Book Review of
“The Conjure Workbook Volume 1: Working the Root”
by Starr Casas
Pendraig Publishing; 2013
Page Count: 300
Here is a terrific book with a lot of heart written into it that is a fun read and also a real page turner. I have to say while these days you cannot help but trip over every other metaphysical book being sold as a Hoodoo book by some “expert” Starr Casas proves herself to be the veritable real deal without having to resort to the Hyatt manuals to do so. Herein you find real down home information written in a manner as if your dear aunt were giving it to you straight from her mouth to your ear because Ms. Starr does not quote any secondary sources such as the Harry Hyatt manuals like so many Hoodoo “experts” pretend to these days rather she learned her craft direct from family traditions, recipes, values and beliefs shared with her by those who ol’ Harry M. Hyatt himself would have loved to have interviewed.
First off allow me to say there is an enormous amount of material presented in this book for anyone to digest be they beginner, intermediate or even advanced because Ms. Starr holds very little back. From chapter one she begins with Ancestors and begins to explain how she was instructed on how to properly deal with her ancestors. She even quotes passages of Biblical scripture throughout the book and in chapter one she begins with a passage from Exodus as a means for working with one’s Guardian Angel for protection. This is something you rarely see let alone hear about among the Hoodoo sects let alone the ceremonial magicKal community. Speaking of the Bible, beginning on page 33, she discusses the use of the book in Conjure work which again is very rare except for minor workings such as Psalm usage. It is as if the Hoodoo community is all but ignorant of how the Bible is used in Conjure work and I was glad to see Ms. Starr ripping the lid off of this for others to finally get a good look at for a change!
She also discusses the work of Prophets such as Moses and Elijah other than the typical Saints everyone is so fond of using such as Expedite, Guadalupe or Mary. You get a chance to see how a real Conjure worker steps in and tears into hard core Prophets including St Peter who often gets ignored by your run of the mill Hoodoo worker books. Here you discover St Peter holds the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and that St Martha is one kickass saint to call upon in a time of need. And unlike many other Hoodoo books about saints where there are background stories of these saints and others along with sometimes short compilation lists of correspondences, Ms. Starr offers the reader actual workings to perform with each Prophet/Saint mentioned!
I really wish her section on Bone Divinaton were fleshed out more however I’m to understand she has a newer book out on this subject so I think I will be adding that to my collection as I find divination by bones fascinating since there is little clear instruction out there that is useful to find. Her section on “Working By the Clock” I found interesting because it takes the old Planetary Hours and shows you how old time southern folk looked at things then adapted it to their needs. Much different than slavishly following some Renaissance method of calculating hours even if some find it hokey or fake. I don’t care, I like it because I can see it being developed by someone at some point in he past.
Her advice about working with spirits and cemeteries is spot on because cemeteries are places of power and people really should never linger in them. Why? The Dead are predatory and many are angry they are dead so it is not a good thing to be there unless you are “initiated” into a living tradition and have been introduced to the Master & Mistress of the cemetery who will allow you passage otherwise quickly do what you must then get out. There are other aspects of this book I really enjoyed and some I wasn’t too crazy about but then that is what makes a decent book after all. I give it four out of five stars for terrific information and useful material. Recommended for anyone interested in southern Rootwork-Conjure sorcery.
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