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by catherine yronwode

Spiritual Bathing and Cleansing is an ancient practice, recommended in the Bible and found in all parts of the world. Many people believe that a Ritual Bath will put an end to adverse conditions and open the way for Luck, Love, Money, and Happiness to enter their lives. Those who use these Scented Crystals in Spiritual Baths dissolve half the contents of a packet in a tub of water and pour the liquid over themselves as they recite a wish, a prayer, or one of the Psalms. We also know folks who dissolve these Scented Crystals in a pail of warm water and use as a Floor Wash to rid the home of Foul Odors and to bring about their desires in Financial Matters, Luck, Romance, or Games of Chance. We do not make any claims, but sell these fine Scented Bath Crystals as a curio only.
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue

The picture above shows the labels for Lucky Mojo brand foil packs of four typical hoodoo mineral bath crystals used for personal cleansing, putting in the laundry, or making up floor wash: Attraction is said to draw what you want in the way of money and love (the label depicts a horseshoe magnet attracting dollar bills, coins, and hearts). Van Van, the most famous of all the New Orleans and Algiers, Louisiana, formulas, is used to clear away enemy tricks, dispel evil, bring in good luck, and increase the power of amulets and charms. (The all-purpose nature of this formula is indicated by its label, which contains images of an All Seeing Eye, heart, four-leaf clover, and shaking hands.) Compelling is used by those who wish to collect what is owed to them or force someone to make good on a promise. Fear Not to Walk Over Evil provides protection from tricks or messes that may have been put down for you to step over, especially by an enemy. Lucky Mojo labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.

This lengthy article has been divided into several sections:



The use of herb baths, mineral bath crystals, and floor washes has been a part of hoodoo practice for a very long time. Generally speaking, they combine elements of African and European magical, religious, and witchcraft traditions and also a bit of Native American plant lore.

The oldest ritual baths and cleansings known to mankind are those involving pure water (typically running fresh water or sea water) and decoctions made from water to which has been added salt, minerals, herbs, roots, and tree barks.

Herbal baths are often used when sickness is present, and are pan-cultural in their distribution. The African belief in foot-track magic -- causing good or evil to another through their foot track -- additionally calls for regular ritual cleaning of not only the person but the doorstep and yard, in order to remove harmful materials such as Goofer Dust or War Water, which may be laid down in the path by an enemy.

Since the 20th century, mineral salts, liquid detergents, room sprays, and other modern bathing and cleaning supplies have been manufactured in convenient forms for use in magical cleansing and purification rites. The basis for these modern hoodoo products is typically an anointing or dressing oil. Root doctors traditionally name their hoodoo oils after the conditions they are believed to cause or to cure. Thus, by extension, Peaceful Home Bath and Floor Wash Crystals, like Peaceful Home Oil, is said to bring about contentment and an end to resentment in the family, while Crown of Success Crystals, like Crown of Success Oil, is believed to enhance one's good fortune in school, career, business, and public life.





In hoodoo terminology, performing a ritual or spell is often called "doing a job." The simplest jobs may involve bathing or anointing oneself or cleaning the house in a prescribed way. In these cases, the entire job consists of bathing a set number of times or washing down the walls, floors, and door step of the home or place of business in a ritual manner.

If a bath is intended to draw in good luck, it is common for the conjure to tell the bather to rub the body only in an upward direction after pouring the bath. If the bath is for the removal of evil conditions, the client may be told to bathe by rubbing in a downward direction only. In either case, the used bath water, enhanced by the essence of the bather, may become an ingredient in further spell work, ritually sprinkled, used to wipe away enemy tricks and witchcraft spells, or be added to floor wash.

Ritual floor-washing is likewise often divided into two classes of work: washing to draw in good luck, and washing to remove evil.

To attract good fortune, business clients, store customers, or a lover, one scrubs the front doorstep inward, to draw in what is wanted. When spiritually cleaning a home or business premises to rid it of evil conditions, one works from the top floor of the building down to the bottom floor and from the back of each floor to the front of each floor, ending at the front doorstep, which is usually given special attention and scrubbing. The used wash-water may be thrown into the front yard, toward the East, or, if preferred, the washing-out may continue down the house-path toward the road and conclude by throwing the water to East at the border of the property. More complex hoodoo spells done to improve one's condition in life in various ways might comprise dressing an amulet, burning candles and incense, or fixing up a mojo bag to be carried on the person. Spell work directed against enemies may involve laying tricks or throwing down materials for the victim to step over. Very strong jobs of both these types may take on the characteristics of elaborate magical rituals -- and in many cases when such a complex job is undertaken, ritual bathing forms the prelude to doing the job and a second ritual bath or a ritual house-cleaning followed by a ritual bath is the concluding act which marks its close.

Generally speaking, the ritual disposal of used bath water or floor wash from such work consists of throwing it to the east at or before sunrise, accompanied by a short, formulaic recitation of prayer. This can be done in the yard, in the street or pathway, or at a crossroads, depending on the type of work, and, for the sake of convenience, a small portion of the bath water may be used for this ritual purpose.

Patterns of belief about directionality and timing in bathing and floor washing are quite common, but some workers never mention directionality or timing at all, and that does not necessarily mark them as ignorant. The above methods are the ones most often encountered, but variations in small matters of timing and directionality are typical of folk magic and ought not to be treated as topics of doctrinal controversy.

We have published an entire book on the subject of bathing and cleansing in the tradition of domestic hoodoo folk magic. It is called "Hoodoo Spiritual Baths" by Aura Laforest.

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Some people, unfamiliar with the domestic and community basis of hoodoo, believe internet accounts of conjure in which its African American community origins are obscured and it is presented primarily as a system of spell-casting accessible to all who would learn its "rules" and methodology. It is a curious fact that among those who promote rootwork in this way, "cleansing" (they rarely use the term "bathing") is said to be ultra-important in the practice. They speak of the need to erform "cleanses" (as in, "I will be doing a cleanse today). To one such as i, who grew up around and in this tradition, there is something very peculiar in this locution. Not only is "a clense" a term not found in old-style or down-home conjure, the use of word "cleanse" as a noun, has historical links with 19th century theories of digestic "toxins" and the use of enemas: A "cleanse" was a euphemism for employment of a strong laxative or even the ingestion of cathartic purgatives.

Meanwhile, back in the world i grew up in, that is to say historically speaking, while keeping clean is quite important, the focus is on cleaning the home and business, with lesser emphasis paid to washng oneself up unless one has been crossed or jinxed or because one will be performing spell-work. There are, in addition, certain spells which are performed as baths, most notably love spells. Finally, there are cases in which bathing is undertaken either before or after performing certain types of spells.


Here is my idea of when to bathe before doing a spell. Let me be very clar here: This list is not about "when to perform a bath ritual AS a spell." Rather, it is "upon which occasions a cleansing would be performed BEFORE working a trick":

1. BEFORE LOVE WORK: I usually cleanse my entire body and dress in freshly laundered clothes before doing any form or prayer or spell in which i am asking for love of the body, because i want my body to be clean. A love herbs or love bath cystals bath would be my choice.

2. BEFORE MONEY WORK: I usually clean my hands if i am doing any work for the increase of money, as this is the work of my hands. Gambler's Gold Hand Wash, Van Van Oil in warm water -- something quick and easy.

3. BEFORE JINXING: I never cleanse myself at all if i am about to do a curse, because i want to go into it dirty.

4. BEFORE UNCROSSING: It would be foolish to cleanse before an Uncrossing spell, as the spell itelf is the bathing or cleansing! Yet i am often asked this question!


Likewise, here is my idea of when to bathe or wash up after doing a spell. Again, to be very clear: This list is not "when to perform a bath ritual AS a spell." Rather, it is "upon which occasions a cleansing would be performed AFTER working a trick":

1. AFTER LOVE WORK: If i wash up after a love spell, i use floral compounds like love oils or baths. If the spell is being performed while my lover is approaching, i would not bathe between the spell and the meeting.

2. AFTER MONEY WORK: I usually do not wash off my hands after a money spell because i want to carry the stuff on to the next money i touch.

3. AFTER JINXING: I bathe with Hyssop and drink Hyssop tea after doing an evil deed or curse, and recite Psalms 51. I also launder the clothes i wore while casting the evil spell.

4. AFTER UNCROSSING: This type of spell most often IS a bath, so i would not bathe after doing an Uncrossing or Jinx-Breaking spell.


I have often recommended that after doing a jinxing or cursing spell, a Hyssop bath or Uncrossing bath or Blessing bath may be used to cleanse oneself. I teach that after this bath, one may walk out between two candles. Because i have been asked about this ritual in detail so many times, i want you to understand that there are MANY ways to do these things. Hoodoo is not a system of rules to be memorized. It is a community-based form of folk magic, so you will see much variation in regions of the country and among different families.

Some folks don't walk between any candles at all when cleansing after rootwork. They mark the end of the work in a different way. For instance, my late friend Hurkey (Leroy Thomas), who grew up in Philadelphia in the 1950s and 1960s and later lived in New Orleans, simply told folks to step out of the bath tub BACKWARDS.

This photo of Hurkey was taken in Jackson Square in 2007 by Maureen "moeyknight" and is used with permission -- and here is a brief description of a prescription Hurkey gave to a client, Marisa Murgatroyd, which she posted in 2006 on her blog, "New Orleans Memories" --

"Next month on the first full moon, put three tablespoons of sugar in your bath water and take a bath. This will sweeten your life and your path. Then step out of the bathtub backwards to get rid of bad luck. Following this, on the next rain, set a white cup with a pinch of salt out in the rain -- this is holy water. When it stops raining, put the cup in your bedroom window until the water evaporates. Then wrap it in a white hankerchief and throw it away. A lot of people are jealous of you, and this will dispel the bad luck that comes from this."

I grew up in the East Bay in the 1950s and 1960s and i learned in Oakland to set up two small free-standing candles (4" or so) on the floor, one at the head of the bathtub and one at the foot, and step out between them. Some folks who had no tubs and only a shower told me that they set the candles at the doorway of the shower -- or on the floor at the doorway of the bathroom -- and stepped out through them. Placing the candles on the FLOOR was always a part of the instructions.

The candle method comes out of the Spiritual Church Movement tradition of working with lights set on the floor, a way of working that goes back at least 175 years in America. Hurkey's white cup, white salt, rain water, and white handkerchief also come out of the Spiritual Church Movement.

What we see in this is two different regional traditions, and both are valid and well accepted.


Over in the Lucky Mojo Forum, a few questions were asked about the custom of closing a Hyssop bath or Uncrossing Bath by walking between two small candles. Here is a mini-FAQ on the subject

1. How long should we boil the Hyssop in water to make the bath?

As with most herbal teas, you may infuse Hyssop or steep it. We usually only boil herbs that are very tough, like Bay Leaves, or mixtures that contain roots or seeds. My friend Papa Newt's suggestion of using a muslin bag to steep the tea is also very good, as it saves on clean-up time.

2. What size of candle should we use?

A small freestanding white candle such as a 4" candle is sufficient. You coud also use a white tea light or a white birthday candle. You would most definitely NOT be using a glass vigil light. As noted above, this style of work comes out of the Spiritual Church Movement and relates to 19th century African American customs. This 19th century picture by E. W. Kemble is not of a bathing and cleansing ritual, but it shows practitioners with candles on the floor (at the four corners of a sacred space). These are the small candles in brass holders set on white plates that are typical of the work.

3. How many times do we walk between the candles?

Walk through the candles just once. Again, you need to know WHY this is done more than HOW to do it. It is done to demark a change. Going back and forth and back and forth would be a symptom of OCD, like switching lights on and off many times in an attempt to "get it right" due to low serotonin in the brain.

4. Do we say a special prayer when we walk between the candles?

Aside from quoting Psalms 51 when bathing with Hyssop, no one has ever told me that there is a special, extra, different prayer to say when stepping out of the tub or when stepping through the candles after a Hyssop bath. I am sure you can select one, but the point is not to say a prayer then -- because you would have already prayed Psalms 51 while bathing. Rather the point is to make spiritual note of what you are doing -- you are LEAVING the bath and walking away from it into the MUNDANE WORLD. This is why Hurkey's method of stepping out of the tub backwards is equally valid as walking between candles: both methods mark a change or turn in your consciousness.

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The oldest tradition concerning ritual bathing utilizes of special herbs thought to impart certain essences conducive to love-getting, money-drawing, protection from evil, or the removal of curses. The method of preparation is generally to steep the herbs in boiling water, strain the mixture, let the liquid cool, and pour it over the body while standing in a wash tub.

Perhaps the most well-known bath-herb in the African-American Christian community is Hyssop, mentioned in Psalm 51 of the Bible as the herb to use for purification from sin. The common-encountered recommendation to use only rain water, spring water, or ocean water in preparing such a bath is very likely an example of the Jewish-kabbalist influence in hoodoo, for in Judaism the mikva or ritual bath is supposed to me made with free running water.

Other herbs used in ritual baths might include Damiana for love, Raspberry Leaves to increase a woman's attractiveness, Rue for protection, Eucalyptus to rid oneself of bad habits or evil companions, Agrimony to reverse a jinx, and Cinnamon Chips or Chamomile flowers to draw money. Special proprietary mixtures, generally sold under names like 7 Herb Bath, 9 Herb Bath, and 13 Herb Bath are used to draw good luck in love and money, to increase personal spiritual power, and to remove jinxes, respectively.


Many root doctors tell their clients to pour the bath water over their heads a specified number of times (usually an odd number) and some also prescribe the recital of Psalms or magical phrases as the water is poured. One bath is often deemed sufficient, but for a "strong job" it is common practice to take 7 daily baths of 7 pourings each with 7 Herb Bath, 9 daily baths of 9 pourings with 9 Herb Bath, or 13 daily baths of 13 pourings with 13 Herb Bath. The number of pourings, the words spoken, and the direction which one rubs the body will vary with the magical intent of the bath.

If you plan to take a series of baths for any purpose or reason, you may prepare the herbal bath-tea baths ahead of time by pre-boiling and straining them, and then warming up each portion for use as needed. Keep the pre-boiled and strained herbal bath in the refrigerator to stay freshest. Another technique used by many folks is to make ice cubes out of the pre-boiled bath-tea, for longer storage. In order to do this, and save space in your freezer, you will do well to boil up a really concentrated solution, strain it, freeze it in ice cube trays, pop the cubes out the tray (so you can use them for regular ice) and bag the cubes in the freezer. When you need a fast herb bath, just add hot water, and there you are!

Herb bath blends are available in small packets for one bath or in larger bags for multiple-day use. The herb baths shown above and at right are Lucky Mojo brand products: 13 Herb Spiritual Bath for uncrossing and taking off jinxes, 9 Herb Spiritual Bath for increasing spiritual insight and dreaming true, and 7 Herb Spiritual Bath for good luck in money drawing and love getting.

Order Herbal Baths from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.



Manual dexterity is highly prized by gamblers, especially those who play at cards. The same money-drawing herbs used for ritual bathing are also made up into lucky hand washes. These are used for cleaning and empowering the hands when going out to play at games of chance. The herbal hand wash shown in the picture above is Lucky Mojo brand Gambler's Gold Lucky 7 Hand Wash which contains golden Chamomile, money-drawing Cinnamon Chips, money-steadying Irish Moss, poverty-ending Alfalfa, and three other herbs reputed to bring in the winnings and foster gambling luck.

To use herbal hand washes, the practitioner makes up a batch as a strong "tea," strains out the herbs, and stores the liquid in the refrigerator, using just enough every time to thoroughly wash the hands and prepare them for their work. Herbal hand washes may also be boiled up in concentated form, then strained and frozen into convenient ice cubes, as descibed above under the heading for herbal baths.

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Another style of ritual purification employs floral-scented Spiritual Colognes and Toilet Waters to rid an area of bad spirits, attract or pay homage to good spirits, and to refresh those who are suffering from psychic distress. Expensive concentrated perfumes are not often used as floor washes but they may be mixed with water and placed in a bowl on an altar or sprinkled on the body. The most popular products for these purposes are diluted perfumes, called Waters and Colognes. Among the best-known in the context of spell-craft are Florida Water and Kananga Water. Full bottles may be placed on altars as offerings. Rub-downs with these colognes are also widely considered helpful in cases of unnatural illness.

A similar perfume, Hoyt's Cologne, is splashed or wiped on the body to promote gambling luck and personal power. It is also used as an alcohol medium to extract herbal essences, such as protective Devil's Shoe Strings and empowering High John the Conqueror root

Other perfumed body washes used in spell-craft include Rose Water Cologne for love spells and Orange Blossom Water Cologne for the enhancement of Marriage spells and as an aid to Peaceful Home spells and Attraction spells. They may be worn on the body, added to floor washes, sprinkled on an altar or around a room, or used to wash ceremonial tools and lucky charms or amulets.

All five of the above-named Spiritual Colognes and Toilet Waters originated in the 19th century or earlier as commercial formulas and they are generally purchased in spiritual supply stores or occult shops rather than hand-made by practitioners. They are prayed over to consecrate them for magical use.

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The simplest and oldest mineral crystal baths in hoodoo are made from little more than table salt, sometimes mixed with saltpeter and bluestone or laundry blueing, such as the blue anil balls shown here. Typically three mineral ingredients are utilized in compounding such mineral baths: salt, saltpeter and epsom salts is another popular combination. A 20th century introduction into hoodoo practice is the ritual bath comprised of mineral salts (Epsom salts and table salt or kosher salt) scented with the essential oils of flowers and herbs or with blended "condition" oils for the third ingredient. A typical example of this sort of mineral bath is packet of Fast Luck Bath Crystals shown here. Depending on the manufacturer, "condition" bath crystals may or may not also contain herbs. However, such a small amount of herbs will typically be included that the bath-water need not be strained before use. Crystal baths can be taken by the old-fashioned pouring method, but many modern bathers simply dissolve the crystals in a bathtub filled with hot water, scooping up the ritual number of handfuls of water to pour over the head or, if they don;t want to muss their hair-do, from the neck down.


Another way to use bath crystals, especially if you are laying a trick that you wish to keep secret, is to add large pinch of the crystals to the rinse water of their laundry. This will dress them without their becoming suspicious of your work. Dressing their socks or underwear in this manner will produce a stronger result than dressing their outer garments, of course. Similarly, if you are want to help yourself when you are going for a job interview or out on a date, you can add the appropriate mineral crystals (e.g. Steady Work or Love Me) to your own laundry rinse water and dress yourself.


Mineral crystal baths based on lodestones or those used for drawing money, which may contain pyrite, will sometimes surprise the user by leaving actual chunks of ore in the tub! These are meant to be saved and used as curios or in a mojo bag.


To control or to curse someone, to break up a relationship, or to drive aan unwanted person away using mineral salt baths, you may dress their laundry as described above. You will use either an overpowering mineral salt, such as Domination, Controlling, I Can You Cant, Compelling or Essence of Bend-Over, or a cursing mineral salt like Revenge, Damnation, Destruction, DUME, Crossing, Jinx, Hot Foot, or other cursing bath crystals. You may also use these in scrub water to mop the floor where they will walk, to seal letters you send them, and to water around their property.



To draw in a new love, attract attention while out clubbing, cast a charming aura while on a date, bring a love partner closer, secure a marriage, and ensure a peaceful home with mineral salt baths, you may bathe in the products, dress your laundry (or your mate's), and add the crystals to your regular floor wash or mop water. Popular tites for this kind of work include Follow Me Boy, Come To Me, Bewitching,, Marriage, Cleo May,, Kiss Me Now!, Dixie Love, Love Me, Adam and Eve, Look Me Over, and Fire of Love products. Each one of these old-time recipes is slightly different -- some placing emphasis on passion, others on physical attractivenes, or control of a lover, or all of these combined with good fortune and luck at love and romnce -- but they have in common the underlying aim of enhancing one's internally generated forces, enabling action upon the external world.

The following documentation on Mineral Crystal Baths comes from "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4766-page collection of folkloric material gathered by Harry Middleton Hyatt, primarily between 1936 and 1940.

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.


1457. A person dat has been tricked in de skin, it's something dat is buried for 'em or laid down on de steps for 'em -- de house been dressed. You take nine teaspoonful of cooking salt, you take one dime {dime's worth} of saltpeter, use dat, an eight quarts of water, hot water -- just like water for a bath. You pull off all of your clothes, ever'thing you got on, you get in there and take a bath in dat same water nine times.

(What do you mean nine times? All at once or different times?)

Dat same water -- don't throw dat water away, you keep it in something like you take a bath in {e.g. an old-fashioned free-standing metal bath-tub}. Never rub upwards -- always run from here down [demonstrates].

(From your face right down.)

From there down. A person whut's been tricked in de skin, rub from here down and use dat water nine times, an' de last time you use dat water, take it and throw it towards de sunrise, soon in de morning before de sun rise, so you get rid of dat complaint. Ah'm telling you whut's done happened to me.

[Mobile, Ala. (679), 905:2.]


10188. For success in business either at home or outside the house, bathe with 3 ingredients; bluestone, saltpeter and sugar. Or else bathe with blueing {in place of the bluestone}.

At place of business mop up with Red Seal Lye {diluted in water} and burn brimstone {sulphur} as a purification.

But before leaving home for work or opening the house for business, make wishes and light a yellow candle. [Did the maker of this rite realize that in some place during the late Middle Ages prostitutes legally had to wear yellow?]

{Hyatt often used the word "business" as code for street prostitution, brothel-keeping, and bootlegging. Sometimes when he did this after stripping away the context of an informant's remarks, it almost sounds as if he inexplicably and falsely assumed that the informant -- or African-Americans in general -- only earned their livings through illegal means. In this case, however, what we have is only a resume of the interview; we must trust that the informant had actually referred to prostitution, which Hyatt then called "business." In Memphis, particularly, he seems to have interviewed a considerable number of female prostitutes regarding the spell-work they did to draw customers and keep away the law. Be that as it may, this spell would also be effective for any kind of legitimate business.}

[Memphis, Tenn., (960 excellent hoodoo woman, whose material my transcriber missed; this being my original resume), 1546:9.]


10189. Bottle oil of bergamine [{a bottle of essential oil of} bergamot], box cooking soda, teaspoon saltpeter, take bath in that. Break a candle, make a wish, light [same] candle, let candle burn out. Then get brimstone, burn brimstone Monday, Wednesday and Friday and make wish. Put sugar in it [brimstone], throw into fire. Can make money. [This rite for business.]

[Memphis, Tenn., (960, original resume), 1546:8.] {Only a "resume" is given here because this is informant 960, a woman whose cylinders the transcriber overlooked; more details on this oversight can be found in the page on Hyatt's Informants at #960.}

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The earliest floor washes were made by mixing salt with or without added saltpeter, washing soda, ammonia, turpentine, lye, or herbs (such as Devil's Shoestring) to get rid of evil influences, or mixing diluted urine (chamber lye) in water, with or without added sugar, salt, saltpeter, blueing, or herbs (such as Cinnamon or Vanilla), to draw in customers, money, and love. There are almost as many recipes for these down-home floor-wash combinations as there are people to tell them -- most calling for three ingredients plus water -- and they are often used in combination with a fore-day incense fumigation of the premises to enhance their beneficial effect.

The most famous of all the old commercial hoodoo home cleaners, herb-based Chinese Wash, is the only spiritual supply of its type i know that does not derive from a condition oil and which is rarely used for personal bathing, although some people do employ it that way, and there is no reason not to. I believe it dates back to the 19th century, and although it may have begun as a simple floor wash to which magical power was later adduced, it is now the "gold standard" of spiritual floor, wall, and door step washes. The old slogan says it best: "Clear away that evil mess with Chinese Wash!"

In the early 20th century the New Orleans formula called Van Van Oil was often diluted in water for use as a floor wash. It contains essentially the same herbs as Chinese Wash and it was also used for scrubbing the door step to keep away evil and to change one's luck. By the 1930s, specially prepared Van Van Floor Wash was being sold by suppliers, and from there it was a short leap to create floor washes from all of the popular "condition" oils. The same mineral crystals used for bathing can be mixed up for washing floors. Some sellers also make up concentrated liquid bath and floor wash compounds.


In performing a ritual floor washing for the general spiritual cleansing and purification of a home or place or business, to take off harmful witchcraft spells, and to clear away spiritual messes, the major directive i used to be given was to start at the back of the premises and end by washing outward at the front doorstep. That crucial area is usually given an extra-thorough scrubbing and it may also be swept while wet and sprinkled with salt, especially if the intent is to keep away evil visitors.


In performing a ritual floor washing to increase luck, attract customers, bring in a lover or friend, or help prepare the way for good influences to enter, it is common to be instructed to rise before dawn and before one ever speaks a word to anyone, to scrub the front doorstep inward, to draw in what is wanted. This is usually performed in silence, either for 9 days in a row for a special desire or on Wednesdays and Fridays as a continuing practice, as at a store or place of business.



There are many ways to cleanse a spiritually messed-up place, but this is one common pattern of working if the job is extremely heavy or the condition of long standing:

Start before dawn by taking a personal cleansing bath in a mixture of Uncrossing Bath Crystals and 13 Herb Bath. When you are done, carry the bath-water out of dooors and throw out the water with a prayer of removal -- but reserve some bath water to mix into your floor wash.

Stir a couple of tablespoons of Chinese Wash into a bucket of fresh, warm scrub water, drip in a bit of your favourite appropriate hoodoo oils, and add your reserved bath water.

Scrub each room in turn, working from the top to bottom and back to front of the house, plus top to bottom and back to front of each room.

As you finish and leave each room, light a white offertory or altar-light candle in it and say a prayer of thanksgiving, such as Psalms 23. There is one candle lit for each room. If you wish to conserve on candles and use one candle in several rooms, all you need to do is get a larger candle. Since it will still be burning in the 1st room when you finish the 2nd room, you may go back, get the candle, and carry the candle into the room you have just finished, then say a prayer over it and leave it behind as you move on to scrube the 3rd room. In other words, the lit candle is always one room behind you as you work. When you finish the house, the lit candle remains in the ast room (typically the living room, if that's where the front door is), and is kept alight until it goes out naturally.



Traditional floor washing and spritiaual house cleansing methods were designed for use on wood floors, parquet floors, tile floors, brick floors, stone floors, and dirt floors. If you live or work in a place with wall-to-wall carpets, you will need to adapt these traditional house cleaning methods to your cicumstances. Basically, you have several choices:

You can mix up a liquid floorwash and then apply it very lightly. For instance, you can sweep the carpet gently with a barely-moistened broom or a dampened Swiffer-type cloth cleaner.

If you use a steam-cleaner on your carpets, you can add spiritual house clening ingredients to your carpet cleaner system.

You can put the spiritual cleaning ingredients into a spray bottle and lightly spritz the air above the carpet.

If you do not wish to work with liquids, you can make a floor sprinkle by using the house cleaning floorwash crystals as they come from the package, sprinkling them onto the carpet, praying over them, and then vacuuming them up. Sprinkles of crystals or herbal baths can also be used on wood, tile, and other hard-surfaced floors too, if you do not wish to mop of scrub.

Once you decide on the method you prefer, simply follow the same directions given above for working on wood or tile floors.


Floor washes can be made up for a wide variety of purposes, including spiritual cleaning, money-drawing, attracting love, causing a married couple to quarrel, or dominating one's boss.

It is traditional to combine three ingredients when making up a spiritual floor wash. There are many treasured family recipes for such washes. Most begin with water, plus a variety of liquids, (from ammonia and vinegar to urine and turpentine), to which are added mineral salts, herbs and/or dressing oils. The ingredients in any given floor wash recipe will, of course, depend upon the condition one seeks to bring about.

Let's pretend, just for a moment, that the year is 1936. America was dealing with the economic Depression as well as historic droughts, dust storms, and the boll weavils in the cotton, tearing up the bolls. Yes, times were hard. Everyone was trying to make ends meet, so everyone wanted a bargain -- in fact, everyone NEEDED a bargain -- and the mail order houses obliged.

One of the best ways that the spiritual supply houses helped out was by bundling together "Specials" -- groups of items that could be offered at a retail discount and shipped in one box, saving postage costs and rewarding loyal customers for ordering more than one item at a time. Among the most popular of these deals was the "Floor Wash Special," a group of products designed to be used, with supplied instructions, to rid a home of evil and prepare the inhabitants to receive good luck.

Here is an old-time recipe for a cleansing and protective floor wash that we have found useful and very easy to prepare.

All Purpose House Wash:

To each bucket of warm scrub-water, add

Because we think you'll like this old-fashioned, down-home recipe, we'd like to offer you a price-busting deal:





4 oz. bottle Chinese Wash 5.50

1 foil packet of Mineral Salts 4.00
(specify your choice by name from the list above)

1/2 oz. bottle Dressing Oil 7.00
(specify your choice by name from the list above)

A $16.50 value for only $15.00!

The quantity you receive, when added to scrub-water
as described here, will be enough to wash your home
several times. Ask for the FLOOR WASH SPECIAL
and note your selections from the lists above in your
online shopping cart to receive this special discount!

Order Special Waters and Waters from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.



Just as the commercial scrubbing compound called Chinese Wash became in time a Spiritual supply, so have certain soaps acquired reputations for efficacy in spiritual work. Additionally, as the market for spiritual supplies advanced, soaps were formulated for use in magical rites.

One of the earliest commercial soaps that had a spiritual context was a brand of laundry soap called Octagon. A dull olive green in colour, it is highly scented with lemongrass, citronella grass, and lemon, making it the bar soap equivalent to Van Van Oil and Chinese Wash. Although it is not common now to shave bar soap to make laundry flakes, Octagon Soap is still manufactured, and old-fashioned spiritual supply stores do stock it.

Additionally, in the African American community, the fame of the Black and White line of cosmetics made in Memphis, Tennessee has not diminished over the years, and many people still seek out Black and White Soap as a beauty are and an enhancement to love magic.

Other commercial soaps that have become accepted as spiritual soaps due to their essential oil contents are Patchouli soap -- used in love spells, Florida Water Soap -- used when bathing to prepare for spiritual work, and Sandalwood Soap -- used in conjunction with rites of blessing and purification.

The development of "condition" soaps followed that of "condition" floor washes, and is now a strong factor in hoodoo rootwork. Thus we find available any number of soaps formulated with herbal essences whose uses are identifiable by their names, including Fast Luck Soap Money Drawing Soap Love Me Soap Uncrossing Soap and Black Pullet Egg (Huevo de Gallina Negra) Soap for cleansings (limpias) and the removal of evil eye.

Order Spiritual Soaps from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.




Over the years, as urbanization has driven people farther from the sources of natural magic in their lives, manufacturers of hoodoo products have slowly begun to leave the roots and herbs out of the old root doctors' formulas. Today, few companies sell herb baths, and those that manufacture bath crystals and floor washes rarely make them with actual botanical or mineral ingredients. Even those products which ought to contain relatively easy to obtain ingredients, such as Lodestone Bath Crystals, which traditionally contains small pieces of magnetic iron ore, and John the Conqueror Bath Crystals, which should contain fragments of John the Conqueror Root, are rarely found to be made with the advertised ingredients. In my opinion, these ritual cleansing and cleaning products, if they are made the old, traditional Southern way, will consist of more than just time-honoured names on packages of mineral salts or liquid detergent. They should contain -- they MUST contain -- real herbs, roots, minerals, and condition oils.

I realize that this is an advertisement for my own company, but the 7 Herb Bath and the various bath crystals and Chinese Wash shown on this page were made by me, and like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, they contain genuine reputed lucky and magical herbs, minerals, and herbal essential oils. I am not going to list all the ingredients, but Attraction contains Cinnamon Chips and Sweet Orange, Uncrossing is made with Hyssop Leaves, and Follow Me Boy contains Calamus Root. End of advertisement.

Order Spiritual Bathing and Cleaning Supplies 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
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Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
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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
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
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Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
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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