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Trusty Mojo Hand

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Trusty Mojo Hand
Date: Sat, 09 Oct 1999 20:22:37 -0700 (The Dutchman) wrote:
> I have a question about mojo hands. After a mojo bag is personalized,
> carried for awhile and 'recharged' with any or all of oils, smoke,
> powders, verbal recitations etc. I'm sure the contents become more
> homoginized and broken down. When the container, be it a flannel bag
> or other, wears out should the whole mojo hand be replaced with a new
> one or is it in one's best interest to simply transfer the 'seasoned'
> contents to a new bag?

 This is a good question, and i'll tell you the truth --  there are at
least three "schools" of thought about this matter. 

Some folks i have met tell me that they like to completely replace their
mojo hand about once a year. "It's kinda like getting a fresh hair-cut,"
is the way one man explained it to me. 

However, most people will transfer the either the *entire* contents of a
"trusty" mojo bag to a new flannel bag when the old one wears out, or at
least the solid objects, such as roots, teeth, coins, or bones will be
retained for re-use.  

The remaking of mojo bags in this way is mentioned in a blues song by
Hattie Hart and the Memphis Jug Band, recorded in the late 1920s or
early 1930s. Hart sings that she is going to go to New Orleans to get
her toby (another name for a mojo bag) fixed up again -- that is, she
plans on taking it back to her root worker for "servicing." I can look
up the lyrics to this song and transcribe them here if you are
interested; i have the song on a CD. 

A third way to handle the situation is to actually place the old mojo,
flannel bag and all, INSIDE a new bag. An account of woman who did this
repeatedly with her nation sack (a mojo hand for women who wish to
ensorcel men) for approximately 50 years (!) is given on my web page on
nation sacks at
The interview i have online was conducted in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1937
and the informant was describing her mother-in-law's nation sack, which
after 50 years of being pieced out with new material was "THIS big" --
evidently fairly large, although the dimensions were not noted.

In folk magic, more than in the formal confinements of ceremonial
magick, one will find a number of variant beliefs and behaviours, all of
which are considered legitimate, even those who may themselves work in a
different style. If you think of folk-magic as analogous to folk-MUSIC
and ceremonial magick as analogous to formal, calssical, or liturgical
music, you can perhaps see how widely differing forms of working are so
easily accomodated within the folk magic tradition.   

catherine yronwode 

Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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