There are no experts in Hoodoo, just researchers & folklorists and then you have the practitioner's themselves.
Here are some useful Hoodoo precepts:
- Hoodoo is a practice of folk beliefs that is derived from the Southern US and has its roots from the Congo region of Africa. Other African tribes such as the Ashanti and Senegalese have greatly influenced Hoodoo & RootWork-Conjure Sorcery. Many folks, such as Dr. John, a Senegelese trained Occult practitioner came to New Orleans and established his own doctoring practice.
- Hoodoo is NOT Voodoo. Voodoo (alternate spellings of Vodu, Vudu, Voudoun, Vaudu, etc. ) is a recognized religion with a sacerdotal & worshippers. Hoodoo & RootWork-Conjure are forms of Sorcery a.k.a Magic or MagicK if you must spell it with the K. The recent discovery of the Gullah tribes on the islands off the North Carolina coast show proof that much of the Congolese lore had made it over to the New Country aka America.
- Hoodoo is not necessarily an initiatory system of practice. One can apprentice themselves to another practitioner but one can also learn directly from the Spirits themselves if they're inclined to teach you. Typically one starts with an altar set up for their Ancestors. Prayers are made and glasses of clear water are set on the altar. If one has them, pictures of ancestors can be placed on the altar; however if no pictures are available, or you're adopted, not too worry as your true Ancestors will find you. Remember, they share your DNA strands.
- Hoodoo not only utilizes roots & herbs for its spells but also candles, oils, incense, floor washes, sprays, powders, whatever. Many spells are candle oriented for added power. The color of the candle is always in sync with the nature of the spell. Also, by dressing (anointing) the candles with oils and rolled in powdered herbs, you're in effect adding a filter to your candle of power thereby making it that much more precise in your working.
- Typically chants are not used in Hoodoo as they are in Paganism or Wicca, rather selctions from the Bible are read for the spell's intent such as the Psalms or other parts of scripture that holds meaning. One example is using the 91st Psalm for Uncrossing or Jinx Removing purposes. The Psalm is recited three times while you are focused on the candle. An Uncrossing bath may be used in conjunction with the ritual prior to the lighting the candles.
- Many people incorrectly believe that Spiritualism is Hoodoo but the two are not the same. There are many Hoodoos who are devout Spiritualist Christians. The two beliefs merely compliment each other. Also Spiritsm, a.k.a. necromancy, is worked with since Spirits of the Dead are closest to our plane of The Living. It's commonly believed that The Dead can work faster than the Angels, LWA, Orishas or God becaause of their close proximity to our plane of existence.
- Hoodoos tend to revere Moses, Elijah, Elishah, Solomon and Jesus as powerful Hoodoo men. Their Biblical exploits show that they were gifted both psychically and spiritually. Thus by parallelling their lives, one can learn a lot from these great Hoodoo men.
Good books on Hoodoo include:
"Voodoo & Hoodoo" by Jim Haskins
"Complete Book of Voodoo" by Robert Pelton
"Voodoo Charms & Talismans" by Robert Pelton
"6th & 7th Books of Moses"
"8th, 9th, & 10th Books of Moses" by Henry Gamache
"Voodoo Magic Course" by Brother Moloch
"Voodoo Sorcery Grimoire" by Brjuo Negro
"Godspells" by William Alexander Oribello
"Hoodoo Conjuration Witchcraft Rootwork" (5 volumes) compiled by Harry Middleton-Hyatt
There are MANY books out there that touch upon Hoodoo & RootWork-Conjure Sorcery. Not all are specific to the subject but many contain much cross-over material. Some of these include:
"Spiritual Workers Handbook" by Draja Mickaharic
"Santeria Formulary & Spellbook" by Carlos Montenegro
"Witch's Formulary & Spellbook" by Tarostar
"Powers of the Saints" by Anna Riva
"Charms, Spells & Formulas" by Ray T. Malbrough
"Pragmatic Magics" by Brother MOLOCH 969
"Seals of Darkness" Translated by Robert Blanchard & Edited by Brother MOLOCH 969
"Spiritual Workers Handbook" by Tarostar
Some Hoodoo Websites include:
- Many Hoodoo practitioners are Christians however a good many of them are not. They will use the Catholic Saints as representations of the LWA Spirits such as St. Patrick for Damballah due to the preponderance of snakes in the prayer card. There are many Saints prayed to, one of the most popular is St. Expedite who is said to help you fix your problem quickly as well as dispatch your enemies for you quickly as well. In some traditions of Obeah, St. Expedite is also referred to as Papa Bones
- The traditional Voodoo Doll has less to do with Vodu proper and more to do with the southern Root Conjure Worker. Typically it is a doll that has some sort of link connected to the person it is to represent and then it is baptized in their name and used for good or ill towards them. The link can be hair, nail parings, blood smearings, items that are precious to the victim, etc. These are then placed inside the doll and then the doll is sewn up and baptized then anointed with a selected oil depending upon the practitioner's disposition towards the victim
- Typically animal sacrifice is not used in Hoodoo. There are some who will but they are trained Palo, Santeria or Vodu. The majority of Hoodoo practitioners do not use any sort of animal sacrifice. If animal sacrifice is used, typically it is NOT a pet such as a dog or cat but rather a chicken preferably a rooster. Sometimes goats are used but this is in very rare occurrences