The Spellery Vol 5 July 2015 - Page 20

Hoodoo is a Practice, not a recognized religion. Wicca is a recognized religion that worships the Goddess and has associated formalized ceremonial rituals. Although Hoodoo is a practice, it may invoke the assistance of faith and spirits. Most traditional Hoodoo practitioners invoke the Power of the God in their practice through the Book of Psalms and other Biblical passages.

Hoodoo can be described as conjure, root doctoring or rootwork and is most active in the Southern and the Appalachia regions of the United States, although it has spread. Hoodoo roots can be found with the African slaves who had used traditional African plants, roots, and curios to perform their healing and ritual work. Forced into a new world, familiar plants and roots were not available; so they found new plants and roots from sources of herbal and root folk-medicine practiced by residents of Appalachia and the Native Americans as well as incorporating European spiritual beliefs .Hoodoo is an evolving practice, but the original purpose was for African American slaves to access supernatural powers to bring positive changes including health, love, luck, power, and success. Ancestral and contact with other spirits is often practiced in conjure and Hoodoo may use “curios” such as minerals, zoological items, and bodily fluids. Hoodoo can be practiced by anyone of faith due to its emphasis on harnessing spiritual power to alter outcomes.

Wicca originated in the early 20th century, where it developed among covens in England who were basing their religious beliefs and practices upon what they read of historical Witch Practice. The writings of Margaret Murray figured

prominently. Wicca popularized in the 1950s by several individuals who had been initiated into Wicca. For many years, Wicca was viewed as a cult. With increasing solitary among Wiccan practitioners, the faith went from a “cult” to becoming a public religion. In the United States, a court case in 1986 established that Wicca was a religion, and should be treated as such under the eyes of the law.

Back to the original question of whether Wicca and Hoodoo can co-exist. I say yes, they can. I bring some aspects of Wicca into my practice of Hoodoo, including moon phases, the power of the natural environment and petitioning a male and a FEMALE “deity duality”. The Native Americans also recognized universal duality and worshiped both the masculine and feminine: The Great Spirit and Mother Earth. The crux is the Wiccan Rede: “An' it harm none, do what ye will”. Another element of Wicca is the Law of Threefold Return, which means that whatever is done to another person or thing returns to the one who cast with triple force.

The Rede is where many other pagan religions and practices depart from Wicca. Many practices use magic to cause harm or violate free will. In my Hoodoo practice, through intuitive wisdom, I recognize that violation of another’s free will may be necessary under very selective circumstances. I do not subscribe to the Law of Three-fold Return, as most of us Hoodoo practioners only use “harmful” conjure with due cause.

What constitutes “due cause”? I may do a binding conjure if someone is trying to harm an innocent. Am I violating the free will of the person who is doing the harm? Yes! Is it justifiable? Yes. Other examples include a separation conjure to cause a couple to separate. Again, the cause must be justifiable and never jealousy or anger-based. If someone petitions to break up a committed couple due to coveting one of the individuals for themselves, that is NOT justifiable. I will, however, perform a separation conjure if there is abuse or one spouse steps out and is about to break up an intact family. I may conjure to banish negative energies or people from a just person’s life. I have no problem with using banishing conjures against bullies and psychic vampires. So am I violating the free-will of a bully? Yes! Justifiable? In my belief, yes.

Can Wiccans and Hoodoo Practitioners Coexist?

By Anne McCain