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Friday, November 27, 2009

Review: Doktor Snake's Voodoo Spell Book

Spells, Curses, and Folk Magic for All Your Needs


With Lucky Mojo Doll



by Doktor Snake


* Hardcover: 128 pages
* Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (September 9, 2004)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0312265093

Doktor Snake's Voodoo Spellbook is a little grimoire that I have had my eye on since I first heard about the author in alt.lucky.w. (See Links Below) Considering the dubious nature of Doktor Snake's sources and the information given, I finally decided to purchase his book and form my own opinion.

The book itself measures roughly 8 X 8 inches and has been created in the style of a coffee-table book. Although mine came from the publisher brand new in its original packaging I was disappointed to see that it is in less than pristine condition given the burn mark (which faintly resembles a cigarette burn) on the back of the book. In addition the book comes with a Lucky Mojo Doll which can be seen here. There is no doubt in my mind that the name of the doll was either a slap in the face to the work of Cat Yronwode and an effort to capitalize on the success of the Lucky Mojo Curio Company.

Scattered throughout the book are various illustrations that lends the material given a sense of quaintness. However, I felt that they neither add nor detract from the text but merely increased the book's total number of pages.

Despite the book's misleading title, the subject of Doktor Snake's Voodoo Spellbook is not Voodoo but rather Hoodoo. The author purports to have been taught much of his knowledge by Earl Marlowe a Blues Musician from Trinidad with whom Doktor Snake played guitar in a band. According to Doktor Snake, Earle looked to be in his 60's but claimed to have been 127 years old. Earl had learned about Hoodoo in the Carribbean and the Southern United States where he had lived before coming to live in England. In addition, Doktor Snake goes on to quote other authors on the subject of Hoodoo such as Zora Neal Hurston and Roger Pinckney.

Whereas the author has been accused of outright plagiarism I myself cannot cite any specific passage that I have seen in another work in its entirety. In once instance, the author recalls a rather famous story concerning the High Sheriff J.E. McTeer (which can also be found in Pinckney's Blue Roots) going out to the home of a bedridden woman who believes herself to be cursed. The High Sheriff buries a root in her yard under cover of darkness only to return the following day and 'psychically' finds the root and destroys it thus curing the woman of her curse.

In Docktor Snake's version, the Sheriff is aided by Dr. Crow (another rootwoker). I am from South Carolina. I have lived in the city of Beaufort. I have heard many stories concerning the High Sheriff and I can say that I have never heard of the High Sheriff working with other root doctors. In fact, he often worked against them as a law enforcement officer and as a rootworker himself. While I admit that I can be wrong, I can find no source that states otherwise (other than a mention of a Dr. Crow in Blue Roots) and Doktor Snake does not cite his source for the story.

That being said I found Doktor Snake's book to be a decent general overview of the subject of Hoodoo intermixed with his personal anecdotes. I myself did not learn anything that I didn't already know from this book, however it may be useful to someone interested in following the Hoodoo Tradition. Nonetheless, I would caution anyone new to Hoodoo to avoid this book until they have read at least three books by more reputable authors.

Carolina Dean


Links:

Preview the Book
Doktor Snake's Blog
Cat Yronwode on Doktor Snake


Purchase the Book



Friday, November 20, 2009

Witch Crafting: Macaroni Sigil Magick

Tonight, I babysat a friends sons while she went Christmas shopping. They were not content to sit quietly and watch cartoons, so I was forced to be creative. Their mother being a witch, they are somewhat familiar with certain magical concepts, so I decided to teach them macaroni sigil magic. This is a fun craft that you can do with your own children, it's fun, easy. Best of all its an excuse to spend some quality time together with your child.

STEP ONE: Decide on a goal for your sigil. This is an excellent opportunity to help your child deal with a current issue or problem such as being a better student, or a fear of the dark. Since I am using the Kameas, or Magic Squares to make my sigil, I reduced my desire to a single word HUSBAND.

STEP TWO: Using the numerological chart below, find the numbers which correspond to each of the letters in your key word.



STEP THREE: Add up all the numbers corresponding to the letters in your keyword. Reduce these numbers to a single digit, called the Quintessential Number.



STEP FOUR: Choose a Magic Square that corresponds to your goal. I chose to create my husband sigil on the Square of Venus because this planet corresponds to love, romance, and pleasure. To begin drawing my sigil, I drew a square around the Quintessential Number. Since 6 (which coincidentally corresponds to The Lovers in the Tarot) is the Quintessential Number of Husband I drew a square around the number 6.

Next, draw a circle around the first number in the order of your keyword. Since Husband begins with H and that letter corresponds to 8, I drew a circle around 8. Draw a line from the circle to the next number in the sequence, and the next number, and the next number until all the numbers are connected. When you are done, draw a line as in the top of a capital T to mark the end of the sequence.



STEP FIVE: Print your sigil out on a large piece of construction paper. Then glue dried macaroni over the sigil using the print out as a guide.





STEP SIX: When the glue dries, you can embellish it to your liking. Here are a few ideas for you to try.

a) Use a color of paint that matches your goal. As in the above example, I may paint the sigil red for love, or blue to represent a male.
b) When choosing your paint, consider the color of your construction paper and try to choose a complimentary color. For example, if you created your sigil on red construction paper, you may want to paint your sigil pink.
b) You may wish to add a few drops of a condition oil which matches your goal to your glue or paint.
c) In addition, you may also want to sprinkle some magical powders into your paint or glue.

Unfortunately I don't have any paints or glitter in the house at this time, so I am presently unable to embellish my sigil.


STEP SEVEN: At this point there shouldn't have to be any focus on charging the sigil, a child's belief is very powerful and if they believe in the magic of the symbol this will suffice. Display the sigil on your refrigerator along with the child's other artwork, photos, etc... or place it in the child's room where they will see it often and where it will be a reminder of your child's goal and of the fun you had together. Let the child determine when to destroy the sigil, or put it away.

Carolina Dean


Thursday, November 19, 2009

MLAAW: The Indian, the Witch, & The Poppet

About eight or nine years ago I was living in a nice apartment complex in my hometown. The complex was shaped like a U and right across from me there lived a large family who had immigrated from India. This family bought one of the convenience stores in town and ran it themselves. I often saw the matriarch of the family who I understood to be the husband's mother beat her front door with something that appeared to be a home-made broom. The other neighbors thought it was strange, but I always kept to myself and it didn't bother me.

The convenience store had a small diner area near the back where the family cooked meals for patrons and I had a friend who often went there to eat, read the paper, and buy her lottery tickets. My friend, let's call her Glenda the not-so-good, was another outsider having moved to South Carolina from Alaska. It didn't help her that she was also Wiccan and didn't do anything to hide that fact. What she did hide, however, was the fact that she simply did not adhere to the harm none rede associated with Wiccans.

Glenda's neighbors where always leaving religious tracks in her mailbox, people would approach her on the street and tell Glenda that they were praying for her. Glenda refused to change and kept right on doing what she'd always done. Then she began to get rocks through her windows late at night, and her car was vandalized. Glenda also had a lot of pets (snakes, an iguana, birds, dogs, men, cats, and a raccoon). Glenda didn't like all this attention because although she told everyone that she was a home health-care nurse, she was in fact a prostitute. She didn't go out at night to sit with her patients, she went to a certain motel in Richburg or as far away as Charlotte to meet her johns she arranged dates with on the internet.

At one point Glenda's raccoon Triqus (not his real name) went missing and she got it in her head that someone had kidnapped him. She asked me to help her put a curse on the person who kidnapped Trique and being a good friend I agreed. This wouldn't be the first time we'd cursed someone together. There was the single mother whose son had tried to build a pipe bomb in her house. I grabbed a few things that I thought we could use and headed over to her house.

In the ten minutes it took me to get to her house, Triqus had miraculously returned. Glenda noticed the black poppet I had brought and liked the workmanship so much, I gave it to her. The next time she and I traveled to one of the many prisons where we taught a Wicca 101 Course, I noticed that Glenda had hung the poppet from her rear-view mirror and that there were a few pins in it. I asked Glenda what that was for and she said that whenever someone cuts her off on the road, tailgates, or drives too slow she takes her frustration out on the doll. I saw her jab that doll with pins several time cursing drivers all over South Carolina.

One day Glenda decided to treat me to dinner and we went to the convenience store. While we were eating she mentioned that she needed to get gas before we leave and the owner offered to have his son fill up her tank while we ate. When the young man returned to give Glenda her keys he didn't say anything but went over to his father and began whispering to him. When we were the last customers in the diner area, the father struck up a conversation with Glenda and asked her what the doll was for in her car. She told him how she took out her frustrations on the road with other drivers on the doll.

The owner asked Glenda for a doll too and she told him that he'd have to ask me since she didn't sew. I agreed to make the doll for the man and asked him what he wanted in the doll. He asked for just the doll and said that mama would know what to do with it. So I made the doll for the man and a few days later when I stopped in to get gas, I noticed that the doll was hanging upside down by a length of cord tied to one of it's feet. The symbolism didn't escape me and I felt a certain level of pride in knowing that I had made the doll. Later I found out that the owner would impale the doll with a pin for every shoplifter he caught.

I have since made these special dolls for friends and family (especially those who have businesses) to hang over their doors to protect them from thieves, robbers, and intruders. I usually stuff them with dried red pepper, vandal root, black pepper, salt and devil's shoe strings.

Carolina Dean

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chinese Dispossession Spell

As in other parts of the world, the Chinese once believed that disease was caused by evil spirits, and that only by driving out the spirit could the person recover good health.

One such method to drive out evil spirits, called coining, consisted of dipping a coin in eucalyptus oil and heating it on an open flame. The coin was then dragged over the individual's body. The process was very painful, however, it was the pain that was believed to drive out the evil spirits.

This belief was not exclusive to the Chinese, in Colonial America mentally handicapped people were beaten to 'drive out the devil." Similar beliefs were hold in other parts of the world at various times.

A modern version of the rite given consist of having the individual give the worker a coin (traditionally a dime from their year of birth) from his own pocket. The coin is dressed with Blessing Oil and held in the workers hands as s'he prays over the coin for the individuals healing. When the coin is warm to the touch from the worker's prayer and energy, the coin is placed on that part of the boy that requires healing energy.

This can be repeated as necessary. When the rite is completed the individual can then carry the coin as an amulet against disease. This process can be performed in conjunction with the burning of candles, incense, egg-cleansings, etc...

Carolina Dean

LINKS

What is Coining?
How to Prepare for a Coining Treatment.
Derma-Abrasion as Healing Technique (PDF Document)
Gua-Sha (Wikipedia)

Photo Source

Wikipedia Commons

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anti-Stress and Protection Mojo Bag

Here is an anti-stress and protection mojo bag I created for a former co-worker who was under a great deal of stress as well as the victim of gossip and back biting from jealous peers. It contains...

Peony, which guards the mind, body and spirit.
Rue, which clears the mind and improves mental processes
Anise Seed which wards off the evil eye (jealousy) and negates its effects
Cloves which drives away hostile and negative forces
Sandalwood chips which promote peace
High John the Conquerer Root for personal power
Individual's Personal Concerns


These items were placed in a red flannel mojo bag in the light of a white human-figural candle loaded with a portion of the person's personal concerns and anointed with High John the Conqueror Oil. It was smoked in sandalwood incense and the 91st Psalm was prayed over the bag.

After the individual had the bag for three days she reported that she was stress-free and the gossip about her had ceased.

Carolina Dean

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Love Me Tender Oil




Use to Draw a Romantic Love or Take An Existing Relationship From Casual To Serious



Grape Seed Oil (base)

Vanilla Essential Oil

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Dill Seed

Coriander Seed

Cinnamon Chips



Carolina Dean

Note: I created this oil as part of my homework for Cat Yronwode's Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course.