HOODOO? You Do!
A good number of hexes and curses and spells of that sort come from a popular magickal system called Hoodoo. This is in no way, shape, or form a religious system–it’s magick, plain and simple–and its origin is attributed to derivation of the magickal practices of the Afro-Caribbean people who were once enslaved in the United States.
One of the reason for the popularity of this system is that nothing is hard and fast. Ingredients are easy to find, and substitutions can be made with ease. That’s because, unlike most other magickal systems, precisely how hoodoo is practiced varies greatly according to specific agricultural region and available resources. This means that although there may be a few common threads, you’re not likely to find the same sort of practices in Louisiana as you would in South Carolina. In Georgia as you would in Texas, and so on. And this probably has to do with the fact that the enslaved were literally scattered all across the country and simply used what was handy to work their magick. As a result, hoodoo truly is folk magick at its best.
Before we get too far, though, there’s something that I’d like to make clear. Hoodoo magick is not necessarily dark. It’s just more honest than most other types of practice, and so are the folks who practice it. If they’re going to throw down with a hex, they don’t bother to disguise it with some other sort of magick. They just do it, make no bones about it and go on about their business.
With that out of the way, magickal efforts within the system aren’t called spells. They’re called tricks, a classification that’s steeped in honesty too. A spell, after all, is manipulation of the Elements to get what you want. And stripped right down to the bare bones, which exactly is manipulation? Simply put, it’s tricking someone–or something–into doing your bidding.
The other difference between hoodoo and other systems is that magickal efforts aren’t charged. But lest you get the wrong idea, that doesn’t mean that tons of energy isn’t placed within their folds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because tricks usually take the form of packets or parcels–their contents are usually wrapped up in something or contained in a bag–they are “laid.” This means that once completed, the parcels are placed somewhere out of view. And whether laid in the ground, under a porch or in the water, that’s what completes their magick.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that tricks are seldom as easily broken as spells. It’s not the magick involved is any stronger. It’s that breaking a trick involves locating the parcel, dismantling it and destroying the contents. This presents a whole new set of problems: Finding the hiding place and finding the trick, both of which can be a real effort in futility. But even if you manage to find both, that still may not be enough to uncross the victim. Depending upon method of disposal and mediums used for contents and wrapping, a goood portion of the trick may have rotted away or dissolved. The tiny fragment you’ve got left many not be able to handle the job–at least, not with any measure of success. And this is probably how hoodoo got its current reputation: That of absolute power and darkness.
Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions