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.


Modred said...

I always use paper bags, but I confess that I've been careless about some of the details (such as the folding directions). I won't be from now on -- thanks for posting this.

DeEtta Leaton said...

I use parchment that I have crumpled over and over until it is the consistency of cloth and "thumps" when pulled from both sides. I tear it on each edge so that all the edges are "fuzzy."
I write with a fountain style calligraphy pen in an appropriate color (usually black, red or blue).
I don't use a bone, when I fold the paper, I use my thumbnail.

Brother Ash said...

I just use a bone because I happen to have one handy for other projects.

Kelvia Jordan said...

I have a question I'm doing this for myself so do i write their name 7 times and then what i want on top of it after turning the paper clockwise and do i need to use a candle if so what kind of candle