Friday, February 1, 2013

C is for Conjure

week 5 for the Pagan Blog Project

C is for Conjure

Conjure by Jeremy Worst

From Cat Yronwode of Lucky Mojo

Hoodoo is an American term, originating in the 19th century or earlier. One of its meanings refers to African-American folk magic. Here is how i define the word "hoodoo":

Hoodoo consists of a large body of African folkloric practices and beliefs with a considerable admixture of American Indian botanical knowledge and European folklore. Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America. Other regionally popular names for hoodoo in the black community include "conjuration," "conjure," "witchcraft," "rootwork," and "tricking."

"Conjure -- sometimes spelled "cunjure" to express old-fashioned dialect pronunciation -- is another regional term for hoodoo. It derives from the English "conjurer," but what is described is neither invocatory magic nor prestidigitation, which is what the words imply in standard English. In the black community, a "conjurer," "conjure," "cunjure," or "cunjure doctor" is a hoodoo practitioner, and the work he does is "conjure," "cunjure," "conjure doctoring," "cunjure doctoring," "conjuration," or "cunjeration."

Generally speaking, "conjure" does not carry the negative or cursing connotation that "hoodoo" can -- and the old-fashioned figure of a "conjure man" or "conjure woman" is not quite as open to frightening associations as "hoodoo man" or "hoodoo woman."

(More information about Cat Yronwode and Hoodoo, see my post Lucky Mojo)

Conjure Craft: Hoodoo, Rootwork, and Conjuring for the 21st Century
To understand the concept of Conjur Craft, let us explore the African roots of Hoodoo. Until very recently, the relationship between Hoodoo and European folklore, mysticism, and magic, as well as its similarities to Native American spirituality, have been a primary scholarly focus...
As I examined the non-English words used in Hoodoo treasure troves like the collection of slim volumes by Anna Riva, I found valuable clues that led not only to West Africa but all the way back to Ancient Egypt. The words in spells, oils, powders, and incantations include Egyptian deities (Sun Ra, Isis, Osiris, and Hathor). Sacred Egyptian herbs or herbal blends like Kyphi, Khus Khus (lemongrass), frankincense, and myrrh are ingredients often required for Hoodoo...

From ConjureMan Ali

What is Hoodoo-Conjure-Rootwork?
Conjure/Hoodoo is a form of folk magick and spiritual practice that comes from African American culture. This form of spiritual practice revolves around the natural power of the earth and its spirits and like America itself draws its influence from a wide-range of cultures.

We find in conjure a mix of spiritual practices that are drawn from Germanic and European folk magic, from Near Eastern culture, and from Native American herb lore and beliefs. Along with the core strand of African magical practices and the Protestant religious base, these all melded together into the various traditions of conjure as we know them today.
It is important to note that conjure and hoodoo is not a single megolithic entity, but rather it is more accurate to view it as a spiritual paradigm with various traditional streams that stem from different family traditions and regional practices.

2 Streams of Conjure: 
Conjure is transmitted in two forms of streams. One revolves around the practices and wisdom passed down by families and the other revolves around a form of formal education.

What does it mean to work a conjure or practice hoodoo?

The practices of conjure and hoodoo revolve around the natural power of the world around combined with the drawing of power from the spiritual-realms in order to effect change in persons, circumstances, and fate. This means that the conjure doctor relies on the innate spiritual power of natural elements like herbs, roots, minerals, and similar curios along with his or her power to call upon the assistance of otherworldly spirits like the dead in order to bring power to any situation and sway the flow of things into a manner of his or her liking.
These practices are seen in the use of magical products like incenses, powders, oils, teas, and other such mixtures combined with ritual actions like baths, candle magic, creation of talismanic objects, altar work and such. What results is an elegantly straight forward set of practices that is immensely potent. By combining the power of spirit with the power of nature the conjure doctor is able to move mountains.

If you'd like some Hoodoo Materials for your own Conjure-work...
Check out Conjure Cardea
Moma Sarah carries everything from raccoon penis bones to Egyptian Kyphi from a recipe perfected over time. I've messaged Moma Sarah a couple of times and she's a super sweet person so I don't mind making a plug for her.

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