Posted tagged ‘ingredients’

Blog Post 41 – Zombie Dust

April 1, 2010

Good morning everyone!  Today I’m going to be talking about one of the most interesting magical ingredients available on the market today:  Zombie Dust.

This particular magical supply is the stuff of legends, and has long been used in Voodoo and hoodoo ceremonies involving resurrection of the dead.  The powder is sprinkled over a recently deceased corpse, which then rises in the thrall of the one who did the sprinkling, becoming a sort of slave to the magician.  The use of Zombie Powder was chronicled in the 1986 documentary film, Zombie Nightmare.  In the movie, we are allowed to witness an actual resurrection ceremony performed by a Voodoo priestess.  The powder is never shown in great detail, but it is clearly used to perform the rite.

The ingredients are usually a closely guarded secret, however I can share at least a few of the most “active” components with you here today.  Some traditional ingredients include:

  • Bone of the father unwillingly given
  • Flesh of the servant willingly sacrificed
  • Blood of the enemy forcibly taken

These ingredients, however, may merely be for show, as the key ingredient seems to be moon dust.  Moon dust is lunar detritus which falls to the earth after the dozens of meteors which strike the moon’s surface daily send up plumes of the stuff which then make their way to earth.  Moon dust can only be collected during a full moon, however, when you can see the little particles making their way down along the silvery beams.  The easiest way to collect moon dust (though there really is no “easy” way) is to stand in the light of the full moon with a glass jar held up to catch the falling particles.  It takes a good bit of moon dust to make Zombie Powder, so it’s possible you’ll be standing in the dark for quite a while.  Just remember that moon dust is very light, so don’t shift the jar at all or it may cause the particles you’ve already captured to float out of the container.

There are many who speculate (and I am among them) that it is the moon dust which actually leads to resurrection of the dead.  This is why so many cultures want their dead buried before the light of the full moon can touch the corpse.  Further evidence of this idea comes from Cambodia, where certain swamps receive more nights of full moonlight than anywhere else on earth.  The swamps are also home to a particular type of mosquito, which breeds in the moon dust-filled waters.  In 2005, these mosquitoes began biting people and causing outbreaks of zombism in the area.  A BBC article on the subject explains the phenomenon in more detail.

I have only rarely used Zombie Dust myself, and I always put my zombie servants back in their graves when I’m done with them—it’s the responsible thing to do, really.  If you’re interested in seeing an actual zombie raising performed on video, you can see the dead being raised here.   A somewhat more bizarre version of the rite is available here as well.

That’s it for today!  Thanks for reading everyone!

-Cory

P.S.  Oh!  And Happy April Fools’ Day!

Blog Post 26 – Gravel Root/Joe Pye Weed

March 5, 2010

Today I’d like to discuss an ingredient found in both Native American medicinal practices and Southern conjure and root work.  The flowering herb known as both Gravel Root and Joe Pye Weed can be found throughout most of the eastern half of North America, including portions of Canada, Texas, and Florida.  Its botanical name is Eupatorium purpureum, and it is also sometimes known as Purple Boneset or Queen of the Meadow.

The story behind Joe Pye Weed stems back to a Native American named, aptly enough, Joe Pye, who used the root to heal typhus.  It’s been used in tisane form—both root and flower—to help with kidney problems (though I will recommend here that if you are considering drinking ANY tea made from an herb to consult with a health professional and be SURE you know what you’re drinking).  Foxfire 11 gives some good information on the traditional medicinal use of this wild herb.

The plant itself is often found as a wildflower in fields and “waste” spaces like construction zones (though it doesn’t last as long here).  It’s a perennial so if you cultivate it instead of wildcrafting you should see it coming back regularly.  Joe Pye can reach heights around four feet, so take that into account when planting it.  It can also reseed, so you might want to thin them occasionally.  It has flowers which range from white to pinkish to lavender and purple, and butterflies love it.

Its magical uses tend to be split depending on what part of the plant you’re using.  The leaves and flowers are considered “Queen of the Meadow,” and are not particularly used in traditional hoodoo, though I’ve seen it show up in a spell for success.  Catherine Yronwode mentions putting the flowers in a glass of water next to a burning candle to attract spirits and visions.  The root, which is often the most sought-after part of the plant, is a fantastic help in job-search, success, and luck magic.  I recently used a bit of Gravel Root in a mojo hand along with High John and a copy of Psalm 65 in order to help procure some magical aid with an academic pursuit, which turned out very well.

Joe Pye Root

You can find more on this herb/root in Catherine Yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic, as well as the websites listed below.

Thanks for reading!

-Cory

More information:

Medicinal and identification information – http://www.altnature.com/gallery/joe_pye_weed.htm

Cultivation and propagation information – http://oldfashionedliving.com/joe-pye-weed.html

Folklore and Appalachian history – http://appalachianhistory.blogspot.com/2007/08/queen-of-meadow-cures-all.html


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