A collection of ConjureMan Ali's thoughts about magic, the occult, and spirituality.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

I wish my clients and readers a happy holidays and merry Christmas! May your holiday season be blessed and may it be filled with cheer!

Our year has come to an end and a new year begins soon. This is a time for contemplation, reflection, and introspection. What have we done that is worthy of remembrance this past year and what shall we do in the coming year to ensure that we make every minute count?

I begin every year with a blessing candle. If anyone would like me to add their name to the candle you can add a reply here or send me an email via my website and I will gladly do so. It shall be part of a rite of renewal and rebirth.

May your holidays be blessed and your new year fruitful!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Happy Home

Home sweet home. Our home is the hub of our life. It is where we eat, pray, sleep, and love. The home is where we go to re-energize and its existence is central to our lives. Yet, it is also something we overlook greatly. I have many clients that come to me feeling stressed and tired and they think they are under attack. Divination often proves that the problem is a lot closer to home ;-).

That's right your very own home! When things are off at home our entire day will be thrown off. For that reason it is important to ensure that our house is kept as peaceful and happy as possible. So here are some tips how to turn your home from merely an abode into a sanctuary all for yourself.

Regular Cleansings
As we go through life we pick up all sorts of spiritual debris and dirt and we bring that right into our homes. So regular cleansings can help wipe away the mud we track home and keep the chaos outside where it blongs. A bit of Chinese Floor Wash or Van Van oil in a bucket of warm water can go a long way. Wash your house from top to bottom and back to front and wipe that mess right into the street.

Forget the Glade plug-ins!
Our emotions and memories are strongly tied into scent. Ever smelled something and it immediately reminded you of someone or something? Scent has an evocative influence on our minds and it can be used for spiritual purposes. Get a couple heated oil diffusers and add a drop or two of Van Van Oil, Peaceful Home Oil, Blessing Oil, or a similar condition oil. If nothing else then using essential oils like Marjoram, Rosemary, Rose, Vanilla, and Wintergreen can help set the right vibe in your home. I know some people who apply these oils directly, but carefully to lightbulbs and use it as makeshift oil diffusers. ***Please be careful with this last tidbit***

Oh, how sweet it is..
Take a container and place single vanilla bean at the bottom of it. Pray over the vanilla bean that it bring love, luck, and happiness. Pour all the sugar in your home into this container. Pray the 23rd Psalm over it and from now on use the sugar in this container for cooking and what not. This little trick makes a container spell that you keep in your home. Using the sugar from the jar will keep everyone talking sweetly to one another and will bring sweet things to the house.

Don't make me get the Basil out
Basil is a great herb for the house. Pray for peace and protection over it and place some in your kitchen. The old saying is that "evil can't go where there is Basil." So it is reputed to keep out evil and keep your home peaceful. Burning some Basil on charcoal every once in a while can help clear out the negative energies and spirits that may be lingering around and will settle down any chaotic forces.

Red Onion Skins
This particular trick is an old hoodoo trick that has been passed down from family to family and one that seems to be dying out. In African American culture burning Red Onion skins was reputed to bring luck and love. So peeling the skin and burning them in the stove or fire place was a spiritual act. Next time you have some Red Onions don't throw away the skins, burn them and pray for luck and love to always remain in your home, that your hearth and heart never be cold, and that the warmth of happiness always remains.

Open up a can of Peace.
In conjure there are various waters and washes that are mentioned to aid in spiritual conditions. In direct opposition to War Water, there is Peace Water. This products is sprinkled around your home to settle things down and bring a peaceful environment. It can also be used to clear out any work that has been done to cause strife in your home. Sprinkle some on your doorstep to ensure that only those who wish you peace enter your home. You can buy this product or you can make your own. Take Sumac Berries, Basil, and Rosemary (or similar peaceful herbs like Marjoram) and add it to some water. Pray over this, Psalm 147: 14 is particulary good. To this mix add Florida Water and Rose water and stopper it. If you and your lover live together add a bit of your combined sexual fluids and sprinkle around the house.

Bread, Salt, and Broom in the New Home
If you just bought a new home, then get rid of your old broom and salt and buy a new broom. Get fresh bread and buy new salt. Go to your new home with your broom. Cut yourself a fresh slice of bread and sprinkle a small pinch of salt on the slice. Eat it in your new home to ensure a happy.

Apple of my eye
This final trick is a container spell that can be used to ensure you have a happy and peaceful home. Take a red apple and remove the core. Write out a petition paper and place hair from all the family members in the home to the paper. Five-spot it with Peaceful Home oil, add Basil, Rosemary, and Rose petals and fold the paper towards you, turn it clockwise and fold again. Do this a total of three times until you have a little packet. Put this into the center of your apple andp our honey all over the hole. Put this apple into a can or jar and close the top. Pray over the entire then and bury it in your yard. Weekly water that spot with some holy water to keep the good work going.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Exorcism and Cleansing a Place of a Spirit

Every once in a while we come across places that simply have an "off" vibe. Usually this can mean anything from getting a weird feeling, to sensing a presence in the house, to full on manifestation of spiritual activity like movement of objects, attacks, and chaos. What we have is a spirit that has either been attached to the place by another spiritual worker, or one that has attached itself for whatever reason.

In an earlier post I mentioned one way of actually getting a spirit into another person's house in order to accomplish the task of driving that person out. While this work may seem heavy-handed to some, it in reality is actually is milder than most Hot Foot work which can cross a person up and send them roaming restlessly. The spirit that is sent is attached to place so the work is conditional. So long as they remain in that place they are under the pall cast the presence. But now what do you do with the spirit? It's time to cleanse, cleanse, and cleanse.

Before we move into the actual cleansing part of the work there are a few things to consider before undertaking such work. First and foremost make sure that you have the skill to actually deal with an entity. Cleansing a home of a spirit is different from cleaning up messes. There is a level of skill and knowledge that is necessary for work. Make sure you have this before you attempt this. If you do not then get a professional involved to help out. The second thing to consider is whether or not the spirit is there for a specific reason. If you have the ability to commune with spirits, or if you are a talented diviner this is the time to figure out why the spirit is there in the first place.

This step can be crucial because the answers you receive can determine the approach you need to take in order to dislodge that spirit. Was the spirit sent there by another spiritual practitioner? Did the spirit used to live where it is now haunting? Is the spirit there for a specific reason; i.e. visiting a living family member?

All of these questions can lead you down a different path. For example, a spirit on a specific task can be dismissed if the task it was set to has been accomplished. On the other hand if the spirit is still on a "mission" then it may take you getting some serious guns out to deal with the power of the other magician whose will holds the spirit there.

For the purposes of this blog, we are going to approach the cleansing like the spirit is attached to a house, unwilling to leave.

What you need:
Camphor resin
Chinese Floor Wash
2 Charcoals and Brazier to burn it on
Bucket of Spring Water and Mop
White candle
Image of St. Michael

Enter into the place where the spirit is haunting and set everything on the floor. Kneel and begin by praying sincerely that you are able to cleanse and make this place inhabitable once more. Take your charcoal, light it and place it in your brazier. Take the Camphor resin in your hand and pray over it. Pray that as it burns that it drives out all spirits that dwell in the house. Begin sprinkling a bit of the resin on the charcoal. This will release the fumes.

Now go into each and every room of the house swinging the brazier back and forth while praying that whatever spirit lives in the house that it be driven out. In your other hand hold the image of St. Michael. Call out to the archangel and pray:

"Blessed Saint Michael, Archangel of the Lord;

I call on you to drive from this home the spirit that dwells in unrest.

As you drove out the Devil from the abode of heaven so too drive out this

devilish presence. Oh purest of the Heavenly Host, Oh Commander

of the Lord's Host, cleanse this house!"

After you've prayed over each room as you've fumigated it go back to where you set up all your items and dump out the charcoal and Camphor into a plate. Next light another charcoal and repeat the process of going into each room to fumigate, but this time sprinkle your Frankincense on the charcoal. Make sure to pray over the resin, this time to purify the house.

As the incense smoke rises up make sure that it fills each room, replacing the void left by the Camphor. Pray again, but this time call upon the Archangel Raphael.

"Beloved Archangel Raphael,

Healer of the Lord, Hear my prayer.

In the Name of our beloved Lord I ask that you cleanse this house

I ask that you heal this house,

I ask that you make whole this home.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost Amen."

Make sure to get the smoke from the Frankincense into each room. Once you've fumigated the entire house again. Go back and get ready for the finally bit of cleansing.

Fill your bucket up with warm water and add in your Chinese Floor Wash. Now take this mixture and mop the house from back to front, top to bottom. As you do so pray that all the negativity and all messes be cleansed right out.

This act of physically cleaning the place brings down the spiritual act of cleansing into the visceral and physical, lending itself to a beautiful right that works on both spiritual planes and physical ones.

Make sure to thoroughly cleanse the entire house. Now if the house has carpets you can put the mixture into a spray bottle and gently spray the carpets from back to front while lightly taking a broom or sponge to it.

Now take your white candle to the center of the home and light it while praying a quite blessing on the place. Let it burn down and collect the residue and dump it into the plate with the Camphor residue, Frankincense residue, and the charcoals. Take this all out to a crossroads and dump it out without looking back.

This should thoroughly cleanse the house of all spirits, settle the home down, and once more make it inhabitable.

Next blog we'll talk about spirit traps.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

RuneSoup Give away!

Gordon over at the Rune soup is having a great give away! He's recently come back from the beautiful city of Florence--which is one of my favorite cities in the whole world and is doing a give away. This is your chance to get some awesome Catholic folk-magic goodies. Check it out!

Good luck all contestants.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Raisin' the Dead!

What better way to commemorate Halloween then by talking about some good old-fashioned gouls and goblins!

Necromantic arts, or those arts dealing with the dead--be it for the purposes of divination, or for the purposes of magick--have been fringe and shadowy aspects of the Western magical traditions in more modern times. While there is mention of a graveyard working here or there, and perhaps a rite dealing the shades of the dead, generally the approach to the denizens of the underworld has been one that has been a tad neglected these days. Not so in the Afro-diasporic religions and not so for hoodoo!

While modern magicians partaking in the Western magical tradition may have forgotten the goet ancestors, or the magi of the Graeco-Egyptian world who absolutely loved Necromancy, hoodoo considers working with the dead one of the staples of its magical tradition. You have such professionals such Dr. E and myself who work with spirits, especially those of the dead, extensively. In conjure you can quite literally call upon the aid of the dead for nearly anything. Have a court date? Go to the graveyard. Need a love spell with some coercion thrown in? Go to the graveyard. Want to take out an enemy? Go to the graveyard.

The lovely Devi Spring wrote up a beautiful article on praying for the dead so in this post we'll take it in the opposite direction. I'm going to show you how to get a spirit to haunt a house. This particular working is great because it can effectively hot foot a nasty individual right of the area, or it can be used to exact revenge and/or justice against an individual. Before I go on a word of caution, graveyard work is not for the faint of heart, nor for people who don't know what they are doing with the work. If you don't know what you are doing then stay away from such things lest you end messing yourself up. My recommendation for anyone interested in this type of work who doesn't come from a tradition that includes some type of interaction with graveyard spirits is to find a teacher to guide you.

So that said, here's what you need:
9 pennies
3 dimes (I love using Mercury Dimes personally)
Small trowel or a strong spoon.
Little baggie
Couch Grass or Twitch Grass
Red Pepper
Black Pepper

Now take your coins and head over to your local graveyard. Some people prefer to time when they go to the graveyard according to spiritually significant times. Midnight for darker work, sunset for works of decrease, and noon or the rising sun if you are looking to enlist the aid of the spirits for lighter and protective work. Park just outside of the cemetery and as you approach the gate address the Keeper of the Graveyard. You can use your own words or the following prayer.

"I offer up this prayer to the Keeper of the Graveyard,
You who guards and keep the spirits of those who have passed.
I ask you for permission to enter your domain and ask that
you lead me to a spirt that would be willing to work with me.
I give you these coins as a humble offering for your aid
and blessing."

At this point place the 9 pennies by the gate of the cemetery and listen for the answer of Keeper. Once you've receieved the spirit's blessing you may enter and begin your search for a willing helper.

Start by calmly walking through the cemetery. Keep your mind clear and silently pray. Call out in your mind and ask if there is a spirit there that is willing to work with you. Tell them what your purpose and intent is. In this case, let them know you are interested in setting them against a rival in order to haunt them. Make sure you also let them know you are willing to pay for their work.

You'll soon be led to the grave of a spirit that is willing to work with you. Depending on how you interact with the psychic and spiritual worlds you'll arrive there differently. Those with the ability to see spirits will see the spirit leading them there, those who can hear them will hear the answer to them calling out, while others may be led by gut feeling and intution. Whatever the case, you will soon find yourself before a spirit that can aid you.

Once you get to the garve, knock on the headstone three times. This is to wake the spirit up. Kneel down and softly begin to pray and speak to the spirit. Tell them what you want, tell them your desire, and ask if they are willing to aid you. Again let them know that you are able to pay them. When you receive the spirits agreement, then take out your spoon or trowel and start digging where the right hand of that person in the grave would be. You don't have to dig too deep, just enough for you to scrape up a handful of dirt. Place this dirt in your baggie and leave the coins in the hole you've made. Some also leave offerings of whiskey for the spirit, but it's up to you if you wish to do that. Cover up the hole and get up and walk out of the cemetery. As you walk out make sure to keep praying, or speaking to spirit as if it were with you because at this point you are carrying it away with the dirt.

When you approach the gate thank the Keeper of the Graveyard then head home. I recommend taking a different route home then the one used to get the cemetery.

Once you are at home. Take out the dirt you've collected and lay this on your altar. Take your Couch Grass and burn it to ashes. Pray over these ashes that they effect the nerves and mind of your rival, making him/her fearful, nervous, and susceptible to the workings of your spirit. Mix these ashes into the dirt while you continue to pray your intent. As you mix it together add in your Red Pepper, and Black Pepper (make sure you've crushed these). Keep mixing this up while you get the spiritual juices going while praying. You can pray from the heart or use something that goes a little like this:

"(Rival's Name), you are a sore to me and those around you,
you are villan and it is time for you to go.
I set the Hounds of Hell on your heels to chase you right out of my life,
I set the spirits of the dead on your heels to chase you right out town,
I set the spirits of Fire on your ass to burn you right out!
(Rival's Name) so long as you are a thorn in my side,
So long as you live at your current house,
you shall be haunted and tormented and driven to fear and terror
until you leave me be and leave this town.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! Amen."

Once you've got that power built and you feel the spirit of the dirt jumping, ready for action. Head over to your enemy's home and sprinkle the dirt right on their lawn and front door while instructing to spirit you've contracted to get to work.

The spirit will get to work on that person literally scaring them right out of your life. Once the person leaves, it is best to go back and do a quick cleansing of the property. Even though your curse should be precise on when the conditions stop, it is best to not leave a haunt for the people who might move in next ;-).

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's New In Hoodoo?

A lot going on this week in the world of hoodoo. Here's a quick recap for everyone in case you missed anything:

My AIRR page is up so check it out here: ConjureMan AliWhile you are there don't forget to check out my fellow colleague Momma Hen who has also recently joined AIRR. She's Miss Bri's mom and a gifted healer. You can find her page under Momma Hen.

Dr. Johannes, one of the most talented conjure doctors out there as well as the preserver of the trolldom tradition has started a blog. You gotta check it out! I have learned a great deal from Dr. Johannes who I had the honor of having him coach me through various conjure work. He's a talented rootworker and if you interested in trolldom he's your man.

Momma Starr, my favorite conjure women and my teacher has a blogtalk radio going on. Momma Starr is old school and one sassy woman. If you want to learn *real* conjure the way it was taught by the elders then you have to listen to this blogtalk. She's straightfoward and no nonsense and filled with wisdom. She's also released her newest book which covers work with the great BlackHawk. A must read for those interested in learning from an authentic conjure woman.

My friend and colleague Balthazar, of Balthazar's Conjure wrote a great article on divination and its role in spiritual work, a must read for all!

And the wonderful Devi Spring the Proprietess of Queen of Pentacles Conjure wrote an amazing article on ancestor veneration and praying for the dead. Its both profound and beautiful and I highly recommend reading it.

Finally, Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour is back on! Check out Miss cat and Dr. K as they do live readings, diagnose problems, and prescribe some good old-fashioned conjure remedies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An End to Hate and New Beginnings for Love and Healing

Dr. E, a talented rootworker and my colleague on AIRR has just posted a great bit on his blog that speaks directly to a current issue that teens are facing due to their sexual identity. He's gone above and beyond standing in solidarity against hate and has posted a simple, but powerful rite to help restore the love.

Whether you are straight, gay, bisexual, transgender etc this is an issue that effects all of us. Each of us has colleagues, friends, or family members that are part of the LGBT community. If you are willing take out your candles then let's get to work. If you are unable, then don on purple and let's put an end to hate and fear.

You can read what he wrote here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Keeping the Bill Collectors Away

Conjure is a highly practical tradition. It comes from a people who had needs and who used magick to help fulfill those needs. That isn't to say that conjure isn't "spiritual," in fact in hoodoo we don't have a dichotomy between the spiritual and the physical. Does God want you to be a good person? Sure, but he also wants you to be prosperous and happy ;-).

Hoodoo views the world in a set of conditions. These conditions are either favorable or they are not. If they are favorable then you want to keep the good times going, if they are not favorable then you want to change them and change them quick. That means if you don't have money then your condition isn't favorable. Why not do some conjure to fix that? Need some love? We got a potion for that too.

The basic premise of this comes from a pragmatic and deeply practical way of thinking. Life is both spiritual and material and BOTH come from God. Once you understand that, you'll understand why a conjurer and hoodoo doesn't see any conflict in calling upon God to help bring some lovin' his or her way. ;-)

In light of the pragmatic spirit, here is a spell to keep the bill collectors away. Sometimes we get behind, sometimes we need a bit of extra time, whatever the case here's an old-timey trick.

What you'll need:
White cloth
Indian Head penny
Law Keep Away OilProtection Oil
Money Stay With Me OilOregano
Alfalfa leaves
Alkanet root
Pen or marker.

In the center of the white cloth write the bill collector's name or the name of the agency three times. Turn this counter clockwise 1/4th of a turn and write a command along the lines of "leave us alone," or "don't bother us anymore." Write this three times to cover and cross the name of the bill collecting agency.

In the center of this set up place the Indian head cent. Dress this with a bit of Law Keep Away, Protection, and Money Stay With Me oils. Sprinkle some Oregano, Alfalfa, and Alkanet on this penny. As you do this make sure to pray fervently over each herb and root as they are sprinkled.

Take the edge of the cloth closest to you and tightly roll it away to make a long tube-like form with the cloth. As you do this call out, "(Name) go away you are unable to bother us anymore."

Take the two ends that are created from this rolling action in each hand and tie a knot as you call out that person's name. Repeat this two more times--saying their name while making a knot so you have a total of three knots.

What should result is a small sachet, or bundle of knots. Hold this in your hand and pray fervently that as the cloth is knotted that the bill collector's attempts to collect the debt be hampered and tied down. Dress this with your three oils.

Take this little packet and nail it up by one of it's tails by your front door. As it's nailed up so will that person be unable to collect the debt and will be left twisting in the wind, or left hanging. If the packet should fall from its place then know that it took a hit for you and that bill collector may be coming your way soon!

Good luck and Happy Conjurin'!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Newest Member of AIRR

On the advice and encouragement of collegues I have applied to the prestigious Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers and have been accepted. I am honored to join the ranks of these talented and ethical rootworkers, readers, and conjure-doctors. My thanks goes out to all those who encouraged me in this endeavor and especially to my teachers Miss cat and one who has passed to a better place. A special thanks goes out to Miss Bri, Johannes, and Momma Starr for their guidance. For those who do not know what AIRR is: "The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is a gathering of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide psychic readings and spiritual root doctoring services to the public. AIRR promotes quality service and ethical conduct by means of accreditation and evaluation of our members. Unlike commercial online psychic reader services, AIRR is a membership-supported organization that receives no fees or kickbacks for referrals."
You can look for my AIRR page to be up in the next few weeks! It will be under ConjureMan Ali

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hoodoo at the Crossroads: The Third Stream of Conjure and The Future

I have been a conjure doctor for many years; it is a tradition that is near and dear to my heart, but I am many things. I am an astrologer, a hermetic magician, a goetic conjurer, a Bardonian hermetic, a djinn conjurer, but at heart I shall always remain a conjure doctor. Given that, I have a vested interest in what I view the future of conjure and hoodoo. My "public" work is in academia where I am a university historian and so by nature I examine things slightly differently from the average person. Tonight, I feel like musing about conjure: a little about how it has been past down, but more importantly where it is headed.

Historically conjure has coalesced and been passed down in two ways. The first way was via family traditions and the second method was through instruction. Family traditions represent the passing down of conjure lore from generation to generation within the line of families. Here is where grandparents taught their grand-kids not to lend out Salt, how to drink Life-everlasting to live a long life, or even how to feed your man some of your stuff to get him to stay with you. This tied conjure directly into the people who practiced it--who lived it. Conjure was not only a way of working magick, but a spiritual outlook and way of life. But as the elders passed, the younger generations forgot what it was they were told to do about white powders found on their doorstep, or simply ignored the advice and let it be buried with those who lived this path.

The second stream of conjure involved the learning and passing along of knowledge from teacher to student. Those interested in learning this powerful craft would apprentice themselves to teachers and like sponges soak up all the elders had to offer them. The student was the spiritual heir and when the teacher passed on the student then carried on their practice and their tradition--it was now their turn to be the bastion of conjure knowledge. This form of learning was how I was taught. I was adopted into the tradition, taught hands-on by a conjure woman who passed her knowledge on to me and whose practice I took over when she passed.

During the 20th century with the rise of urban hoodoo and the mail-order supply shops the instruction of conjure often took place not in the home of the conjure doctor, but through correspondence, or even at the shop itself. You would go into the store looking to buy a money candle and an old man may be sitting by the counter who would instruct you on how to properly work the trick. These shop owners and elders would act as both proprietor and spiritual counselor. Often times they wouldn't let you buy certain products because they felt they had a responsibility to their art. So if you had a problem you went into their store told them what was going on and these folk would direct you to the right product and tell you how to use it. This method of transmission was how such monumental figures like catherine yronwode learned. She was taught this tradition by actual folk, she sought them out, she studied with them, she collected lore, and in turn became the shop owner who now passes on the knowledge to others just as it was done to her.

But catherine yronwode represents more than a bastion of tradition, she represents the third and new stream of conjure: the internet. Miss cat took what she learned and began to compose thousands of articles that were put online for all to read and learn about in this tradition. This act did something immensly transformative: it preserved conjure's tradition. It saved it from dying out.

With the previous two streams of transmission the key figure was the "elder." However, though the elders passed down their knowledge their students didn't always take up where their teacher left off. Sometimes these elders didn't pass on their information because there was no one to sit at their feet and listen to the old stories. So as these old folk were passing so too was conjure. While there was always going to be the abused woman seeking the powder she could put in her husbands foot powder to make him treat her better and they'd always be the man looking for his John the Conqueror to give him that swagger, the actual art was in danger. When Miss cat put her knowledge online she addressed this immediate concern. She ensured that as the elders passed their knowledge would remain, that it would reach a wider audience, and that the tradition I love would carry on strong.

But this new stream of transmission and learning comes with its own pitfalls. The internet generation is a generation of instant gratification; it is a generation with little love of history, the roots of something, or tradition. This is a generation that feels entitled to take what they want from where ever they choose and make it their own. This is the danger conjure faces. A woman desperate to have her lover back will jump online click her manicured nails away on the keys find a beautiful spell involving the magnetic power of Lodestones that symbolize all things she seeks: union, love, passion, and committment. She orders her products and within a week she's set up an altar with red candles, fragrant sachet powders, and has her incense putting up puffs of sweet-smelling smoke. But she doesn't like this whole magnetic sand bit, why doesn't she have to "feed" a bunch of rocks? Song of Solomon from the Bible? Yuck! Instead she grabs her athame and traces a Circle while invoking the Goddess to bring back her man.

Where did the conjure go? Lost, in this person's arrogance. Of course this same person will then wonder why her spell produced such medicore results, Missing the beauty and elegance of working with a spirit of magnetism that builds through a symbiotic relationship. As you feed the spirit, it fights and works for you.

A few states over from our caster of love spells we have a man who wonders why on earth he needs to actually lay powders where his target is going to walk. Can't he just visualize that he's laying those powders out and instead put it on a candle? Where did that immensly pragmatic way of conjuring go where contact was emphasized?

Conjure's third stream has ensured its future, but now it is up to us to make sure that the tradition is not taken apart by zealous individuals who merely want to have their spiritual buffet. Whether we are professional conjure doctors, whether we are born into this tradition or adopted, or whether we found it online it is our job to ensure the tradition remains true and that we take in the beauty of the tradition that is presented to us. Don't just pick and choose spells, learn the traditions, the stories that are told and related by figures like catherine yronwode, take her class, sit at the feet of elders like Starr Casas and learn what it means to conjure.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dealing with Troublesome Neighbors

In a recent post, Balthazar shares with us a strong conjure on how to deal with a "frenemy," a term that I was most certainly unfamiliar with, but one that I've taken a liking to (thanks B!) In his post he goes over a solid candle spell that impliments domination and power to deal with the meddlesome people called "frenemies." In this post he also unveils an oil that I believe is definately worth checking out, aptly called Frenemy Oil. This seems to be along the lines of traditional boss fix products but aimed at a different class of people in our lives. Given that this is an oil from Balthazar I have no doubt it'll pack a solid punch.

Balthazar has graciously given us the means of dealing with those people who are permenant fixtures in our lives, who are claim to be friends, but in reality are truly meddlesome. In this post, I hope to cover another group of people that can be potentially problematic: nosey neighbors. Some of us are fortunate enough to have neighbors that are friendly and tend to mind their own business, but occassionally we come across those individuals who are downright troublesome. You know who I am talking about; those people who stick their head over the wall to see what you are doing, who quote regulation when it comes to how far your trash bucket can be away from the curb, or how close your plants can be to *their* wall, or those neighbors who have a complete lack of understanding of the term, "personal space." Being in close proximity with us their potential for trouble ranges from irritation to flat out get-the-hell-off-my property frustration. Now, some may reach straight for the hot foot, but sometimes these neighbors just can't help to be the way they are. They aren't yet dangerous, just a nuisance.

So in honor of all those gossipy, nosey, snoops here's a simple spell you can perform to literally cloak your house from the sight of such meddlesome folk and to give them a good kick to the arse should they decide to cause trouble. What you'll need is:

1 Black Candle
Some Poppy Seeds
Black Mustard Seeds
Black Pepper
Slippery Elm
9 Devil's Shoe String
1 Bat Nut
1 bottle of a protection oil (Protection Oil, Fiery Wall of Protection Oil etc)
1 bottle of a domination oil (Essence of Bend Over, Domination Oil, Controlling Oil, All Things Under My Feet etc)
9 Pins
Piece of paper and pen
Mortar and Pestle

Take your piece of Paper and write your neighbor's name three times. Turn this away from you a quarter turn and write across their name in bold letters, "LEAVE ME ALONE." Five spot this paper with the domination oil of your choice. Then fold it away from you while you firmly demand that in no uncertain terms this person goes away and leaves you alone. Turn the paper away from you and fold again. Do this a total of three times. Then set this aside while you make a quick mixture and powder.

Take your Poppy Seeds in your hand and pray that they confuse the mind of your troublesome neighbor so that person is unable to even see where you live, unable to find their way to your home, and unable to figure out what they even intended to come over for. Then add it to your mortar. Next take up your Black Mustard Seeds and pray that your neighbor is unable to resist your command to stay away. Add this as well. Take up your Black Pepper and pray that it drives you neighbor away from your property then toss it in. Finally take up your Salt and pray that it protects your property by creating solid barriers that your neighbor is unable to cross. Only add a pinch of this Salt to the mortar, leave some left for use later on. Now begin grinding and crushing them all together. As you work with the pestle, grinding and crushing, pray for this person to go away and stay away from your home and doorstep. Add in your Slippery Elm and pray that their wagging tongue stills and they are unable to speak to you, about you, or gossip anymore.

Take the candle and from top to bottom in a swirling fashion (like a barber's pole) write, "(Neighbor's Name) everytime you think of bothering me you get the urge to run away," or "Neighbor's Name, stay away from me" seems just as good. Make sure you write this in a downward spiral from wick to base to help diminish this person from your life. Next put a few drops of the domination oil on your hand and dress the candle by stroking it away from you. Everytime you stroke it away from you state clearly that you want this person to stay away and keep away. Take this candle and roll it in the mixture of ingredients making sure to roll it away from you.

Now take your 9 Devil's Shoe String and your Bat Nut. Lightly dress these with the protection oil while praying that they trip up your neighbor and keep them far away from you. Place this under the overturned cup or bowl with your name paper. Set your candle on the overturned cup and hold your hands over the set up as your pray ferverntly that every time your neighbor comes over to start meddling that they turn around and run the other way. Light the candle and let it burn.

As the candle burns, heat up your 9 pins one by one and stick them into the candle as you call for 9 specific things to happen to your neighbor.

1. That everytime they go to speak about you that their tongue is tied and they are unable to do so.
2. That everytime they try to meddle in your affairs that they get a sharp pain that pricks them. 3. That everytime that they attempt to come onto your property they find their way barred.
4. That everytime they walk towards you they are forced to run in the opposite direction.
5. That their eyes are now blind to all of your activities.
6. That they are unable to raise a finger to interfere in your life.
7. That coming near your property sets an itch in their feet to get off.
8. That they are unable to snoop for the mere thought of it causes them panic
9. That they are to walk right out of your life and stay out.

Of course you can choose whatever 9 things to say, but say them with feeling as you stick the candle with the heated pins.

Let the candle burn down then take the Bat Nut and place it above your threshold. Ask that it ward away your neighbor and keeps him or her off your property. Take the 9 Devil's Shoe Strings and drive them into the ground leading up to your door and ask that they trip up your neighbor when they attempt to meddle. Then take the Salt that was left over and pray for protection and that it creates a barrier that none are able to pass without your permission and sprinkle this in the four corners of your property.

Dispose the remains of the rest of the spell at a crossroads over your left shoulder as you walk away without looking back.

The beauty of the spell is not only does it work directly on the neighbor through the candle work, but the Bat Nut and the Devil's Shoe Strings will act as little wardens and keep out your troublesome neighbor while the Salt creates a powerful barrier of protection.

So if you're looking for some peace and quiet from the endless meddling of a neighbor give this spell a try and enjoy the peace that ensues ;-).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Conjure Man's Spiritual Practice

After a short haitus away from public client work, I have returned with the launch of my new website. I am once again offering my services to the public as a rootworker, reader, and magician
I am a long time practitioner and have been a professional rootworker for many years and I am willing to offer that experience for my clients. I am gifted in reading with the Tarot, Geomancy, Astrology, Runes, and scrying and my training as a necromancer has helped augument my own inner abilities by bringing me in contact with spirits of divination that can be called upon to help illuminate situations for my clients.

As a rootworker and magician I am willing to call upon the spirits and allies I have in order to help you in the situations that you face. I am a justified worker who believes that it is the duty of a spiritual practitioner to give those who seek us out the edge and helping hand they need in life. I am especially talented at, but not limited to:

Love work, be it drawing new love, or reconciling with old love
Court cases
Hotfoot and Break up Work,
Revenge and Reversing work
Uncrossing and Protection work,
Influence and Domination work
Working with graveyard spirits and the Crossroads,
Money and Job drawing
And Success and Road opening.

I am especially good at dealing with other spiritual practitioners. If you feel that you are being thrown for I am willing to intercede and put an end to their meddling and ensure that they never hurt anyone again. As a magician who works with streams magick like the goetia and Hermetic Renaissance magick, I have access and alliances with spirits that transcend anything your average spiritual practitioner can dream of. I am old school rootworker and classically trained occultist and this comes off in my work.

To learn more about all the services that I offer check out my website at http://www.theconjureman.com/

Stop by for a chat!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tobacco in Conjure Spells

Conjure draws its roots from ancient sources that stretch all the way back to the magical and spiritual practices of Africa. The slaves brought these practices with them, but when they arrived to this continent two important things happened that really shaped the path conjure was going to take. First, in order to keep their tradition alive they began adopting practices that came from other sources--Near Eastern, Germanic, and European, and Native American. These beliefs and practices held similarites to their own and fit into the overall paradigm that they were working with. The second was that they were introduced to new magica materia. This was a reaction to the fact that some of the materials that were used in Africa simply couldn't be found in the Americas. To remedy this they often adopted the practices and herb-lore of the Native Americans whose deep spirituality mirrored their own. Enter Tobacco.

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) was a plant that was and is sacred to the Native Americans. It was burnt as offerings to the spirits, placated angry place spirits and the dead, and played a central role in the herbal magick of the shaman and medicine man. This plant was quickly adopted into conjure practices and because it was readily available in the form of smokes or snuff it was easily acquired and employed. In conjure Tobacco has been found in three types of works: works involving spirits and spirit-contact, works involving court cases, and domination work involving people and situations. Here are some old-timey conjure tricks that use Tobacco.

Spell to Get Someone to Contact you:
Soften some wax (beeswax) and spread it out on a non-sticky surface. Sprinkle Tobacco onto the wax and roll a brown candle in the mixture while calling out the name of the individual. Roll the candle in the mixture towards you to draw that person. Light the candle as you again call out for that person to contact you. This will get them to contact you or return home.

Spell to Help You Get a Case Dismissed:
If you're being brought to trial for something and you want get a mistrial, or want the case dismissed carry in your pocket a pinch of Tobacco, Poppy Seeds, and Black Mustard Seeds. This mixture will make sure that the prosecution is all mixed up and that all their efforts will be thwarted.

Spell to Summon the Spirit of a Place:
If you want to call up the spirit of a place that may have a haunt or spirit living there like someone's house, or if you want to contact the spirit of a tree or forest then burn some Tobacco on a charcoal disk while calling to that spirit. Tell the spirit that the Tobacco is an offering and the spirit will come for a smoke and you'll see it in manifest.

Spell to Compel Someone to Do What you Want (especially if they are being stubborn):
You can add Tobacco to any Control or Domination conjure to help bolster its effects. One method of getting someone to do what you want is to chew Tobacco and spit where the person will walk. As you spit sign the cross and state what you want that person to do. Aftewards, ask them for the favor or what it is you want and you'll find them pliable and favorable to your cause.

Spell to Dominate Someone:
In a jar place the name of your target with 9 pins, Tobacco, Licorice, and Salt. Shake it up while the moon is waning and that person will be able to resist you less and less.

Spell to Influence Someone's Dreams:
To influence someone's dreams you need to work on their spirit while they are sleeping. You can do this by burning a mix of Tobacco and Anise Seeds (whole Star Anise will work too) on their name or picture. As the smoke rises call out to the person's spirit and tell them what you want them to dream or think about.

Spell to Sway a Court Decision in Your Favor:
To help sway a jury in your favor carry in your pocket Sugar, Tobacco, and Little John the Chew. Keep this mix in your pocket every day you go to court or place it in a red flannel bag. Pray the 37th Psalm over this mix as you hold in your hand and breathe on it before you put it in your pocket.

Spell to Help a Lawyer win a Court Case:
In a red flannel bag place Tobacco, Deer's Tongue, and Salt. Chew some Little John and spit into the bag. Tie the bag and carry it to court. Everytime the lawyer on your side stands to speak recite the 35th and 37th Pslam.

Spell to Raise Spirits Against a Foe:
To bring destruction on person and summon spirits against him go to a graveyard at midnight on the dark of the moon and burn an upsided down black candle dressed with Black Arts oil on an upside down picture of him. Besides the candle burn Sulphur and Tobacco as you call upon the dead to rise up and do your work.

To Gain the Blessing of the Crossroads Spirit for Travel:
Take to a Crossroads two cigars and a bottle of rum or whiskey. Go to the center of the crossroads and place the cigars in an "X" as you call out to the spirit. Tell him that you are there to leave him an offering and that you ask his blessing on the trip that you are going on. Open the bottle of alcohol and pour it out as a libation as you continue to speak to the spirit. Spend a few moments communing then turn around and walk home without looking back.

To Get a Lover to Call You Back:
Take some Tobacco and place it in a name paper or petition. Place this near your phone and your lover will call you. To get them to write to you sprinkle some of the Tobacco in your mailbox. (In modern days you can sprinkle around your computer for an email)

To Make Someone Confess:
To make someone spill all, place their trace in a bottle with Tobacco, Salt, and a Parrot's Feather. Pray Psalm 8 and Psalm 64 (especially verse 8). Shake this up and that person will be unable to stop talking and will confess everything.

These old-timey spells all demonstrate the versatility of Tobacco and how this Native American plant found its way into the folk-magic of African's Americans. There are other methods of using Tobacco to draw trade, to assit in luck, and other such matters, but generally speaking the inclusion of it in such conjures is specifically due to the fact that Tobacco can control situations as well as people.

Note: The Tobacco used for such spells can be snuff that is purchased from local stores, can be taken from cigars, or purchased from spiritual merchants.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 Dimensional Spirits

If you've ever glanced through any list of spirits you'll find that they often have rather contradictory capabilities and functions. Just a glimpse through the Lesser Key, the Grimoire Verum, or any other grimoire reveals that a single spirit is able to do a whole host of various things that are often completely unrelated to one another. For example, in the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Spirit Barbas is capable of revealing to you all hidden things, changes men to other shapes, heals illnesses, and teaches the mechanical arts. Natural spirits (herbs, roots, curios, minerals) seem to have this same complexity.

For example Salt can be used as a protective and cleansing agent, but it can also be used to drive away enemies, find theives, and even can bring your spouse home safely.* What about Grains of Paradise? These little guys can help you find a job, help protect your home, or cause massive fights.** So how is this possible? How could spirits--whether chthonic or herbal have such contradictory uses? I would argue that this type of limited thinking where spirits can't have "contradictory purposes" is where the "issue" comes from in the first place.

You see, the problem is that we are seeing these spirits as two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs rather than complex, living, breathing, spiritual personalities. We have a tendency to see these spirits as something that has to fit the little compartments that we create for them. In the limtited understanding a spirit should be able to be categorized as "protective," or an herb should just be lucky but not lucky and love-drawing. This mentality limits our understanding of the spirits that we are dealing with and hold us back from tapping into the inner nature of the spirits and developing a powerful symbiotic relationship with them. I am not talking about some fluffy, hippy concept, I am talking about having a meaningful relationship with Spirit and spirits. Can we ourselves so easily be categorized? Are we defined by our occupation? Our gender? Our religious view? No. We are immensely complex individuals who are beyond labeling. Could we ever develop a meaningful relationship with our friend, our neighbor, or co-worker if we could never see past the label--their function-- to the person that resides within them? So, let's extend that same view to the spirits we work with. Are you just a husband, or wife? Are you just a son or daughter? Are you just an employee, or boss? Or are you something more? It is the same with the spirits we call upon.

If we accept the premise that we are working with spirits--things that are part of the fabric of life; if we accept the premise that there is more to these entities than merely a label, or set of characteristics, then we move to a new level of understanding. At this level we don't see "contradictory" characteristics; we see complex living beings who are involved in life in a myriad of ways--just like us.

When we learn to abandon our myopic and arrogant view that everything has to fit our little schema, when we learn to let go and actually accept that the spirits are as complex as we are, as deep as we are, then we really break through all the limits. When we reach this point we are able to call upon the full power of the spirits, herbs, curios, and roots and shape the very course of destiny because those spirits have our backs. It is when we abandon this view that the two-dimensional spirits disappear and the real powers start to awake.

* Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by catherine yronworde under entry "Salt
**Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by catherine yronwode under entry "Grains of Paradise" & herb-magic.com under entry "Grains of Paradise"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Real Time Magick: Old-school timing trick

Over at the Rune Soup, Gordon wrote a wonderful piece about doing magick in "real time." Along with some wonderful products from Balthazar's Gnostic Conjure Shop, he works a bit of magick while his partner is in an interview to help nudge things along favorably. The end result was that he bolstered the chances of his partner to get the job. The entire rite from set up to timing is well-done and his success speaks for itself. His post brings up an interesting point that I think is overlooked by some magicians and rootworkers: doing magick in real time.

Working in the manner that Gordon wrote about is very traditional in old-style conjure work. In fact looking at the different traditions of timing in conjure you find two categories: symbolic timing and timing according to the target. The first groups revolves around using symbolic times to bring the work into the natural rhythm of life. This is where you do spells according to astrological hours, days of the week, hands of the clock, position of the sun, and other symbolic times. There are many theories behind why we do this, but generally it is to help tie your spell to the ebb and flow of the spiritual current of the planet and the universe.

The second category of timing revolves not around the natural rhythm of life, but rather to influence a specific person you time it around that person. As conjurer's we learn to time things according to two instances in the target's life: sleep and decision time. We are taught that when a person is sleeping then their defenses are down and you can influence them. The general principle being that you nudge them along in their sleep and when they wake up the thoughts and emotions they experienced while sleeping will shape their actions towards what we desire. The ultimate manifestation of this type of working would be hag-riding, which will be a topic for a later post.

Besides working on a target while they are sleeping one of the most traditional ways of working is to time it according to when your target is in decision-making mode. What does this mean? This means that if you want to help a buddy get a job you work on that interviewer right when he or she sits down to do the interview, if you want to get a reconciliation underway then you light your candles when the couple are sitting down to talk about it over dinner. This form of working is extremely powerful and really gets amazing results. Its efficacy is drawn from the fact that you only need a little nudge to move someone in one direction when they are in that moment balancing between choices. I was taught that when people are about to make decision they are in the "crossroads" between decisions and because of this we can move them towards one or the other. This type of working is often seen in traditional conjure work for court cases. While the jury is deliberating, or the lawyers are presenting their cases the client may have a rootworker doing work from their altar to sway the decision of things in their favor.

But what's so special about working like this? Well as Gordon indicated in his post, it ties the work into the real, into that very moment. Rather than working for a future event, or future outcome, you are working for an outcome right then and there. The results speak for themselves: you have a way of working that deals in practical considerations with effective magick.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


In a forum that I am part of the topic of jackballs came up and that inspired me to write a bit about them because I find that I use them in my work frequently and that they are an effective and potent tool/technique of working. First, however, a bit of background.

Jackballs refer to small balls of rolled up twine that were crafted by conjurers and rootworkers for themselves and their clients. A mojo hand was often considered someone's prized possesion, but a conjure ball or jackball was considered the most prized of all. This is logical if one considers that a poor person would have to pay from what precious little they had in order to get one of these objects of power. The jackball draws its influence from two of the roots of hoodoo: the African magical practices and European magical practices.

African magical practices have many traditions of tying things down, knotting them, nailing them etc. These types of magical actions can be seen in practices like nailing someone's footprint down, or tying down spirits. In European magical practices we see things like tying knots to bind your lover to you, or tying knots on rope in order to bind the winds and storms. These type of traditions inform the workings of a jackball.

So what are jackballs? A Jackball is a derivative of a container spell; it has herbs, roots, curios, minerals, and personal concerns that are contained in a little ball of twine, string, yarn. They can be used to influence people and events, they can be used as talismanic objects, they can be apotropaic and ward off, they can be used as objects of personal power and insight, and for much much more.

Each rootworker has slightly varying methods of making jackballs which probably stem from differing family traditions and regional differences. The following is a recipe for crafting a power jackball that can be used to bolster your magical abilities, heighten your psychic awareness, and help you gain spiritual mastery.

What you'll need:
Ball of red twine/yarn
Purple candle
Power Oil (or if you make your own oils a similar product)
Psychic Vision oil (or if you make your own oils a similar product)
Mastery Key Oil (or if you make your own oils a similar product)
Master Root
Sampson Snake Root
Tobacco (aimed at helping one contact spirits, but I also know a derivation of this recipe that replaces Tobacco with Acacia).
Star Anise
Small John the Conqueror (This is very male root, but can be used by females. Some women I know prefer to replace John the Conqueror with Queen Elizabeth root which has similar qualities of John the Conqueror, but is more female-oriented).
Personal concern of either yourself or your client

Dress your purple candle with each oil while you stroke it towards you to draw the power to you. Hold the candle in your hand and pray that you be granted spiritual mastery, psychic insight, and personal power to accomplish what you seek. Light the candle and work by its flame. Set out each of your herbs and roots and lightly dress them with the oils.

Take the beeswax and melt it so that it becomes soft and malleable. Take your John the Conqueror root and wrap your personal concern into it. Slowly roll the John the Conqueror into the softened beeswax forming a small ball. As you do this pray for your intent, which in this case would be increased personal power, spiritual mastery, and psychic insight. Speak to the John the Conqueror root and ask that it lend you its strength and power. Take your Master Root and add it to the ball of wax that you've got forming while continuing to pray and focus on what you want. Again speak directly to the root. Repeat this process with each of your roots and herbs making sure to pray over each as they go into the wax ball. Keep adding beeswax to ensure that all the roots are covered in wax and that you have a solid, unbroken ball. You'll want to use smaller roots and herbs and temper your amount of wax so the resulting ball is the exact right size you want--you don't want the wax ball too big because you are going to be wrapping it up in twine. It takes a bit of practice, but eventually you'll find a size that is just right for you.

Once you've got yourself a ball of wax with all your herbs and roots inside dress the ball in each of the oils as you again pray for your intent. Just use a little oil to dress the conjure ball. Then take this ball of wax in your cupped hands and breathe into as you pray for what you desire. Keep doing this for a few minutes until you feel that you've really got the power going. The idea is to first dress it with oil to help tune its purpose, then to combine your breath and prayer to begin to wake up the spirit.

Now take up your yard/twine and begin to wrap the jackball. I was taught to do this in a specific fashion so I'll share that method with you, but bear in mind that there are many ways of doing this so don't feel that you have to dogmatically cling to one. I was taught to first wrap the ball in an "X" fashion crisscrossing the thread while wrapping it towards me. This is symbolic of the crossroads and helps to draw the power of the herbs out while tying them down into the jackball. For those familiar with it, it's like fixing a trick inside a quincunx. Once you've got some crisscrosses going then begin to wrap it all over while continuing to wrap towards yourself. Make sure to cover the entire thing so you have no wax showing and make it as even as possible so you have a round ball of twine. Leave a long piece of tail unwrapped which shall be used shortly. Keep your focus and prayers up the entire time that you are wrapping the ball, calling for the herbs to give you power, insight, and master, asking that Spirit fill you with its power.

Once the entire thing is evenly wrapped and the wax is no longer visible then it is time to tie of the jackball and set its power. Thread the tail you have left into a needle and using this needle run the thread under one of the firm threads wrapping the ball, pull the string through and repeat to create a knot that will keep the ball from unraveling. Create a total of three knots like that. Then knot the end of the string, knotting it twice to complete the jackball.

Finally take a little bit of your oils and dress the jackball as you do this say, "As I feed you, so you feed me." Then take the jackball in your cupped hands and breathe your prayers unto the ball. Pray fervently and let your breath waken the spirit now inside the jackball. Finally hold it by its tail and carefully wave back and forth over the flame of the candle while you call out your goal. Let the candle burn down and keep that jackball close to you.

The jackball is now alive and part of you. You can work the jackball by holding it by its string and use it as pendelum to divine answers, you can feed it a bit of oil from time to time, you can place it under you pillow to dream true, you can keep it safely away in a flannel bag that you keep on you and it will augument your spiritual powers, you can place it on your altar to help develop a connection with spirit, or you can keep the jackball on you as you conjure to help hone your abilities. One way that I've loved using it in the past is by holding it by its tail and circling it towards me while praying for what I desire.

Jackballs are powerful allies in conjure and following the general principles above I'm sure people can come up with dozens of recipes and uses for them. Happy conjuring!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Saint Cyprian: Calling upon the Patron of Conjurers to Uncross

Saint Cyprian is the patron of conjure-doctors, rootworkers, magicians, occultists and spiritual practitioners, not to be confused with Cyprian of Carthage. According to legend, St. Cyprian was a powerful magician whose power over dark and mighty spirits was reknown. Either he himself or one of his clients fancied Justina, a young and virtuous Christian woman so he conjured up one of his demon servants and sent the spirit over to abduct her, but she repelled the demon by signing the cross. Saint Cyprian was so moved by the act that he converted. Given his pagan background Saint Cyprian is also one of the few saints who seems to have a soft spot for pagans and non-Christians.

St. Cyprian and St. Justina continued their lives together working side-by-side until they were persecuted, tortured, and killed under the reign of Diocletian.

St. Cyprian represents that meeting point between the world of faith and spirituality and the realm of magic and is a reminder of the complexity of the spiritual practitioner who is a man or woman of faith as well as an occultist. There are a few books attributed to this saint and are filled with powerful prayers and conjurations. These books are found in various parts of the world and have heavily influenced various grimoires and some traditions like Quimbanda.

He is a wonderful saint who can be called upon to aid you in works of uncrossing, reversal, protection from spiritual and magical attacks and is a powerful ally for those of us who work with hotter, primal, and more chaotic spirits. I always work with him before any of my goetic workings and can feel his cool, but charged power have my back as I stand in conjuration.

He seems to prefer purple candles be lit to him along with leaving him a cool glass of water. The burning of incense like Frankincense and Myrrh are also offerings that he accepts. From time to time I leave him a book on the occult or magick on the altar to keep him at home with trappings he is familiar with. Most of my scrying materials are also left on his altar when I am not working with them in order to gain his blessing.

His feast day is different according to different sources. His feast day is attributed to September 14th, October 9th and a few other dates. His day of the week is Saturday and the color purple and the number 9 are all associated with this saint. Statues of him seem to be rather difficult to get a hold of, but his image is readily available from various spiritual supply shops and botanicals.

Unlike other saints like Saint Martha who sometimes prefer their offerings of "payment" to be given before they complete a work on your behalf, Saint Cyprian doesn't mind either. As a Saint he'll accept the offerings you leave him and still continue to work on your behalf, and as a magician he understands that sometimes payment comes after the work is done.

One great way of working with this saint is in uncrossing work. If you feel like you've been crossed by a rival rootworker or spiritual practitioner you can call upon the power of this glorious saint to help break the hold this person has over your life. Here's what you need:

A statue or framed picture of Saint Cyprian
1 purple candle
2 small white candles
A cup of water
Dried Mint
A picture of yourself with a piece of your hair
Brazier or something to burn your resins

First set up an altar to Saint Cyprian. Lay out a purple cloth, place his image in the center of this area with the cup of water to his right, the purple candle to the left, and a brazier or similar container to burn your resins in the front of the saint's image. Once you've got this set up take a moment and enter a prayerful state where you've focused all your attention on calling out to Saint Cyprian.

First light the purple candle while offering him the light and flame of the candle. Dedicate the candle to the saint's glory. Then pick up the glass of water and make a gesture of offering it to the saint while telling him that you are leaving out the water for him that he may find pleasure in it. Then light your charcoal and set it on the brazier. Add your Frankincense and Myrrh to this and as the smoke rises, waft some of this towards the image of Saint Cyprian while telling him that you offer up this incense for him.

Next take up the mix of Agrimony, Mint, and Hyssop and hold it up while you pray fervently to Saint Cyprian to bless and empower the herbal mix. Tell Saint Cyprian that you are being oppressed by one who works magick against you, that your life has been turned upside down unjustly and that you ask Saint Cyprian to intervene on your behalf. After praying sincerely, leave the herbal mix in a bowl before the image of the saint over night.

Before dawn wake up and brew a tea out of the herbal mix. Let the water come to a boil, strain the herbs, and let the water cool for a bit. Take this tea-mixture back to the altar of Saint Cyprian and again ask for his intervention. Take the cup of water that you left out for the saint and pour a small amount of it into your tea. Don't pour all of the water, just a small symbolic amount. Go to your bath and set up two white candle on either side of your bathtub. Light these candles, strip, and step into the bath. Pour the tea over your head and wipe down your body by making an "x" with your arms with hands on opposite shoulders that uncross as you move your arms down. Make this gesture 9 times as you call for Saint Cyprian to wash you clean off all evil influences.

Make sure that either you've set a small container to collect some of the water that is poured over your, or that you've plugged your bathtub so it collects the bath. Step out of the tub in between the white candles to get your fresh start and gather some of the used bath water. Let yourself air dry. Once that is done take the used bath water to the nearest crossroads and toss it over your left shoulder and walk back without so much as a glance back.

You should start feeling things turn around nearly instantly. Saint Cyprian works quickly to help set your life back on track if it has been meddled with.

Saint Cyprian is a powerful saint and ally and one that I feel truly blessed to have in my life. Glory to you Saint Cyprian, Master of the Hidden, Guide of those who walk the realms of Spirit. I sing your praises and call blessings upon your name!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spell to get a lover to call

Reconciliation spells and spells aimed at getting wandering lovers to return home are part of the territory of being a rootworker. In reconciliation work of any type communication is huge--in fact many would say that without contact the chances of reconciliation are slim to none. In hoodoo this step is often approached in a variety of ways, including using tricked letters to establish contact first to spells aimed at compelling your target to call you.

There are times when one or the other are called for in love or reconciliation work. Sometimes you have to initiate contact and there are spells aimed at helping to keep your target interested and to get them to respond to your attempts. Then there are spells aimed at getting a lover to contact you first. The topic of this post is going to be the latter.

If there was a spat between you and your lover it is usually best to work with sweeter, more healing types of reconciliation that aim at bringing forgiveness to both parties. However, if your lover is being reticent, this spell can be worked to give them a nudge to contact you.

Here's what you'll need:
1 purple 7-day candle or vigil candle
1 pink 7-day candle or vigil candle
1 red 7-day candle or vigil candle
1 brown 7-day candle or vigil candle
1 love me type of oils (I generally make my own or use a reputable and authentic manufacturer like LuckyMojo. Oils that would work well are Love Me, Come to Me, Reconciliation, Return to Me).
1 command me type of oil (Command Oil, Control Oil, Compelling Oil etc).
Rose Petals
A picture of your target and if you have a piece of hair, great.

Take the photo of your target and on their forehead write the command "Call __" in the blank put your name. Now dab each of the oils in the four corners of the picture and the center. This is called 5-spotting the photo. Fold the photo towards you, as do call out that person's name and command them to call you. Rotate it clockwise 90 degress and fold it towards you again while calling out your command. Do this a total of 3 times until you have a folded up squre. If you have some of your target's hair fold it up with the photo. Set this paper aside.

Now take all of your candles and wipe them down with a cleansing product. I like using Florida Water or similar washes. This act really helps to clean off residue that the candle may have picked up from being handled. On the top of each glass-encased candle poke 3 or 4 holes. This can be done with a skewer, screwdriver or something similar.

Take up your pink candle and drip a little bit of love oil into each of the holes. Make sure not to use too much lest you drown out the wick. Toss in the Rose petals into the holes as well and hold the candle in your hands as you pray ferverently that your target's heart becomes sweet and gentle towards you and that they are inclined to call you.

Now take up the purple candle and add a few drops of your commanding oil and Calamus while you pray that your target is compelled to call you.

Then take up your red candle and dress it with the love oil again, but add Cinnamon to this candle while praying that the fires of love be stroked in your lover's heart and that they are drawn back towards you and quickly.

Finally take up your brown candle and dress it with both oils and sprinkle some Tobacco in the candle. Pray over this candle that your target feels the urge to call you, that the fires of their love are rekindled, and that they cannot resist calling you.

Set up the red, pink, and purple candles in an upright triangle with the purple and pink forming the base of the triangle and the red forming the top. In the center place your brown candle and place your folded up photo under this brown candle. Light them in a clockwise fashion with the brown candle being last. As you light each one call out your lover's name.

Let these candles burn as you pray over them from time to time and call out that your lover returns to you. When the candles have all burned down you can examine the glass for any divinatory signs. Bury any wax remains by your front door and recycle the glass. If your lover hasn't contacted you by the time the candles burned out then take the photo that was placed underneath the brown candle and pin it upside down to the back of the headboard of your bed with a pin in each corner. This last act will cause your lover to dream about you and feel restless until they call you.

Enjoy the spell!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Basics of Hoodoo pt. 1-Petition Papers

This series is going to go over some of the basics of working with hoodoo. I'm going to cover things like how to write out petition papers, how to dress candles, how to dress tricks, and how to put it all together in a conjure aimed towards helping you acheive what you want. This will probably be interspered with other random posts, but I hope to continue the basics of conjure posts for my clients and those who might need some insight on where to start when it comes to the technique of conjure.

One of the very first things that people should learn how to make are petition papers. A petition paper, sometimes called a name-paper is a paper where the rootworker has written who or what they want to attract, influence, repel, or control. Petition papers act as the desires of the rootworker written out for the spell to act on. It can be taken as the map of the entire spellwork. As you write out your petition you are giving specific directions either through symbols or literal commands on what you want the spirits and powers you put into play to do. This makes the petition paper more than merely a piece of paper with some names on it, but literally makes it a magical object--a talisman of sorts.

If we think of petitions in terms of a magical object, or a talisman that is used to direct the spell then you find that the writing out of a petition paper becomes something more than a mechanical act. The act becomes magical in of itself. This theory that petition papers are meant to act like talismanic objects is supported by various traditional conjures and spells that use only a petition paper alone.

So how do you write one out? Well there are literally dozens of traditional ways, but I'll demonstrate a few of the methods that work well for certain situations.

If you are working any type of conjure aimed to giving you the upper hand, or giving you control over a person then you can use the following:
1. Write the name of your target a number of times (usually 3, 7, or 9 times).
2. Then turn the paper 90 degrees clockwise and write your own name or the name of the person you want to give the upper hand to over the name of the target. Write your names the same number of times.

If you want to tie someone to you by giving yourself the upper hand, but also get them to do what you want then use the following:
1. Create a name paper just like the one above where your name crosses and covers the name of your target.
2. In a circle around the names write your command in short, pithy phrases that convey what you want, but write it in an unbroken circle without lifting your pen. An example of this would be that if I wanted my boss to give me a raise, I'd write my name over his; crossing and covering his name, then in a circle around our names I'd write "favor me, give me a raise."

If you want a petition paper where you command someone to do something, or influence them to act a certain way then use the following:
1. Write out the name of the target a number of times (3, 7, 9)
2. Turn the paper 90 degrees either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on whether you wish to draw something or decrease its influence. I.e. if you want to have someone gain courage then clockwise to draw the courage, if you want to send this person away then counterclockwise.
3. Now cross and cover their name with your command written the same number of times as their name.

If you want to write out a name paper aimed at drawing something to you then use the following:
1. Write out what you desire to draw or control a number of times. You can write out wealth, money, love, luck etc.
2. Turn the paper 90 degress clockwise and cross it with your name written the same number of times.

If you have a long request then you can write out what you want in paragraph form, but then cross it with your name in order to cover the paragraph.

Once you have the paper written out you can draw symbolic elements on it to help personalize it a bit. For example in a love name paper try drawing out little hearts in each corner, for a money one try drawing out dollar signs. After you've finished all the written elements of the petition paper it is time to dress it. Take the spiritual oil that matches your desire and dab it in each corner of the paper and in the center. This is called five-spotting the paper. Some people prefer dressing the paper with powders instead, but try each one and see which you like.

Once you've done this you are ready to go. This petition paper can be folded a number of times (towards you to draw, away from you to repel) and placed in container spells, in your pocket or shoe, under candles. As this series progresses we'll put together the basics in an overall conjure.

Each act in the creation of a name paper and petition paper should be meaningful and significant to you. Don't let any of the actions become mechanic and dead. When you are writing out your desire, write it with feeling, when you are turning the paper towards you do it with feeling that you are drawing that very thing to you and so on and so forth. By making each action meaningful you are transforming the act of writing on a simple piece of paper into a magical act that can then become part of a spiritual process that helps you attain what you desire.

These are the basics forms name papers take, but there are more examples which will be given later.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hoodoo and Karma

Whenever I come across a person from the Neopagan community, especially those who hold the Western and New Age interpretations of Karma, I often get into discussions about the role of ethics in hoodoo and conjure. When I explain to such people that hoodoo does not have a concept similar to the Three-fold Law they often tend to become rather superior and look at anything I say afterwards askance.

To some people the very idea that the Universe, or Deity is not going to slap you on the hand the second you put something out there that does not fit the criteria of rainbows and butterflies is simply appalling if not down-right unethical. To these people hoodoo, which holds to the paradigm that conjurers and rootworkers are mature enough to figure things out on their own without an infintile system of reward and punishment, is nothing more than flat-out dark magick. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am not going to touch on the history of hoodoo, nor its religious influences (for more on the topic of hoodoo's history check out catherine yronwode's online book). Instead, I am going to point out one salient fact that the critics who decry conjure's lack of concept of karma are missing: hoodoo is magick. That's right, it is a system of *magick,* not religion. Not just any magick, but one that is ultimately pragmatic.

Pragmatism is a strong part of many magical traditions and hoodoo exemplifies this. What purpose is there for magick if not to help right wrongs, to help find a person happiness, to bring about a nurturing relationship, or financial success? The rootworkers is a deeply spiritual person, but a person who's not so far up in the clouds that they forget where their feet are.

Now does that mean that hoodoo is a "do whatever you want" type of a system? Absolutely not. People fail to realize the hoodoo has an inherent doctrine of ethics that should not be overlooked. A conjurer or root doctor works with divination methods in order to see all the facets of a situation and the implications and consequences of any magick that they decide to throw into the mix. This is done with a clear understanding that they are answerable to higher power, be it the Universe, God, or their Higher Self. The idea is clear; if you cannot justify your actions objectively then you have no right doing what you plan on doing. It is for this reason that conjurers turn to divination.

Hoodoo and conjure accept that spiritual and magical power is not only able to, but should be used in order to help things like justice, love, fortune, and success along. It is after all the right of man to be happy and prosperous. That doesn't mean you start using magick to steal from your neighbors, but it does mean that if your neighbor is a rapist you send his or her butt straight to jail.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Enter Dr. Raven In the Blogsphere

After much deliberation and much pushing from clients and friends alike, I have decided to finally start a blog. I guess a bit of introductions is in order.

I am Dr. Raven, known also as simply the Conjure Man. I am a professional rootworker of many years who works with both hoodoo and one of its forefathers, the grimoire tradition. I've been a practicing occultist since I was a wee kid.

Unlike the typical beginnings in the occult through the New Age movement and its counterparts, I began my foray into this world through the traditional use of runes and by the age of 9 I was crafting binding runes, creating different tines, and learning to use the runes to project into the vast worlds of the World Tree. It was at ten that I was adopted into the hoodoo tradition by my first teacher, a conjure woman who called me her little raven. I augmented my studies in conjure with in depth studies into Graeco-Egyptian Hermeticism, Islamic Talismanic work, Goetic Evocations, and Renaissance Astrology.

By the age of 19 I began taking on clients for readings and rootwork professionally, though I had practiced rootwork on behalf of others unofficially before then.

It is my hope that with this blog that I'll be able to put some of my ideas out there, meet in discourse with those I admire, and hopefully offer my clients and anyone else interested a glimpse into the world that I owe so much to.

You can also catch me at the Lucky Mojo forums and The Old Style Conjure ning site.