I talked about my movement away from the Wiccan path in “Bide The Wiccan Rede I Must?” but I didn’t discuss how I came to knock on the door of Hoodoo.
I knew about Hoodoo from pop culture and hearing about it around the traps of Witchcraft groups, but it was all very hush-hush. People frequently say that Hoodoo is a closed practice, which is largely incorrect.
I had a very strange dream in which Papa came to me disguised as Angela Bassett portraying Marie Laveau in AHS. Not gonna lie, the dream was weird and I largely brushed it off. But aside from introducing himself, he told me to keep learning about Marie, that it was important for me, and that he was “instructed” to tell me that, he never said who told him to though. The dream ended abruptly, but I didn’t wake from it. In the morning I shrugged it off. I mean, it just seemed ludicrous that I would be called to Hoodoo!
I came across a book, The Magic of Marie Laveau, and I purchased this. I also bought a couple of other books about Hoodoo, but this one book was the one I dove into. What I learned about Marie Laveau blew me away, she was an immensely brave woman and her charity work should precede her. Not only this, but she was a hairdresser for a period of time to support herself and her children. I very much relate to the hairdressing because the pandemic effected my income and I had to start hairdressing again to keep us a float. I have now set up a home salon. I also understand the relationship between a hairdresser and her clients, that secrets are often shared in confidence.
But it was her charity work and acts of service to her community which grabbed my attention. This is clearly her legacy, and this also aligned with my feelings about magic. The act of giving and service, when it isn’t easy or when there is little recognition is important, it reminds us that the world is larger than ourselves and allows us to do something where we don’t get that dopamine hit from recognition. It’s not about money either, it’s about giving your time and your skills to those in need, providing people with the love, care and dignity everyone deserves. I’m a firm believer that charity starts at home and this is something that gels with me.
What service you give and when is entirely up to you, but I recommend it. I have been offering discounted hairdressing services to those who are considered seniors, veterans, the disabled and homeless. I also travel to some of my clients where they are unable to travel to me. I have made a point of ensuring my home salon is wheelchair accessible. While I still receive payment, sometimes I barely turn a profit on these services, but I have the ability to offer this and earn my “real” income off clients who can afford to pay a higher price for their services. I am also going to be going to our local retirement home with home cooked meals that my children and I have prepared and giving them out, we just need to work out how to do this in a manner that is safe during Covid.
These acts of service and charity provide a couple of functions to our magic. Firstly, it’s kind of like making deposits in the bank, they add up over time and these deposits mean that when you ask a favour or make a petition the spirits and ancestors are more likely to listen. Secondly, you’re making connections within your community, people will view you as a person of trust and may give you information which is beneficial to you, or you can network better. Lastly, acts of service feel good, they remind us of how good we have it, of our privilege. You are only limited by your creativity and imagination in this regard.
Personally, the acceptance of working with both hands is essential for me. I am too down to earth and too real to not see the disadvantage, the sickness, and the selfishness of the world and it’s people to ignore it. Which is why I am happy to pursue Hoodoo and reaffirm myself into my magic with new zealous.