Thursday, November 1, 2012


Wishing you treats, not tricks
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     It has been such a dramatic week for so many, with Hurricane Sandy still wreaking havoc on a huge number of people's lives, atop the last hectic sprint of the Presidential election campaign.  Many of you who have been hardest hit by the storm will not read this blog now, due to lack of power and far more pressing things to attend to, but you truly have my thoughts and prayers.   I have family and friends on the East coastMy heart goes out to all those affected by this storm.

     And today is Halloween!  My kind neighbor picked up some candy for me last night in her run to the store.   I prefer to wait until the last minute rather than purchasing beforehand, only to find it calling my name at 1 AM.  So I am now prepared for the children who will troop through my neighborhood, painted, masked, costumed, caped, be-winged and be-glittered.  The pumpkin is carved, the candle is ready to be lit, and I have a tall witch's hat in which to open the door, bearing treats.  

Light a candle for your ancestors
     Today I feel the spirits very strongly around me.  There is a certain beautiful luminosity, a glow to the air which is distinct and notable, yet hard to describe to those who have not experienced this or who do not notice such things.  I have noticed this luminosity once in a while when in the presence of my kin in spirit, and it seems to be strongest at rare and special times and when very big events approach, like a birth or death in my family.   I definitely do not feel it every day, and it is not always present when I feel my spirit kin.  It is very beautiful.  It is a blessing.

    Halloween, All Saints, All Souls - this really is a special time.  I hope that all of you will pause for a moment to think of those in your family who went before you, contributing their lives, their sweat, blood, tears and love to growing the foundation into which you were born and upon which you stand.   

Candles lit in church for those we love
   Of course, this time of year has long been recognized as having this vibrationI do not know why this time of year should have such a strong vibration of tenderness and attention from the dead to us but I am here to testify that it does.  Whatever the reason, a thinning of the veil (for want of a better term) between the living and the dead exists right now.  The recognition of Halloween as a time when the dead are especially present amongst us is ancient, certainly pre-Christian in origin.   

I urge all of you to take advantage of this brief and special window, tonight and over the next couple of days, to set out some clear cool water for your deceased loved ones, to light them a candle and perhaps give them a drink, some tobacco, some food.  Pray for them, remember them, and let them know that you appreciate, love and miss them.  Pray for their peace and their well-being.  Remember and appreciate all of the loving things they have done and still do for you, and ask for their blessing.  

Our ancestors can help us to see life more clearly
  If any of you harbor hard or hurt feelings towards those who have passed, especially those in your family line, there is no time like the present to send your resentments and bad feelings packing.  All hard and hurt feelings should be always released at death's door, and only appreciation should remain.  All of us here on earth are here to learn and to grow and every single one of us makes mistakes; every single one of us needs forgiveness, kindness, and grace.  Let this be your time to accept this.  Additionally, remember that there is nothing like dying to change one's perspective!  People really can change post-death, and many have much, much more awareness than when alive.  Many many have sincere regret for mistakes, misbehaviors, and flaws they once defended.   Further, you never know what kindness may come to you from someone with whom you once struggled.   Forgiveness is so important. 

Our original family healing formula!

     I'd like to mention to you all that Hoodoo Roots Thicker Than Water is quite wonderful to use when dealing with your family, whether living or dead.  It assists in healing breaches, mending disputes, increasing love and respect all around, and strengthening bonds.   I cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone striving to have better, healthier, and happier relations with your kin, whether living or dead.

     I also recommend our Ancestor family formula, specifically designed for work with - you guessed it - your ancestors, and the dead.  Both Hoodoo Roots formulas, Ancestor and Thicker than Water,  are fantastic, practical formulas.

   Incidentally, I introduced Thicker Than Water to the hoodoo market last year, one of several formulas unique to Hoodoo Roots, including Conquering Glory, Talk to Me, and Lay Down Your Troubles and Rest, amongst others.   Recently I have seen a few other vendors selling these titles.  I suppose that imitation  is the sincerest form of flattery - but these are in fact Hoodoo Roots originals.  Please opt for Hoodoo Roots original formulas, and enjoy the real deal!
Our Spirited Peppermint Balm is all treat, no trick!

Finally, I'd like to invite you all to try my newest lip balm, Spirited PeppermintI added creamy infused vanilla into this formula to soften and mellow the English peppermint.  And look at this cute tin, just in time for Halloween!  Can a lip balm be more fun than this? 
I think not! 

As always, this luxurious lip balm is nourishing and soothing, with a smooth, creamy finish.  100% natural, and like all of our products, it is made with the very finest
organic ingredientsRest assured, this delicious balm is all treat, no trick!  So fun to pull out of your pocket or bag!  Makes a great gift, too!                     

Wishing you and all of your loved ones, alive and in spirit,  a very Happy Halloween,
and blessed All Saints Day All Souls Days. 

Dara Anzlowar
All Hallows Eve into All Saints Day,  
under a very round moon, 2012  

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012



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Burning white sage with intention
A couple of posts ago, I detailed how to work with the photograph of a person to reach their spirit in order to encourage them to make contact with you.  That is a highly effective method, but what do you do if you don't have a photograph of the one you wish to influence?

Here is a wonderfully workable method which may be used when there is no photo available.  Of course, you may also opt to use this in addition to working with a photograph.  Both of these methods are effective, and distance is no barrier whatsoever.

It will, however, be much easier for you to achieve success if you are gifted for this type of mental/spiritual contact work, which is, in essence, telepathic.  Not everyone has this gift.  Additionally, people vary in their openness and sensitivity to receiving such communications.  This latter factor is further moderated by the strength and depth of the individual's connection to you.  Nevertheless, it is a very useful method which I have used many, many times through the years.  I recommend it to anyone needing an alternate route of communication.

In cases where the relationship has ruptured and where the person is very guarded against you, be aware that things may be significantly more challenging, but even in those circumstances, these techniques will help you to reach them and to succeed in making your suggestion.  Whether or not the other individual complies with your wishes may be another matter.

There are alternative ways of reaching them


Go outside, or stand by an open window or door. Hold a sprig of white sage (Salvia apiana) and speak to the spirit of the plant. Ask it to go to the person you wish to contact.  Use their name to identify them, and visualize them, and if you know where they are, mention that too. Speaking this aloud in a very soft voice is best, but your absolute focus is most important.
White sage (Salvia apiana)

You may say something like, "Spirit of Sage, go to John Doe (visualize him strongly as you say this).  Go to him, no matter where he is, no matter if he is at work, or at home, or elsewhere.  Deliver my message to him, no matter what he is doing.  Please, Spirit of Sage, carry this message to him."

Smoke can carry your prayers
Then light the sage, and hold it as it smokes, concentrating upon your message.  This should be simple and to the point:  "John, I love you.  Call me", or something similar.  The smoke will travel to where they are and will carry your message.  As it smokes, concentrate on your communication. Keep it basic and convey positive emotion.  Let the sage burn for several minutes, relighting it if necessary.  Remain focused throughout.

After the sage has burned out, repeat the entire procedure, using sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata).  I personally prefer to use an unbraided sheaf of sweetgrass, but this is not widely available commercially.  A braid is fine.  As with the sage, address the spirit of the sweetgrass plant, and ask it to travel to the one you wish to speak with, again mentioning their name and other points as you did previously.  Then light the plant, and concentrate on your message.  The sweetgrass may need to be re-lit.  Be prepared with matches.  You may blow on the glowing tips of the braid or sheaf; do so with complete and purposeful focus.  Watch the smoke travel away, carrying your intention

The fragrant smoke of a sweetgrass braid
If you are sensitive to such things, you will very shortly feel the person's mind turn to you. It usually takes from less than a minute to a few minutes for them to get the message.  Distance is no barrier.  I cannot recommend this method highly enough.


Remember that if they have a demanding career, they may not have the mental bandwidth to really focus on you while at work or otherwise intensely occupied, though you will flash through their mind.  Usually, the most effective time to do this work is when they are likely to not be at work, at home relaxing, etc.  

The contact with their spirit occurs as you perform this ritual, rather than at some later point.  Time your work accordingly.

Please remember that you are working with the subtle, spiritual properties of these plants.  Once you have burned them, you may compost any part of plant material - the tough stem of the sage, or the last tiny bit of a sweetgrass braid - which may remain.  Never throw these in the trash.  Doing so dishonors the plants, and you will run a real risk of having them refuse to work for you in this subtle way again.  Compost instead.

Wishing you all well,

Dara Anzlowar
A beautiful cool October day, with an opalescent sky overhead.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012


HUNDREDS OF PRACTICAL EVERYDAY USES                                      
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Salt seasons, cures, preserves, draws, cleans,  is a styptic and antiseptic; it has hundreds of practical everyday household uses.  It is necessary for the health of every mammal.
Historically, the salt trade was of critical economic importance to many cultures over a wide geographic range, sought after and paid dearly for by many.

Morton Salt's iconic packaging
Many significant ancient roads, including the Via Salarium in Italy, began as salt collection and trade routes. Roman Legionnaires were either partially paid in salt, or a portion of their recompense was given them specifically for the purchase of salt (the word salary has it's origin in the Latin word "salarium", meaning "of salt", or "a salt cellar".).


How fundamental salt is in our lives is reflected in many common phrases, such as "the salt of the earth" (from the Bible, Matthew 5:13; in common parlance, this refers to one who is reliable, practical, and not given to airs);  "worth his salt" (worth one's pay); "below (or above) the salt" (originally referring to medieval English royal court seating arrangements; those seated by the salt being noble, those below, common), "take it with a grain of salt" (maintain a healthy skepticism).

With so many varieties of salt to choose from, which should a Hoodoo practitioner or other practical occultist choose?

Aside from epsom salt, which is high in magnesium, the salt we use is sodium chloride (NaCl).   You may use table salt or the much larger-grained, harder rock salt; you may use sea salt or kosher salt.  These later two are usually coarsely grained, although sea salt is sometimes available in a smaller grain size.  I suppose you could even use one of the costly culinary specialty salts now on the market. 

Sometimes folks believe that kosher salt is especially good to use in hoodoo spells and spiritual preparations because they've been told that this salt been blessed by a Rabbi.  It has not. Kosher certification does not involve blessing, and being a Rabbi is not required of the examiner.

A rabbi can certify that food is Kosher
 Kosher salt is so-named because it is used in koshering meat.  This culinary process involves first soaking the meat or fowl in water, then covering it with a thick crust of salt prior to cooking, in order to extract blood.  This process renders the dish fit for kosher tables.  Why?  Jewish dietary law prohibits the consumption of blood.  Blood must be drained from meat and poultry, or thoroughly broiled out of it by fire. 

The source of this injunction is found in the Old Testament here, amongst other Biblical references: 

Magnolia Salt "flows freely in any weather"

"But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat."  (Deuteronomy 12:23, NIV)

Salt is a mineral, and as such is automatically kosher.  Salt in itself cannot be otherwise, unless it has become mixed with other elements which are not kosher.   Rabbis or other observant Jews who validate kosher certification check food processing plants and factories to be sure that all kosher injunctions are being followed.  If the food, the preparation processes, machinery, utensils, etc. are in accordance with kosher beliefs, the food is deemed kosher.

 However, the food, or salt, is not blessed.  It's simply certified as kosher - something that all pure salt already is.


Try our Road Opener Spiritual Bath!

Table salt is fine to use in your hoodoo work, as is rock salt, sea salt, and kosher salt.   All of these salts are purifying and will act similarly on the spiritual level.  However, when used in bath preparations, some are easier on the body and provide additional benefits, while others are terribly drying; many people find them unpleasant to use due to their caustic effect upon the skin. 

I have chosen to use the very highest quality of Dead Sea salt from the Holy Land in the creation of Hoodoo Roots brand Spiritual Baths.  Direct from an ancient sea, this salt is so beautiful, so lovely on skin, and so mineral-dense, that the result is a qualitative difference in your spiritual bathing experience.  It makes a difference that you will feel!  

 CLARITY Spiritual Bath Crystals
All Hoodoo Roots Spiritual Baths are prepared using spiritually active organic herbs which I grow myself, conscientiously wild-craft from the purest of regions, or purchase from reputable organic growers.  In addition, the essential oils, absolutes, ottos and attars used in the preparation of these baths are the finest available, carefully sourced from harvests around the world.

All of my Spiritual Baths are hand-made by me from start to finish, as are all of my oils, powders, mists, and other products. You can count on Hoodoo Roots for purity, tradition, and effectiveness!  Try any of the Hoodoo Roots Spiritual Bath Crystals for yourself, and see what I mean!


Salt is - and has long been - used in many cultures as a spiritually potent,  purifying substance.  From Jewish ceremonial uses described in the Torah and Old Testament to Japanese Shinto practices, from Tibetan traditions in the high Himalayas to Navajo traditions in the American Southwest, salt plays a significant spiritual and religious role virtually worldwide. 

Sumo wrestlers throw salt to purify the ring
In several religious traditions, salt is believed to purify and to repel evil spirits.  In Japan, one commonly sees little piles of salt outside of homes, placed there to purify those who pass through the door.

A handful of salt is thrown into the center of the ring by Sumo wrestlers for purification, and to drive away unwholesome spirits.  This ritual is depicted in a scene in the beautiful movie "Memoirs of a Geisha".

In the Scottish highlands and Wales, a bowl of salt was placed upon the breast of the deceased  to prevent the devil from disturbing the body.

Judas spills salt, 
an unlucky omen

In the Middle East, salt is used to protect against the evil eye.

Salt is used in some traditions as a purification after attending a funeral.  By scattering salt onto your body, it is believed that any evil spirits which may have clung to you will be shaken off, and unable to follow.

An Italian tradition to ensure a good life before moving into a new home involves placing salt in the four corners of each room before sweeping with a brand-new broom.   This is a wise practice!

When about to move into a new home, a Japanese custom is to place salt at the four corners of the lot, in order to purify the property.

Vacant lots may have salt scattered upon them, to make peace with the spirits of the land, before buildings are erected.  Also in Shinto tradition, salt is scattered around the perimeter of a house to prevent impurities from entering.  This is done on the first day of the month.

In "The Last Supper", Leonardo Da Vinci's iconic painting, the traitor Judas Escariot is shown having just spilled salt onto the table, a portent of evil and ill luck.  The detail to the left is from Giacomo Raffaelli's mosaic of Da Vinci's painting. 

When the Dalai Lama died in 1933, he was ceremonially buried sitting upright in salt.

1921's Morton Salt Girl


Some believe that accidentally dropping salt on the ground will bring rain.
A little bag of salt worn about the neck is said to provide protection from misfortune and illness.  

A little bag of salt hung on the neck of cattle or horses,
or over the door of their stalls, protects them from witchcraft and misfortune.

A gift of salt is a mark of good-will.

Never return salt which you have borrowed: it brings bad luck.

To quiet the unsettling cries of a screech owl, burn some salt on your stove.
Coax a plum tree to bear fruit with a little salt

Salt, bread, and new broom should be the first things carried into a new home, to ensure prosperity and peace. 

If you salt a bird's tail, you may catch it!
A plum tree which blooms but doesn't bear fruit may do so if salt is sprinkled about it's roots.

If you spill salt while handing it to another person, the two of you will soon quarrel. 

Never hand an open salt container to another, or ill luck will ensue.
If you place a bit of salt in your right shoe, at the heel and toe, you will be very lucky.  To make your left shoe lucky, place salt and pepper inside of it.

In my childhood home, salt was never allowed to run out.  I abide by this today: one must always have salt in the home for protection, for prosperity, and to ensure a savory life.  It pays to have a backup container of salt in your pantry!

If I spilled salt back then - and if I spill it today - I immediately sweep it into my hand and throw it over my left shoulder, to reverse any bad luck I may have otherwise incurred.  This is actually an old Christian belief, as the devil is thought to be there, waiting for his chance to bring us ill fortune and calamity.  Salt tossed into his face thwarts this.

One of our fine, original Spiritual formulas
 Grains of rice in the bottom of salt-shakers help to ensure that salt remains free-flowing, even in humid summers or during thunderstorms.  Incidentally, rice, which in itself is kept (or thrown) as a blessing for fertility and prosperity, combines nicely with salt to ensure these qualities in your home.

Put salt upon a bird's tail, and you will catch it, and have great good luck.  I recall mulling this over quite a bit when I was little, trying to figure out how to get close enough to a wild bird to accomplish this.

If you feel that someone is working against you or has cursed you, throw a pinch of salt in their direction to counter their ability to do you harm.

Not really salt at all - but fun!

Hanging a little bag of salt over a baby's crib will protect it from all harm.

To ensure that unpleasant visitors never return, throw salt after them as they leave.  Some people add pepper, which is fine - but salt itself will do the trick.

I will post specific hoodoo beliefs and practices involving salt within the next couple of days.  Thank you so much for reading!

Dara Anzlowar                                                                          

Sunday, September 16
A beautiful, sunny, breezy California day

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* The color woodblock print of Sumo wrestlers is by Utagawa Kunisawa.  Japanese, early to mid-19th century.  
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

  Detail of Giacomo Raffaelli's mosaic of Da Vinci's Last Supper courtesy of Wikipedia

© Dara Anzlowar and HoodooRoots. All Rights Reserved.
The material on this site may be not be reproduced in print, electronic or broadcast media,
and may not be mirrored in whole or in part on any other internet websites, nor reprinted for distribution in any format.