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Bluestone is frequently encountered as an ingredient in mojo hands made by African-American hoodoo doctors, especially those for gamblers' luck and protection from evil. It is sometimes mentioned in old recipes for floor wash used by spiritualists to purify the home in the interest of keeping out evil spirits. Also known as blue vitriol, Salzburg vitriol, Roman vitriol, and blue copperas, bluestone is actually copper sulphate, a naturally occurring odorless crystalline substance that is electric blue in colour, highly toxic, and NOT SAFE to work with. It is used as a fungicide in agriculture, which is why rural people had it easily to hand; the old-fashioned pesticide called Bordeaux Mixture is a combination of hydrated lime and copper sulfate. When i say bluestone is NOT SAFE, i mean just that! At the end of this page you will find warnings and usage guidelines for copper sulphate excerpted from Cornell University's very useful web page on pesticides.

Reckiit's Crown Blue has been available worldwide since the 1890s and so for most of the 20th century, root doctors, hoodoo practitioners, and spiritualists who wanted to work with the blue colour of copper while avoiding toxic side-effects found it easier to utilize crystalized or liquid laundry blueing such as Reckitt's Crown Blue, Mrs. Stewart's liquid blueing, or the hand-made blue anil balls, shown here. Any of these products can safely take the place of copper sulphate; they typically consist of washing soda coloured with a dye called synthetic ultramarine.

Some hoodoo and spiritist protection spells call for "blue water" to keep a residence clear of evil spirits. This use of blue water seems to derive from Mediterranean beliefs, in which both the colour blue and liquids such as water are used to keep away and to cure the damage done by the evil eye. Blue water should NOT be made from bluestone, especially if it is to be used for ritual hand-washing or sprinkling. Only laundry blueing should be used for this.

In short, the blue colour of copper sulphate can be safely duplicated in the form of syntehtic ultramarine laundry blueing and, in the interest of health, i would recommend that any time you see an old magical spell that calls for bluestone, you substitute liquid blueing, Reckitt's Crown Blue, or blue anil balls. The latter are particularly versatile: the small balls can be carried with herbs or roots in a mojo bag, and the large ones are easy to dissolve in water to set out in pans around a location to keep away evil, or made into a purifying floor wash.

Order Blue Anil Balls from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Order Reckitt's Crown Blue from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

The following documentation on bluestone comes from "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4766-page collection of folkloric material gathered by Harry Middleton Hyatt, primarily between 1935 and 1939.

IMPORTANT: If this is the first time you have encountered Hyatt material
at this web site, please take a moment to open and read the supplementary page called
"Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork" by Harry Middleton Hyatt.


13000. Take bluestone an' alum an' make a -- an' take nine silver dimes an' sew it up together, an' maybe yo' go, any kind of game yo' play, yo'll win all de money dey have.

(What do you sew that in?)

Red flannel.

[Waycross, Ga. (1134), 1842:9.]


excerpts from Cornell University Page: Pesticide Information Profile

... The warning signal "DANGER" must appear on the labels of all copper sulfate end-products containing 99% active ingredient in crystalline form.

... Copper sulfate is a strong irritant ... There have been reports of human suicide resulting from the ingestion of gram quantities of this material ... Some of the signs of poisoning ... include a metallic taste in the mouth, burning pain in the chest and abdomen, intense nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sweating, shock, discontinued urination leading to yellowing of the skin. Injury to the brain, liver, kidneys and stomach and intestinal linings may also occur in copper sulfate poisoning.

Copper sulfate can be corrosive to the skin and eyes. It is readily absorbed through the skin and can produce a burning pain, along with the same severe symptoms of poisoning from ingestion. Skin contact may result in itching or eczema ... Eye contact with this material can cause: conjunctivitis, inflammation of the eyelid lining, excess fluid buildup in the eyelid; cornea tissue deterioration due to breaks, or ulceration, in the eye's mucous membrane; and clouding of the cornea ...

Vineyard sprayers experienced liver disease after 3 to 15 years of exposure to copper sulfate solution in Bordeaux mixture ... Chronic exposure to low levels of copper can lead to anemia ...

Copper sulfate is very toxic to fish .... Copper sulfate is toxic to aquatic invertebrates, such as crab, shrimp and oysters...Bees are endangered by strong, water-based copper compounds, such as a Bordeaux mixture of copper sulphate, lime and water. Copper sulfate and similar fungicides have been poisonous to sheep and chickens on farms at normal application rates. Most animal life in soil, including large earthworms, have been eliminated by the extensive use of copper-containing fungicides in orchards ...

Boots, protective gloves, and goggles should be worn by anyone handling this material. Skin should be washed immediately if contaminated, and work clothing should be changed daily if it is reasonably likely that it is contaminated with copper sulfate.

... Copper sulfate is classified for shipping purposes as a hazardous substance or hazardous waste. It may pose unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property, when transported. Copper sulfate is highly corrosive to plain steel, iron and galvanized pipes ... It should not be stored in metal containers ... Burning copper sulfate may produce irritating or poisonous gases, and pollution may be caused by runoff from fire control or dilution water.


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