April 22, 2018
Hoodoo practitioners are also known as Conjure Doctors, Rootworkers, Two-headed Doctors, etc., and various folks are learning and performing this craft every day. But just exactly who are the “Masters” of this Spiritual Practice?
As a teenager the game of billiards fascinated me, so I would go to the neighborhood pool hall every day to observe others playing the tables. Outside of this building there were benches occupied by old men appearing to be in their late 70s or early 80s. As a dumb kid it was my opinion they were stupid old folks who were just occupying bench space. If one of them looked at me, I would look away and roll my eyes in disdain.
One day, I asked an employee, “Who are those old farts sitting outside on the benches?” He replied that some were retired, as well as famous, National Champions of Billiards, while others were expert pool hustlers. In other words, they were THE Masters! My attitude toward them immediately changed, and thereafter I was both friendly and respectful to them. This attitude adjustment paid off because they later gifted me by teaching me how to play billiards with expertise.
So, what is the moral of this story? Don’t disregard the old folks of any craft because they are indeed THE Masters. They have the wisdom, the knowledge, and the decades of practice and experience that we will not achieve until we have reached their ages. They have learned their crafts the hard way, through mistakes and through successes. They have seen and done it all. They have paid their dues in blood, sweat, and tears.
Many people roll their eyes at me when I talk about the amazing 1,600 Hoodoo informants who graciously contributed their knowledge base to the Reverend Harry Hyatt. Maybe because they are dead, and therefore “outdated,” or maybe because they did not speak concise English. But, my friends, they were the true Kings, Queens, and Masters of Hoodoo. They were the direct descendants of those who were probably the first to bring African magic to the U.S.A. They had the knowledge and the wisdom through magical successes and failures. They had seen the hard times and had also paid their dues in blood, sweat, and tears.
Thousands of others were not Hoodoo informants, but they also passed down their knowledge through oral tradition to their children, who have, in turn, passed these same oral traditions down to their descendants and their confidants. No one person has all the answers or the single “correct” way of doing things, and that is how it ought to be because together many bring more to the ways of working that enriches the tradition rather than making it all just “one way.”
Who are these experts today? The older folks who have acquired a vast amount of knowledge, the same way as their elders had: through oral tradition and tedious practice. When you look at an elderly person, remember that those wrinkles have a hell of a lot of knowledge hidden within their creases. They are most likely the “walking encyclopedias” of Hoodoo. They are now the elders of Hoodoo. They are now THE Masters.
So, the next time an elderly person says something to you that doesn’t make sense or sounds like “mumbo-jumbo,” don’t blow them off. You’re being stupidly prejudiced against the elderly, just as I was as a teenager. Do not be dismissive, but instead be respectful, shut-up, and listen, because something precious is being gifted to you. Above all, express your gratitude.
Dec 21, 2017
In my experiences as a reader, there have been numerous times that fearful querents will contact me because they have prayed to an Orisha then were later told, by others, that there could be severe consequences for having petitioned that Entity. Unfortunately, the prevalent theme appears to be, for those who are not actively involved in the Religion of Santeria, a misperceived image of the Orishas being strict, complicated, and ruthless entities who will reprimand people if they do not adhere to their rigid demands. Each and every time that I hear these false allegations, it breaks my heart.
Having been born and raised in this tradition, I know the Orishas to be loving, nurturing, and caring entities. All they have ever expected from us, in return, is honesty, humility, respect, mutual love, and gratitude. In other words, they expect of us what parents would expect from their children.
It is also erroneous to believe that one has to be an initiate of Santeria in order to pray to the Orishas or to have a relationship with them. Is it necessary to be Jewish in order to pray to God? Is it necessary to be Catholic in order to pray to a Saint? Of course not! I am almost positive that God is NOT saying: “Miss Aida is not Jewish so, I won’t answer her prayer” or a Saint saying: “Sorry, David, you’re not Catholic, so you’re on your own!”
In my opinion, there are two major factors that contribute to these flawed discernments. One cause is due, in part, to the association of animal sacrifices within the religion. The blood of chickens is the most common sacrifice (similar to Kosher or Shechita slaughter) and, more often than not, those chickens are cooked and consumed by the initiates of a particular ritual. Other animals are indeed sacrificed but this occurs for extenuating circumstances. Nevertheless, the thought of sacrificial rites can instil fear that results in a flight of anxiety-producing misperceptions.
Secondly, the process of achieving hierarchical statuses in Santeria can appear intimidating to one that is not inside the religion. However, it is nothing more than a person’s desires to become closer, and learning more, about the Orishas. In other words, it is about establishing a closer, and more intimate relationship with one another. One could compare these processes to the hierarchical order of the Catholic Church: Deacon, Priest, Bishop, etc. As with Santeria, these initiatory processes are task-oriented. Nevertheless, although most of us do NOT fall into any of these Catholic categories, we still pray to God and the Saints.
Therefore, when pleading to an Orisha for their intervention, it is neither necessary nor logical to be educated in all the Patakis (parables, such as Biblical parables) associated with them. Although interesting to read the varied interpretations of all that is associated with the Orishas, again, it is nonsensical to memorize them. Additionally, more often than not, the material presented on the Internet is written by people with the utmost honorable intentions but, unfortunately, sometimes incompletely and, sadly, sometimes inaccurately.
Know that it takes many years, and sometimes decades, to have a complete grasp of the Religion of Santeria. Being an initiate at any degree does not mean that this person has the utmost knowledge. Initiates will usually depend on their own Godparents until that Elder passes away. If you wish to have a closer relationship with Santeria, seek an Elder of the Religion to teach you. They are usually referred to as the Padrino or Madrina (Godparent) of other initiates.
But, for right now, all that you need to do is to show honesty, humility, respect, mutual love and gratitude. What is the worst thing that can happen? Your petition may not be granted. That too can be said about petitioning God, or any Entity.
So, as the young folks say: “ …’Nuff said…”
May 21, 2017
Your mindset must be properly conditioned for any type of successful spell casting. Although the conditioning isn’t difficult, it does require four essential fundamentals for victorious outcomes:
Self-Confidence: We must be self-confident that our spells will work. This means that we ought not to second guess ourselves or fear that we are not powerful enough to control the target. With self-confidence, we also have to be determined to affect the target and to be patient with our work.
Determination: While performing magic, some spell-casters will monitor their target and are dismayed that their target is doing well. They then lose confidence and surrender (or “give up”) their spell work while assuming that nothing is manifesting. This is the WRONG attitude. The correct attitude is to continue your work. Be determined to see it through to the end, without a change of heart!
Patience: This is a virtue that is absolutely necessary because spells don’t work overnight! No matter what happens, be calm and know that your spell WILL work!
Persistence: Keep at it, keep at it, KEEP AT IT! Is the target having a great day? He/she won’t for long! Their day is coming…
The following true and astonishing success story of justified revenge will illustrate how the four essential fundamentals are implemented:
Decades ago, there was a man named: “Tony” who was a happily married and successful Spiritual practitioner with his own spiritual store. He was called a “Babalawo”: a very powerful and high-ranking Priest in the religion of Santeria. He even had his own house of Santeria with numerous members and he was loved and admired by hundreds of people all over the state of Florida. People would travel any amount of distance to seek his services.
My Godmother in Santeria also adored Tony (as did I) and had practically worked her fingers to the bones, for many months, assisting him with his numerous ceremonies. She also happily contributed her vast years of wisdom and knowledge in any way that she could. But, her services also required payment. And she had desperately depended on that money to pay her family members’ way out of the impoverished country of Cuba and into the U.S.A.: the land of opportunity.
Unfortunately, money and notoriety got the best of the Babalawo and he had transformed from a thoughtful man to a greedy and “green-eyed monster”. While continuously stalling my Godmother with payment for her services, he was instead keeping all of the profits for himself. He never paid her one single penny and inevitably cheated her out of thousands of dollars.
But my Godmother wasn’t an idiot, either. Upon every single visit to Tony’s home or store, she collected either his hair or other personal concerns. She said that these items may be needed for a “rainy day”. And, eventually, that “rainy day” arrived when she came to the realization that Tony had no intention of ever paying her. And with these personal concerns, she made an effigy of him, specifically a doll-baby.
At her house, I saw a doll-baby, hanging by its neck, tied to a tree branch. I asked: “Godmother, who is this?”. She replied (with anger): “It’s Tony. When I am finished with him, he will lose his wife, his house, his business and his savings. I will destroy him just the way he destroyed my children and my grandchildren!”
Truthfully, I thought to myself that the old lady was crazy to think that a mere Santera, such as herself, could destroy such a powerful Spiritual Practitioner. But she was certainly self-confident that she would.
Then, every single day, day after day, she would tirelessly beat the crap out of that doll with a heavy stick while demanding that he lose his wife, business, house, and money. My Godmother was determined to ruin Tony’s life.
A little over a month later, she is still cursing this doll. Honestly, I was getting exhausted just watching her beating and yelling at this doll! Outspoken as I am, I had the stupidity to question her: “Godmother, you’re wasting your time. The spell is not working. Nothing is going to happen to him. As a matter of fact, his business is flourishing and he’s thinking of expanding his store.” With disgust and contempt for me, she replied: “You have no faith. You have no patience. And your lack of patience will destroy your spells and your life!”
Weeks and weeks later, she is still cursing out and beating this doll with that heavy stick. Boy, was she a persistent spell-caster! She had no intention of giving up, even with all of his blatant ongoing successes.
Then, the inevitable happened and my Godmother’s spell work started to manifest. A few months later, I received a phone call from Maria, the Babalawo’s wife. She wanted to inform me that she had caught Tony making love to another woman in her very own bed! I immediately informed my Godmother and her response was: “Good. Now, sit back and enjoy the show as it’s just beginning.”
From that moment forward, Tony’s life started falling apart. And, the “show” was indeed just beginning!
Because the Santeria community holds Babalawos to a higher ethical and moral standard, adultery is NOT tolerated. So, as retaliation for the hurt that Maria suffered, she had also called every member of his house, and as many of his clients, friends, and followers as she could and exposed his disregard of the religious standards imposed on Babalawos. Maria was determined to destroy Tony’s reputation.
Next, Maria withdrew all the monies from his bank accounts, moved away, and then filed for divorce. She was awarded a large sum of money in lieu of the physical home and business. And, because Maria ruined Tony’s reputation as a virtuous man, he was left with a failed business and no money to pay the mortgage. He lost his followers, he lost everything.
The manifestation of my Godmother’s spell work resulted in a fast deterioration of everything that Tony worked so hard to attain. As a matter of fact, it took only about a year to destroy what Tony worked decades to build. And it is amazing how Spirit assisted the spell by making Tony’s very own wife the catalyst of the curse for the demise of his wealth and status!
Was my Godmother’s spell of revenge justified? Tony’s greed and lack of payment kept her children and grandchildren impoverished. So, she did the same to him.
By the way, Tony tried very hard to rebuild the “empire” that he once had but was unsuccessful. Later, he just disappeared. To this day, nobody seems to know where he is or whatever happened to him. He just perished. But I do know this:
My Godmothers’ self-confidence, determination, patience, and persistence caused destruction to the life of a very powerful man.
She was a MASTER!!