Read Our
Join Our
Lucky W
Hoodoo &
The Blues
This online presentation of
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by catherine yronwode
is sponsored by the


6632 Covey Road, Forestville, California 95436
voice: 707-887-1521 / fax: 707-887-7128

Open 7 Days a Week, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Pacific Time
Manufacturers and Distributors of Hoodoo and Conjure Supplies: Oils, Powders, Incense, Baths, Washes, Herbs, Resins, Colognes, Roots, Minerals, Curios, Books, Candles, Statuary, and Amulets.
Be a Fan:
View Your
Readers &
We Pray
For You



Trying to make up or pass along rules about "what numbers mean in
hoodoo" is bogus. Any opinions stated by a conjure practitioner
claiming that the variations in number they use are somehow related to
variations in intention (drawing, commanding, or jinxing) is unfounded
in this tradition and is strictly personal. That does not make it
"wrong," but it is not something that should be taught or promulgated
on the internet as part of the traditional work of conjure.

This whole rule-making thing about odd numbers has sprung up in the
last two years -- no longer! Just two years!

The rule-making fantasy purports to tell newbies to conjure some
inflexible rule about the number of ingredients in a mojo, number of
times a name is written on a paper, number of oils on a candle, et
cetera ad nauseum. It is totally WRONG. It is kids playing at conjure
as if it were an RPG or a card game, or something.

If we went by this super-special odd-number theory in
everything, then we'd expect Psalms 3, 7, and 9 to be the really
important ones -- but they are not!

And if the super-special odd-number hooey applied to lucky numbers in
traditional African American numbers play then we'd expect 3, 7, and 9
to be super hot numbers -- but they're not. Most old-timers will tell
you that the lucky gig is 4-11-44. Everyone knows that!

See, this is all some kind of recent meme that folks are spreading
around the internet and it literally has no connection with the
history of African American folk magic. Sure, lots of baths have three
ingredients in them and so do lots of old-time mojo hands, and some
people do prefer odd numbers -- but many old-time traditional workers
not only don't prefer odd numbers -- they don't even count the
ingredients at all!

And now -- this year -- all over the internet people are starting to
ask me to endorse this thing they've been taught somewhere, which is
to assign invariable and inflexible MEANINGS to the use of these odd
numbers -- one odd number to signify drawing work, another odd number
to signify jinxing work, and a third odd number for God knows

I will not endorse it.

Sure, numbers have meanings. Three reminds of us the Trinity. There
are indeed five spots in a quincunx pattern. Nine is a lucky number in
Africa and seven is lucky in Europe. Thirteen is edgy and unlucky in
some cultures, but can be turned on its head and made lucky. In China,
4 is unlucky because the word for four sounds like the word for
"death." Also in China, the number 99 is associated with luck because
the sound for the number 99 sounds like a word that means "endless" or
"eternal." But notice -- the only polarity there is LUCKY <-->
UNLUCKY. But there's nothing about a special number of times you have
to write a name for crossing or a different number of time you have to
write a name for getting love.

Overall, in hoodoo, the numbers 7 and 11 are winning numbers because
they are winning numbers in the African American game known as
shooting dice. (A commercialized variation of shooting dice is known
in casinos as the game of craps). Likewise, 21 is a winning number in
the card game called blackjack. So 7-11 is lucky to those who shoot
dice and 7-11-21 is a general lucky set for gaming. But the referents
are not classical, Hebrew, or esoteric -- they come from everyday game


For some reason i cannot understand, because i
have NEVER taught this -- a bunch of my students have gotten this idea
that i somehow told then that a mojo bag "must" have a certain number
of ingredients.

I have never written this on the web, i have never written it in a
book, and i do not teach it in my course.

I actually went to the HITAP mojo page and added more information
tonight, trying to STOP this well-meaning but twisted rule-making in
my name.

I never made those rules. I never was taught those rules. I never
taught others those rules. I just tried to give a map of the



Some toby makers count out ingredients, and there are some
numbers more frequently found among the "counters" than others. Of
those who count, more tend to prefer odd numbers than even numbers. Of
those who prefer odd numbers, the most common numbers they have told
me that they favour are the numbers 3, 7, or 9.

Some toby makers don't count out ingredients. Nothing bad will happen
to you or to your mojo if you don't count the ingredients, because all
that not counting means is that you will be one among many root
doctors who never count the ingredients and they are JUST AS
TRADITIONAL as those who do. 


To understand why certain people who are new to hoodoo and come to it
from other cultures, especially those of European or European American
background, insist on imposing make-or-break rules regarding magic on
a system that has very few such make-or-break rules, you will have to
rad the introduction to "Hoodoo herb and Root Magic." People who
insist that a horseshoe "must" point in a certain direction or that a
spell "must" rhyme or that magic "must" be performed at a certain
phase of the moon are coming to hoodoo and trying to force it to
comply to their own culture's rigourous beliefs in make-or-break
rules. These people do not understand what they are doing -- it seems
so natural to them, after all, to beset their magical work with
make-or-break rules -- but those of us who have worked in conjure for
a long time look at them and shake our heads. WHY? Why? Why don't they
join US instead of forcing us to adopt their rules?

And then, after getting maybe half of them to relax their rigid
rule-making, well, guess what? They decide that what we said was
"There are no rules in hoodoo."

NO. That is not what we said either.

For instance, it is a general "rule" in hoodoo that magical packets,
mojos, gri-gri bags and so forth should be wrapped, tied, or sewn
shut. They are never left open. This derives from African methods of

So there are "rules" -- but they don't happen to concern the number of
times a name must be written on a paper for crossing versus the number
of times it must be written on paper for winning the lottery.

Let us walk a balanced path between the requests of well-meaning but
rule-obsessed students, customers, and friends and those well-meaning
students, customers, and friends who claim i've said "There are no
rules in hoodoo."


A name paper is a certain type of petition paper, and i have seen such
papers written out by African American conjure practitioners from 1961
to the present and their instructions have included writing the name
any number from "once" to "fill the entire paper with his name written
over and over on both sides." Each spell is different, intentions vary
from spell to spell, and each person will tell you what they know to
the best of their family's knowledge or according to the particular
spell you are asking about.

I suggest that if you have no family traditions in conjure, you may
wish to study with someone who does, or who can pass the tradition
along to you, instead of you trying to pick it up piecemeal from an
internet forum. I teach a one-year course in hoodoo and it does cover
name papers. There also at least four different traditional variations
of how to write a name paper shown in the illustrations to my book
"Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic" which costs only $14.95.

All the number stuff promoted as personal opinion is totally specific
to whoever tells you whatever they tell you.

Look in HHRM, see the "Faithful to a Trust" payback spell name paper
-- one time each way for the names -- and that is how i was taught it
about 30 years ago. It is an authentic spell, a real spell, not some
cheap-ass joke of a spell. And the name is written TWICE.

About fifteen years ago I was down in a conjure shop in Oakland and i
watched as the owner of the shop, Bishop Whyte, told a man to write
his name "21 times." He didn't question her. He did it. She took the
paper to use in a job-getting spell for him. Does this mean that 21 is
going to become the new special "job-getting" number now that i
mentioned it? NO. It means that Bishop Whyte wanted him to focus on
writing his name 21 times. Okay?

Now, guess what? The writing tablet she handed to him was a memo pad
that had lined paper. There was room for -- 21 lines.


If she'd given him a smaller piece of unlined paper -- and i saw her
do this too, with other customers -- she might have said, "Write your
name three times" or if it was a larger price of paper, she might have
said "Write your name seven times."


Someone asked me how many different oils can you use to feed a mojo
hand: "Can it be dressed with, say, 3 or 5 different oils? Has anyone
heard of any general rule for this? Should it be an odd number of oils
(3, 5, 7, etc)?"

Here the question about number-rules is formulated in a different way,
but the reply is still the same:

Some people apply each oil singly, others blend their own custom oils
from a series or set of other oils, which they find more convenient
than applying each oil singly.

You may use as many oils and herbs in crafting a mojo as you find
useful, but there is no point in increasing the list to ungainly
proportions. An intelligent focus of purpose is more efficient than a
scattershot approach.

Any attempt to institute some sort of "odd-numbers rule" is pointless
and non-traditional in the practice of African American conjure and i
advise you to stop thinking that way right now.There is no reason to
substitute game-player-style rules for your own wise thoughts or for
the traditional teachings of this practice.


You can also find information at my "Lucky W Ameulet Archive" web page
on the worldwide cultural ascriptions made to the Lucky Number Seven,



Search All Lucky Mojo and Affiliated Sites!

You can search our sites for a single word (like archaeoastronomy, hoodoo, conjure, or clitoris), an exact phrase contained within quote marks (like "love spells", "spiritual supplies", "occult shop", "gambling luck", "Lucky Mojo bag", or "guardian angel"), or a name within quote marks (like "Blind Willie McTell", "Black Hawk", "Hoyt's Cologne", or "Frank Stokes"):


Contact-the-Lucky-Mojo-Curio-Company-in-Forestville-California copyright © 1994-2019 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.
Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to catherine yronwode for the creation and maintenance of this site.




LUCKY MOJO is a large domain that is organized into a number of
interlinked web sites, each with its own distinctive theme and look.
You are currently reading

Here are some other LUCKY MOJO web sites you can visit:

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
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive:FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races

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
Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show: learn free magic spells via podcast download
Lucky Mojo Videos: see video tours of the Lucky Mojo shop and get a glimpse of the spirit train
Lucky Mojo Publishing: practical spell books on world-wide folk magic and divination
Lucky Mojo Newsletter Archive: subscribe and receive discount coupons and free magick spells
LMC Radio Network: magical news, information, education, and entertainment for all!
Follow Us on Facebook: get company news and product updates as a Lucky Mojo Facebook Fan

The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.: spiritual supplies for hoodoo, magick, witchcraft, and conjure
Herb Magic: complete line of Lucky Mojo Herbs, Minerals, and Zoological Curios, with sample spells
Mystic Tea Room Gift Shop: antique, vintage, and contemporary fortune telling tea cups

catherine yronwode: the eclectic and eccentric author of many of the above web pages
nagasiva yronwode: nigris (333), nocTifer, lorax666, boboroshi, Troll Towelhead, !
Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
Liselotte Erlanger Glozer: illustrated articles on collectible vintage postcards
Jackie Payne: Shades of Blues: a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer

Lucky Mojo Site Map: the home page for the whole Lucky Mojo electron-pile
All the Pages: descriptive named links to about 1,000 top-level Lucky Mojo web pages
How to Contact Us: we welcome feedback and suggestions regarding maintenance of this site
Make a Donation: please send us a small Paypal donation to keep us in bandwidth and macs!

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