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Nation Sack versus Three-Fold Law

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Nation Sack versus Three-Fold Law
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 10:53:36 -0800

A_Star wrote:
> Catherine wrote:
> > And, when it comes to love spells, what's so bad about them coming 
> > back to you?
>  I will assume that your vested interest (the advertisement) has 
> clouded your perspective.

The "ad" you mention was a cite to a *non-commercial* web-page on Nation
Sacks. Perhaps if you were to have read it -- a lengthy oral history,
collected in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, from an African-Amereican woman
who both made and used Nation Sacks -- you would understand that "vested
interest" here is an erroneous characterization. I do sell herbs and
roots that folks use to make Nation Sacks, but i was not posting in
order to sell my stuff; i was posting in order to present a point of
view that was highly favourable to the use of so-called "coercive" love
spells, a point of view with long cultural antecedents stretching back
to African folk-magic. 

The woman in question told the interviewer (Harry M. Hyatt) that she 
had used a Nation Sack to get and keep her husbandand she related how 
her late mother-in-law had used a Nation Sack to get and keep her husband 
(that is, the father of the interviewee's husband) during the course of 
a happy and successful 50 year marriage. The web page in question (and, 
please, do read it before you mischaracterize it again) is

By the way, the refusal of many people in the neo-pagan community to
recognize the validity of African and African-diaspora folk-magic is
something that has puzzled me for quite a while. I will not go so far as
to opine that it arises from a form of classism, nationalism, or racism,
but i note also that in another recent post in this tangled and
cross-posted thread (the one that bears subject lines such as
"Malevolent and Destructive Spells," "Morality and Magick," and
"Three-fold Law") the making of mojo bags was labelled "stupid nonsence

Surely those who engage in such typical neo-pagan activities as
dancing around bonfires naked have little cause to impugn the sincerity
or efficaciousness of their fellow pagani...or do they? 

> > The result will merely be that you love the person as much as they 
> > love you (or three times as much, if you are a Wiccan neo-pagan).
>  This is faulty reasoning.

Faulty only in that i left out the semi-obligatory smiley. Here it is:

> The real result (if you are a believer) 
> would be that sometime down the road, you would be under the spell of 
> someone whom you had no real love for (or three times down the road).

No. Not so. The making of a Nation Sack (or any coercive love spell or
charm) does NOT imply that you "have no real love for" the person you
seek to have! How did you get that impression?  

In fact, most African-American women who make these bags DO have real
love for the man they are ensorcelling. The spell presupposes love, but
they may want him to notice them, to draw closer, to love them, to
become sexually attentive, to become more emotionally expressive, to be
more committed, to propose marriage, possibly to be monogamous, and/or
to be financially supportive of any children that result from their

> > In African-American hoodoo magic, to use one example, there is no
> > "downside" to casting a love spell and getting someone to love 
> > you...The same is true in Italian folk-magic.
>  Love spells are appealing to the ego, so it's really no surprise that
> various superstitious, primitive people see no problem with them.

Note the racist, nationalist, and classist bias here: you are directly
ststing that it is your opinion that Italians and African-Americans are
"superstitious, primitive" people. 

Such race-baiting is obviously off-topic to the discussion of magical
traditions. I suggest you take it to one of the neo-Nazi newsgroups. 

catherine yronwode

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