Because this book has been in print for 90 years, in many editions, we want to take a moment to show you why, no matter which of the various editions you have, there will only be between 30 and 35 spells in your copy -- but if you were to assemble ALL of the editions and eliminate duplicate spells, there would be more than 50 spells! -- and there are 53 in this edition, to be exact.
The Chronological Bibliography, included on page 96 of the book, tells the story:
Hartmann, Franz. Magic White and Black or The Science of Finite and Infinite Life. G. Redway, 1886. Uncredited source for Black and White Magic.
H. F. (A Fellow of the Universal Brotherhood) [pseud.]. Astrology Made Easy or The Influence of the Stars and Planets Upon Human Life, Wehman Bros., c. 1895. Uncredited source for Zodiac.
Foli, Prof. P. R. S. [Cyril A. Pearson] Fortune-Telling by Cards. C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd., 1903. Uncredited source for Significance of Cards.
Schertz, Helen Pitkin. An Angel by Brevet: A Story of Modern New Orleans. Lippincott, 1904.
Le Breton, Mrs. John [Cyril A. Pearson]. The White-Magic Book. C. A. Pearson Publishing, 1919. Uncredited source for Spiritualism. Reprinted by Red Wheel / Weiser, 2001.
Plough, Abe. Black and White Almanac 1922. Plough Laboratories, 1921. Uncredited source for Wedding Anniversaries.
Plough, Abe. Genuine Black and White Good Luck and Dream Book, The Black and White Company, c. 1925. Source for this book's cover.
Laveau, Marie, [George A. Thomas], The Life and Works of Marie Laveau. N.P. [Crackerjack Drugstore?], N.D., circa 1928. No copy found. Unknown page-count. Contents unknown. Presumed by Carolyn Long to be Hurston's source.
Hurston, Zora Neale. "Hoodoo in America," The Journal of American Folk-Lore," Vol. 44, No. 174, Oct.-Dec., 1931. 98 pages. Contains 30 Consultations and Marie Laveau (misspelled Leveau). No Note, Spiritism, Candles, Cards, Zodiac, Wedding Anniversaries, or List of Supplies.
Laveau, Marie [Anne Fleitman] Old and New Black and White Magic: Marie Laveau. Dorene Publishing, N.D., circa 1940. 68 pages. Contains 35 Consultations, Note, Spiritism, Marie Laveau, Candles, Cards, Zodiac, Wedding Anniversaries. No List of Supplies.
Laveau, Marie [Anne Fleitman] Old and New Black and White Magic: Marie Laveau. Fulton Religious Supply, N.D. c. 1965. 48 pages, abridged from the 1940 edition of "Old and New," pagination in typewriter type. Contains 33 Consultations, Spiritism, Marie Laveau, Candles, Zodiac. No Note, Cards, Wedding Anniversaries, or List of Supplies.
Laveau, Marie [Larry B. Wright]. Black and White Magic Attributed to Marie Laveau. Published for the Trade [but rubber stamped on the title page Marlar Publishing], N.D., circa 1965. 40 pages. Contains 35 Consultations, Note, Spiritism, Zodiac, Candle Novena, Candle Devotion, Cards, Marie Laveau, and List of Supplies. No Significance of Candles or Wedding Anniversaries.
Allan Company. The Guidebook to Black and White Magic: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Richle Press, 1976. 16 pages each, for a total of 48 pages. Contains 21 Set-Ups. No other text.
Laveau, Marie [Dorothy Spencer]. Revised Black and White Magic: Marie Laveau. N.P., N.D, circa 1985. 64 pages. Contains 35 Consultations, Note, Spiritism, Marie Laveau, Candle Novena, Significance of Candles, Candle Devotion, Cards, Zodiac, and Wedding Anniversaries. No List of Supplies. This replaced the "Attributed" edition and was offered in catalogues as late as 1990.
Laveau, Marie [Dorothy Spencer]. Original Black and White Magic: Marie Laveau. International Imports, 1991. 70 pages. Reprints the 64 page circa 1985 "Revised" edition, with ads at end.
Laveau, Marie [Dorothy Spencer]. Original Black and White Magic: Marie Laveau. Indio Products, 2001. 66 pages. Reprints the 64 page unattributed circa 1985 "Revised" edition, with ads at end.
Long, Carolyn Morrow. Spiritual Merchants, University of Tennessee Press, 2001.
Laveau, Marie [Catherine Yronwode]. Genuine Black and White Magic of Marie Laveau. Lucky Mojo Curio Co, 2018. 96 pages. Contains 53 Consultations, Note, Spiritism, Marie Laveau, Candles, Cards, Zodiac, Wedding Anniversaries, and List of Supplies.
Who Wrote This Book?
In what follows, we are including material that appeared in concise form on pages 7 through 10 of "Genuine Black and Whote Magic of Marie Laveau" -- with additional data that did not fit into the book, but which may be of interest to those who are bibliophiles or book-detectives. All of the material printed in the book appears in regular type. Additional material is in Italics
Marie Laveau (1801-1881) did not write any portion of this book, but some past editions of "Black and White Magic" contain fantastic accounts of her life. Zora Neale Hurston's compilation of 1931 gave her a lengthy write-up, but strangely enough, her name was incorrectly spelled as Marie Leveau. Hurston's fabulized biography is too lengthy to include here, but it is online at https://www.luckymojo.com/hurston-laveau.html -- and i also recommend the factual 2007 book "A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau" by Carolyn Morrow Long.
Marie Laveau lived during the mid 19th century, but the spells "thought to be authentic from Marie Laveau" are usually constructed according to typical urban New Orleans, Louisiana hoodoo paradigms. The fact is, the earliest printing of them that we have been able to find, after decades of searching, was published by Zora Neale Hurston in 1931, although there is some evidence that a now-lost earlier edition was for sale at the Cackerjack Drug Store in New orleans in 1928.
One way to date the spells is to look at their construction and the ingredients they require. Among other things, many of the supposedly authentic Laveau spells require the use of free-standing paraffin candles (household candles, 6" offertory candles, tapers, etc.), coloured in various hues, which were not available in commerce until after the Civil War. Those candles alone mark the spells as adaptations from Laveau at best -- and fabrications in her name at worst.
But there are some spells in the book attributed to Laveau that do not require candles. Assigning those to Laveau still begs the question of whether any of spells in question really ARE similar to what Marie Laveau taught, because no true chain of provenance was established by Zora Neale Hurston or any others who have added too or subtracted from the text over the years.
But let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Hurston's spells really do acurately echo Laveau's spell-work of the mid 19th century, okay?
The spells, as noted, are hoodoo, much like the spells that Harry M. Hyatt collected during the 1930s. They do not look like Voodoo rituals at all. If they actually came from Laveau, then she was working hoodoo, not Voodoo, and the claim her devotees make that she was "the Queen of Voodoo" is false.
On the other hand, let's assume that the hoodoo spells ascribed to Laveau are modern constructions written by Hurston and others, not by Laveau -- and that Laveau herself had actually taught and practiced 19th century spell-work that truly WAS Voodoo.
If that were the case, we could look also to her RELIGIOUS rites and expect to see echoes of authentic Dahomeyan or Haitian Voodoo in them. But instead we see a lot of inaccuracies. For instance, Laveau is well known to have had a snake that she called "Zombi," but the name of the snake-god in Voodoo is Damballah, not Zombi -- and Zombi means "a corpse reanimated for the purpose of doing day-labour." So Laveau seems to have actually known VERY little about Voodoo -- probably just a few African words that she gleaned from slaves who came to New Orleans in the wake of the Haitian slave rebellion -- and which she applied almost at random to the props she used in her performances.
Let us look at the things that characterize Voodoo -- food offerings and the use of praise-songs to the deities.
If Voodoo survived in New Orleans in any coherent form, we would expect to see remnants of food offerings in New Orleans hoodoo, whether or not we saw them in the writings attributed to Marie Laveau. And, in fact, we DO see remnants of food offerings in New Orleans spell work -- and in spells that Hyatt collected from Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida as well. The food offerings in hoodoo are not organized or liturgically ordered, as in true Voodoo, but they show up over and over, in little hints and flashes. Setting candles into saucers of Karo syrup and rock candy ... killing a rooster and taking his leg to a crossroads ... sewing a name-paper into a beef tongue and setting it up in a bucket of vinegar with candles on it ... these ALL are obvious African Traditional Religion survivals in hoodoo. But they are only remnants of ways of working; they are not religious practices per se.
Another reason we can confidently say that hoodoo spells lack African religious coherence is because the other major activity that characterizes Voodoo -- praise songs and dance -- is lacking almost entirely in hoodoo root work. The use of brief spoken exhortations -- especially "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," found in many hoodoo spells -- is Christian. It is formulaic and is a direct borrowing from European spell-books such as "Pow Wows or the Long-Lost Friend" by John George Hohman. Such formulaic invocations bear little or no resemblance to the elaborate dancing, praise singing, and trance-possession that charcterizes African religions.
GEORGE A. THOMAS
Carolyn Morrow Long, a fine scholar of hoodoo history, has written that the lost first edition of "The Life and Works of Marie Laveau" was probably created as a sales vehicle for New Orleans' Cracker Jack Drug Store, which stocked the supplies required to carry out the spells. The Cracker Jack was founded in 1907 by Dr. George A. Thomas (1874-1940), a New Orleans physician and pharmacist. Stopping short of attributing the text to Thomas, Long does place the vanished "Life and Works" in his shop, for sale to the public at the time Zora Neale Hurston was researching hoodoo in the South.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) is best known as a novelist, but early in her career she was a folklorist. She researched rootwork in the South from 1926-1928 and wrote the 98 page article "Hoodoo In America" for "The Journal of American Folk-Lore" in 1931. This included 35 of the present spells, and was partially reprised in her 1935 book "Mules and Men." I have long suspected that Hurston, not Thomas, was the actual author or inventor of the lost "Life and Works."
Read what Zora Neale Hurston Hurston wrote about Marie Laveau at https://www.luckymojo.com/hurston-laveau.html
The new spells in the circa 1940 "Old and New Black and White Magic" from Dorene Publishing bear textual signs of having been written by Anne Fleitman (1906-1990), who used the pseudonym Henri Gamache on such 1940s occult shop classics as "The Master Book of Candle Burning" and "The Mystery of the Long-Lost 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses." Dorene was owned by the Kay (a.k.a. Spitalnick) family. An abridged and wrongly paginated reprint of the "Old and New" was published in 1965 by Moe and Mitzi Trugman's Fulton Religious Supply, successors to the Dorene line.
BIVINS, NOM DE PLUME
"Bivins N. D. P." is the name affixed to the chapter on "Spiritism" that first appeared in Dorene's"Old and New Black and White Magic" in 1940. Some bibliographers have taken this to mean that Bivins wrote the entire book, but such is not the case, for Bivins is merely a cover for plagiarism from "The White-Magic Book" by Mrs. John Le Breton, published in 1919 by C.A. Pearson in England. I hold that Mrs. Le Breton was a pseudonym of the publisher, Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson. The name Bivins bears the mysterious suffix N.D.P., which stands for "nom de plume" or pen-name.
LARRY B. WRIGHT
Larry Bernard Wright (1919-1998) operated one of the largest spiritual supply manufactories of the 20th century. The only past edition of "Black and White Magic" in which the handy List of Supplies appears is his "Attributed" edition, published "For the Trade" by Marlar Publishing, circa 1965. Marlar, along with the Tyrad Company and Worldwide Curio House, was a subsidiary of the Wright Co. of Minneapolis, Minnesota, founded in 1960. Wright also wrote and published popular occult spell books under the names Dr. Elb, Elbee Wright, H. U. Lampe, and C. A. Nagle.
Larry Bernard Wright was born on May 27, 1919. He died on June 19, 1998 at the age of 79 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 1968 Wright registered his copyright for “The Book of Legendary Spells,” which was first printed in 1967. At that time he officially declared his identification with the authorial pseudonym Elbee Wright (an alternative spelling for L.B. Wright). His publishing company, Marlar, was named for his wife Marlene and himself. It was identified as a “subsidiary of Wright Co., Inc.” of Minneapolis, which had been founded in 1960.
According to a 1971 copyright filing, the Wright Co., Inc., was also the parent-company of both the Tyrad Company and Worldwide Curio House.
Tyrad was the Wrights’ nationally distributed mail-order spiritual supply company, which manufactured several respected lines of oils, perfumes, and incenses. Worldwide Curio House, also known as House of Talismans, made and marketed the Seals of Solomon in the form of pewter pendants, and carried an extensive line of amulets from many cultural traditions.
In a 1972 copyright entry, Wright declared his identification as C.A. Nagle, the author of “Magical Charms, Potions, and Secrets for Love.”
In a 1974 copyright filing, he identified himself as the author of “Famous Voodoo Rituals and Spells” under the pseudonym H. U. Lampe.
I estimate that Wright’s anonymous edition of the Black and White Magic of Marie Laveau corpus (“Published for the Trade”) was first typeset and printed between 1965 and 1969. His contributions to the present text consist of the material on candles and a number of short spells with no supplications. I have added supplications to these, to bring them into stylistic conformity with the earlier material.
The Wedding Anniversary Secrets text in the "Revised" and "Original" editions is plagiarized from "The Black and White Almanac, 1922" published by Abe Plough (1891-1984), a Memphis-based supplier of herbs, perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines to the African-American market. The cover of this present "Genuine" edition is fondly adapted from Plough's "Genuine Black and White Good Luck and Dream Book," circa 1925.
Franz Hartmann (1838-1912) was a German medical doctor, and an author on the subjects of Theosophy, occultism, geomancy, and astrology. A short portion of the text was lifted from his book"Magic White and Black or The Science of Finite and Infinite Life, Containing Practical Knowledge, Instructions, and Hints for All Sincere Students of Magic and Occultism" published by G. Redway in England in 1886.
PROF. P. R. S. FOLI (SIR CYRIL ARTHUR PEARSON)
The text on card reading in the "Attributed," "Revised," and "Original" editions is plagiarized from "Fortune-Telling by Cards" by Prof. P. R. S. Foli, published in 1903 by C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd. in England. Foli is a known pseudonym of newspaperman Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson (1866-1921).
MRS. JOHN LE BRETON (SIR CYRIL ARTHUR PEARSON)
"The White-Magic Book" by Mrs. John Le Breton is a 1919 treatise on divination published in England by C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd. Reprinted many times, its most recent publisher is Red Wheel Weiser. From it was plagiarized the Spiritism text attributed to Bivins, N. D. P. One hundred years having passed, the identity of Mrs. Le Breton can only be guessed at, but the book's publisher, Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson (1866-1921), was well-known to use pseudonyms (see Prof. P. R. S. Foli, above) and i am convinced that "Mrs. John Le Breton" was none other than Pearson.
H. F. (A FELLOW OF THE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD)
The chapter on the signs of the Zodiac was added by Larry B. Wright during the 1960s, then copied in the Anna Riva edition of the 1980s and the Indio edition of the 2000s. It is an abridged and uncredited sampling from "Astrology Made Easy or The Influence of the Stars and Planets upon Human Life" by the pseudonymous "H. F., A Fellow of the Universal Brotherhood," published by the Wehman Bros. of New York in the 1890s. Wehman kept the book in print through 1939, long after the copyright had expired. The full text was then reprinted in 1972 by Health Research of Mokelumne Hill, California, and again in 2002 by Macaw Publishing. I have reluctantly made further abridgements to Wright's extract, due to space constraints, but i am pleased to credit "H. F., A Fellow of the Universal Brotherhood," at long last, as best i can. Further research awaits!
Astrology was not included in Zora Neale Huston's 1931 spell collection. It may have been part of the 1927 drugstore edition, but more likely it was added by Larry B. Wright during the 1960s. It also appears in the Anna Riva edition of the 1970s and the Indio edition of the 1990s. The entire chapter is an abridged and uncredited sampling from a longer book titled "Astrology Made Easy or The Influence of the Stars and Planets upon Human Life" by the pseudonymous "H.F., A Fellow of the Universal Brotherhood," an 1890s era book that was published by the Wehhman Bros. of New York. Wehman kept "Astrology Made Easy" in print at least through 1939, long after the copyright had expired. I believe that after Wehman disbanded, Larry Wright inserted a portion of the text into his edition of "Black and White Magic." In any case, the full book was reprinted in 1972 by Health Research of Mokelumne Hill, California, and again revived as a reprint in 2002 by Macaw Publishing.
The Universal Brotherhood of which "H.F." was a member was most likely the section of the Theosphical Society in the USA under the direction of Katherine Tingley, for "Universal Brotherhood" was the title of a magzine she co-edited with E. Aug. Neresheimer during the 1890s. Founded in 1886 as "The Path" by William Q. Judge, this metaphysical journal was published in New York, and many articles were signed only with the initials of the authors. (As an intrguing side-note, the copy of bound volume of this magazine at the Library of Congress came from the collection of Harry Houdini, the famous stage magician and escape artist.)
Sun-sign astrology provides character analyses, career preferences, and emotional details on people in a broad way, without entailing the need to have costly or incomprehensible personal natal horoscopes prepared by a personal astrologer. "H.F." was but one author among many in the field of paperbound sun-sign books. The most popular writer in this field at the time was Professer A.F. Seward, but his books were all in print and assiduously protected by copyright during the era in which "Black and White Magic" was being compiled. Picking up the public domain work of "H.F." and abridging it was therefore a logical choice at the time.
HELEN PITKIN SCHERTZ
Helen Pitkin Schertz (1877-1945) was a New Orleans newspaper journalist, poet, and novelist. In 1926, the academic folklorist Newbell Niles Puckett stated that "although written in the form of fiction ... [her accounts of hoodoo] are scientifically accurate, being an exact reproduction of what she herself has seen or obtained from her servants and absolutely free from imagination." One spell in this compilation is taken from her 1904 novel "An Angel by Brevet: A Story of Modern New Orleans."
THE ALLAN COMPANY AND RICHLE INCORPORATED
The Allan Company, a.k.a. Richle Inc., was established in 1974 in Houston, Texas, as a patent and proprietary medicine company, although when Carolyn Morrow Long visited their shop in the late 1990s she found the owners to be typical readers and rootworkers in the Southern tradition. Their "Guidebook to Black and White Magic," published by Richle Press in 1976, was printed in the form of three 16-page pamphlets, containing a total of 21 spells, called "set-ups." I have selected two of these as representative of their style of working and revised them to fit the present format.
Dorothy Spencer (1922 -2003) is a name little known to rootworkers, because all of her books, as well as her once-highly-respected line of magical oils, came out under the pseudonym Anna Riva. I believe her to be the author of the "Revised Black and White Magic," for her company, International Imports, later published the identical typesetting job as the "Original Black and White Magic." When Spencer retired, her formulas and her book titles were bought by Martin Mayer of Indio Products, a.k.a. Cultural Heritage. Eventually Mayer in turn retired, and the new owner of Indio declined to keep "Original Black and White Magic" in print, which triggered my long-awaited chance to restore the text.
With my husband nagasiva, i am the co-owner of the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. of Forestville, California. I have written numerous books on folk magic and edited a long line by other authors. It is my pleasure to restore the occult shop pamphlets of the 20th century, lightly rewriting them when needed. "Genuine Black and White Magic" is my fourth such project.