Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Hoodoo Truth: ABOUT ME

This is just to give my readers a little info about me, about my family history, and to shed some light on some false things being spread about hoodoo.

My family is originally from Virgina where we owned hundreds of thousands of acres of land that were lost in the Civil War. After we lost our land we migrated to other parts of the South and Mid-West. My family is a mix of Scott-Irish, Cherokee, Black Foot, & Sac and Fox. Most of my family's traditions are dying out simply because the younger generations are not showing any interest in preserving the old ways. All the evidence that I have is that my granny (great-grandmother) was a practitioner. I have a strong sense that she worked with lamps as she always had them burning, even with the electric lights on. After she died in the early 1980s we found a red felt heart in her bible in the Songs of Solomon. It had hair in it that we think came from our great-grandpa.

What I know and have learned from my family is that we have a strong power of "dreaming true". Usually the gift is stronger in our females. According to my grandmother our family had a long history of divining the weather, professional water witches (dowsing), healing (root doctoring), and "superstitions". I put the superstitions in quotations because what my family members called superstitions are in fact what would be properly called hoodoo or conjure. They made a point of separating the hoodoo from the other traditions and labelling hoodoo as a superstition! LOL

Just for the record, the term hoodoo is not African. It's from the Scott-Irish. For all those people who claim that there was no blending of peoples and that Hoodoo is pure black, that's proof right there that you are dead wrong. The fact that blacks began to use the Scott-Irish term of Hoodoo is proof enough of a blending of traditions. As I wrote in an earlier blog, hoodoo means "unlucky, cursed", but with time it's meaning changed to be synonymous with magic in general, or more specifically the system of folk magic known as hoodoo/rootwork/conjure. However, I need to stress that there are people to this day that do not use the term hoodoo. The reason being is that they understand the word hoodoo in the old definition of the word and believe it means to put a curse on someone, i.e. witchcraft.

As far as my Native American ancestry goes, my family appears to think more highly of it's traditions, with the medicine men and all. I know that my family likes to mention a special ancestor named America who was a daughter of a chief and was believed to be very powerful. I don't recall offhand what tribe she was from. My grandfather would tell us that his parents knew all the old Indian tricks to heal people of anything. As far as our family looks go, if you saw me you would think I was pure white. My father is darker than me and my grandfather looks Indian. I know my grandfather used to comment about his dad being far darker than him.

Now, I need to clear some things up real fast. There are white people who will deny an African origin for Hoodoo. They have a point since the term Hoodoo is Scott-Irish and not Black. There are also people who want to argue for a complete African origin with no influence from whites. Both are false. What we now know as hoodoo is the folklore, folk magic, and folk medicine of the Scott-Irish, African-American, and Native-American blended together. It's not a 100% homogeneous blend. There are regions of the South where one of the practices of the three groups will dominate but all have mixed. And one more thing. It doesn't matter what your skin color is. If someone wanted to go to a worker for help, they didn't care what color skin the worker had. The workers didn't care what color skin the client's had. African Americans made no distinction between their practices and the practices of the other two groups. The same with the whites and the Native Americans. They all called it "conjure", be it a black worker, white worker, Indian, or any mix thereof. This said there is still some racism left. As I mentioned before there are people from each race that want to deny the contributions of the other races. I can't help that but I do know that these people are dead wrong.

Finally, I need to clear something up that is being taught incorrectly. The Scott-Irish were not just limited to the area of the Appalachian Mountains. People need to stop teaching that as it is wrong. The Scott-Irish were not confined to one region. They settled all over the South. Also, the Scott-Irish were not pagans. I'm sick to death of certain idiot Wiccans and "Traditional Witchcraft" crowd who insist that the Scott-Irish were pagans and that we worshipped a fertility goddess named "Abundcia", or whatever fake name they want to insert. I think people are confusing the symbolism of the cornucopia for goddess worship. The cornucopia is a symbol of abundance and prosperity and it is a popular symbol among Scott-Irish. However, there is no goddess worship in our folk magic as the Scott-Irish were not pagans. Enough said.

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