Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode
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"An old custom in Africa and the South is to lay down tricks against a victim by putting powders, cross-marks, or bottle spells in their path so they will step on the mess and be "poisoned through the feet." Fear Not to Walk Over Evil protects against just this sort of so-called Crossing, Hot Foot, and Jinxing work."
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue
The labels shown here are from packages of Lucky Mojo brand Fear Not To Walk Over Evil crystal salts for putting in the laundry or performing a ritual floor wash, self-lighting incense powders for fumigating an area to be cleared of troubles, sachet powders for sprinkling in the pathway and "killing" a jinx or trick that has been put down, and anointing oil for dressing candles. Like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, these products contain genuine herbs and herbal essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. The ingredients in Fear Not To Walk Over Evil formulas may include Salt, Black Pepper, Devil's Shoe Strings, and other herbs and essences. Lucky Mojo labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.
In order to understand the concept behind the creation of Fear Not to Walk Over Evil herb-based hoodoo formulas, one first needs to understand the importance of foot-track spells in African-derived folk-magic. In the sub-set of the tradition known as direct foot-track magic, a person bent on doing ill can powerfully affect another by laying a trick that caused them to step upon or walk across something evil, such as Crossing Powder; powdered rattlesnake skins, buried nails, pins, or stones laid in an "X" pattern; Goofer Dust; or Hot Foot Powder. The injuries caused by malevolent foot-track magic range from general runs of bad luck and mental disturbances to unnatural illnesses and deadly medical problems. The victims of such magic are said to be "hurt" or "poisoned through the feet."
Even the indirect form of foot-track magic, in which an enemy gets hold of a person's socks, shoes, or foot-print dirt and uses it in a rite of sympathetic magic, can bring about fatal results, as the person who has been "hurt" may suffer from any number of problems for years on end.
Obviously, there is need for an apotropaic or protective formula to stop such things from happening before they get out of hand. Just as the people of the Mediterranean, Agean, and Indian regions have their amulets against the evil eye, so do Africans and African-American hoodoo root-workers have amulets against foot-track magic.
The oldest and most rural of these apotropaic charms are Salt, Black Pepper powder, silver coins, and the root known as Devil's Shoe Strings. Salt is a general magical protectant in almost every culture around the world. It is generally sprinkled on the ground Black pepper keeps your foot-prints from "registering" a psychic impression, so that even if anyone captures them, they have only gotten dirt and not YOU. It is generally worn in the shoes or socks. Silver coins function as warning signals; worn at the ankle or on the leg, they turn black if you have stepped over certain evil powders or if your stockings have been dressed with mineral crystals in the laundry-water. Devil's Shoe Strings roots are both protective and curative. They are worn at the ankle or on the leg to counteract any form of trick that has been laid down.
In urban areas, where dirt paths are not common, cross-marks and "wavy snake lines" intended to hurt an enemy can be laid down in a"quincunx" or "X" pattern and marked with small stones and buttons, inscribed in gravel with a sharp stick, or drawn with chalk or sprinkled sachet powders such as Crossing or Goofer Dust or Hot Foot. To "kill" such marks, people may sprinkle patterns of their own over them, using Fear Not to Walk Over Evil powder to counteract the "poison" or washing the chalk marks away with a bucket of warm water in which a half-handful of Fear Not to Walk Over Evil bath crystals have been dissolved.
Even if the cross-marks cannot be seen, it is still considered a wise thing to clean out the pathway to one's house every little once in a while. If no enemy is known, the purifying liquid called Chinese Wash may be sufficient, but its strength can be bolstered by adding a drop or two of Fear Not to Walk Over Evil Oil to the scrub-water.
If you suspect that someone is trying to mess you up by laying tricks for you to walk over, you can protect yourself by sprinkling Fear Not to Walk Over Evil Powder in your pathway. In cases where it seems obvious that a "war" is ongoing -- especially if you find yourself stepping over odd messes or cutting your feet on sharp objects that have been put down, it is a good idea to perform a general cleansing of the area, including the burning of candles and incense made according to the Fear Not to Walk Over Evil herbal formula. If you have already been crossed, you can also perform an Uncrossing spell to take off the jinx.
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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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The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
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