Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stupid Belial Worshiper, Jambalaya and Sweet Tea

An endearing message received today from
Arnis Osis, Gods love him, who not only thinks its a good idea to send a
photo of his young child to a complete stranger, it seems he's
unknowingly doing a little conjurin' himself.
The Voodoo Muse Online Magazine of Sweet Tea

Thursday, January 15, 2015

High Desert Hoodoo: Tumbleweed Conjure

WHEN I FIRST MOVED OUT TO THE SOUTHWEST, I didn’t think I would be encountering much Hoodoo like we see in the Louisiana. After all, it is Native American and Latino cultures that predominate out here—swamps and other bodies of water are conspicuously absent. The ground is dry and arid and there is a marked absence of greenery; instead, dust devils and tumbleweeds abound. Granted, it is not like this everywhere in the state of Arizona, and that is one thing I love about it here. There are mountains and forests and high deserts and low deserts, dry river beds, lakes and rocks and stones of all kinds. In fact, it is geological heaven out here.

The icon of the American southwest, the tumble weed, however, is actually not American at all. Its origin is in Russia, and apparently made its way here sometime in 1873 or 1874 vis-a-vis a contaminated shipment of flax seeds. The seeds were sown on a farm in South Dakota and the rest is botanical history. Called Russian thistle or Salsola, each mature Salsola plant has over a quarter of a million seeds on it, and each seed is protected by tiny thorns. Trust me, they are impossible to touch without being stuck in a nasty way. Tumbleweed is like the cockroach of the botanical world. It is impervious to all manner of destruction, and if you enter into a battle with it and think you will win, you are sadly mistaken. They come back bigger, badder, and stronger than ever, with a million tiny thorny troops on their trail.

Tumbleweeds disconnect from the earth once they die and give themselves to the wind which blows them around the country, with no real rhyme or reason. They come in all sizes and shapes and some folks have taken to using them as decoration. I’ve seen snowmen made from them and created in various outdoor artistic folk sculptures. People making art out of tumbleweeds have ceased to fight the futile fight, instead choosing to make lemonade out of the lemons.    

Using the Law of Similarities, we can apply these natural observances as magickal correspondences for tumbleweeds in hoodoo and rootwork. In hoodoo, tumbleweeds can be used to make a person move from place to place, dry up and whither away, become isolated from others. Or, they can be used to spread something far and wide, whatever that something (your intention) may be. Even better is their use in defensive and offensive magic. They are indestructible, regenerate at unprecedented rates, and hurt when you come in contact with them. Their seeds (your ideas or intentions) cannot be remove from them.
I find the best way to work with them is to break them down into small pieces and use in defensive magic.

I have been blessed with the seeds of the Russian thistle in my yard and I have harvested them and bagged them. If you would like some, I sell little bags for $10.00 by special request. Your other option is to get out there and find your own, get stuck up and earn your scars and stripes yourself.  

Contact me on my FB page if interested in adding some tumbleweed to your conjure.

*Article is excerpted from Hoodoo Almanac 2014 and 2015, copyright 2014 Denise Alvarado, All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

St. John the Baptist Water

To keep the law, bill collectors, landlord and enemies away from your door, make some St. John the Baptist Water. On St. John the Baptist Day, June 24th, collect some water from a river into a bottle while reciting the Lord’s prayer. If you are in the New Orleans area, get some water from Bayou St. John.

Lay the bottle on its side with the head of the bottle pointing out of the door. When the law, your landlord or any undesirable person comes, call out to St. John and Marie Laveaux and ask them to help you keep the undesirables away. While doing that, take that bottle full of St. John the Baptist water and roll it with your foot to the front door. If they come to your door, when they leave roll the bottle with your foot back to its position with the mouth of the bottle pointing out the front door. This bottle of water is to be kept from year to year and never emptied out.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hoodoo Almanac 2014 & 2015


We did it again, y’all. For the third year in a row, we bring to you the hidden cultures of the southern swampers, urban hoodoos and hill folk in our highly successful annual publication HOODOO ALMANAC 2014-2015. An entertaining and educational collection of conjure and practical information for rootworkers, folk magicians, folklorists, researchers and spiritualists, HOODOO ALMANAC 2014-2015 contains herbal cures and medicines, tarotscopes, conjure formulas, calendars of notable days, numerology, lucky lotto tips, gardening tricks for rootworkers, Who’s Who in Hoodoo History, and conjure works of all types and varieties. And that’s just the tip of the root!

The HOODOO ALMANAC 2014-2015 is the third edition of the very first almanac published in the world that focuses on southern folk magic, conjure and rootwork, Native American conjure and African-derived traditions. A veritable treasure trove of facts and information for conjurers and the curious alike. For example, we have expanded out calendar section to include the following calendars:

Civic Holidays and Observances. This is our calendar of days formally recognized by the federal government such as Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Popular Holidays and Observances. This calendar includes days that are recognized by a large segment of the general public, like Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day.

Pagan Sabats, Esbats and Observances. This calendar includes observances of the Western hemisphere such as lunar cycles, seasons, the 8 sabats and the pagan deity festivals celebrated by pagans, Wiccans, and Witches.

Religious Holidays and Observances. This calendar includes religious holidays and observances of the Christian, Jewish, Islam and Buddhist faiths.

Voudou Holidays and Feast Days. This calendar includes feast days of the loas and orishas as observed by Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voudou. These days my vary according to individual houses and temples; however, the ones we provide are commonly recognized.

Hoodoo Notable Days and Observances. Of course, we are the first to introduce a Hoodoo calendar and so our calendar is subject to those days we feel are important to African American history as it relates to the practice of Hoodoo and rootwork. We have included birthdays of notable people in Hoodoo history as well as some of the saints and folk saints found on altars of practitioners nationwide.

Spiritualist Feast Days and Observances. This calendar includes the feast days and observances of the Spiritualist Churches. There are variances between Churches depending on the specific spirits served in the respective Churches; but, we have included those days that seen to be common among all Churches and in particular those found in the New Orleans area.

Calendar of Catholic Saints. We anticipate this particular calendar to be among our most popular as it is the most heavily requested category of information through our website. Because there are literally thousands of saints there is no way to include them all here, so we have focused on those saints that are among the most popular with Catholics, New Orleans Voudouists and Hoodoo practitioners who incorporate them in their practice.

Calendar of Folk Saints. Since the calendar of Catholic Saints is so extensive, we have separated the folk saints into their own category. We have expanded our inclusion of Latin American folk saints - both those who are not recognized by the Catholic Church and others who have a history of cultural relevance in their regions of origin.

Rootworker Conjure Calendar. This is our calendar of general information of gardening tips and conjure tricks with plants, herbs and roots. Depending on where you live, of course, will determine the best times for growing and harvesting herbs in your area so you will need to take that into consideration.

Beyond our awesome calendar pages, we have our seasonal lore and miscellany and several articles on numerology, lucky lotto and a special guide to dreams and lucky numbers. We've got herbal tea remedies courtesy of Celeste Heldstab, our guest contributor, prayers to the seven saints of New Orleans, old-tyme conjure dirts and dusts, traditional methods for preventing conjury, communicating with spirits, weather lore and proverbs and a plethora of tips and tricks for the modern day practitioner. 

But wait! That's not all! We have profiles of notable African Americans Susie King Taylor, Sarah Breedlove Walker and Henry Bibb!


An introduction to Honey Jars, conjure oil formulas, curious conjure receipts and down home southern recipes with a magickal flair!

And just when you think there can't possibly be anything more, just wait until you see just how much more we have waiting for you!

If you are a serious lover of authentic southern folk magic and folk lore, you will love the Hoodoo Almanac 2014-2015. If you are simply curious, you will be forever entertained by the Hoodoo Almanac 2014-2015. On thing is for certain, and that is whoever has a copy of the Hoodoo Almanac 2014-2015 will have the edge on their competitors and will surely fill up their personal trick bags. Because we have information in this book that you won't find in one place anywhere else in the world.

Hoodoo happens outside the ordinary person’s comfort zone. But, in the HOODOO ALMANAC, we don’t hide conjure. We parade it in the streets and give it a sweet tea. 



by Denise Alvarado, Carolina Dean and Alyne Pustanio

With contributions by Celeste Heldstab.


$19.95 +$2.00 shipping

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19th, Saint Joseph's Day

St. Joseph is highly venerated in New Orleans. On St. Joseph’s Day (March 19th), he is honored with lavish altars, good food, and celebration. He stands beside Black Hawk and Moses in the Spiritualist churches as a patron saint of social justice. 

New Orleans was a major port of entry for Sicilian immigrants during the late nineteenth century and they brought the tradition of St. Joseph altars with them. Between 1850 and 1870, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were more Ital­ians concentrated in New Orleans than in any other U.S. city, which explains why the tradition of St. Joseph is almost exclusive to New Orleans. 

Within the Roman Catholic tradition, St. Joseph is the husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus Christ, and is honored as the patron saint of families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, crafts­men, engineers, and working people in general. Joseph is also the unofficial patron against doubt and hesitation. Because Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, he is considered the model of a devout believer who receives grace at the moment of death. Thus, he is considered the patron saint of a happy death.

The Feast of St. Joseph is a citywide occurrence. Both public and private St. Joseph’s altars are traditionally built. The altars are usually open to any visitor who wishes to pay homage. The food is distributed to charity after the altar is dismantled.

There are also parades in honor of St. Joseph and the Italian population of New Orleans that are similar to the many marching clubs and truck parades of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day. Some groups of Mardi Gras Indians stage their last procession of the season on the Sunday prior to St. Joseph’s Day, otherwise known as “Super Sunday,” after which their costumes are taken apart.

Over the years there developed a tradition of St. Joseph having a special power in real estate transactions and home sales. However, the formal tradition of bury­ing St. Joseph in the earth began hundreds of years ago in Europe. When an order of nuns needed more land for a convent, they buried medals of St. Joseph in the ground and prayed to him for help. They were apparently successful, and so, hoping for a little heavenly intercession, thousands of home sellers and real estate agents nationwide perform a ritual where a statue of St. Joseph is buried upside-down on a property to make it sell very fast.

The first St. Joseph altar was built in New Orleans in 1967 by members of the Greater New Orleans Italian Cultural Society (GNOICS). The tradition expanded to his feast day and continued yearly until it became the citywide event it is today. The origin of this practice can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when starvation was rampant and Joseph was petitioned for relief. The altars were an act of grati­tude for his intercession. The families of farmers and fisherman built altars in their homes to share their good fortune with others in need. Tradition dictates that no expense should be incurred to build the altar, and no profit should be made from it. 

Altars created for St. Joseph are typically large, three-tiered, and elaborate, and have many food items on them. The different food items have special symbolism and meaning to the Church. Because the Feast of St. Joseph occurs during Lent, there is no meat on the altar. Instead there is fish. The fish represent the twelve Apostles, Jesus, and the miracles of the loaves of bread and fish. The fish also serves as a reminder of the Last Supper. In addition to fish, there are fruits, vegetables, salads, wine, cakes, cookies, blessed breads, fava beans, and symbolic pastries. The blessed bread is created in symbolic shapes and is edible, while the symbolic pastries are not. It is said that during terrible storms, a piece of this blessed bread from the altar of St. Joseph can be tossed outside, a prayer recited, and the storm will subside. 

Fava beans are considered lucky, and a bowl of these lucky beans is kept on the main altar. Petitioners are given one to take the luck and blessings of St. Joseph with them. Fava beans are kept in the kitchen to ensure a pantry full of food, or in the pocket to ensure a wallet full of money. These are the perfect curio for a lucky mojo or gris gris bag, or can simply be carried alone in a pocket or kept on a home altar.

Another tradition is the hammer and nails. Hammers and nails are given out to those attending the feast, along with instructions to hammer the nails into the frames of their front doors to receive the blessings of St. Joseph for their homes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston


 Jump at de Sun:The Life of Zora Neale Hurston

by Alyne Pustanio

Novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston is widely considered to be one of the preeminent African-American writers of the twentieth century. Born January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, Hurston was the fifth of eight children. When she was still a toddler, her father John, a Baptist preacher and farmer, moved the family to Eatonville, Florida; for Zora, Eatonville would always be home.

The rural community was established in 1887 near Orlando and was the first incorporated black township. Eatonville was a quiet community (Hurston once wrote that it had no jailhouse) and was a place where the doctrine of racial inferiority was never present. Hurston was everywhere surrounded by black role models: black men, including her father who later became mayor, made the laws and enacted city policy; black women, including her mother Lucy Ann, taught in schools during the week and on the weekends guided the coursework of Sunday schools. Black men and merchants comprised the town’s business class; their mothers and wives passed the time telling colorful stories, preserving a rich oral tradition in the town’s culture. Hurston’s childhood was, by all accounts, a happy one, though she often clashed with her father, who considered her somewhat capricious. But Hurston could always rely on the support of her mother who frequently encouraged her and her siblings to “jump at de sun,” as Hurston later wrote.

In her lifetime, Hurston’s works were relegated to near obscurity by a society and an African American community saturated by political correctness and bristling at Hurston’s use of dialects and ideas that many modern blacks considered demeaning.

Alice Walker’s article, In Search of Zora Neale Hurston, published in the March 1975 issue of Ms. magazine, is largely credited with bringing about a revival of interest in Hurston’s life and work. The article coincided with the appearance of other authors, such as Maya Angelou and Walker herself, that celebrate the African- American experience without focusing solely upon racial issues.

Pustanio, A. (2013). Jump at de Sun: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston in Hoodoo Almanac 2013 Gazette, Prescott Valley, AZ: Creole Moon Publications.
Read the whole article in Hoodoo Almanac 2013 Gazette

Zora Neale Hurston, photo by Carl Van
Vechten, 1938, p.d.


Paraphernalia of Conjure

From Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men


(Editor’s note: I have made some minor grammatical and formatting changes for easier reading. Most is left intact verbatim to retain its ethnographic and folkloric value).

It would be impossible for anyone to find out all the things are being used in conjure in America. Anything may be conjure nothing may be conjure, according to the doctor, the time and use of the article.

1. Fast Luck: Aqueous solution of oil of Citronella. It is put scrub water to scrub the house. It brings luck in business, pulling customers into a store.

2. Red Fast Luck: Oil of Cinnamon and Oil of Vanilla, What is set down here are the things most commonly wintergreen. Used as above to bring luck.

3. Essence of Van Van: Ten percent. Oil of Lemon Grass. Alcohol. (Different doctors specify either grain, mentholated or wood alcohol), Used for luck and power of all kinds. Is the most popular conjure drug in Louisiana.

4. Fast Scrubbing Essence: A mixture of thirteen oils. It is burned with incense for fish-fry luck, i.e. business success. It includes: Essence Cinnamon, Essence Wintergreen, Essence Geranium, Essence Bergamot, Essence Orange Flowers, used also in initiation baths Essence Lavender; used also in initiation baths Essence Anise, Essence St. Michael, Essence Rosemary.

5. Water Notre Dame: Oil of White Rose and water. Sprinkle it about the home to make peace.

6. War Water: Oil of Tar in water (filtered). Break a bit of it on the steps wherever you wish to create strife; is sometimes made of creolin in water.

7. Four Thieves Vinegar. It is used for breaking up homes making a person run crazy, for driving off. It is sometimes put with a name in a bottle and the bottle thrown into moving water. It is used also to "dress" cocoanuts to kill and drive crazy.

8. Egyptian Paradise Seed (Amonium Melegrcta). This is used in seeking success. Take a picture of St. Peter and put it at the front door and a picture of St. Michael at the back door. Put the Paradise seeds in little bags and put one behind each saint. It is known as "feeding the saint."

9. Guinea Paradise seed. Use as above.

10. Guinea pepper. This may also be used for feeding saints; also for breaking up homes or protecting one from conjure. White Mustard seed. For protection against harm.

11. Black Mustard seed. For causing disturbance and strife.

12. Has-no-harra- Jasmine lotion. Brings luck to gamblers.

13. Carnation, a perfume. As above.

14. Three Jacks and a King. A perfume. As above.

15. Narcisse. As above but mild.

16. Nutmegs, bored and stuffed with quicksilver and sealed with wax, and rolled in Argentorium are very lucky for gamblers.

17. Lucky Dog is best of all for gamblers' use.

18. Essence of Bend-over. Used to rule and have your way.

19. Cleo May, a perfume. To compel men to love you.

20. Jockey Club, a perfume. To make love and get work.

21. Jasmine Perfume. For luck in general.

22. White Rose. To make peace.

23. French Lilac. Best for vampires.

24. Taper Oil: perfumed olive oil. To bum candles in.

25. St. Joseph's Mixture:

26. Buds from the Garden of Gilead

27. Berries of the Fish

28. Wishing Beans

29. Juniper Berries

30. Japanese scented Lucky Beans

31. Large Star Anise

32. Steel dust is sprinkled over black load stone in certain ceremonies. It is called "feeding the he, feeding the she."

33. Steel dust is attracted by a horseshoe magnet to draw people to you. Used to get love, trade, etc.

34. Gold and silver magnetic sand. Powdered silver gilt used with I magnet to draw people to you.

35. Saltpeter is dissolved in water and sprinkled about to ward off conjure.

36. Scrub waters other than the Fast Lucks (See above 1 and 2) are colored and perfumed and used as follows: red, for luck and protection; yellow, for money; blue, (always colored with Copperas), for protection and friends.

37. Roots and Herbs are used freely under widespread names:

38. Big John the Conqueror. Little John the Conqueror. It is also put in Notre Dame Water or Waterloo in order to win.

39. World wonder Root. It is used in treasure hunts. Bury a piece in the four corners of the field; also hide it in the four corners of your house to keep things in your favor.

40. Ruler's Root. Used as above.

41. Rattlesnake Root

42. Dragon's Blood (red root fibers). Crushed. Used for many purposes.

43. Valerian Root. Put a piece in your pillow to quiet nerves.

44. Adam and Eve Roots (paid). Sew together in bag and carry on person for protection.

45. Five-fingered grass. Used to uncross. Make tea, strain it and bathe in it nine times.

46. Waste Away Tea. Same as above.

47. Pictures of Saints, etc., are used also.

48. St. Michael, the Archangel. To Conquer.

49. St. Expedite. For quick work.

50. St. Mary. For cure in sickness.

51. St. Joseph with infant Jesus. To get job.

52. St. Peter without the key. For success.

53. St. Peter with the key. For great and speedy success.

54. St Anthony de. Padua. For luck.

55. St. Mary Magdalene. For luck in love (for women).

56. Sacred Heart of Jesus. For organic diseases.

57. Crosses. For luck.

58. Scapular. For protection.

59. Medals. For success.

60. Candles are used with set meanings for the different colors. They are

often very large, one candle costing as much as six dollars.

61. White. For peace and to uncross and for weddings.

62. Red. For victory.

63. Pink. For love (some say for drawing success).

64. Green. To drive off (some say for success).

65. Blue. For success and protection (for causing death also).

66. Yellow. For money.

67. Brown. For drawing money and people.

68. Lavender. To cause harm (to induce triumph also).

69. Black. Always for evil or death.

70. Votive candles. For making Novenas.

71. The Bible. All hold that the Bible is the great conjure book in the world. Moses is honored as the greatest conjurer. "The names he knowed to call God by was what give him the power to conquer Pharaoh and divide the Red Sea.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Contemporary Spells and Rituals that is being published this year by Weiser Books, I wanted to add a substantial number of new works as well as tweaking the originals so that those who bought the first edition would have an incentive to buy this new edition. And I found some fabulous doll works and effigy works from a variety of countries around the world. The Año Viejo ritual is a practice found in many Latin American countries, and Ecuador in particular. It is the perfect spell for the New Year since that is exactly what it is designed for.

There is a version of the spell in Hoodoo Almanac 2013 Gazette as well - if you  don't have your copy yet, you can get it for just $15.95 plus $2.00 shipping at Creole Moon Publications. Even though the year 2013 is over in a matter of hours, our Hoodoo Almanacs live on forever. We have so much useful information in them that is relevant for any year, you won't be wasting a dime purchasing it as a reference book for your conjure library. ~ End of ad

Neither of the versions mentioned above have the tutorial in this article.


In researching doll magic traditions in other cultures, I came across several countries that use life-size or larger effigies of human figures to represent something specific and that involve entire communities in ceremony. The Ecuadorian annual ritual burning of the “año viejo” (old year) is one such communal celebration that I thought was an ingenious and effective means of throwing out the old and reeling in the new.

The burning of the Año Viejo is a tradition well-known in several Latin American countries, including Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela; although, it is said to be found all through Latin America from Mexico to Uruguay. While each has their own spin on the ritual using life-sized or larger effigies, the ritual can be easily adapted to a conjure doll baby or poppet and done by anyone interested in a symbolic means of starting fresh for the New Year.

The origin of the Año Viejo ritual is unclear. Some suggest that its roots lie in pagan Roman and pre-Roman traditions that were brought to many Latin American countries during colonial times. Others surmise the tradition stems from a yellow fever epidemic that necessitated the mass burning of corpses in the streets.

Whatever its origins, in Ecuador, each year on December 31st people create large dolls to represent the “old year” or year’s end. These comical creations are constructed out of old clothes – often pieces of clothing from each family member – and are made in the likeness of a particular family member. The chosen family member writes a humorous will that states all the things they are leaving behind and to whom they are leaving it and places the mock will on their front door. Alternately, a handwritten note is pinned to the doll explaining why it must be burned.

The dolls are stuffed with a variety of materials such as paper, sawdust and straw, and even fireworks and Chinese rockets to ensure those old bad habits and regrets go out with a bang. Hosiery is sometimes used for the construction of arms and legs. Wooden sticks are placed down the back of the doll so they can sit or stand upright and the dolls are placed in funny poses as if riding a bike or sitting on the side of a building like a drunkard with a beer in its hand.

In some regions of the country such as the Andes, elaborate masks made from papier maché in the likeness of a family member are placed on the doll. In other regions, these masks represent more archetypal or worldly figures such as politicians, artists, athletes and superheroes. Sometimes, they are made to represent community undesirables – people whom folks would rather see disappear for the greater good.

At midnight, the dolls are burned as a ritual of purification and renewal, a cleansing of old, negative energy, individual and collective failures, regrets, bad habits, bad luck and evil from the previous year. The burning of the dolls signifies the transition of the old year into the New Year through the purifying power of fire. Often times, the dolls are heaped together in big piles to create large fires in the middle of the streets. It is said that jumping over the burning dolls brings good luck to those who successfully accomplish this feat. Dinner and celebration typically follow the ritual burning. 


The Año Viejo tradition lends itself perfectly to doll baby conjure and witchcraft. A ritual can be performed with a small conjure doll or poppet for the purpose of cleansing and renewal, or even as an Enemy Be Gone or Banishing type of doll baby spell. To create your own Año Viejo doll, you will need the following:

  • fabric in the color and pattern of your choosing - white is always a good option or even black in this instance
  • a taglock of each person for whom the doll represents (piece of clothing, fingernails, snip of hair, etc.)
  • scissors or pinking shears
  • sewing machine or needle and thread of you don't have a sewing machine
  • herbs with banishing, road opening, destruction, renewal and cut and clear properties
  • photos of haters and those with whom you have an unhealthy attachment
  • straight pins
  • petition paper 
  • doll baby pattern
  • page from a newspaper, magazine, or something with the year 2013 on it
  • bills
Be sure to put some thought into what you want to destroy, cut ties with, and get rid of and add things that represent these people and conditions to the inside of your doll.

Making the Conjure Doll Baby/Poppet/Effigy

1.  Cut out a doll baby pattern from a piece of card stock or other stiff paper. Here's a pattern you can use:

This is the pattern I used. Feel free to copy it if you don't like the other one.

2.  Lay the pattern on your chosen fabric. I chose some festive, celebratory Mardi Gras fabric because I want this to be a festive, fun event watching all the negativity and haters go up in smoke. A Labas!

3.  Pin the pattern to the fabric.

4.  Using pinking shears or scissors, cut out the pattern leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance. I like to use pinking shears because they help prevent the fabric from fraying, but this is purely my personal preference and not necessary (especially since the doll is going to be burned hours from now).

5.  Turn the fabric so that the right sides are facing the outside.

6.  Pin the fabric together to keep it from slipping. Sew the doll starting at one side of the head and going all the way around to the other side of the head leaving 1/4 seam allowance and an opening at the top of the head.

7. Snip the corners of the hands and feet and make small cuts all around the edges of the doll. This makes getting those edges and corners easier when turning it inside out and makes a much nicer looking final doll.

Notice the clipped edges of the right leg.

8.Turn the doll inside out so that the right sides are now showing. You may find it helpful to use a bamboo skewer or some other long stick to help with turning the arms and legs and getting those edges and corners nice and turned. I used a paintbrush because it was handy.

9.  Stuff the doll with the magickal herbs and other items you have chosen. I used slippery elm to keep negativity from sticking, bluestone for cleansing, snake sheds for shedding off the old stuff, mullein to drive away enemies, get rid of nightmares and general riff raff, graveyard dirt to bury those people and conditions that need to be buried, photos of certain people, bills, and a variety of other things. You get the picture;) You can also write a petition to place inside the doll before sewing it up. You can have each person in your family or circle do the same. You can write multiple petitions.

10.  Take a moment and breathe into the top of the doll's head and whisper to it that it will be the vessel that will carry all of the negative people, places and things that have adversely affected your life in 2013 into the sacred fire of transformation. 

11.  When you are ready, sew up the doll at the top of the head. I left mine open and stuffed the top with Spanish moss to keep everything in. This way if I forget anything, as will no doubt be the case, I can add it all the way up to midnight.

12. Pin your petitions to the outside of the doll, as well.

12.  Anoint the doll with Cut and Clear Oil, Destruction Oil, Road Opening or Blockbuster Oil, Cast off Evil Oil, or several of the above, all of the above or something else similar.

13. At midnight on December 31st, burn the doll and watch your regrets go up in smoke. 

Here is a list of herbs that can be useful in road opener and Cut and Clear works to get you started:

Lemon balm – clears away negativity and evil influences
Lemongrass – clears away negativity and evil influences
Abre camino (Eupatorium villosum or Koanophyllon villosum)– Literally means “road opener” and is THE herb used in Latin American folk magic
Ammonia – the great clarifier.
Camphor – removes negative spiritual forces
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)– In Latin American folk magick, chases away disturbances caused by the dead
Salt – removes negativity and blesses space
Citronella - clears away negativity and evil influences
Sage – purifies and makes sacred
Cedar – removed neative energy
Vetivert- clears away negativity and evil influences and the great New Orleans secret ingredient for strengthening formulas of all kinds
Crossroads dirt – opens roads for opportunities and choices, also buries things
Keys – open doors
Basil – clears away obsessive and lingering spirits
Pine – cleansing and purifying
Saltpeter – uncrossing and removing obstacles
Rue – destroys the evil eye, obliterates envy, removes effects of black magic
Sulfur – removes negativity

Happy New Year!


Alvarado, D. Dean, C., Pustanio, A. (2013). Hoodoo Almanac Gazette 2013. Prescott Valley, AZ.:Creole Moon Publications.

Hardy, S. (2012). An Ecuadoriuan tradition, the New Year’s Burning of the Año Viejo dummies clears the slate for a better 2013. Retrieved from: