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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little practical guide to hoodoo
This book is a concise guide to practical hoodoo. Coming in at under 100 pages it contains a brief introduction to the historical origins of Hoodoo (African-American Folk-magic and root work, as distinct from the religious practice of Voodoo). The book contains well-defined sections on all of the main topics including types of root work: laying tricks and jinxes;...
Published 21 months ago by Lenora

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective......
I bought this book thinking it might be an interesting read, having previously studied hoodoo / conjure extensively over many years with different and wonderful teachers.

I was disappointed to see several of the 'Christian landmarks' have mostly been edited out, and how many terms from African Traditional Religions have been introduced along the unique...
Published 19 months ago by A Liberal Catholic Inquirer


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective......, 11 Oct. 2013
I bought this book thinking it might be an interesting read, having previously studied hoodoo / conjure extensively over many years with different and wonderful teachers.

I was disappointed to see several of the 'Christian landmarks' have mostly been edited out, and how many terms from African Traditional Religions have been introduced along the unique interpretations of the author. Hoodoo is essentially a Christian Folk Practice (which does have overlaps in other religious traditions) which grew out of a melting pot which occurred around the time of the slave trade and in its wake. To me it doesn't feel like this has been honoured in this book. The slave trade is acknowledged, and comparisons drawn with Voodoo and Santeria, but the Christian aspects are skimmed over (a significant feature of hoodoo conjure is the use of the bible / psalms and petitioning saints).

Patterson has incorporated much information from various sources, however I feel this is a highly personalised (and possibly simplified in some areas) interpretation of a rather large tradition. I am not criticising here, just observing. There is a wide and varied collection of traditions in Hoodoo / Conjure and there are many regional interpretations, making it a hard subject to explain in one volume. Harry M. Hyatt wrote many volumes and yet he barely scratched the surface.

There isn't much information out there for beginners who are interested in Hoodoo / Conjure. However I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in Hoodoo / Conjure read further around the subject and perhaps find a teacher who can give 'hands on' instruction. I would recommend in no particular orders the works of Judika Illes, Cat Yrnwode, Jamie Alexzander, S. Aldarnay, Starr Casas and Harry Middleton Hyatt over this volume.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little practical guide to hoodoo, 9 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
This book is a concise guide to practical hoodoo. Coming in at under 100 pages it contains a brief introduction to the historical origins of Hoodoo (African-American Folk-magic and root work, as distinct from the religious practice of Voodoo). The book contains well-defined sections on all of the main topics including types of root work: laying tricks and jinxes; spiritual washes; candle magic etc. The book also provides a plethora of useful recipes for powders, washes and conjure oils including some new, and some old, such as the wonderfully named Bend Over Oil (it's not what you think - it is intended to bend another to your will....oh well on second thoughts..I suppose actually it could be for that too...). It also provides a brief introduction to various relevant deities and spirits, glossary of terms and some useful sources for further study.

I know very little about Hoodoo,other than what I have picked up from a variety of cheesy horror films, so I was very curious to find out more about this subject. As it happened I found the subject explained in a fascinating and straightforward manner. I was intrigued by the similarities and dissimilarities with European Witchcraft and the incorporation of elements of Christianity. One of the aspects that I found undeniably enticing but also a bit scary related to the dark side of Hoodoo practice. Patterson is a witch of many years standing and as such is clearly aware of the `And it harm none' philosophy of modern witchcraft. However, hoodoo does not appear to have such caveats - and Patterson fully acknowledges this and gleefully delves into its dark side.

Although she does warn that if you use magic for harm you are likely to receive harm in return this is not overly stressed in the book, and I think that possibly the Hoodoo philosophy here isn't so much `Do what thou wilt, an it harm none' but `Do what thou wilt - but don't get caught!'. After one particular section on laying tricks on an enemy I had an admittedly hilarious but worrying image of some over-keen Hoodoo newbie lobbing a bottle full of coffin nails, graveyard dirt and bodily fluids at the porch of some unfortunate neighbour and ending up with an Asbo!

Nevertheless, Hoodoo is not all about laying jinxes on your mortal enemies (tempting as that might be) it is primarily about positive and beneficial magic designed to improve your life, and although not a religion in itself, does form part of the practices of many religions such as Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santeria and West African Yoruba and as such should be given due respect.

I very much enjoyed this book, and probably will try some of the recipes for incense and washes - although will probably steer clear of jinxing anyone! As a keen history geek I would have loved a bit more on the history of the this tradition and the deities involved, but as the aim of the book is to present a practical guide for hoodoo practitioners history clearly wasn't its primary focus. Patterson did however provide some fascinating biographies of some of the famous names associated with Hoodoo, such as Doctor John and Marie Laveau - I will definitely be doing some further reading on these intriguing characters.

Patterson presents a very individual interpretation of Hoodoo for the modern, possibly urban practitioner, an audience possibly with other Craft experience but who has not necessarily been raised within the traditions of hoodoo. As such it is not pure `traditional' hoodoo - and some may object to this. Importantly Patterson is strongly against the sacrifice of animals for rituals or spells (here here!) but does suggest some harmless and innovative solutions to this aspect of the practice.

I would say that this book's ideal audience of potential practitioners might be those who already have some expertise in their current field of magic - some of the practices might be a bit 'strong' for newbies - and after all as the author points out no magical practice should be undertaken lightly and without proper precautions. All in all though it was an entertaining and informative book about a very misunderstood and maligned area of magical practice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 30 July 2014
This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
Wonderful book. It may be small but certainly packs a punch! Beautifully written and easy to read. Lots of ideas and recipes for incorporating Hoodoo into your chosen path - love it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars photocopying, 22 Mar. 2015
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More like high-Lighting information read from other books and passing it onto first time readers. Not what I would reccommend
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4.0 out of 5 stars a useful reference to have, 6 May 2015
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This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
Concise but lovely little book, a useful reference to have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
Brilliant book - well written and easy to digest…...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book :), 9 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
Awesome as always, enjoyed this book and gives plenty ideas, and very informative. I have a feeling I will end up with her whole collection, excellent worth the money.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now ;-), 7 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
This book is written by an amazing, talented, wonderful and highly experienced kitchen witch. It is full of ideas and inspiration for both the novice and experienced witch. It is written in a friendly and entertaining way, and in no way is it a difficult read! Whether you want to read it from cover to cover or just pick a chapter at a time, it will help, entertain and enlighten you to the full! Cannot recommend it enough. Blessed be.xxx
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 April 2015
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This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
Great thanks
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so interesting and informative, 25 Oct. 2013
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colette brown (Strathaven, scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic (Paperback)
another great book from Ms Paterson. I was hooked from the beginning. This personal account of Hoodoo which is African/American folk magic is full of information that I have not seen elsewhere. I was very interested to see quite pagan concepts merged with petitions to the saints and blended with Christianity. A very interesting read for anyone who is interested in folk magic and shamanism.
I have read a few of the authors books now and am impressed by the way she shares her knowledge in a very down to earth and humorous way. It won't be one for everyone and certainly isn't for fluffy bunnies but if you like you magic earthy and intense, then it might just be for you.
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Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic
Pagan Portals - Hoodoo: Folk Magic by Rachel Patterson (Paperback - 30 Aug. 2013)
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