Some conjure men and woman used this 18th century book to help them create magic rings
Typical catalogue sales. Suppliers were careful to specify that items were sold as "curious" rather than as cures, fortune telling, spells, or magic of any kind.
Click on the book cover to see my review:
Mojo Bag- A type of talisman which takes the form of a small flannel drawstring bag containing an assortment of animal, vegetable, and/or mineral curios believed to attract or dispel certain influences. - Carolina Conjure
This is a very thorough, readable and well-illustrated reference to the traditionally large and widespread practice of selling hoodoo, Voodoo and other spiritual supplies via mail order, web sites, and retail stores. The book begins with a compact description about the origins of hoodoo and charms--one of the best descriptions I've seen--and then goes on to discuss the nature of selling charms, herbal mixtures and other supplies by mail. The book includes a list of current (as of the publication date) merchants that were in business along with their histories.
Hoodoo and Balance
To varying degrees, many spiritual belief systems from organized religions to so-called pagan and craft practices advocate balance. When life is balanced, people feel better, are happier, enjoy more success, and find much positive synchronicity in the people they meet, the opportunities that arise, and the smooth and seamless way plans and projects unfold.
When life is unbalanced, people are more likely to experience ailments and accidents, are often unhappy, and find that even the easier plans and projects become stubbornly difficult to accomplish.
Hoodoo--often called conjure or folk magic--has a similar focus. Hoodoo differs from Voodoo in that it is not a religion. However, many practitioners are very devout and believe the outlook of their Protestant (and sometimes Catholic) denominations are wholly compatible with conjure.
Hoodoo's ancient basis stems from the traditional religions of central Africa now governed by Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Cabinda, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The region and culture were often referred to as Kongo and this is probably the strongest African influence in hoodoo.
According to Carolyn Long ("Spiritual Merchants"), "In traditional African thought, the goal of human endeavor was to achieve balance. Human beings were believed to come into the world poor and good and to defile themselves by acts that offended the community, the deities, or the ancestors, thereby upsetting spiritual balance."
Hoodoo subsequently absorbed parts of other systems with similar beliefs, including healing through the use of native plants, from folk Christianity, various Celtic and craft approaches, mainstream Christian and Jewish thought (including mysticism), and Native American practices.
As with the culture called Kongo, many of the integrated spiritual/healing practices came from other groups who also believed in a supreme being whose power and wisdom filtered down to individuals working to maintain or achieve balance and harmony in their lives and the lives of others in the community.
paperback, audiobook and e-book editions available at major online booksellers
Aunt Sally's Policy Players Dream Book, which was first published in 1889 and can still be found on Amazon, lists objects out of dreams in alphabetical order along with dream interpretations and lucky numbers that were used in policy gambling.
The spells, techniques and herbal information in the two Florida novels are all based closely on those used by former or current root doctors. They are presented as part of a story and are not intended as advice or remedies for readers.
Hoodoo is a traditional form of folk magic and is in no way presented in Conjure Woman's Cat and Eulalie and Washerwoman as fantasy because that would be disrespectful of those who have spent their lives studying and perfecting their craft.