Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Write a Hoodoo Style Name Paper

Often in Hoodoo candle burning rituals a petition paper or name paper is made and set under the candle during the burning. Name papers are also used in mojo hands, and placed inside shoes for certain workings.  There are almost as many ways to make name papers as there are rootworkers. I am going to explain the basics of how I do it.

I was always taught that the name paper should be made from a brown paper bag. I do';t think this is a hard and fast rule however. You can use parchment, or blank white paper as well. I still use brown paper bags since I keep them on hand for other things such as disposing of items at crossroads. The paper should usually be torn by hand and not cut with scissors or a knife. The reason for this is that scissors and other blades being symbolic of weapons are usually used in enemy work or conjure meant to break up magical influence and bewitchment. So unless the name paper is being used for such a purpose then tear it by hand. I usually use a bone folder to get a good crease and then tear along that edge. You can find bone folders located in the scrap booking section of most craft stores for pretty cheap.
Using a Bone Folder to Crease the Paper

Tear along the creases as carefully as possible, It doesn't have to be perfect by any means. It should look something like this when you are done.

Next the name of the petitioner(s), and the condition that you want to bring about are written in the form of a cross on the paper. I was taught that the number of times the name(s) are written should always be an odd number such as 3,5,7,or 9. I use 3 for manifestation, 5 for domination and power, 7 for blessings and luck, and 9 for enemy work and cursing. If I am burning the candle for myself or a client I will write them name first and then cross the name with words representing their desire. If it is a working for one person to have power or influence over another I write the name of the target and then cover their name with the person who will be dominant in the situation. The following is an example of a name paper that I made for a steady work candle for a friend.

First I wrote her name seven times

Next I turned the paper twice clockwise and wrote the words "STEADY WORK". If you wish to bring or attract something the direction should be clockwise. If you wish to banish or repel with the working turn it counterclockwise.

Next you will want to write a short but precise petition phrase in a circle around the names. The name phrase should be written in one continuous motion going clockwise. You then go back and dot your I's and cross your T's. The phrase I used was "May Jane Doe obtain steady work with a wage sufficient enough to meet all of her financial needs". You will want to dress your name paper with an appropriate oil, powder or both before folding it. One traditional way of anointing the paper is by putting a dab of oil in each corner and then one in the center, this is known as a "5 spot". I personally anoint it in the form of a cross going top to bottom and then right to left. I will then anoint the circle of words going clockwise.

Next you will want to fold your name paper. The first fold should be toward you for drawing or away for repelling.  In this case the fold was toward me.

Next turn the paper once, again clockwise for drawing or counterclockwise for banishing.

Fold again the same direction you did before

Repeat this process a second time and you should end up with something that looks like this.
That's my method in a nutshell. I used different colors here to illustrate the various parts of the name paper, but one can be made using one color. They can  be written with pen, pencil, or quill and magical inks.

How To Fix a Seven Day Novena Candle

So I finally decided to upload something to my Youtube Channel. Here is a quick tutorial on how to fix a seven day novena candle. I will follow this up shortly with posts on how write petition/name papers and another on doing reading the glass after the candle has been burnt. So look forward to those soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crafting Up A Storm

Here recently I have been crafting up a storm and  made quite a few handmade items I thought I would share. I am not a strict, make everything by hand kind of worker by any means. I do however feel that making certain things by hand, especially tools, or items that are meant to connect with a spirit puts the worker closer to the energies that they wish to work with during the process. So if you have the chance D.I.Y a few things, you and your work will be better for it.
Cleansing Broom: I was inspired to make a broom after reading a soon to be released work on Witchcraft that a friend of mine is wrote                                                  . The broom may not be a traditional hoodoo tool exactly but some practitioners utilize it. Also the symbolism of the broom straw has made it into spells and staple items such as Chinese Wash.  The broom part itself came from a dollar store, which is one of my favorite places to get craft supplies. The handle came from a branch that I found in the woods during one of the trials that I undertook for Cabal Fang Martial Arts. For some reason it just stood out to me so I picked it up at the beginning of the trial and carried it throughout.  Originally I was going to make a staff out of it so I stripped it of bark, sanded it a bit and oiled it. I had to cut it down some more to make a broom handle. I attached the handle by binding he straw around it with hemp rope and metal wire.

Closeup of Broom

Saint Cyprian of Antioch bracelet:  Made with wooden and metal beads. It is hard to tell from the pic but the round beads are purple which is the color associated with this saint. I also incorporated black beads in there as his day is Saturday. Cyprian of Antioch is known as the Patron Saint of Magicians, Rootworkers, Curanderos, and the like. He is also closely associated with the grimoire tradition so to honor that the purple and black beads total 11 on each side. In addition to the Cyprian charm I included a little bible charm to symbolize the link to Hoodoo.

 Closeup of Cyprian Bracelet

Ancestral Prayer Beads: I used to wear a Tibetan skull prayer bracelet that I got from a Tibetan store in the East Village. That served as my ancestral prayer beads until it broke one day. So recently I broke out the crafts box and made it into a new string of prayer beads that is more personal. Not really rooted in any one tradition. I am calling them the "Blood and Bones" prayer beads.

Ancestor Prayer Beads on the Altar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

5BS #5: Goofer Dust.

Goofer Dust is one of the most potent and dangerous powders used in the practice of conjure. The word goofer is said to derive from the Kikongo word "kufwa," which means "to kill".  Goofer dust is quite literally a killing powder. It works slowly over time eroding the targets health and all other aspects of their life. It is deployed in a manner of different ways such as, foot tracks magic, bottle spells, used to snuff out candles, and even love spells. The ingredients for the dust vary according to a practitioner's personal style. The main ingredient is a base of graveyard dirt. Some gather this dirt from the graves of criminals and persons known to be violent within their former lives, Not everyone does this however. Cemetery work and gathering dirt is a very delicate process and is not to be done lightly or without proper instruction.This is not something that I will go into detail about within this post.

Other known ingredients are usually used for their symbolic or potentially poisonous natures, such as sulfur, snake skin or sheds, black salt, dried feces,bone dust, and iron filings. I think that the presence of iron filings within the formula points to the true origins of how this powder was originally prepared and empowered. While iron has been associated with both good workings such as repelling evil, and in negative aspects such as being referred to as the "Bones of Set" in Egyptian folklore, it has one interesting use that makes sens in regards to goofer dust. Iron bars are used around cemeteries to keep the spirits of the dead within it's confines. The same material could be used to keep spiritual energy trapped inside the powder as well. A spiritual energy that would be attached to the powder both from the graveyard dirt, and also from bone used within the powder as a base for a particular spirit to work through,  Essentially goofer dust when made in the traditional sense is far more necromantic then it is given credit for today. It is "conjure" in the purest sense of the word. Or perhaps it would be better to say it is a healthy mix of necromancy and pharmakos. 

Originally this was planned as a tutorial on exactly how to create this powder. I have sense been informed by my ancestors that this is not knowledge for me to give away completely at this time. I do feel that I have given enough information for one to continue their research and go about the process of creating their own mixture if they so choose. As always I can only urge that you cast responsibly. 

I want to thank everyone that has made this series of postings a success. I appreciate all of the love that I have been getting from readers via both Facebook and Twitter. I means a lot to knowing that people are reading and learning new things to add to their own practice. You all certainly make the work and effort worthwhile. 

Want a limited edition, hand painted box containing all of the items in this series crafted by Brother Ash ? Click (Here)

With Regards,

Bother Ash
"You must have the Devil in you to succeed in the arts." Voltaire
"Don't quote me boy cuz I ain't said shit." Eazy-E