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"Hot Foot, also known as Drive Away or Get Away, is alleged to rid one of bad neighbors and to cause ex-lovers to roam the world alone and unsatisfied. An old blues song tells the tale: "You sprinkled Hot Foot Powder all around my door -- it keep me with ramblin' mind, every old place I go." Use the Powder, Oil, or other products when you want to make someone leave you and stay far away."
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue


Hot Foot Powder -- and the allied formulas Hot Foot Oil, Hot Foot Incense, and Hot Foot Floor Wash-- are old Southern hoodoo formulas that are used to rid oneself or one's home of unwanted people, to send enemies packing, and to keep peace in the home by eliminating troublemakers. Similar formulas, known as Drive Away Oil or Get Away Oil, contain virtually the same ingredients, namely a proprietary blend of Red Pepper, sulphur, salt, and essential oils that include Black Pepper and other herbal extracts. The scent is hot and spicy, but it is not at all unpleasant. The label shown here is for Lucky Mojo Brand Hot Foot Powder. It is adapted from a traditional Hot Foot image used on vintage packaging of the 1930s.


Many of the African-derived spells used in African-American hoodoo involve foot track magic. In these rituals or spells, people's footprints are used to lay down tricks, such as crossing them, removing them from town, jinxing them, or bringing them under control. Hot Foot brand products fall squarely into the realm of foot track magic, as can be seen in their name and manner of employment.

Most "condition" formulas used in laying down tricks are based around oils, but Hot Foot Powder is allied to other, older "evil" powders of African derivation, such as Goofer Dust and Graveyard Dirt and Crossing Powder. Thus Hot Foot Powder predates the 19th century rise in popularity of scented "condition" sachet powders and although it is used in the same way, it is never referred to as a sachet. One way to employ Hot Foot Powder is to use a spoon to lift up and collect the dirt of the foot track of the person you wish to be rid of. Place the footprint dirt in a paper on which you have written your enemy's name 9 times and sprinkle it with Hot Foot Oil or mix it with Hot Foot Powder and then toss the mixture over your left shoulder into running water and walk away without looking back. The person will leave you alone and may have to move out of town. A river is the best running water in which to laying this trick, but if there isn't one near you, throw the packet into a flooded drainage ditch or flush it down the toilet.

The most popular way to use Hot Foot Powder is to sprinkle it across the troublemaker's foot track or upon a doorstep where he or she walks. (In hoodoo practice, sprinkling is accomplished by walking backward as the powders are dropped onto the ground.) The person whose foot tracks are thus crossed will not be able to recross, and will stay away from your home and leave your family in peace. If you cross someone's path on his or her own property, your enemy will be forced into a life of restless wandering, never able to return home.

Another way to perform this spell, if you cannot directly lay a foot track spell, is to get hold of the shoes or socks of the person you wish to be rid of, and to sprinkle Hot Foot Oil or Hot Foot Powder in them. Working with socks or shoes is what i call "sympathetic foot track magic." It too will drive the unwanted person out of your life and he or she will cease being a bother. The oil or powder will not burn the feet, but it will cause the person to stay away from you from that time on.

If the person you wish to be rid of rents a room from you, you may even go so far as to secretly wash down their walls and floor with Hot Foot Floor Wash, which will result in the victim's rapid removal from the premises. To make up the floor wash, just dissolve a handful of Hot Foot Crystals for Floor Wash in a pail of hot water. After they move out and you are ready to re-rent the room to a new tenant, be sure to wash down the walls and floor with purifying Chinese Wash to clean away that evil mess.


Finally, if you cannot lift a foot print, cross the person's foot path with powders, fix his or her shoes, wash down the house, or lay a trick by tossing Hot Foot Powder in the yard, you can perform a Hot Foot candle ritual to rid yourself of the hated one's presence. There are many variations of this spell, but here is a simple one: Get a photo of the person or write his or her name nine times in red ink on a piece of paper. Anoint a black offertory candle with Hot Foot Oil and mark it into nine sections with nine sewing needles. Dip the four corners of the paper or photo in Hot Foot Oil and then sprinkle them with Hot Foot Powder. Place the photo or paper under a saucer beneath the candle. Light the candle, along with a portion of Hot Foot Incense, and let the candle burn one needle's worth, concentrating on your desire to be rid of the troublesome person. Save the used needle by sticking it into the photo or paper.


The next day and on each successive day, let the candle burn another needle's worth. Each time you light the candle, anoint it again and concentrate on your desire to be rid of the troublesome person. Save each needle by sticking it into the paper or photo, making double-crosses. (A "double cross" in hoodoo parlance is an X made with two strokes going in one direction and one stroke crossing in the other direction. In this case, nine pins or needles will make three double crosses, called "a triple double cross.")

On the last day, when the candle is burned down to the ninth needle, remove the photo or paper from beneath the candle, complete your last double cross, and consume the paper in the flame. Mix the ashes and the nine needles with Hot Foot Powder and throw them in running water over your left shoulder and walk away, just as you would have done with the person's footprint dirt. When you are done, wash down your own front path and door steps with salt or purifying Chinese Wash, sweeping away from the house and not toward it, while walking backward. When you are done, walk backwards into the house and close the door. After nine days, the one who has bothered you will be history as far as you and your family are concerned.

Now, before you jump into this work, ask yourself:

Think your situation through logically, then form your petition in plain and clear language.

One way to do this is to write the target's name on paper. (How many times? Three times or seven times or nine times are common, and some folks will write the name as many times as will fit on the paper they have; it's up to you.)

After writing the names, then write your Hot Foot command all over the names, going criss-cross and all crazy over the names, like someone wandering the world and having no peace, covering the names so they can no longer be read.

Your command can be in your own words in plain and clear language, such as "Run and run, and wander the world forever!" or "Leave town, you no-good so-and-so" -- or it can be taken from the imprecatory Psalms of Scripture. Two Bible Psalms used in Hot Foot work (and there are others -- these are just samples!) are as follows:

Psalms 35:
[5] Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
[6] Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

Psalms 59
[11] Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, 
	O Lord our shield.
[12] For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their 
	pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
[13] Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God 
	ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
[14] And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about 
	the city.
[15] Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

The malevolent use of Hot Foot Powder in the South during the 1930s is attested to by no less an authority than the Mississippi Delta blues singer Robert Johnson. In his haunting anthem, "Hellhound on My Trail," Johnson attributes his doomed and restless life to the fact that a woman has barred him from his family home by sprinkling Hot Foot Powder around the door. Whether or not this was literally the case, it is a fact that Johnson never settled long in one locale.


by Robert Johnson

I got keep movin'
I've got to keep movin'
blues fallin' down like hail
blues fallin' down like hail
Umm mmm mmm mmm
blues fallin' down like hail
blues fallin' down like hail
And the days keeps on worryin' me
there's a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail

If today was Christmas Eve
If today was Christmas Eve
and tomorrow was Christmas Day
If today was Christmas Eve
and tomorrow was Christmas Day
(spoken: Aow, wouldn't we have a time, baby?)
All I would need my little sweet rider just
to pass the time away, huh huh
to pass the time away


You sprinkled hot foot powder, mmm
mmm, around my door
all around my door
You sprinkled hot foot powder
all around your daddy's door,
hmm hmm hmm
It keep me with ramblin' mind, rider
every old place I go
every old place I go

I can tell the wind is risin'
the leaves tremblin' on the tree
tremblin' on the tree
I can tell the wind is risin'
leaves tremblin' on the tree
hmm hmm hmm mmm
All I need's my little sweet woman
and to keep my company
hey hey hey hey, my company

In April 2000, the Snapper Music label released a CD by Peter Green, Nigel Watson, and The Splinter Group called "Hot Foot Powder." The album contains 13 remarkably fresh covers of some classic blues songs written by Robert Johnson, including the title track. Green is a brilliant rock guitarist whose admiration for Johnson's material is well known in popular music circles, and "Hot Foot Powder" is actually his second collection of material from the Robert Johnson songbook.

This loving tribute to Robert Johnson's blues artistry features a stellar line-up of guest stars, including "Dr. John" (Mac Rebbenack), David "Honeyboy" Edwards (one of the last surviving musicians who played with Johnson in the 1930s), Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, and Joe Louis Walker.

The artwork for the CD is based on the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. Hot Foot Powder label, and is used with permission. The booklet that accompanies the album contains black and white images of many other Lucky Mojo brand labels.

The Peter Green "Hot Foot Powder" CD can be ordered from Snapper Music. Additionally, you can hear audio clips of some of the tracks. (Check out the lovely, Louisianified version of "From Four Until Late," featuring Dr. John on piano.)

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