Pt 1 - The Birth of Motor City Hoo Doo - What is special about Detroit anyway?
This article is a reprint from a former newsletter but the sentiments endure.
Every place has a spirit made up of the people, the environment, and the history ofevents. Detroit is a place that is filled with spirit and seems to be a place of magic. It may not seem like it with all the decline Detroit has gone through, but Detroit has some badass power. It survives, we survive.
Back in 1701, Antoine Cadillac, the founder of Detroit was foretold about a run in with the “Nain Rouge”, a little red devil and if he didn’t treat this devil with respect he would doom his greatest creation, Detroit, to struggle The prophecy warned that if the warning wasn’t heeded the city would burn every 100 years. Detroit has “burned” either through tragedy or economic corruption every 100 years or so since then, yet it always rises from the ashes by the power of the people who live here.
The Masons designed the city to align with the Kabbalistic tree of life , rooting it in magic and power. The area continued to attract more magic to it through immigration and the northern migration. In the early 1900s, during the South’s drought and the rise of the auto industry, workers flocked to Detroit and during World War 2 the strength of manufacturing just grew. Those who came to Detroit were people of the earth, people who carried on the folk magic traditions of their people. It started to blend here and become part of the spirit of Detroit. The Black, Irish, Polish and most recently the Arabic folk traditions seep into this land and keep the spirit of Detroit alive and powerful.
When Patty, Renee and I were spending time cleaning and cleansing Coventry to power it up and rebuild from the 2001 downturn and we started talking about our “Detroit Voodoo” and how nothing can get us down. That quickly turned to our “Motor City Hoo Doo” and we all felt the powerful shift. In 2004 there was little in print about hoodoo and conjure, yet this is the magic that both Renee and I had learned in conjunction with our Wicca training. Renee, a priestess in Santeria, confirmed for me that the reason why my magical workings did not fit into the Scott Cunningham school of magic is because I worked conjure and always had.
Renee has since moved onto other endeavors, but that time when we reawakened our conjure roots, worked with intuition, and dove into the magic that is all around Detroit is one of my favorites. I may not be a 4th generation conjure woman, I may not have native or African blood in my veins, but I dove into the world of conjure and know that I have come home.
The Motor City Hoo Doo line was created through the exploration of this powerful, primal tradition, and the recipes came from the spirit of magic that is all around us in the badass city of Detroit. When you light a Motor City Hoo Doo candle or use an oil you can feel the primal power of rebirth letting your own magic awaken and empowering your intent.
So go ahead and Keep it Magic and tap into this intense power!
Pt 2 - The Primal Power of Conjure
To understand the core and power of hoodoo you have to dive into its history. It is the push of history, the push of the oppressed into unfamiliar and repressive situations that created the hoodoo we know today. This is not a tradition that follows a straight line, but one that curves upon itself in repeating stories and situations. This spiral joins it with other conjure traditions from other oppressed, degraded and repressed people. This journey through history that hoodoo takes you on is critical because it takes you from that place where victims live in fear to the mountaintop of glory where we experience personal power. Hoodoo is a pathway through our own self imposed oppression into the root of your soul where you find the wound, heal it, and then experience a life of spiritual freedom.
From the forests of the Congo, through the Blood Coast of Africa to the plantations of the south, hoodoo was kept hidden, yet kept alive. In the Appalachian hills you will find people of the earth who live and die by conjure, keeping the old ways alive through faith. In the southern plains you will find first nation people who held strong to their connection to spirit and magic even while their people were being systematically obliterated. In the cities you will find Jewish immigrants who struggle to carve out a community and stay connected to the sacred and mystical teachings that hold them together.
All of these people, conjurers each one, know the hell of oppression, segregation, and institutionalized prejudice. Yet, they manage to thrive, find joy, build families, and stay strong both individually and collectively. That is a primal power, to burst through those societal limitations and work from a place of divine authority. To do this, magic has to come from the root of your soul, the root of your pain and make change where change seems impossible. That is the power of conjure.
When you are working with the divine allies of conjure they know your pain and can lend you the strength you need to break free of the oppression that blocks you. When you are tapping into the long standing forces of conjure you are tapping into primal creative forces. Crown of Glory,Come to me, High John,Fiery Wall of protection, Helping Hand all have a collective power behind them. When you call that energy up it meets you where you are and help create primal, root healing, magical change.
Because nobody can touch your badass primal hoodoo. Now, go make some change.
Pt 3 - 21st Century Conjure
We are not struggling with life and death on a daily basis like our ancestors did. We have freezers for our food, over stocked groceries stores, transportation, shelter and heat in the winter and even cooling centers in the summer. Today, our problems are first world problems and are about moving from surviving into thriving. So, how does this old school country conjure fit into our new school city needs?
It’s hard to get away with plucking a black rooster on steps of the courthouse, even at midnight, without getting arrested. There are very few crossroads to bury things in the center of since they have all been paved over. When is the last time you were close to a natural body of water that you could throw a four thieves bottle into? It’s time to step into the 21st century with our magic and start finding the things that will work in today’s world.
Crossroads – They are every quarter mile in the city so how do you know which ones to use? Crossroads that unite communities or cross boundaries add to the crossroad energy. Crossroads that are in the center of a community are also an excellent choice.
Laying tricks – Trying to lay powder in your boss’ office can cause a work shut down while they test the substance for anthrax! It’s time to get creative with laying of tricks. Give them a pen that has been doused in the oil or powder. Put a little oil on your report or take them to lunch and have them sit in a trick that you put in the passenger seat. No matter who the trick is for, name it to the person for whom it is intended. When you name it the trick won’t affect anyone but them.
Setting lights – (burning candles) Not many of us have the luxury of lighting a 7 day candle and letting it go until it burns out. We have to extinguish the candle before you leave for work or even before you leave the room because of your pets or kids. Go ahead and extinguish that candle and say, “I snuff our flame in this world as it is lit in the next, continuing my magic. I will relight you again at ______ to reaffirm this work.” Make sure you light it when you promised or that magic you are working will slowly fade away.
Personal concerns – Anything that is connected to the person you are working a trick on or magic for is a personal concern. The obvious ones are a tissue, a piece of clothing, spit, hair, etc. Then there is their signature or a picture but that is not as powerful. Think about what is unique to that person and add it to their picture; their Social Security number, their cell phone number, their email address, facebook ID, or any social media ID. Think about printing out a profile picture of them, especially if it has been up for a while and no one else is in the picture. This is how hundreds of people identify with them so why not? The point of a personal concern is to tap into the energy of the person who you are working magic. When you don’t have DNA, stack your personal concern with everything you can that connects the magic to them.
It’s ok to update and evolve the conjure that was taught back in the day. The symbology and sympathetic magic that they used back then rang true for their times. Ring your conjure with today’s 21st century bell and work your computer, your phone, your car, your internet. Work with what makes sense for you. If you need a mojo bag and an empty Altoid tin inspires you, work your mojo in there! Recently I used a purple Crown Royal bag for the best Crown of Glory spell ever. I even used a cola and a Mentos to put some energy into a project. How about Crystal Skull vodka bottle for some spirit work?
Putting out a resume via the internet? Put the oil on your hands before you type up the resume and send it off. Dating online? Print out your profile picture and work your conjure on it. Waiting on a phone call? Pull up an image of the Page of Swords on your phone and leave it there until they call.
Go have some 21st Century conjure fun and let me know what you come up with!
Jacki Smith is the founder, resident enchantress, and trouble maker at Coventry Creations. Follow her articles here on CoventryCreations.com and listen to her and Storm Cestavani on Keep It Magic (Blog Talk Radio). Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or drop her a line through Coventry!
I’m a little scared you guys. I am nervous about what is happening to my people. I am shocked at what people, who are normally loving and supportive, are saying. I am terrified at the media reporting on the seemingly vast amount of folks reverting to their fears and hate and calling it “telling it like it is.”
I am tired, and worn out and stressed over everything and I feel like this pulse of hate that is enveloping this country is eating my soul. I am not one who becomes absorbs in politics but I find that I cannot stop talking about it. I am feeling the repercussions of staying in a place of fight or flight, and I am watching how this is draining everyone around me. I’m a little scared.
Being scared means it is time to find love, light and purpose. Being scared means that it is time to do the work.
Astrologically there is a reason why this energy is affecting us all. We are experiencing two major outer planet squares; Jupiter sq. Saturn and Saturn sq. Neptune that is causing our outer world to affect our inner world. But, in true Jacki form, I always look at this as an opportunity to heal, not a reason to retreat. (For more information on the astrological influences visithttp://stormcestavani.com/)
I look at my fear the same way. This is a clear and blatant sign from my higher-self, positive ego and/or divine connection that old issues are ripe for healing. This shows me that collectively in our society this is a test – do we heal or do we regress. Don’t waste a moment on fear and hate, all it does when you open the door to it is crave more and more of the same hate and fear. This beast of hate will show you more and more things to hate and become the never ending addiction to justify more and more hate.
I am ending this spiral of fear and hate for myself by using 6 simple yet powerful tools. These are not new or unique and I am one of many saying the same thing. I am one of many and collectively we can be the change we wish to see in the world. Singularly it feels like we are lost in an ocean of pain, but if we continue to use our voice to find each other and lovingly send this message, over and over and over again we will find each other and grow stronger together.
I invite you to spend this month with me using these 6 simple and powerful tools to conquer hate with love. I am going to journal for myself how challenging these tools are to use, but at the end of the journey I may just be transformed. Share with me and others how using these tools can change your personal game and then energetically join with me on April 27th to send more love into the world in a big collective release….
Here are the tools
1. Recognize your own hate. We all have moments or ingrained beliefs where hate is the driving force. Hate is a strong word and has many levels from judgement, to annoyance, to triggers, to out-right anger. Obviously hate can be aimed racially, politically, gender biased, sexual orientation biased and religiously biased. It can also be hate against anyone who made you feel like a victim or oppressed you. It can be hate against injustice or waste or anything that can be justified in your heart and mind. Know where you hate, own where you hate and ask yourself if that hate is of benefit to you.
2. Practice random acts of kindness. It is easy to be kind to strangers or people who are nice to you, it is more challenging to be kind to people who are not pleasant to you, or people who are outside of your comfort zone. What would happen in your life if you were nice to someone who was taking their bad day out on you? How would you feel about yourself if you went out of your way to bring kindness to someone who challenges your compassion?
3. Avoid perpetuating hate; turn it into love (even in social media). This is a hard one. How do you transform your anger into love, especially when you see someone go off in the wrong direction? What do you do when someone mouths off in a hateful way and you have a burning need to stop them in their tracks? This is a hard one that is answered by those exact questions. In the moment when I see untruths turning into prejudicial hate, I ask myself that exact question. “How to I write (or talk) about love in a powerful and transformative way? Can I diffuse this hate with my words?” The answer is never the same twice and it is never easy. I also ask myself if my answer would bait the bear or if my answer would diffuse. If I am baiting the bear, I make a choice to share something loving on my own social media because there is always room for a positive message.
4. Avoid gossip - and correct yourself when you discover you have done it. Gossip is as simple as observing and sharing your observations. Gossip is when you are repeating information that is none of your business. We all do it, we all take a moment to pass judgement and share that with others. We do it to feel better about ourselves, belong or justify our actions. We talk about our kids, our parents, co-workers, spouses, etc. We call it “All in good fun” or maybe we call it what it is, gossip. This is one of the hardest of the 6 ways to conquer hate with love, but you can do it – or at least own up to when you do it.
5. Make amends and forgive yourself. There are those old reactions to past relationships hanging out, affecting our present and being the filter that we are judging all interactions. Those feelings from past events are really important to process honestly (and one at a time). As you find yourself reacting intensely to situations that may not call for that level of emotion or finding that the same old issue is repeating itself, you may need to do some self-loving care and work on forgiveness. When you have been in the wrong, admit it to yourself and if safe, to the other person. When you are holding onto anger or shame, work on letting that go and forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is when you stop defining your future from your past experiences.
6. Stop hating on yourself. How many times a day do you criticize yourself? Call yourself fat, dumb, ugly or berate yourself for a mistake? Stop it. When you hate on yourself you are filling your soul with pain and when it becomes too much, all you can do is pass that pain onto another. Be gentle with yourself for one day. Love yourself first and you will create more room in your heart to love others
Can you see how after 20 days of working on these 6 simple acts of love your life can be transformed? Now add to that, a nation/worldwide day of love!
On April 27th – throughout the day, I invite everyone and anyone to join me in feeding the love in the world. 6pm EDT, I will be doing a simple ritual where we transform our fear and hatred into love. It is a very simple ritual where we write down the fear and hate we feel on a pieces of paper, anoint that paper with Healing Blessed Herbal Oil and then using the ashes to write messages of love to share with others.
You can do this or any other ritual at home and help us fill the world with love.
We are all born to be our own worst enemy. We are masters at sabotaging ourselves from the inside out and the question is, why do we do it? Why do we get in our own way? Why does it seem like some people are brilliant and gifted at sailing through life’s tsunamis and we succumb to the doubt, the projection upon us by others and our own fears?
We manifest these spiritual issues in ways that cause us to feel insecure, vulnerable and in need of protection. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that we need protection from in this world, there are many cosmic and worldwide life lessons that can destroy our well being. Odds are that if you live in America (or another 1st world country) and have the ability to read this internet article, you are more likely to create your current need for protection from your own inner saboteur and from your own fears and vulnerabilities.
When you work protection issues from the inside out, you are building lifelong security.
We all write the script for our future selves by the choices we are making today. Are we choosing to blame outside interference for our shortcomings? Are we buying into the whiney voice of our vulnerabilities and believing that we are defined by them? Are we listening to your judgement or fears of the people around us and taking them on as our own? These choices that usually result in the inner dialog that says, “I can’t”, “I’m broken”, “I am only worthy of this small amount.” These inner dialogs are the openings that abusers, bullies and perpetrators of violence look for to worm their way in through.
When you work on those inner voices and transform your self-doubt into strength your protection magic becomes impenetrable.
My clients, friends and my own personal experiences express this natural law of the universe over and over and over again. That what you believe, your inner voice, will manifest in your outer world. Our entire existence is about proving what we believe about ourselves and we can see it play out all around us.
You can see it in a day filled with irritation and inconvenience. Things that normally are non-issues become part of a cosmic conspiracy to ruin a perfectly good day. The only thing it proves is that at one point in your day’s frustration you decided that this would be a bad day. The errant alarm clock, rushed and burnt breakfast and the 20 minute traffic jam blocking your way to work become the catalyst for everything going wrong that day.
Imagine that train of thinking when it comes to your personal safety?
Negative energy is sent to you all the time. You send negative energy to others all the time. Jealousy, irritation, inconvenience, intimidation, more success than the other, abandonment, are all things that can spark negative thoughts that get sent along the psychic phone lines. This negative energy can be just a touch of static, or you can become a magnet that causes it to collect until you break.
People will attack you purposefully and energetically, but the big question is why? Why you? Why now? What purpose does this pain fulfill in your life and what script did your past-self write for you to manifest?
No one attacks your strengths - that would be a waste of time and ineffective use of energy. It is at your vulnerable points that this negativity will collect and become that beacon that calls more and more negative energy to you, sometimes in the form of an abuser and physical harm (aka, attacks). This issue can go deep, can have begun in childhood as a learned behavior, can be karmic and have lifetimes of legacy. Don’t expect to heal this whole tangle of fears, doubts and vulnerabilities with one meditation and candle burning. For me, this has been part of my lifelong healing journey.
When it is time to face your own worst enemy, do it with compassion and introspection. That enemy is you and you are sending yourself a message. It may be a broken message, but you must explore it, find its origin and the story of your life.
When you are feeling the need for protection take the steps needed to protect yourself. Don’t psychoanalyze your attacker, get yourself to safety and stay protected. Dig deep after all the doors and windows are locked. Dig deep after you have calmed down and allowed your adrenaline to re-balance. But, dig deep so you don’t have to do this over and over again.
Lock-it Down Protection spell –
Protection Blessed Herbal Candle
Fiery Wall of Protection Oil
Anoint the Protection candle with the Fiery Wall of Protection oil, say the blessing and light the candle in the center of your space. Put several drops of Fiery Wall of protection oil into a medium sized bowl of warm water. Using a fresh cloth, wipe down the exterior of your doors, including the handle and the threshold. Place 9 more drops of Fiery Wall of Protection oil directly onto your threshold.
Wipe down the interior of all of your window frames and any portal between the outside and inside world. Take your candle and walk clockwise around your house, shining the candle flame in each window and repeating the blessing in every direction.
Take a square of white cloth (a coffee filter will do in a pinch) and let the molten wax pour into the center. As the wax begins to cool, press each forefinger and thumb into the wax, leaving your fingerprint. Wrap that up and carry that with you for the next week. Relight the candle every day until it is consumed and never leaving a burning candle unattended.
Shoring-up Your Vulnerabilities Spell –
Truth and Justice Blessed Herbal Candle
Problem Solving Blessed Herbal Candle
Healing Blessed Herbal Candle
Make a hard copy of a picture of you. Make sure you are the only one in the image. Cut that out and put it in the center of a letter size piece of paper. With a black sharpie, draw a large circle around you – almost to the edge of the paper. This is a circle of protection where you can explore your vulnerabilities without them being exploited further.
Light a Truth and Justice, a Problem Solving and a Healing Blessed Herbal Candle. Using a pencil, start writing inside the circle what your vulnerabilities are. This is not a 5 minute process. This takes time, often days of contemplation, to really get below the surface of what is really driving your fear bus.
Ask yourself these questions:
If my fears could talk to me, what are the 10 things they would tell me?
What would life be like without these fears?
What things in my life do they prevent me from doing?
Who in my life feeds my fears and pokes at my vulnerabilities?
Why do I let them?
It’s ok if you write on the back, or tiny, or over your own writing. When you are all done, you are going to color over what you wrote with the black sharpie to protect them from being seen and taken advantage of. Then you are going to pour the molten wax over your paper, covering you and everything you wrote.
Every time you pour the wax, you are going to declare which of your strengths is going to protect that vulnerability and help heal it.
You can do this over and over again. Make many copies of your picture and do this one vulnerability at a time. This is wonderful way to dive deeper, one inch at a time.
When you are done with that paper, tuck it away in a box that you will lovingly protect – showing your inner child that you will protect all those vulnerabilities you unearthed.
Keep it magic!!
I was really offended by that phrase when I first heard it. I care, I care about a lot of people, things, and outcomes. Actually, I care too much... until I found the freedom in not caring. There is a point when you have to throw your hands in the air and not give a rat’s ass as to the outcome, the needs or the damn political climate to gain a bit of sanity. There is a moment where you have to get greedy with your feelings – put on the preverbal oxygen mask and breathe air that is not tainted with the funk of another human being. There has to come a moment where you hold all of your f#@%s to yourself and no longer give them away.
When you give to yourself first, you have the energy to give to others later
I remember when I finally understood that I need to own all of my energy for a while and stop giving it away. You see, that is the f#@% that was given, your energy. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a boss and a business owner; that is a lot of energy that is sacrificed on the altar of responsibility. I am caring about everything from wholesome groceries in the house to sales goals to employee retention to husband retention to the holidays and on and on and on. Every time I took time for myself, one of the plates crashed and I punished myself for that failing.
Then one day I woke up, having only hit 50% of my sales goal, my daughter mad at me, 2 employees shy of a team and the holidays approaching and I thought…. What would happen if I let all the plates crash, if I stopped giving all of my energy if the form of F#@%s? I was exhausted, crabby and meditation was my enemy. I let it all crash and kept my energy to myself.
The plates that I was spinning crashed and I was OK. I was better than OK, because others became accountable for their own plates – or – I never needed those plates in the first place.
I realized that it was time to reinvent myself without a crop of F#@%s to tend.
I did it and my life is clearer, happier and less stressful. It’s not perfect, but perfect is boring and I don’t give a f#@% about perfect. Coventry has everything you need to reinvent your life and a simple way to start the process.