a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Empowered or Blessed Magical Supplies

To: alt.pagan,alt.magick,alt.religion.shamanism,alt.witchcraft,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick.tyagi
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Empowered or Blessed Magical Supplies
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 21:36:38 GMT

Brian Smith  wrote:
>  Paul Hume ( wrote:
> > [unattributed person] wrote:
> > > I see advertised recently a lot of places selling "blessed" or
> > > "empowered" supplies.
> > I am never sure which attitude in this aspect of the 
> > commercialization of magick blows my mind more...

Sorry to burst your isolationist cultural bubble -- but in many cultures
and their attendant magical and religio-mystical traditions, it is the
norm for traditional healers, root workers, and two-headed doctors to
receive payment for their work. 

I am not saying that the ads anyone has seen (not referenced in the
original post) were legitimately from such a tradition, only that such
"commercial" transactions in magical work DO EXIST and legitimately so. 

> > - the credulity of the buyers who think this kind of thing can be 
> > done for one by anyone else.

Sorry to burst your isolationist cultural bubble AGAIN -- but in many
cultures and their attendant magical and religio-mystical traditions,
this kind of blessing and/or empowerment CAN be done for someone else by
a practitioner.

Again, i am not saying that the ads anyone has seen (not referenced in
the original post) were legitimately from such a tradition, only that
such "empowerments" DO EXIST and legitimately so. 

> > - the duplicity of sellers who are using it as a deliberate scam.

Again, while some may claim to bless an object out of duplicitous
mercantile motives, it is culturally ignorant of you to assume that all
such claims are prima facie "scams" when they may actually be part of a
legitimate magical tradition stretching back farther than YOUR lienage.

> > - the ignorance (or arrogance) of sellers who are really trying to
> > sell "empowered" components or equipment.

You need to get beyond the confines of your little world, friend, and
see how magic is practiced elsewhere -- even down the street from you,
in the same city!

For instance, in the African-American tradition, great value is placed
on those who are "gifted" in magical work. They are usually marked at
birth by being born with a veil (caul or amniotic membranes) and are
considered somewhat chosen by god to serve as seers and healers and root
workers. In this tradition, when such a gifted root worker makes you up
a mojo hand (an amulet bag) or sets lights for you (performs a candle
spell on your behalf) -- even if for money -- their power or gift is
transmitred into the objects you are given for your share in the work
(e.g. herbal teas, oils, baths or washes, or a dressed (prepared) mojo). 

Likewise, whether or not the maker is gifted, it is customary for ALL
manufacturers of spiritual supplies who prepare oils, powders,
incenses,  bath washes, or the like to pray over them -- often something
as simple as the 23rd Psalm, but, with a better wroker, a specific
prayer for the user's success in the area of life to which that supply
applies (e.g. steady work, money-luck, protection, love-drawing, etc.)  

I am continually amazed that otherwise erudite Euro-style magicians are
completely ignorant on this matter. 

Turn off your computer. Get up and take a bus ride to the other side of
town. Ask a few questions. LEARN SOMETHING. 

> Perhaps what is more important is what the people buying this crap
> believe? If they truely believe that buying a genuine "Transyuggothian
> Spider Shaman Fetish" will enable them to perform effective magic, 
> than maybe the real magic of the item is the empowering of such 
> beliefs. A placebo for lack of better words.

The question of whether objects contain inherent power or whether they
acquire such power through empowerment is another issue about which most
urban white mages seem to be wearing cultural blinders half the time.

Most world-wide magical traditions ASIDE FROM EURO-STYLE CEREMONIAL
MAGIC support belief in the concept of "natural magic" (certain objects
carry natural power; they do not need to be consecrated by human agents)
and "the doctrine of signatures" (natural objects give a clue to their
magical or medical use through their appearance).  

Calling other magical objects with which you are unfamiliar --
especially those from long, unbroken traditions -- "placebos" is just
like the pot calling the kettle black. What kind of fool are you to
assert that YOUR little neo-Euro grimoire contains "real magic" but the
mojo bag from way 'cross town that the maker prayed over while fixing  
is a "fake"? 

No hostily intended, and no flames accepted, but this is a big world,
and the cross-posts to this thread indicate that the originator knew
darned well that he or she was reaching people from a wide variety of
magical traditions -- so y'all should be prepared to hear from the other
side of the tracks and not expect to sit there smugly congratulating
yourselves on your own Euro-style "non-commercial" attitude toward magic
and telling each other how much better and purer that makes you than the
legions of Africans, African-Americans, Mexicans, South Americans, and
Native Americans who don't believe as you do.  

Just a picture from life's other side. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --
No personal e-mail, please; just catch me in usenet; i read it daily. 

Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
   Send e-mail with your street address to
and receive our free 32 page catalogue of hoodoo supplies and amulets

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races