Well, I was preparing for today’s Sunday School lesson this morning, and got dragged off-task almost at once.  AAARRRRRGGGHHH.

Hoodooo isn’t as syncretic as Steven Grasso seems to think: “Hoodoo is ostensibly the folk magic of the Southern American states, but it can also be considered a melting pot of the world’s sorceries. Like a big pot of Creole jambalaya…” Yes, jambalaya is a hybrid recipe, but you don’t, for instance, put curry powder or nam pla in it!

Errata: “A gris-gris bag, also known as a mojo bag, lucky hand, toby or wanga bag”… gris-gris and wanga are terms used in Africa and the Caribbean, respectively, and not in the American South. After warning us against conflating hoodoo with African Traditional Religions and their magical practices, he makes the same error himself!

“[M]any diverse and sometimes unlikely influences” – true enough, but phrases like this are just an invitation to talentless wannabes with a weakness for cultural imperialism. You can’t snatch-n-grab pretty toys from a “foreign” culture and expect to take any power with you. Cultural imperialism carries its own punishment.

Mind you, as a bookish melanin-challenged lady of Western European descent, I did not get involved in European ceremonial magic – because I am not German, French or English, or Irish or Scottish (though nearly all those nations got into my ancestry); I am an American and so I practice the native, home-grown American magic.

“The core of hoodoo candle burning is similar to the style of candle … prevalent in Wiccan and new age practice,” yes – because Wiccans learned it in the same places cat yronwode learned it: in the little hoodoo candle shops throughout the south and on the East and West Coasts, owned by (mostly black) Southerners who had grown up with the tradition.

Well. The bulk of the actual information in this link isn’t bad; at least he can do decent library research. But the assumptions he makes!

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