Posted tagged ‘rootwork’

Podcast 29 – An American Shaman

May 13, 2011

-SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 29-

Summary
Today we talk with author and American folk magician/shaman Jack Montgomery.  Then we have some listener feedback and a few announcements.

Play:

Download:  New World Witchery – Episode 29

-Sources-
American Shamans, by Jack Montgomery
Strange Experience: The Autobiography of a Hexenmeister, by Lee Gandee
Fifty Years as a Low Country Witch Doctor, by Sheriff J. E. McTeer
High Sheriff of the Low Country, by Sheriff J. E. McTeer

If you would like to donate to the Japanese relief effort, here is the Peter Dybing page we mentioned in the show.
Please also consider donating to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which is currently helping victims of the Alabama Tornado.

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.
Promo 1 – Irish & Celtic Music Podcast
Promo 2 – Dr. E’s Conjure Doctor Products
Promo 3 – Magick & Mundane
Promo 4 – Forest Grove Botanica

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Quick Post – Hoodoo in the Wall Street Journal

December 28, 2010

Hi all!

Not a major post today, just something I found that I thought might be interesting to you:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989004575653102537901956.html

It’s an article about hoodoo in the Wall Street Journal!  Take a look and let me know what you think!

-Cory

Blog Post 87 – Podcast Recommendation

September 3, 2010

Hi everyone!

I promise I will eventually get the rest of the cartomancy thread and look at how to do an actual reading, but I’ve not had time to take the photos I want to use for that yet.  So today, I wanted to recommend something I only found last week.  It’s a podcast called “5-Star Spells” and it’s found on BlogTalk Radio.  For those who don’t know about BlogTalk, it’s a phone-in format open radio site that lets people broadcast their shows without having podcasting equipment.  The radio shows go out live at specific times, then get recorded and transferred to a podcast feed for posterity (and for those of us who just prefer podcasts).

5-Star Spells is a show with a group of some of the most talented and knowledgeable root workers and readers around.  I’ll get into them individually in a moment, but as a whole they represent some of the best minds, hearts, and hands in the conjure business today.  What’s even better, they all interact like family, with a tremendous amount of positivity towards each other, even when it’s clear they aren’t exactly alike.  They pass on lots of useful information, a good bit of personal philosophy (anecdotally, which is my favorite way to get philosophy), and a lot of laughter, which is pretty refreshing, actually.  Oraia Sphinx actually tipped me off to them at almost the exact same time I had downloaded their first episode, so that was serendipitious, I thought.  The show’s most frequent callers are:

Rev. Mother Susan Asselin – The show’s primary host, she operates out of a Little Italy-style neighborhood in Providence, RI.  She and Sindy Todo refer to each other as “cousins” as they recently discovered they share some branches on their family trees.  I’ll be honest and say I probably know the least about Mother Asselin, but from what I hear on the show, she’s knowledgeable, spirit-filled, and wise.  Her website is called MotherMystic.

Dara Anzlowar – The owner of HoodooRoots.com, and the owner and manufacturer of Hoodoo Roots and Folk-Magic Traditional Spiritual Supplies.  She also runs two Yahoo groups, Hyatt Spells and Conjure.  I’ve followed Dara’s posts in those groups for a while now, and having a voice to put with the brilliant insights is very nice.  She works in a very traditional style, and provides a strong traditionalist viewpoint in the discussions that come up on the show, though she is also immensely cordial and kind in conversation.

Susan Diamond – She owns the Serpents Kiss occult shop and co-owns the 2Hoodoos site with Orion Foxwood.  She has a very sweet disposition on the show, but also provides a lot of interesting information (listen for her contributions in the Family Folklore episode).  She and Orion provide the most “pagan” voices on the program, but they also have some very traditional leanings as well.  She offers a wide variety of services and products, so check her out.  She’s also a member of the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR).

Orion Foxwood – I know many folks already know who Orion is, but there are probably a number of people who don’t.  The sole regular male voice on the show, Orion grew up in the southern Appalachian Mountains surrounded by the magical and mystical traditions of the area.  He says he was born with a caul (also called a “veil” sometimes) which is commonly associated with having second sight or visions.  He’s published several books on his Faery Seership tradition, and has a bevy of websites including the aforementioned 2Hoodoos, the House of Brigh, and the Foxwood Temple of the Old Religion.

“Auntie” Sindy Todo – One of my favorite voices on the show, Sindy Todo provides sass, humor, warmth, and a heckuva lot of good information on 5-Star Spells.  She always has something nice to say, blessings to pass out, and good news to share.  She is based in Seattle, and has a website called Todo Mojo which offers her magical services.  She’s also a member of AIRR, and seems like one of the most genuinely likeable people I’ve ever heard.

Starr – A Texas based conjure woman working in the old-style tradition, Starr is another favorite voice of mine (they’re all wonderful in their own ways, of course!  I just have a thing for sassy women with southern accents).  She specializes in spiritual cleansings and also is one of the foremost experts on working with the Native American spirit Black Hawk.  She doesn’t appear on every show, but when she’s on, she’s a great participant and a wonderful resource for good, solid hoodoo information.  She’s a member of AIRR, too, and operates a website called Old Style Conjure.

One of the most amazing things about this group of folks is that they all get on so well.  Well enough, in fact, that they’re all getting together in November for a weekend of conjure classes and socializing!  I’m hoping to provide more info about this sometimes oon, but for now you can read all about it at the Traditional Folk Magic Festival website.   And you can hear all about it on 5-Star Spells, which, again, I highly recommend.

Okay, that’s it for my recommendation today!  I hope you can forgive the delay in the cartomancy finale, but I’ll have that soon.  Until then, thanks for reading!

-Cory

Podcast 14 – An Interview with Cat Yronwode

August 31, 2010

-SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 14-


Summary
Today we are truly blessed to have an interview with renowned rootworker and teacher Catherine Yronwode of the Lucky Mojo Co.  Then we briefly discuss Christianity in hoodoo.  Laine tells us about Magical Soap in WitchCraft, and Cory talks about Spiritual Cleansing Baths in Spelled Out.

Play:

Download:  New World Witchery – Episode 14

-Sources-
Some of Cat’s many wonderful sites:
Lucky Mojo – Her main site and online store
Lucky W Amulet Archive – A repository of info on lucky charms
Southern Spirits – Her site on Southern folklore and history
Arcane Archive – An archive of magical lore and practice from around the net
YIPPIE – The Yronwode Institute for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Herb Magic – A site on magical plants and roots
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church – The world’s smallest church, and part of the long tradition of Spiritual Churches in the United States
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) – A body of trained, professional rootworkers with experience and accountability
Hoodoo and Rootwork Course – One of the definitive training programs in traditional hoodoo
And, of course, her book Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic is often referenced on the blog and in the show.

Cory also reference’s Draja Mickaharic’s Spiritual Cleansing, a definitive guide on the topic.

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.
Promo 1- Inciting a Riot
Promo 2- Pagan in the Threshold

Blog Post 78 – More Mojos for Success

August 10, 2010

Back in Blog Post 76, I mentioned that I’d be following up with some other types of success mojos.  Academic success is fantastic, but if you’re not in school it’s probably not going to help you much.  So today I thought I’d take that scholastic success mojo hand and rework it for a few other needs.  I hope it helps!

Building upon the basic Crown of Success mojo, which would generally include a John the Conqueror root in a red flannel sack anointed with Crown of Success oil, you could vary your specific ingredients for particular results:

Better Business – Add herbs like sassafras, five-finger grass, or cinnamon, plus a lodestone and magnetic sand.  Try to use an odd number of ingredients.  Pray Psalm 8 or a similar prayer.

Gentle Judge – A court-case success hand.  Use gravel root, little John to chew/galangal, cascara sagrada  bark, sugar, and tobacco.  Pray Psalm 36 or a similar prayer.

High Rollers – This is a gambling success mojo.  Use Job’s tears, a gator paw, a badger or gator tooth, a raccoon penis bone, a rabbit’s foot, and/or a four-leaf clover charm (primarily use curios for this one).  Pray Psalm 41 or Psalm 62 or a similar prayer.

Lucky in Love – With this success hand, it’s less about attracting a new love and more about strengthening one that exists (say, for example, during the process of courtship and marriage).  Add angelica root, violets, and roses (if trying to court a woman) or vanilla, tobacco, and dragon’s blood resin (for courting a man).  You can use lavender if you’re courting someone of the same sex, as well.  Pray Psalm 139 or a similar prayer.

Make It Rain Money – Add cinnamon, collard seeds, beans or peas, lucky hand root, rice, and/or rose of Jericho (things like seeds, beans, peas, and rice all signify abundance).  Add a lucky penny or a silver dime if you like, or a silver charm like a four-leaf clover.  Pray Psalm 126 or a similar prayer.

There are so many variations on these types of mojos, so please try them out and experiment.  I’ve had a lot of success (and the irony of that is not lost on me) working with these types of hands, so I encourage everyone to give them a try.

I’d like to close this post by sharing something one of our wonderful readers mentioned to me.  Odom of the Evil Eye recently wrote me about an academic success hand he’s working on, and he included an ingredient that struck me as just perfect for that kind of work:  coffee.  He made an excellent point that as a stimulant coffee can help keep one awake and alert, and that the university coffee house is such a ubiquitous piece of the college landscape it almost serves as a shrine to this kind of work.  So good eye for that connection, Odom!

Thanks for reading,
-Cory

Blog Post 70 – Elder

June 11, 2010

I’ve been noticing a lot of the elder trees blooming in my neck of the woods lately, so I thought I might take a stab at sharing some information on that particular plant.

Elder is a tree that has a long history with humanity.  Its uses are broad, including medicinal, culinary, and magical aspects.  Generally speaking, elder comprises anything in the genus Sambucus, with species names like nigra, canadensis, peruviana, etc. depending on region and appearance.  Elders can be very shrubby, or full-grown trees reaching up to 25 feet tall.  They have white flowers which bloom in the summer in bunches called corymbs (these are very prominent, so much so in fact that I felt compelled to write a blog post on them).  The blue-black berries, which appear in late summer and early fall, are a foodstuff used in everything from jams to vinegars.  The shoots of the elder have even been used as toys.  According to Botanical.com:

“The popular pop-gun of small boys in the country has often been made of Elder stems from which the pith has been removed, which moved Culpepper to declare: ‘It is needless to write any description of this (Elder), since every boy that plays with a pop-gun will not mistake another tree for the Elder.’ Pliny’s writings also testify that pop-guns and whistles are manufactures many centuries old!”

Medicinally, elders different parts have different uses (a quick note:  I am not a medical professional.  Please seek professional medical advice before using any plant medicinally).  The flowers have been used in tisanes to help alleviate all manner of ailments: sore throats, swollen tonsils, flu symptoms, etc.  The cooled elder tea could also be used topically on sunburns or to alleviate sore eyes.  The leaves of the elder can be used as a poultice or turned into an unguent to treat bruises, cuts, and abrasions.  The bark can be used as a potent purgative, though the inner bark is better for this than the outer.

As food, elder berries are most commonly consumed as elderberry jam.  They can also be turned into a syrup, and made into a delicious cordial for the adults in the crowd.  A sweet and slightly spicy wine can also be made from the berries, which seems to be very popular among the brew-it-yourself crowd.  I remember an old herbal book of mine which also contained a recipe for drinks like elderberry fizz and elderberry flip, which are essentially cocktails made from either the wine or the cordial.

Magically, elder has appeared in many cultures with many different purposes.  Some of the Old World magical associations with elder include:

  • Driving away evil spirits (Russian)
  • Magically removing fever (Czech)
  • Protection against witchcraft (English)
  • Good luck at weddings (Serbian)
  • Preventing theft (Sicilian)
  • Bad luck if burned (Romany)

The Danes believe that furniture made from elder wood is haunted by a spirit called Hylde-Moer (or “Elder Mother”), who may bear a connection to Mother Holle in Teutonic mythology.

On this side of the Atlantic, elder shows up in several systems.  John George Hohman’s Long Lost Friend recommends frying elder leaves with tobacco leaves in butter to make a healing salve.  In hoodoo, elder is used primarily for protection.  Hung in a bag near the entrance to the home, elder wood and flowers prevents intruders from coming in.  When mixed with the potent devil’s shoestring herb, it can prevent any unwanted guest from getting close to your home.  Catherine Yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic recommends elder as part of a Law-Keep-Away spell:

“Determine how many ways there are to enter the place where you conduct your business, and for each way, cut an elder stick five inches long, and get a small piece of John the Conqueror root.  On each elder stick carve five notches, one-half inch apart, then cut a sharpened point on each stick.  About fifty feet down each path leading to the place, drive a hole into the ground.  Put a piece of John the Conqueror root at the bottom of the hole, followed by an elder stick, pointed end down, with all the notches facing North.  It is said that no law officer will walk or drive over those elder pegs”  (HHRM p.90).

Yronwode also recommends drawing a circle around oneself with an elder branch and making a wish.  If you try this out, I’d love to hear your results!

There are probably dozens of other things I’m missing about elder, but hopefully this is a good start.  If you have uses of elder or experiences with the plant you’d like to share, please feel free to do so!

Thanks for reading,

-Cory


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