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Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode
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LODESTONES
AND LODESTONE SPIRITUAL SUPPLIES
IN HOODOO, ROOTWORK, AND CONJURE TRADITIONS

"Since ancient times, the LODESTONE has been held in high regard as a Powerful Amulet and all-around Good Luck Charm because its Magnetic Influences are supposed to attract Power, Favors, Love, Money, and Gifts. Our LODESTONE dressing oil, incense, sachet powders, and crystals for bath or floor wash all contain pieces of genuine live LODESTONE!"
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue

Lodestones -- chunks of naturally magnetic iron ore -- are prized in folk-magic for their "drawing" power. They are a vital ingredient in African-American hoodoo practice, and that has in turn influenced Latin American "budu" magic, in which they are known as "piedra iman."

HOW THE LODESTONE IS USED IN CONJURE

Single large Lodestones are used to draw money or luck, while paired "male" and "female" Lodestones play a role in spells to attract a lover and rituals to secure mutual fidelity. The lodestones are sprinkled with magnetic sand (ultra-fine iron shot) to "feed" them and enhance their power, and they may also be dressed with anointing oil.

Smaller Lodestones of gravel or frit size, dressed with magnetic sand, are carried singly or in pairs in mojo bags to attract luck and love; tiny pairs are placed in bottles of Van Van Oil, Lodestone Oil or Fast Luck Oil to lend their attraction-energy the oils before they are used to dress offertory candles or anoint an individual.

In Latin America, Lodestones are most commonly encountered in money-drawing and love-attracting package amulets and charm vials. Lodestone powder or magnetic sand also appears in the unusual Mexican snow-globe pyramid of luck.

LODESTONE COLOURS

The old-time advertisement shown above -- for Genuine Mo-Jo Brand Magnetic White Lodestone -- is from King Novelty Company Catalog #89 (copyright 1945), and was donated to the Lucky W Amulet Archive by Barry (Blues Boy) Carroll.

King Novelty, like its sister companies, Famous Products (makers of Lucky Brown cosmetics) and Valmor Beauty Co. (makers of Sweet Georgia Brown cosmetics), and its competitors Jan-O-Sun (makers of hoodoo and Christian religious candles) and Standard O and B Supply Company (a competing distributor of hoodoo and Christian religious "curios," herbs, candles, and books), was located in Chicago and marketed its wares nation-wide to the African-American community. The text accompanying this catalogue page is carefully worded to avoid violating federal postal fraud laws, but by reading between the lines, the value of Lodestones in hoodoo magic is made clear:


ALIVE WITH MAGNETISM
A Lodestone has been held in high regard by the Ancient Romans, Chinese, Mohamedans, and other people as a Powerful Amulet and GOOD LUCK Charm; probably because the Magnetic Influence of this Stone was supposed to ATTRACT Power, Favors and Gifts. It is said that the Ancient Romans believed that Lodestone kept Husband and Wife faithful, and made their Love secure. We make no claims to this effect -- or that the LODESTONE is LUCKY. We have taken the Genuine Lodestone, especially prepared it, and called it WHITE LODESTONE. Two pieces of Specially Prepared WHITE LODESTONE for $1.00. [Note: that's a 1945 price -- cat.]


Another colourful Lodestone ad in the same catalogue supplies more information about the Lodestone as a hoodoo amulet. In keeping with King Novelty's attempt to avoid prosecution by presenting the material as a "curio," the advertisement was written in the past tense and no claims were made as to the Lodestone's efficacy. The manner of use described is the same today as it was in 1945, and earlier:


Hoo-Doo Men made Conjure Bags in which they placed Lodestone for Hoodooing, Driving Away Evil Spirits, or so-called Goodbye Enemy Tricks, Job Getting, and general Good Luck. We have known many people who would not be without carrying a LODESTONE. We have found this to be especially true among folks that do Gambling, Play Horses, and Number Games of Chance, and who wish to win in Love Affairs. We do not sell this LODESTONE for any of these purposes, and make no claim that it is Lucky or that it will drive away Evil Spirits, but sell only as a Curio. We have specially prepared LODESTONE in different colors and you may now order the colors you wish.
Gold . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silver
White . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black
Red . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blue
Green


The colour symbolism of the Lodestones advertised by King in 1945 is congruent with the colour symbolism used in other hoodoo practices, such as candle burning. In other words, the stones themselves were painted various colours for use in attracting the several kinds of luck, including love-drawing (red), money-drawing (green, gold, and silver), magical protection and blessings (white), serenity (blue), and dominating power over others (black).

vintage-lodestone-in-van-van-oil-label

The label to the right is for another long-defunct King Novelty product, Mo-Jo Brand Lodestone in Van Van Oil. The combination of bright green and red bands against a stylized four-leaf clover design indicates that this magnetized oil was suitable for drawing either money-luck or love-luck.

Lest it be assumed that Lodestone charms were or are exclusively African-American in distribution, it should be noted that an advertisement in "Thrilling Love Stories" Vol. XXXIX, No. 3 (October, 1941) advertised "LODESTONE $1.00 pair" from the T. Messick company of Camden, New Jersey. No explanation of the product's use was given. "Thrilling Love Stories" was a general circulation pulp magazine aimed primarily at young Caucasian women.

MATCHING LODESTONE PAIRS

herb-magic-lodestone-large-pair

As i was taught in hoodoo in Oakland, California circa 1965 (and see also H. M. Hyatt's oral histories for further confirmatory references, if you can dig through the non-indexed pages), a male Lodestone is pyramidal or pointed and a female Lodestone is cubical or rounded. Size is not relevant, and, in fact, the stones should be roughly equal in size and weight.

In performing love spells and sex magic, one uses a pair of Lodestones of the appropriate gender(s) to represent the parties for whom the spell is being cast. In working these love spells, the stones are typically named and then dressed with a condition oil, sexual fluids, or alcohol, and/or fed with magnetic sand (fine iron grit), depending on the practitioner's preferred methods.

It is a lot more difficult than you may think, by the way, to match up Lodestones in pairs, whether male-female, female-female, or male-male. We buy Lodestones by the hundreds (we usually have at least two 5-gallon buckets filled with them in stock) and each pair intended for use in love spells must be carefully matched with a partner before they can be sold. We usually spend an hour at this task every time we need to put up a batch of Lodestones; it's a dirty, messy job that leaves one's hands all covered with black iron dust. Because it takes a long time and is dirty, some botanica and spiritual supply store owners will not mess with matching Lodestones -- instead they leave an assortment of stones out on a tray and the customers make their own matches -- if they can make them, from the limited stock they are shown.

The matching process consists of sprinkling the Lodestones very lightly with magnetic sand to visually reveal their magnetic polarities, and then, by trial and error, finding pairs in which two edges join together well along their planar, convex, or concave surfaces AND also have the proper positive-negative charges that allow them to "draw" or attract along these selected surfaces. Once a matched pair is found, it is put aside, bagged, and tagged "male-female," "male-male," or "female-female." I have often been asked whether Lodestones can be used for gay and lesbian sex magic. The answer is yes -- any two "female" or "male" Lodestones will also draw to each other -- you just have to turn one of them the other way!!!

Some Lodestones, even though they carry a very good magnetic charge, cannot be matched up at all, due to irregularities in shape (typically, they "draw" from a point, not an edge). Those unmatchable Lodestones cannot be used in love spells or sex magic but are excellent when sold as singles for use in money spells, where only one stone is required.

STORING OR DISPLAYING LODESTONES

herb-magic-lodestone-grit

There are two old-time traditions associated with storing Lodestones that should not be overlooked. To understand them, you need to know that some metals are magnetizable and some are not. The ferrous metals -- steel, iron, galvanized "tin" roofing (actually zinc-coated steel) -- are magnetizable. The non-ferrous metals (brass, real tin, bronze, copper, aluminum, chrome) are not magnetizable.

I was taught to keep Lodestones stored in non-magnetizable containers to avoid "draining" the magnetism from the stones. The containers can be made of non-metallic substances (wood, glass, or (ugh!) plastic), or of non-ferrous metal.

At the Lucky Mojo shop we use big brass buckets for displaying our Lodestones and they sit on wooden shelving. These brass buckets are the kind that fancy dried flower arrangements come in from the florist. Craft and fabric stores sell them new, but you can pick them up used at thrift stores for a couple of bucks each. In my home i use a chrome-plated brass art deco candy dish with red Catalin plastic handles to keep my working pair of love Lodestones.

Also, even when displaying Lodestones for sale, it is customary to give them a light sprinkle of magnetic sand to feed them and make matching them possible. We don't want the Lodestones in our care to "starve" while they are waiting to go to their new homes.


Order Live Magnetic Lodestones from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

CAN A LODESTONE BE "REPURPOSED"?

herb-magic-lodestone-large-pair-pack-Label

People who work with large Lodestones often ask me if, after a spell has been completed, the stones must be buried or discarded, or if they can be re-used, or "repurposed" for a new spell.

First, while it is common practice to wash Lodestones periodically in whiskey or Hoyt's Cologne, it is much less common to train them to work one way and then try to re-train them to work another way. Here are my opinions on such work, based on traditional teachings and on many years of working with these stones:

I have never had luck taking a mated pair of love Lodestones apart and trying to use one singly for money. That is a non-starter for me.

I have never had luck trying to use a dedicated money Lodestone as part of a paired set for love.

When working conjure for clients of mine who are couples, i do NOT NOT re-baptize my large paired love Lodestones for each new client couple. I have serious, strong, and symbolically deep reasons for not working that way.

What i do is get a packet of small grit Lodestones -- "riders" -- and keep them on hand to represent clients for whom i am working. One packet of small grit-sized Lodestones will last for YEARS -- for DECADES.

At the outset of the work, the magnetic Lodestone grits or riders are baptized for each member of the client couple and then they are set on their respective stones. Each little grit rides along on top of one of the big magnetic rocks as they are fed with magnetic sand and come together through the love spell working.

When the big love stones are united, the riders come together too, and they are then gently removed from the big stones and bound PERMANENTLY by being placed in a lucky mojo bag or a locket charm, or buried together. In this way, they are not pulled apart when the big stones are re-used, and the work of uniting the clients is never symbolically undone.

After the riders are bound together, the big stones are allowed to rest together in union in their bed of magnetic sand, until i need them to work again. Then i gently separate them and bathe them and set newly baptized client-riders on them and they go again.

My big stones help train the riders, and the clients benefit from that -- as well as from the fact that their little grit stones are together FOREVER.

BATHING AND CLEANING LODESTONES

herb-magic-lodestone-grit-pack-Label

When i was growing up, i was always taught -- by many, many different workers, in various parts of the country -- that Lodestones not only need to be fed, but that about once a year, or oftener if you are using the same large stones on behalf of love clients, as described above, they need to be bathed and cleaned. The magnetic sand or anvil dust that was used to feed them all year must be carefully brushed off of them and set aside (it can be cleaned of dust-bunnies and re-used) and then they should be washed in Whiskey or in Hoyt's Cologne.

I assumed that everyone knew this -- and that if they didn't know how, they would allow me to teach it to them -- but somehow, starting around the year 2005 or so, a bunch of young folks began telling me that i was wrong and that they had learned all about "soaking" their Lodestones overnight to "cleanse" them. Note that the words "soaking" and "cleansing" (which is spiritually different than "cleaning") were being used -- terms i had never encountered in the hoodoo community. Later -- by about 2009, when i started the Lucky Mojo Forum, folks kept posting about "soaking" their Loadstones, but a new wrinkle had been added -- now they were telling each other to "soak them in Lemon juice to cleanse them." This was also around the trime that folks began asking me how to "repurpose" Lodestones (see above). Obviously there is some wacky internet source that these folks are tuning in to that treats Lodestones as some sort of tool that can be "repurposed" like a shovel or a crock-pot, and also treats the Lodestones as subject to some sort of contamination that requires that they be "cleansed" with citrus products.

When i protested, telling these folks that whatever they were into here, it was not Southern-style African American hoodoo, they came back on me, saying that they had "read it on the internet." It must be true. Now, i am not here to cause a fuss with anyone, but i will draw the line on this one: in my opinion, soaking Lodestones in water overnight is a dumb idea, and soaking them in Lemon juice overnight is an outright stupid idea.

Why?

Think!

If you soak a Lodestone in water or sprinkle it with water, it will RUST.

If you soak a Lodestone in Lemon juice or sprinkle it with Lemon juice, it will CORRODE.

herb-magic-lodestone-large-single

You can find a lot of really ignorant so-called magi(k)al advice on the internet, in occult shops, and from friends. I'm not saying i am the be-all and end-all of knowledge here -- i'm just saying don't take the advice of ignorant people.

There are practical and magical reasons why we use whiskey or Hoyt's Cologne to bathe our Lodestones: they are alcohol-based and alcohol evaporates quickly and the Lodestones do not rust or corrode.

You can dip or dribble on them, according to your own denomination's method of baptism (full immersion or sprinkling) or you can mouth-spray them, if you work in that sort of tradition.

Soaking is not what i was ever taught -- and here's why: You don't leave a baby soaking in the bath-water -- you wash him with a wash-cloth or in a tub, but you never walk off and leave the baby alone in the tub. You wouldn't leave your pet dog to soak in the tub either -- you'd either hose her down or scrub her in the tub. These Lodestones are alive. Treat them as such.

Hundreds of years of traditional African American folk wisdom and magical practice should not be overthrown in a day by ignorant internet wannabes.

Listen to your elders, both online and in your community, and don't follow behind fools who are making mud-pies and calling them crepes suzettes.

LODESTONE MONEY (OR OBJECT) DRAWING SPELL

Lucky-Mojo-Lodestone-Conjure-Sachet-Powder-Label

The following hoodoo Lodestone spell can be used for drawing anything you want, whether it is money, romance, sex, marriage, a new car, business success, a child, a job, the return of a lost lover, or you-name-it.

You need one large Lodestone, a china plate, a packet of magnetic sand, some sort of drawing oil, and a piece of paper torn from a brown grocery sack. Write your wish on the paper, being as specific as possible about your wants, and sign it with your name. Get a picture of what you desire (a drawing, a photograph, or even an advertisement torn from a magazine). If your desire is for more money, use a dollar bill as your "picture" and add it to your written wish.

Anoint the four corners of the wishing paper and the picture or money, either with a general drawing oil such as Attraction Oil, Fast Luck Oil, or Lodestone Oil, or with a specific condition-drawing oil for your particular purpose, such as Love Me Oil, Money Drawing Oil, Lucky Number Oil, Lavender Love Drops , or Reconciliation Oil.

Place the wishing paper and the picture or money on the plate and set the Lodestone on top. Pray over the Lodestone, stating your wish clearly, and then feed the Lodestone with a pinch of magnetic sand. The idea is to get the Lodestone to understand your wish and to work on your behalf, drawing the desire toward you. When you have finished praying, put the plate and everything on it away where no one will see it, perhaps under your bed or in a drawer.

Every day take out the plate with the Lodestone and papers, pray over it, and feed the Lodestone with magnetic sand, stating your wish clearly. When your wish comes true, thank the Lodestone respectfully and bury it in your yard with its magnetic sand and all the papers, still on the plate.


Order Condition-Drawing Oils from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

A MODERN SUBSTITUTE FOR LODESTONE

For a non-traditional but effective variant of Lodestone love magic, you can use a pair of Magnetic Dogs. These light-hearted novelties may be carried in a mojo bag or displayed on an altar as a token of "the tie that binds."

LODESTONE SPIRITUAL SUPPLIES

Lucky-Mojo-Lodestone-Candle-Label

The popularity of Lodestones in hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork practices has led to their being used in a variety of other spiritual supplies. Lodestone is also prepared in the form of anointing and dressing oil, spiritual incense, scented sachet powders, and ritual bathing and cleaning supplies. Each bottle or packet of these products should contain small pieces of magnetic Lodestone, plus other essential herb extracts. (Beware of modern so-called "Lodestone" products that are made up of nothing more than synthetic oils, dyes, and fragrances; real Lodestone spiritual supplies MUST contain pieces of magnetic Lodestone.)

The label shown here is from a Lucky Mojo brand Lodestone Vigil Candle, burned by those who wish to draw love to them and elicit love from those to whom they are attracted. The same herbs and fragrances used to dress this candle for customers and clients are the basis of Lucky Mojo Lodestone dressing oil . used for anointing oneself, fixing the home, preparing pink or red offertory candles or feeding a mojo bag. These herbs and scents also can be found in Lodestone incense powder, sachet powder, and bath crystals.

Like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, this product contains genuine herbal essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. Lucky Mojo labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.

Lodestone is one of a family of related formulas that also includes Magnet and Attraction products. Each one of these old-time recipes is slightly different -- some placing emphasis on passion, others on physical attractiveness, or control of a lover, or all of these combined with good fortune and luck at love and romance -- but they have in common the underlying aim of enhancing one's internally generated forces, enabling action upon the external world.

The above formulas may, of course, be mixed and matched in any way that suits the practitioner, or may be teamed up with formulas from another line of goods, such as a financial or money luck formula like Money Drawing, a gambling formula like Lucky Number, a career advancement formula like Crown of Success, a love-drawing formula like Kiss Me Now!, or a female domination spell formula like Follow Me Boy.

How you choose to use Lodestone spiritual supplies is, of course, up to you, but one very traditional method is to employ them in conjunction with the 23rd Psalm, while praying for all that is desired.
 

PSALM 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 
Amen. 

GENERAL LODESTONE SPELL SUGGESTIONS

Lucky-Mojo-Lodestone-Conjure-Bath-Crystals-Label

There are thousands of specific spells that employ a variety of hoodoo spiritual supplies. Here are some of the ways you can use Lodestone brand spiritual supplies to attract the love you desire.

PREPARATION

You may perform spells for increasing seductiveness, rulership over men, or passionate love whenever you desire. If the need is not urgent, you can take time to align your spell-casting with cosmic forces and work by a Waxing Moon Phase, so that the Moon grows bigger while you work. But don't let the Moon Phases hold you back: if the timing is not right, you can do the work whenever it is best for you.

BATHING WITH HERBAL BATH CRYSTALS

Lucky-Mojo-Lodestone-Conjure-Oil-Label

Before dawn dissolve half the packet of Lodestone Bath Crystals into a tub of hot water. Pour the water over your head 9 times as you say the 23rd Psalm and name what you want. Air-dry yourself and collect a basin of the used bath water, which now has your essence in it. Dress in fresh, clean clothes, carry the basin of bath-water to a crossroads and throw the water toward the sunrise in the East. Walk back home and don't look back.

SPRINKLING WITH SACHET POWDERS

Dust your body, the letters you send to your lover, or your socks and shoes with Lodestone Sachet Powder, or sprinkle a pinch of Lodestone Sachet Powder in the four corners of the room (or the bed) where you plan to meet with those whom you wish to infuence. Each time, say the 23rd Psalm and name what you want.

SMOKING WITH INCENSE

Make the Lodestone Incense Powders into cones (use a twist of paper or a small candle snuffer cone, pack the incense in with your finger, and turn it out of the cone) or place it loose on a brazier. Many people find that keeping a pot of Incense smoking while they work increases their ability to break through into a spiritual space or magical way of working.

SETTING CANDLES AS PRAYER LIGHTS

Lucky-Mojo-Lodestone-Conjure-Incense-Label

Depending on what or whom you wish to draw to you, carve your full name on an appropriately coloured Offertory Candle or Figural Candle and dress the candle with Lodestone Oil. As you dress it, speak aloud your petition, such as, "With the help and grace of God, my needs are met, my desires are fulfilled, amen."

You may burn the candle in sections (generally 15 minutes at a time) or let it burn through to the end, no matter how long it takes. If you burn it in sections, you may fnd it a good idea to light and burn the incense each time as well.

If you want the spell to be ongoing, or want a light at home to "back you up" while you are about your business, you would be better off to use a fixed and prepared Lodestone Glass Encased Vigil Candle. Write your petition on paper, write the name of the man you are working on, cross it with your name written 9 times, and set the Vigil Light in a safe place, such as the sink, bath tub, or shower stall, where it will not cause any problems while you are out.

DRESSING YOUR CLOTHING

Whenever it is convenient for you, dissolve the remaining half of the bath crystals in hot water and add the liquid to the rinse water when you do your laundry, especially your underwear and stockings. When you wear these clothes, you will be "dressed" for attracting what you want in the way of material goods, beauty, wealth, luck, attention, respect, or love.

CLEANING UP

It is important to properly dispose of ritual remains. Because these are magic spells for good luck, you may want to keep the remains around your home. Wrap up any left-over candle wax, incense ashes, and used sachet powders in a piece of cloth. Secure and tie it with thread or string. Bury it in your back yard.


Order Lodestone Oil from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Order Lodestone Incense from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Order Lodestone Bath Crystals from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Order Lodestone Sachet Powder from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

Order Lodestone Vigil Light Candles from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

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OCCULTISM, MAGIC SPELLS, MYSTICISM, RELIGION, SYMBOLISM
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OTHER SITES OF INTEREST
Arcane Archive: thousands of archived Usenet posts on religion, magic, spell-casting, mysticism, and spirituality
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: psychic reading, conjure, and hoodoo root doctor services
Candle Ministry: Missionary Independent Spiritual Church deacons will set lights for your petitions and prayers
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic, plus shopping
Crystal Silence League: online prayer request network; upload your prayers here and pray for the welfare of others
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Hoodoo Psychics: connect online or call 1-888-4-HOODOO for instant readings now from a member of AIRR
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith; prayer-light services; Smallest Church in the World
Mystic Tea Room: tea leaf reading, teacup divination, and a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Satan Service: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including ex-slave narratives & interviews
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective, plus shopping
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Yronwode Institution: the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology

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