Hoodoo Up the Hearth: Come On In My Kitchen

Robert Johnson photo by m amina. Licensed under CC 2.0

You better come on
in my kitchen
babe, it’s goin’ to be rainin’ outdoors

– Robert Johnson

Hoodoo Up The Hearth photo by Lilith Dorsey.

Hoodoo, like its more formalized cousins Voodoo and Vodou, has traditionally gotten a bad rap. In my book Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism, I talk about how its practitioners are called doctors and are “said to always have one hand, eye, or foot in both worlds: the visible and the invisible.” Hoodoo is, at its core, folk magick; it thrives on making do with what it can grab with that one hand, and much of the magick and mystery takes place no farther than the kitchen. The kitchen is where the sacred hearth is located. Okay, nowadays it’s probably just a stove, but you get the idea. This has been the sacred center of the home since the dawn of time. It was used to warm us, nourish us, sustain us.


Hoodoo herbs like basil, dill, or chives can be planted in a window box, or in pots in the kitchen. They will help to provide protective energies for your home. A list of easy to grow Hoodoo herbs can be found on the blog HoodooQ.

Many traditions including Hoodoo, Native American, and more employ the use of Sage in a sacred capacity. This can be a simple smudging of the outside of home or using herbs such as sage and cedar to make a ritual broom to sweep your space.

A thin line of red brick dust can be placed on the threshold of the entrance to the kitchen, and also on the windowsills for additional protection. All these things are done to assure that the proper magical energy, or ashe is kept flowing in the kitchen.

What’s Cooking?

Herbs are just the beginning when it comes to Hoodoo magic in the kitchen. Every dish is an opportunity to create something blessed.

Denise Alvarado has a great piece about Makin Groceries Hoodoo-Style in the New Orleans Examiner. She even gives a money recipe for Lucky Green Rice.

Saints Alive

Prayers, pictures and petitions to saints are a large part of Hoodoo tradition. Practitioners frequently use bibliomancy, or divination with the Bible. Psalms 11, 13 an 14 are said to provide special Hoodoo protections. These can be recited while spiritually cleansing and cooking in your kitchen. Pictures of St. Joseph and Fava beans placed in the corners of the kitchen can be used to ensure bounty in the pantry.

There are several different spells and prayers to St. Michael that could also be used in the kitchen for protection. This Archangel is said to provide protection from devils. Sprinkle Holy Water on the kitchen doors and windowsills while saying the following prayer:


St. Michael, Archangel and Protector of the Weak –

Glorious Prince obtain for us a share of thy sturdy courage,

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil,

and please protect us from hatred and ill intent.




If you enjoyed this article, please share or leave your own favorite Hoodoo kitchen conjure below. I’d love to hear it !

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About Lilith Dorsey

Lilith Dorsey M.A. , hails from many magickal traditions, including Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, and Native American spirituality. Her traditional education focused on Plant Science, Anthropology, and Film at the University of R.I, New York University and the University of London, and her magickal training includes numerous initiations in Santeria also known as Lucumi, Haitian Vodoun, and New Orleans Voodoo. Lilith Dorsey is a Voodoo Priestess and in that capacity has been doing successful magick since 1991 for patrons, is editor/publisher of Oshun-African Magickal Quarterly , filmmaker of the experimental documentary Bodies of Water :Voodoo Identity and Tranceformation, author of Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism and The African-American Ritual Cookbook, and choreographer for jazz legend Dr. John's "Night Tripper" Voodoo Show. She believes good ritual should be fun and innovative, and to that end she led the first ever Voodoo Zombie Silent Rave Ritual in July 2013, complete with confused Thriller flash mob.