Just a reminder that if you are a denizen of livejournal, and/or you prefer to “follow” my blog there, I host a mirror site of this blog there at Big Lucky Hoodoo @ livejournal.
While I’m at it, let me post this reminder/note about my blog’s title and about who’s who and who’s related to whom on the web:
My blog’s title “Big Lucky Hoodoo” is an homage to Tau Michael Bertiaux. (That doesn’t mean he endorses the blog.) My blog is not related to LuckyHoodoo.com, which is the URL of a shop in Michigan called Lucky Hoodoo Products. It is also not related to Lucky Mojo, though I happen to be a student of cat yronwode (the owner/proprietor of Lucky Mojo). I am not an employee of either Lucky Hoodoo Products or Lucky Mojo. As a member of AIRR, I am a member of AIRR, not an employee by Lucky Mojo. The I in AIRR stands for Independent. (You might be surprised how often this comes up and how often I’ve had people write me to ask me when the order they placed with Lucky Mojo will ship; I have no idea. I live in Atlanta and Lucky Mojo is in California.)
For more on Big Lucky Hoodoo as I use the term, see p. 1 of Bertiaux’s Voudon Gnostic Workbook, heading “Lesson One: Who Can Be A Big Lucky Hoodoo?” The Rev. Dr. Bertiaux responds, “Anyone can become a big lucky hoodoo.” He goes on to explain how, and what follows is a ritual from his tradition, which is not necessarily synonymous with the hoodoo that I practice, nor with traditional Haitian vodoun sevis, though he goes on to use both the terms “hoodoo” and “voodoo” in this lesson. But the attentive will note that he is using Hoodoo almost as a category of person or a title of sorts in this phrase: in this chapter, a Hoodoo is a person who harnesses the powers under discussion and who works with the spirits of hoodoo.
It is in that sense that I use the term. I believe that nearly anyone can become a Big Lucky Hoodoo (though you do not become one simply by naming yourself one!) There is a lot about Bertiaux’s system that is clear only to initiates in his system. His is not the only system. There is a lot about vodoun that is better left to initiates, and a great deal that is best left to trained serviteurs of long standing even if they are not initiates. There is even a lot about hoodoo that is best done under the guidance of someone with experience who comes from the way of life – ie, I don’t recommend your first non-funeral trip to a cemetery be to dispose of ritual remains. If you don’t come from a culture that is friendly with the dead, you need to get friendly with the dead before you go working cemetery magic. And Hoodoo is a way of life, in my opinion, not *just* a “magical path” or set of spells or correspondences that would categorize you as a Wiccan on Monday when you use European herbal correspondences and a Hoodoo on Thursday when you use African-American ones. Not at all.
What Bertiaux is outlining is a method for aligning your perspective and ultimately your way of life to be “in the current” of the spirits of hoodoo *as outlined in his particular system* which shares a lot with but is not in every aspect identical to traditional Southern conjure OR traditional Haitian voodoo sevis. THIS is what it means to be a Big Lucky Hoodoo – to live Hoodoo as a way of life, a worldview. And in this sense, anyone can become one, if they are willing to put in the work — and undergo a potentially radical change in perspective, depending upon where one begins.
Devotionally, I work in a Franco-Haitian Gnostic Voudon lineage with full consecration as a bishop in several lines of apostolic succession, and work with an active group of fellow bishops, energy workers, magickians, rootworkers, and serviteurs of the loa on a regular basis, here in the Southeastern U.S. Much of the work we do in the area with the expanded points chauds system, Gnostic voodoo, and Congregational Illuminism owes its origins to Tau Michael Bertiaux’s Gnostic Voodoo work, as expanded upon by Tau Allen Greenfield, Tau Dositheos, Tau Heosphoros, myself (aka Tau Naamah), and others. One of those lines of apostolic succession in which I am a consecrated bishop is a line that Tau Michael Bertiaux also holds consecration within (no, he did not directly consecrate me, and this should not be read as his knowing of me or my work or endorsing the work of any congregational illuminists in the Southeast or the greater Atlanta area, and I do not lay claim to any membership in or rank within the OTOA or any of Bertiaux’s other organizations).