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If you have been verbally cursed, have had Jinx powders dusted in your bed, have been "throwed after" (that is, had bad-luck herbs, sachet powders, or minerals thrown behind your back by their enemies after you passed by), have had your foot-tracks whipped with Jinx powders, have had black candles dressed with Jinx oil burned on your name, have had the the insoles of your shoes dusted with Jinx powders, or have been "dressed" or "poisoned" or "throwed for" with Jinx powders or oil secretly placed on your person -- well, buddy, you have been Jinxed!

The labels shown here are from packages of Lucky Mojo brand Jinx products. crystal salts can be employed in the bath or laundry, or for performing a ritual floor wash, Jinx incense powders are handy for fumigating an area to be cursed, Jinx sachet powders find use in foot track magic and dusting clothing and bedding, and Jinx oil is excellent for dressing items that one's enemy might touch. The little Black Cats on the labels represent the powerful string of bad luck and trouble that you intend to put upon the persons whom you jinx.

Like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, Jinx products contain genuine herbs and herbal essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. The Lucky Mojo labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.

Jinxing is similar to Crossing a person, and the word "jinxed" is sometimes used as a synonym for "crossed," but jinxing is more often done to steal or to destroy someone's luck than to doom or curse them. Unlike Hot Foot Powder, Jinx products do not drive the victim from door to door, and unlike Goofer Dust, they do not kill a person.

As a specific form of cursing in its own right, jinxing also includes a few concepts not found in crossing, hot footing, or goofering. For instance:



One of the easiest ways to understand how a term is used in conversation within a given culture is to look at song lyrics in which the word is used. The word "jinx" -- although it may have originated in British sailor's slang of the 19th century -- can be found in many early to mid 20th century recordings of African American blues songs about hoodoo. By looking at the record labels and listening to the lyrics, the word "jinx" jumps into sharp clarity of meaning. As the labels reveal, the word Jinx is sometimes spelled Jinks, and and, due to the "ks" sound of the letter x, it is treated grammatically as both a singular noun ("the jinx is on me") and as a plural noun ("she done put them jinx on me"), depending upon the inclination, habituation, and family tradition of the singer.

The word jinx can refer to a person ("My bad luck woman is a jinx and a worry too"), but most often it describes the condition of being spiritually messed up by a deliberately cast curse ("last Monday night I had the jinx").

Divining how or why one was jinxed is a concern ("the jinx on me, I can't see the reason why"), but quite often it seems to be the result of having slept in a bed that was dusted with Jinx sachet powders ("the hoodoo jinx in my bed").

Removing the jinx is accomplished through the aid of a practitioner-lover, like the well-named "Jinkie Lee," or through the application of Jinx Killer spiritual supplies.

Here are some 20th century rural and urban acoustic blues songs that mention the jinx. They span a range of about 50 years and are listed in chronological order of recording. You will find full lyrics for each of these songs, courtesy of Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo, as well as some mp3 recordings, at the pages linked:

August, 1924
SALT LAKE CITY BLUES by Papa Charlie Jackson
Now the jinx all on me all over this town,
That's the reason why I'm Salt Lake City bound.

May-June 1926
BAD LUCK WOMAN BLUES by Papa Charlie Jackson
My bad luck woman is a jinx and a worry too,
I can't get rid of her no matter what I do.


September 1927
RAMBLER BLUES by Blind Lemon Jefferson
I got a girl in Texas, I've got a brown in Tennessee
Lord, but that brown in Chicago have put that jinx bug on me.

May 1928
She got Elgin movements, that's twenty years guaranteed
I bet my last dollar, she done put them jinx on me.

June 14, 1929
I woke up this morning, jinx all around my bed;
Turned my face to the wall and I didn't have a word to say.

October 23, 1931
SCARY DAY BLUES by Blind Willie McTell
I said she got that mojo and she won't let me see
And every time I start to love her, she's tried to put that jinx on me

January 31, 1934
REVENUE MAN BLUES by Charlie Patton
I wakes up every mornin' with the jinx all around my bed
(You know I have them jinx here now)
I have been a good provider, but I believe I've been misled

August 9, 1934
I'm just a mistreated man, and the jinx is on poor me
Since my baby's left me, seems like the whole wold is down on me

September 7, 1934
LAST WEEK BLUES by Peetie Wheatstraw (william Bunch)
Last Sunday I had the blues, last Monday night I had the jinx
Because my woman she had left me, ooh well, brown, and I don't have no place to stay.

April 10, 1936
I COULDN'T STAY HERE by Charley Jordan
Won't you tell me, baby, who can your good man be?
I woke up this mornin', baby, with the jinx all over me.


October 15, 1936
I mean, the girl got something like a stingaree
She can stand in Memphis, man, and put the jinx on me.

April 9, 1936
CUT OUT BLUES by Peetie Wheatstraw (William Bunch)
I'm gon' cut out playing policy because my numbers just won't fall.
Somebody's put a jinx on me, oh well, well, and I can't have no luck at all.

September 3, 1936
JINX BLUES by Casey Bill (Will Weldon)
Well, the jinx on me, I can't see the reason why
But seem like these jinx sure oughta pass me by

April 2, 1937
Well, I went up on a mountain, takin' a peep in that old deep blue sea
I was tryin' to find that woman put them jinx on me

November 2, 1937
I'M GONNA CUT OUT EVERYTHING by Peetie Wheatstraw (William Bunch)
I'm going to cut out playing policy because my number just won't fall
I know somebody have put a jinx on me, ooo well, now I know I won't have no luck at all

September 11, 1941
JINKS LEE BLUES by Johnnie Temple
Well, I got a little woman and her name is Jinkie Lee
Reason why'r I like her, she keep these jinx off a' me

July 17, 1942
I said, I got up this mornin' with the jinx all round my bed
Know I thought about you and, honey, and it like to kill me dead

May 2, 1945
JINX IS ON ME by Gabriel Brown
The jinx is on me, jinx is on me,
I can't have no luck at all, jinx is on me.

October 16, 1963
JINX BLUES by Big Joe Williams
Well, it's peoples tryin' to tell me low-down jinx ain't bad
Well, then it must not a' been them low-down jinx I had.
[...] The hoodoo jinx in my bed

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: My deepest and most sincere thanks to Alan Balfour, Gorgen Antonsson, Chris Smith, Paul Garon, Patrice Champarou, and Jonny Meister of the Pre-War Blues List for their contributions to the lyrics quotes and discographical information above and elsewhere on this site.

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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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Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards

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