Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Spitting Venom and Serpent Tongues. Dealing with Gossip, Lies and Slander

Curses dont put men in hearses but wagging tongues dig mens the saying goes.

Gossip. Its ugly, nasty and childish.

If someone is spreading unpleasant rumours about you, it can be upsetting and immensely hurtful.

You should strive to rise above it and ignore people who bad mouth you.

But sometimes gossip goes beyond idle chatter and petty cruelty.
Sometimes it can be dangerous, it can cause innocent people to have their reputations and lives ruined.

God forbid anyone should find themselves in a situation like this, but it does happen.

So if you find yourself the victim of vicious slander you should of course contact the authorities or legal advice.

But it wouldn't hurt also to do some hoodoo on the side.......

Pins are placed through the cheeks of a figure candle to "cross up" a wicked tongue in a ritual performed by me for a client.

There are many magical agents and methods to deal with liars, gossips and to silence people who talk too much. Here are a few:


A type of aluminium salt, its a white powdery mineral you may be familiar with if you are a man who regularly shaves, alum is what styptic pencils are made from, the type you dab your face with when you cut yourself shaving.
This mineral is easily available from chemists (just buy an astringent shaving stick and crush it up in a pestle and mortar)
Alum is also used as a magical ingredient to silence people with big mouths.

Slippery Elm

This powdered tree bark is used magically to silence mouthy people, it also doubles as a pacifier for all manner of bitchiness. Sick of bitching going on in work? Sprinkle it across the threshold for people to walk in whilst reciting Psalm 52.

The Vinegar of The 4 Thieves

Prized by french grave robbers during the plague as an antiseptic to protect against disease this mixture has been credited with magical properties. It is believed to dispel enemies and can be used as part of certain Stop Gossip workings.
Made from vinegars, wormwood and other secret bitter herbs, this concoction can be anything from bright blue to dark brown in colour (my personal mixture is a vivid blue-green colour), it has an immensely acidic acrid scent and will stain.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Let the evil doers words burn in their mouths with these flaming hot peppers. 13 of these lethally hot peppers can be stuffed into a beef tongue that has been specially prepared, the tongue is twisted, bound, pierced with 13 coffin nails and buried in a grave, left to rot with prayers and rituals that petition the guilty parties tongue to also rot in his/her mouth.

Maguey Thorns

If used correctly these vicious spikes can prick the tongue and heart of those who speak evil. In extreme cases they can sew the lips permanently shut.

Stop Gossip Oil

Brown in colour with a woody scent, this conjure oil can be used to dress candles for rites in which to stop gossip.


Dead wasps stuffed and stitched into the mouth of a doll can do wonders.


Nettles can be applied in the same way as dead wasps.

Dumb Cane

(Dieffenbachia) More an obeah than a hoodoo thing, also less of a case of magical poisoning and more of a case of just poisoning.
Dumb cane can be used very effectively to shut people up ritually or just by poisoning people with it as it paralyses the tongue and causes it to swellsometimes blocking the airway silencing them......forever.
Don't even think of feeding this plant to anyone. Ever.


Here is a stripped down version of the ritual depicted in the above photograph, you can use this if you ever feel you are the victim of gossip.

 You will need:
  • 2 pins
  • Black human figure candle depicting the gender of the person spreading the gossip
  • Holy water
  • Compelling oil
  • Stop gossip oil
  • Vinegar of the 4 Thieves
  • A dish
  • Alum
  • Slippery elm

Baptise the candle in holy water with the name of the perpetrator and etch their date of birth or name into the candle.
You must now think of and refer to the figure candle as the person you are working on. Never just as "the candle".

Dip the pins in stop gossip oil and pierce them in an X shape through his/her lower cheeks so they are crossing over where the tongue would be.
Anoint the whole thing with Stop Gossip oil.
Blow powdered slippery elm and alum from your left hand into his/her face.
Stand him/her in a hidden corner of your house facing the wall so you can get the idea he/she is an insignificant little midget in your life that you can just step around without consequence.

On a Saturday between the hours of midday and 6pm, stand him/her in a bowl of 4 thieves vinegar and place it on your altar. Light the wick and recite Psalms 37, 52 and 143:12

Desperate times may call for desperate measures.

Leave him/her to burn out. Take the remains in the bowl to the cemetery and dump them at the gates.

Hope you never have to use this ritual. Peace.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

So you want to be a hoodoo?

People keep e-mailing me and asking "I want to practise hoodoo, what do I need to start out?".

 Well this is a tough question for me to answer as my own style of conjure is personal, its a mash of American hoodoo, British-Jamaican obeah and of course generic folk catholicism.

Now let me stress my own personal system of hoodoo style conjure isn't something that I slammed together on a rainy Wednesday afternoon whilst I was bored and there was nothing on TV.
It was something that formed over a long time and just sort of happened.
However hoodoo is the dominant element in it, so maybe I can help others, feel free to take from this post what you will if you are just starting out.

If you don't like what I say, that's OK, I am NOT the grand high hoodoo pope (and neither is anyone else....if you don't count Moses!), it is after all your journey and you must do what is right and what works for you, I'm not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.

It has been said to me that in order to practise hoodoo conjure you need three things.
  1. A glass of water, 
  2. A candle,
  3. A bible.

This is very true, you really need very little to practice Hoodoo. Most ecroutments are just an extra to aid your focus on the work being done.

I tell this to people and many times they are unhappy, they feel they need more than this to focus their work.

Hoodoo conjure is a tradition of stuff. Brightly coloured powders, mysterious fetishes, exotic smelling oils, big glittery sparkles and things that go bang. Showmanship and drama is all part of the magic of hoodoo and thats partly what makes it so wonderful, but amid all the pomp and charisma it's easy to get dazzled and lose sight of the true bare bones spiritual power behind hoodoo.

Traditional Kongo magic, one of Hoodoos rich historical roots.
Make no mistake. In its simplest form Hoodoo is no camp carnival magic show. It is a raw, primal and immensly powerful system of magic that was born from a history of blood and desperation, its roots go way back beyond the Americas to the old world and are truly ancient. When practiced its power comes up from somewhere deep down in the most fundamental human part of us that lays beyond reason, its no play shit to be trifled with, the modern whistles and bells of lotions and potions merely frame a much bigger more ancient picture.

Ive known people spend small fortunes on endless expensive paraphernalia and courses that make them "certified rootworkers", yet after all of the money invested they still couldn't conjure their way out of a wet paper bag. (Not that theres anything wrong with doing online courses or stocking up on hoodoo gear, just dont expect it to make you hoodoo extraordiniare overnight.)

Ive also known other people who have performed miracles with no more than a simple candle,  a handful of herbs and a whole lot of faith.
These are the people who impress me the most and who I strive to be like.

Let me remind you of a little something Jesus said:

"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."

I believe the true spiritual power behind hoodoo cant just be bought, it is a gift from God and the Spirits that is inherent in every human being.

It not potions and lotions that do the work (though they help a great deal), its our faith, commitment and focus that does it.

Anyway I digress, when I tell people they need little to perform a hoodoo conjure they get upset.
This is because people have a need to perform ritual and tradition.
I totally empathise with this, as there is few feelings more joyous than being at an altar in the company of spirits with candles ablaze and the smell of incense and perfume in the air.

So Ive compiled a few lists for the budding hoodoo to get him or her started performing their own rituals and works. This is just what I recommend and based on stuff that Ive found works. 

It is by no means set in stone.

Remember there are no real set ways of doing things in hoodoo conjure. It either works or it doesn't.
However there will always be themes running through it that remain the same.
For example some people like to work with mojos, dolls and powders, other people (like myself) prefer candle burning, oils and baths.
Some take a protestant approach and only work with psalms. Others enjoy a catholic approach and call on saints.
Its all very personal and you must find what works for you.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to break the bank to get started either. Many successful hoodoo conjures where modest people and many still are.

Before you do anything, I strongly recommend setting up a table to do hoodoo work from, I personally do a lot of my hoodoo work from my altar dedicated to God and my Ancestors. I strongly recommend you do the same because without them backing up your work, you are pretty much powerless. Not all Hoodoos work with the dead, but I do and I've found my ancestors to be great allies and teachers when performing conjure. All hoodoos however, work with God.

The Ancestors.

Your Table:
Take a white cloth and spread it across a table. At the back centre of the Altar place a stand alone crucifix, if you are uncomfortable with catholic imagery then use a protestant cross, if you are uncomfortable with christian imagery in general......tough.
Hoodoo conjure has a large christian tradition attached to it and if you have such a huge problem with Christianity then its probably not for you.
Sure, you can practise hoodoo conjure and not be a christian, however you should show respect to its christian roots and the teachings of Christ if you want to do it.
Place a nice white votive light in the centre along with a brandy glass filled with water.
Keep a bible nearby.

That's it.
A plain white table with a cross, a candle and a glass of water on it, all you need.

The White represents spirituality and attracts good spirits.
The Crucifix represents your connection to God.
The Water is for your Ancestors it gives them a medium to travel through and be present.
The Candle is symbolic of illuminating the whole thing with spiritual power and is a mark of your intentions of comunion with the spirits.

Spend a little time everyday at your table in prayer to God and your Ancestors.
Your Ancestors should be given offerings regularly, at least once a week, that can be placed on the table and left overnight. These offerings can be just a simple candle or something more elaborate such as food and drink.
God on the other hand doesn't need offerings, only offerings of your love and devotion.

Keep your table nice and neat and sprinkle it with cologne on occasion to keep it free of evil spirits and spiritual grime.

Ever remember you are powerless without God, Your Ancestors are the reason you are alive, they will protect, help and guide you always.

Very Basic Supplies:

A deck of playing cards for divination
A pack of white taper candles
A jar of sea salt
A jar of sugar
A jar of graveyard dirt
A bottle of olive oil
A bottle of holy water
A bottle of cologne (I recommend either florida water or 4711, though any eau de cologne will do)

Congratulations! You are now fully kitted out to perform full blown hoodoo rituals! You will be amazed at the array of powerful, effective and wonderful rituals you can do with these simple tools just add faith and a bit of imagination.


The Table:
Again, take a white cloth and spread it across a table. At the back centre of the Altar place a stand alone crucifix or cross, place a nice white votive light in the centre along with a brandy glass filled with water.
Keep a bible nearby.
Place a skull on the table to represent the ancestors and to remind you of your own mortality.
Add other things such as:
Incense holder.
Statues of your favourite Saints.
Framed pictures of your ancestors.
You may also wish to put a pot or ginger jar on the table to place offerings inside for your ancestors to enjoy.
Some nice white flowers for decoration.
Let intuition, inspiration and the spirits guide you as to what to do with the table, if you feel your ancestors want something adding or taking away, do so.

Basic Supplies:
A pack of playing cards
An oil lamp
A censer for incense
A selection of colour taper candles (white, black, red, purple, yellow, brown and orange)
A jar of frankincense
A jar of five finger grass
A jar of camphor
A jar of basil
A jar of chamomile
A jar of ground cinnamon
A jar of laundry bluing
A jar of sea salt
A jar of sugar
A jar of graveyard dirt
A bottle of vegetable oil
A bottle of holy oil
A bottle of holy water
A bottle of cologne
A bottle of dragons blood ink and dip pen
A pack of self lighting charcoal


By this point you should have a good grounding in maintaining your table and it will have taken a form that works for you and your spiritual allies.
If you feel you want to do paid work for other people and feel you are competent to do it, fine, but here are some rules I stick to and some I think you should seriously consider when working for other people:
  • I NEVER charge anyone who NEEDS the work doing because they have fallen on hard times, this is people wrongly convicted of crimes, people suffering illnesses, people who are being abused through no fault of their own. These people get freebies from me if I have the resources to spare, if I don't have the resources, I'm happy to pray for them which can be just as effective.
  • I only ever charge the cost of the materials and minimum wage per hour for doing the work.
  • I only perform spiritual works that I feel confident doing and have the correct resources at hand to do.
  • I never make guarantees of anything, I am not a God and I am not omnipotent.
  • I always recommend conjure is just part of a solution for a problem, it is not an alternative to legal, medical or financial advice.
  • I never make claim to be "more spiritual" than anyone else, we all come from God and are equally spiritual and equally loved by God.
  • I never claim superhuman powers, what I do is perfectly human and anyone can learn to do.
  • Spirits, such as Saints, who work on my behalf to solve a problem, receive due respect, praise, payment and sacrifice.
  • I have made myself familiar with the laws of my country in regards to receiving payment for spiritual works.
  • I never reveal a clients name.
  • I never throw curses around unless it is to bring justice to an evil doer and even then it is after much careful consideration and divination.

(N.B this is the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM of supplies I recommend for someone setting themselves up as a paid professional rootworker to have at their disposal if they want to be taken seriously.)

Divinatory Tools:
(Always have AT LEAST two forms of divination, so you can get more than one angle on situation)
Playing cards, Tarot cards or Lenormand cards.

Red, orange, yellow, green, purple, black, white and brown tapers.
Tea lights
Plain white glass encased novena candles (plain so pictures of saints or petitions can be stuck to the side.)
A selection of figure candles, male, female, skull etc

(Base oils)

Almond oil
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Palm oil

(Conjure oils)
Holy oil
Van-van oil
John the Conqueror oil
Road Opener oil
Crossing oil
Uncrossing oil
Crown of Success oil
Red Fast Luck oil
Money Drawing oil
Love Drawing oil

(not all these items are "minerals" per se, but Ive listed them here for ease.)
Sea salt
Laundry bluing
Graveyard dirt
Magnetic sand
Bicarbonate of soda
Iron oxide
Vesta powder

Herbs and Roots:
Red Pepper
Five finger grass
Bayberry bark
Juniper berries
Gravel root
Star anise
Orris root
John the Conqueror root
Rose petals
Valerian root

Dragons Blood

Colognes and Waters:
Holy water
Storm water
War water
Peace water
Florida water
Kananga water
Cologne 4711
Rose water

Animal Curios:
Black chicken feathers
Chicken bones
Chicken feet
Snake sheds
Cat bones
Black cat fur
Black dog fur (apparently poodle hair is traditional but I use any black dog hair)

Dragons Blood
Doves Blood
Bats Blood
Don't forget a dip pen and brown paper!

Reference Books:
Bible or psalter
The Greater Key of Solomon
6th and 7th Books of Moses
Book of Novena prayers to the Saints

Empty bottles of various sizes
Swinging censer
Regular censer
Oil lamp
4 thieves vinegar
Green and red cloth bags
Selection of hat pins, dress pins and eyed needles
Voodoo dolls
Selection of soaps: osun dudu, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon and savon du marseille.

So there you have it, my thoughts on starting out in hoodoo.

Good Luck and happy conjuring! :)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Italian folk charms.

Ive been asked to write a little on Italian folk magic, so here we go:

I wasn't really sure where to start, so I thought I start with charms, below are a list of magical charms and  symbols utilised in Italy and the diaspora.
The first thing Id like to cover, just because it is so mysterious and intriguing are the trulli hex signs of puglia.

Hex Signs of Puglia:

In the region of Puglia, there are traditional houses called "trulli", these houses are conical stone huts and are very common in the region, they are not really found anywhere outside of Puglia, I think I'm right in saying these houses are the result of Arabic influence on southern Italian culture. Most of these houses are centred around the town of Alberobello, which has become a sort of tourist spot due to its unusual architecture.
Granted I've only ever been to Puglia once and spent most of my time there at a waterpark eating gelato, but on the way there I still got chance to see plenty of trulli and nearly all them had these strange hex signs painted on their roofs in whitewash.
I was immediately intrigued by these strange magical signs, but whats even weirder and i intriguing is nobody is really sure of their origin, not even the families who paint them on the roofs every year, they simply shrug and say "its what we have always done". Their primary function is to ward off evil spirits, deflect witchcraft and attract luck.

Trulli decorated with hex signs 

Many of the signs on the roofs are catholic in nature and therefore self explanatory as magical symbols (catholic imagery extends beyond the realm of religion in Italy and crosses over into the realm of superstition and magic, often being used as general symbols for luck, blessing and reversing evil) for example, the pierced heart of Our Lady, the sacred heart of Jesus, the Host, the Cross etc...
However these catholic images are the exception rather than the rule. Planetary symbols from astrology are much more common and even more common are primitive symbols of suns, stickmen, crudely drawn animals and geometric shapes. And even more seen than these are strange primitive abstract symbols to who's exact origins are any ones guess (including the folk who paint them).

Common trulli hex signs. From left to right; primitive, catholic and astrological
Paint one above your door to keep the malocchio off or just as an interesting conversation piece to friends.

This charm is a very old Italian charm and falls under the category of "portafortuna" which translates as a lucky charm but can be used as a catch all term for practically any amulet or talisman. Italians are obsessed with charms that are carried or worn as jewellery. This particular charm is much more popular in the diaspora than in Italy itself, probably due to its heavy associations with witchcraft which carries satanic connotations for many Italians (please don't send me any messages telling me paganism isn't satanic, I already know this, but satanic witchcraft is far more common in Italian culture than pagan witchcraft, this isn't up for debate but a comment made on my own personal experience.)
I personally don't think the charm is satanic and I would happily wear one, I think the charm is wonderful and very magical.


It can be worn by women or men, but is generally deemed to be more of a feminine thing.
The charm consists of a piece of silver that has been shaped into a triform bunch of rue, from the tips of the rue branches sprout strange arcane symbols. Symbols vary between individual charms however the following symbols are usually always present: A waxing crescent moon, a key, a vervaine flower, a sacred heart and a fish.
The symbolism contained within the cimaruta are a blend of symbols taken from pagan, catholic and peasant folk magic, which reflects the traditional folk spirituality of Italy perfectly.
The sacred heart, the fish and the triform nature of the branch are all catholic symbols, representing Jesus, Christian faith and the Trinity.
The key and the crescent moon are likely pagan symbols of the pagan Gods Hekate and Diana, both two Goddesses associated with witchcraft and magic, these Gods where very popular symbols of magic in renaissance art and literature in Italy which is probably the period of time where the charm originates.
Rue itself is a powerful protector against evil magic in Italian herbal lore as are vervaine flowers, which also bring luck. Silver is also used in many Italian folk charms to bring money (stare at the moon whilst turning a silver coin in your pocket is one charm that springs to mind.)
Like I said previously, the charm is very popular in the diaspora and in recent years has been adopted by witches and magical practitioners within the Italian diaspora as a sort of unofficial badge of identity.

This charm shaped as a bulls horn is massively popular in Southern Italy especially around Napoli and in the region of Calabria. It is so typical of the Mezzogiorno region that in the diaspora it is often worn by people of Calabrese and Neopolitan descent as a badge of cultural identity. If you are lucky enough to ever visit Calabria or Naples you will see this charm everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Worn as jewellery, hung on rear view mirrors, dangling in shop windows, carried as key rings, printed on t-shirts. The charm is generally considered something men would ware as among its many blessings it grants virility through its obviously phallic shape, the symbolism of bull like virility is also obvious. However it carries many other blessings too, among them luck, wealth, success and therefore is also sometimes used by women too.


The charm should be red in colour, this symbolises the defeat of your enemies (imagine a bulls horn covered in blood after it has gored a rival.). The horn should also should be empty so it can fill itself with blessings ready to be poured out into your life. The top is usually crowned with a gold crown to represent success, mastery and wealth. The blessings of this charm are manifold; luck, protection, virility, strength, success, abundance, wealth to name a few...small wonder it is so popular!

The origins of the cornetto are a bit of a mystery, its very old and probably Roman in origin, taken from the myth of the cornucopia or magical horn of plenty that was carried by the Roman Goddess Abundantia (which is where the word "abundance" comes from), though the traditional cornucopia is generally seen as a goats rather than bulls horn.
Abundantias cornucopia produced never ending supplies of delicious food and gold coins which she poured out generously on those who pleased her.
There is some evidence that the cornetto may be even older, perhaps even Etruscan as Etruscan houses would often hang a bulls horn above the front door for prosperity. Others have suggested a neolithic origin to the magic horn.

Ideally the cornetto should be given to you as gift for maximum luck bringing effectiveness, but if you want to buy one as a gift for yourself, that's fine too.

Mano corno. Careful who you flash it too.

As with all magical charms be a little careful, some conservative folk believe the charm to be satanic, a charm that is said to invoke the devil for financial aid.

Mano Corno:
An alternative to the cornetto, this lucky charm is credited with the power of warding off the dreaded "malocchio" or evil eye, it is also a general charm of luck. it is basically a hand giving a 2 fingered horned salute.

This charm is a little controversial as it is considered offensive, I would personally not recommend wearing it on show when in the company of Italians. The gesture the hand is making is that of the "cornuto" or cuckold man. The idea is that if a mans wife cheats on him, he will grow horns as a mark of shame, making this sign to someone is a sign you think they are a weak, pathetic and foolish. The gesture is immensely insulting and is the equivalent of sticking your middle finger up at someone.
The origin of the charm is strange and I have little idea where it comes from, it is possible that due to the belief that the evil eye being cast is usually through jealousy (especially sexual jealousy), then slamming someone down and taking the wind out of their sails by accusing them of sexual jealousy because their wife is too busy cavorting with other men may be one possible explanation. Another explanation is that the sign is intentionally insulting, meaning it is worn as an insult to the devil and his minions, sort of like throwing salt in the devils eye to bring luck.
Other explanations include it is simply a variation on the cornetto charm, other explanations point to occult gestures used in satanic Italian witchcraft. Truth is I don't know.

if your anyone asks just say its lucky and leave it at that
Mano Figa:
Again another controversial charm that shouldn't be on show in polite company! The Mano Figa literally translates as "c*nt hand" (the word "figa" is a very vulgar term for vagina). It is a gesture made with a fist to resemble a vulva. The slit produced by the middle and index fingers represent the vagina, whilst the protruding thumb a clitoris. The charm is one of protection and prosperity. As a charm of protection, it is likely that the vulgarity of the charm is supposed to be an insult to demons and the devil. The luck bringing side of the charm is probably an allusion to fertility, the vagina, being the exit of the womb, is a source of life and therefore abundance. But again I don't really know.

Slightly twee but worth a mention is the coccinella, the ladybird charm, a simple harbinger of luck especially in love. Its common so its worth a mention. Probably considered lucky because of its colour (red is very auspicious in Italian culture as it symbolises victory over enemies and averts the evil eye) and because of its beauty.

Coccinella charm

Kitchen Gods:

If you have ever spent time in Italian households you will have seen a mask of the roman god Bacchus on the wall in the kitchen. They are usually clay or pottery of some kind depicted with smiling mouth open and wearing a crown of grapes and vine leaves. You may also see the Goddess Abundtia holding a cornucopia, or a cornucopia by itself or renaissace images of the Goddess Ceres baring her breasts. These are generally kept for their beauty, however they are also symbols of abundance, kept in the kitchen to ensure food is never in short supply. It is important to remember that families who keep these pagan images arent pagans themselves, they simply see these old Gods of Roma as symbols of prosperity and abundance, lucky to have around.


A strange fetish that comes in the form of a hunchback man depicted as a tramp clutching a horseshoe in one hand and making a horned salute with the other. He is also sometime depicted wearing a battered top hat with a ladybird sat on top of it and a 4 leaf clover through his buttonhole. Other times he is portrayed wearing a white clown outfit and a black venetian mask. He is also sometimes portrayed surmounting a cornetto, this variation of the charm is called a corno gobbo.

Gobbo charms
This is a powerful luck charm especially when it comes to money and gambling, when you need extra luck you should rub the hump on his back.

Well that's all i can think of for now! Of course there are many, many more charms and the like but I hope this covered some interesting basics and cleared up a few of the misconceptions floating around.

Ciao for now.