Spells. Workings. Jobs. These are terms used in Hoodoo to describe acts of magic which are performed to achieve one's goals. Spells are performed for virtually any conceivable purpose including, but not limited to, the following: Prosperity Health Protection Love Controlling Sexual Desire Justice Banishing Evil Cursing Success Domination Blessing Death Confusion Chances are, if you require a spell, one already exists. However, if you cannot find a spell or working which fits your specific needs then you can write your own and here is how to do it! As you begin to write your own spells, you may want to record your progress in a special book or journal. Step One : Identify the Problem The first thing to consider before casting a spell is the reason you want to cast a spell in the first place. Magick should never be done simply for the sake of magick. There must be a real need or a powerful drive behind a spell, or it may fail. While considering your reasons you may wish to eliminate all distractions and sit quietly with a pen and paper in order to write down your thoughts. If you desire, you may also light a candle and ask for wisdom and inspiration. Step Two: Determine a Course of Amelioration Once the problem or situation has been defined, you must then consider how you wish to address the issue. What is it that you really want? However, keep in mind the tale of The Monkey’s Paw, wherein the farmer wished for a large sum of money only to have his wish come true by collecting on his only son’s life insurance policy after the son dies in a horrible accident. It is important that you consider the consequences of your actions. To help you decide the best course of action to ameliorate your problem, or bring about your chosen goal, a divination should be performed. The divination could be performed by yourself or another. The most popular tools used to perform divination include: The Bible The Pendulum The Tarot Dreaming True If you cannot perform a divination for yourself, or have another individual do it for you, it is wise to wait and "pray on it". Prayer is your direct line to God, your Ancestors, and/or Guides. If you pray to them, they will answer you in dreams, with signs, and with omens. Step Three: Identify a Higher Power to Petition The spiritual world is inhabited by a plethora of spirits, deities, and various powers such as:
God Gods and Goddesses Demi-Gods Spirits of the Dead (Ancestors, Saints) Familiar Spirits Plant/Animal Spirits Anthropomorphic Spirits Some of these spirits are known for assisting humans in their endeavors and some will only help you if you pay their price. Different spirits require different types of payment, or offerings, in return for their help such as food, water, candy, coins, cigars, etc...Some spirits are known for assisting you in certain areas of your life or for certain needs, while others are of the catch-all variety. For example, Ganesha is known for helping one to remove obstacles and open the way while the Intranquil Spirit will help you return a lost love. Most workers usually have an established relationship with their spirits, but if you are just starting out you are going to have to foster a relationship with your spirits and guides. Practitioners of Hoodoo who are Catholic may direct their prayers and petitions to God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Angels, or even Saints. In those areas, such as New Orleans, where Catholicism was absorbed into the beliefs and practices of Voodoo a Catholic practitioner of Hoodoo may also petition those deities associated with the religion of Voodoo. Spiritual workers who were raised in any of the Protestant denominations usually direct their prayers and petitions to “The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” or simply “in Jesus’ name.” In some instances where the biblical figure of Satan merged with the trickster-deity of the crossroads, these practitioners may direct certain types of prayers or petitions to the devil. However it should be noted that, in these instances, the devil and Satan are thought to be two completely different entities. In other cases, they may direct their petitions and build altars to spirits of the dead or even to spirits and/or deities outside their religion. Step Four: Write a Petition A written petition is a physical representation of your intention and is the first step in clearly framing your goal. In the Hoodoo tradition, one is typically advised to write one's petition on brown paper torn, usually from a grocery type sack, on all four sides by hand. This is thought to make the paper pure. However, there are instances where the practitioner is allowed to cut the paper with a pair of scissors. The use of scissors is seen as symbolic of using weapons such as swords, knives, and daggers against one's enemies. Some situations in which you would cut your petition paper with scissors can include when driving two people apart, or working enemy tricks. In my personal practices, I prefer the paper to form a perfect square. However, I've never seen any reference where this was a traditional rule sacred to the practice of Hoodoo. Ideally I like to use brown paper bags and lead pencils or regular ink pens whose colors match my goal (red for love, green for money, etc…) and usually paired with black for contrast. A written petition can take several forms, such as: A brief paragraph clearly stating your goal. Your own name written several times in a row. Another person's name written several times in a row. A name crossing and covering another name. A name crossing and covering a description of your goal. Any combination of the above. For example, a prosperity petition would have my name nine times in black ink and crossed nine time with 'prosperity' in green ink. If I am writing a petition that will have an effect on two people, such as bringing them together or driving them apart; I will cross one name with the other and write what I want to happen in a circle around the names. If I am writing a petition that is meant to command or compel another person, I will write their name in all lower case letters and cross and cover their name with my command in all caps (usually with a sharpie). Again, my specific command will be written around the names in a circle. Petitions are incorporated into spells in several ways, including being placed under a prepared-candle, tucked inside a mojo-bag, or sewn into a doll to name a few. Step Five: Research and Gather Your Signatures Once you have prepared your petition, the next step is to research the signatures that relate to your goal. Signatures are those things that vibrate at the same, or similar, frequency as your goal. The are based on a concept known as the Doctrine of Signatures which states that God marked all things with a sign, or signature which indicates its use or purpose. Signatures are grouped into three classes. They are: Astrological- Astrological signatures refers to the energies of the Moon Phases, Days of the Week, Hours of the Day, and the position of the Moon in the Zodiac, etc... as they pertain to the timing of casting your spells. Natural- Refers to those things occurring in nature which relate to our goals in a direct manner. These correspondences include color, shape, sound, numbers, herbs, incense, gems, elements, animal energies, deity energy, the energy of the cardinal points, the winds, oils, incenses, etc…. Personal- Those signatures which resonate with us on a deeply personal level, and which empowers us more than any other correspondence. For example, the New Moon is a time for goals pertaining to drawing in, or increasing, certain influences and conditions; the colors green and gold are associated with wealth and riches. Therefore a basic spell to increase one's wealth would entail writing your wish on a piece of paper and placing it under a green or gold candle when the moon is New. The candle would be lit with your sincere prayer to a higher power for increase wealth and prosperity as the moon grows. Step Six: Determine Your Medium The next step in crafting your spell is to decide how you will use the correspondences that you have chosen. There are several flavors, or types, of magical applications available to you. They include, but are not limited to, the following: Candle-Magick Herb Magick Doll-Babies Sex-Magick Mojo-Bags The Magic of Incense Hoodoo Waters Spiritual Baths Foot-Track Magick These types of magic can be used alone or in conjunction with others. For example, herbs are often included in mojo bags, or you may burn a candle while soaking in a prepared-bath. To use these various modes of magic, you will have to learn for yourself how each application works. There are several ways to determine the correct medium for your situation. They include divination with a pendulum, the Holy-Bible, or even the Tarot. I know one worker who has suggested that the suits in a tarot spread can determine the correct medium for you to use. According to her Wands (fire) represent candle-magick; Cups (water) represent the magic of charged waters or spiritual baths; Swords (air) represent incense; and Pentacles (earth) represent the magic of dirts, talismans, and/or mojo bags. In addition inspiration for various spells may come from certain cards or combinations of cards. For example, the Three of Swords next to the Lovers may indicate that a lover may be drawn back by constructing a doll-baby of him or her and piercing the heart with three pins. If these options do not yield any results for you, you may pray for guidance. When this occurs, pay attention to what is going on around you because the answer may lie in a dream, a sign, or an omen. In other instances you may mentally hear instructions or you may simply know what it is that you must do. You will often know that you are doing the right thing because it will feel right for you. Step Seven: Determine Your Timing In the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 it states that "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." In rural communities, farmers were known to plan different activities such as planting, castrating bulls, harvesting, etc... by signs. In like fashion, some workers have interpreted this scripture to mean that certain times are efficacious for spiritual workings as well. This belief works on the principle that certain energies of the Sun, Moon, and Planets are in sympathy with one’s goal. Considerations include
Moon Phase Moon's Sign Day of the Week Time of Day For example, the New Moon is for fresh starts and new beginnings and Friday is associated with Venus, the planet of love; therefore, a spell to draw a new unknown lover to yourself would best be performed on a New Moon on a Friday. Step Eight: Perform Your Working The final step, of course, is to perform your spell and record it in your magickal journal. This will be a record of what you did, when you did it, and what you used. You may also include any other information that you feel is pertinent to the situation. Your journal will become a valuable resource in the recording of information that you will often refer back to in your studies. Be sure to leave room in your journal to record the results, if any, of your spell or working. In Conclusion When people think about magick, they often assume that its all about burning candles before strange altars, sticking pins in dolls, or chanting gibberish in order to instantaneously bring about their wishes. They often believe that magick will make their life easier, when in fact it is very hard work! The truth is that it takes a long time to learn how to successfully practice magick. In fact, magick is a science and an art that in all likelihood you will never master—which is why witches, magicians, and sorcerers are said to practice magick. However, much like many other aspects of life, magick itself is subject to certain rules (for lack of a better word) which the earnest student can use as a guide to creating his or her own spells and thus moving one step closer to bringing their dreams into reality.
Using Spells Written by Others: A Warning It is very important when you find a spell that someone else has written that you do your own research into the choices that person has made before attempting to cast the spell yourself. This is done in order to understand why the person made that choice and to determine if that choice is appropriate for you. For example, as a gay man, the love spells I write/create/perform will be intended to attract men, specifically gay men. Therefore I choose herbs that are reputed to do just that. Although Lavender can be used in any type of love spell, lore dictates that it is especially effective in attracting men. If you are a straight woman, or a gay man this will pose no problem for you. However, if you are a lesbian, or a straight man, then you may wish to use some other herb. Some of the choices I use may include Lavender and Safflower. Now if I simply list my ingredients and don't explain why I chose those correspondences another person my decide to use the same spell but get more than they bargained for! Safflower is another love type herb that is rarely used alone, but favored by gay men to attract a dominant lover (usually along with Sampson Snake Root). Again, if your desire is not to attract a male lover, you may wish to use a different herb. As you can see someone who finds a spell online and takes it at face value without proper consideration may find themselves getting way more than they bargain for, or may simply find that although the spell was successful for it's creator, it failed for them.
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