If you’ve ever boogied to the Mississippi juke joint standard “Got My Mojo Workin’” or “Black Cat Bone,” you might be lucky all your hair didn’t fall out.
OK, just kidding, but the casting of spells and hoodoo magic (sometimes referred to as voodoo) is a huge part of blues music. Ever wonder what these strange concoctions were, or used for?
Here’s a brief description of some hoodoo terms I discovered at a website called luckymojo.com. But remember kids, don’t try this at home!
Goofer Dust: “… A proprietary mixture of graveyard dirt, sulphur powder, rattlesnake skin, and powdered herbs, goofer dust is alleged to jinx an enemy in family, money, job and health matters.”
Mojo or Mojo Hand: “… the staple amulet of African-American hoodoo practice, a flannel bag containing one or more magical items. The word is … likely related to the West African word ‘mojuba,’ meaning a prayer of praise and homage. It is a ‘prayer in a bag’ — a spell you can carry.”
Black Cat Bone: I will not tell you of the ritual that puts you in possession of one, but yes, it is in fact a specific bone from a black cat. It’s power? “… the black cat bone is carried in a mojo bag and anointed with Van Van oil to bring back a lost lover.” You may get your lover back, but you can forget about the cat.
Here’s Long John Baldry from a 1960’s British TV show singing Muddy Water’s “Got My Mojo Working.” See if you recognize the young dudes singing backup from the balcony!
Blues goes to pot
The devil and Robert Johnson
on Feb 14, 2012