Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Green-Luck Oil"

Previously we posted about feeding a hoodoo gambling charm with "green-luck oil." This is from an old spell using old mixtures.

For a span, it was common to find hoodoo formulas with basic names like "Love Power" or "Luck Oil" and the said formula would be available in multiple colors. In Mules and Men, Hurston differentiates between "Red Fast Luck" and normal "Fast Luck" for example. Her data suggests each colored formula might be a slightly different herb or scent blend as well as being a different color.

Green-luck oil would presumably have been a green colored version of Luck Oil. In my archives, I've got an old recipe for something called "Green Ointment" which was made with honey, beeswax, turpentine, wintergreen oil and laudanum, mixed into a base of verdigris and lard. This was a 19th century medicinal preparation, but not only was it typical in the old days for various other items to be repurposed to hoodoo use by people -- especially pharmacists -- who either didn't believe in the magic and were content to pass off anything, or else who saw potential in existing goods for serving their purposes. Green ointment's primary ingredients wouldn't make a bad gambling oil: take out the poisonous substances and we're left with honey, beeswax, turpentine and wintergreen in a lard base. Removing the thickeners, since we want a liquid, we get honey, turpentine and wintergreen oil. Honey is a sweetener and is also sticky -- both good for money luck. Turpentine usually comes from pine trees, which are good for money luck as they are evergreens (and it could be replaced with pine oil, for our purposes, if one wished.) Wintergreen is another traditional hoodoo ingredient for gambling luck. A modern green dye or herbal infusion could be used in place of the verdigris for the sake of color.

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