Hoodoo Practices

Hoodoo Folk Magic Kit

Hoodoo mock-up




The Hoodoo Folk Magic Kit contains the ingredients and an instruction manual for a traditional rootwork spell called ‘Nailing Down a Property’.  The ritual, based on African-American hoodoo practices, is primarily intended to protect one’s property from foreclosure or eviction.  The kit, a repurposed cigar box, contains: four railroad spikes, dirt collected from a farm homesteaded in 1885, Wall of Protection Oil and four dimes, all packed in shredded money. The enclosed booklet outlines the ritual, details the significance of each element and discusses hoodoo history and origins.  In one kit four Mercury dimes will be included, thought to possess especially powerful magical properties when used for this conjure.


The image on the cover of the booklet is a wooden fetish that I named Zara, based on Zarabanda, a Congolese deity used in hoodoo & African rituals. The patron of blacksmiths and craftspeople, she is a deity of work and strength.  Pounding nails or spikes into the deity is a common hoodoo practice, so I’ll pound 50 nails into Zara’s base to represent each of the shareholders.


To nail down a property, rub each of the railroad spikes with Wall of Protection Oil.  Then nail a spike in each of the four corners of your property until it is just below ground.  Next, place one dime on the head of each of the spikes.  Then sprinkle the farm dirt over the dimes and finally, pour a bit of urine or whiskey on the four corners to mark your territory.  After the property is nailed down ask Zara, the designated deity, for security and peace of place.


As opposed to seeking out spiritual guides, African-American Hoodoo is a non-heirarchical system that emphasizes personal magical power.  With that in mind I created a deity, collected the contents and altered some of the rituals to be more personally relevant.  I’ll also create a wordpress site for CSA 2013 shareholders to post pictures, write about their experience with the ritual and ask questions.  I’ll offer tips for ‘feeding‘ the nails on a regular basis, what to do when moving out and special circumstances for living in an apartment or condo.



Floor-washing Ritual



For this ritual I sprinkled salt in the corners of my home, then swept all the salt, dust and debris into the center of each room.  I sprinkled lightning water on my broom for this step.  Lightning water is a combination of herbs, flowers, oils and water collected after a spring storm.  I collected the dust from each room, wrapped it in drawing paper and threw it in the Mississippi River.


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