Whatever u give a woman, she will make it greater. Give her sperm, she will give u a baby. Give her a house, she will give u a home. Give her groceries, she will give u a meal. Give her a smile, she will give u her heart. She multiplies & enlarges what she is given. So if you give her crap, be ready to receive a ton of sh--. =)
Friday, April 30, 2010
Posted by Raven_Nightwind at 7:37 AM
Thursday, April 29, 2010
HOW TO RITUALLY DISPOSE OF USED CANDLE WAX
In European-American traditions, many people bury candle wax and other ritual remains after a spell is cast. Burial toward the appropriate quarter of the compass is considered a thoughtful way to go about this. Some neo-pagans dispose of ritual or spell remains in a bonfire or fireplace.
In African-American hoodoo candle magic spells the disposal of left-over materials follows other patterns, usually dependent upon the type of spell.
If the intention of the spell is good and it involves matters around one's own home, like blessing, love-drawing, money-drawing, or home protection, one can wrap the materials in a cloth or paper packet and bury them in the yard. It is important to never bury remains from negative spells in one's own yard.
If the intention of the spell is not centered on matters close to home, or if one does not have a suitable yard, one can wrap the materials in a cloth or paper packet and throw them in running water over the left shoulder and walk away. Alternatively, one can take the materials to a crossroads -- any place where two roads cross -- and throw the packet into the center of the crossroads over the left shoulder and walk away. The crossroads is also the preferred place to throw bath-water before beginning a spell; it is often used for throwing out the remains of candle wax if the spell does not personally involve the practitioner or if the spell is negative or influence-removing.
If the intention of the spell is specifically to get someone to leave town or leave one alone, one can divide the materials (e.g. 9 needles used in a spell and 9 pieces of wax from a candle) into 9 packets and add Hot Foot Powder (or Drive Away Powder) to each packet. One starts at a crossroads near to where the person lives and throws out the first packet. Then one travels in a direction away from the enemy's home, toward where one wants them to go, and drops a packet at each crossroads one passes until all the packets are gone. In the country this might carry one several miles. In the city it would only be 9 blocks, so city folks only count major intersections (with a light) when they do this, or they may count freeway interchanges to get some distance worked up between the packets.
If the intention of the spell is seriously, irreparably harmful (like causing another person grave illness), especially if it contains graveyard dirt or goofer dust, one can dispose of the material in a graveyard. The wax and other remnants are placed in a miniature coffin, buried, and marked by a miniature headstone with the enemy's name on it. When setting such a spell to rest, many workers also sprinkle a mixture of sulphur powder and salt around the grave, then walk home and don't look back.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
HOW TO BURN CANDLES
Lots of folks don't have full privacy to do spell-casting in their homes. They may live with their parents, or they may live in shared housing such as a dormitory, or -- tough as it is -- they may be performing a spell that is intended to directly affect a family member in the home, such as a spouse, child, or in-law. Pretty much every system of magical working can be adapted to function under conditions of secrecy, but candle-burning is the most difficult form of rootwork or conjure to hide, for obvious reasons.
One method used by many practitioners to conceal candle work is to burn the candles a bit at a time and hide them between burnings.
When candles are burned a bit at a time -- which we call "burning in sections" -- they may be left up on the altar or hidden away between lightings. It is customary to burn them for at least 15 minutes at each session -- just long enough to get them going well and to spend some time over them in prayer or petition before putting them out. In order to keep one's link to the candles continuously strong during the switches from "on" time to "off" time, practitioners long ago developed two further traditions, "pinching them out" (for all candles) and "wrapping them up" (for candles that are hidden away).
In hoodoo, one oft-heard piece of advice is, "You should never blow a candle out if you want to return to it, because that ends the spell, but if you pinch it out, you can come back to it any time." This is a customary, but not compulsory, way to deal with candles that are to be burned in sections. When i say "customary but not compulsory," i mean that you may work differently, but you will be in the minority, since most hoodoo practitioners prefer to pinch out candles when a spell is ongoing and the candle must be stopped for a time.
To pinch out a candle, just lick your thumb and first finger and -- sffft! -- put out the wick. Or, you can keep a pretty metal candle snuffer at the altar (and it can do double-duty as a shaper for incense cones).
Pinching or snuffing out the light is done for all candles burned in sections -- that is, both for candles that will be left on the altar and for those that will be hidden away.
When hiding away candles or any other altar objects, it is the custom in hoodoo to wrap and tie them. This secures their spiritual energy, and marks them as still being in use. The most common way to wrap candles that are being burned in sections is to place them in a brown paper grocery bag and twist the top shut. They may also be rolled up in a flat piece of brown grocery bag paper and tied with cotton packaging twine.
As you can see, burning candles in sections does not "ruin the work." On the contrary, it is a common, practical, and useful way to work, and it is so often done that an entire set of terms and traditions has grown up around the custom of burning in sections.
Another way to burn candles in secret is to have spiritual practioners, such as those at Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, set lights for you, but hoodoo will enjoy hoodoo more and learn to become a sharper practitioner if you try working candle spells on your own.
Remember, too, if you are new to candle magic, to be careful and safe with fire -- don't set lights near wind-blown curtains, nor where pets can knock them over.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
DRESSING, MARKING, MEASURING,
LIGHTING, AND EXTINGUISHING CANDLES
Offertory and figural candles are dressed by rubbing them (for instance, upward to "draw" and downward to repel) with appropriate anointing oils, such as Fast Luck, Compelling, or John the Conqueror. Some practitioners then sprinkle them with sachet powders or roll them in finely cut magic herbs selected for their specific spiritual powers.
Glass-encased vigil and novena caldes are dressed by using a sharp tool (such as a nail, awl, or screw driver) to poke holes or engrave a name or symbol in the wax at the top and then drizzling in a small amount of oil. They may then be topped with finely crushed herbs and symbolically coloured glitter. They are then prayed over and dedicated for use.
Care must be used when adding oil and herbs to a vigil light -- too much oil will result in the candle wick becoming drowned, and too many herbs, especially those that are highly flammable, may lead to the candle catching on fire all along the top surface, which can be a fire hazard and may also result in a black, sooty burn, which is an unfortunate outcome when seeking to perform a candle divination.
The time of day the lights are set is important: To draw influences, some folks prefer towwork in the morning, and the sun rises and hoodoo practitioners say that the candle should be lit when both clock hands are rising, in the second half of the hours between six and twelve. To repel or cast off influences, some folks like to work as the sun is setting and some say that the candle should be lit when both hands on the clock are falling, in the first half of the hours from twelve to six. Other folks prefer light to all of their candles at midnight, the traditional "witching hour."
Candles are usually inscribed or marked in some way to indicate on whose behalf they are being burned. In its simplest form, this consists carving a name in the wax, but it also a very common, almost a universal, practice to write out a petition and/or a name on paper (often writing the name multiple times) and to place the paper beneath the candle, sometimes under an overturned saucer to protect it from burning. In addition to the petition paper, words, symbols, or sigils may be inscribed or carved into the candle wax with a needle, pin, rusty nail, or knife, depending on the intention behind the spell, and the candle may be "loaded" by inserting personal concerns into a hole in the wax and coverin it over with wax before the candle is lit.
When a name-paper or a petition paper with a name on it is placed under the candle, this is called "burning a candle on [him or her]." Many people also burn a candle on someone's picture, that is, place a drawing or photo under the saucer. It is customary to write the name on the back of the picture when doing this. Burning a candle on someone's name or picture can be done for love, revenge, harm, or any desired result, depending on the candle colour and the dressing oil used.
The earliest printed version of this spell i have yet found comes from New Orleans and dates back to 1924. It is found not in a book of folklore or magic, but rather in the song "Hoodoo Blues" written by Spencer Williams and recorded by Bessie Brown. Due to the constraints of the blues lyrics format, the spell is given in sketchy format, but it is recognizable. In this 1924 song, a black cat bone is used for the return of the narrator's lover (he seems to have moved into another woman's home) and burning a candle on her picture (a black candle, i'd wager) is to get her to let loose of the man so he can return to the singer. The enemy's picture goes under the candle, and although it is not specifically stated in the song lyric, i presume that in keeping with modern usage, the enemy's name is written on the back of the picture and the picture-with-name goes under a saucer which is under the candle.
Here is the relevant verse:
Goin' 'neath her window, gonna lay a black cat bone
Goin' 'neath her window, gonna lay a black cat bone
Burn a candle on her picture, she won't let my good man alone.
Free-standing candles are typically burned in candle holders or candle stands. These may be elaborate or plain. When a large number of small altar candles or offertory will be lit at one time -- as, for instance, in the Fiery Wall of Protection Spell, it is most economical and efficient to utilize small, simple, stamped metal candle stands called "star holders."
In some spells, the candle is burned a half-inch at a time for several days. In others, it is burned in intervals at specified times of the day, or marked into sections with pins or needles and burned a section at a time "until the pin drops." In addition to burning the candle while it stands on a piece of paper, some spells specify that the candles should be moved toward or away from each other over the course of the working, or that the candle flame be used to ignite the name- or petition-paper, the ashes of which are then used in the work. During the course of certain conjurations, altar candles may be butted and burned upside down or even burned sideways at both ends, as with double action candles. They may also be ceremonially extinguished in water or turned upside down into a saucer of graveyard dirt to put them out.
Any kind of matches can be used to light candles, of course, but some people enjoy having specialty matches available, both for aesthetic and for practical reasons. Wooden matches are easier to light than paper ones and burn longer, so they can be used to set several candles alight at once. When it comes to glass encased candles, most folks burn those straight through -- but if you chose to burn them for short periods, put them out, and then relight them, you will probably need to use extra-long fireplace matches to get them going again.
When a candle is burned in sections, either measured by time or by pins, it is invariably pinched or snuffed out, not blown out at the end of each session, to signify that the spell is not yet complete. A more graceful way to put out candles than by spitting on your fingers and pinching, is to snuff the candles out with an old-fashioned candle snuffer. This also reduces objectional smoke from the snuffed candle. Decorative candle snuffers are often made of brass or brass and wood and they make elegant altar tools for spiritual workers whose practice involves regular candle burning.
If pins or needles are used for measuring sections on a candle, they usually will not be discarded after they drop, but will be saved for further use. Depending on the type of job being done, they may be utilized for making crosses and double crosses in the paper on which the names or desires have been written, they may be wrapped in a cloth or paper and buried or carried in a mojo hand, or they may be disposed of in a ritual manner.
Experienced workers often accompany the setting of lights with the burning of an appropriate incense. Some folks prefer to light the incense first to set the mood as they mark, inscribe, dress and light their candles. Others believe that the lighting of the candles must come first, with the incense following.
There is also a strong contingent of spiritually-inclined folks who will not use common matches at their altars because they feel that the disposal of matches breaks the ritual flow of their movements. They prefer to light a taper or an extra-long fireplace matches in another room and bring it to the altar, and blow it out or snuff it once the actual lights are set. As with all such matters, tradition and personal preferences leave room for variation.
Monday, April 26, 2010
VOTIVE CANDLES, LUX PERPETUA CANDLES,
and TEA LIGHTS
A votive candle is one that is burned as the result of a vow. Many people think of votive candles as small, glass-encased candles, about 2 or 3 inches in height, but this is only one type of votive candle. In fact, such candles are defined by their function, not their form. However, for the purposes of clarity, in this article, i will refer to paper or glass encased candles under 2 inches in height as tea lights, those under 5 inches in height as votive candles and those that come in tall glass cylinders as novena and vigil candles.
Perhaps the first glass encased votive candles specifically marketed to hoodoo buyers (as opposed to religious buyers) were Jan-O-Sun brand jelly-jar style three-colour votive candles, sold by the Standard O and B Supply Company of Chicago in the 1940s. They look essentially like modern glass votive lights of today and seem to have come onto the market suddenly, to have achieved immediate popularity, and to have been in production from various makers since their introduction.
Typically, votive candles are burned as the prelude to or result of a conditional vow: The petitioner asks a favour of a deity, saint, or spirit and offers recompense (an ex voto) if the wish is granted. Under these circumstances, votive candles may be used either as inducements, as offerings, or as both.
When employed as inducements, votive candles are burned during the course of making the petition. For instance, a petitioner may be awaiting a court case hearing in nine days, and will burn votive candles for the entire length of time as an inducement for a patron saint to hear his plea for help, all the while promising an additional offering, such as flowers, more candles, publication of the saint's name in the newspaper, or a donation to a charitable organization, if the court case has a successful outcome.
When votive candles are employed as offerings, the petition is made silently and the burning of a certain number of candles with the patron saint's picture on them in a church where all may see and recognize the patron saint's efficacy is a typical offering that is promised or vowed should the petition be granted.
Properly speaking, any candle used in conjunction with a vow is a votive candle, but in the United States, the term votive candles generally refers to candles moulded to fit into a glass or ceramic votive holder. They can be burned as free-standing lights (sometimes called "stubbies") rather than placed in holders if you wish to "read" the way their wax melts for the purposes of divination.
A typical votive light is 2 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. When in a holder, such a candle may burn for 10 - 15 hours. These candles come in an assortment of symbolic colours and they will fit in most sizes of glass or ceramic votive candle holders or can be used as free-standing "stubbies", which will make for a shorter burn time.
LUX PERPETUA CANDLES:
Lux Perpetua means "eternal light" and that is the name given to paper-encased votive candles in Latin America. In Mexico, small paper encased religious votive candles called "Lux Perpetua" were developed during the 19th century. These delightfully old-fashioned, hand-made devotionary religious candles predate paraffin was candles. They are filled with a very soft grade of wax that may also contain animal fat, poured into a stiff paper cup or cylinder. The paper is printed with a Catholic devotionary image.
Imported into the United States, especially along the border with Mexico, they are now quite popular among African-American Catholics as well as with immigrants from Latin America. Lux Perpetua lights are much sought by those working in traditional forms of Mexican and Latin American espiritismo (spiritualism) and curandismo (herbal spiritual healing).
Tea Lights are very small votive candles poured into aluminum cups; originally designed to be used at the table to keep foods and drinks warm (hence the name "tea light"), they make great refills for glass votive candle holders, are extremely economical, and are relatively safe to burn. Their small size is also an advantage for busy people who wish to do continuing candle magic on successive days without leaving large candles unattended.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Whereas Catholic religious practice presents us with the novena (nine-day) candle, in hoodoo, we see instead the seven-day candle, sometimes referred to by older practitioners as the "7-day vigil candle," due to its being burned for difficult cases or ongoing situations over the course of seven days, while one watches and waits for divinatory signs.
There are four types of 7-day candles used in hoodoo:
The candle divided by seven needles or pins:
I believe that this is the oldest form of the 7-day candle. To make one, take a regular offertory or jumbo-size candle and seven needles or pins. Poke the needles into the candle, dividing it into seven equal parts (the seventh needle or pin can go at the top or at the bottom, but no one i know ever uses SIX needles or pins to divide the candle into seven parts). Write your wish (or seven wishes) on a piece of paper. Turn the paper 90 degrees sideways and write your full name over the wish or wishes seven times, crossing and covering the previous writing with your name. Place the paper under the candle. Dress the candle with an appropriate oil. Burn it for seven nights, pinching it out (NOT blowing it out) each time a needle falls. Save the needles when they fall. When the last needle falls, stick the needles into the paper in the form of two X patterns surrounding one double-cross pattern (that has two lines crossing one upright line). Dispose of the ritual remains in an appropriate way : Bury the paper and any leftover wax under your doorstep if your intention is to draw something or someone to you. Throw the paper and wax away at a crossroads, in running water, or in a graveyard if the intention is to get rid of something or someone.
THE SEVEN KNOB CANDLE:
I have seen ads for these under the name "The Famous 7-Knob Wishing Candle" dating back at least to the 1930s; they might be older, but i do not know. They are mentioned favourably in Henri Gamache's "Master Book of Candle Burning" (written in 1942) and they are very popular in the African-American community, which seems to indicate that they are efficacious. Seven-knob candles generally come in four colours, with the usual symbolism implied (white for blessing or wishing, red for love or sex, green for money or gambling luck, black for destruction or revenge). Carve a brief wish on each knob -- either the same wish seven times or seven different wishes, one per knob. Dress the candle with an appropriate oil. Burn it for seven nights, pinching it out (NOT blowing it out) each time a knob is gone.
THE SEVEN CHARM SORTILAGE CANDLE:
This is a hand-made candle that contains seven tiny metal charms (milagros or ex-votos) inside, which are revealed one per day as you burn the candle down over the course of seven days. It is more common in Latin America than in the USA. Often the charms are religious as well as lucky, and they may include a cross, an angel, the powerful hand of God, a man's head, a woman's head, and so forth.
THE SEVEN-WISHES GLASS ENCASED CANDLE:
This style of 7-day candle only became popular from the 1970s onward. It is made with seven layers of wax in different colours, poured into a tall, narrow glass container. Burn one layer each day with appropriate prayers or wishes. It's interesting to note that this is the same size and shape of candle which the Catholics call a novena candle, although they expect it to burn for nine days. For many more examples of glass encased candles in both the Catholic and hoodoo traditions, see the sections below on glass encased religious candles and glass encased vigil candles.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
DOUBLE ACTION and
Double action candles are 9" long jumbo candles that have been poured in two stages, so that they are half black and half another colour, according the usual colour symbolism of candles -- red for love, green for money, white for peace and spiritual blessings. They are used to reverse troubles back to the person who sent them and are called "double action" because they both repel jinxes and crossed conditions and attract what is desired in the way of happiness and luck.
Double action candles are not burned in the usual way -- they are generally "butted" before they are lit. The original tip is cut off and a new tip is cut on the black half, so the "bad" black half will burn off first, leaving the "good" half at the end of the rite. The name of one's enemy is carved backwards in the black half and one's own name is carved normally in the coloured portion. One or more candle dressing hoodoo oils to reverse bad luck back to the enemy is applied to the black end, stroking away from oneself, and a dressing oil to draw what one wants is applied to the coloured half, stroking toward oneself.
Butted double action candles are sometimes burned on a flat mirror, to further aid the reversing spell. They may be dusted with Reversing sachet powder or circled with a ring of Crab shell powder (because "Crabs walk backward" and uncross jinxes.
Another way to burn double action candles is to carve a second tip on the black end, dress them as described above, and stick them into a nail that has been driven through a board. The nail holds the candle horizontal, like a compass needle, and the black half is pointed toward one's enemy's home, while the coloured half points towards oneself. Both ends are lit at the same time. This is a messy way to burn candles, so use aluminum foil or a metal baking dish to confine the dripping wax to one area.
Reversing -- also called reversible -- candles are 9" long jumbo candles that are similar in their uses to double action candles, but instead of being poured in two layers, they consist of a red core and a black outer layer. The red shows through only at the tip. These candles are only found in red and black, and they are a very old style, still quite popular for reversing enemy work, breaking tricks, and uncrossing crossed conditions. They are often butted and burned upside down, and are often burned on a mirror, as described above. All the names and words carved or inscribed into reversing candles is generally done backwards, in mirror writing.
Friday, April 23, 2010
THE SYMBOLISM OF
In addition to plain offertory candles, spiritual suppliers, as early as the 1930s, provided figural or "image" candles for special uses. More expensive than plain offertory candles, figural candles are preferred by many practitioners when working unusual or extremely strong spells, because their visual symbolism is easy to see and by carving names or other features in them, they can be personalized to represent individuals, in what amounts to a cross between working with candles and working with doll-babies or poppets. Most of the old figural candle styles are still manufactured. Among the most popular are the following:
•"Black Cat" -- black for gambler's luck.
•"Bride and Groom" (man and woman side by side with two wicks) -- red for passion, pink for reconciliation, white to attract new love or sanctify married fidelity, black to cause harm or damage to a couple, blue for peace in the home.
•"Lovers" (nude embracing couple) -- red for sexual passion, white for new love.
•"Divorce candle" (man and woman back to back with one candle wick between) -- black, to cause a couple to separate.
•"Lady" (a clothed female figure) and "Gentleman" (a clothed male figure) often used when performing spells related to job, school, or career -- white to meet someone new; pink for reconciliation or friendship; red to foster love; blue for peacefulness, health, or peace on the job; black for harm or revenge.
•"Adam" (a nude male figure) and "Eve" (a nude female figure) -- white to meet someone new, pink and red for love spells, blue for peacefulness at home or to bring about faithfulness, black for harm or revenge.
•"Male Member" (Penis) and "Female Member" (Vulva) -- relating to the sexual behaviour; white to attract a new sex partner and to purify the genital organs, pink for romantic sex or to turn a friend into a lover, red to induce lust and passion, blue to bring fidelity or limit their sexual interest to the practitioner only or to bring healing to the genital organs, black to control a person's ability to perform.
•"Cross" or "Crucifix" candles: keys and a book on a flaming cross ("Master Key Crucifix Candle") or four-leaf clover on a cross ("Lucky Clover Crucifix Candle") -- white for spiritual purity and insight, black for personal power and conjure work, brown for court cases and legal matters, green for money spells, red for love spells, orange for change, yellow for devotion, pink for romance.
•"Devil" -- red for commanding lust and sex, green for collecting money owed or for gambler's luck, black for doing harm to an enemy.
•"Baphomet" or "Sabbatic Goat Candle" -- red for lust spells, black for worship of bestial or Satanic forces.
•"Skull Candle" -- black for meditation on death or for gambler's luck.
•"Seven Knob Wishing Candle" (flattened spheres stacked seven-high) -- burned on seven days, for seven different wishes or for seven-fold strength on the same wish -- white for healing, black to do evil, green for money spells, red for love spells.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
IN CANDLE MAGIC
Following Henri Gamache's instructions, it became popular among conjure-workers of the 1940s to burn small free-standing candles or "lights" of various colours to draw luck, love, and money; for protection from evil; and to wreak vengeance or exert control over others. Because many, if not most, of the spiritual suppliers then catering to the African-American market were Jews, they usually offered 7-branched menorah candle-holders to their customers, which gave hoodoo candle burning ceremonies of the period a slightly Kabbalistic cast. The colour symbolism ascribed to altar candle colours is influenced by European magical traditions, admixed with remnants of African religious symbolism:
•white -- spiritual blessings, purity, healing, rest
•blue -- peace, harmony, joy, kindly intentions, healing
•green -- money spells, gambling luck, business, a good job, good crops
•yellow -- devotion, prayer, money (gold), cheerfulness, attraction
•red -- love spells, affection, passion, bodily vigour
•pink -- attraction, romance, clean living
•purple -- mastery, power, ambition, control, command
•orange -- change of plans, opening the way, prophetic dreams
•brown -- court case spells, neutrality
•black -- repulsion, dark thoughts, sorrow, freedom from evil
•red and black (Double Action) -- remove a love-jinxing spell
•white and black (Double Action) -- to return evil to the sender
•green and black (Double Action) -- remove money-jinxing
Typical sizes for colour-coded free-standing candles are 4" Altar candles, 6" Offertory candles, and 9" Jumbo candles. (
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
THE HISTORY OF CANDLE BURNING
IN THE HOODOO ROOTWORK TRADITION
Candle burning has roots stretching back to ancient times as a part of both religious ceremonies and magical rites. Most hoodoo practitioners and rootworkers, like other folk magicians, burn candles for magical effect, spell-casting, and as an adjunct to prayer, but unlike the traditional and conservative craft of making mojo bags, candle burning in the African-American hoodoo tradition has undergone considerable evolution during the 20th century.
During the 19th century candles became readily available as a commercial product, sold in general stores, rather than having to be made at home or on the farm or purchased at a special candle-maker's shop. By the early 20th century, paraffin candle, with a relatively high melting point compared to tallow candles, were transported by rail nationwide and -- and with the invention of aniline dues, they were soon made available in a number of colours.
The epicenter of new developments in ritual candle-magic in the hoodoo tradition was New Orleans, where a long tradition of Roman Catholic candle-burning combined with African-American folk magic to produce an emergent style of working with candles, both for prayer and in laying tricks. This new way of working with candles soon spread to Memphis, Tennessee, and Mobile, Alabama, and, by the late 1940s, was fairly uniform throughout the South among all professional rootworkers.
Probably the single most important influence on the development of African-American candle magic from the 1940s to the present has been the ubiquitous "Master Book of Candle-Burning," a paper-bound pamphlet written by Henri Gamache in 1942. Advertised in black-owned newspapers like the Chicago Defender in the 1940s and still carried today by all the major mail-order spiritual supply catalogues, this work delivers exactly what it promises -- detailed instructions that instruct the spiritual doctor or rootworker on "How to Burn Candles for Every Purpose." The chapters include information on how to select candles, anoint them, arrange them on an altar, and engage in what the author quaintly refers to as "fire worship." Along the way Gamache presents a garland of anthropological tidbits about folk-magical practices from Canada, Europe, Africa, and the Malayan Peninsula, making this book a fascinating document indeed.
For those who are not familiar with the work of Henri Gamache, i'd like to note that he was a prominent mid-20th century occult author and folkloric researcher who developed a unique Creole combination of hoodoo, Christian, Kabbalist, and Spiritualist magic. Not much is known about Henri Gamache's personal life, but if he is not simply another pseudonym for the mysterious Mr. Young who ghost-wrote occult books from 1925 - 1948, he seems to have been a man of mixed race, possibly born in the Caribbean, who lived and worked in New York City. Most of his books remained in print for decades, and all are quite interesting. In particular, his "8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses" is a fascinating document, detailing his theory that Moses, the leader of the Jews, was a black African, "the Great Voodoo Man of the Bible."
Henri Gamache used the term "Philosophy of Fire" to describe the candle burning rituals he set forth in "The Master Book of Candle Burning." That term, and his frequent references to "Zoroastrianism" allow us to identify one of his major influences, for the "Philosophy of Fire" is a system of magical working described in the writings of an earlier author named R. Swinburne Clymer. A Rosicrucian and sex magician prominent in the early 20th century, Clymer in fact wrote an entire book called "The Philosophy of Fire" in which he espoused a mixture of magical theories that embraced Spiritualism, Zoroastrianism, and sex magic.
Clymer had in turn learned most of his occult theories and sex-magical techniques from the writings of Paschal Beverly Randolph, an African-American sex magician and Spiritualist of the mid 19th century. In 1860 or so, Randolph originated a magical order called the Brotherhood of Eulis to carry forth his beliefs; it was reformed in 1874 under the name The Triplicate Order. After Randolph's death in 1875, Clymer corresponded with his widow, Kate Corson Randolph, and received instructions from her as to how to operate his own order of sex magicians. Clymer also reprinted "Eulis!" -- one of Randolph's books on sex magic -- in 1930.
The link from Randolph to Gamache, through Clymer, is probably one of book-learning rather than direct initiation, but it is interesting nonetheless, especially in light of the fact that most modern occultists tend to identify African-American practitioners exclusively with folk-magic and to discount the contributions black people have made to the development of formal occultism and ceremonial sex-magic.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Nine Satanic Sins
by Anton Szandor LaVey ©1987
1. Stupidity—The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
2. Pretentiousness—Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn’t applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone’s made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
3. Solipsism—Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won’t. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of “Do unto others as they do unto you.” It’s work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.
4. Self-deceit—It’s in the “Nine Satanic Statements” but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it’s fun, and with awareness. But then, it’s not self-deceit!
5. Herd Conformity—That’s obvious from a Satanic stance. It’s all right to conform to a person’s wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
6. Lack of Perspective—Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies—Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the creator and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
8. Counterproductive Pride—That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow, then do it.
9. Lack of Aesthetics—This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but an eye for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It’s not what’s supposed to be pleasing—it’s what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.
Posted by Raven_Nightwind at 2:54 PM
What is your desire? Ancient spells for luck, love, or fortune? Placing a curse on your enemy? Bringing back a lost love? Hexing your foe? Oh, the possibilities!
The most popular sterotype of using a Voodoo doll involves sticking pins into it. But did you know that there are different emotions and feelings attatched to the color of pins that can be used? Here's how to use the seven pins with a Voodoo doll. This tutorial is consistent with New Orleans Voodoo.
1Take each pin and concentrate on the color symbolism. Each color has a different meaning:
Red | Power
Yellow | Money
Green | Tranquility
Blue | Love
Purple | Spirituality
Black | Pain/Relief/Healing/ Repelling negativity
White | Positive Energy/ Good Karma
Pink = Death
Meditate upon how you want these things to manifest in your life. For example, with your yellow pin, focus on what success you desire.
After you are very clear about this, stick the pin into your doll in the heart or stomach region. This area will support your heart's desire and your gut feelings or intuition. You can also stick your pins into the head for knowledge
Repeat this process for each pin.
Wait and trust in your personal power that the Universe will help you make your intentions manifest. Demand that it happen by a certain date.
Monday, April 19, 2010
BY : RAVEN
Staring into the darkness
I want to lose control.
Shall I fall into the abyss
It is where I want to go.
I want to peel back the layers
That make the whole of me.
Dare I remove this mask?
Shall I let you see?
The depths of all my hate.
The darkness in my soul.
The smile I wear is fake
The other side cannot be shown.
The pain offers shelter.
From this path I will not falter.
I will never let you see
What makes the whole of me.
I will never let you feel
The pain I hold inside.
I cannot let you steal
The only place to hide.
I stare into the darkness
And slowly lose control.
I fall into the abyss
This is where I chose to go.
For no apologies or acceptance do I ask
I stand firm behind my mask.
Posted by Raven_Nightwind at 12:19 PM
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For the hill station in Cambodia, see Dâmrei Mountains.
Bokors in the religion of vodou are sorcerers or houngan (priests) for hire who are said to 'serve the loa with both hands', meaning that they can practice both dark magic and benevolent magic. Their black magic includes the creation of zombies and the creation of 'ouangas', talismans that house spirits.
The name Bokor can also refer to the leader of the Makaya division of Vodou (which originated in the Congo region) and Bokor also refers to the highest initiation rank in Dominican Vodou.
Bokors are featured in many Haitian tales and are often associated with the creation of 'zombis' by the use of a deadening brew or potion usually containing poison extracted from puffer fish. This potion makes the drinker appear to be dead and thus he is often buried; later, the bokor will return for the "corpse" and force it to do his bidding, such as manual labor. The "corpse" is often given deliriant drugs, mainly datura, which puts them in a detached, somewhat dreamlike state. Its state is likened to being mind controlled. The person is fully alive but in a state where they cannot control what they say or do; at this point, when the person has been "reanimated" from the grave, or at least is moving about working for the bokor, they can be termed "zombies." However, some zombi legends dispense with this more rational explanation, and have the bokor raise zombies from dead bodies whose souls have departed.
Also, bokors are said to work with zombi/zombie astrals - souls or spirits which are captured in a fetish and made to enhance the Bokor's power. Bokors normally work with Loas Baron Samedi, Kalfou, Legba and Simbi (snake loa) plus in some cases they are said to work with Grand Bois, the loa of the forest.
Bokors are similar to the "root workers" of voodoo and New Orleans voodoo. Some may be priests of a vodou house. Bokor are usually chosen from birth, those whom are believed to bear a great ashe (power). A Bokor can be, by Judeo-Christian terms, good or evil, though some sources consider him an evil version of a houngan.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
FOUR SPELLS WITH COFFIN-NAILS
A Malaysian charm designed to bring sickness and ill health
to a victim calls for 1/2 lb. of melted wax, and a bit of
hair or a piece of clothing belonging to an enemy. If
clothing is used, cut or tear it into tiny pieces. Mold the
wax and cloth, or hair, into an image of the person to whom
malice is intended. After the doll is ready, take a coffin
nail and prick it over and over, repeating several times,
"it is the heart that I prick, it is the liver that I prick,
it is the spleen that I prick, it is the brain that I
prick." The ritual is repeated each evening for three
evenings in a row. After that time, wait nine days. If the
victim is still well, the magician must try a different
spell for the victim has been protected by counter-magic or
some protective witchcraft.
A modern spell to cause an enemy to go mad is done with a
voodoo doll, a coffin nail, some Black Arts Oil, and fire.
The doll should be carefully labeled with the foe's name. On
the first evening of a full moon, place a coffin nail in a
bottle of Black Arts Oil or pour some oil in any small
container and place the nail in it so that it is fully
covered and can soak well. Leave the nail for nine nights,
and on the tenth night, pound the nail into the doll's head.
It is alleged that, before the next full moon's coming, the
victim will be cursed with severe headaches, faulty memory,
and deep depression.
If you wish to cause an enemy to move away from you, an
almost unfailing ritual can be performed with nine coffin
nails, some graveyard dirt, and crossing powder mixed with
get away powder. Just mix together the dirt and the two
powders so that it is thoroughly blended. The proportions
are not important, but about one third of each ingredient is
best. Divide the potion into nine approximately equal
portions and place each portion into a small envelope with
one of the coffin nails. Each evening go to the enemy's home
and throw the contents of one envelope in the path where the
foe must walk to enter or leave the home. Do this each
evening for nine consecutive nights, and it is probable that
by the tenth day this enemy will be moving from the
Another modern spell which is designed to bring tragedy to
an enemy is made with a piece of wearing apparel from the
intended victim. Take the clothing and cut it up into as
many pieces as you wish, or can get from the material, or
squares about 6" on all sides. Use one square each night.
Write the foe's name on a piece of parchment backwards and
state your curse on the other side of the paper. The curse
can be said in your own way, or it can just be something
simple like, "___(name)___ is cursed, ___(name)___ is damned
forevermore." The writing should be done with Dragon's Blood
Ink to which a drop of Black Arts Oil and a pinch of
valerian has been added. Then, fold the square up, turning
the folds away from you, never toward yourself. Take the
folded piece of clothing, with the curse inside and nail it
on your enemy's front door, using a coffin nail. Do this
each night until your mission has been accomplished.
© 1976 anna riva
Saturday, April 17, 2010
RITUAL COLLECTION OF GRAVEYARD DIRT
Methods by which one pays for graveyard dirt vary from worker to worker, but the principle is always the same. You have to get in touch with the ancestral spirit and make a respectful application and payment. Beyond that there are numerous details -- whose grave, the kind of death they died, where the grave is located with respect to the cemetery gates, whether you dig from the head, the heart, or the feet, whether you leave dimes or pennies or whiskey or a combination, and how you place the with respect to the grave.
Because i collect graveyard dirt quite often, i have had the opportunity to try ewach of the different forms of the ritual that i have been taught -- and i have found them to be equivalent in practice, with one exception: i have come to appreciate the advice to get dirt from the grave of a soldier, because such dirt is from the grave of one who was unusually strong and obedient.
GETTING TO KNOW THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD
I believe that uou will learn more and do more effective spiritual work if you do not think of what you plan as "capturing" graveyard dirt but think of it by the term that it generally called, namely, "buying" graveyard dirt.
There is a huge difference between capturing a person / spirit (which is unlawful enslavement) and offering to pay for the person's / spirit's services (which is an honest transaction of employment).
I recommend that after you enter a cemetary, if you have no particular grave in mind to visit, that you let yourself be spirit-led to the grave that attracts you. If you wish to learn more about the spirits in a particular graveyard, i suggest that you go to each grave site in turn, individually and respectfully. I would place a small offering of flowers first, keeping other offerings, such as coins, in reserve for possible use. I would speak to the spirit, *listen* deeply to what was offered or denied, and then i would comply with the wishes of the deceased, which may differ from grave site to grave site.
HOW TO USE GRAVEYARD DIRT IN SPELL-WORK
There are basically three ways that Graveyard Dirt is employed in hoodoo: in spells of protection, in enemy tricks, and in coercive love spells . Despite its inclusion in such harmful formulas, graveyard dirt is not evil per se, and it has uses all its own that reflect its venerable stature in the African religious practice of ancestor veneration.
In African-derived magic such as hoodoo and Obeah, graveyard dirt is an important "magical link" (in the Crowleyan sense of that term), because of the powerful culutral beliefs centered around the role of the dead in rituals of invocation. This was and remains especially true in the Kongo, from whence most African-American slaves came, and in West Africa, where most Afro-Caribbean slaves came.
(You may find veneration of ancestors rather misleadingly called "ancestor worship" by earlier Western scholars, and you will often see it referred to in that way in books published in English prior to the 1990s, but American and Eurpeoan scholars have recently come around to using the more accurate African term "ancestor veneration," due to their contact with Africans who have entered academia and gotten on the internet .. and still practice ancestor veneration.)
In Palo Mayombe, a mostly Cuban and Brazilian survival of Kongo religio-magical practgice somehwat admixed with Catholicism, the dirt from graves is kept in a "prenda" on an altar.
In hoodoo, as in African magic and in Palo, graveyard dirt can be used for good or for ill. There are several well-known love-spells that utilize graveyard dirt, and just as many spells to hold someone down or restrain them in some way (what British people might call a "binding spell".
In hoodoo, the ritual of collecting graveyard dirt -- by the practitioner him- or herself -- is called BUYING graveyard dirt. The usual payment in the US, since the 19th century at least, has been a silver dime, preferably a Mercury dime (this brings up thoughts about that earlier thread about Mercury / Hermes / Eshu / Nbumba Nzila / Eleggua). Customs vary, but generally the dime is offered to the dead in the entire graveyard or to the specific spirit from whose grave one will dig the dirt.
If one wished to do harm, one might buy the dirt of someone who "died badly" -- before their time, through execution, or so forth, because their spirit, once invoked, would be inclined to perform evil deeds with little compunction. If one wished to bring about love, one might buy the dirt from someone who loved one in life (a relative or a deceased spouse, for instance) because their spirit, once invoked, would be inclined to help one achieve lasting love. Some workers prefer dirt from a baby's grave, because they say that the spirit thus invoked is malleable and biddable; but others say it is too weak, being young, and will not prove as effective as dirt from the grave of an adult.
This practice of the individual buying dirt from a graveyard led early on in hoodoo to the root worker / herbalist buying the dirt and then re-selling it. No stigma is attached to this practice, but the re-seller may be questioned closely as to whether the dirt was properly "bought and paid for." I have ads in old catalogues in my coillection dating back to the 1920s in which graveyard dirt was offered for sale to the African-American community, so this is not a recent phenomenon. -- like most of the merchantile aspects of hoodoo, it arose as urbanization made the personal gathering of symbolic ingredients difficult to achieve. The price of graveyard dirt is usually nominal -- it's dirt cheap.
Neo-pagan authors such as Scott Cunningham have written that graveyard dirt is "just code" for certain herbs, such as mullein, but this is easily proven untrue by simply asking the average root-worker. In the African-American cummonity (if not the Wiccan community) graveyard dirt is dirt from a grave that's been ritually "bought and paid for."
WOKRKING WITH THE SPIRITS OF MURDER VICTIMS AND THOSE UNJUSTLY EXECUTED
It is important that those who propose to colect dirt from the graves of murder victims and those executed for crimes they did not commit understand that when dealing with the spirits of those who were unjustly put to death, there is no "one size fits all" approach that can be applied.
Some such spirits may seek vengeance -- especially against people of a particular surname, occupation, class, race, social position, etc. -- and they may be willingly employed as spirits of vengeance.
Other spirits may be filled with a strong desire to see that people currently alive -- perhaps their lineal descendents or people of their own former occupation, class, race, social position; or perhaps all people -- do not suffer injustices as they did, and they may be employed to bring justice to present cases.
Still other such spirits may be filled with the nectar of forgiveness and compassion and may be employed to bring harmony and unity of purpose to difficult situations.
Unless the spirit of a grave mentally reaches out to you first -- which often happens -- the only way to learn what that spirit will or will not do for you is to approach the grave, state your proposal, and *listen* to what you are told.
HARMFUL SPELLS EMPLOYING GRAVEYARD DIRT
Graveyard Dirt -- along with powdered sulphur, salt, powdered snake heads or snake skin "sheds," red pepper, black pepper, powdered bones, powdered insects or snails, greyish herbs such as mullein or sage, anvil dust (the black iron dust found around a blacksmith's anvil), and magnetic sand -- is a common ingredient in Goofer Dust, and thence in Hot Foot Powder and Crossing Powder, all of which are materials used in harmful tricks.
In some Graveyard Dirt spells -- like similar tricks involving Goofer Dust, Hot Foot Powder, and Crossing Powder -- the intent is to harm someone, and the graveyard dirt is used to symbolize death to the enemey. Spells in which a doll-baby representing the enemy is placed in a miniature coffin and buried in a graveyard fall into this class, as do spells in which a black candle symbolizing the enemy is deliberately extinguished by turning it upside down into a saucer of graveyard dirt.
are quite African in character, deriving from African foot-track magic, a form of sorcery in which one "hurts" or "poisons" a victim "through the feet." Undoing the jinx may involve ritual bathing, floor washing, or sweeping to remove the Goofer Dust. Sprinkling salt in the corners of the house is also an antidote.
In harmful spells like the above, the dirt is best collected from the grave of a sinner or someone whio "died bad," that is, a criminal or the victim of a violent death. Some people like to use dirst from the graves of soldiers for such work, too, because they say that soldiers are brave and foillow orders.
GRAVEYARD DIRT FOR PROTECTION
The deployment of graveyard dirt in protection spells may specify that the dirt come from the grave of a family member or a friend. In these cases the spirit of that person is protecting you or your home. This is again a link to ancient African beliefs and practices, in which ancestor veration is a key component of how one relates to the spiritual world.
A GRAVEYARD DIRT LOVE SPELL FOR ATTRACTION
The third class of graveyard dirt work consists of coercive love spells in which dirt from the grave of someone who loved you is used to ensorcel and enthrall a living lover.
In 1998, Dana (firstname.lastname@example.org) posted this love spell to usenet:
You need green paper, vandal root, and dirt from a graveyard. You write your name and the guy's name on the paper, put the vandal root and graveyard dirt in the center of the paper, wrap it up and leave it under your bed.
I got this spell from a spell book published by Baron Blanc in Sydney, Australia. Please understand that (in the book's words) "it is one of the most powerful love spells and should be undertaken only after other love spells have failed. Not for the faint hearted."
Miss Dana's post provoked long discussions in usenet concerning why someone would use graveyard dirt in a love spell , so i'd like to add some commentary:
I myself have never used this love spell , but i can tell you that it does have quite a bit of historical basis behind it and there are people who say that it has worked for them. The trouble is, the spell as related in Miss Dana's book just calls for any old graveyard dirt, and the way i was taught, that is not quite right.
The man who gave me my version of the Graveyard Dirt Love Spell -- and he was no "Baron" from Australia, but an African-American candle store owner in Oakland, California, back in the 1960s -- said to use the dirt from the grave of someone who had loved you in life. He said, "Your grandmother, mother, father; your lover, husband, or wife who passed on before you -- you get dirt from THEIR grave only, and not from anywhere on the grave either, but from over the HEART."
When i told him that all my relatives who had died were buried far away and i could not get to their graves, he said, "Everybody has had at least ONE person to love them, even if it was just a little yellow spotted dog." I told him i had once had a cat who loved me and that i knew where she was buried. "Then you can use the dirt from her grave," he said. I never did it, though.
The idea behind this spell is that the dead one who loved you will work on the live one who does not love you yet, and will set their mind to thinking of you. That's why you want the dirt from over the heart of one who loved you -- you want their spirit on your side, working on the mind of the one you love.
The vandal root called for in the spell is a root with alleged powers to aid in establishing contact with the dead and it is said to create spiritual contacts with the other world. This reinforces the idea that the graveyard dirt should be from a grave that holds meaning for you, not just any old grave.
In the 1930s, Harry M. Hyatt collected information about hoodoo from 1,600 African-American informants, and one of them gave him a variation of the Graveyard Dirt Love Spell. It is simpler than Baron Blanc's version, in that it does not include the Vandal Root, but it is also much more direct because rather than hide the materials under your bed, as Baron Blanc suggests, you sprinkle the graveyard dirt on yourself when you go to be near the one whom you wish to attract. This is the way i was told to do it, too.
You can find this 1930s version of the spell collected by Harry M. Hyatt -- in the informant's own words -- on my web page about goofer dust. It is spell #659, but i suggest that you read the entire page first; don't just skip to that part.
Incidentally, the person who gave this love spell to Hyatt noted that it only works as long as you keep using the Graveyard Dirt. In other words, it only works while the spirit of the dead person is helping you.
In fact, the use of Graveyard Dirt to force someone to love you is so well known in the black community that it was specifically described in the blues song "Conjured," recorded by Wynnonie Harries on August 6th, 1964 in Chicago, Illinios. Here are the lyrics, transcribed by Eli Marcus (email@example.com).
by Esmond Edwards
as recorded by Wynnonie Harris
Chicago, August 6, 1964 (Chess CHV412)
You said it was love made me stutter when I talk,
But is it love that makes me stagger when I walk?
The Gypsy woman told me, "She's got you conjured, son"
Well, somebody's lyin' -- you are that Gypsy one.
You said I was jealous when I didn't go to work,
You sprinkled my shoes with graveyard dirt,
The Gypsy woman told me, "She's got you conjured, son"
Well, somebody's lyin' -- you are that Gypsy one.
The whiskey you bought me, I was afraid to unscrew it,
The Gypsy woman told me it was embalming fluid
You got a Black Cat Bone and a Buzzard Feather,
A John the Conquer Root and they're all tied together
The Gypsy woman told me, "She's got you conjured, son"
Well, somebody's lyin' -- you are that Gypsy one.
(repeat last verse and chorus)
A more coercive love spell using goofer dust or graveyard dirt to force a person to love you is called "Love Me or Die" -- and it does not specify that the dirt must come from the grave of a loved one.
So, you see, although these are unusual love spells that not everyone could or should use, they have a long and legitimate history in African-American folk-magic. The origin of these spells lies in African religious beliefs about the dead, especially beliefs that came from the Congo, where contact with the spirits of the dead is strongly emphasized and their help is sought on behalf of the living.
SUBSTITUTES FOR GRAVEYARD DIRT IN THE WHITE COMMUNITY
For reasons of cultural incompatibility, the use of graveyard dirt in folk magic spells can be quite upsetting to some people of Northern European and Native American ehtnicity. This is because their cultures teach that the remains of the dead are taboo, frightening, or unclean. This has led to laws against "graveyard desecration" in some areas. When Anglo-American spiritual suppliers are asked by African- Americans to supply Graveyard Dirt, some of them -- either afraid of legal reprisals or sqeamish about dealing with the dead -- provide substitutes in the form of talcum powder or powdered herbs. Some of them have even claimed in their catalogues that these substitutions are traditional, when in fact they are anything but.
Additionally, some Anglo-American authors have promoted these substitutions in books about herb magic or folk magic, even going so far as to claim that the term "graveyard dirt" is an ancient European witchcraft code term for powdered mullein leaves. For instance, in the year 2001, a woman named Connie Gilbert poosted the following to a usenet newsgroup:
Merry meet all, [...] In old spells, usually ingredients are in code and usually the ingredients are really herbs. Graveyard dust can be powdered Mullein or Mugwort. Graveyard dust is not really dirt.
With no intent to offend, i must object. Mullein is known as "graveyard torches" or "witch's candles" because it grows well-spaced in dry, waste ground and if dipped in oil or lard, the stalks will burn like torches.
BUT MULLEIN IS NOT GRAVEYARD DIRT.
That story was started in the 1940s by suppliers who wanted to make money but were afraid to violate the laws regarding tampering with corpses or graveyard desecration, especially in interstate commerce. The earliest catalogue in my collection that mentions mullein as graveyard dirt dates to World War Two. By the 1960s, when i was coming up, you could still buy real graveyard dirt from any small occult store -- but ALL the mail order houses and the stores that stocked their mass-produced products sold you either talcum powder or powdered mullein leaves for graveyard dirt.
The commercially-originated falsehood that "graveyard dirt" is somehow an old witchcraft code term for mullein was later picked up and carried as an urban myth extensively in the white Anglo-Saxon neo-pagan community. It actually forms part of the myth of the "burning times" in that it perpetuates the historically discredited notion that witches must speak in code or risk death. (But if you are trying to avoid being burned at the stake, why use something ILLEGAL like graveyard dirt as code for something innocuous like mullein leaf???) This myth of a witchy "code" is still perpetuated through the books of well-meaning but ignorant people and it is just ... well, not true.
Against a few modern white authors claining that "graveyard dirt" is a secret code for mullein herb, we have evidence that the folklorist Harry M. Hyatt interviewed hundreds of black people in the late 1930s who told him the proper ways they knew to collect and pay for graveyard dirt -- and NONE of them mentioned mullein.
Take the dirt from the seventh grave from the gates, they told him, or from the third grave on the left, or from any grave; make sure you get it from the grave of a murderer, from the grave of a baby, or from the grave of someone who loved you; collect it at the foot of the grave, the head of the grave, from the head and foot both, from over the corpse's heart; pay for it with a dime, with three pennies, with a measure of rum, with a measure of whiskey; dig it with a silver spoon, dig it by hand only and use no tools -- their instructions vary, but they ALL are speaking quite frankly of literal graveyard dirt -- some even calling it "that old yellow graveyard clay."
Hyatt wrote six very large books on magic and herb lore as it existed in the early 20th century, before the onslaught of the mail-order houses and the neo-pagan fad for cutesy rewrites of traditional witchcraft as a form of goddess-worship. These books as a whole comprise a grand total of 5,500 pages on which are printed 23,000+ individual magical spells collected during interviews with about 2,300 actual practitioners of witchcraft and magic. Harry M. Hyatt made up nothing. He preserved the TRUE SPEECH of our elders -- and all the contemporary book authors in the Llewelyn stable with their mullein and mugwort cannot erase those words.
The following documentation on the varied rites for collecting and using Graveyard Dirt comes from "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4766-page collection of folkloric material gathered by Harry Middleton Hyatt, primarily between 1935 and 1939.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Van Van is an old hoodoo formula for oil, incense, sachet powders, and washing products that are designed to clear away evil, provide magical protection, open the road to new prospects, change bad luck to good, and empower amulets and charms. It is the most popular of the New Orleans or "Algiers style" hoodoo recipes. As an amulet enhancer, it is closely associated with both the rabbit foot and the lodestone -- clicking on the links to those two pages will take you to a 1940s advertisement for a rabbit foot key chain charm that was sold with a small vial of Van Van oil and a 1930s label for Mo-Jo Brand Lodestone in Van Van oil. This style of dual-packaging of Van Van oil with lucky amulets is still in use by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Posted by Raven_Nightwind at 3:56 PM