Seals in the “Magic Books”
So this week I wanted to talk about seals in Hoodoo (Photo of my copy of Anna Riva’s Secrets of Magical Seals).
What I have read and been told history wise is that seals came into play in Hoodoo when Black Americans (and other POC in the South) began moving towards more urban areas, such as the suburbs and cities in larger groups and currents.
As a result, root workers who followed these currents did not have as much access to the wide variety of herbs that were available to them when they were living in more rural areas.
Capitalizing on this opportunity as the population of Urban Blacks and other POC (and thus urban Hoodoo practitioners and practices) gradually increased, POC business owners, and even more often white business owners began catalogues tailored towards African American communities that sold herbs, spiritual curios, and more importantly in relation to this article, copies of European Grimoires or “Magic Books”.
Books of magic already had a place within Hoodoo practice before then with the presence of the Bible. These Grimoires, with there similar components with the Bible of Christian symbolism and allegory alongside magical or in the case of the Bible, seemingly magical, practices seemed to fit well with many Hoodoo practitioners.
During Harry Middleton Hyatt’s acquisition of Hoodoo lore from living practitioners, multiple people detailed alongside floor washes and sprinkling powders the use of Grimoiric seals and traditions.
For instance, one practitioner gave the information that in order to to regain a lost love, one should “[…] talk Hebrew-like. Yo’ realize de Hebrew language — some of dat’s in de ‘Six’ and Seven’ Books of Moses’ and den de balance is [in] de 91 Psalms of David.” (No. 1534, Hyatt, Harry M. - taken from Lucky Mojo’s article on The Secret of the Psalms)
These seals however, were not used part and parcel as detailed in the books themselves, at least not in the way they are instructed to be made. The way I was described to in Anna Riva’s book on seals, and also by a practitioner on Dr Kioni’s My Hoodoo Space (before I got banned because my posts advertising to start a group of like minded occultists in Toronto got misconstrued as spam by the Admin and the system), is a method that I now use personally.
You take a clean piece of paper (from the brown grocery bags if possible) that you have ripped all four edges from (this is to severe the paper of all ties save for what you put into it).
Then you get an ink, if possible in the colour matching your intent, and if possible from an ink source such as dragon’s blood or dove’s blood (herb inks, don’t go trying to kill dragons or doves now). I have also read in Tayannah Lee McQuillar’s Book, Rootwork, to use pencil as the lead is suppose to ground the working into reality. That makes sense to me, so that’s what I use most of the time.
So I take the paper, rip the four edges into new jaggedy ones, and then begin copying the seal onto the paper.
Before I begin, I close my eyes and take a minute to focus on my being. Here you can say the Lord’s Prayer, take a few breaths to clear your mind and “meditate” for a bit, and then call up your power and focus on your intent.
Now start drawing the seal onto the paper. I mostly use seals from either The Black Pullet, The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, or The Key of Solomon (NOT the Goetia).
Once you have finished copying the seal. Flip it around and write behind it a detailed petition of what you want. Write above the petition your full name, birthday, and sun sign (and other star signs if you know them). Then sign the petition at the bottom with your full name and whatever other symbols you deem fit. I write my petitions in positive present tense form, so if I wanted a car, I would write: “I now have a car to drive and use as I desire, safely and securely” rather than ”I will have a car soon” or “I don’t want to not have a car anymore”.
Now place the paper between your hands and hold your hands in prayer position as if you were praying. Press your thumbs to your heart or solar plexus area, and close your eyes and focus on your intent.
Say three times:
"Oh eternal and infinite Spirit, with humility I ask, with love I invite, and with Faith I beseech in thee, please infuse this token with the virtues of power and the forces of Universal Strength".
Hold the seal up to you and take a deep breath while focusing on your intent, then blow that breath onto the seal and dot it with a drop of your saliva to link it to you and your desires.
Now turn the seal around and read the petition you wrote on the back three times out loud. Then take another deep breath while focusing on your intent, and blow that onto your paper. Anoint the centre with another drop of your saliva.
Now roll the paper up either towards you or away from you, with the petition facing the inside.
Dress it with an appropriate condition oil or other fluid, and place it in a mojo bag to carry with you.
You can also place in the mojo other corresponding herbs, roots, and curios etc.
If you are putting other stuff in the bag, thus creating a full blown mojo bag, blow onto the bag and repeat your petition three times while focusing on your intent as you tie the bag shut to seal the work.
If you are just using the seal and simply need the bag to carry it around safely, omit the step above.
Now stroke the seal or bag and repeat your intent whenever you feel the need (some recommend every day at least), and feed it 3 drops of oil once a week until your desires comes to fruit. Keep the bag hidden on you or amoung your undergarment drawers the rest of the time.
Then bury the seal or bag underneath a healthy tree with water and honey and three pennies pressed into the dirt as offering once your desire comes to pass.
I NEVER use the goetic seals in this manner, perhaps because of my bias towards working with the Goetia in a more ceremonial manner, and knowing the nature of some the spirits amoung that class that can get quiet rowdy if left without restraints.
Happy Conjurings :)