An Enemy Trick to Cause Confusion or Breakup (Hyatt)

This is an enemy trick that uses an onion as a container spell, to cause your enemy’s mind to be confused (to “run them crazy”) or to break up a couple. The informant was Miss Ida Bates of New Orleans, recorded in Vol. 2, p. 1659.

You get one dirt dauber’s nest tube and powder it. Get a red onion – you’ll need to load it with materials, so you might want to cut it in half and remove a couple of layers from the center, or cut the top off and scoop out some of the inside, though the informant does not detail the cutting or stuffing. Inside the onion you put your target name(s) — presumably on a name-paper —  and add bluestone (use laundry bluing, the anil balls or the bluing squares), cayenne pepper, and a good pinch of the dirt-dauber nest. If you want to break up a couple, put their names on separate pieces of paper and stick those in there. The informant doesn’t specify, but if you have cut the onion in half, you’ll need to stick it back together; it would be ok to use thread or string to tie it shut. If you just took the top off and scooped some inside it, then you can just set the “cap” back on top. Then, the informant says, “And [put] the onion under the dirt dauber. And just the way that wasp hums, wanders around, circles around, that’s just the way those people mind will be.” She doesn’t specify exactly how to do this, but you could put it in a box or cup and cover it with the rest of the dirt dauber nest powder, or you could bury it and cover it with the dirt dauber nest. (That’s what I would do.)

This is an enemy trick – the informant says this is for a person “you want to be evil against” — so you need to do proper spiritual cleansing after performing this trick.

on dialect, cultural study, and learning hoodoo

In the comments section of an old post about a hotfoot spell given by a Hyatt informant, some interesting comments have unfolded which I think worth pointing out.  The informant says, among other things:

Well, yo’ got three pieces of dat dog manure. Yo’ll commence wit dis one, say, “Now, ah’ll set chew heah dat chew cannot stay in dis house, “Under de Highest Name of de Father”. Ah’ll set chew [second piece] heah dat chew cannot stay in dis house. Yo’ll be ‘bliged tuh go, an’, “In de Name of de Son.”

Now, two readers just commented on this only recently.  I was born and raised in the deep South so I guess I have some tunnel vision, because it honestly never occurred to me for a second that American people could misread or misunderstand the above.  I guess my background is actually a hindrance in my communicating with readers sometimes.

One commenter is a non-native speaker of English – I completely understand how a non-native speaker of English could have trouble with the way Hyatt tries to capture the dialect of his informant.  But coming from a native speaker – well, it blew my mind that s/he could actually think there was chewing involved in this spell.  Sorry, hun, to pick on you, but I guess I now have a clearer understanding of why some teachers of hoodoo have to make it mandatory that their students actually *speak to an African American person,* because some people never have and never would and yet would think to undertake a study of African-American folk magic. The mind, it boggles.  My takeaway point from this was, in part:

If you can’t understand the dialects of the people who perpetuate these practices, you can’t really study the sources, living or passed on. It’s part of why cat in her rootwork course encourages students to actually learn about African American culture(s) and requires that they interview people instead of just trying to learn from books (which *cannot* be done, not really, not thoroughly).

Just for the record, this spell does not involve any chewing.  If you read the dialogue out loud to yourself, you might be able to “hear” what you are having trouble processing on the printed page.

St. Martha (aka St. Martha the Dominator)

St. Martha was and is a popular saint for several different types of conditions, though in modern conjure and hoodoo, she is probably most often called on for assistance by women wishing to dominate their men.

I have finally gotten around to listing a St. Martha the Dominator mojo bag.  ETA: I’ve also listed a St. Martha the Dominator honey jar spell kit. The listing has a bit of info on St. Martha, and reads:

St. Martha the Dominator is called on for domination – usually when women want to dominate their man.  But in the rich and varied medieval traditions surrounding St. Martha, she is also called on for assistance by those who need to get the upper hand in any kind of relationship in which they find themselves “at the bottom of the totem pole.”  Back in the day, employees would call on St. Martha to get better treatment from their employers, for instance, especially if they were household employees like kitchen service or nannies.

In medieval lore and in her iconography, she is shown as a slayer of dragons, and in this capacity she is a great ally for all types of situations in which you are the underdog and you need to find a way to “top from the bottom.”  Be warned, though: many old-school workers who work extensively with saints in conjure have said that if you call on her to dominate somebody in your life, and she doesn’t take to the way they are treating you if they are treating you real bad, she will run them off and out of your life.  If your partner is beating on you or emotionally torturing you, or if your boss is engaged in discriminatory, unjust, or illegal practices against you, please don’t try to use St. Martha stuff, or conjure in general, as the only means of improving things.  If you are being hurt or misused, call a hotline or shelter, or your HR department, as befits your situation.  If you don’t know who to call and you are in danger, contact me and tell me where you are, and I’ll help you find somebody to call.  Do not rely solely on conjure or the saints to protect you from physical harm; the Lord and the saints help us in practical ways, and sometimes the best spiritual act involves picking up the phone.

You can read more about the medieval hagiography of St. Martha in The Golden Legend, or Lives of the Saints, which explains some of her iconography, such as her appearance with a dragon or serpent.

There is a tradition that she doesn’t like men and won’t work for them, but I don’t think that’s always necessarily true – I do think it depends on the case though.  Most stories I’ve heard about working with St. Martha, when they involve successful domination, have involved women dominating men, but the reverse is not completely unheard of; in fact, Madame Lindsey in Algiers, LA, one of Hyatt’s informants, gives a lovely variation of a sweetening/honey jar family spell with which a husband may invoke St. Martha to keep his wife doing her wifely duties (see Vol 2., p. 1503).

This is for use in situations where a wife is not taking care of the house and children.  You make a name paper by writing her name on it seven times, and then you put it in a white teacup or saucer, over which you pour three teaspoons of orange water (aka orange blossom water, orange hydrosol), for faithfulness to her marriage vows.  Next you add honey and milk.  Set it where she won’t find it, in front of an image or statue of St. Martha.  Burn pink candles on it.

The informant instructs Hyatt to set a pink taper on this, but it’s not entirely clear precisely how – there’s some confusing stuff about a cork and the candle floating, and the informant says “Yo’ set dat [taper] right on dere an’ po’ yo’ oil an’ light it- right befo’ St. Martha.”  Pouring the oil suggests she means something other than dressing the candle.  She may be referring to a homemade unenclosed oil lamp, where the cork/taper combo suggests some sort of homemade wick, or it may refer to a homemade floating candle.

In any case, obviously there is always more than one way to do these kinds of things.  I personally add a dollop or glunk of St. Martha the Dominator condition oil to the orange water/honey/milk mixture – and I don’t use very much milk, because I don’t want to risk the smell of sour milk in my altar room, which is often warmer than the rest of the house because of the number of candles burning in it. If you add more honey than milk, it can act as a natural preservative *for a while* – but you probably would not leave this setup in place indefinitely, at least not unless you made this a container spell instead. If you do it this way, the layer of liquid should be shallow enough that a candle with a wide enough base should stand upright in this saucer and burn with no problem (I think you’d have more trouble with a taper.  I recommend a candle with a flat base that is at least an inch wide, probably wider, so it will stand up on its own, though I supposed you could always use a taper in a candle holder and set the candle holder in the saucer or cup).

So – a spell for a man to dominate his wife.  Yet this coexists with a tradition that Martha doesn’t like men. What gives?

Well, I think one of the key things here becomes a bit more clear if you read about St. Martha in scripture — see Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.  She was a woman in a time when managing the household, and being a servant to all guests and visitors, was the proper role of women.  I think Martha is called to work on a wayward wife in the above rite because of her association with the proper running of a household. I do not think that a man could work this St. Martha rite on a woman who was not his wife or committed partner, and I do not think this rite could be worked to get a woman to do something like commit adultery (or do anything else that didn’t have to do with obligations related to the running of a household).  I think the key is that it is worked by a husband on a wife, and it’s worked in relation to the running of a household and raising of children.

But I would not call on St. Martha to try to force a wife into doing unjust things, and I would not recommend that a husband who is not holding up all his vows with love and respect try to ask Martha to dominate his wife.  I imagine he might get the smackdown for his presumption.  St. Martha in the medieval tradition is quite atypical of female saints, whose defining characteristic was often their virginity.  While St. Martha was probably a virgin, she took a much more active and independent role as a Christian than was typical. For a discussion of medieval saints’ lives and gender which illustrates St. Martha’s uniqueness, see Daas, Martha, “From Holy Hostess to Dragon Tamer: The Anomaly of Saint Martha,” Literature and Theology, Vol.  22, Issue1 (2008), pp. 1-15.  Daas writes,

The official version of the life of Saint Martha depicts her as Christ’s hostess and one of his first followers. Her popular appeal, however, stems less from her biblical role, than from her position in medieval legend. In the Middle Ages, Martha is reinvented as a Gallic saint whose most celebrated feat is taming a dragon. It is this legend that has often displaced Martha’s original role, both in text and in iconography. Unlike most depictions of female saints, Martha’s power derives from her soul, not from her body. The denial of corporeality as the source of holiness defies the traditional role of the mulier sancta. Martha, as depicted in the texts of the Middle Ages, is a holy person, not a holy vessel. In this article, I am positing a third ‘category’ of female saint: one not defined by her corporeality, that is, her virginity or her physical martyrdom, but by her character, which I claim is indicative of the influence of popular spirituality on the more formal teachings of the Christian church. (p. 1)

In short, there’s more to Martha than her cooking skills; keep in mind that while she was a householder, she was *not* a wife.  So don’t overdo it on the “housewife” thing.

There’s a famous painting by Diego Velazquez which puts into sharp contrast the experiences of Mary and Martha in the household.  Martha is in the kitchen – she’s sweaty from the work, her hands are chapped and rough from manual labor, her face is flushed from the heat, and to top it all off, her sister is not only not sharing the burden, she’s getting the privilege to sit at the feet of Christ and listen to his words, which Martha also desires.  Somebody has to feed the guests, and Christ’s words to Martha could very well sting anyone who gets stuck in the Cinderella role.  But I advise people to look long and hard at this painting and read the scriptures carefully and with open heart before asking St. Martha to dominate a wife.  Look at the look on her face.  I suggest you be of pure heart and clear conscience before you do the above rite.  This is, after all, a woman who’s said to have defeated a deadly dragon with prayer and immobilized it by binding it up in her apron or girdle strings.  Then she called on the villagers to descend on it and tear it apart limb from limb.

My 1956 Missal gives her feast day as July 29.  A novena leaflet that I have for her gives a prayer to her as follows:

St. Martha, I resort to thy protection and aid and as a proof of my affection and faith I offer this light which I shall burn every Tuesday. Comfort me in all my difficulties and through the great favor thou didst enjoy when the Savior was lodged in thy house,. Intercede for my family that we may always hold God in our hearts, and that we may be provided for in all our necessities, I ask, St. Martha, to overcome all difficulties as thou didst overcome the dragon at thy feet.

As a Novena, this prayer would be said for nine Tuesdays, along with the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.

In orthodox Roman Catholicism, she is the patron of dietitians, hemophiliacs, housewives, landlords, waitresses, servants, cooks, and women workers.  Will she help a man in any of these roles?  I have certainly known her to.  Her iconography often features keys, a broom, a ladle, and a dragon.

Catholic Online has a lovely summary of Martha’s role in scripture, which goes some way towards explaining why I’ve heard folks say she’s helped them with sibling issues in their family, like jealousy, or manipulative attention-grubbing, or rivalry.  I’ve also heard her called on by folks who are facing difficulties in managing their households, because of strife or poverty; along with St. Joseph, she is a wonderful ally if you have a lot of mouths to feed and you are running short of money and resources to take care of them all.

Cat at originalninjacat has a great post on St. Martha, which discusses the commonly-encountered belief that St. Martha doesn’t like men.  And Mama Star at oldstyleconjure discusses her work with St. Martha and gives instructions for a novena.

on the hyatt material, informant motivations, professional rootworkers and hoodoo suppliers

Recently, on a mailing list I subscribe to, there has been some discussion of whether the Hyatt informants wouldn’t sometimes deliberately mislead Hyatt by giving the spells slightly wrong so that they couldn’t be reproduced.  The thinking is that if they gave out the “real” spells or formulas, then “anyone could do it.”  Here is what I recently wrote on that matter.

This idea of “anyone could do it” discounts the fact that many of the rootworkers Hyatt interviewed believed they had a gift from God, a gift from an accident of birth, a special insight into human nature (e.g., Zorro the Mentalist – and he did, too!), or some other ability for any number of other reasons. It also discounts the fact that many of Hyatt’s informants were not “professionals.”

I personally would hesitate, as a student of the Hyatt material, to make judgments on the informants’ motivations based on an incomplete picture of the way that informant had of working in and being in the world. This is not to say that I personally haven’t had the sense that Hyatt was being teased here and there, because I certainly have, and I doubt I’m alone. But there are all kinds of seemingly contradictory things in old school conjure — take the recent discussion on St. Martha,* for instance, or the use of sulphur in an attraction spell. This doesn’t necessarily speak to an incoherent “system” or a worker deliberately misleading Hyatt — I can think of one, though I can’t tell you right now which volume it came from, who kept saying something along the lines of “you get this because you’re a man of God” to Hyatt. The idea that everybody was out to protect their trade secrets is really not a fair reading for many of the Hyatt informants. A ton of these informants are folks who heard something, who know some tricks, but have absolutely no reason to protect this information – because for them, in their neighborhoods, it was common knowledge (just COUNT the different versions of hotfoot recipes). And, just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean that a professional would never be called on because somebody knew the ingredients and steps – I mean, we could all change our oil in our cars if we decided to learn, but some people are better at this, have more practice at this, and have better materials and tools on hand for this than we do, so we tend to have those professionals do it, even for such mundane matters that can presumably be learned by anyone — NOT the case with rootwork in many workers’ purviews, this idea that “anybody can do it.” Take the informant from Vicksburg, MS who takes Hyatt to see a root doctor — Dr. Fargo — whom Hyatt describes as a “psychotherapist” and who owns his own druggist department and has a white horse that comes when you whistle. You can’t do what Dr. Fargo does, and I dont’ care how many tricks you read about.) So this idea that professionals are out to protect themselves in Hyatt material strikes me as way off the mark in more cases than not. (Here’s Hyatt in v. 3: “The lesser people we welcomed because they sometimes supplied a few excellent rites, and they were always valuable in flushing out the experts” (2227).)

These informants are giving material that is difficult to understand if one comes from an alien mindset, and many 20th century urban folks who come to this from other magickal traditions do in fact come from quite alien perspectives. Granted, we can’t really recreate a mindset and worldview from interviews, and we especially can’t if our only exposure to this material is from this list — we are only getting bits and pieces of a HUGE body of work, and it’s removed from many of us in time as well as culture. But IMO that’s all the more reason to withhold judgment — and that includes saying “I tried it and it didn’t work so it must be deliberate misinformation.” Which is the height of hubris, really, when you think about it.

I’m not trying to say every informant had the same motivation, by a long shot. Just that the mindset of “these are all great secrets that nobody would give up to the unwashed” can in many cases be an uneducated mindset. I mean, many of the spells “Nahnee the Boss of Algiers” gives are a little different from similar spells from other folks — but I would take a Nahnee trick to the bank any day, even if the spell instructed me to paint myself in whipped cream. Nahnee’s stuff is pretty hardcore. Whether or not it matches up just so with what you may have read elsewhere, her stuff indicates a coherence, a reflection of many years of practice and work, and I guarantee you any differences with her are differences for a reason. Yep, she recommends parsley for a “return to me” trick, and I know what a lot of folks think about parsley being a copout of an herb for rootwork, but I would not presume to “correct” Nahnee the Boss of Algiers. And if I tried a trick of hers and it didn’t work I would be grateful for the lesson.

Also in terms of motivation, we might consider that some of these informants (for instance, the Agent for Curios starting on p. 1075 in v. 2 ) had nothing to lose by giving out spells, because — as many of the spells we see, including those that have been posted to the list lately, highlight — the spells call for ingredients by brand name, and/or mention specific suppliers. If you’re in the supplier business, why NOT give out spells telling people what they need to use? Worst case scenario is they buy it from somebody else, best case is they buy it from you. Many of Hyatt’s informants were not professional rootworkers, and I think this “deliberate obfuscation” idea might come from a supposition that most of them *were* professionals. This is simply not the case. The times, they were a’changing, when Hyatt was interviewing.

* re. St. Martha – she is often called on to help women rule their roosts, so to speak, but there are cases where she is called on by men to control women, as well, to get them to tend to their household duties.

another trick for getting a job – st. anthony

St. Anthony is fo’ work. St. Anthony if yo’ wish tuh find lost articles or yo’ wanta git a job. All right, lak if yo’ got an idea of what person yo’ wanta work fo’,  yo’ git de name of dis person an’ yo’ write it three times. Put chure name straight across three times above his. Den yo’ take an’ you fold it three [demonstrates], make three folds lakdis – dis way, dat way, an’ yo’ turn it dat way.

(Fold it towards you.)
Dat’s right, always towards yo’.
(You fold it three times – when you begin to fold it, you fold it sideways three times.)
See, yo’ fold it lak dis [demonstrates].
(Once, twice, and the third time you fold it toward you.)
(You fold it twice sidewise like that?)
But not from you.
(And the third you fold it to you?)
Dat’s right.

Now, yo’ put dis in a small, any kind of bag or in any kind of a piece of cloth. Put it in yore right-foot shoe.

Now, dere’s a powder dat chew use – ah make it mahself, but ah git de ingredients from a druggist roun’ heah. Ah don’t know if he’ll give yo’ de ingredients or not. But anyway, ah git de ingredients from him an’ den ah mix it. Dere’s steel dust in it, dere’s cinnamon in it, dere’s powder of de cactus – powdered cactus.

Yo’ mix dose three ingredients together an’ yo’ put dat in yore shoe, jes’ a good pinch, an’ dat’s gonna bring yo’ all de success in de way of gittin’ a job dat chew want.

(Do you have any special name for that dust?)
Oh, yes. Ah call it luck for jobs – it’s a grayish-lookin’ dust.

(Well, now, does St. Anthony come into that any way?)
Yes, St. Anthony is de one – ah’m fixin’ tuh come tuh him about dat candle. Den yo’ git a brown candle. Yo’ light it befo’ St. Anthony an’ make yo’ promise, if yo’ git dis job, yo’ll give so much fo’ his bread fo’ de po’. Yo’ jes’ go an’ drap it in de church or somepin lak dat. An’ when yo’ git dis job, don’t fo’git tuh do dat.

Dat’s essential dat yo’ keep dat promise. Yo’ll see, yo’ git mo’ work den yo’ want.

(Do you use a brown candle for any special reason for St. Anthony?)
On ‘counts his brown habit.

– Algiers, LA, Madame Lindsey; Hyatt Vol 2, pp. 1503-1504

a shoe trick for getting a job

A recent email asks for ideas on finding work.  Here’s a trick for when you talk to the person who does the hiring (it would likely have to be adapted for use in a larger corporation or in a headhunting situation):

Get his name – you gotta get his name, the boss’ name. Write his name down nine times. Put cinnamon and sugar and put it in your left-foot shoe and walk to his door. If he don’t take you in three days, walk there in the ninth day and ask him for a job. Well, you got him under your feet, you got him wanting for you.

Hyatt Vol. 2, p 1408

The cinnamon and sugar are typical for sweetening and attracting work, the use of a shoe is typical for job hunting (as well as domination and a few other situations that don’t apply here), and the name paper is typical of all kinds of work.  So if you didn’t know the boss’s name, you could substitute "the person who does the hiring" or some such phrase, or the interviewer if you have to go through a few rounds of interviews to get to the person who does the hiring.

an unusual use of white cat hair in a breakup spell

There are plenty of spells in the Hyatt material that prescribe colors of materials based on the race of the person you’re working on.  In honey jar work, for instance, some practitioners say to use dark honey or syrup for a dark-skinned person and light syrup for a light skinned person (think the difference between light and dark Karo syrup).  Others say to vary the color of name papers depending on the target’s skin color, along the same lines.

This spell is the only one I’ve yet encountered (that doesn’t mean they’re not out there – just means I haven’t read everything!) that varies the color of animal curios used based on the person’s skin color.  Using black cat hair for various reasons is pretty common — using WHITE cat hair for the same purposes, only for a white target, is not so common.  

This is from Hyatt Vol.2, pp.1375-6.

Yo’ git de hair from a dog an’ a cat – dat’s tuh make confusement into a home, yo’ know, make people live disagreeable an’ fight.

Yo’ takes de hair from a dog – if it’s white people, yo’ take it from a white dog; an’ if it’s colored, yo’ take it from a jet black dog wit no mixed hair. Yo’ take it from right between de two ears from de back part of de haid, right between de two ears of de dog – yo’ clip de hair from it.

Yo’ take a black cat, if it’s colored people’ an’ if it’s white people, yo’ take a white cat. An’ yo’ take it [hair] right middleways of his back, from de cat – right middleways of de cat’s back, an’ from de dog yo’ take it right from between his two ears, yo’ take dat hair.

Now, yo’ take de names of dose parties dat chew wanta make a disturbment to live disagreeable. Yo’ take dere name an’ yo’ write dere names nine times – a white person, white papah an’ red ink; a colored person, brown papah an’ black ink. Yo’ write dere names nine times crossways of each othah.

Yo’ take dat dog hair an’ dat cat hair an’ yo’ takes disturbment powder, confusement powder, war powder an’ yo’ place all dat togethah.

Yo’ place dat into a bottle. See, if it’s a colored person, see, it be’s in a brown bottle. Yo’ stop it up. Fo’ a white person yo’ put it in a white bottle.

Yo’ stop dat up an’ yo’ place all dat an’ dese names into dis bottle an’ yo’ take dat bottle an’ yo’ bury it to sunrise – to anywhere evah, yo’ buries it, in a field or in a yard or anything.

Let it be in de cornah where de sun rise. Fo’ instance, if de sun rise dataway [demonstrates], it have tuh be in dis cornah of dat place wit dat upside down – dat is, wit de mouth down in de ground.

An’ dat party will jis’ fight an’ fuss an’ fret – jis’ lak a cat an’ a dog.

rattlesnake dust blinds enemies

"Rattlesnake rattles? Yo’ see a rattlesnake an’ yo’ goin’ shoot his head off – yo’ kill him jes’ so yo’ git de rattles.
Yo’ git dat rattle an’ yo’ take dat rattle an’ yo’ lay it up right in de sun – yo’ blind ’em wit de sun, right in de sun. Yo’ lay it up
dere fo’ nine days. By dat time why dat rattle in dere be gittin’ dusty. An’ yo’ jes’ take it down an’ jes’ open one of dose rattles, jes’ insert it, pack it all round in de band of dat hat – jes’ a ole work hat or dis work cap, somethin’ like dat, jes’ so it’s got a band in it.

When dey git down right an’ git tuh workin’ dere an’ it git hot, chew know, an’ git sweatin’, quite natural dey perspire run down a
person’s face. Well, now, in wipin’ dat off wit dat hans’cuff or dat rag, why dey git it into dey eyes. Now, dat blind ’em as a bat."

— Hyatt, Vol. 2, p. 1498

I find it amusing that people get so up at arms about poor little putty tats used as materia magica, but nobody ever complains about shooting rattlesnakes’ heads off just to get their rattles.  Don’t give me that "but cats are domestic and rattlesnakes are dangerous" response — yes, it’s true, but isn’t animal cruelty animal cruelty? (The working answer  for most people is, of course not, but this is the part of the debate that never gets aired and so often comes up instead only as an unexamined and deeply embedded assumption about the relative value of various kinds of animal life). 

I find it fascinating that the informant, "contact man Edwards’s landlady" in this case, says, "yo’ blind ’em wit de sun."  Wow.  Neat (the poetics of it – not the performance of it.  I can’t imagine actually being in a spot where I’d want to do this kind of work, but I really dig the language here, as well as the snapshot of the informant’s way of thinking about how this practice works).


a Hyatt spell for a “stuffed” black cat bone

Sometimes I get bones from people who have previously had the skeleton articulated and on display, so they’ll have little holes drilled into some of the joints. And then the way I learned to prepare and use these, they were always able to be worn on a necklace, so I used to drill holes in mine all the time.

Most folks don’t want a cat bone necklace these days, but many of my clients still prefer bones with little holes drilled in them so they can put herbs and oils inside the bone. Here is a spell from a Hyatt informant describing one such mixture of stuff you might put inside a black cat bone:

Vol.2, p.1358

“An’ now it’s a bone in his left hin’ laig – dat straight bone from de top part of de left hin’ laig – y’ git dat bone out of him [away]. But yo’ jes’ want dat bone out de left hin’ of de laig.

“An’ now, it’s a straight bone, yo’ see, an’ it has lak a little joint lak at de top. Now, yo’ take a knife or somepin an’ yo’ cut dat little joint off dat it has at de top. Yo’ see, yo’ cut it off round at de top.

“Now, into dat bone – yo’ stuff dat bone. Yo’ see it’s hollow on de inside of it. Yo’ take dat bone an’ yo’ stuff dat bone.
[Here is a new type of black cat bone {see pp.74-97) dressed or magically prepared {see p.92f.) by an expert. – Ed.]

“Yo’ git a powdah, yo’ understan’, whut dey call five-fingah grass, an’ yo’ stuff it into dis bone. Yo’ git steel dust an’ yo’ git dat genuine lodestone an’ see dat it be ‘live. An’ jis’ make it into dust, an’ put dat down into dat bone. Yo’ put all dat down into dat bone an’ yo’ take a piece of cotton – yo’ understan’, dis cotton dat chew use – an’ yo’ stuff de top of dat bone. Yo’ stuff dat aftah yo’ done stuff all de ingredients in dat boen – yo’ take a piece of cotton an’ yo’ stop it at de top, jis’ a piece of absorbant cotton. Yoo’ understan’?

“Now, yo’ keep dat, carry dat bone, an’ it must be concealed into a pocket, lak in a wallet or into somepin – jis’ keep it oil [oiled] – an’ it must be on yore person all de time. An’ nobody else must nevah touch dat bone but chew.”

(What is that lucky for, now?)

“Into any game, any kinda games, a crap game, or yo’ could go to a lottery game – any kinda game dat chew undertake tuh go into.”

[Algiers, LA; Informant #1583, Nahnee the “Boss of Algiers”]

egg container spell for peaceful home, from Waycross, GA

Hyatt Vol.2, p.1491

Well, now when a man an’ his wife is havin’ a great difficulty an’ he wants peace in his home. Well, now he jes’ git him one pinch of sulphur, one pinch of de lady’s track, an’ one pinch of his track.

(Either track?)

Yes sir.  An’ den now he’d break an egg, a fresh hen egg, an’ he’d open dat egg in a position where dere’d be jes’ only two parts; but he’ll place ’em [foot tracks and sulphur] inside of dat egg an’ den he’ll make a tie. He’ll tie it den wit dis wrappin’ thread dat’s been dipped in spirits of turpentine. Well, when he tie it, every time he make a tie why he calls her name. An’ den when he git it tied, why he’d bury hit. But be shore hit’s in de middle part of his house, underneath on de ground right in de middle of his room [making a quincunx – see p. 710]. In three days time he’ll see de results of dat.


I love container spells. especially container spells that use eggs and coconuts and the like.  I’m working on doping some eggs with Hot Foot and Goofer type of powders, but it’s proving insanely difficult.  I’ll keep y’all posted.