. All things are interconnected and it's sort of like the domino effect. It spreads out like ripples and effects things.
14.) Professional workers should be called to do the work. It's not like it is online where people who want to make a quick buck decide they are now conjure workers.
15.) No man or woman can grant us this power nor take it away. The gift of conjure is a gift from God and only he can remove it. You can bind someone for a time, but you can never remove their power. You can petition God to remove their power, but it's up to him.
I also want to touch on something I've noticed online. There are many workers online that are working with spirits that have nothing to do with hoodoo/rootwork/conjure. A short list of these spirits can be found below.
-The Intranquil Spirit
-The 7 African Powers
This is just a short list but these spirits have nothing to do with conjure work. You can work with these spirits if you so choose. I'm not going to tell somebody what to do. However, they should not be taught as if they are a part of traditional conjure work.