The Hoodoo You Probably Already Knew

The Hoodoo You Probably Already Knew July 12, 2022

Many Black folks like myself probably grew up doing a lot of Hoodoo magick and they didn’t even realize it. A psalm for protection, some salt on the doorstep, a root in the pocket… all of these are time honored Hoodoo practices that for many of us have become second nature. They weren’t taught in a classroom or an online course, they were passed down in a traditional manner, whispered from parent to child to teach them how to survive.  I’ve written extensively about some of these things here on the Voodoo Universe blog before. I urge you to check out the following:

Black Salt, White Salt photo by Lilith Dorsey. All rights reserved.

Black salt, White Salt, and Red Brick Dust All Over – Here I write “There are many traditional Hoodoo, Voodoo and magickal items that can be used for protection. White Sea Salt, Black Salt, and Red Brick dust are a few of these powerful tools.” Quite frankly these are some of the best items you can stock in your magickal arsenal, not just for protection but also cleansing.

Hi John Root photo by Lilith Dorsey. Copyright 2014 all rights reserved.

Hi John the Conqueror Root is probably the most well known root in Hoodoo. The folklore surrounding it is voluminous. One of my favorite tales is by Zora Neale Hurston. ” In her story we see a folk hero of epic proportions always eluding trouble, and eventually marrying the devil’s daughter and becoming the mayor of Hell. This is all a bit reminiscent of the James Cagney movie of the same name. Now folklore is folklore for a reason, and myth is not reality. Her depiction of Hi John the Conqueror includes all the themes and tropes of the Harlem Renaissance: Devils, tricks, and shiny instruments. Zora Neale Hurston, was however a Voodoo priestess and I think it amazing that she found a way to weave one of Voodoo’s most important herbs into the lore of history.” You may have seen this wrinkly treasure before, and if you haven’t you should check it out. It works to bring about justice, eloquence, healing, luck, power, and love.

Psalm photo. Licensed under CC 0.0

It always makes me smile when I see someone on social media surprisingly proclaim Psalms Are Spells. Of course they are. In the context of Hoodoo their use most likely came about because enslaved Blacks in the U.S. were very often forbidden to read or write, and not allowed books, except for the Bible. However, fortunately the Bible is also a magickal text. There is a deep and transformative power to the words of the psalms that can be utilized in times of need.

Much of the practices of Hoodoo are centered around using what you have at hand. Making the most of your common sense and logic, go hand and hand with traditional knowledge to get the job done.

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About Lilith Dorsey
Lilith Dorsey M.A., hails from many magickal traditions, including Afro-Caribbean, Celtic, and Indigenous American spirituality. Their traditional education focused on Plant Science, Anthropology, and Film at the University of R.I, New York University, and the University of London, and their magickal training includes numerous initiations in Santeria also known as Lucumi, Haitian Vodoun, and New Orleans Voodoo. Lilith Dorsey is also 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,’ and choreographer/performer for jazz legend Dr. John’s “Night Tripper” Voodoo Show. They have long been committed to providing accurate and respectful information about the African Traditional Religions and are proud to be a published Black author of such titles as Voodoo and African Traditional Religion, 55 Ways to Connect to Goddess, The African-American Ritual Cookbook, Love Magic, the bestselling Orishas, Goddesses and Voodoo Queens and the award winning Water Magic. You can read more about the author here.

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