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.
- A glass of water,
- A candle,
- 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.
VERY BASIC ALTAR SET UP AND SUPPLIES FOR THOSE ON A TIGHT BUDGET OR WITH LITTLE SPACE:
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.
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.
BASIC TABLE SET UP AND SUPPLIES FOR THOSE JUST STARTING OUT WANTING TO BUILD UP TO SOMETHING MORE ELABORATE:
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:
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.
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
BARE BASIC PROFESSIONAL SET UP FOR THOSE JUST STARTING OUT DOING PAID HOODOO CONJURE WORK FOR OTHERS:
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.
BARE MINIMUM BASIC PROFESSIONAL SUPPLIES:
(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.)
(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.
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
John the Conqueror oil
Road Opener 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.)
Bicarbonate of soda
Herbs and Roots:
Five finger grass
John the Conqueror root
Colognes and Waters:
Black chicken feathers
Black cat fur
Black dog fur (apparently poodle hair is traditional but I use any black dog hair)
Don't forget a dip pen and brown paper!
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
4 thieves vinegar
Green and red cloth bags
Selection of hat pins, dress pins and eyed needles
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! :)