Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

January/February 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Hoodoo

This article was written by John Michael Greer on January 20, 2014
posted under Hoodoo

The traditional folk magic of African-American culture, also known as conjure magic and rootwork. (The origin of the word "hoodoo" itself is uncertain, although it may derive from a West African source.) Hoodoo is to occultism what the blues are to music: rooted in African culture, transformed and reshaped through the long ordeal of slavery and segregation, drawing freely on a wide range of cultural influences but with a distinctive flavor of its own.

Hoodoo practices can be traced nearly as far back as the African presence in North America itself. Court records and other sources from the American colonies show that many of the basic practices of nineteenth- and twentieth-century hoodoo were already in existence well before the American Revolution. By around 1760, despite the brutal realities of slavery, Africans and African-Americans in the colonies had begun to adapt the magical heritage of their homeland to the New World, borrowing elements of folk Christianity, European magic, and Native American tradition in the process. The result was hoodoo.

Like most traditions of folk magic, hoodoo directs its workings primarily toward success in everyday life. Spells for drawing money, winning at gambling, attracting a mate or keeping one from straying, avoiding legal troubles, or winning court cases play a substantial role in the hoodoo repertoire. Methods for cursing or "crossing" another person are also an important part of the tradition, and there is a correspondingly rich lore of spells for "uncrossing" or countering curses, either by preventing hostile magic from being used in the first place by nullifying spells that have already been set in motion, or by "turning the trick" (that is, sending the spell back on its originator).


I grew up with the saying, "In like a lion, out like a lamb," as a way of predicting what the weather would be like during the month of March. As a predictive tool, it has never served me well. Tarot has proven much more useful. But even with all its awesome potential, tarot is as much a question generator as it is an answer-giving tool. And that... read this article
A Week of Psychic Development
The Magic of Stars
Hacking Life, the Universe, and Everything through Afro-Cuban Ifá, Santería’s High Priesthood
Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Life
Using Tarot for Love and Romance

Most recent posts:
Which Interpretation?
As we study the cards, we realize that each card has many meanings. A common question is “how do you know which meaning to use in a...

Tarot Fundamentals
The publishing industry has been changing for a long time now. Publishing can be a very slow behemoth, very conservative. So it was really refreshing...

The Five Minute Tarot
This weekend, at the North Star Tarot conference, Melani Weber presented a workshop. That workshop was the most fun I’d had in a very long time. And...




Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$5.50 US,  $6.25 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac
Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
$6.00 US,  $6.98 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2015 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
$6.00 US,  $6.98 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Pocket Planner Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Pocket Planner
Daily Ephemeris & Aspectarian 2014-2016

By: Llewellyn
Price: $8.99 US,  $10.50 CAN
$4.50 US,  $5.25 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2015 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
$6.00 US,  $6.98 CAN On Sale!