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"A famous and Very Strong Curio is the RAILROAD SPIKE, which is used in a ritual to "nail down" a house or property so that no landlord or mortgage holder can move one from the place. The ritual thus enacted requires a RAILROAD SPIKE to be driven into the ground at each corner of the lot, topped with a Silver Dime, covered over with the Graveyard Dirt of ones's ancestors, and marked with fresh urine. Sold as a Curio only."
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue

The use of Railroad Spikes in magical spells, especially in the hoodoo tradition, is based upon their value as forged iron, and the fact that they have been used. Much like used and rusty horseshoes, these qualities enhance their power so greatly that few root doctors would consider employing a shiny or new Railroad Spike in any sort of spell.

The collection of Railroad Spikes by prying them out of a railroad track is illegal -- and well it should be, for missing spikes can cause track to get out of line, which in turn can lead to derailment of a train, with injuries and loss of life. Railroad Spikes are also sometimes gathered from abandoned tracks, although without the permission of the railroad line owners, that is considered an act of theft. For these two very good reasons, used Railroad Spikes are best collected when old tracks are refurbished and replaced, for their value to practitioners far exceeds their value as scrap metal.


The most popular hoodoo spell that employs Railroad Spikes is a work to secure one's home or land. This spell may be used by renters and home-owners alike. Tenants use it to keep the landlord from moving them out. Owners use it to keep the mortgage company at bay, to prevent a sale by eminent domain, or to stop greedy family members from trying to sell off the old home place for quick cash. Those who live in an apartment can substitute smaller Square Cut Nails for the Railroad Spikes.

To nail down your property, you will need at least four Railroad Spikes, one for every corner of the property -- if the plot is square or rectangular. However, if your land is irregular in shape, for instance L-shaped, you will need a spike for each corner, no matter how many corners that is. (A typical L-shaped property would require six Railroad Spikes.)

Dress the Railroad Spikes with an anointing oil such as Fiery Wall of Protection or Peaceful Home, for specific needs, or with an all-purpose dressing oil, such as House Blessing or Special Oil No. 20 and then pray over them.

Pray from the heart, asking that the land that has been granted to you as a home shall remain your home. If you are not eloquent in speech, or if you simply prefer to work from the Bible, you may pray by recitation of Psalms quite effectively.

Start by reading all of Psalms 1 out loud, asking that, "like a tree that's planted by the water," you shall not be moved. That quote is from Psalms 1 (1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper").

If you are in danger of eviction at the hands of uncaring people, also read aloud Psalms 18 ("I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust...").

Both of these Psalms deal with the strength of the Lord in helping you to remain in the place of your dwelling and to triumph over those who would lay you low. When you finish praying, speak your petition in your own words, asking for security and peace of place.

Drive the railroad spikes into the ground with a hammer. Some people strengthen this work by placing a Silver Dime on top of each spike, then covering it over with Graveyard Dirt that has been bought and paid for from the grave of one's own ancestors, calling upon them to protect the family home.

If the home is used for illegal activities, it is customary to anoint the spikes with Law Keep Away anointing oil and to substitute four Indian Head Cents for the dimes, so that they will act as lookouts and scouts, and warn you of approaching danger as well as protecting your place of business. In this case, the Graveyard Dirt may be selected from the grave of a deceased policeman (especially a former Chief of Police), so that the cops, represented by the copper coins, will treat you kindly.

The Railroad Spikes are then "set" in place by the act of urinating on them. As animals mark their territory, so does the property owner mark his or her boundary corners in this way, leaving behind the powerful protective guardian spirits of the iron Railroad Spikes, and, if utilized, the Silver Dimes, and Graveyard Dirt.

Order Railroad Spikes from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.


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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
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
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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
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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
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Satan Service: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
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Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
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