King Curio Co. Catalog 1950s
Mojo bags, hands, tobies, gris-gris, jomos, or whatever you may call them are fascinating things. I think many to most practitioners carry at least one on them, be it made solely for one thing, such as protection, or for an all-around blessing, protection, money drawing, and love or sex drawing bag. Though they are traditional they can also be a pain in the arse because of a certain thing, accidentally leaving them in the pocket of one's pants and laundering them.
Mojos traditionally carry roots and herbs. In the wash these become to be blunt, a form of herbal tea, meaning their strength or power is leached out into the water. Cat Yronwode recommends that if one accidentally washes a mojo bag in the laundry that they place it in a bowl and cover it with a layer of salt and leave it be for a few days so the salt can remove any negativity. The hard roots, stones, and other items can then be saved and re-dressed with the appropriate condition oil and prayed over. The loose items like leaves, berries, and/or spices must be replaced. Any written petition papers will usually be destroyed by this process as well and will need to be re-made. So this can be quite a hassle. What if I told you there is a way you can make a mojo bag that may never need to be remade, save for one simply thing? (Remember that some claim that a mojo bag only lasts 7 years total and will have to be made again.)
I will be honest. I didn't totally invent the following. I took what I had seen done and then added it to what I have wanted to do and came up with this recipe.
I first learned about a special way of making a gris-gris bag that a certain online practitioner did in her Voodou and Hoodoo website. Her gris-gris bags were seemingly just like everyone's except that she never placed loose herbs, roots, leaves, berries, etc., in her gris-gris. Instead, she brewed a strong tea using all of these and then soaked the red flannel or other material in it instead. She then would allow it to dry and then proceed with the other items.
So let's take it further. What if we made a mojo bag with no loose items, no powders, not even a pinch of salt. We can do this by dividing up these ingredients and making a sort of "jack ball" by combining them with wax and rolling them in small balls. For example, one may combine church yard dirt, salt, red brick dust, and witch's salt with with melted wax and rolled into a ball. The ball can be left as is or it can be decorated with a specific color of glitter or sequins and then such is used to denote what the ball is composed of. Or these balls can be made by rolling up colored thread around them with a specific color of thread per ball. Just make sure to write down somewhere what the color of the ball signifies.
Another thing I recommend is using the hard item like forms of things. For example, if you are using brimstone or sulphur, then I would recommend using the rock form of it. Another good thing is blue stone, copper sulfate. Use the large crystals or make them yourself. There are videos online which teach you how to do this. Well, aren't these toxic and not safe to use? Yes! Guess what? You can make them safe by coating them with one or two coatings of clear fingernail polish or actual varnish. Then you can handle them with no fear of being poisoned.
Mojo bag with herbal tea mixture to soak flannel, petition paper that will also be soaked in tea, "jack balls" of ingredients colored with glitter, "reconstituted roots", and bluestone, brimstone, and rock salt (all coated in clear fingernail polish to prevent water damage or protect from toxicity).
Do check out my previous blog on forming your own "reconstituted roots" when only powdered roots are available. This will come in handy!
So if you follow this advice any practitioner can make a mojo bag that should be able to withstand being laundered. At most all you would have to do is brew up another cup of tea using the same herbs and letting it soak for a while and then letting it dry out again.
I'm pleased with the results so far. Try it out and let me know how you like it.