Can you believe we’re nearly halfway through 2014?! It doesn’t seem possible. But we are, which means our next round of books are now available!
Head to Heart gently guides us to cultivate (and sustain) those moments of clarity—the awakenings of everyday life—and to embrace and grow from them all, no matter how joyful or painful.
“Awakening…think of it as something we need to do every day; it is a process, a gradual awareness and growing insight,” Madson writes. Practice awakening to:
- generate more compassion or love,
- create an unshakable sense of well-being
- better understand your mind and surroundings,
- find answers to specific challenges,
- or all of the above.
Practice can happen anywhere, any time: on the mat or on the move, sitting or walking, in silence or conversation, alone or with a group; in short, whenever you are consciously pointing your mind toward greater clarity and service while connecting with the Spirit, you are meditating and preparing to awaken.
Head to Heart times 365. Each brief meditation opens to the promise of peace, joy, and purpose.
The Voodoo Doll Spellbook: A Compendium of Ancient and Contemporary Spells and Rituals
When it comes to Voodoo, few things are more iconic than the Voodoo doll. Known also as conjure dolls, doll babies, dollies, baby dolls, poppets, fetich, fetish, and effigies, they are servants of fast-acting, long-lasting magic. If you are seeking a new job or new friends, need to find your one true love or keep your lover at home, wish to be rid of your enemies or protect yourself from thievery, in these pages you will find the doll and the spell to do just that and more.
Drawing not only on New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo traditions, Alvarado also presents doll spellwork from ancient Greece, Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, Africa, and the European grimoires of old magic. You’ll learn how to make, use, and properly dispose of your Voodoo doll.
Be warned: this is some of the most effective magic that exists so be ready to reap what you are about to sow, or in this case, sew!
Paul R. Hill, Foreword by Robert Wood with Don Crosbie Donderi PhD
Paul Hill was a well-respected NASA scientist when, in the early 1950s, he had a UFO sighting. Soon after, he built the first flying platform and was able to duplicate the UFO’s tilt-to-control maneuvers. Official policy, however, prevented him from proclaiming his findings. “I was destined,” says Hill, “to be as unidentified as the flying objects.”
For the next twenty-five years, Hill acted as an unofficial clearinghouse at NASA, collecting and analyzing sightings’ reports for physical properties, propulsion possibilities, dynamics, etc. To refute claims that UFOs defy the laws of physics, he had to make “technological sense… of the unconventional object.”
After his retirement from NASA, Hill finally completed his remarkable analysis. This book, published posthumously, presents his findings that UFOs “obey, not defy, the laws of physics.” Vindicating his own sighting and thousands of others, he proves that UFO technology is not only explainable, but attainable.
(Hampton Roads Publishing)
You know those really awesome candles and bath salts that you buy at your favorite metaphysical emporium? The ones with intense, pure fragrance and kick-ass label art? Well, whatever name is on them, there’s a good chance that they were made by Jacki Smith, owner and founder of Coventry Creations. Jacki’s handy-work is so effective and enticing that her own occult waxies (aka Coventry Candles) are practically mainstream these days – popular with muggle and mugwort crowds.
I met Jacki this summer at INATS and she is fabulous – funny, fierce, focused and quite fetching with her blazing red hair and heels to match.
So it comes as no surprise that her first book, Coventry Magic, is as delicious as the woman who wrote it. The advance copy just landed on Ankhie’s desk this afternoon and I am psyched to share a little something from it with you – just a taste, like the spoon from the frosting bowl, or a drag off that long-denied cigarette.
The book gets pretty specific regarding magical process, but let’s start with a little insight from Aunt Jacki
Magic Demands Change—Off Like a Prom Dress!
Magic demands change; magic demands evolution! If you are reaching for something different, you have to be different to attain it. You have to change, evolve, and grow. You cannot stay static or stagnant, and you have to change. You have to take off the prom dress and step into your college duds. In case you didn’t hear me the first time, let me say this once more with volume: Magic demands change. Think about it: If you don’t need to move from the spot you are in right now, you wouldn’t need spell work, because you already have what you thought you were looking for. Huh? If you got it, you don’t need it. If you need it, you are doing things that stop you from having it. Listen, if you want to lose weight, move more and eat less. If you want to eat less, you have to find out why you eat too much and change it!
Coventry magic has always been about the solution, not just the quick fix. Every time I speak with someone that tells me their magic didn’t work, I discover that the magic did, just not in the way the practitioner anticipated or even wanted. When you cast a spell, you are asking the universe to expand your knowledge. Your spirit responds by expanding to meet this new vibration. You cannot be stagnant and expect success.
As a human being, you have worked awfully hard to make sure you have everything you need to stay in your current condition and cope with the stress and turmoil around you. You have made the choices that have brought you here. You have instilled fears within yourself that stop you from reaching for any new idea that may work (or not work). You have put up walls to make sure your emotions and ego are never at risk. You have framed your mind to stay comfortable with the least amount of personal responsibility for your life. You have meticulously collected every reason why you cannot move beyond your current status and have held on to those reasons for dear life. (Gee, was that a little harsh?) Everyone has done this to themselves to one extent or another. The good news is, once you open the door to magic, you can change your entire reality if you work hard enough and smart enough. The bad news is, once you open the door to magic, it demands that you evolve and grow. Your old beliefs and limitations will no longer fit your expanding spirit. With each and every spell you cast, you are asking for a transformation of your life. What you do with the success of your magic determines whether this is a temporary change or a permanent one. It’s entirely up to you.
Magic demands personal responsibility, focus, commitment, and an open mind. When you blame the events of your life on others, you have forfeited the magic needed to transform what is lacking into what is abundant. When you say that your parents screwed you up as a kid and that’s why you can’t (insert issue here), you just handed the power to make a change off to whom you thought screwed you up in the first place. Magic demands that you own who you are, your actions, and your beliefs.
By the way, magic does not come in the way you expect. You must be open to magic manifesting in unexpected ways, you must be open to seeing it, and you must make room for it. Magic challenges you to look for its manifestation, because it resides just outside of your comfort zone, in a place of spiritual evolution. No matter what blockade we create for ourselves or what blinders we put on, our spirits chose these lil’ old bodies and lil’ old lives to experience the next step in our personal spiritual mastery. The number and width of steps you take toward that mastery are entirely in your control.
You can ask for a million dollars, then totally ignore the small “Pet Rock” million-dollar opportunities that crossed your path. How about diving into why this is a problem? Do you manage your money poorly? Do you need more education to get a better job? Do you need advisors to help grow your business? Do you have people in your life that are sponging off your energy and money? That is all part of magic—being able to see when magic brings you to a place where you can grow from the experience rather than constantly putting a band-aid on the problem.
You can cast your magical net out for a Fabio look-alike but ignore that average-looking romantic man who will treat you like the princess you are (and you know that guy will grow more handsome to you with every loving thing he does for you.) Maybe you need to do some soul searching to find out what you are really looking for and what is best for you. Are you feeling needy and helpless, sending out the call for a savior? That call will only get you someone who wants to use and control you. Are you looking for someone to save? Are you even looking, or are you waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to pop up from the toaster?
Then there are the ever-present protection issues . . . Are you always thinking that someone is attacking you or out to get you? Are your boss and coworkers constantly hassling you? This may be a time to work on your personal power and self-esteem. That magic will be longer lasting and will make a greater change than just a banishing spell every new moon.
When you cast your spell, you must meet it halfway and don’t judge what outfit it wears.
Is Magic the First Resort, the Last Resort, or Just the Scenic Route?
If you take care of yourself in the here and now, most magic will be unnecessary. That’s a nice and spiritually correct thing to say, but let’s face it, taking care of ourselves is usually the last thing on our lists! There are too many more interesting things to do and too many lipstick colors to try out. Magic is a handy skill to posses to clean up those inevitable messes that you create when you forget to take care of your own needs first. Even though it is tempting to go straight for your box of candles when you face the drama of the day (you know, that mess you made with all the lipstick) you are well advised to start with a bit of self-analysis. Before you cast a spell, take responsibility for your actions that contributed to the mess at hand and see if this issue is easily resolved by owning up to your shortcomings.
Life Lessons from Your Aunt Jacki
When I was working hard on prosperity spells for my business, it wasn’t just about more business. I had all the business I could physically handle, yet we were not profitable. I knew that I didn’t have the information I needed to take our business to the next level. I kept casting my magical net out for the guidance I needed to make up for my shortcomings. I really expected a business consultant, partner, or mentor to cross my path that I could just snatch up. What showed up were books, tapes, and self study. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed that my husband had ordered the $300 “Choose to be Rich” educational CD set from a midnight
infomercial. I almost returned it out of spite. Instead, I started to pay attention to the magic I cast. I cast my spell the day the CDs were ordered. No one knew I cast this spell, so I had to open my mind to another way of thinking. To this day I highly recommend Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad; it was the perfect step in creating prosperity in my life. Ironically, a few years later when I had successfully applied all this new information and was ready for the next step, I did the spell again. I scoured bookstores and Internet sites for that new piece of information. Instead I got a business consultant. Ha! It was time for me to start asking questions on the information I was applying. Magic—you never know how it will manifest in your life.
If he left you, own up to your part in the drama and maybe you can reconcile. If you didn’t get the job, make sure your resume looks good with no typos and that you used all your contacts for leads. If you are sick, maybe working sixty hours and then rocking out the weekend was not the best use of your energy. If you don’t deal with the physical reality of the situation, you are just going to repeat this same old scenario over and over again.
When you brave a peek at your own underlying issue, you can see new ways to get to the desired result. If you cannot get to your destination by driving straight through, you may be able to get there by an alternate route. If you want to ask her out, maybe instead of a love spell, you need a courage spell. For that new job, maybe instead of a money spell, you need an attraction spell to make the right contacts.
This book starts with the element of you and helps you map out your magical route to transformation. In these pages, we dive into magic and its relation to the self, giving you new tools to create the reality you most desire. Before you get started (or maybe after you have skimmed a few pages to make sure I am not a total crackpot), declare what it is you want out of this book. Instead of constantly asking what candle to burn, what stone to carry, and what spell to cast, you can look at a situation and understand how to change the energy in your life to finish this lesson for good! This is a spiritual journey into your own magical self—and taking this journey changes magic from something you do into something you are!
Magic works—it works every time—guaranteed. Every time, it works diligently and beautifully right up until it hits the blocks you placed in its way. That, my friends, is how you find those ever-elusive blocks. It is time to open your eyes, see how magic is happening in your life, and step right into your destiny.
Here’s the dope. Denise Alvarado is a true hoodoo mamba home girl who burned hi-octane conjure in New Orleans where she grew up, and on visits to relatives on the Mississippi bayous, where she was formally introduced to the Voodoo/hoodoo path. Called by the spirits and taught conjuration by family members, she was working the goofer from five years old. That’s some serious heat. Denise is no pretender. She’s for real. She fixes the formulas, raises the spirits, calculates the mathematics, and works wonders at the old dirt track crossroads.
Crucially, she’s also an academic—a formally trained anthropologist and psychologist with fifteen years of clinical experience. What this means is that she personifies the Law of Balance. She combines left-brain, logical thinking with right-brain, creative thinking (unsurprisingly, she’s also a great artist). In other words, Denise tempers her magic with good sense and critical thinking—not something you see often in the world of spirituality and the occult.
This healthy duality shines through in The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook. The book is not only written in a lively compelling style, but its reliability—in terms of exacting research—is simply not found elsewhere. Denise cites all her sources and covers just about everything you could ever want to know about Voodoo, Santería, hoodoo, the saints and psalms, the cult of Black Hawk, and more.
Plus, Denise spills the beans on the mechanics of working conjuration. She shows you how to create your own magical oils, formulas, floor washes, and powders.You’ll learn everything from how to make African Juju Oil and Boss Fix Oil (a very handy formulation!) to fixing up Amor Oil and Four Thieve Vinegar. She lists all the spells you are ever likely to need in life—from love and money spells to courtwork and protection spells.
Anyone who has read my writings will know that I’m Voodoo’s wild card—a mix of the Joker (trickster) and the Ace of Spades. I ride the hoodoo highway down to the crossroads to pump out the groove with the Graveyard Snake and Ole Satan.
But you can guarantee that whereever it is I’m heading—whatever it is I’m doing—I’ve got a copy of Denise’s The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook on hand. On every level, this book is worth its weight in gold—and some!
—Doktor Snake http://doktorsnake.com
Honestly – there’s just no way that Ankhie can improve on that! So I’ll just add that I wholeheartedly agree with the good Doktor, and here’s a little taste to tide you over until the book hits the shelves later this fall. This excerpt is from an early section “The Basics: Characteristics of New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo Folk Magic” – scores of tables of correspondences, charts and spells follow, but alas the formatting won’t reproduce here.
Crossing and Uncrossing
Simply put, crossing refers to spiritual works that cause harm or bad luck, while uncrossing refers to works that reverse it. A number of products are used to aid in putting an end to crossed conditions, particularly when used in conjunction with one or more of the psalms. For example, products such as uncrossing crystals, oils, sachet powders, incenses, and even chalk are believed to be particularly effective when used in conjunction with the 37th psalm. The word cross is virtually synonymous with the words hex, jinx, and curse.
Foot Track Magic
Foot track magic involves throwing powders and gris gris in the path of a targeted person. That individual will suffer from unusual problems and a streak of bad luck after they have walked on it. The belief is that the toxic properties of the powder or gris gris will be absorbed through the foot and “poison” the individual. Ailments such as back problems, difficulty walking, edema, and difficulty concentrating are some of the complaints of those who have been victimized in this fashion. Foot tracks can also be used for other purposes, such as keeping a lover from wandering off.There are two methods of foot track magic: the direct method and the sympathetic method. The direct method is when the powder or other substance is thrown on the ground or a bottle is buried and the person’s foot actually touches or walks over it. Some folks take care and throw down the mess in an “X” pattern. I was always told you just throw it where you know the person is going to walk. The second method involves capturing the person’s footprint by gathering the dirt from an actual footprint of the target, or by taking an old sock or shoe and doctoring it with some other powder.
Floor washes are used to remove negativity from the home or business or to bring good fortune, increase the number of customers, or attract love. Florida Water is commonly used as a floor wash. A ritual floor washing typically starts at the back of the premises and ends at the front doorstep. The top floor is washed from the ceiling to the floor, and this is repeated on each floor. Extra time is spent scrubbing the doorway. For best results, the floors, corners of the rooms, closets, doorsteps, walls, fabrics, and furniture are washed. The left over water is thrown out of the front door in the direction of the east, if possible. In the old days in New Orleans, urine, and especially the urine of a child, was frequently used as an ingredient in a floor wash, as was red brick dust.
Laying tricks is another reference to the throwing of special herbs, powders, and gris gris in a place where the intended target will touch it, usually by walking on it. It also refers to the concealing or disposing of magickal objects by strategically placing the ingredients in certain places in order to fix the trick, or seal the deal. You can put a hoodoo on a person by filling an old shoe with red pepper and placing under their house.
For example, if you want to keep your partner faithful, you could take a pair of your lover’s dirty underwear, tie them in a knot, and bury them in their backyard. If it is an enemy work, then bury the work in the person’s yard, or under their doorstep or porch or somewhere else they are inclined to walk. If it’s a money spell, you could bury the spell in the yard of a bank, or, if you can get away with it, in the yard of a treasury mint. If you are a gambler, bury it in a potted plant or in the garden or yard of the casino. Following this train of thought, the same can be done for court case spells (in the courtyard), blessings (in the churchyard), school success (schoolyard) . . . you get the picture.
The following are some frequently employed places for laying tricks.
Buried in a building structure. A common place for laying tricks is in construction sites, because the tricks will last forever—or at least for as long as the building stands. Bank construction sites are good for attracting money; courthouse sites are good for keeping the law away; hospitals and doctor’s offices are good for healing; and church sites are good for protection.
Placed in a chimney. To bless the home, a trick can be laid inside a chimney.
Buried in a garden or potted plant. When you want to attract love, luck, fertility, or success, bury a trick in a garden in spring and summertime or in a potted plant anytime. A trick to work against someone else can also be planted in the person’s garden or in a potted plant at their place of residence.
Buried in the earth in the home yard. To ground a trick and keep it working, bury it in someone’s yard. Plant good luck works in your own yard, under your porch, or beneath the front steps for fixing blessings, love drawing, money drawing, and protection. Plant a bad luck trick in someone else’s yard to hex them.
Placed under carpets or rugs. This is reflective of adapting hoodoo to modern times. When you don’t have a yard to work with, the same principle can be employed by placing a trick under someone’s rug or carpet.
Buried under the enemy’s doorstep or porch. To hex or jinx and enemy, place a trick under their doorstep or front porch.
Placed in food or drink. This method is typically employed in domination spells, to keep a mate faithful, or in enemy works. Scrape some skin from the bottom of your foot and bake it in some food that will be eaten by someone you wish to dominate or jinx. Add semen or menstrual blood in your lover’s food or drink to keep them bound to you.
Thrown into a fire. To neutralize a jinx, burn it in a fire and spread the ashes around a tree. For example, to cause harm to your enemy, burn a bad wish written on paper in a fire and spread the ashes around their doorstep or front porch. Prayers and well wishes can also be accomplished in the same manner. Burn a special prayer in a fire and scatter the ashes near the home for special blessinPlaced in clothing or on objects. For love spells, money spells, protection spells, and court cases, mojos are often sewn into clothes, curtains, pillowcases, and mattresses.
Disposed at a crossroads. To dispose of ritual remains such as candle wax, ashes from incense, and the like, leave them at a crossroads. Bad luck tricks can also be disposed of in the middle of a crossroads where cars will run over them and destroy them. Tossing coins in the middle of a crossroads is considered good luck.
Buried in a cross mark indoors. As an alternative to a crossroads, an artificial crossroads can be created by making a cross mark indoors. The basic method of creating an indoor crossroads is by drawing an “X” with cornmeal, chalk, or cascarilla on the floor. The cross mark is used for fixing spells, harming an enemy, or as part of protection spells and likely has its origin in the Kongo cosmogram.
Buried in a graveyard. Ritual objects used in extreme magic—like causing serious illness or death—can be buried in a graveyard.
Thrown in running water. Throwing a spell into running water is best used for wishes and banishing.
Placed in a tree. Trees are believed to absorb negativity and evil, so bad works are often buried at the base of trees to neutralize them.
Placed in a bottle. An old practice with origins in the African Congo involves making wishes and placing cobalt blue bottles onto branches of a tree to make a bottle tree that functions as a talisman. My mama always had a bottle tree in the yard. This practice used to be common in the South, but over time the practice seemed to fade away. In recent years, however, it seems as if bottle trees are beginning to make a comeback all over the country.
Spiritual bathing is an ancient practice. In hoodoo, spiritual baths are taken to cleanse oneself of negativity or to bring good luck. Almost always, when someone goes to a rootworker for treatment, a spiritual bath will be part of that treatment. A person is directed by the conjuror to put special herbs, oils, or other ingredients in the bath water to bring about the desired change. This is often done in conjunction with the recitation of special psalms. Removing negativity requires washing oneself with a downward stroke, while bringing luck or fortune requires washing oneself in an upward motion. The left over water can be used in other spellwork, added to floor wash, or disposed of at a crossroads.
Magickal Oils, Incenses, and Sachet Powders
For thousands of years and across cultures, the belief that plant and animal aromatics (or “odours,” as they are referred to in the old texts) have psychological, natural, and supernatural effects on human beings. Ancient magicians regularly made use of anointing oils, incenses, and powders as a means of consecrating themselves, their altars, or other ritual items, or to alter their state of consciousness. Instructions for preparing sacred oils and anointing formulas are provided in biblical texts as well as in Egyptian papyri, European grimoires, and other ancient and sacred books. As the art of perfumery developed alongside the science of pharmacology, the formulas of the various hoodoo oils, ointments, and powders coincided with this evolution. In New Orleans, the influence of Egyptian and French perfumery on the magickal formulary is quite pronounced, though often unrecognized. The ancient use of oils, powders, and incenses for psychological stimulation, as aphrodisiacs, in religious and spiritual contexts, for psychic development, for healing, and for magickal influence persists to this day in their application in hoodoo.