Hoodoo Rootworker’s Seven-Way Rosary Chaplet – SOLD

Available through Seraphin Station, this rosary is handmade with a mix of pressed glass and Czech glass beads, each decade being separately attached to the center ring — a finger rosary — and embellished with a focal Pater bead of pressed glass, Czech glass, or in one case recycled sandcast glass. Whether you want to see this as a charm collection on a charm hanger displaying seven individual chaplets or single-decade rosaries, or as a sort of deconstructed All Saints’ rosary for contemporary rootworkers, this is a striking and unusual piece created by a rootworker with over 35 years of experience working with the roots, rosaries, and these saints in the folk Catholic tradition.

Large, sturdy, colored aluminum jump rings connect each decade to the center ring, so it’s possible, should you ever want to, to remove the individual decades and treat them as separate single-decade chaplets. This could be useful if you are working intensively with one or some but not all of these saints or if you’re traveling and need to cut down on how much spiritual stuff you’re lugging around.

Saints are chosen for their importance in the spiritual landscape of deep South hoodoo rootwork, with an eye towards popularity and contemporary usage (in the sense that while 100 years ago, St. Dymphna was probably not petitioned so often in conjure, today she is an enormously popular saint invoked by folks from all kinds of backgrounds and in all kinds of folk belief contexts. So she’s here!)

It’s made with strands or decades for the following:

  • St. Gerard, patron of pregnancy and childbirth in the Catholic tradition, also represents Baron Samedi of Haitian vodou in some houses and temples. He is the patron of communication with the ancestors and the dead. On the other side of this medal is Our Lady of Perpetual Help pictured with Christ and the angels Michael and Gabriel. OL of Perpetual Help is called on for all kinds of things – in hoodoo in my region, it’s often against sickness, income uncertainty, hunger, and unstable households. She’s known to help with all of those things. She’s also associated in some houses and temples with the lwa Erzulie Danto.
  • St. Lazarus is the patron saint of lepers and against leprosy, and by extension against plague and pandemic in contemporary practice. He’s also sometimes invoked by beggars, the homeless, people with HIV/AIDS, people with Hansen’s disease, and those who have unusually close relationships with dogs. He represents the lwa Legba, the patron of Yoruban divination and master of the crossroads, in many temples and houses, so he’s a powerful ally in road opening work.
  • St. Expedite is the patron saint invoked for fast luck, for help breaking through obstacles, for help with procrastination, and, increasingly, in desperate cases, much like St. Jude. He’s also the patron of computer programmers. In some regions and in some houses, he’s associated with the Ghuede lwa who rule the crossroads between life and death, esp. Baron Samedi.
  • St. Jude, the patron invoked for hopeless causes, is also called on more generally in conjure for financial prosperity and stability and is a good ally for those whose livelihoods involve working with emotional clients/customers and whose incomes can fluctuate for a host of reasons.
  • St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, children, and boat captains, invoked for safe travel. In some houses in New Orleans Voodoo, in which Santeria has had a noticeable influence, he is associated with the orisha Agayu. He presents his devotees with difficult obstacles but also grants them the inner power to overcome those trials and grow strong enough to carry all burdens.
  • St. Philomena is widely considered a miracle worker invoked by devotees for all kinds of things when other measures have failed. She’s the patron of babies and children and is considered the patroness of the living rosary. In some houses and temples, she is a lwa in her own right, seen as a helpful and pleasant spirit who helps those who make their livings as market sellers, removes negativity and evil from the surroundings, and grants the ability to have prophetic dreams.
  • St. Joseph is the patron saint of happy death, carpenters, stepfathers, and workers more generally, invoked in all kinds of situations to do with the financial wellbeing of a family and/or household, but especially petitioned by those seeking employment. He’s also called on by folks who need to sell their house. He’s associated with the lwa Papa Loko, the originary houngan and healer. St. Dymphna is on the reverse side of this medal. She is widely invoked against mental illness, anxiety, and depression, and she’s the patron of incest survivors and teenage runaways.

Some of these associations vary by region and the religious background of the practitioner, so I don’t mean to imply here that most modern rootworkers work with St. Gerard because of his association with a particular lwa in Haitian sevis. Most rootworkers do no such thing. Hoodoo and vodou are of course two distinct traditions, the former being folk magic and the latter being a religion. In Louisiana, though, especially New Orleans and surrounding areas, there is a strain of practice where the two are often blended to a greater extent than elsewhere as a result of the city’s unique history.

Continue reading “Hoodoo Rootworker’s Seven-Way Rosary Chaplet – SOLD”

July feast days

I have been insanely busy this month, but I need to do some saints’ shout-outs.

I’m late for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, for which I owed her a bouquet of expensive damned roses and a 5X6 scapular (you can find ANYTHING on ebay)  — her feast day was July 16.  She is one of the faces of the loa Erzulie Dantor.

July 22 was the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, about whom the Renaissance poet Richard Crashaw wrote some truly bizarre poetry.

Today, July 25, is the feast of St. James the Apostle.  He is sometimes called St. James the Greater as a mark of his apostleship preceding that of the other apostle he shared a name with.  St. James shares this feast day with St. Christopher, patron saint of travel.

Pre-Vatican II prayer to St. James: “Be Thou, O Lord, the Sanctifier and Guardian of Thy people, so that, defended by the protection of Thy Apostle James, they may praise Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.”  Some houses and temples use images of St. James to honor the loa Ogoun; some, however, use St. James Minor, and others use Saint Peter or one of the warrior saints.

Prayer to St. Christopher: “Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that, celebrating the heavenly birthday of Blessed Christopher, Thy Martyr, we may, by his intercession, be strengthened in the love of Thy name.” 

Tomorrow, July 26, is the feast of St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.  Prayer: “O God, Who didst deign to bestow upon Blessed Anne such grace, that she was found worthy to become the mother of her who brought forth Thy Only-begotten Son, mercifully grant, that we, who celebrate her feast, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.”  “Thou has loved justice, and hated iniquity.  Therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness.” (Ps 44, 8)  “Grace is poured abroad in they lips: therefore has God blessed thee forever.” (Ps 44, 3)  “The daughters of the king are in thy honor, the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.” (Ps 44, 10).

July 29 is the feast of St. Martha, the sister of Mary Magdalene.  St. Martha is often called on by voudouisants who serve La Sirene.  Rootworkers call on her to dominate men and employers.

July 31st is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  I don’t know that he’s used much in rootwork or vodoun, but his meditation practices inspired some really interesting Renaissance and Baroque poetry.