Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview on Witchtalk with Host Karagan Griffith


Live video for mobile from Ustream

Listen to an interview with the author of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook on Witchtalk with host Karagan Griffith here:

A Publisher's View of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook

We don’t even have our copies of this book yet, but the manuscript has had Ankhie firmly in its grip for about a week now! The Foreword alone (by Doktor Snake) is worth memorizing:

Here’s the dope. Denise Alvarado is a true hoodoo mamba home girl who burned hi-octane conjure in New Orleans where she grew up, and on visits to relatives on the Mississippi bayous, where she was formally introduced to the Voodoo/hoodoo path. Called by the spirits and taught conjuration by family members, she was working the goofer from five years old. That’s some serious heat. Denise is no pretender. She’s for real. She fixes the formulas, raises the spirits, calculates the mathematics, and works wonders at the old dirt track crossroads...

Serious Conjure – A Preview of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook by Denise Alvarado

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rose of Jericho Home Blessing

The Rose of Jericho is known as the resurrection plant. It is believed to bring peace, power, and abundance to the home. For this spell you need distilled water, a blue candle, Peaceful Home Conjure Oil, ble candle, and a Rose of Jericho.
To restore or revitalize peace and abundance in your home, light a blue candle and anoint with Peaceful Home Oil on a Monday. Place a Rose of Jericho in crystal bowl of spring water and say Psalm 62 over it daily. Watch the plant come to life. As it grows, so shall the peace and abundance in your home.

Psalm 62 (King James Version)

 1Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
 2He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
 3How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.
 4They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
 5My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
 6He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
 7In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
 8Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
 9Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
 10Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
 11God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
 12Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

For more information and another spell using the Rose of Jericho, check out Miller's Mysteries blog. To purchase a Rose of Jericho, visit Medicines and Curios.

 "The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook is a work of considerable value to anyone interested in the workings of magic as performed in New Orleans...a serious compilation of authentic rituals, spells, and instructions gathered by a rootworker who grew up in the area." -- Raymond Buckland, author of Buckland's Book of Gypsy Magic"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Holy Trinity of Altar Oils

In the New Orleans Voodoo hoodoo formulary, there are three conjure oil formulas that are considered the Holy Trinity of Altar oils. These formulas are included in the revised edition of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, slated for release in November 2011. These formulas are among over 100 additional formulas added to the revised edition of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, and this is just some of the new content that will be available to all very, very soon. 

Here is an except from the Chapter Conjure, Spiritual and Anointing Oils.

Altar Oil (See Holy Spirit and Van Van)

Altar Oil is one of the holy trinity of altar formulas used by New Orleans practitioners when working for positive purposes such as healings and blessings (Altar, Holy Spirit, and Van Van). It is used to anoint candles for beginning and ending candle magic spells, and it is used to summon helpful spirits for assistance with the work to be done. Because the ingredients used in the formula are all highly positive energies, this oil should never be used to anoint candles or other ritual objects for left-handed or sinister purposes. Altar oil is designed for blessing oneself or another, ritual objects, or anything that resides on the altar.
  • 40 drops frankincense
  • 20 drops Myrrh
  • 10 drop cedar
Blend with 2 ounces of olive oil to which a small amount of vitamin E has been added as a preservative. Add a piece of frankincense and a piece of myrrh gum to each bottle. Keep the bottle of Altar Oil on your altar when not using.

You can find all three of the Holy Trinity Altar Oils at Creole Moon.


Presented in a down-to-earth, easy to understand style -  and jam-packed with a wealth of practical information -  The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook is, without a doubt, a practitioner's fondest dream cone true. No magical workspace is complete without it!" --Dorothy Morrison, author of Utterly Wicked and Everyday Magic

Monday, January 17, 2011

The New Revision of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook

So you may have heard about my new contract with Weiser and Conari Press for a revision of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook. It is true, I am revising it. But the question is, would it be worth buying the revised version if you already have the first one?

My answer to you is a resounding YES! And let me tell you why.

When I first wrote the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, I put a lot of information together but did not share as much as I could have about my experience with New Orleans Voodoo. I was born and raised in New Orleans and I learned a lot from a variety of people while growing up, but my first and most memorable were the lessons from my aunt on the bayous of the Deep South. We used to visit my mamaw every weekend when I was young.  She had a couple of buildings on her property, she raised chickens and was downright country in every sense of the word. Her property butted up against the bayou, and back near there was a building with a long table and a lot of chairs in it. My aunt and I would go back there and she taught me about candle magick, how to read the flames and how to do basic spells. I was about 5 at the least that is my earliest memory. She also taught me how to conduct seances, so from an early age I learned about the spirits to petition and how to tell if they were listening.

My mother taught me a lot about herbs and gardening. She bought me my first divination deck which was the Gypsy Witch Fortune telling cards. She taught me about making dolls, and she would tell me stories about being Cherokee and about my grandmother and grandfather. But this was all done in secrecy at the time. I never understood why it had to be secret but I went along with it, until I got older, and then experienced some very hateful and hurtful experiences for being open about my beliefs. After that, I suppressed much of it and went about my life a "closet" rootworker and voodooist. Because even in New Orleans, the virtual birthplace of hoodoo in the United States, racism was and is still prevalent, even for Creoles such as myself.

I have always kept written journals of my workings and life in general, and at this point in my life, it is paying off big time. I am able to refer to those journals and uncover recipes and works that had been hidden for a long time. Unfortunately, there were a lot of my spiritual books and tools thrown away, once by someone I still don't know who or why to this day, when I was about 13. The second time it happened when my first husband tossed it all in the name of Jesus. I should also day he also abused me and my daughter in the name of G-O-D. He was and is a sick pedaphile and freak, and he will get his one day, because if he doesn't, then there is no God.

So, I have been touched by the blessings of Voodoo and I have suffered the discrimination and oppression from people who don't understand. These experiences have kept me from sharing a lot of information openly in the past. But no more will I be silent.

In the new revision of the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, I delve a bit more into the history of Voodoo as it arrived in Louisiana and in my hometown of New Orleans. I have attempted to trace where the practices of today originated and provide a much better contextual background into New Orleans Voodoo. It is not a long dissertation; simply a beefed up one and more accurate one. I have realized since the first publication that there is so much misunderstanding about the religion and the various characteristics that make New Orleans Voodoo  unique. I discuss how its unique characteristics are not "watered down" or impure, the service to the loas and Spirits never disappeared, it simply went underground. Just as it did with my own personal life, so it did with the majority of people who practiced it. The major change was that it went from a community and shared experience to a more individual one which was then redefined and labeled as hoodoo by the marketeers. The white researchers and marketeers all had a hand in redefining, incorrectly, what New Orleans Voodoo is all about. They separated the religion from the magick. But I can tell you that it was not separate when it first came to New Orleans in 1719, and it was not separate when I learned it as a child in the 1960s, and for many today, it still is not separate.

It is true that many bought the separation hook, line and sinker. Especially as the marketeers spread it from New Orleans to other areas of the country, selling the magick and sensationalizing those aspects of the religion that they could profit from. In most discussions about hoodoo, it is always defined as separate from Voodoo, the religion. But in New Orleans, the separation is not that cut and dry. That is why I call the book the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, because it refers to New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo as a combined spiritual and religious tradition, as I know it and experienced in many many years ago. That said, the term "Voodoo Hoodoo" is not one I made up. Anyone who is familiar with New Orleans culture knows it is a common term - along with the term "Hoodoo Voodoo" -  that is used by locals to describe the unique magickal tradition that is indigenous to the region.

I am not concerned with the works of Hyatt and Tallant for legitimization of my tradition. Frankly, much of their interpretation is wrong. Most of the academic works written about Voodoo and hoodoo are by outsiders in great need of cultural fluency training. Ninety-five percent of the information found on the internet by the new school of internet hoodoo-ers is a redefinition of the tradition by outsiders, well-schooled in the works of Hyatt and Ironwood, but because they are not from the South, nor were they raised in the tradition, nor are they people of color, their perspective is flawed when it comes to an authentic representative narrative. The same can be said about popular works. There are people who are not indigenous to the religion or to New Orleans who will argue with people who are, and discredit and disrespect the voice of those who have authentic knowledge. This is tragic on so many levels.

My book is not an academic book, though I am an academic. However, I have referenced my sources like an academic so that folks can do further research on their own. And, I know that my audience wants to know the magickal aspects of New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo; they want to know the formulas, and they are hungry for the real thing. I am tired of seeing people being mislead. So, I have provided a very beefed up formulary that is from the New Orleans tradition. I have included information about some of the ingredients used that I did not provide before, and I have added some very nice spells to the collection. The section on candle magick has been expanded, there is a whole section with a large list of saints and psalms and their correspondences, and I have added more of the New Orleans specific loas in the chapter on Voodoo Spirits. I have greatly expanded the section on gris gris, because it is a big part of New Orleans Voodoo that has remained relatively unchanged since it was first brought here from Senegambia by the Bamabarans. Gris gris is not the same as is so much more that a bag of curios, roots and herbs. I have combined the Voodoo and the hoodoo in part to reflect the original combination of African Diasporic religions and in part to protest the marketeers and colonizers' successful attempts at appropriating and organizing the religion in a manner that makes their pockets full and their worldviews comfortable.

I am very happy with the way the revision has turned out, and I know that anyone who is seeking knowledge about New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo will be satisfied with the new version. While some of it is the same, there is much of it that is not. 

The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook


A triumph of painstaking and meticulous research. A brilliant and all-encompassing work and an invaluable source of recorded oral tradition." --Dr. Ann Nyland, author/translator of Complete Books of Enoch"