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store near Yountville

To: alt.lucky.w,alt.religion.orisha,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: store near Yountville
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 10:43:24 -0800

Bettyc wrote:
> we were travelling through northern California this last week and 
> found a store (I think it was the Jimstown Store) between Yountville 
> and Geyserville that carries several amulets and fortune telling 
> things from Mexico.

Gee, i live fairly near Yountville and have never heard of this store.
It sounds great! 

> I don't read Spanish so I can't give you names but some of the things
> there were:
> -a package containing 3 (probably Mexican) brass coins with a picture 
> of the Virgin Mary on the package.

The three brass coins package amulet you saw is a talisman for
money-drawing. I have a version of this with the Holy Trinity and the
Seven African Powers on it (and sell it through my online catalogue),
but i have never seen it with the Virgin. 

> -various small packets of powders with lurid text, probably claiming 
> to fix things for you (not sure if you just needed the powders, burnt 
> them, or ate them)

These Mexican powders are similar to African-American hoodoo sachet
powders, and seem to come out of the same tradition (that is, they are
not indigenous Indian artifacts, but rather a development of
post-colonial Mexican culture). Such powders are sold by the condition
they are intended to remedy or bring about (e.g. Crossing, Compelling,
Love Me, Kiss Me Now, Get Away, Steady Work, etc.) -- and thus some
folks call them "condition powders." They are activated by wearing in a
mojo hand, spinkling, throwing, and blowing. 

They can be spinkled either on the person or the premises, depending on
the powder and the effect intended. In the African-American tradition,
when sprinkling the premises, one walks backward while laying the
powders out on the ground, usually either across someone's track or in
the four corners of a room or at the four corners of a building. 

As for throwing the powders, in both the African-American and Mexican
tradition, that is usually done when one wishes to harm someone --
especially an enemy you cannot get close to. You "throw powders in their


In the West Indies similar condition powders are blown to the four
quarters for protection and to clear away evil. 

Condition powders seem to be most popular in northern Mexico, where
contact with hoodoo practitioners is commonest, but my daughter has even
bought them in Guatemala, so they may be spread out throughout the
continent by now. Often they carry clip-art from old American hoodoo
powders, or bear names that are translations of African-American formula

> -various fortune telling spinner thingies (you cut out and put
> together)-looked to be from the 60's

Unknown to me, but they sound like fun.

> -ying-yang fortune telling sticks

> There were more small oddities like jumping beans and other packages
> with small figurines in them such but I don't remember them all.

Looks like a trip to Yountville is in my future! Thanks for the tip!

catherine yronwode

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