Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Grow Your Own Hoodoo Herbs

How to Grow Your Own Hoodoo Herbs
Some Hoodoo spells and charms use special symbolic herbs.

The African American folk magic tradition of Hoodoo integrates a variety of spiritual practices from magical traditions. The term itself first appeared in the late 1800s as a means of describing a magic potion or spell. Alternative names for this practice include root work or conjuration.

Hoodoo endeavors to supernaturally impact daily life by encouraging specific types of energy through rituals and spells. The goals vary but include attracting good fortune, improving finances, encouraging love and foretelling the future. To accomplish this goal, Hoodoo workers call on the Ancestors and other spirits, sometimes adding the recitation of sacred texts including the Bible. In addition, many Hoodoo practitioners use herbs as part of charms and potions to achieve their goals.

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need
Hoodoo herb seeds or seedlings
Gardening fork
Potting soil
Organic fertilizer
Family portraits

1 Choose your herbs. Hoodoo practitioners use many herbs for sacred practices. Your decision depends on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zone in your area. Alternatively, grow garden herbs indoors to avoid any weather issues.

Hoodoo practitioners select herbs for their garden based on intended magical applications. Some of the most popular Hoodoo herbs for your garden include angelica root, dragon's blood, five finger grass, John the Conqueror Root, Lucky Hand Root, Queen Elizabeth Root, and rue.

2 Prepare the soil. Using a spade and gardening fork, till the soil in your land or pots so it's finely crumbled. Add some organic fertilizer. You do not want to use chemical fertilizers in any soil prepared for sacred Hoodoo functions. That taints the energy of the herbs. Compost is an excellent option that also offers a means to recycle. Make sure the soil has proper drainage; herbs don't grow well when they're too wet. Small stones added beneath potting soil helps.

3 Plot out your space and plant the herbs. Design the garden so that the herbs that require more sunlight get it. Build up mounds of dirt for herbs needing drier soil. Hoodoo herbs won't do much good magically if they're not healthy during the growing process.

Using a trowel, make a small valley for the seeds 2 inches deep; then space them apart as directed on the seed package. For seedlings, dig a deeper hole, one big enough to accommodate the plant's root base completely. Water the soil after sowing the herbs, checking to make sure it's moist to the touch, not soggy.

4 Bless your garden. The approach to blessing varies from practitioner to practitioner and sub-tradition to tradition. However, some commonalities exist. Bring some images of deceased ancestors to your garden. Put them on a safe surface nearby. Burn some incense on that surface or put out some of the favorite fresh herbs you know they enjoyed. At this point, talk to them as you might an honored elder, asking them to watch over the garden and guide the energy of the plants to perfection.

5 Tend the garden lovingly. Even as you would not cook angry, never go into your sacred garden when you're out of sorts. Producing beneficial energy from your Hoodoo garden means focusing on it from a positive frame of mind. Practitioners believe that intention matters tremendously. The daily rituals of watering, weeding and caring for the plant translate into better energy for charms, spells and mojo bags. Specifically, pull weeds from your garden as soon as you spot them. Water when the soil is dried out to the touch. Depending on soil quality, you may not have to add more fertilizer. Watch for pale coloration of leaves as one indicator that it's time to add more compost.

Tips & Warnings
Research the end use for your herbs so you can plant them with that intention in mind. Traditional Hoodoo uses angelica root for protection and healing, dragon's blood for anointing and conjuring, five finger grass for prosperity and wish fulfillment, John the Conqueror Root to improve men's luck, Queen Elizabeth Root for happy relationships, and rue for removing curses, jinxes and the evil eye.

Use the listed herbs for spiritual use only, not to be taken internally or used for culinary purposes.

~By Patricia Telesco, eHow Contributor

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