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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A Rootwork, Conjure, Hoodoo Dictionary
A Rootwork, Conjure, Hoodoo Dictionary
For those who, while surfing around the internet looking into hoodoo and rootwork, run into a few words that you are unfamiliar with, here is a quickie dictionary for reference:
A Rootwork, Conjure, Hoodoo Dictionary of Terms
A general list of terms often used in the practice of Hoodoo
Altar - A sacred place that honors spirits, ancestors, loved ones, or even the self.
Amulet - A piece of jewelry that is symbolic and protective.
Anointing - A term used to describe rubbing a condition oil on an individual. It is sometimes used interchangeably with dressing.
Anointing oil - Oil used to dress candles and other objects (including people) to enhance their magical properties, including protection.
Banishing - A trick to get rid of something negative.
Blessing - A type of spell or prayer intended to spiritually cleanse a person, place or thing while infusing it with the positive energy of the divine and one’s hopes.
Bokor - Generally believed in Louisiana today to be the Haitian equivalent to the hoodoo practitioner. Some bokors are said to be uninitiated specialists in malevolent magic.
Bon Dieu - God Almighty. Also known as Bondye or good god; the Creator who is distant from the world.
Bottle tree - Making wishes and placing cobalt blue bottles onto branches of a tree to make a bottle tree that functions as a talisman.
Butting - A term used in candle-magick to describe the act of cutting the tip off of a candle, turning it upside down and digging a new tip out of the bottom. Symbolically this is said to reverse people and conditions as symbolized by the color of the candle or the words carved upon it. Sometimes also referred to as Flipping.
Candle Worker - A person who mainly only sets lights or works with candles.
Caul - The covering on the eye of a newborn that usually predicts psychic ability.
Chant - Repetitive statement used to enhance the magical aspect of a ritual, spell, or ceremony.
Charging - Energizing or strengthening.
Charms - A collection of symbolic objects designed for a specific purpose, such as luck, love, protection.
Cities of the Dead - A popular term that refers to cemeteries in Louisiana.
Cold Reading - A type of technique used by disreputable psychics, mediums, and fortune-tellers which utilizes general statements to determine details about a person. By gauging the individual’s reaction to these general statements, an experienced fortune-teller can extrapolate more information about the subject giving the appearance of having true psychic ability. This technique is also used in the entertainment industry by mentalist, illusionist, and stage-magicians. Compare to Hot Reading.
Condition Oil - A term used to describe oils which have been designed to address a specific issue or bring about a specific condition. Examples include, Cast Off Evil Oil, Follow Me Boy, and Money Drawing Oil.
Conjure – This is a traditional magick system that originated in the southern United States. It is a mystical art founded in botanical knowledge passed on hereditarily through the family, but it may also be practiced by solitaries. It is also the added aspect of “conjuring”, to draw magic, spirits, or energy. Contact with ancestors or other spirits of the dead is an important practice within the conjure tradition, and the recitation of Psalms from the Bible is also considered magically effective. It is not a religion. See also Hoodoo, JuJu and Rootwork.
Crossing – Spiritual works that cause harm or bad luck.
Crossroads - A place where two roads connect forming an X. Crossroads are places of spiritual power where magickal items are often disposed of and rituals pacts are formed. A mystical place steeped in magic where four roads intersect and where deals are made; a location where two realms touch, a place between worlds where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events take place.
Crossroads magic - Prevalent in conjure, rootwork, and hoodoo. (See Crossroads.)
Curse - Negative energy cast upon somebody.
Divination - The ritual process of gaining information about the past, present, or future either with the use of tools such as Tarot Cards, Playing Cards, Sortilege etc…or without tools utilizing one’s own psychic faculties, or through the observation of signs and omens.
Dressing candles - To bring additional power to candles using herbal or mineral oils.
Dressing - A term which refers to rubbing a condition oil on an inanimate object such as a candle, a mojo bag, or a talisman. It is sometimes used interchangeable with anointing.
Earth Mother - A Goddess that embodies nurturing, kindness, and fertility.
Feeding - The act of dressing a mojo bag with oil, or a lodestone with oil/magnetic sand to nourish it and keep it strong to work for you.
Feeding powder - Herbal or mineral substance used to charge and sustain the life of a powerful object.
Flipping - A term used in candle-magick to describe the act of cutting the tip off of a candle, turning it upside down and digging a new tip out of the bottom. Symbolically this is said to reverse people and conditions as symbolized by the color of the candle or the words carved upon it. See also Butting.
Fixing tricks - Doing spellwork.
Foot track magic - A hoodoo spell that involves the physical tracks and footprints. Throwing powders and such in the path of a target who will suffer from abnormal maladies and a run of bad luck once they have walked on it. Direct or sympathetic methods.
Gédé loa - Spirits of the dead.
Gopher’s Dust (Goofer Dust) - A magical dust used in foot track magic that traditionally contains snakeskin or the rattle of a rattlesnake. Used to motivate and enforce changes.
Goofer Dust (Gopher’s Dust) - A magical dust used in foot track magic that traditionally contains snakeskin or the rattle of a rattlesnake. Used to motivate and enforce changes.
Graveyard dirt - Dirt taken from a graveyard. Especially potent if gathered from a grave at the crossroads.
Great Mother - Goddess of all goddesses; creator being.
Gris-gris - A spell, charm, or magic depending on use in sentence structure. A ritually prepared object such as a doll or a small cloth bag filled with magical ingredients, as well as the act of working the gris-gris (spell or charm).
Gros Bon Ange - In New Orleans Voodoo it is regarded as the part of the soul that connects the Voodooist to all of creation, which is constantly in union with Bon Dieu.
Haint - Southern African-American culture's term for a ghost.
Hand - Another word for a Mojo Bag or charm.
He and She - Male and female lodestones that have been matched by shape and size.
Hex - Negative energy cast upon a victim.
Honey Jar - A type of spell which uses sweeteners such as honey, syrup, molasses, etc… in conjunction with a candle(s) and designed to compel an individual to favor your petition in business, love, or court-cases.
Hoodoo - A form of folk-magic originating in Africa which, was brought and adapted in the southern United States. It is a mystical art founded in botanical knowledge passed on hereditarily through the family, but it may also be practiced by solitaries. The goal of hoodoo is to allow people access to spiritual forces to influence their daily lives. Hoodoo is an informal system that draws its influences from traditional African practices, Native American folklore and some elements of Christian, Jewish and European folk practices. It is not a religion. See also Conjure, JuJu and Rootwork.
Hot Footing - A type of spell or ritual intended to drive a person, such as an enemy or some other troublesome person, away. It is synonymous with banishing in other magickal traditions.
Hot Reading - The use of knowledge gained about an individual beforehand when performing a reading for another individual. See also cold reading.
Hounfor - The name for a Vodou temple.
Houngan - An initiated priest within the religion of Orthodox Haitian Vodou.
Invocation - A song, poem, or chant designed to call upon the spirits or ancestors.
Job - A term that refers to a spell, also called a job or working.
Juju - Magic, sometimes with bad intent.
JuJu – A West African word meaning “magic”, and refers to the African-American Folk Magick system (also referred to as Rootwork and Hoodoo) is a traditional magick system that originated in the southern United States. It is a mystical art founded in botanical knowledge passed on hereditarily through the family, but it may also be practiced by solitaries. The goal of JuJu is to allow people access to spiritual forces to influence their daily lives. Rootwork is an informal system that draws its influences from Appalachian, tradition African practices, Native American folklore and some elements of Christian, Jewish and European folk practices. It is not a religion. See also Conjure, Hoodoo and Rootwork.
Justified – This refers to a work done against an enemy if they feel it’s been justified. Not all practitioners will do revenge or attack spells, preferring to leave these aspects to others who will.
Lady Hearted - A Rootworker or spiritual practitioner who is morally opposed to bringing harm to another individual or animal through the use of spells and magick.
Laying tricks - Hoodoo term for performing spells. Also refers to concealing or disposing of magical objects by strategically placing the ingredients in certain places in order to fix the trick; in essence, to seal the deal.
Live Things In You - A term which refers to the belief that, through the use of magick, live beings such as snakes, scorpions, and/or spiders have been introduced into the human body.
Loa (Lwa) - Also known as Mystères or the Invisibles; spirits responsible in the daily matters of life in the areas of family, love, money, happiness, wealth, and revenge. Petitioned in rituals and spellwork.
Loading - A term which refers to digging a small hole in the bottom of a candle and introducing herbs, personal concerns, oils, powders, etc… into it before resealing the hole.
Lwa (Loa) - Also known as Mystères or the Invisibles; spirits responsible in the daily matters of life in the areas of family, love, money, happiness, wealth, and revenge. Petitioned in rituals and spellwork.
Mambo - An initiated priestess in the religion of Orthodox Haitian Vodou.
Mojo - A small bag of charms that serves as an amulet for a wide range of purposes.
Mojo Bag - A type of talisman which takes the form of a small flannel drawstring bag containing an assortment of animal, vegetable, or mineral curious believed to attract or dispel certain influences.
Nation sack - A female-owned mojo bag.
Paquets - A small charm, another name for a toby or mojo hand.
PÉ - The name of the altar in Vodou. It is made of masonry and is circular, forming the base of the poteau-mitan.
Personal Concerns - A term used to describe anything that is associated with a person’s physical body either having once been a part of it or having intimate contact to the body. Examples of personal concerns include blood, semen, hair, clothing, one’s signature, photograph, etc.
Petro - A major family of loa in Haitian vodou; they are more fiery, aggressive, and warlike spirits and associated with the element of fire; considered “bad” or “hot” spirits.
Poisoned Through the Feet - A term used to describe when a person has walked over or stepped through a magickal powder that has been laid down in their path for the purpose of affecting them in a negative way.
Poppet - A small, stuffed doll or other organic object used to represent a human. Also referred to as a voodoo doll, baby doll, dolly and doll baby.
Poteau-mitan - The central pole of a Vodou temple.
Pot de Tête - A small covered jar that is constructed to help protect initiates from malevolent magic.
Rada - A major family of loa in Haitian vodou; older, beneficent spirits, guardians of morals and principals and associated with the element of air; considered “good” or “cool” spirits.
Reader - A Rootworker or spiritual practitioner, who is psychically gifted.
Root Doctor – Also known as a Herb (or Yarb) Doctor. They use herbs, roots and barks for healing disease and casting spells, and may or may not be a rootworker as well.
Rootwork – Also referred to as Hoodoo, JuJu, or Conjure, this is a traditional magick system that originated in the southern United States. It is a mystical art founded in botanical knowledge passed on hereditarily through the family, but may also be practiced by solitaries. The goal of rootwork is to allow people access to spiritual forces to influence their daily lives. Rootwork is an informal system that draws its influences from Appalachian, tradition African practices (in some geographical areas, but not all), Native American folklore and some elements of Christian, Jewish and European folk practices. It is not a religion. See also Conjure, Hoodoo and JuJu.
Rootworker - A practitioner of Hoodoo. See also Two-Headed Doctor.
Runs - A term used by candle-workers referring to the practice of lighting a new candle for the same intention shortly before an old one has burned out until satisfactory results are achieved.
Santeria - A unique hybrid of Western and non-Western rituals, ceremonies, prayers, and invocations primarily practiced in South America.
Scrying - Gazing at an object such as a flame, water, crystal ball, or mirror to see into different worlds and times.
Setting Lights - A term which refers to the process of preparing a candle for an individual’s petition and praying over it daily until it has burned out.
Shamanism - A type of healing practiced by a variety of groups that combines herbalism and natural medicines with deep spirituality. Shamen sometimes use trance induced by drugs such as peyote; are often adept at shapeshifting.
Spirit Box - A box that will serve to house a spirit of the dead.
Spirit Pot - A specially prepared cast iron cauldron that serves to house the spirit of a dead person who has agreed to serve as working spirit for its owner.
Spiritual Worker (Spiritualist) - A synonym used mainly for a professional, a practitioner who takes on paying clients, but which any practitioner may also use to describe them self.
Sticking - Sticking a poppet or other object such as a candle is used to insert intent and energy into the subject.
Ti Bon Ange - In New Orleans Voodoo tradition it is regarded as part of the Voodooist’s personality. Similar to the conscious will.
Toby - Another name for a mojo.
To Throw For - A term which refers to 1) throwing down powders where a person will step over or walk through them 2) placing a curse on an enemy. See also Poisoning Through the Feet.
Traiteur - A man or woman who has the power to heal using prayer and the laying of hands. Many are knowledgeable in the use of herbs for healing. Some may also read cards or have some knowledge of spell casting.
Trick - The name for a spell in traditional hoodoo.
Two Headed Doctor - A Rootworker, or spiritual practitioner, who is also a reader.
Uncrossing - Works that reverse a crossing (hex).
Vévé - Drawing made with cornstarch on the earth or floor to invoke the spirit of gods or goddesses in Haitian Vodou; intricate symbol of a loa, used in rituals.
Voodoo - The American spelling used to differentiate New Orleans Voodoo from Orthodox Haitian Vodou. Latin American and Caribbean ways of working with the spirit world, a blend of West African and Catholic Christian teachings.
Voodooienne - A female practitioner of New Orleans Voodoo.
Voodooist - A male practitioner of New Orleans Voodoo.
Vodou - The traditional Haitian spelling for the religion of Orthodox Haitian Vodou.
Vodouisant - A practitioner or initiate of Orthodox Haitian Vodou.
Work or Working – A term that refers to a spell, also called a job.
Working by the Clock: A hoodoo rootwork term referring to using the placement of the hands on a clock: moving downwards is for reversal/removal/banishing works; moving upwards is for good/bringing works.
Zombie -A dead person that has been revived after having been buried. After resurrection, the zombie remains in the control of others, having no will of their own. In truth, a zombie is a living person who has never died; it is a person who is under the influence of powerful drugs administered by an evil sorcerer.
A Witch’s Craft, Volume 1: Dictionary for a Witch’s Grimoire by Viktorija Briggs