This book is an interesting book. It covers a lot of different aspects of working with the bible within the folk magic tradition of Hoodoo. As a witch I am interested in learning more about Hoodoo and working with the bible in their spells and rituals. That is one of the reasons why I bought this book. The other reason was so I could start to add Bible magic to my spell work and my personal practices.
This book is a very short read but packed full of information. It is very concise but covers many topics from how the bible entered the practice of Hoodoo to if working magic is even compatible with reading the bible and understanding its work. There are also several different examples of practical magic and ways to work with the bible in day to day life.
The book starts with covering how the bible enters Hoodoo. The authors made it clear that the use of the Bible in Hoodoo is directly tied into some of the hardest times for the Slaves and the African American’s in the south. It is also made clear that now today these practices are inseparable from Hoodoo in any real sense of the work.
Next they cover if magic is compatible with the Bible. Here we are given examples of scripture and texts from within the Bible that illustrate magical practices and that you can work magic from the Bible. In this section the authors cover a selection of different “Heroes” within the Bible that worked magic in some way shape or form.
Finally in the section of begining to understand the Bible and Hoodoo the authors cover Root Doctors and Rootworkers as spiritual leaders and leaders of the church. Several examples are given for how these workers were community leaders not only in magical work but spiritual needs as well.
The section section of this book is probably the largest and most important section. This is the section that teaches working with the Bible in magical works. This section is titled “Forget Not it’s benefits”. This gives the idea of just how important the Bible is as a text to Hoodoo workings.
The first section is about how the Bible itself is a magical text. Here we are showm just how much power is within the Bible. We are taught about making prayer papers and how each verse of the Bible has its own power. The most important lesson here I found was that of the respect for the Bible.
Some spells and workings in Hoodoo call for tearing out passages from the Bible. Here the authors make it clear that by writing the passages down on paper and tearing that paper you have the connection to the verse without needing to deface a Bible. The power for them is in the verse itself so simply writing the verse has power.
Other topics include a folk story about how in battle a Bible stopped a bullet from reaching a Solider, the Jewish Mizpah and the Jewish Protective Mezuzah, and several other small biblical charms.
The next part of this section was on scriptural uses of magic. Here the author goes into discussions about how there are other verses and books of the Bible that can be worked with for magic as well as the Psalms. The author included a lists of various Bible verses and how they could potentially be used in magic. The author also included a list of verses that explain that God does in fact listen to people. This part of the Scripture ends with a description of “pleading the blood pf Jesus” with scriptures giving examples to the practice and how it is used.
The largest section of the “Forget not it’s benefits” is a section on working with the Psalms. Here the authors do include a list of uses for every Psalm in the Book of Psalms. The author includes a passage on the “secrets of the Psalms” as well as how to find the sacred names within the Psalms. The most useful section of this chapter is the two lists of uses for the Psalms. One is a quick list by type of working listing the Psalms in order by number and the other is listing each Psalm individually with the uses next to them.
The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well known Psalms out there. After providing us with a list of Pslams and their uses the authors provide us with several different uses for the 23rd Psalm. There are examples of blessings, protection spells, and a succsess spell as well. The 23rd Psalm is one of the most versitile Psalms in the book of Psalms which is why these suggestions are great for getting to know and work with that Psalm.
This section ends with a list of Pslams for fighting your enemies and sending back or reversing evil sent to you. Both of those sets used together could create powerful spells for protection. These lists give you some ideas on working with the Psalms so you can then start to create your own spells and rituals with the Psalms.
The next section was on using the Bible for Divination. In essence this practice involves flipping through the Bible with your eyes closed. When you stop flipping through pages you read the verse that you fingers land on and contemplate it’s meaning. The other topic covered is the use of dream interpretation and dreams in the Bible as a source of oracles and divination practices.
The final section covering the uses of the Bible in magical practice is a section on Devotional Prayer. The authors cover how we should Pray and what prayer is. The author covers types of prayer and how you can use prayer to preach. This section ends with a sermon that was essentially a prayed Curse regarding Hitler.
Bible Spells Old and New comes after reminding us of the uses of the Bible. Here the authors provided several different types of spells and workings that use the Bible. The authors start with steady work and succsess, which is followed by returning people and lost goods, Love is next (covering love, family, and reconciling with loved ones). After love we get into Helping and blessing, Harming and Cursing, and we end with protection and Jinx breaking. These spells cover basically every need that comes up in most day to day lives.
The Book ends with a selection of Frequently asked questions regarding Hoodoo, the Bible and the many practices associated. These questions include how to choose prayers for specific works, asking about psalms or scripture verses for quick financial windfalls, and even making a payment to Jesus. These are questions that are found on my Hoodoo and Conjure forums so having a list and answers is a great way to get answers for questions you have that may have already been asked.
This book gets 5/5 stars as it covers so many different ways to work with the Bible. The authors provide several resources, contextual examples, and workings that we can use right away to get started. They cover most magical and spiritual needs within the book so it is an excellent resource for beginners.
The Candle and the Crossroads:
A book of Appalachian Conjure And Southern Rootwork
This is one of the most powerful books I have read in recent history on spirituality in general. While yes the book focuses on Rootwork and Conjure as the author knows them, the book is highly spiritually focused. For me even if I don’t put all of the information into practice, the components of the book that made me question spirituality and what it means were well worth the investment.
So to begin my review I have to say that even if you don’t follow any magical spiritual path as a guide for spirituality any one of any path can get something out of it. I would even recommend this book to Christians who are looking to deepen their personal spirituality and connection to their religion. Everyone on any path in life can get something out of this book. The connection to your own spirit that this book teaches us to develop is important for everyone and everything.
If you are looking for a book on spells you wont find them in this book. There are several workings discussed but actual spell work for money, wealth, love, etc are not really seen in this book. There are magical techniques for baths and creating mojos as well as connecting to spirits in this book. So there is magic with in the book but not necessarily spells for luck, love or mney drawing as most people are familiar with.
The focus on this book is the spiritual component of Hoodoo and Conjure rather than the spells. Too often people want to jump into the spells and workings of magic without the spirit component and thus they miss a huge part of the Southern Conjure traditions. This book provides that spiritual information. It is that focus which sets this book aside from others.
This is one book I am going to be referencing again and again. There are several exercises, meditations, and self questions that I am going to be looking at periodically. There are many things in this book that made me think and start to evaluate my personal path and practices. For this reason I am going to be using this as a reference and guide to develop my own connection to my spirituality and my own personal spirit.
The first chapter in the book is all about the foundation of this practice. Here we learn the authors experiences and his history with the practice as he knows it. This is where we see how his experiences and lessons in life and explains the reasons why he wrote this book. He mentions what the foundations of his personal magical practice are. By knowing this information you can better understand the worldview and practices presented in the rest of the book.
The second chapter is about the starting of finding your paths to the spirit that is you. The core teaching of this book is that humans are spirits as well. We are spirits having a physical existence as humans. In the teachings of this book and worldview if you start to realize this you will not only come into your own power but also start be be more whole yourself. This chapter starts a basic discussion on types of spirits that walk with us as well as types of spiritual paths. After talking about the paths there are also descriptions on how we are called to find our paths including symptoms of the different calls.
The third chapter is short but very important. Here is where we get into the history of the actual practices that formed Southern Conjure as the author knows it. The author mentions slavery and African traditions and their importance in the tradition. Here we see what Conjure really is about and how it survives over the years. There are warnings in this chapter about working with the spirits of Conjure and how powerful they are. There is a quote that illustrates the power and spirirt of Conjure work very well that I am going to share with you here.:
“If you are not willing to cry for, be angry for, pray for, and ask help of its spirits, then stay away from this work. These spirits went through hell when they first came to America in boats of flesh. No one can change this root, and why would we want to?
If you want to find the root that cannot be bound, then then root spirit of conjure is for you. If you want to grow your spirit from a place of truth and spirit power then conjure is for you. If you want to reach deep and pray high, then welcome to this deep well of spirit and spiritual nuturance.
But come through the door blessing and praying for the ancestors that suffered. This builds a bridge of grace to the spirit world and begins to establish the essence and flavor of the spirits that come when you conjure.”-Orion Foxwood Conjure and the Crossroads
The rest of the chapter focused on what the Root of conjure and the cultural mixtures that made up his conjure. The author mentions honoring his own Roots and how he works with them. After mentioning the spirits of African, Native American, and European folk practices who settled in that area he goes into the roles that Conjure played in that culture and still continues to play to this day.
The fourth chapter is about the Nature and Power of conjure. Here the author gets into the fact that Conjure does have ties to Christian spirituality and Christian religions. He addresses that many conjures use words like God and Creator and occasionally Maker. Here we see the power in conjure comes from the source of creation and the power to create which resides in our own personal spirit. The author gets into a few types of spirits that are connected to this power. One of them being the God of Christianity and divine beings. The author is specific in that for the reader and seeker that it doesn’t have to be the God of Christianity but it is the Source of all creation and all essence which is a spirit of sorts.
This is where we first start to actually get introduced into some of the techniques in this practice. The author goes into several different ways that conjure works with spirit. These include prayer, baths, blessings, healing, and cleansing. After starting the basics on techniques we are introduced to a few of the different types of spirits that are worked with in conjure.
Chapter five was probably my favorite chapter in the book. Its for me really the most important chapter in the book. This is the chapter that focuses on growing our spirit. The author had previously mentioned that working with ones own spirit and knowing ones own spirit was the most important thing in conjure. Here we finally learn to address the spirit and work with our spirit.
The best part of this chapter was the checklist on the attumement to our spirit. Not only does the author give a list of questions and symptoms of disconnect with our spirit but he provides remedies to help fix the situation. For me this was really the way for me to start to see how connected I am to my own spirit and what I can do to fix it. The author does mention that some of those ailments are actual symptoms of health issues (depression, anxiety and other mental health issues) and if you answered yes to many of them that you should seek professional help. For me that disclaimer and statement shows the connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit and how mental health can effect spiritual health.
This section provided me with the most enlightenment. It gave me tools to adjust and start working on my own personal spiritual path and development. One of the reasons I had started to explore Conjure and Rootwork was for a spiritual connection and a way to deepen and develop my spirituality beyond the basic 101 books. Here I have tools to find what I was missing and develop my path. The chapter ends with providing you with the steps to growing in your spirit which is what you need to do after you start the work of attuning to your own spirit.
Chapter six is about maintain spiritual health. The main focus on this chapter is spiritual cleansing and cleaning. The author explains how important is is to cleanse ourselves from the different forces in our lives that can cause spiritual clutter. He told a story of a client that his mother had to illustrate the issue. The author ends with a working for spiritual cleansing. This provides the start of our practical conjure spirit workings.
Chapter seven is about fixing or attracting good spirits to you. Here we learn how actions we take and the way we live our life sends signals to spirit. One of the first lessons in this chapter is that often we focus on our lack of something when we want something then more often than not we are going to be stuck with more of what we do not have. The author then begins to go into how we send images and messages to spirit so we can attract what we actually want.
The author then starts getting information on working on attracting the right spirits. The first real focus is on a prosperity spirit. The author provides a recipe or a ritual working outline to attract a prosperous spirit. One thing this working outlines is that in Conjure everything is spirit and everything has spirit. If you can accept that view and work with it then you are going to work conjure.
After the pot the author talks about maintain the spirit and provides steps and techniques to keep spirit alive. The first part of this practice is the establishment of an altar. The author continues with a ritual working for the altar set up and the consecration of the altar, yourself, and your home. While the workings are not exact they provide you an outline to make the conjure your own. In the end you must be the one to do the work.
Chapter eight was probably my second favorite chapter in the book. One thing I have personally been interested in for years has been working with graveyards and various forms of graveyard magic. This book is the first book I have seen that addresses this practice. Its considered Taboo in many modern magical traditions yet many acknowledge that there is strong power in the graveyard. Finding this chapter thrilled me to the core. It started to lift the veil on these workings.
There is so much in this chapter that covering the techniques and information would be a review in itself. I will say the author provides information on the power of the graveyard works and why we should work with graveyards. He provides information on working with graveyard spirits as well as how to gather graveyard dirt and work with graveyard dirt. The author spends the other half of the chapter talking about working with our ancestors and providing ways to honor them and work with them in our home and life.
Chapter nine is an interesting chapter. It covers ways to enter into the spirit world as well as working with a spirit unique to his tradition and practice. The technique discussed I found most interesting and will most likely try myself was the concept of tapping or knocking. Its essentially like you are knocking on the door to the spirit world like you would a regular door. After tapping and knocking he covers river magic as well as fire and candle access to the spirit world. Here there is a working for river magic specifically outlined.
The last part of the chapter includes a ritual and a poem I am likely to work into ritual work. Here is where the author teaches us about the Dark Ridder and gives us a way to introduce ourselves to him and work with him. The spirit known as the dark rider had been mentioned earlier in the book as a traditional spirit but not much was told about him until now. The author does make it clear that what he shows us is not the full formula for encountering this spirit. The working he provides is an introduction to the spirit and nothing more.
Chapter ten is the final chapter in the book. In some ways it works very much like a conclusion focusing on working the Root or working the spirit which is the force of Conjure and Root work. This is how the chapter starts anyway. It is here we see the final outline of the techniques and practices covered in the book to develop and connect with our spirit. The chapter ends with talking about a few specific plant spirits and with a formula for making a spirit bag.
This book provides several powerful tools for any spiritual tradition. In the end this book illustrates not only the power of Conjure and Southern Rootwork but also the power of working from your own spirit. The author provides an excellent introduction to the spiritual components of Rootwork and Conjure while also providing a few practical workings in the magical sense.
I have been a practicing with for 17 years. It’s only been in the last few years that I have actually started to be open to working candle magic. I really had no idea how to start and how to get working. This book provided me with everything that I needed to know. Now there are several spells in this books that I am excited to try.
This simple book is really made out of four different sections. There is the section of preparation, section for witchcraft style spells, and a section on Christian style candle magic rituals. The final section is an appendix that talks about and covers temptation in magic and ways to work magic without candles due to living situations.
The section on recuperation which opens the book really should not be forgotten. This small section talks about the various things you need to be ready to practice this magic. There are no complex theories, breathing rituals or guided meditations. Just simple explanations on tools, space, and how to work with the candle. The section closes with a few important correspondences for colors, days of the week, and colors for the zodiac signs (all of which are important for the spells and rituals in the following sections).
The first thing mentioned in the section about witchcraft spells I dont agree with which was a statement about witchcraft being a religion and magic a practice. Witchcraft is not a religion. It can have religious elements. However since witchcraft was not the focus of the book, the mention was only really to note the difference in approach between the witchcraft and pagan spells and the Christian themed spells.
The spells are written out in plain and simple language. The only materials needed for the spells are the candles and dressing oils and incense of your choice. Each spell comes with an altar or work surface set up. All you need to do is follow the words as they are outlined in the book. Every altar setup includes a space for the book to use as a reference.
The third section of the book focuses on Christian spells. Many of these spells use the Psalms in the working. The spells are very similar to the workings in the previous section. The differences really are in the spirits and divine beings that are involved. The best part about this section is that is gives Christian Witches a great starting point and reference guide for spells that can be used in their day to day lives.
The appendices honestly I think would be best located in the opening section. I say this because here there is a discussion on creative visualization and a little bit on magical ethics. I believe that these sections placed earlier in the book would allow the practitioner to have more success in magic earlier since visualization is a large part of many magical traditions.
I overall have to say that this book is a great resource and will be a reference guide for me in many years to come.