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


Fabled Dr. Jim Jordan

To: alt.religion.orisha,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.folk
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Fabled Dr. Jim Jordan
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 23:17:12 GMT

Eoghan Ballard wrote:
> Hey Cat,
> Since it looked like a title I wanted to read anyway, 

It is, believe me! It's pretty great. I have Hurkey (the NOLA root
worker i mentioned earlier, for whom i am trying to score a
gift-computer) to thank for turning me onto this book. The fact that my
copy is missing four pages has not diminished my enthusiasm for it. 

> I have placed an
> InterLibrary Loan request for it. When it comes, I'll let you know.

Thanks! In reply to trace bunker -- i live on the outskirts of a little
rural town of 1,500 people with no access to Interlibrary Loan ... since
there is no library. Thus i rely on the kindness of others. And Eighan,
i'll send you some good stuff for this favour. 

Here's a bit more information -- 

The author, F. Roy Johnson, an amateur local history sleuth, wrote and
self-published several books on North Carlina folklore. In this case he
took notes around the Murfreesboro area for about 20 years and when Jim
Jordan died in 1962, he wrote a 136 page biography of the celebrated
conjure doctor. 

Jordan's family was of mixed race -- Native American and African. They
were agricultural and household slaves prior to the Civil War and
farmers and craftspeople after Emancipation. Jim Jordan was born in 1871
and died in 1962. He began work as a farmer and logger, was a member in
good standing of a local Protestant church, and after the age of 50, as
his fame as a conjure doctor grew, he became a land-owner, store
proprietor, and a relatively wealthy man.  

In addtion to a family history of Jordan and his many relatives (who
numbered among them two other conjure doctors and a mid-wife), and the
socio-cultural reminiscences of his neighbors, the book contains a list
of Harriet Jordan's (Jim's mother's) magico-medical uses for herbs
(including your shame-weed, Eoghan!), lots of assimilated European-style
witch-lore, a short list of European-style grimoires and Kabbalistic
works ("6th, 7th, and 8th Books of Moses," "Secrets of the Psalms") and
hoodoo books ("8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses," "Master Book of
Candle Burning" -- both by Henri Gamache) that Jordan consulted, mention
of some of the "drug store style" hoodoo formulas he bought from a mail
order house in Chicago and stocked in his store (Follow Me Boy and Kiss
me Again, both manufactured by King Novelty / Valmor of Chicago), and --
to my delight -- some unrecorded and otherwise un-logged blues songs
mentioning conjure practices. 

Here's a song i found most intriguing. It was written to commemorate the
death in 1900 of a local conjure doctor known as Old Edloe and was sung
in the area for 25 years according to Johnson, who collected one verse
of it from Mrs. Jennie Mae Eley (Jim Jordan's sister):

   I woke up this mornin, Old Edloe knockin' on my door
   I bet you five dollars he don' knock there no more
   An' I don't have to wear no salt and pepper in my shoes
   Since Old Edloe's gone

Johnson gives no melody, but the form of this sole verse identifies the
song as a member of four-line "Walking Blues" family, many of which
begin with the line "woke up this morinin'" and mention "shoes"
somewhere in the text. Placing salt and pepper (or just black pepper) in
the shoes to keep safe from foot track magic was later noted by Harry
Hyatt (in the 1930s) and can be found on my web page on foot track magic

-- but Old Edloe's death in 1900 marks this song both as a very early
blues and as one of the earliest mentions of wearing salt and pepper in
the shoes, even though Johnson did not collect it until the 1960s.
Incidenetally, according to Rand Jordan, Doctor Jim Jordon's son, his
father studied conjure under Old Edloe and learned many things from him. 

Compare the song with the Hyatt reference to wearing pepper in the
shoes, extracted from the above URL:


      Apotropaic Foot Track Spell: BLACK PEPPER IN SHOE KEEPS

      1123. I've heard of them taking black pepper and putting it 
      in the shoe to keep a person from getting the dirt out of  
      their footprint. They said the footprint won't register in 
      the sand if they have black pepper in the shoe. 

      [Snow Hill, Md., (83), 2:22 (Nansemond Co., Va.) 

      [Black pepper like red pepper usually occurs in combinations of
      ingredients {especially with salt}; it being less frequently  
      used than red.] 


So, anyway -- "The Fabled Doctor Jim Jordan" is a very interesting book
and deserves wider recognition among scholars of folk-magic in general
and of hoodooo in particular.  

Go for it!

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --
Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics ---------

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

This post copyright 2000 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.

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