Sunday, May 13, 2012

Depositing Magic Spells: The Exceptions and Cheats

As I posted the other day, one who practices hoodoo should always deposit their magical charms in the designated locations.

Almost always.

The doing away with the charm in a certain designated location is actually a part of the spell. Most people who object to using the appointed places this way don't want to do it because it's inconvenient to go there or because they're afraid. In these cases it's just griping and no allowance is made: you still must do it.

However, a few folks honestly cannot do it. For example:

You can skip a crossroads if you REALLY are living in an isolated location that has no crossroads of any type anyplace nearby, and you're not able to drive to one for some reason. I have known a couple people in New Mexico who were living alone out in the desert for various reasons and relied on someone stopping by usually once a week to take them around. (One guy got in some trouble after a rattlesnake bit him, in this situation, and he had no phone or way out...)

You can skip a river if you really live near no body of water. This one is probably the most common trouble -- particularly in the southwest, it's typical that rivers run dry even if they are near you, making this a challenge at times.

And clearly, you will have to skip placing an object at a person's house if they live very far away from you and you really have no way to get there.

Now, here are the "cheats" I'm familiar with, and would feel safe to use:
  • You can keep a special, closed container at hand for spell items, like a jewelry box or a pot with a lid. Store your charm or charms in there awaiting such a time as you will be able to travel to the designated location, at which point you deposit the charms. You can also have such a box and keep the items permanently if you would have buried the item outside your house but are not able to (like if you live in an apartment in a city and have no dirt outside.)
  • If you need water but are not near natural water, toilets and sinks can be used (assuming you have a small enough item. Note also that the object can be burned and the ashes disposed of in this way; it is not too uncommon in hoodoo for items to be reduced to ashes before use.) Note that -- with the toilet particularly -- you should probably be careful to do away with the spell respectfully; give it its own flushing instead of tossing it in along with other waste. Storm drains, if they have water, may also count.
  • If you cannot deposit an item at someone's home, you might be able to secretly give them the item concealed inside something else. Conjure is full of stories about folks who received "tricked" items -- I knew one girl who years after the fact discovered that a purse she'd been given as a gift had a voodoo doll full of pins sewn under the lining. Some items, like dolls or bottle spells, can even be given openly if you construct them prettily enough -- a porcelain figurine or an action figure can be worked similarly to a voodoo doll, for example, yet most folks would not suspect anything about these kinds of goods.
  • If you cannot give an items to someone or sneak it near them, drop it in a crossroads.
  • Remember that cars have only been around for 130 years or so and many spells are older than that. Intersecting footpaths -- as one finds in gardens or parks -- count as crossroads too, if your area is too heavy on traffic to safely chuck anything into a road.

I also have kind of a feeling, when it comes to making exceptions on magical practices, that if you have to ask then the answer is no. If you need to go "I can't put my spell in [some location]. Is it okay if I [do some other thing]?" then I'll say the answer is no. If you have any doubt as to whether or not it's proper then the answer is no. Whereas, if you know and feel completely confident that some other action is just as good -- such that you don't need to be asking for 'permission' to tamper with tradition -- then and only then can you succeed.

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