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”

St. Dymphna + update on 2015 record-sorting/reparations

If you’re just here for the hoodoo, there’s a new post about St. Dymphna up at the Seraphin Station site with links to prayers/novenas and some other sources and resources.

st dymphna medal (4)
Currently available at Etsy.

St. Dymphna these days is called on for a lot more than just anxiety and psychological disturbances. She’s become one of those saints like St. Jude who is called on when shit really hits the fan and things seem impossible. So she’s increasingly one of those “patrons of lost causes.”

This is pretty timely for me. This afternoon, I finally managed to download transaction reports for the entire year of 2015. Haven’t managed to get the raw reports into any usable form yet, but that’s one more tiny piece of the puzzle at any rate.

See, in 2015, I largely relied on Paypal to keep my records. Everything was associated with a transaction, and anything hitting my email account got labeled/filed and marked/moved around as appropriate, and stuff in-house lived in hardcopy until it got a shipping label. I had half a dozen different assistants over 2014-2015, and that definitely contributed to the records being in chaos, but at the end of the day, I was sure I could sort anything out ultimately because of Paypal. It was simple to pull up an order someone had placed and see if it had been shipped or not, ’cause it would have the shipping label payment transaction associated with it, whether it was shipped from Paypal or from my USPS account, which was funded by Paypal.

Yeah, it doesn’t work like that anymore.

Continue reading “St. Dymphna + update on 2015 record-sorting/reparations”

new jewelry

Ss. Dymphna and Peregrine necklace
Continue reading “new jewelry”

new jewelry

Continue reading “new jewelry”

rosaries, chaplets, malas, and prayer beads (subtitled, something to offend just about everyone)

A customer writes to ask how folks use voodoo rosaries – are you supposed to just pray a regular rosary with them, like with Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be?

Now, as far as I know, there was no such thing as specifically voodoo rosaries before I started making them.  I started making them because I wanted some and couldn’t find such a thing.  There are voodoo rosaries out there now, besides mine, from sellers who have apparently been inspired by my work, and I choose to take this as flattering.  But I bring all this up because, as these are something of an innovation, there is definitely no "one true way" to "say" or use a voodoo rosary.

Continue reading “rosaries, chaplets, malas, and prayer beads (subtitled, something to offend just about everyone)”

May Saints days

I fell down on the job with the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1, which all you vodouisants probably already knew.  He is considered a patron of fathers, of carpenters, of workers, and of social justice.

May 15 was the feast of St. Dymphna.  St. Dymphna is very popular with Roman Catholics as a saint to invoke for cases of madness and epilepsy.  She was said to have lived in the 7th century in Ireland and fled to Gheel with her confessor from a very troubled home life. She was caught and beheaded by her father, a pagan chieftan who thought incest was just fine.  Epileptics, the insane, and the possessed have been cured at her tomb.  Some folks call on her for protection and healing for those threatened by or who have survived incest.

May 25 is the feast of the Venerable Bede.  The Venerable Bede is not wildly popular in folk Catholic tradition.  I mention him because my day job has a lot to do with English literature and I’m particularly interested in Anglo-Saxon literature, so the Venerable Bede is an important figure to me.  I recommend that writers, teachers, translators, and historians call on him for patronage.

The 27th is the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury.  He was the first Archbishop of Canterbury and the so-called “Apostle of the English.”  Pope Gregory sent him to evangelize to the English in 596. Again, historically important but not frequently called on in the folk tradition, but I can’t let the 27th slide without mentioning him!