Encounters with AIRR series by Miss Bri

Miss Bri over at Milagro Roots is doing a series with AIRR members. So far she’s featured Madame Nadia and, this month, me. Check it out – she asks about our philosophies as rootworkers, our favorite types of cases, and our advice for clients seeking rootwork.

questions you’ve asked (in search terms): ratings, goofer dust, saints

Q: Who is rated the best on AIRR of hoodoo rootworkers? I have a complex problem that needs solved, who can do rootwork?

Every worker at AIRR can do rootwork. Every worker at AIRR has a minimum of two years’ experience working for the public, professionally; most have much, much more than that. We all handle complex cases all the time.

There is no rating system, and “ratings” and “awards” are two of the warning signs for scam artists and unethical practitioners. Anybody claiming to have received a spellcasting award or to have been voted #1 in something or other is lying or is misrepresenting the nature of the organization doing the awarding. There is no such organization that awards such things, tracks workers, assembles ratings, or anything like that.

AIRR-logo-140x140
I’ll just touch on a few of the numerous underlying problems with looking for ratings.

First of all, what are the established criteria by which to “rate” a worker? If you named yours, I can guarantee you that the next person to name their own will have different criteria and/or will weight them differently, and I guarantee that you two wouldn’t agree on what counts as meeting or exceeding the criteria in every case, too.

Every case is unique, every worker works a different way, and so much depends on “fit,” on communication and on the worker and client “clicking.” If you go read one of those forums dedicated to folks reporting on their experiences with spellcasters, you will quickly realize how ridiculous and often contradictory the various members’ criteria for rating or judging a spellcaster are.

Put simply, there are no rankings and there is no organization that would track such things. There are no criteria by which to “rate” workers that are logical, fair, verifiable, and able to be applied across the board. Workers, like doctors and lawyers, have different specialties, different criteria for taking cases and accepting clients, different styles, and different ways of working. There is no such thing as “the best worker” any more than there is such a thing as “the best lawyer” or “the best doctor.”

There are LOTS of criteria for choosing a worker or lawyer or therapist or financial advisor or anything else, and if you look at customer comments/ratings on some of those sites, you’ll see pretty quickly that “customer satisfaction” is usually the biggest thing people base a rating on. But that’s a pretty nebulous thing to go by, and it’s actually not a characteristic of the worker him/herself. On being told that the thing they’re pushing for is not going to happen, so the worker can’t take their case and they should consider letting it go, one client will leave 5 stars and mention the worker’s honesty and ethics. But another will be angry, leave 1 star, and write, “a fraud! couldn’t do the work, not a real worker!”

To be blunt, a client is often not in a position to rate a worker on anything other than bedside manner and communication style, which are part of the picture but certainly not the whole picture. The more a client understands about spiritual work and the more experience they have with it, the better, but even so, different people will have different criteria and priorities. You just can’t apply statistics to this kind of thing.

And workers have different skills, specialties, setups, policies, and preferences. For instance, if you are looking for a phone reading so you can have reconciliation work done, well, I usually don’t do phone readings and I usually don’t take reconciliation cases. I’ll tell you out of the gate I’m not the worker for you. If you want some good old fashioned smiting on your deadbeat ex, some workers don’t do work like that and some will (after a reading or intake appointment or consultation or something). I will do that kind of work if it’s justified, if it will benefit the client ultimately, and if the client is not a total stranger to me or comes recommended by a colleague.

But I have no patience with frantic lovers who think their breakup is an emergency and who will label messages “urgent” and then say “he didn’t call me last Friday!!!” You will not want to come to me about that kind of thing. The kind of client who would label this urgent is also the kind of client who rarely pauses to consider that their worker could be dealing with an actual emergency with a client whose child is being abused by the custodial parent, or who is facing eviction, or whose spouse has just died and left him with tons of secret debt which is all past due. So no, I’m not going to consider your boyfriend’s texting frequency an emergency, sorry. But there are other workers who work with those clients well and have the patience to deal with them and educate them about how reconciliation and return-a-lover work works.

Most professional workers will be able to tell you something about themselves, their way of working, and their philosophy and communication and reading style; you should find one who appeals to you and drop them a line. I’m sorry to say that that’s the only way to do it – there is no ranking system and no way to rate rootworkers in any kind of across-the-board system, no way to get reliable statistics (be wary of anyone who says they have a percentage success rate – that’s a warning sign that I’ve written about in another “questions you’ve asked” post), and no way to tell whether they will take your case or what they will say or do until you talk to them. I know some very good, very experienced workers who have a reputation for being “testy” or “bitchy.” I have been included in that number, in fact, before. But I have plenty of clients, some of whom actually like me. It takes all kinds!

For some people, being treated with kid gloves is more important than the truth or the bottom line (and what constitutes “kid gloves” or even “respect” varies wildly from person to person). For others, they can take a blunt response if they know the worker is being honest and has their own best interests at heart. No two clients will have the same criteria that are ranked in the same order of importance anyway. One client can get along famously with one worker and their best friend can be turned off by or dislike that worker. (Same with clients on the worker’s end.)

But I can tell you that every member of AIRR has been trained, vetted, investigated, and tested; interacts regularly with at least some of their AIRR colleagues; adheres to AIRR’s code of ethics; and will participate in mediation if the client has a legitimate problem with a contracted service. (“She hurt my feelings” or “my lover hasn’t come back yet” are not legitimate problems.)  Also, you can always contact a worker and, if they can’t or will not help you, ask them for a recommendation to a colleague. We are all colleagues and we know each other – if we think another worker will be a good fit for your case and your personality/communication style, we can probably suggest someone. But while some of us may like or dislike certain types of work or specialize in a handful of things and stick mostly to them, none of us is across-the-board “better” or “higher-rated” than another. There is no such thing as a legitimate rating system. And when someone contacts us expecting such a thing, we are cautious because we know they will need some educating on the basics if we take them on as a client.[*]

Why did my goofer dust fail?

There are way too many moving parts in any given working for anybody to be able to answer that without more information, or for any query you type into Google to be able to supply you with an answer. You might have made or deployed it wrong, you might have done everything right but your target has thorough protection from such tricks, or you might have done everything right and your goal is simply not the will of God.

How to make Martha the Dominator work in three days?

First of all, I would caution you that you can’t “make” a saint do anything. Second of all, don’t micromanage stuff like this. If you go to a lawyer for a problem, you tell him your problem, and he takes your case, and then you let him do his job. You don’t dictate the terms and you don’t tell him what day your court case is going to be and what the sentence is going to be, and if you tried, he’d at best laugh and he might just show you the door. You don’t go to a doctor or therapist with a problem and then tell them how and when to fix the problem; if you do, you’re a fool.

You don’t go to a family member or friend and ask for a favor and then demand that they carry out that favor according to certain details; you ask for the favor, and you politely let them know what you need (“I really need to have the car by 3 pm so I can pick X up at the airport and then I could return it on Sunday, if that’s ok with you”). They may tell you to get stuffed, or it would be fine but you need it back that night, or whatever. You need to prioritize your request and stick to the most important parts of it. Don’t get hung up on the how and why and details that don’t matter as much.

martha dragonYou petition a saint for their intercession, and you let them know what you need, and then you get the hell out of the way. If they grant your petition, you thank them. If they don’t, well, maybe it was the will of God, or maybe you were a jerk. Maybe there is a good reason that you can’t have what you asked for in the way that you asked for it. Maybe 3 days is unrealistic, and you screwed yourself by insisting on it – they could have done it in 7, but since you were a jerk about the 3 days, now they aren’t going to do a damn thing, because you need to learn a lesson.

The saints answer prayers, but sometimes the answer is “No.” You still treat them with respect because you have a relationship with them. If you didn’t have a relationship with them before you asked a favor, then that was your mistake right there. What would you think if a new person moved into the neighborhood, knocked on your door, and asked to borrow your car for the weekend? You’d think “who the hell is this guy and what is his problem? He can’t even introduce himself first?”

Sure, there is a long tradition of “compelling” saints and spirits through such measures as turning a picture upside down, whipping a statue, taking something off their altar to return when they come through, etc. But you had damn sure better know what you’re doing, have a pre-established relationship with the saint, and know that you aren’t risking extreme wrath if you go that route with this saint (not every saint is petitioned/treated this way). Traditionally, such coercive measures were used in emergencies – if the monastery crops were failing and people were starving and the continued existence of the Church and thus the saint’s home was threatened, it might be appropriate to set the statue on the floor and be a bit more emphatic about your needs. If it is not an emergency, though, and if you don’t already know what you’re doing, I would think twice about taking this route.

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[*] I don’t mean to imply that the only ethical, experienced workers are AIRR workers. There are good workers elsewhere too, and I count plenty of non-AIRR readers and workers as colleagues and friends. I just happen to know the ethics and vetting of AIRR workers, so I can speak in detail and in confidence about them.

clearing up some confusion re AIRR and Lucky Mojo; how I use the term “Big Lucky Hoodoo”

Clearing up some potential confusion:

I am not an employee of Lucky Mojo, and I am not affiliated with Lucky Mojo.  There is some confusion on this out there; I regularly get emails from complete strangers who want to ask me where their Lucky Mojo order is, or ask me something about Lucky Mojo products.  AIRR is not Lucky Mojo.  AIRR is sometimes publicized in banner ads at the Lucky Mojo forums, but they are separate entities, and AIRR members may or may not also be authorized Lucky Mojo resellers.  I am a *customer* of Lucky Mojo, and I am a student of cat yronwode’s (the owner of Lucky Mojo), and I am a member of AIRR, but I do not work for Lucky Mojo, and neither do most of the readers and workers who have AIRR listings.  The I in AIRR stands for Independent.

My site’s title "Big Lucky Hoodoo" has nothing to do with Lucky Mojo as a company.  My site’s title is an homage to Tau Michael Bertiaux.  See p. 1 of his Voudon Gnostic Workbook, c. 1988, 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 as a noun here: 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 on this blog.  I believe that 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.  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, so you are a Wiccan when you are using European herbal correspondences and a Hoodoo when you are using 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.  THIS is what it means to be a Big Lucky Hoodoo.  A Lucky Hoodoo lives, eats, sleeps, works, breathes, speaks, prays, and dies immersed in hoodoo.  It is in the water we drink and the music we grew up with and the soil that grows our food.  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.  For others, the journey is maybe not so far.  But in this sense, it is open to anyone.

new pages at the AIRR website

Lots of new pages up at the AIRR site, including a intro to the Orisha among other additions in the Saints and Spirits sections of the wiki.  Thanks so much, AIRR tech team, for all your time on the site!  The photos are fabulous.

closing Friday; shipping offer; reminders

Continue reading “closing Friday; shipping offer; reminders”

AIRR launches! as of 6/6/09

The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is a gathering of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide psychic readings and spiritual root doctoring services to the public. AIRR promotes quality service and ethical conduct by means of accreditation and evaluation of our members. Unlike commercial online psychic reader services, AIRR is a membership-supported organization that receives no fees or kickbacks for referrals.