How much do you know about Hoodoo? It’s one area of magic that brings out a little mystery and perhaps even fear in many magical practitioners. Likely most of what you know of it is from movies or just from things you’ve heard from other people.

Rachel Patterson’s Hoodoo Folk Magic is a book in the Moon Books Pagan Portals series. It’s designed for a very basic yet important purpose: To give you an overview of what Hoodoo is and provide some basic background information if you’re thinking about bringing some Hoodoo into your magical practice.

Basically, Hoodoo is the name for African-American folk magic, which made its appearance during slavery’s existence in the United States. Author Rachel Patterson points out that likely those who practice Hoodoo don’t even really call it that, preferring the term “conjure” or “root work” to describe what they do.

The most familiar aspect of Hoodoo that many people may know is the mojo bag, but Hoodoo uses implements familiar to other types of magical practice, such as candles, incense, and oils. Chapter 7, for example, covers how to make mojo bags, but there are plenty of other recipes to work with, for “washes”, as well as other types of Hoodoo magic, like “lamp magic”. 

But this small book is a great resource for all things Hoodoo. If you’re at all interested in bringing some Hoodoo into your magical practice, this is an excellent and economical choice.

~review by John Marani

Author: Rachel Patterson
Moon Books, 2013
pp. 92, $9.95 US