Read Our
Join Our
Lucky W
Hoodoo &
The Blues
This online presentation of
The Lucky W Amulet Archive by catherine yronwode
is sponsored by the


6632 Covey Road, Forestville, California 95436
voice: 707-887-1521 / fax: 707-887-7128

Open 7 Days a Week, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Pacific Time
Manufacturers and Distributors of Hoodoo and Conjure Supplies: Oils, Powders, Incense, Baths, Washes, Herbs, Resins, Colognes, Roots, Minerals, Curios, Books, Candles, Statuary, and Amulets.
Be a Fan:
View Your
Readers &
We Pray
For You





All vertebrate animals, including fish, have small bones inside their ears, called otoliths ("ear stones"). These useful structure fall downward as we move, and by touching tiny structures inside the ear canal, they relay our position in space to our brains, so we know, even in the dark, if we are upright, leaning, or laying down.

The otoliths of fish are often quite large in proportion to the size of their skulls and they are so durable that when fish die naturally or are beheaded by fishermen and the heads are thrown back into the water, the bones fall out and wash ashore on the banks of rivers or lakes, where people may collect them. Otoliths grow throughout the life of a fish, and their "rings" can be read the same way tree-ringsare, to gauge the animal's age when it died.

Each species of fish has a characteristic form of otolith, by which it can be identified. Some are thin and leaf-shaped, with frilly edges; some look like angel wings; some look a bit like a tiny clam or mussell shell; and some are round or lenticular, with a pearly finish. They come in pairs, right-hand and left-hand, and although a fish may have three pairs of otoliths in its head, it is the hindmost pair that grows the largest and can be picked out of the skull when the fish is dressed for eating.

Now, just as the Raccoon is revered for having the largest penis bone for its body size, and that bone is used for luck, so are the various species of Drumfish notable for their large ear bones, and these bones, popularly called "lucky stones," are also carried for luck. And, like the Raccoon penis bone , lucky stones entered into African American hoodoo through contact with Native Americans, who consider them lucky.

In America, the species most often associated with the lucky stone are the Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) -- also known as the River Drum, Drumhead, Sheephead, Sheep's Head, Wuss Fish, Gaspergou, Gou, Grunter, Grinder, Google-Gobble, Croaker, Croaker-Fish, or Crocus Fish -- and the Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) -- also known as the Puppy Drum, Redfish, Bull Redfish, or Channel Bass. The large otoliths of Drumfish are lenticular and rounded on one side, and flattish on the back, like very large, pearlescent split peas. They are situated right at the back of the head, almost touching one another, and because these fish make a drumming noise and their otoliths are so large, it is a popular belief that Drumfish strike their ear bones together to produce the sound. Actually, the drumming or grunting noise is produced by muscle contraction against their swim bladders.

Each Drumfish ear bone has a groove or sulcus on one face that forms either an "L" mark or a "J" mark. The "L" bones are from the fish's right side, while the "J" bones come from the fish's left side. Drumfish ear bones were carried for luck by Native Americans long before the Latin alphabet was introduced, but it is a common belief these days that the letter-like markings "L" and "J" stand for Lord Jesus, Luck and Joy, or Love and Joy. Many people who carry Drumfish otoliths want a matched pair, and folks who gather them on riverbanks and beaches tend to sort them by both size and "handedness" to make up pairs.

Other species of fish whose ear bones are considered lucky charms or are called lucky stones are the Buffalo Fish (Ictiobus spp.), the Blue Catfish (Ictalurus Furcatus), the Channel Catfish (Ictalurus Punctatus), and the Flathead or Opelousa Catfish (Pylodictis Olivaris).


Lucky stones are especially valued as charms for money luck, for better business, and for getting the advantage in gambling and games of chance. They may be carried loose in a pocket or wrapped or tied in a mojo hand.

The Catfish otolith, due to the name "Cat" and its relationship to sexual terms like "Cathouse" and "Pussy," is additionally thought to bring special luck to prostitutes and women gamblers.

Here's how to make an effective Lucky Stone Mojo. It is my own work, based on a gambler's hand that Rev. Hyatt learned about in 1938 from Informant #958, a root doctor in Memphis, Tennessee:

Cut out two small, circular disks of chamois leather and whip-stitch them together half-way. Sandwich a silver dime between a pair of lucky fishhead rocks, filling in and surrounding them with softened Lakshmi Dhoop incense into which you have embedded Grains of Paradise. Whip-stitch the mojo tight and dress the leather cover with Double Luck Perfume. Keep it oiled and fed, and wear it in your pocket for gambling luck.

The following documentation on the varied rites for collecting and using Lucky Stone Fish Head Bones 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.

Charleston, South Carolina; Informant #525:
"There's a fish; he's got two stones in his head. Out of them two stones, you want to be sure when you open him to get the right-hand stone. There's two white stones. You'll take that right-hand stone and you'll put it in yur pocket and put some Red Pepper with it --put Red Pepper with that right-hand stone. And take the left-hand stone and take a handful of Sulphur, nothing but Sulphur, and you'll wrap that up good and hide it and put it down by your bed -- on the left corner of your bed, or the north corner of your bed, inside of your mattress. But the right-hand stone, you want to tote that -- it gains everything you want and everything you go after. Actually, you got to get it."

Memphis, Tennessee; Informant #925:
"The Gaspergou -- you know there's two rocks in his head. That's a fish. You get that fish anywhere out the river. It looks like the Buffalo [Buffalo Fish]. You have to look close to see it's not Buffalo. Some people sell them for Buffaloes that don't know the difference. It's a Gaspergou. The rock out of -- those two rocks out of his head, wearing them in the pocket is supposed to be lucky." [This is the fresh-water Drumfish (Aplodinatus grunniens) of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley. weight up to 50 lbs. Gaspergou, similar to the French Gasparot (a kind of Herring), is the local name in Louisiana.]

Memphis, Tennessee; Informant #958:
"Get you some lump [briquet or dhoop] incense. Some people don't use red flannel; you can use chamois skin and you make you a little luck bag. You put you a little silver dime in there. And you put you about three pieces of that lump incense in there and you put you some Guinea Pepper [Grains of Paradise] in there, and if you got a fishhead rock, you put that in there. Then you sew it up with a piece of garlic. (Fishhead rock?) Yeah, that only comes in a Drumhead. There be's two little rocks in a Drumhead. (Drumhead fish? ) Yes, sir. And you sew that up. You can pour you some Bergamot on it, or either some Jockey Club perfume. You have to keep it oiled up [fed] like that. That's for your luck. You can wear it in your pocket. Gambling luck."

Memphis, Tennessee; Informant #1541:
"Take a fish, a Buffalo fish, and inside of that Buffalo Fish's head is two little pearls about like that. You get them little pearls out of there and tote them in your pocket and that'll draw money to you, too."

St. Petersburg, Florida; Informant #995:
"A man learnt me, a hoodoo man, to take a Crocus Fish -- it's a little fish called Crocus Fish [Croaker Fish; Fresh-water Drumfish], and you take that head off, and you take a knife and split that head open and there's two rocks in there. Well, you get them two rocks out and you put them two rocks in a little bag and you sew that bag up. Well, when you sew that bag up, then,you give it to the party [your client] and then he goes to the man and reports for a job, and he can't hardly be turned down. And I have seen that and he [the hoodoo man] have done me thataway, the reason I know, and that's the way he said, and that was the end of that."

St. Petersburg, Florida; Informant #1019:
"I have tried this when I first came to St. Petersburg. Go and look me round, couldn't get me a job nowhere. One feller tells me, says, 'Now you go and take you a dime,' he say, 'and buy you a Crocus Fish [Fresh-water Drumfish].' After you get that fish, you cut the head off that fish and you can do what you wish. You can eat the fish or you can throw it away. But be sure you get the head of that fish and cut it open and get them two rocks out of there and put it in a sack and wear it in your pocket. There can't nobody turn you down for a job."

Brunswick, Georgia; Informant #1240:
"The Catfish head -- the rock out the head, you know. I always see these women in these loose houses get them and put them in their pocketbooks -- says it draws the men and keeps luck to them. I've caught Catfish for them for that business."


Finding a lucky rock washed up on a river or lake shore, in contrast to obtaining a pair from a fisherman, is another way to acquire such a good luck piece. Because of their white colour and light weight, they can be found on banks and rivers everywhere.

"Lucky Rock Blues" was recorded in Chicago in 1924 by the great Georgia-born singer Gertude "Ma" Rainey (1886 - 1939). Here she is on vocals, accompanied by Lovie Austin's Serenaders. (Ma Rainey, vocal; Lovie Austin, piano; Tommy Ladnier, cornet; Jimmy O'Bryant, clarinet; Charles Harris, Alto Sax.)


Feelin' kind of melancholy, made up my mind to go away
And though some folks says it's folly, sometimes it helps, and fades away
To forget the man you love, although he may be mean
Goodbye folks, I'm on my way, straight down to New Orleans

Goin' to New Orleans to find that lucky rock
Goin' to New Orleans, yeah, to find that lucky rock
Tryin' to rid myself of this bad luck I've got

On my way to find that lucky rock
Oh, I'm on my way to find that lucky rock
Just to ease my mind off all this trouble I've got


Search All Lucky Mojo and Affiliated Sites!

You can search our sites for a single word (like archaeoastronomy, hoodoo, conjure, or clitoris), an exact phrase contained within quote marks (like "love spells", "spiritual supplies", "occult shop", "gambling luck", "Lucky Mojo bag", or "guardian angel"), or a name within quote marks (like "Blind Willie McTell", "Black Hawk", "Hoyt's Cologne", or "Frank Stokes"):

Contact-the-Lucky-Mojo-Curio-Company-in-Forestville-California copyright © 1994-2017 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.
Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to catherine yronwode for the creation and maintenance of this site.





LUCKY MOJO is a large domain that is organized into a
number of interlinked web sites,
each with its own distinctive theme and look.
You are currently reading


Here are some other LUCKY MOJO web sites you can visit:

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
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
The Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive: captured internet text files on occult and spiritual topics
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive:FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races

Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
EaRhEaD!'S Syd Barrett Lyrics Site: lyrics by the founder of the Pink Floyd Sound
The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
The Spirit Checklist: a 1940s newspaper comic book by Will Eisner, indexed by cat yronwode
Fit to Print: collected weekly columns about comics and pop culture by cat yronwode
Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards

Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course with cat yronwode: 52 weekly lessons in book form
Hoodoo Conjure Training Workshops: hands-on rootwork classes, lectures, and seminars
Apprentice with catherine yronwode: personal 3-week training for qualified HRCC graduates
Lucky Mojo Community Forum: an online message board for our occult spiritual shop customers
Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show: learn free magic spells via podcast download
Lucky Mojo Videos: see video tours of the Lucky Mojo shop and get a glimpse of the spirit train
Lucky Mojo Publishing: practical spell books on world-wide folk magic and divination
Lucky Mojo Newsletter Archive: subscribe and receive discount coupons and free magick spells
LMC Radio Network: magical news, information, education, and entertainment for all!
Follow Us on Facebook: get company news and product updates as a Lucky Mojo Facebook Fan

The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.: spiritual supplies for hoodoo, magick, witchcraft, and conjure
Herb Magic: complete line of Lucky Mojo Herbs, Minerals, and Zoological Curios, with sample spells
Mystic Tea Room Gift Shop: antique, vintage, and contemporary fortune telling tea cups

catherine yronwode: the eclectic and eccentric author of many of the above web pages
nagasiva yronwode: nigris (333), nocTifer, lorax666, boboroshi, Troll Towelhead, !
Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
Liselotte Erlanger Glozer: illustrated articles on collectible vintage postcards
Jackie Payne: Shades of Blues: a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer

Lucky Mojo Site Map: the home page for the whole Lucky Mojo electron-pile
All the Pages: descriptive named links to about 1,000 top-level Lucky Mojo web pages
How to Contact Us: we welcome feedback and suggestions regarding maintenance of this site
Make a Donation: please send us a small Paypal donation to keep us in bandwidth and macs!

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
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic, plus shopping
Crystal Silence League: a non-denominational site; post your prayers; pray for others; let others pray for you
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