Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode
is sponsored by the
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"Don't let bad, ill, or ugly house odors spoil all your Success, Love, Happiness, and Good Times. Do you want Folks to come to your house and stay with you? Do you wish to rent out rooms? Do you want to keep your Husband at home? Many times when people find their loved ones running off it seems to them as if someone had put a Jinxing Condition on the Home. Maybe the house was not kept Spiritually Clean. Don't take a chance with foul, Evil Smelling Messes around. Get a Fresh New Start. Attract and Hold your Family at Home. A sweet smelling House should help do it. Get rid of Unpleasant Odors and wash away any Bad Stuff around the house. Just pour a few drops of Chinese Wash in the scrub water and wash your Floors, Doorsteps, Corners of Rooms, and Closets. Spray a little on the Beds, Furniture, Curtains, and Walls. Use it in Washing Clothes. When it is properly diluted, our Lucky Mojo Brand Chinese Wash is safe to clean most household surfaces. It is made according to the Old Original Formula with genuine Oriental Grasses and Gums. Get a bottle immediately and note the improvement. Never be without it."
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue
Chinese Wash is used in rites of protection; in spiritual house-cleansings; to clean away messes left by enemy root workers; to open the way for new beginnings; and to purify the home in the interests of maintaining marital fidelity and a peaceful home, keeping rooms rented, or attracting customers to a bawdy-house or private gambling den.
Always dilute Chinese Wash in water before use as a floor wash, of course. Old instructions tell you to use one, two, or three teaspoonsful per pail of warm scrub water, depending on the strength of the job you need to do. You may also add a dash of ammonia to the pail-full, if you like. It is also a common pactice to strengthen the scrub water by adding a few drops of hoodoo oils for your own specific protective and cleansing needs, such as Fiery Wall of Protection, Uncrossing, or Rue Herb in Oil
Wash the house from the top floor to the bottom floor, and from the back of each floor to the front, ending at last at the front doorstep. To dispose of the left-over wash water, throw it out the front door or into the front yard, toward the East, if possible.
After cleaning the premises outward with Chinese Wash, it is also customary to wash the path and front door entryway inward with a small amount of water in which you have stirred some herb-based hoodoo oils for various luck-drawing conditions, such as Attraction, Money Drawing, or Fast Luck spiritual supplies, or a home-made mixture such as cinnamon (for wealth), sugar (for sweet things), and urine )to mark your place for yourself alone).
Young's Chinese Wash was a commercial liquid cleaning product that acquired a very strong occult and magical reputation among African-American root workers during the 1920s. When the original manufacturing company, Oracle Products of New York City went out of business, the name Chinese Wash became a sort of generic term for spiritual floor wash, but each contemporary manufacturer has its own trademarked recipe and logo. Sadly, most modern makers just use the name, but have no idea what the product should contain. There are a number of faked-up formulas for Chinese Wash, some of which consist of dyed water -- available in green, red, or yellow -- but the authentic recipe used by the original makers of Young's Chinese Wash is yellow only, and was labelled, circa 1920-1945: "A Detergent Preparation with the Delightful Aroma of Oriental Gums and Grasses" and a label decorated with a smiling Chinese man in a tunic looking down on a group of fleeing devils. At the Lucky Mojo Curio Company, we use the authentic old formula, and we have created a label that harkens back to the original concept, as a mark of our continuity with historical precents.
The addition of broom corn straws to Lucky Mojo brand Chinese Wash, although not part of the original Young's formula, also has a long history in the African American community. Insertion of broom straws was done at home by root workers and hoodoo practitioners. Many contributors to Harry M. Hyatt's 1930s oral histories of hoodoo mention the efficacy of broomcorn straws for spiritual cleansings. This way of working seems to go back to African usage and to be related to African foot-track magic and thus to the African idea of purification of the doorstep by sweeping and ritual washing down of the path to the home with herbs and liquids.
One 1940s-50s competitor to Young's Chinese Wash was Temple Fragran (no, that is not a typo -- it is Fragran) and the makers of that spiritual cleaning product, the Clover Horn company of Baltimore, Maryland included the broom corn straws right in the bottle, with instructions that when you were finished with the liquid soap, you were to take the broom corn straws and scatter them in your yard. This accords with African folk magic traditions.
At the Lucky Mojo Curio Co., we too add broom corn straws to our bottles of Chinese Wash because many of our younger urban customers are not familiar enough with the tradition to know that they should add them when they first receive the bottle. Thus we try to keep alive the traditional ingredients and usage of Chinese Wash.
Floor washes can be made up for a wide variety of purposes, including spiritual cleaning, money-drawing, attracting love, causing a married couple to quarrel, or dominating one's boss.
It is traditional to combine three ingredients when making up a spiritual floor wash. There are many treasured family recipes for such washes. Most begin with water, plus a variety of liquids, (from ammonia and vinegar to urine and turpentine), to which are added mineral salts, herbs and/or dressing oils. The ingredients in any given floor wash recipe will, of course, depend upon the condition one seeks to bring about.
Here is an old-time recipe for a cleansing and protective floor wash that we have found useful and very easy to prepare.
To each bucket of warm scrub-water, add
Because we think you'll like this old-fashioned, down-home recipe, we'd like to offer you a price-busting deal:
FLOOR WASH SPECIAL
4 oz. bottle Chinese Wash 5.50
1 foil packet of Mineral Salts 4.00
1/2 oz. bottle Dressing Oil 7.00
A $16.50 value for only $15.00!The quantity you receive, when added to scrub-water
as described here, will be enough to wash your home
several times. Ask for the FLOOR WASH SPECIAL
and note your selections from the lists above in your
online shopping cart to receive this special discount!
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HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE by cat yronwode .
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Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by cat yronwode: a materia magica of African-American conjure
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
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Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
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The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
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Arcane Archive: thousands of archived Usenet posts on religion, magic, spell-casting, mysticism, and spirituality
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Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
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