Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hoodoo and The Bible

I said once I put the “Working With The Bible” book out I wasn’t going to say anything else about the Bible in Hoodoo. Well I lied to myself. I can’t speak for the folks in Africa because I have never been there although I did have a lady come all the way from Africa to learn from me; she stayed the whole weekend with me. I ask her about this type of work over there and she told me that if you got caught doing this work where she is from you could be stoned by the people and even run out of town. If it is a lie she is the one that told it. Then you have all these folks on-line saying they went to Africa and learned this and that so I’m not sure who to believe. One thing I do know is that the Bible is part of Hoodoo/Conjure maybe not in what folks are calling New Orleans Hoodoo but it is in Southern Conjure.

I don’t dispute the fact that when the ancestors were stolen from Africa they were not Christian. I’m sure they weren’t; but I know my history of the South. I was raised on it. This was a whole new world to them. Different language, different food, different clothes, different houses, DIFFERENT ROOTS AND HERBS, everything in this new world of horror was different. The only thing that couldn’t be taken from them was their KNOWLEDGE! It is obvious that they held on to some of their knowledge because we still practice conjure today; but let's be honest just for a minute. Let’s go back in time and take a look at the real horror these great Ancestors who endured a brutality not many could survive.

When they were captured they were chained in the bottom of the ship, they were allowed to wash when the body odor became so bad the sailors couldn’t stand the smell any longer. My dogs are kept better than these Ancestors were. Then once they reached the Carolina’s that wasn’t much better. They were stood up on platforms and inspected the way you would cattle. They checked their teeth, privates and God only knows what else was done to them. Then they were sold. They became the property of another human and “I question that the human part”. So woo hoo we be home! If you believe that then you better go read your history books.

They had no homes, they lived in shacks. They were abused and treated less than animals; so do you REALLY believe they were allowed to keep their religion. They would have been looked at as devils or witches; if they would have lived after those Christians “I use the term lightly” got done with them. Unless you have lived in the South you really can’t comprehend how it really is. I’m talking about Georgia on up to the Carolina’s; even today in 2012 it’s a whole different world than the rest of the U.S..  I will never believe that they were allowed to have their religious ceremonies amongst their Christian owners. They were smarter than their owners gave them credit and brought Christianity into the work or hid the work inside of Christianity. Hoodoo is a lot more than what some see as spell work. There are remedies and such that go along with the work; it is a way of life. It is not only about the work. If you try to remove the Bible out of Hoodoo/Conjure then you are NOT doing Southern Conjure work. You can’t separate the two because our Ancestors hid the work in Christianity. I can’t speak for New Orleans Voodoo/Hoodoo which folks see as the same thing or that they interchange it but I stand firm about Southern Hoodoo/Conjure.

I don’t claim to know it all nor do I claim to have a bunch of PHD’s next to my name; I have something that money can’t buy! The knowledge that has been handed down through my family and my elders. So if you don’t want to include the Bible in Conjure then move your ass onto something that fits your style! Momma Starr


  1. What annoys me the most about some of these claims is that some so-called "experts" in the ATRs are making claims that in Africa the traditions are 'pure' and you won't find Christianity in traditional spiritual practices unlike conjure practiced by American blacks, southern whites, and other groups.

    Well I'm here to tell y'all that's a lie. I've been to Africa (S. Africa to be specific) and I can tell you that even there the God and the Bible is a part of the work. Recently my momma told me about how back at home (South Africa) they used to make little flannel packets using red or white cotton and fill them with herbs. They wore these packets around their neck for protection and to help with different problems. This is conjure work on the African continent. Yes the herbs are different but the works are still the same.

    My aunt who comes from a long line of sangomas (traditional healers) is a Christian. All of her ancestors are Christian. I am not in any way, shape, or form diminishing the importance of what some might call traditional practices but I am clearly stating that most practitioners of African spiritual practices tend to be Christian if not Muslim.

  2. @ Dr. Lovebug,

    One of my teachers told me that her momma always made her wear bags around her neck. Usually they were for protection or for warding off sickness. They usually had asofoetida in them, which stinks and she hated it. I've never heard of anybody online talk about wearing a mojo around your neck but lots of old-school workers do that.

  3. Its not talked about because there are very few old workers on line. Like medicine bottles there are only a few who work withthem and talk about them on line. There is a lot that isn't talked about on-line that concerns traditional conjure. Momma Starr