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"This unusual name comes from a rare wild orchid called The Lucky Hand or Salep Root, a natural curio that grows in the form of a hand with 2 - 10 life-like "fingers." Gamblers say that its grasping action brings in the Winnings -- and we don't simply use the name -- all our Lucky Hand products contain real pieces of genuine Lucky Hand root plus Five Finger Grass!"
-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalogue


A single Lucky Hand Root the 1" long hand-shaped root of several species of orchids is among the most powerful ingredients that can be added to an African-American mojo bag designed to increase gambling luck. Sometimes called salep or saloop root or "five-finger root," it is not the root of the entirely different plant known as five-finger grass, but gets its name because it resembles a small hand (with anywhere from three to ten fingers).

Numerous other natural roots, herbs, and curios can be found in hoodoo gambler's charms -- including the teeth of alligators, badgers, and bears; rattlesnake rattles; bat hearts; rabbit feet; alligator feet; nutmegs; buckeye nuts; John the Conqueror roots; and lodestones dressed with magnetic sand -- but however much the above items may be thought to draw luck and money, only the rare Lucky Hand root and its cheaper herbal equivalent, five-finger grass, are said to specifically increase luck in games of chance which call for manual dexterity.


So prized is this curious root that among some hoodoo practitioners, it shares the name "hand" with the entire class of mojo bags used by gamblers -- as can be heard in the popular blues refrain

I'm going down in Louisiana
Gonna get me a mojo hand

The ancient "doctrine of signatures" dictates that objects in nature reveal their magical or medicinal uses through their form and colour, and thus the pale brown, multi-fingered Lucky Hand root is thought to have special provenance over "all the things that five fingers can do." For this reason, although a Lucky Hand root may be carried by those who play the lottery or bet on horses, it is particularly notable as the pre-eminent ingredient in conjure bags worn by card-players, crap-shooters, three-card monte artists, and others who wish to increase their edge by subtle manipulation of the tools of their trade. When combined with five-finger grass, a John the Conqueror root to increase personal power and mastery, and a lodestone dressed with magnetic sand to bring in the winnings, the Lucky Hand root simply cannot be beaten, according to its devotees.




Lucky Hand also lends its power to an anointing oil favoured by gamblers. Genuine Lucky Hand Root anointing oil, which should contain small or broken roots and other herbal essences, is rubbed on the hands before embarking on an evening's play, to limber them up and make them supple. Lucky Hand incense, ritual bath crystals or floor washes, and scented sachet powder are also popular with gamblers or with anyone who wants a "helping hand" in life. Lucky Hand is an old hoodoo formula for oil, incense, sachet powders, and bath crystals that are designed to attract good luck, good fortune, and good times, especially by means of a "helping hand." It is most often utilized as a part of magic spells to win at gambling, but it can augment the "luckiness" factor in love spell work as well.

The labels shown here is from Lucky Mojo brand Lucky Hand spiritual supplies, employed by those who wish to win at games of skill, dexterity, luck, and chance.



The same herbs and fragrances used to dress this candle for customers and clients are the basis of Lucky Mojo brand Lucky Hand dressing oil . used for anointing oneself, fixing the home, preparing green offertory candles or feeding a mojo bag. These herbs and scents also can be found in Lucky Hand incense powder, sachet powder, and bath crystals.

Like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, this product contains genuine herbal essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. Lucky Hand labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.

Lucky Hand is one of a family of related formulas that also includes Fast Luck, Good Luck, Lucky Number, Aunt Sally's Lucky Dream, Lucky Buddha, Lady Luck, Three Jacks and a King, Lucky Mojo, Japanese Lucky Seven, and Lucky 13 products. Each one of these old-time recipes is slightly different -- some placing emphasis on catching lucky numbers through dreams, others on being hit with lucky "coincidences" or hunches, and still others on obtaining uncanny runs of finger dexterity at cards or dice -- or all of these combined with luck at love and games of chance -- but they have in common the underlying aim of enhancing the magician's internally generated forces, enabling action upon the external world.

The above formulas may, of course, be mixed and matched in any way that suits the practitioner, or may be teamed up with formulas from another line of goods, such as a financial or money luck formula like Money Drawing, or a passion and sexual love spell formula like Love Me.

How you choose to use Lucky Hand spiritual supplies is, of course, up to you, but one very traditional method is to employ them in conjunction with the 23rd Psalm, while praying for all that is desired.


The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. 




There are thousands of specific spells that employ a variety of hoodoo spiritual supplies. Here are some of the ways you can use Lucky Hand brand spiritual supplies to attract the luck you desire.


You may perform spells for increasing luck whenever you desire. If the need is not urgent, you can take time to align your spell-casting with cosmic forces and work by a Waxing Moon Phase, so that the Moon grows bigger while you work. But don't let the Moon Phases hold you back: if the timing is not right, you can do the work whenever it is best for you.


Before dawn dissolve half the packet of Lucky Hand Bath Crystals into a tub of hot water. Pour the water over your head 9 times as you say the 23rd Psalm and name what you want. Air-dry yourself and collect a basin of the used bath water, which now has your essence in it. Dress in fresh, clean clothes, carry the basin of bath-water to a crossroads and throw the water toward the sunrise in the East. Walk back home and don't look back.


Dust your body, your lottery tickets, or your racing form with Lucky Hand Sachet Powder, or sprinkle a pinch of Lucky Hand Sachet Powder in the four corners of the room where you plan to do some wagering or card playing or dice gaming. Each time, say the 23rd Psalm and name what you want.

The sachet powder may be secretly sprinkled on the money a player intends to bet, in the belief that the bills and coins thus "marked" will not be lost.



Make the Lucky Hand Incense Powders into cones (use a twist of paper or a small candle snuffer cone, pack the incense in with your finger, and turn it out of the cone) or place it loose on a brazier. Many people find that keeping a pot of Incense smoking while they work increases their ability to break through into a spiritual space or magical way of working.


Carve your full name on a green Offertory Candle and dress the candle with Lucky Hand Oil. As you dress it, speak aloud your petition, such as, "With the help and grace of God, i'm gong to be lucky tonight."

You may burn the candle in sections (generally 15 minutes at a time) or let it burn through to the end, no matter how long it takes. If you burn it in sections, you may find it a good idea to light and burn the incense each time as well.

If you want the spell to be ongoing, or want a light at home to "back you up" while you g to the casino, card room, or race track to play, you would be better off to use a fixed and prepared Lucky Hand Glass Encased Vigil Candle. Write your petition on paper, cross it with your name written 9 times, and set the Vigil Light in a safe place, such as the sink, bath tub, or shower stall, where it will not cause any problems while you are out.


Whenever it is convenient for you, dissolve the remaining half of the bath crystals in hot water and add the liquid to the rinse water when you do your laundry, especially your underwear and stockings. When you wear these clothes, you will be "dressed" for luck.


It is important to properly dispose of ritual remains. Because these are magic spells for good luck, you may want to keep the remains around your home. Wrap up any left-over candle wax, incense ashes, and used sachet powders in a piece of cloth. Secure and tie it with thread or string. Bury it in your back yard.

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Order Lucky Hand Root, Whole, Small
Small, 3/4" - 1" long, for use in mojo bag or gambling spell.
Order Lucky Hand Root, Whole, Large
Large, 1" - 1 1/2" long, for use in mojo bag or gambling spell.


Because modern books on herbalism occasionally turn up with the misinformation that Lucky Hand Root is the Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas), i have been asked to supply documentation that it is actually an orchid root. I believe that confusion between the common names Male Orchid and Male Fern may have led an inexperienced writer to the conclusion that the Lucky Hand Root is some sort of fern -- but it is not, and i can demonstrate this as follows:

Lucky Hand or Helping Hand Root is usually seen in old catalogues marketed in the African-American community with the co-label Salep Root. I have dozens of curio catalogues from the 1920s - 1960s in which one can find this double-naming -- and a clear botanical drawing of the root. For example, from the King Novelty Catalogue of 1942:

SALEP Root Looks Like A HAND

This ROOT resembles a HUMAN HAND and it may be for that reason it has been esteemed by many people as a LUCK ROOT. It may be that the HAND shaped appearance has the effect of making some people believe that carrying such a ROOT would be a great HELPING HAND towards LUCK and a Help to Winning Success. We make no claims to this effect and do not sell for the purpose of Bringing Good Luck and Winnings, and make no claims that it's a Helping Hand towards luck and sell only as a Curio. Can supply only while stock lasts.

The picture that accompanies this block of text is, in fact, the same line-art that i scanned for adaptation when i designed my own company's Lucky Hand Root labels. It clearly shows two overlapping orchid roots.

Obviously, Lucky Hand and Helping Hand are African-American common names for the root, but Salep is the most common Anglo-American name, and as such it is easy to reference it to a species of orchid.

J. M. Nickell's "Botanical Ready Reference" -- a book published for pharmacists in the 1880s which gives correspondences between common names and taxonomic names --- lists Salep as the common name for three species of orchids: Orchis bracteata, Orchis latifolia, and Orchis masculis, the latter also known as the Male Orchid (its Latin name, Orchis masculis, literally means "male orchid"). I believe that some of the species known as Salep have been since reclassified by botanists as Dactylorhiza (Latin for "finger-root") species, and this name presumably was chosen due to the hand-like shape of the roots.

In order to have mistaken Male Orchid root (Salep or Lucky Hand) for Male Fern root, the writer in question would have had to have been completely unfamiliar with the dried roots and to have never ordered them from hoodoo spiritual supply store, because they look like -- well, like dried orchid roots usually do -- slightly translucent, very tough and not easily cut or broken, buff-tan to pale brown in colour. They look NOTHING like fern roots! In addition, the writer would have had to have never seen an old catalogue for hoodoo curios, because the co-labelling word "Salep" and the accompanying pictures present the facts in an unmistakable manner and have always done so, as far as i know.


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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
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The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
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