Ever thought to yourself something along the line of: "Well, what the heck DOES 'Eye of Newt' look like anyway???" This section deals with those items you won't find in Isle 9 of the local grocery store.
The Magick I've practiced since the sixth grade encompasses many avenues. I've always stated I was an eclectic solitary practitioner, thus Gypsy Magick and Hoodoo are some of the many factions that I utilize in my Magick. HooDoo is NOT the same practice as VooDoo. I got involved in VooDoo (6th grade) when I was too young to understand Karma or negativity, and as a child I used it when I was desperate to escape an unbearable, abusive environment. I learned better as I grew, including coming 'out of the closet' regarding my religion. This page contains items that didn't neatly fall under "herbs" or other areas in this website. May I add a personal note here: it really irritates me that the public at large has an incorrect myth being passed around regarding the term "Mojo". Mojo does NOT refer to the penis or any part of the male anatomy. Cecil Adams, author of "The Straight Dope" series was partly responsible for this misconception. What a dope.....
**I apologize for the quality of these scans. Everytime I closed the scanner lid the sheet I covered the items with would wrinkle up, and because they are small, multiple pieces it was hard to straighten the sheet and not scatter roots or berries everywhere.
Beth Root is used to return evil spells to their source and to remove hexes. Many practitioners of Hoodoo carry Bethroot in their mojos as a source of protection, for it is a powerful ally in mirroring negative energy back to its source.
A somewhat rare root from the Viburnum family, also known as cramp bark. If used in spell work try to attain the roots as whole as possible, not chopped chips because many spells call for even sized pieces in numbers of nine. Devil's Shoestring is used for protection, luck, money, and gambling charms. It is said to ward off evil. Gamblers carry it as a good luck charm. Some carry it while seeking employment.
High John the Conqueror Root:
Don't confuse this root with Chewing John (which is Alpina Galanga) or Low John (which is Trillium). True High John is "Ipomoea Jalapa", a member of the Morning Glory family. This is a very powerful root that many use for drawing money and luck, especially at games of chance. Some gamblers boil the root and wash their hands in it before gambling. Some use it to enhance sexual power. On the negative side, High John is a powerful tool if used in controlling spells in conjuntion with Controlling or Drive and Bind Oils. (see our spells section in the Cauldron page)
Jezebel Root is a powerful root. Jezebel Root is used in success spellwork. Its also used to attract money and fortune. On the other hand it is well known as a powerful cursing herb when used in the negative vein.
Job's Tears are great for drawing luck, blessings, and wishes. Most spells call for using three or seven depending on your intent. Carry three when seeking employment and they can help you find a good job. Carry seven in a sachet, charm, or mojo bag for good fortune and to make wishes come true. Native Americans used Job's Tears long before the white man ever discovered them. They can be strung as a Magickal necklace if left in the shell (as pictured here).
Lotus Pods are well known for their use in love spells. They are also used for protection and blessings from dieties. On the other hand they can be used as an antidote to love spells. Many grace their altars with either fresh or dried Lotus Pods as a decoration. If you look carefully you can see the actual seeds peeping out from the holes in the pods in this picture. This scan shows both the frontal view and a side view of the pods.
Lucky Hand Root
One of the most sought after roots in Magick, Lucky Hand Root is used for success, luck, employment, gambling, safety during travel, and money drawing. I am still researching conflicting data as to its origin. One source claims its the root of an orchid in the Dactylorhiza species, yet another source affirms it comes from the male fern Dryopteris Filix-Mas. I will update this section as soon as I am absolutely sure my data is correct. It got its name because it resembles a small hand with fingers. Its sometimes called Salep or Five-finger root (not to be confused with Five Finger Grass...not the same plant at all).
Rattlesnake Root is used for protection, love, success, and drawing money. It offers protection from those trying to harm you. It is said that rubbing an infusion of it on your hands and feet will lead you to money. A bath or rinse water of Rattlesnake Root is used for clothing to offer protection against those who would harm you.
Saw Palmetto Berries:
Saw Palmetto is a member of the Sabal Palm family (Serenoa repens). Saw Palmetto Berries have a wide variety of usage. Some religions use them as money and good fortune attractors and include them in charms and mojos. In other sects they are used as a healing herb and are carried in sachets or burned as incense. Saw Palmetto is a growing agribusiness in my area now due to its medicinal healing affects on the prostrate. **Caution** If you wildcraft these berries be very careful, Palmetto thickets are a favorite place for the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake to take shelter.
Sharks' Teeth are renowned for adding power to any spell, charm or mojo. They work along the same level as Dragon's Blood in that they have a power all their own, and adding them to your workings boosts its strength. The picture you see here is a very large Shark's Tooth that belonged to my Father. Its chipped on one edge due to wear because he carried it for over 50 years. He always carried this tooth and a lucky Buckeye in his pocket. Its very large and fills the palm of my hand (I am only 5'2" tall so my hands are rather small). This tooth, his Buckeye, and his trusty pocket knife are keepsakes I took from his pocket in the ER room the day he suddenly died of a massive heart attack (he'd never been sick).
Star Anise can be used in four ways. The whole pods can be carried as good luck charms. The seeds are burned as incense to bring clairvoyance. They can be used to make herbal pendulums. Some string them to create a Magickal necklace. If you intend on carrying Star Anise as a charm, the challange is finding the "stars" intact because they are very brittle. Herbalist that I am, I've collected some seeds from the pods and am going to attempt growing them (if the seeds weren't subjected to heat or chemical treatment I should have spouts soon).
Witches Burr Pods are actually the empty seed pods of the American Sweet Gum tree. They are used to add power to any spell, mojo, or Magickal working. So many Magickal shops and sites make a big deal of creating an aura of "mystery" about this item I decided to let the cat out of the bag and explain what it really is. The Sweet Gum tree is very common in many states in America, and these pods are easily gathered as they fall to the ground. (Why pay $1.00 a piece for them at places like Amphigory.com when you can wildcraft your own? They are nature's discards...)
Wood Rose is another Magickal item blanketed in mystique that is actually a common botanical in many areas. Amphigory.com states: " Wood Rose gives great occult power to anyone who owns one." They charge $8.00 a piece for them. I can thank LadyDragon for playing sleuth on this one. She and I were discussing "what exactly IS a Wood Rose???" I sure as heck had never seen one. Well, I ordered two (expensive learning experience) and when LD saw them she cracked up. It turns out the Wood Rose is simply the tip of the pine cone of the Grand Fir Tree. (Creative Marketing?)