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Incensing Clients

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Incensing Clients
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 21:48:01 GMT

Christopher Warnock wrote:
> cat, I have a question for you:
> Zora Neale Hurston in her 1935 Mules and Men, "Hoodoo" Chapter V, at 
> 211 in the New American Library Edition gives an interesting account 
> of Dr. Duke's uncrossing technique.
> "Take seven lumps of incense.  Take three matches to light the 
> incense. Wave the incense before the candles on the altar.  Make the 
> client bow over the incense three times.  Then circle him with a glass 
> of water three times, and repeat this three times.  Fan him with the 
> incense smoke three times-each time he bows his head.  Then sprinkle 
> him seven times with the water then lead him to and from the door and 
> turn him around three times over incense that has been placed at the 
> door.  Then seat the client and sprinkle every corner of the room with 
> water, three times, then go to another room and do the same.  Smoke 
> his underclothes and dress them. Don't turn the client's hand loose as 
> he steps over the incense.  Smoke him once at the door and three times 
> at each corner. The room must be thoroughly smoked-even under the 
> furniture-before theclient leaves the room.  After the evil has been 
> driven out of him, it must also be driven from the room so it cannot 
> return to him."
> I was intrigued by the smoking of the client with incense and used it 
> on a client of mine who was a  court contractor who had been told his 
> bill had been lost.  He really needed to get paid, so I dressed his 
> new bill and used Just Judge incense (because that's what I happened 
> to have at hand and I figure it went with a court bill) to incense the 
> bill and also to smoke the client.   Four days later the "lost" bill 
> was paid, without explanation from the court.
> Are there other parallels, either in our written sources or
> anecdotally, to Hurston's description of smoking the client with
> incense?  Any thoughts as to the efficacy of the technique?  I like it
> and clients also seem to appreciate the ceremonial effect.
> Christopher Warnock

In Hyatt there is a section called "Smoke 'Em - Fumigate Self" that
deals with the exact same thing -- performed for luck, prosperity, etc.
The informants are from New Orleans, Louisiana, and Little Rock,
Arkansas. In addition, there are numerous other references to smoking
scattered through the 5 volumes, including a series of entries about
burning men's shoes rather than incense. 

Smoking mojo bags before use -- as the final part of dressing and fixing
them -- is very commonly encountered, but it is not universal, of
course. I was taught to ALWAYS do it (circa 1965 by a man from
Mississippi) when putting a bag together for myself. He also did this
with bags he prepared for clients, in their precence.  He told me that
this was "an old Indian trick" (by "Indian" he meant that it was
Cherokee, not Hindustani, and he intended the word "trick" in the sense
of "a spell" not "a crafty procedure") The smoking of a mojo hand is
performed by passing the tied and dressed bag through the smoke three
times as you say your prayer or wish three times. If you use a long
Psalm instead of a short prayer or wish, then you only need to say it
once as you smoke the bag three times.  The same man told me that if you
have no incense, then at least smoke the bag with three passes through
the fumes from a candle flame. 

I do not have time to key in the Hyatt "Smoke 'Em" material today, but
will try to do so this evening. It is lengthy (over two pages) and
covers various stepping-over-smoke rites. Look for it tommorrow. If YOU
want to key it in (hint, hint) i would be VERY grateful. It is in Vol.
1, pages 723-726; entries 2648, 2649, and 2650. If you DO key it in and
post it, please do me a favour and use his formatting, as he typed it,
for the reason i had it marked was that i planned to add it to my web
page on incense and having it proprly formatted would save me a lot of
time. (Where he used italics, just use the html codes  and ). Oh,
and thank you for keying in the Hurston material, as that too can be
used as documentation on my site. (I will credit you for presentling it
to my attention, of course). 

Also, an aside to Eoghan, whom i presume is reading this and is about
ready to jump in with LOTS of African information about magical
fumigation! -- i have scanned the Nino Fidencio Piedra Iman spell-packet
for which i lost the text while trying to post and email to you over a
week ago -- so that too will be online soon and i'll announce it here.

Sorry i am short on free time today, folks. 

cat yronwode 

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