Marie Laveau: The Voodoo Queen’s Feast Day on Saint John’s Eve

marie laveau picture

Paying Homage to Marie Laveau

Marie Laveau, often called the “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans,” has captivated the imaginations of locals and visitors for decades. Known for her remarkable spiritual powers and influence over the city’s residents in the 19th century, Laveau’s legacy continues to live on, particularly through the annual celebration of her feast day on Saint John’s Eve. In this article, we delve into the fascinating life of this iconic figure and explore the significance of her feast day on the eve of Saint John the Baptist’s birth.


Marie Laveau: A Brief History

Born in 1801 in New Orleans, Marie Laveau was a free woman of color who rose to prominence as a powerful spiritual leader. Combining her knowledge of Voodoo with her Catholic upbringing, Laveau crafted a unique spiritual practice that resonated with the diverse population of New Orleans.

As a renowned Voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau gained a loyal following, offering guidance, healing, and protection to those who sought her help. Her reputation extended beyond the city’s boundaries, attracting people from far and wide in search of her supernatural abilities. Despite her death in 1881, Laveau’s legend endures, with countless tales of her spirit still protecting and guiding the people of New Orleans.


Saint John’s Eve: A Night of Mystical Revelry

Saint John’s Eve, celebrated on June 23rd, is a night of magic and mystery, traditionally marking the eve of the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. In many cultures, this night is associated with bonfires, rituals, and celebrations to ward off evil spirits and welcome the summer season. 

During her lifetime, Laveau would lead her followers in elaborate ceremonies on the banks of the Mississippi River, invoking the spirits and seeking their blessings. These gatherings, which often included drumming, dancing, and the offering of gifts to the spirits, were a testament to the power and influence of the Voodoo Queen.


marie laveau altar
lighting candles to Marie Laveau on her feast day. June 23, 2023. – Papa Gee

Honoring Marie Laveau on Her Feast Day

Today, the celebration of Marie Laveau’s feast day on Saint John’s Eve continues in New Orleans, paying homage to the city’s rich spiritual heritage. Locals and visitors alike gather at her tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, leaving offerings of flowers, candles, and other tokens of gratitude for the legendary Voodoo Queen.

In addition to these tributes, contemporary Voodoo practitioners and enthusiasts participate in ceremonies reminiscent of those that Laveau herself led. These events serve as a reminder of Marie Laveau’s profound impact on the spiritual landscape of New Orleans and the enduring legacy of her unique blend of Voodoo and Catholicism.

As we celebrate her feast day, we honor not only the legendary Voodoo Queen herself but also the diverse spiritual traditions that continue to shape the city’s unique cultural identity. 

Meet the Sidhe – The Fairy People of Ireland and Scotland

sidhe fairy people
The Tuatha Dé Danann as depicted in John Duncan’s “Riders of the Sidhe” (1911)

The Fairy People of Ireland and Scotland – Meet the Sidhe

The Sidhe are unique to Ireland, although Scotland and Ireland share much fairy lore. These are not the type of fairies that fly around as they please, in your garden or in the forest. Guarding them with their magic and mischief, able to control and mingle with you if they wish – These fairies are real. They follow a legend of old, one full of history and wisdom. The fairy lore of Ireland and Scotland is old magic, and was carried into the American Appalachian mountains when the Scots-Irish settled there. That which was forgotten in time has returned to Ireland. Now it is their land, but this fairytale comes complete with rules that can only be followed or else all will perish.

The Sidhe are fairies of Irish mythology (or so says the Irish Lore). They live underground in sidhe-mounds across the countryside (such as Newgrange) or hidden within them. When one travels across the famous bogs of Ireland, it is possible to see them. Sidhe-people materialize into a human form and rise from beneath the ground, often in white robes, and stand frozen as they watch you pass by. In parts of Ireland (such as Northern County Cavan), fairies are known to be fair with golden hair and fair skin. However, in other regions such as Ulster, fairies have darker hair and olive skin. Some fairies have dark hair and fair skin; others fair with black hair and brown-black eyes. As for height, they can be as tall or short as any human being, though the male fairies are often taller than humans.

There is much folklore about fairies in Ireland (and in other countries also). Some fairies ride each night on a horse named Pooka across the moon (or a cow called Coo-ee if there’s no moon), while others dance around maypoles to celebrate certain festivals. The people of Ireland were wary of fairies for many reasons, such as stealing children to replace them with changelings (“changelings” are known as “béothuigsin”, which means “wished for child”, and are fairies themselves). The fairies are also known to take away fine horses as their own (or they can give you a horse of their own if that is what you desire), and fairies have been seen riding through the air on steeds made of mist.

Some fairies have the power to shapeshift into many forms. The fairies are able to put you into a trance-like state (trances can be caused by humans also) and then remove some of your blood, replacing it with that from another place or time – this is how fairies come about their magical powers. They are known as fairies because they make “fairy forts” where they keep all of their treasures; these fairie forts may be guarded by fierce monsters such as kelpies (“water horses”). Fairies also have fairie dogs and cats, which are smaller than common domestic animals but very loyal to them.

ireland fairy

The interesting thing about fairies was that in early times if you went to a fairie fort (or fairy rath) and were kind to the fairies, they would reward you with many gifts. However, if you stole from them or in any way wronged them, they could kill you, steal your children for fairies to raise as their own (a fate worse than death), or curse you so that fairies took all of your property and belongings. The fairies will also play tricks on people such as making husbands disappear only to bring them back later in a day’s time; however, wives may be transformed into sheep for about seven years by fairies.

The fairies stole not only human children but also animals. There was a certain brownie named Browny who liked to steal lambs when the farmers’ backs were turned. However, he was kind enough to leave them unbruised and safe from harm. It should be noted that fairies in Ireland do not eat flesh; therefore cattle may graze freely in the fields undisturbed by fairytale creatures, unless it is Beltaine or Samhain when fairies dance and mingle with humans.

Many fairies have a dislike for clothing, especially if it is new. Therefore they will take your garments to their homes beneath the ground, never to return them again. It has been said that fairies in Ireland do not wear shoes (they may be barefoot), but there are some fairies who like to put on clothes (usually linen shirts and knee-breeches) in order to pass as humans during the day time. If you leave soup out at night, fairies may come snatch away your bowl without leaving any traces of themselves behind.

Several Irish fairytales include tales of fairie maidens named Aibell or Caer Ibormeith who can shapeshift (or “beshape”) into a white deer. They are fairies of immense beauty and some even possess a sugar-bowl sized cauldron filled with healing herbs in Bantry, County Cork, which is said to be given to them by Saint Patrick himself.

The fairie people were known for their immortality; however they will perish if exposed during the day time or if they touch iron, both being strictly forbidden within the fairytale world. The fairies have many enemies around Ireland including goblins (“sgiolai”), water fairies (“dunduns”), and the evil faery cleric Balor of the Evil Eye (Balor was born with one eye that would destroy anything that it looked at; fairies are said to be his descendants). It was known that fairies were afraid of the Holy Bible, and refrained from crossing its path.

The fairie people are ruled by a monarch named Aobh who is a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann . The fairies have no concept of time as humans do; however they try their best to make it seem like Ireland is having Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter just for them (and us too!). If you want to see fairies in Ireland, you’ll need an invitation from one first. Otherwise they won’t come out because they can only enter human homes when invited.

Elements that make up the Sidhe:
The Sidhe fairies are a supernatural race of people. They have magic and fairytale qualities about them like no other fair-folk in the world. Once you encounter one, you will be tied to their fate forever more unless you break the fairytale spell. There is only one way this can happen:
A pure soul must find their true love before they do. The ‘true love’ cannot be forced or manipulated; two fairies falling in love isn’t fairytale romance but rather a pact of arranged marriage. The fairy has many chances at finding her true love – if she fails to recognize him then that is it for her and she will become trapped within the fairytale dimension forevermore with no escape possible

scotland fairy

These fairies have many different tribes that have specific jobs for each tribe within their society. The Queen is called the Bean Nighe (meaning ‘Washer Woman’). She is fair and young, but her skin is covered in green. She washes the warriors who fought in battles and those who have lost their lives. The job of washing them is her duty to do as she pleases, not caring for the feelings or views of others.

The King is called Aillen (meaning ‘Hazel’). He has a dark appearance… often with red hair and pale flesh that makes him look unappealing when compared to the fairies who serve under him.

If you wish to keep the fae around your property and home, make them little offerings. They like sweet cakes and candy, milk, cookies, and wine. Ask them to help with your honey jar magic. They also enjoy your attempts at creating them tiny shelters to hide inside or beneath. If you leave them shiny offerings of costume jewelry willingly, they may be less likely to “borrow” the jewelry from inside your home.

Watch Me Create the Bookmark for aromaG’s!

As our collection of books continues to grow in our store, aromaG’s Botanica, I thought it would be great to design a bookmark to give to every customer who purchased a book. So, I’ve decided to send all of my current patrons (as of 05-16-21) one too!

First, I started with a scan from a 1930’s De Laurence Occult catalog showing a woman reading THE MASTER KEY by L. W. de Laurence. The next step was to remove the aged-brown coloring of the pages and turn it to white, leaving behind only the illustration. For the coloring, I wanted it to be reminiscent of the popular Witches Datebook by Llewellyn so I began by making her a redhead, putting in streaks of blondes, browns, and dark orange before coloring the rest of her hair.  Then came her makeup with a touch of eyeshadow, red lips, blush, and a bit more eyelash.

My original thought was to make the book say, “aromaG’s Book of Shadows” but decided against it. Instead, I went with my own book PAPA GEE’S HOODOO HERBAL. The reason I chose this particular book out of my collection? Well, mainly because it’s cover was going to fit the color scheme of the bookmark! 🙂

My Photoshop layers began building up when I began adding more esoteric images to her: a vintage sun pattern on her blouse (which I’d already colored blue), a rabbit’s foot on the table, a triple goddess tattoo on her wrist, an aromaG’s logo and a mojo bag on the book spine, and finally a claddagh ring.

Next, it was time for the background. I went with the moon card from the Rider Waite tarot deck as the upper backdrop. It depicts a sun with a moon face inside, which I Photoshopped out, leaving me just the image of the sun. Next, I erased the dog and the wolf from the card and replaced their images with more grass using the clone stamp tool.  For the bottom of the bookmark, I went with the same color as the sky above and added in stars from the Rider Waite Star card. Finally, came our company logo at the top and business information at the bottom. Once cropped, there will be enough space below our website address for you to write your name on the bookmark if you wish.

From start to finish, the project took around 6 hours. But, I believe it is some of my best Photoshop work to date. The bookmarks (some say bookmarker, others book marker) are ordered (10,000 of them) and should arrive in about 2 weeks.

Mammoth Cave National Park tourism, April 1948

As a native Kentuckian, I have visited Mammoth Cave National Park many times — the first time on a school trip in the 8th grade. Most recently with my husband. As caves go, little has changed! LOL  This picture is from the April 1948 edition of “Historic Kentucky Highways,” and was sent to me by my good friend, Catherine Yronwode of Lucky Mojo along with many other pieces of Kentucky and Tennessee (my home for 30+ years) literature, flyers, postcards, and brochures. Supporters of her Patreon ‘“It’s All Ephemera” with Cat Yronwode’ (see different levels) receive packets of similar items containing rare vintage paper or cloth ephemera from her personal collection.  Check out her Patreon at:

Appalachian Granny Magic

Appalachian Granny Magic

Author: Ginger Strivelli
(original witchvox information) Posted: January 8th. 2001   Times Viewed: 125,421

The Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition of Witchcraft is one that is only recently being heard of. Though the tradition is a very old one, dating all the way back to the first settlers of the magical Appalachian Mountains who came over from Scotland and Ireland in the 1700’s. They brought along their even older Irish and Scottish Magical Traditions with them. Those two ‘old world’ Traditions were then blended with a dash of the local tradition of the Tsalagi (Now, called the Cherokee Indians.) The recipe for the Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition was then complete, though this potion simmered on a low boil for many generations before anyone dubbed it with the name, ‘Appalachian Granny Magic.’

The Witches of the Appalachian Mountains called themselves ‘Water Witches’ and/or ‘Witch Doctors’ depending upon whether they were personally more gifted in healing, midwifery and such realms of magic, or if they were more in tune with dowsing for water, ley lines, energy vortexes and the making of charms and potions. Often a Practitioner called themselves by both titles if they were so diverse in their Magical practices.

The Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition, like many of the older ones, was passed on from parents to their children for many generations, and generally was not ‘taught’ outside of the individual family structures. Because of the rural and secluded nature of the Appalachian community, the old customs, wisdom, and practices were not as often lost, forgotten, or ‘modernized’ as the ‘old world’ traditions that came over to other, more urban areas of the ‘new world.’ Therefore, one will often find that ancient Irish or Scottish songs, rhymes, dances, recipes, crafts, and ‘The Craft,’ are more accurately preserved in Appalachia than even in Ireland or Scotland.

Many of these old Scot/Irish traditions, as well as the Tsalagi traditions, both magical and mundane, were carried on in Appalachia until modern times. Some songs, spells, and such have been passed down for many years that way, though sadly, sometimes only by rote, with the original meanings beings lost in the shifting sands of time.

In the secluded mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the Virginias and the Carolinas, this denomination of the ancient religion of Witchcraft continued right on through the decades of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and the early twentieth centuries; a time when Witchcraft elsewhere was being nearly forgotten and abandoned by the increasingly modern and monotheistic world. The people of the mountains still relied upon Mother Nature in a way, that ‘city folk’ did not anymore. The fertility of the crops, the livestock, and of the people themselves was as paramount to the Appalachians of 1900 as it was to the early American colonists in the 1600’s. Therefore, fertility, and the worship of Mother Nature, Jack frost, Father Winter, Chloe, Spider Grandmother, Demeter, and such varied deities continued in the Appalachian region, staying a current part of the people’s faith, rather than becoming a mythic memory as such ‘nature worship’ did elsewhere. In fact, we still see “Lady Plenty and Lady Liberty” Goddess of the harvest, with cornucopia in hand, and Goddess of freedom, on the official North Carolina State seal.

Amazingly, even the terms “Witch””, “Witchcraft”, “spells”, “charms” and such never became taboo in the modern Appalachian culture. Nearly every mountain top and ‘holler’ community had their local ‘Witch’ who was openly called such, as a title of honor, not as a insult or a charge of crime, as the term came to be used in other more urban American cultures of the seventeen, eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

The “Witch Doctors” were still called upon to heal a sick child, or deliver a baby, or tend to the dying, as Witches had been so charged with doing in Europe during ancient times. Since often a mountain community had no medical doctor to call upon, the local Witches continued to work as the only healers, well up until the early twentieth century.

The local ‘Witch’ was also called upon to dowse for water, ley lines, and energy vortexes when one was digging a well, planting a new garden, burying a loved one, or doing any other work with the Earth. Thereby, the term ‘Water Witch’ arose, though, it is misleading, as these Witches dowsed for more than just water, and one did not have to be a Witch to dowse, though most dowsers of that era and location were, indeed, Witches.

The fairy folk, leprechauns, and other ‘wee people,’ followed the Scots and Irishmen to Appalachia, it seems, as the Witches of this tradition continue to work closely with these beings. Of course, the Tsalagi people had their own such beings, here when the Scots and Irishmen arrived. The Tsalagi called their magical being neighbors; ‘Yunwi Tsunsdi,’ which translates to ‘The Little People.’ Offerings are still commonly given to the wee people daily in Appalachia. To this day, you will find a granny woman leaving a bowl of cream on her back door step, or throwing a bite of her cornbread cake out a window, before placing it upon her families’ table.

The spirits of the dead are often worked with as well, a lot of ancestral spirit guide workings are passed down through our Tradition, those practices trace back to not only Scotland and Ireland, but the Tsalagi Nation as well. ‘Haints’ are widely feared as ‘angry’ ancestral spirits, and many spells, charms, and rituals are practiced to keep these troublemakers at bay. One of the most interesting and common haint related spells requires that the doors of a home be painted ‘haint blue.’ Haint Blue is a bright baby blue with a periwinkle tinge, very close to but about one shade darker than the Carolina Tarheels’ Blue color. This color is believed to repel the spirits and keep them out of the home.

Music is a large part of the Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition. Many of the oldest spells are sung and danced. Clogging, as Irish Step-dancing came to be called in Appalachia, as well as reels, gigs, lullabies, and chants sung in rounds are all very common magical ingredients in Appalachian spells. For example, a traditional Earth Blessing to be sung while planting and harvesting goes; (Broken into syllables for easier pronunciation of the ancient Tsalagi language, English translation follows)

A da we hi a ne he ne ha
Do hi u a iu ni
O lo hi a li ga lu lo hi u nah ta
Ga li e li ga O sa da du

Wise Protectors, they are so giving
Serenity, it resounds
Mother Earth and Father Sky are so giving
I am thankful, it is good

Another example of the old world musical roots of Appalachian musical magic is the locally common use of the song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ for Samhain and Funerals, as well as the secular new year.

Divination is popular among Appalachian Granny Witches. Many read Tarot, and regular playing cards, tea leaves, and clouds. Scrying in bowls of water, dirt, or sand is also common. Spider webs are scrutinized for messages from the Cherokee Spider Grandmother Goddess, a Goddess of fate, magic, weaving, art and storytelling, who is said to weave magical messages into the webs of her creatures. (In Tsalagi, She was called; ‘Kanene Ski Amai Yehi.’)

“The Weaver” Painting By Ginger Strivelli The tools of the Appalachian Granny Witch vary a bit from the modern ‘Wiccan’ tools we all are so familiar with. The Wand, often instead called the ‘rod’, as it is in fact a dowsing rod, is the most important tool. This is usually a long straight rod, rather than the ‘forked stick’ type dowsing rod used by mundane dowsers. It is generally made of wood from a flowering tree such as dogwood, apple or peach, (For Water dowsing) or made from a metal, (For ley line or energy dowsing) copper conducts energy best, I personally feel. A ritual blade, such as a Athame, is only occasionally used and more often a agricultural blade like a thresher, ax or such will be used in its stead. Cauldrons are used more widely than chalices, in fact, a cauldron placed in ones front yard was a ‘open-for-business’ type Witches’ sign in times gone by, much like a barber’s pole is used today. However, that practice has become a popular decoration in the South in recent decades, and one is likely to find a person has a cauldron decorating their front yard, because they saw it in ‘Southern Homes Magazine’ and thought it was quaintly attractive, rather than it being used to advertise that the ‘Witch is in,’ so to speak. Mirrors, candles, brooms, pottery, and baskets are other common tools of the Tradition, and all of those items are still commonly made at home, by hand in the mountains of Appalachia.

As most of the Magic of the Tradition is of a healing, practical or sympathetic nature rather than “High” or Ritualistic in form, and there are some differences related to that. Ritual clothing is generally not used, and circles are not cast for every spell, only the more formal rites. An Appalachian Witch, like myself, might do a dozen or more spells in any given day, often with two or three generations of practitioners taking part, so running in to change clothes, or stopping to cast a full circle in the ‘strict’ form would be rather impractical, and in fact, neither was commonly done in the past, in our Tradition. Although some modern Appalachian Witches, being eclectic already with our Scottish, Irish, and Tsalagi roots, have started to use some other Traditions’ practices (such as wearing ritual clothing, casting a formal circle, etc.) at times, as well.

We, as a Magical Tradition, are very practical, and ‘down-to-earth.’ We are very eclectic, and informal in our approach to Witchcraft. It is our way of life, as well as our religion. And we are working to preserve both, for the future generations of Appalachian Granny Magic Tradition Witches.

Mountain Magick by Edain McCoy
Voices of Our Ancestors by Dhyani Ywahoo
Scottish Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Celtic Myth and Magic by McCoy
Myths of the Cherokee James Mooney

(I add this here because I wanted to preserve it as it was originally published on the now defunct witchvox website. Upon closing witchvox states: “the Witches’ Voice Inc has retired the website and archived/protected all of its data offsite.”  Offsite? But what does that mean for their articles over time?  Not sure.)

Using Dirt, Soil, and Dust in Spells and Rootwork

dirt in spells skullUsing dirt in hoodoo and rootwork. Whenever people talk about using dirt in spells, they always think of graveyard dirt. However, that is not the only dirt you can use. I like using dirt and soil in my workings to give the spell a grounding, an age-old connection. Sometimes, there is nothing as effective as drawing sigils in dirt and burning candles around them right there in the ground. Recently, I heard someone compare ‘moonlight’ work to ‘ditch magic.’ When I mentioned that I liked the sound of Ditch Magic, she made mention of getting muddy and smelly. While it was just an cute joke made by her young daughter (she actually said “don’t be a ditch witch, be a moon witch), there was something there that peaked my interest. Because I really would prefer ditch magic over moonlight magic. To me, the very concept can represent the difference in Ceremonial High Magic and Low-Country Sympathetic Magic. One can call upon the spirits of the air to aid in their workings, or kneel to the ground and dig into their roots. Don’t get me wrong – there is no right or wrong way. But the way that works for me is getting my hands dirty in a real, down-to-earth and practical way.

There are many ways of using dirt, soil, or dust in your spellwork that can help to connect you to a specific place, person, or idea. Here are just some of the ways:

Dirt from your own property can be used as an ingredient when you want to protect your home or the people in it.

Dirt from the property of an enemy is, of course, a little harder to get and may require a midnight stroll to pull it off. The edge of their yard works just as well as the center of it so be cautious in your collecting.

Dirt from a bank can be used in workings of prosperity. Especially good if you plan to apply for a loan at a particular bank.

Dirt from a church can be used in spiritual matters, prayers, and petitions. Some consider this a good place to collect dirt for love work. I’d think it would more suited for matters of marriage, especially if one was married in a church. Collect dirt from the church you were actually married in to use as an ingredient in work that strengthens your marriage such as ADAM and EVE spells.

Dirt from an ancestral home or homeland may be used to help connect with the spirits of your own ancestors or strengthen your connection to the past. You can also incorporate the dirt with that of your own property or in plantings to bring that ancestral connection to your own land.

If you plan on using dirt in your spells for many different reasons, it is a good idea to keep your dirt organized in labeled plastic bags. Better yet, a paper bag will allow the dirt to “breathe” and remain dry. And, above all, don’t be afraid to get down and do the “dirty work.”
— Papa Gee

CLICK HERE to listen to my appearance on the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour where Catherine Yronwode, Conjureman Ali, and I discuss the topic: SPECIAL DIRTS AND DUSTS.


” The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour is a real, live call-in show where the general public gets a chance to ask about actual problems with love, career, and spiritual protection, and we recommend and fully describe hoodoo rootwork spells to address, ameliorate, and remediate their issues.” – from the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour

Working Against Yourself and Magic

You can’t plant a pot of flowers and then complain they died because you never watered them. And so it is the same when seeking out magical work. It is more than lighting a candle and walking away from it. You have to put in the intention, the desire, and the work behind what you are wanting to accomplish.

If you come to me for a spell to help you find work, yet, you aren’t putting in applications anywhere – you are working against yourself
You want a spell to make you a famous actor, yet, you’ve never auditioned for a single part-
you are working against yourself
You’ve opened your own little store and you are wondering why it is failing, yet, you only have it open 4 days a week –
you are working against yourself
You say you are lonely and never meet anyone new. Yet, you refuse to leave your house and interact with the world. – you are working against yourself

Magic isn’t a miracle cure. If your rootworker is doing everything they can to bring about change in your situation while you do nothing to take action on your end of the deal, then failure is more than likely ahead. This article isn’t meant to shame the client in any way. It is a call to action for the client to get proactive in their own future. Your car is stalled and won’t start. You’ve got your spiritual worker in the back pushing while you are in the front pushing the opposite direction. How far do you think the car is going to go? So, step aside and let your spiritual worker push a bit. Ah, the car is moving. Now, join them at the back and push with him. See? The car is rolling; actual movement and change are happening!

So, yes – if you want to hire a rootworker or spell caster to give you that little edge over the competition, go for it. Just be prepared to bring yourself as well.

-Papa Gee

Mini Aroma Mojo store

store-miniClient Shop

Everyone that knows us is aware that we have a full retail store in the Donelson area of Nashville where our main Aromagregory products are sold (as well as the White Mojo line). For those who don’t know us personally, it is located at 223 Donelson Pike inside the One2Yoga building.

But, I wanted to talk about our cute, little mini-store.  Inside the studio where I perform readings there is a wide entry foyer. On one side is my altar. On the other side is a set of built-in shelves that were there when we moved in. After about five tubes of calking and ten coats of white paint, it transformed into the perfect spot for clients to pick up something they need.  I don’t mean we are running a shop out of our home – no, this is strictly for clients who are already coming for a reading or energy work.  So, no dropping by for purchases – that’s what the main location is for.

All the most-used essential oils are there along with with: condition oils, sachet powders, chakra oils, soaps, and soap gift sets.  Besides, there are times when a client comes out of a session or reading and it is apparent they need something like lavender oil for relaxation. Why refuse them and tell them to drive all the way over to the store when they are already there? Pretty cute, huh?

Witchcraft in Nashville

witchcraft nashvilleSome people call what I do witchcraft. It is something different. Hoodoo and folk magic are not witchcraft or Wicca. First of all, Wicca is a religion. In my practical folk magic practice I use a combination of: the gift of intuition, my extensive knowledge of herbs and oils (and how they are used magically), along with a strong sense of intention. My studio and store are located in Nashville, Tennessee, and I often see clients who are looking for ways to reduce stress and find a sense of inner peace. Other clients have other things in mind when they seek me out: to reunite them with a lost love, to find love (in general), to get a promotion or bring more money into their household, etc.

So, is witchcraft a bad thing? That depends on who you ask and if they are truly knowledgeable about what folk magic or witchcraft actually is. I think of it this way – a spell is an intensified prayer that uses a lot of props and ceremony as well as intention. So, if spell work and witchcraft is just about focusing your intention, then wouldn’t something as simple as a vision board be a spell?  Maybe, but not exactly. Depending on the result you are looking to achieve, going to someone who has studied and practiced the elements of magic can be much more effective. It is similar to seeking out a trained doctor’s advice versus going to Google with your symptoms and guessing which over-the-counter medication to buy. Also, those who perform witchcraft or identify themselves as Wiccans are usually bound by the pesky three-fold-law, a philosophy that says what you put out will come back to you times three. Hoodoo practitioners do not believe this.

I have a friend who often asks, “It is white magic, right?” Magic is neither white nor black, good nor bad. The intention of people is what is good or bad. And I repeat, the INTENTION of people – not people – can be good or bad. We all have light and dark elements about us, good thoughts and bad thoughts, good deeds and acts of misbehaving. No one is all good or all bad. Throughout the ages, many people who have been called witches were actually herbal healers. Then why is why website called white mojo? Easy,White is a family name. It has nothing to do with “white witches” or anything like that.

The oils and powders I create are meant to bring about positive change in people’s lives – ways to help them achieve their goals or to remove negative elements or negative people from their everyday existence. When I set lights for clients (also known as a candle altar service), more people have positive requests than negative ones such as healing, love, money. What I do is more known as conjure than witchcraft.

Feel free to browse my website to read further about the services I offer. My studio is located in Nashville, Tn but if you are not in the Tennessee area, I often help clients through phone readings, email, and other distance methods. You do not have to physically visit me in Nashville to seek out many of my services.

My Original Altar

altarWe actually have several altars in our home. My partner has his own in his cottage, we have a shared “home” altar upstairs between our two offices, and there is a money drawing altar inside the studio.

To the left you will see my first altar that was inside the new studio where I performed the majority of my rootwork (now replaced with a larger, updated altar).

The cabinet is something I purchased at the Nashville Flea Market years ago from a family that salvaged barns and old houses that were being torn down and reworked those materials into usable (and I think, artistic) furniture. The window/door covers the first three shelves and the bottom shelf (not in camera view) is open and uncovered.

I’ve never been one to believe an altar MUST be set up a certain way, no matter what path or religion you may follow.  An altar is a very personal space and should reflect you as a person as well as what you intend to do within that space. There are so many articles telling you that you must have certain items placed in a specific location, that all the natural Elements have to be represented, or that your candles must face East and West while your….blah, blah, blah.  There is no greater magical influence you can have for an altar other than setting it up exactly the way YOU want it to be, in a way that is the most useful to you.

You may notice that my altar has a variety of influences: some Christian items, hoodoo curios, and always lot of herbal elements. The Bible on the second shelf is dated 1963 and is the Bible my parents used in their wedding ceremony.

The inside top shelf are items that I reach for often such as my abalone shell for smudging white sage, my scrying bowl, candle holders, and my chakra stones.

The very bottom shelf, the one that is not behind glass, is where I keep ingredients used in left-handed magic: banishing powders, hotfoot powder, goofer dust, etc. Some may be curious about this particular shelf but there is one thing I like to keep in mind when it comes to magical thought – the can be no light without darkness. Left-handed magic is sometimes necessary to keep harm away and for a strong sense of protection.

The main point of an altar, in my opinion, is to have a place that is all your own — just one little space in the world that no one else is allowed to touch. There you can worship, contemplate, meditate and bring about positive change in your life and the lives of those around you.


Charging for Readings and Energy Work

People have been debating about this topic for years – whether or not to charge for services such as reiki, healing touch therapy, psychic readings, etc. Forget debate, some people downright argue about it – passionately and loudly.

A Sense of Balance

Those who feel you should not charge usually say, “I would never charge someone for a sacred gift that was given to me. It is my duty to give it away!” This may be true for some people and I often wonder if they have some cosmic debt to repay. Other times, those who do not charge EVENTUALLY charge once they build up enough confidence in their services. In the beginning, some practitioners feel unworthy of receiving a fee.

I am of the other variety – the group that does charge for sessions. And I will tell you why I find it to be necessary.

Energetically, there is something going on with a take-only relationship. The receiver is beholden to the giver, cosmically speaking. While we don’t only do things with an expectation of something in return, neither should we expect to constantly give all of the time or receive all of the time without ever returning the favor. There must be some sort of energetic balance. In the long run, A healing session has more power behind it when the person receiving it doesn’t feel like they had been done a “favor”, something they must one day repay. Payment, whether it be in the form of currency or agreed upon bartering means that no favor ever has to be returned. Everyone is even.

Value and Intention

Everything in life has some sort of value attached to it and, many times, a level of sacrifice. Especially in America, people tend to feel a service has more value when it actually costs them something. But it goes beyond that. The power of intention is beneath the surface. When a client receives a service for free, they usually do not place as much value on it. Since they weren’t required to give up anything to receive it (sacrifice of currency) the worth is perceived to be low, which lowers the client’s belief in the process. That belief, that intention for healing to begin to take place can play just as important of a role as the energy work that is being performed by the practitioner.

Time Management

Here, let’s talk about the reality of the situation for a moment. If I did not charge for sessions and readings, I wouldn’t have the time to book and perform them — I’d be trapped in some 9 to 5 job somewhere and when you call for an appointment I would have to say, “sorry, I’m at work all week. I don’t have time to see you.”

What You Wish for Your Practitioner

Because whether you are a psychic reader, a reiki healer, a construction worker or a school teacher – we all have the same things we have to buy: food, clothing, electricity, insurance, shampoo. And sometimes the little things that keep us sane like: seeds for plants, a new pillow for the couch or even the lastest novel by your favorite author. Do the people that come to see me wish me to live in poverty? I don’t think that is the case. I also don’t believe my clients want me to eat one meal a day (or less) because it made me feel “noble” to perform free sessions. I don’t wish that on any of my friends or clients – I sure hope they don’t envision such a life for me.

In other words, I don’t believe any of my clients desire me to be hungry or in debt. I am most definitely sure clients would not appreciate a lack of heat or air in the studio because we couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill.

We pay the flowers in water, they give back beauty and fragrance. Give and take.

Everything has SOME sort of give and take arrangement. This keeps the energy evenly balanced. Neither party is beholden to the other at the end of a session or reading. The client received a relaxing session and I was able to not only help someone but was able to later go and buy vegetables, toothpaste, and gasoline that week. It is really that simple.