Wondering about the origins, differences and similarities of folk magic in North America but not sure how to get the right answer to your questions? Crossroads of Conjure is a good place to start. Before you are done reading you will be able to answer:

  • What is granny magic?
  • What does Mexican curanderismo have in common with Hoodoo?
  • What is the difference between a witch, a Witch and a brujo?
  • Is hoodoo a religion? Do only Christians practice Hoodoo?
  • Who is Santa Muerte? Is she a Catholic saint?
  • Why do Mexican Catholics honor Guadalupe?

Katrina Rasbold is respectful of the cultures that she writes about. This author has an acute appreciation of the practical nature and needs of the people who developed these methods. Importantly she reviews the histories of the peoples who made these traditions. Not only is it an essential part of the story, but not all readers are going to have learned this history in the way it is told here. Whether you never learned the details of the African diaspora or can't explain who the Scotch Irish are or don't know the difference between Spanish magical practices and Aztec, you will find factual, easy to remember information. And for those who want more than this folksy book, the bibliography and glossary will lead you to other avenues.

Easy to understand, this book answers the who, what, where and whys of folk magic. Crossroads of Conjure is a good primer for someone who is new to folk magic or who practices one branch and wants to understand what the other branches are all about. A quick read, it will take you down to the roots of these folks magic traditions.


~review by Larissa Carlson

Author: Katrina Rasbold
Llewellyn Publications, 2018
280 pages, $17.99