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


multicultural folk magic

To: alt.lucky.w,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.occult.methods
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: multicultural folk magic
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 19:56:47 GMT

Alter Ego wrote:
> I noticed a lot of cross use of spells.  By that I mean if someone
> requests a love spell for example, and they practice a certain thing
> (hoodoo for example) someone may give them a love spell that is say,
> Wicca in origin, or some such thing, and tell them to replace 
> certain words (replace the names of dieties and spirits, etc.)

The difference between spells from different traditions may run deeper
than the mere matter of deity names. 

Wicca does not recognize foot track magic, for instance, and frowns upon
junxing or crossing people. 

Hoodoo, on the other hand, does not involve the invokation of elementals
/ calling of the quarters or the building of a cone of power. 

Mal Occhio (the evil eye) is regional in scope and spells against it
cannot be founf in those parts of the world where it is not recognized,
such as China. 

But there is some common ground to be found across cultural lines as
well -- especially around love spells and money spells -- and in those
areas, i see people substituting deity names a lot. 

I have many clients and customers who are Hindu and who easily
substitute their favoured deity names for the jewish God when reciting

I also deal with many Wiccans who shun the Psalms of David (which they
erroneously label as "Christian") in their work, even with deity name
substitutions. That's their loss, of course. 

Some folks are more cross-cultural than others.  You can't make hard and
fast rules about that -- it's an individual thing as much as a cultural
> My question is, I practice hoodoo, and I use a Catholic format, so
> mine are directed in the name of the Father, etc. or to Saints or 
> Mary and so on.  So, if I see a spell that is from a different 
> origin, would it be ok to use it and replace the names to fit what I 
> do?

You would be part of a long tradition of such syncretic workers! 
> Unfortunately, I do not live near anyone that I know of that 
> practices this, and have to limit what I learn from books, but this 
> is one subject that is not disscussed (that I've seen anyway).
> An example is Ray Malbrough's book (Charms Spells and Formulas), 
> which seems to have a certain, "other" influence to the way the 
> spells and things are performed.

The subject is discussed, but you have to look around for references. 

Ray Malbrough combines Wicca and hoodoo and he has recently been
initiated as a Voodoo Houngan in Haiti, as reported in the newsgroup

Papa Jim (of the late papa Jim's Botanica) used to have as his slogan,
"Whatever Works!" and was always outfront about his cross-culturalism. 

This is nothing new. Among the old-time African-American hoodoo root
workers in the U.S. South who were interviewed by Harry Hyatt in the
1930s, there were those who used European grimoires and Hebrew prayers.
You can read a web page with more details about the synthesis between
hoodoo and European folk magic of the Gemanic or "Pow Wows" type at this
web page i wrote:

> If anyone can help, thanks!

You're welcome. 

cat yronwode 

     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