I was shopping in the thrift store yesterday when I came across these cute ginger-bread men candles and it occurred to me that I could use these candles in the same way as regular old human-figure-candles.
Human Figure Candles are those candles which have been molded in the shape of a nude male or female figure and are often used to represent a specific person. They come in various colors including black, white, green, and red. Just as in general candle-burning practices, the color of the candle should be in harmony with the goal of your spell.
Typically, the name of the person the candle is intended to represent is scratched across the chest of the doll. The individual’s personal concerns, when available, are ‘loaded’ into the base of the candle. Once prepared the candle may be burned, either alone or with other candles. These types of candles can just as easily be used in the same manner as a waxen image, because that is exactly what they are! To prepare such a candle as a doll-baby you can simply scratch the person's name across the chest of the doll. If you have personal concerns, or wish to incorporate herbs and roots into your doll, the candle will have to be loaded. To load the candle, bore a hole in the bottom and fill this with your herbs, personal concerns, etc.. and then fill the hole back in with wax to seal it.
In the case of the candles pictured above, I would more than likely scrap off the outer layer of decoration and wipe them down with ammonia to cleanse them before using them in any such spell.
This idea, however, got me to thinking "How can I use other holiday related items in the practice of Hoodoo?" And so with that idea in mind, below you will find my Top 10 tips and tricks for conjuring up your own Holiday Hoodoo© !
- Mistletoe is traditionally hung about the home, usually just inside doorways, and anyone caught standing under it is kissed. There are many different theories associated with the origin of this practice but most agree that it has to do with bestowing fertility and protection. In the Hoodoo Tradition, mistletoe can be dried, powdered and mixed with Verbena and Elecampane to make a love powder. When burned with Oak Wood and Rue, it drives away evil and mistletoe makes a good addition to any mojo bag or herb packet for love or healing.
- Live Pine Trees often act as Christmas Trees and their needles can be saved and used in recipes for baths and floor washes to spiritually cleanse the home. Pine needles are also used in workings to draw in money, drive out evil spirits, and remove negativity.
- There are many things that you can do with Holiday Cards which are both given and received. Whenever I receive Holiday Cards I always make it a point to gently tear off the portion of the envelope where the sender signed his or her name and address. These can be placed under candles, in dolls, or mojo bags as personal concerns. Before you send out your own cards I always suggest a) printing your return address, etc... from your computer and b) using a moist sponge to seal the envelope rather than licking it and giving away your own personal concerns so easily. In addition, your cards can be dusted with Hoodoo Powders or smoked in incenses to have an effect on the receiver for good or bad. For example, you can dip the four corners in powdered sugar so that the card will be received with affection. Just be sure to blow off any excess powder so the person you send it to wont' be suspicious.
- Christmas Stockings usually hung over the fireplace for Santa to put smaller gifts and treats can be used in the same manner as a person's sock. In many cases, they also have the person's name embroidered on them. Let's say that your boyfriend broke up with you right before Christmas or your mother-in-law swore she would never come to your house again since you didn't name the new baby after her father and you want to Hot Foot him or her away for good. Take the person's Christmas Stocking and stuff some dried hot peppers, powdered red pepper, black pepper and their personal concerns down in the toe. Next, beginning at the toe roll the stocking away from you making your prayer or petition for them to go away. Tie up the stocking with some cord or thread (you probably have some left over ribbon somewhere) and toss it in your burning fire place to really light a fire under them! Alternately, if you have a family member who will be asbent or traveling during the holidays you can put items down in the toe of their stocking such as peony (for protection) or safe travel (comfrey root).
- Gift-Wrapping paper can often be found all over the house on Christmas morning, especially if you have small children or childish adults! I know many people who try to tear their paper off carefully so it can be reused but for our purposes this isn't necessary. Gift wrapping paper, especially those in solid colors (green, blue, pink, etc..) can be saved and used to tie up herbal packets along with any left-over ribbon. As far as possible, try to coordinate the color of the paper to your goal. For example green paper and gold ribbon for a money herb packet. In addition, smaller pieces can be saved for writing your petition papers on the reverse side (which is usually white).
- Holly-Wreathes can often be seen on doors and over mantles this time of year and this is a holdover from Northern Europe when holly was hung on doors and windows to prick evil spirits and keep them out of the home. Holly is also considered very lucky for men and so a holly-leaf can be hidden in a man's suit or coat pocket for protection and good luck. When the holidays are over, three leaves from a holly wreath can be placed behind the sill over doors and window for continued protection.
- There are many things that can be done with Tree Ornaments, for example those that take the form of humans (and animals) can be used in the same manner as a doll-baby. Before hanging them on the tree, name them after family members and anoint them with Peace Oil so that your holiday will go off without any family squabbles. In addition those shiny ball ornaments can be utilized as a temporary reverse mirror-box to keep friends and family safe through the holidays. Just write out your petition paper and fold it around a protective root, such as peony, and slip it inside the ornamental ball. To do this you will have to gently remove the hook and then glue it back on.
- Children the world over often put out cookies and milk for Santa but you don't have to be a child to petition the "real" Saint Nicholas who is known as the patron Saint of children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, and prostitutes. He can be petitioned for prosperity, protection (especially sailors, business owners, and prostitutes) as well as for general wishes. To petition Saint Nicholas you can simply light a candle next to a Santa Claus figurine (we'll know who it really represents, wont' we?). It won't hurt to put out milk and cookies either. To honor the spirit of Saint Nicholas or thank him for his blessings, make an anonymous donation to a charity that benefits children or buy a toy for a child whose parents cannot afford to buy him or her anything.
- Speaking of cookies, there are all kinds of holiday-foods that can be used in a magickal way to bring you success, money, love, etc... Gingerbread men cookies can be used in the same manner as a doll-baby. Got an enemy you want to get rid of? Name a gingerbread man cookie after him and break off one piece a day for several days. Crush the piece to a powder and leave it at a crossroads. Do this every-day for 13 days as the moon wanes. Want to draw a lover to you? Name one cookie after yourself and another after your love (or simply "my lover") and bind them together with red ribbon. Place them in a special box (maybe one of those boxes that christmas chocolates come in) and sprinkle it with cinnamon, sugar, and ginger. Need money? Sprinkle a little cinnamon powder over a pecan pie in the shape of a dollar sign as you make your petition. As you eat the pie, imagine your bank account becoming as fat as your Aunt Ethel! Finally, don't forget to save those turkey bones to conjure up some fowl-magick!
- Finally, if you grew up in a Christian household at one point or another someone probably sat you down and read the story of the Nativity to you. This was usually done before bed on Christmas Eve to teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. In light of the recent massacre of 20 children in Newton, Connecticut, I suggest that at some point this week you take a few moments to sit quietly and meditate on Luke Chapter 20. Pay special attention to verses 40 and 52 and make this wish for all the children of the world. If you are a parent, you may wish to anoint your own children with holy oil while praying these verses to that they grow strong is spirit and filled with wisdom and the love of God.