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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So you'd like to learn hoodoo...

So you’d like to learn hoodoo; well you’re in luck, I have compiled a list of valuable resources to help you on your journey to becoming an aspiring rootworker. Conjure and hoodoo has become extremely popular in today’s internet age with everyone trying to stake a claim. While the positive to this is that there is a general prevalence of information, the down side is that there is a great deal of completely incorrect information that misleads people.

What I have done is outlined a list of resources that can be used to help someone gain a better understanding of the basics of conjure and hoodoo so they are better equipped to deal with the information out there on the web. Each of these resources has been personally checked out by myself or trusted colleagues and are what I consider the best of the best.

Because of the scope, I have divided this post into two sections. Part ONE will include all the books, websites, podcasts, and radio shows that I find useful and valuable. Part TWO will include a list of courses and practical steps to get you on your way.

ConjureMan Ali’s Ultimate Conjure Guide:


*Hoodoo in Theory and Practice-This online book is a great beginning for the aspiring hoodoo practitioner. Compiled by Miss cat this text acts as a great resource into the history and basic techniques of hoodoo.

*Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic- This is the only book of its kind. This text catalogues a list of the herbs, roots, minerals, and curios that are employed in conjure. Not only a great introduction into the magica materia of conjure, but it also presents hundreds of traditional and time-tested spells.

*Old Style Conjure Book-Written by Momma Starr this book presents traditional conjure that remains very much grounded in the old south. This work is an amazing introduction into old style conjure. Momma Starr is one of the few online conjure women who I would consider an authentic and reliable source of this type of work.

*Hoodoo Money Conjure Book-Also written by Momma Starr this will have everything you need to know about a very important condition in conjure: money. Filled with practical conjures for drawing wealth and maintaining it.

*Spiritual Cleansing Book- Momma Starr’s book on spiritual cleansing addressing this oft-neglected spiritual practice that was and is the cornerstone of traditional conjure work.

*BlackHawk: Working with his spirit-This book on the Native American Spirit Blackhawk is the only text that actually addresses how to work with his spirit. Written by a conjure woman who has real experience in the field this text is important for an introduction not only to Blackhawk, but also to spirit work. A large portion of conjure revolves around working with spirits and this book helps set the groundwork for it.

*Rootwork by Tayannah Micquillar -This book presents a series of spells and folk charms as they are related in what would be termed urban hoodoo. It covers spells for various conditions as well as introductions into divination methods practiced by traditional rootworkers.

*Dream-Singers by Anthony Shafton- Dreams are an important facet of the spirituality that is inherent in conjure and hoodoo. This book can help you get a grasp of the role of dreams in African American spiritual practices.

*God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man by Cornelia Bailey- Conjure is not merely a magical system, but the product of a unique cultural matrix. This book is written by a woman who was raised in the Saltwater Geechee culture, who along with the Gullah people are the best representations of culture that gave birth to hoodoo. In this society the culture and life of the early African Americans is preserved and honored. This book is written by an amazing story teller who relates amazing tales filled with magic, rich spirituality, and a deeply beautiful culture.

*Master Book of Candle Burning by Henri Gamache- This seminal text forms the very foundation of most candle magic practices in conjure and hoodoo. Adopted by rootworkers with the rise of the mail order supply shop, this book covers the practice of working with candles for a variety of situations.

*The Magic Candle by Charmaine Dey- Equally important to the development of candle magic within hoodoo, this book covers the various candles that gained popularity in the 20th Century. Here you’ll find your 7-Knob Candles, your Adam and Eve candles, and much more.

Note: Both of these books were adopted by hoodoo practitioners, but these books are not necessarily hoodoo books. Both authors write from their own point of view. Conjure workers adopted the elements that were copacetic with their traditions while excluding others. Hence some workers will work with Astral Candles as taught by Henri Gamache, but not all find it necessary.

*The Secret of the Psalms by Godfrey Selig- This books is based off of older Jewish and European texts revolving around the magical uses of the Tehillim, or Psalms. The use of the bible as a conjure book is integral to the practice of hoodoo and this book helped develop this practice for rootworkers.

*Blue Roots by Roger Pinckney-Written by someone who grew up around the culture of African Americans. This book is relates tales and stories that the author heard over the years. It’s filled with interesting accounts of famous conjure doctors.

*Conjure in African American Society by Jeffery Anderson- This book is written from the perspective of an anthropologist who made a study of conjure practices. It is an interesting and revealing book from the perspective of an academic.

*Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition by Yvonne Chireau- Also written from the perspective of an anthropologist, this book catalogues the development of conjure and its role in African American society.

*The Practice of Magic by Draja Mickharic- A great introduction into the various streams of magical practice, this book outlines the different magical and spiritual traditions that one might come across.

*Century of Spells by Draja Mickaharic- Written by one of the most under-recognized occult authors of our day, this books records various spells from a variety of folk traditions, including hoodoo. The author is a practitioner of Eastern European folk magic traditions and versed in Afro-Caribbean magical systems. As a demonstration of folk magic, this book can help the practitioner learn the general mechanics of folk magic.

*Spiritual Cleansing by Draja Mickaharic- A distillation of spiritual cleansing practices that have been collected over the years by the author, this text presents some of the most important techniques found in folk magic practices across the United States. It touches on various hoodoo practices among others and has quickly been adopted by rootworkers today.

*Voodoo and Hoodoo by Jim Haskins- The author has recorded and preserved a variety of magical workings that he has gathered from real conjure practitioners from both rural and urban root doctor alike. The book approaches the subject from the point of view of a folklorist rather than practitioner, but it lists in detail various works and helps develop a picture of conjure as it was practiced by real practitioners.

*Pow Wows or Long Lost Friend by John George Hoffman- This book is not hoodoo, but it is an integral book to the practice of the Pennsylvania Dutch. This tradition is the cousin of hoodoo and various practices from this book have been adopted into conjure work.

*The Red Church by CR Bilardi- An interesting look into the Germanic magical practices found in Pennsylvania. Some of these practices are similar to conjure and over the years there has been some intermarriage within the traditions. Another great book on American folk magic. 

*Hoodoo-Conjuration-Witcraft-Rootwork by Harry M. Hyatt- This five volume set is very difficult to obtain, but is filled with a collection of interviews by the author with various folks claiming to know a thing or two about rootwork. A great survey of the various methods employed by conjure workers, but these texts should be taken with more than a grain of salt as some of the people interviewed clearly weren’t as familiar with hoodoo practices as they claimed and some downright made stuff up. Some of the stuff can be misleading, but read with a discerning eye.

These are certainly not all the books available on the subject, but these texts I have found most useful in getting a great survey and introduction into rootwork. This tradition is mostly passed down from teacher to student, so read what is written with the understanding that there are limitations to books.


http://www.luckymojo.com/ - owned and operated by Miss cat this website is the home of the authentic hoodoo and spiritual goods supplier the Lucky Mojo Curio co. The website is filled with information with thousands of free pages on the topic as well as being a resource of authentic, traditionally-made spiritual products.

http://forum.luckymojo.com/ - The product forum of Lucky Mojo provided free for their customers. You can go register and post about any questions you have on the products they provide. You can ask how to employ the products to your situation and you’ll be answered by helpful volunteers and as well as professional workers.

http://www.oldstyleconjure.com/ - The home of Momma Starr’s Old Style Conjure shop, this website is filled with the writings of a real, down-to-earth conjure woman who has decades of experience. She provides her own line of products and has made available many pages of free information that are extremely worthwhile.

http://www.oldstyleconjure.ning.com/ - An online community developed by Momma Starr and friends where people interested in learning and sharing their experiences with old style conjure may gather.

http://www.readersandrootworkers.org/ - This Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is the home of the elite of the conjuring world. This directory includes the best of the best in rootwork and spiritual readings who have gathered together and agreed to work under the aegis of a strict ethical standard aimed at providing a resource for people seeking real magical help. This website stands in direct opposition of the fakes and charlatans who have abused people in need and taken advantage of them emotionally and financially. Here you will find the finest skilled professionals who are out for your best interest. The website is also filled with hundreds of pages on various spiritual matters from around the world.

http://gnostic-conjure.blogspot.com/ - The blog of the skilled conjure doctor, Balthazar. He is an avid blogger whose blog is a great resource for conjure, magick, the tarot, and much more. His posts are always insightful and very worthwhile. His blog covers a variety of topics and you’ll find yourself learning a great deal about magic in general along with conjure. He is also a fellow graduate of the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course. You can also find a link to his private practice here.

http://queenofpentaclesconjure.blogspot.com/ - The blog of the lovely Devi Spring. She has some great articles about various conjure and hoodoo practices and her posts are always a delight. As a fellow graduate of the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course, she knows her stuff. You can also find a link to her private practice.

http://conjuredoctor.blogspot.com/ - This is the blog of my esteemed AIRR colleague, Dr. E. His articles are filled with tons of information on a variety of conjure and hoodoo workings. He is an initiate of Lukumi and a skilled conjure doctor. You can find a link to his private practice listed at his blog.

http://carolinadean.blogspot.com/ - Maintained by fellow HRCC graduate, Carolina Dean, this blog includes several great instructional posts written by a top notch worker. He also has a link to his own website where you’ll find even more great articles.

http://ravenconjure.blogspot.com/ - Of course my own blog ;-). It already has a variety of traditional conjure instructions as well as discussions on the other traditions that form the core of my practice.

Radio Shows:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/starr-casas - Radio show run by Momma Starr and the very talented Dr. LoveBug. A radio show on various conjure practices as it is done old school. Momma Starr and Dr. LoveBug tell it how it is.

http://newworldwitchery.com – I was turned on to them by a colleague and find the blog/podcasts to be insightful and a great resource for people on the search for American folk magic traditions.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/luckymojohoodoorootworkhour - The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour is a radio show brought to us by the esteemed Miss cat yronwode. It is actually an hour and half long show by two real practitioners who take your calls, give free readings and advice to those in need.

That’s it for part ONE, watch for part TWO soon.


Devi Spring said...

What a fantastic post!

I have a few new books on my to-get list now. ;)

Thanks so much for taking the time to make such a lovely resource for everyone to learn from.

Can't wait for part two!

Balthazar said...

Fabulous, I finally have an excellent page to send people to who continually ask me that very question!

katie said...

thank you conjureman...i can tell i am going to be very busy for quite a while going through all this material. Great resource...i have sent a link to many friends.

Carolina Dean said...


I wanted to say thank you for including my blog on your list of resources!

ConjureMan Ali said...

My pleasure, Carolina Dean! People can learn a great deal from your writings.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ali, both for the mention and for this wonderful compilation of hoodoo resources! I'll definitely be sending folks to this list for help when they want a springboard into conjure!

Unknown said...

Thank you for all the links and info this is going to be very helpful and keep me busy awhile too lol.

Anonymous said...

I live in the U.K and there seems to be no one to learn with/from. All I have is books and the internet. I cannot do the luckymojo course because she refused me. She said I need African American friends to help with the coursework, I am assuming it is the history section. I am so fed up and feel iscolated.

ConjureMan Ali said...

You are telling me that in today's day and age of the internet you cannot make a single African American friend? That seems a bit silly. This is a practice that is tied to the very culture of African Americans, if you cannot mak the effort to reach out and make some friends in that community then why are you even trying to learn hoodoo? There are thousands of traditions out there? Why not something more local? Why not British cunningfolk? If however you want to learn hoodoo then immerse yourself in the culture, make friends, and then pick up the resources I have mentioned and look at the courses again.