Cultures worldwide have long incorporated small bags containing herbs, stones, and other sacred items as part of their belief systems, whether to ward off evil, protect them while traveling, or to attract positive elements into their lives.
Egyptians carried amulets for protection and included them in their burial rituals. Native Americans wore medicine bags filled with healing herbs as well as protection items. African Americans collected "sticks, stones, roots and bones" inside flannel bags and called them "mojo" or "gris gris" bags, carried for protection, luck in business, or to ward off evil, among so many other uses.
Whatever you call these bags—mojo, gris gris, conjuring bags, lucky hands, or spell sachets—they provide a useful instrument in collecting nature's bounty to bring about spells and intentions. Gris gris bags are, in essence, a prayer or magical spell you can carry around with you that serves as a reminder of your intention.
"The gris gris bag, as with any other talisman or amulet, acts as a psycho-spiritual support; it implies faith," writes Ray T. Malbrough in Charms, Spells and Formulas, For the Making and Use of Gris-Gris, Herb Candles, Doll Magick, Incenses, Oils and Powders…To Gain Love, Protection, Prosperity, Luck and Prophetic Dreams. "It serves to intensify the faith in yourself that through the help of the gris gris bag you will obtain this or receive that."
Attracting prosperity is a good example.
To create a prosperity gris gris bag, either purchase or create a green bag that will hold an odd number of herbs, stones, and items that represent prosperity to you. The size of the bag doesn't matter, as long as you find it appropriate for the ingredients you wish to include.
The best time to create a prosperity gris gris is during a waxing moon, which indicates growth. If your prosperity wishes are linked to the beginning of a project, new job, or new career, a new moon is best, representing the start of a fresh lunar cycle. The day of the week linked to good fortune and prosperity is Thursday, so a Thursday during the new or waxing moon makes for an ideal gris gris creation environment.
The list of money attracting herbs is extensive: angelica root, ash, basil, bay laurel, birch, blackberry, black-eyed peas, camellia, cedar, chamomile, cinquefoil, four-leaf and five-leaf clover, cloves, comfrey, dandelion, dill seeds, Echinacea, fenugreek, ferns, fig, ginger, High John the Conqueror root, lucky hand root, mandrake, mint, mojo beans, moss, myrtle, nutmeg, oak, orange, palm, pecan, pine, rice, sage, and vervain.
One of the things we encourage people to incorporate into their bags are herbs that resemble money. For instance, on January first, Southerners enjoy Hoppin' John, a dish of black-eyed peas and rice accompanied by greens (kale, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens), in the belief that this will attract prosperity in the coming year. The greens match the color of money and the peas resemble coins, and a hot slice of cornbread makes it all taste good together. Southern sayings for New Year's Day include, "Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold," and "Eat poor on New Year, and eat fat the rest of the year." You can use these same ideas when creating a prosperity gris gris bag. Items to put in your bag that resemble money include large basil leaves, black-eyed peas, dill seeds, mojo or fava beans and pecans, and of course you can add green stones such as emeralds, green aventurine, green jade, or malachite for the same reason.
Some stones, metals, and shells containing a history of attracting prosperity include: citrine, clam shell, emerald, garnet, green aventurine, green jade, green tourmaline, gold, lodestone, opal, magnetic sand, malachite, peridot, pyrite, ruby, sand dollar, staurolite, tiger's eye, and vanadinite.
We also love to include items such as actual coins and dollar bills, a rabbit's foot, or the amount of money needed written on a piece of paper. Magnets, magnetic sand, and a small mirror or a piece of a mirror amplifies the money drawing power.
Once you have assembled your ingredients, find a calm and sacred space to create your bag. From a beloved altar to a well-used kitchen table, the space should speak more to your comfort level so that your loving energy comes through.
Light a candle that matches your intention, such as a green candle to represent the easy flow of money. While one or more candles may be used, we suggest using three candles—a white candle as the universal color of protection, a black candle to offer acknowledgment and appreciation of the role dark energy plays in the balance of the universe and in spell creation, and a candle to match your intention. As you light your candle(s) you may ask for blessings in the creation of your bag.
Place your ingredients within the bag, making sure that only an odd number of ingredients are included. You may read aloud your intention from a prepared speech or incorporate a chant that relates to your intention. These can be as simple as "I assemble these herbs and stones and ask for prosperity" or as elaborate as "Mother Earth, Father Sky, Goddess, and universal spirits, grant me the means to live a healthy, prosperous life so that my family will never want, my work can continue and blossom, and stress will be alleviated from this household." If you prefer to be silent, visualize yourself as prosperous and happy, always knowing for certain that your gris gris bag will produce.
Prosperity can be a catch-all, encompassing wealth, success, and good fortune, so focus clearly on what prosperity means to you as you create your bag. Imagine, in your world, how your success will manifest and be recognized, and embrace the feelings that will come with it.
Your gris gris bag is now complete. Place it where you may look upon it easily, enjoy its aromatic earthly scents, and remind you daily that prosperity is on the way. For indeed, it is!