The practice of Conjure can be difficult to define, the word having various meanings and connotations that shift depending on context and culture. For the purpose of this post, Conjure is defined as a tradition of North American folk magic. This way of working magic is recognized by its distinctive practices, which consist of predominantly Southern beliefs and customs, and by Hoodoo in particular. The heritage of Conjure, as it influences the larger magical character of North America, is often overlooked, as is its potential for personal growth.
Perhaps this disregard exists because other magical movements, such as might commonly be referred to as New Age or Wicca, entered the American consciousness as something new, whereas the common tricks of Conjure were too often passed over as simple country superstitions. Conjure, however, its materials and practices, curios and tricks, have never left the stage (though they have sometimes been rebranded and redefined by newer magical systems). Many occult stores to this day stock some of the same offerings that were available to rural Root Workers in the 1940’s through mail order catalogues, or that Conjure Doctors once purchased from their local New Orleans pharmacy back at the start of the 20thcentury.
Specific products, such as Van Van, Fast Luck, Bend Over, Hot Foot, and many others, have long been available throughout much of the United States, and the practices involved in implementing their magic have been passed down with them. Whereas the musical tradition of the United States finds its standards cemented in songbooks, no one has compiled the Great American Spellbook, yet there are Conjure goods and their associated spells that would certainly qualify for canonization in such a book. Lacking that, there are many books and assorted ephemera that list various magical wares, their purpose, and sometimes detailed rites.
The majority of these spells are suited towards securing basic needs, such as the need for money (Wealthy Way), love (Fire of Love), security (Fiery Wall of Protection), dominance (Boss Fix), good luck (3 Jacks and a King), and so on. This emphasis on practical concerns is most certainly a hallmark of Conjure, to the degree that I have heard it used several times as being a defining factor, and it is this point, specifically its refutation, that has inspired this post and some which are to follow.
I did not immediately repudiate the statement when I first heard someone say “Conjure is all about getting your essential needs met,” however, by nature I tend to want to challenge strict statements, and it inspired me to specifically seek out magical remedies designed for attaining things beyond the scope of day to day life.
One of the issues with defining Conjure as a system dogged by scarcity concerns is that it fails to recognize the full spectrum of human regards. Folk magic is often associated with the disenfranchised, those whose station in life has made it a struggle to subsist, and indeed, the lion’s share of magical folkways focus on necessities. The conceit, however, is the that such folk have no interests beyond surface needs, and that magical techniques aimed at more transcendent things, such as self-transformation and spiritual growth, are beyond the scope of what Conjure has to offer.
Often, systems developed by more privileged people are seen differently, and considered to be high magic. While the materials of folk magic may be less gilded than those once wielded by aristocratic lodge magicians, the work of attaining mastery over oneself and the spiritual world is present nonetheless, the secrets to such attainment dwelling within a misshapen root as strongly as within a crystal merkabah.
So I have many things in mind to show how various Conjure tricks can aid in such matters of personal growth and enlightenment, but for this post I will restrain myself to one example, focusing on the attainment of Wisdom.There are various spiritual supplies—oils, sprays, powders, incenses, baths, herb blends, candles—that have been formulated to help one achieve wisdom, often with the word present in their name, such as Wisdom Oil, or Wisdom of Solomon. Depending on how they are formulated and the intention of their crafter, some products such as Clarity, or Vision, or Insight, might also promote the understanding crucial to promoting wisdom. Some items, such as Master Key, might be formulated specifically to assist with gaining an understanding of spiritual insights. Often such offerings have various usages, and may in addition or promoting wisdom, help also with psychic vision, or help one retain information from their studies, or even to help one sound wise by invoking eloquence.
Often, a manufacturer will include some copy that describes the uses for their creation, and these may vary greatly. For example, I have seen folk selling Van Vansay that it can be used for everything from protection, cleansing, love or money drawing, psychic prowess, and so on. A lot depends on how a particular spell product is put together, and in what way it is deployed.
Returning to wisdom, let’s take a moment to look at what Anna Riva has to say about her using Wisdomoil in her book Golden Secrets of Mystic Oils.
Write your dilemma on a small square of parchment and place it beneath a white candle. Anoint the candle, from the top downward, with the oil for knowledge. Light the flame and, before the candle has burned completely, the solution to your quandary will have become clear.
Clearly, she assumes you have a dilemma that you need an answer for. She has defined the purpose for her product and provided easy instructions.
Now let’s say your need is less specific than that. You simply want to become wiser overall, rather than having to light a candle whenever you have a dilemma. You want to be wise enough that you avoid as many dilemmas a possible. A different method for employing the power of Wisdomoil is needed for that.
Let’s do a spell that utilizes no paraphernalia except the oil itself. Simply dab a drop of the Wisdomoil on the tip of your dominant hand’s pointer finger. Having done that, reach your arm downward, and point to the ground, saying:
From deep within the earth,
I seek the wisdom of the ancestors.
Now reach your arm upwards, and point to the sky, saying:
From the heavens above,
I seek the wisdom of the divine.
Now touch your heart, saying:
From within my heart,
I seek the wisdom of compassion.
Now touch the forehead, saying:
From with my head,
I seek the wisdom of judgement.
This can be done routinely every morning, or simply before any occasion that relies on your ability to make wise decisions, such as before a court appearance, or a job interview, or a brunch with frenemies.
Should you wish to create your own oil, rather than rely on someone else’s formula, here is an easy recipe.
Solomon The Wise Oil
Find a small bottle, one that holds about 1oz, and is preferably dark in color (light ages oil blends). Using a ¼ teaspoon as your standard unit, put inside it the following essential oils:
To those add 3 teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil.
Place inside the bottle 7 small pieces of Seal of Solomon Root.
Let it sit for week, then give it a whiff. If you do not care for the scent, then decide which of the 3 essential oils you think smells best, and add that to your mixture until you have a scent that you favor.
Creating an oil and spell for wisdom was my go to for this post because I am hoping that wisdom leads me in the project of writing this new blog. I hope you find use for it as well.