Ashes

Lets start our first practical post with something not often mentioned in online conjure forums: Ashes.

When you think of ashes, several things likely spring to mind: Fire, distruction, endings, etc. While it’s true that fire can be used to neutralize tricks used against you, ashes are more than the result of destruction, made right they can concentrated the essence of what you’re working.

A great example of this comes when you’re doing work on someone else, but don’t have a personal concern. You can write their name on a piece of paper, burn it, fold the ashes into another piece of paper with their name written on it, burn that, fold those ashes into a third piece of paper with their name written on it, burn that… and you’ve got a concentrated name that doubles as a personal concern!

Taken to another level, you can do the same with a name paper. Load it with herbs, burn it, repeat that, and load another copy of that name paper with the ashes of the previous two.

Yet again, these ashes don’t function in a destructive way, rather they act as concentrating that essence to make it stronger.

Lastly, another excellent use for ash is in powders and dirts. If you’ve got a powder you’re putting together and you want to add some oomph, hand write a psalm or prayer applicable to the situation, burn it, and add those ashes to the powder to amp it up.

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Ancestors

The Cave of Night

Today (well, yesterday now, thanks to me taking too long to post – good going, Ag) is supposed to be the first day that the Pagan Blog Project goes down. I registered as a PBP blogger (#35 in this list), and I spent most of the last several days trying to figure out what I wanted to post about that started with A. Be grateful I didn’t subject you to an exposition on why my name is Agriakosos! (Agi will do fine, thank you very much.)

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there wasn’t any other “A word” I could start with besides one:

ancestors

Everything we are, everything we do, involves ancestors. Even if we don’t want to acknowledge them (maybe they were cruel to us in life? maybe we’re adopted and we don’t even know who they are?), they are out there…

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About/Ancestors

ABOUT

Since I’m starting this, I figure I might as well give a little bit about who I am and why I’ve gotten hooked on Rootwork. I’m also going to be including (since it’s my first official post) a bit about the most important spirits you can work with, your Ancestors.

My name is Paul, I live in northern Georgia, and I’ve been intensively studying Rootwork for about a year and a half. Previous to that, I’d been working in several neo-pagan traditions but hadn’t been satisfied with what I was experiencing. The magic was too random, the focus too European. I wanted something that was connected to the land I was living in, something that was well structured, and through a friend I stumbled into Conjure.

My first work wasn’t much. I put together a rather primitive mojo, and along with some candle work landed a job that was entirely too high level for my experience. While the results of that work were not to my best benefit, the fact that I had obtained them blew me away. I was hooked.

I continued my studies, diving into the material offered by Lucky Mojo, the knowledge provided by experienced workers on several Facebook groups (Eddy Gutierrez of ConjureDoctor.com, Ames Hall of Skullbone-Emporium.com, Bozanfè Bon Oungan of KCConjure.com, and many others) and the nudges sent by my spirits. I’ve been slowly working on creating a relationship with the Christian aspects of Rootwork, and strive to make my practice as traditional as possible. Due to my do-it-yourself nature, I have worked hard to create my own products, and have successfully created formulas for almost all conditions addressed by Rootwork. I’m excited to see where this path leads me in the future, and absolutely can’t wait to get there!

ANCESTORS

The heart of Conjure is working with spirits. Spirits of plants, animals, minerals, and places. Through all of those, the most important, the most loyal and dependable are your Ancestors. The spirits of your family have a vested interest in your success, as you are the continuation of their work on Earth, and either spiritually or physically their descendant. Conjure’s view of the dead and the ancestors is distinctly different from the European view. Our ancestors are seen as being all around us, and as (for the most part) not something to be feared. We are their blood, and they want to help us succeed in our dreams and protect us from harm.

Setting up a table for your ancestors is one of the most simple and most rewarding acts you can do as a worker. To start out with, make sure you can set a place aside as distinctly theirs. This can be a portion of a mantle, a shelf, or even a small table. Clean it, and pray over it, letting the spirits know why this is being set aside. Put a nice cloth down (I prefer white), set out a glass of water, light a white candle, and call to your ancestors. If you don’t know many of their names, that is perfectly fine. Say the ones you do know and follow that with “and all those known and unknown”. That, at it’s base, is the minimum you need to start working with your ancestors. From that point, pray for your ancestors upliftment, that they have light and refreshment, and start talking to them. Tell them your troubles, tell them about your day, tell them about the funny thing your kid did. Make them coffee. Give them their favorite meals, drinks, and cigarettes. As you progress, you can add things to your altar. This can include pictures, objects that they owned, dirt from their graves, prayer cards, and more. One thing I’m working on now, assisted by Ancestry.com, is a book of names and a family tree.

Ancestors

An earlier version of my Ancestor Altar.

Most of all, don’t forget to pray. This is your family. This is your strength. They will always be with you, they will forgive you for your mistakes, and will strive to assist you in all your endeavors because they are family.

Pagan Blog Project 2014

PBP2014a

Let’s do this! The Pagan Blog Project is, in their words, “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing your spiritual and magical path. The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on your blog each Friday for the year of 2014 that will involve a topic that relates to Paganism, Witchcraft, magic, spirituality, and so on.”

It’s been a good long while since I’ve actually sat and wrote anything down about my spirituality. I tend to approach it in a very… conversational sense, so writing isn’t hugely in my nature. I’d love to change this, so I’m talking myself into this project. As the challenge here is to have a post a week, working our way through to the next letter in the alphabet every two weeks, I figure I’m going to divvy them up. The first post will be concerning a practice, philosophy, or a bit of history about hoodoo/conjure/rootwork, and the second will (as much as possible) concern the use of an herb or curio within conjure. I’m looking forward to it, and can’t wait to see where this goes!