rickydocs online manual of hoodooism:


contemporary hoodoo

hoodoo issues
hoodoo training
hoodoo magic

hoodoo players
hoodoo legacies:
literary practitioners
hoodoos from hyatt

hoodoo works
hoodoo online
hoodoo articles

the geas of rickydoc

the text

contemporary hoodoo

race and culture
hoodoo ethics
atr relations
making a living
hoodoo evolution

paths of training
mentors and protégés
hoodoo mentorship





literary hoodoo
modal operations
fa work
etc etc

cassandra wimbs
cat yronwode
djenra windwalker
dr kioni
ishmael reed
papa ce
papa gede nibo bey
ra khu
siren noir
stephanie rose bird
snake 2g

etc etc

zora neale hurston
mammy pleasant:
gullah buzzard flock
papa yousee:
dr moore
davidearl jackson
jim jordan
caroline dye
black herman
etc etc

charles chestnut
henry dumas
arthur flowers
gayle jones
gloria naylor
larry neal
ishmael reed
sheree thomas
john edgar wideman


doctor you see
etc etc


hoodoo blues

mumbo jumbo

leaf and bone

fu kai
robert f thompson
signifying monkey
conjuring culture
black magic:

yronwodes herb book
the 5th book of moses

websites, atr, articles

lucky mojo
the orb of djenra
the orb of obassi
dr kioni

oyo nsoro et al

orishalist et al

sirens hoodoo
rootwork, rootdoctors
et al

literary hoodoo




I propose an African American Way.

Every Day I Sit and Play - The Hoodoo Board of Destiny



















i am flowers of the delta clan flowers and the line of o killens i am a conjureman

mganga maua, this is a text

there are as many paths to the hoodoo way
as there are roads to timbuktu

depending on who you are, what you looking for

what the hoodoo way will do to you



been most interesting trying to be true hoodoo in these contemporary times.

most folks arent certain hoodoo really exist. if they are conscious of the hoodoo tradition they generally thinking slaverytime hoodoo - spells, hells and black cat bones.

but as african americans have evolved as a people so too has their indigenous spiritual tradition. (well magical but whose quibbling)

comparing contemporary hoodoo to slaverytime hoodoo is kinda like comparing the space shuttle to an oxdrawn cart.




my understanding is that the word hoodoo is a linguistic riff on voodoo,
itself a riff on vodou, a fon word meaning spirit or deity. hoodoo is often confused with voodoo. they are, though, two different systems.

voodoo, like most afrospiritual systems in the americas, is a conventional religious system (based in haiti) whose primary concern, in spite of western sensationalizing, is interface with the Divine,

whereas hoodoo has traditionally been a magical system based in the african american communities of the South. when african captives were brought to the americas they were strategically dispersed as part of the acculturation & pacification process and not allowed to practice their religions or adhere to their respective cultures

where the african way was heavily repressed, as it was in the US, it became magical. where allowed, it planted syncretic roots. In haiti, fon blended with catholicism and became vodou.

in cuba, yoruba blended with catholicism and became santeria. down in brazil, conongo and yoruba bred macumba and condomble. when the coramantee took root in jamaica, anansi the spider become ms. nancy and down trinidad way the ashanti words obayifo (magic) and obi o komfo (priest) became obeah. the african way took rocky but solid root in the americas.

my understanding is that the word hoodoo came into being when the vodou of haiti was imported into french louisiana by planters and slaves fleeing the haitian revolution. when voodoo was proscribed in new orleans as "insurrectionary," it went underground and mythopoetic figures such as dr. john and marie laveau shaped its american manifestation.

it became hoodoo when it dispersed out of new orleans into the southern black experience and became the term for a variety of african magical/religious practices that had survived among assimilated slaves.




contemporary hoodoo is a mixed bag,

hoodoo today is an eclectic system, incorporating a wide range of practices and philosophies, from the classic rural magicworker to listserve communities of eclectic contemporary practitioners to the ideological orchestrators of literary hoodoo.

though the african way of god is often ignored in comparative religious study and thought, the african way is one of the most vibrant in the americas.

the contemporary hoodoo manifestations breakdown into five categories

you got your classic rural practitioners
you got your contemporary practitioners
you got your hoodoo academics
you got your cultural practitioners
you got your literary practitioners

and then you got me, not quite sure where i fit

category of one: hoodoo prophet

hoodoos have traditionally been solitary practitioners, very much regionally based

the internet has changed that and brought about hoodoo listserve communities

this is a new and significant devlopment and im not sure how its going to play out in terms of hoodoo institutionalization

the listserve communities are:
blackfolks hoodoo

the hoodoo way



a bastard tradition reflecting multiethnic social trends
hoodoo has always been a sponge soaking up cultural influences

some tension between new practitioners and culturally based practitioners

who say that hoodoo is more than witchery and spells, it has a responsibility6 for the community that says nothing to folk who passing through

cultural practitioners having to adjust to new realities, probably be multiple strands, hoodoo already eclectic system that has incorporated elements of most systems it comes in contact with, now its come into contact ith folk who have practiced some of everything else, folk picvk and chose these days

and i have too many folk claiming what i do aint true hoodoo for me to try to claim what other folk do wont do

im willing to live and let live

but when folk start trying to make me feel guilty for being a black voice i have to back them up right away, cant come into my world and start telling me what i can and cannot do

folk in the tradition wary of other folk stealing our licks and making them farcical when they become the acknowledged authorities

there some definite tensions being worked out in the tradition, thats one of themost salient but there are others


hoodoo ethics

the ethics of magic raise a couple of questions, good and bad magic: spells that hurt people, for instance death, or breaking up a happy home. there are hoodoos who are constrained by various ethics and those who feel that ethics have no place in magic

i myself tend to strive toward the ethical in everything i do, including my hoodoo, but this is probably a minority position in hoodoo circles

hoodoo evolution: what will the future of hoodoo look like

its multiethic character vs africanamerican cultural instrument
the eclectic nature of hoodoo digesting wicca and atr influences while retaining hoodoo primacy



magical vs the religious approach
atr and wiccan influence

one of the big issues facing hoodoo today is its relationship to atr
hoodoo has traditionally been a magical system rather than, as most in the atr family, a religious system

in the past hoodoo has been something o a step child, indulged but not really considered part of the family, the lost children of legba. this has been aggravated by the magial approach which is skeptical and the religious approach built of unquesting faith

recently as the afrospiritual community in the americas has become more knowledgeable about the various aspects of the afrospiritual family hoodoo has become more afrospiritually religious. the question is whether it will ascribe to religious constraints or whether it will continue to be a magical system,

because so many contemporary hoodoos are pratitioners of various initatiory paths, this question becomes something of an internal dynamic - the question of afrospiritual colonization as exampled by what happened to the rootworker list and its recent takeover by mambo racine

the opposite is the case with wicca influence, the pressure to be stripped of cultural significance and turned primarily to witchery w/o the shamnistic thread of hoodoo as responsibility for tribe and community (however community defined)

making a living
hoodoo evolution

been most interesting trying to be true hoodoo in these contemporary times.

most folks arent certain hoodoo really exist. If they are conscious of the hoodoo tradition, they generally thinking slaverytime hoodoo - spells, hells and black cat bones.

but as African Americans have evolved as a people so too has their indigenous spiritual tradition.comparing contemporary hoodoo to slaverytime hoodoo is kinda like comparing the space shuttle to an oxdrawn cart.

  early in my studiesiI decided the traditional model of hoodoo was not viable in contemporary times.

i commence to trying to translate hoodoo concepts contemporary manifestation.

trying to retain the traditional hoodoo functions of individual and tribal guidance but make it pertinent to the 21st century mind and condition.


in my hoodoo youth it used to gratify me when folk feared me but in my hoodoo maturity it bothers me.

all i want to do is help people. help make a better world. look in webster it will tell you hoodoo mean to hurt to harm. i will with my life redefine hoodooing somebody as blessing them, i will be a model of the hoodoos to come

in my youth i was a sorceror.

i have struggled for some 25 years now to manifest as a contemporary hoodooman. i have for the last 10 or so struggled to understand just what it means to be a 21st Century conjureman.

a true 21st century afrospiritual force. a holyman if I may be so bold. in spite of all evidence to the contrary, i like to think i got my mojo working and iI plan to take the trick off black souls.

i am not interested in making a living off the pain of believers. i am not interested in slaverytime spells and magical recipies. i am not interested in being a new age spiritual marketer. i am not interested in gathering a flock and i will not abide a thief of souls. i am a high magician. i am rickydoc.

i am, as have been high magicians throughout the ages, interested in shaping the future of humanity and striving for the next level of evolutionary illumination


Most folks understanding of magic is low magic - charms, potions, candlework, spells and such. Consultations and miracles.

Making predictions, bending spoons, walking on fire - or water for that matter -

Jesus wasnt Jesus because of any spurious miracles but because of what he had to say.

Because of what he represented in terms of the evolution of the worldspirit and the human condition.

Of humanities ever evolving understanding and relationship with God.

Magic: making real into the world that which was not. Forcing reality to bend to my will.

The aim of High Magic has always been attunement and selfmastery - the conjuration of reality and Divine Oneness.

The High Magician first gains control of self

Then maneuvers to influence those strategic points in the life of an individual or a society when the shape of the future (reality) hangs in the balance.

Turning the key in the hoodoo lock.


The true magician is not antiscience. the true magician strives to stay contemporary with the advance of knowledge about the nature of the world, the universe, and all things above and below. the magician goes a step further, experimenting with the further reaches of the potentially divine human mind. attaining a conjunctive state of mind, will and way that enables the aspiring magician to utilize timeproven magical and ideological technology to shape the destiny of humanity. to shape the fabric of reality. to conjure.

black americans are a people who have retained their magical worldview in conjunction with the technical mastery of the worlds most advanced society. In conjuring culture, theophus smith defines afroamericas conjure culture as one in which highmagic is utilized as a ritual instrument of individual, communal and social transformation.

iI am in fact real prideful about being both hoodoo and africanamerican. we have endured and even flourished despite genocidal hardship and i can only hope that all we have gone through has been for a reason.

as heirs to both africa and the west residing in the power of the age, i submit that the afroam culture has a significant contribution to make not only to the african world but to the evolution of humanity and the worldspirit.

i submit that whatever we have retained of ancient african spiritual rootstock lies buried in the hoodoo way. i submit that whatever we have learned from our sojourn in the west lies buried in the hoodoo way.

an evolving tradition we can shape it however we please. we are not wedded to outdated dogma just because its dogma. It is both a new and ancient way.

hoodoo today, as is the afroamerican community for which it speaks, in a state of flux and transition. a blank slate to be shaped as we see fit. the cutting edge of contemporary hoodoo aspires to be a respected contribution to the worldspirit -

where the essence of religions meet. the holyground. concerning itself then not only with its classic tribal roles of afrocentric guide and guard but with the wellbeing of all peoples and all jah creatures great and small. guide and guardian still.

consequently the human condition, evolutionary illumination, community empowerment, divine and destinic guidance have become prime hoodoo concerns. At least according to rickydoc. thats me.

i hope with this work to contribute to the ongoing evolution of the hoodoo way and make it pertinent to the 21st century mind and condition. i hope with this work to establish a claim for hoodoo as one of the world's respected spiritual traditions and to make of it an effective instrument of spiritual and political redemption.


in the name of gullah jack:

seems to me the only difference between those of us who claim a cultural role for hoodoo is the sense of responsibility for the welfare of your community (hoever you define community)

this is what folk who just passing thru would srip from the tradition
in their preoccupation with spells and magical recipes

but for oldschool folk on the cutting edge the question is
how do we develop those instruments of responsibility

how do we do the destinywork: shaping the destinies of our generations
how do we develop that as a hoodoo skill in the 21st century

classic instruments of destinywork: literature, magic, ideology, education,
culture, religion, prophecy, activism, media, vision, so on and so forth ......

all cultures are simultaneously dynamic and entropic, a constantly fluctuating blend of strengths and weaknesses.

african american culture has been as much dysfunctional and entropic as it has been vibrant and illuminated.
so weak sometimes you wonder how we will ever survive.

but african american culture at its best is one of the strongest on the planet, witness the global influence of the movement as a model for other struggles. witness the hip hop nation.

the hoodoo premise is that the health of the tribalsoul is the root of all blessings. if the cultural soul is healthy, our strategies are healthy, our lifestyles are healthy, our communities are healthy- if the soul is sick everything else is dysfunctional - our lifestyles, our relationships, our communities, our vision.

when the tribal soul is healthy and vigorously evolving its people live healthy, vigorous lives. their cultures produce works that enlighten the entire human race and become part of the worldspirit.

one cares for the tribal soul by monitoring it through its cultural products, contributing what it needs to balance out its weaknesses and emphasize its strengths, minimizing the dysfunctional, emphasizing the transformational.

my primary concern, no, lets say my obsession, is the survival, the prosperity and the illumination of the blackrace

in my most mythic heart of hearts im just the local witchdoctor trying to help the tribe survive another winter

but an exclusively nationalist agenda is clearly out of step with the evolving multicultural realitysomehow i must wed these two families of our, blackfolk and all humanity

i figure the most i can do is try to wed these two imperatives, blackfolk
and all humanity, both these families of mine.

define our struggle so that saving (illuminating) the blackrace entails saving
all humanity and all jah creature great and small

developing a culture that consistently contributes to the enhancement of the human condition

literary hoodoo: mystically inclined african american literary school manifesting the hoodoo tradition in their lives and works - cultural custodians in the griotic line - taking care of the tribal soul

the artist as shaman. every book a spell. every draft a divination.


consultation as individual guidance - classic hoodoo role of helping folk address the challenges of life and be greater than they are. souleasery.

conjuration as destinic guidance - destinic orchestrations conjuring reality into being and shaping the future of humanity. souleasery

the test of a good healthy spiritual tradition is that its adherents lead good, healthy lives. brimming with strength and meaning. beauty and grace. they build strong, healthy communities.

most of the global religions, the great paths, were nationalist religions that reached out to the universal.

my question is what will make the african way of god of maximum use not only to blackpeople, but to all peoples. to make the African way of god a universal way.

first we must clean house. reject anything that is not exemplary. then strive for higherground.

if the african way of god is to survive and evolve, we must be a greater way than the aggressor religions that would supplant us in the hearts of our people. taking the best of those who would conquer us into our african soul and evolving as a viable universal africanist alternative.

in the final analysis the question will be one of grace, which is the better way


this spell is designed to define the hoodoo way as the prophetic tradition of the blackworld and shape the hoodoos of the future as spiritual and strategic advisors - masters of the longgame.

i hope with this Work to influence the destinic dynamics of my times. To give my people a vision greater than their adversity. i hope with this Work to conjure.

come then o traveler. i claim for hoodoo the prophets way.