Super Genius, A Book Review Just for You

Along with A History of Pagan Europe, the other book I bought myself as a birthday present was Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure / Traditional Formulary Giving the Spiritual Uses of Natural Herbs, Roots, Minerals, and Zoological Curios by catherine yronwode.

This may be the first book I’ve ever read that seemed to have a sub-subtitle.  I hope I punctuated that right.

Anyway, catherine yronwode runs this website–the Lucky Mojo Curio Company*–that is devoted both to the practice of hoodoo and to selling her hoodoo products.  I mention this only because the rootworker I used to know thought that, since yronwode is selling things, it makes her information suspect.  I think this is a legitimate point, but I disagree.  A far more legitimate point might be that she’s a white woman in California talking about a black Southern form of folk magic, but I haven’t heard anyone but other white folks make that complaint.

So, there you go.  Super Genius, I believe you and I have been all over that discussion eight ways until Sunday and I’m not sure we haven’t hashed and rehashed it all it needs.

But the book is awesome!  And you should run out and buy it.  It’s like a cookbook, but arranged by ingredient, not by final result.  So, the first entry is Acacia.  The entry contains its scientific name and a list of names it might commonly be called.  Then there’s a brief entry describing the item generally and giving any significant details about it.  Then there are some common hoodoo uses (in this case, contacting the dead and opening the mind to visions) and then there are medical uses and botanical notes.

Cinnamon, for instance, can be used for bringing all kinds of good fortune and you can use ginger to help get a good start on your house of prostitution.

Anyway, it’s fascinating as hell and you’d love it.


*I should warn you that, if you click on this link, you’d better have a good half an hour to waste, if not more, because it sucks you in.

One thought on “Super Genius, A Book Review Just for You

  1. I am slow, but I just found this from your email and I enjoyed your book review! I am saving the link for when I have more than a few spare mintues here and there…but let me tell you, it is a relief to finally know what I need to do to get a jump on this house of prostitution business!My mom and I had some long conversation this weekend about the social/cultural/subcultural aspects of pretty much every religion we’ve known practitioners of this weekend, so it was too bad that you were not there with us. It was also on my deck while we were drinking hurricanes early in the evening…not to make you jealous or anything. :)

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