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Book Review: Hoodoo For Beginners

I was recommended this book by a friend because I wanted more information on Hoodoo but had no idea where to look. Not knowing what I’d find out, this book helped me progress my skills even more than I was expecting. Not only did I learn more about hoodoo but it’s helped me look at my own practice and how I sometimes added elements of hoodoo as well. It wasn’t until I read this book that I found out that hoodoo is about working with what you have. If you want more info on hoodoo and what it is exactly, then this book is definitely for you. Even if your an ally and you want to educate people who want to practice hoodoo, you’ll be able to educate those people.

Retail Price

I purchased them off of kindle

  • Amazon: $20.86
  • Kindle: $4.99
  • Barnes & Nobles: $15.99 (paperback)
  • Thrift Book: Out of stock (at the time of writing this)

First Impressions

When picking this book up, I wanted to keep an open mind. I knew somethings about hoodoo but it’s only what I’ve seen on social media such as TikTok and Facebook. One thing I wanted to understand off the bat, was the difference between voodoo and hoodoo. I was happy when the author put this information in the beginning of the book. Voodoo has its own Gods and Goddesses, they have traditions that need to be followed and ceremonies to be performed during certain times of the year. You can even go as far to say that voodoo is it’s own religion. Hoodoo is more open, the idea behind it, is to make use of the items you have around you; making something out of nothing. And I think on that aspect, I would definitely identify with Hoodoo.

Author

Angelie Belard, was born from a family that has a long history in root working. Born and raised in Louisiana, she’s been practicing and teaching hoodoo for over 4 decades. Other than that, I can’t find much about the author. She does mention some of her early experiences in the book, which is only one, about her Mama Estelle, who is her grandmother. But, I can’t find much information on her other than that.

Intro

In the opening, Angelie starts off by saying she’s 23 and her grandma, Mama Estelle, had just past. I like how she tells us, the readers, when her interests of hoodoo first started and realizing how her Mama Estelle used hoodoo while she was growing up. I completely agree with Angelie when she mentions how this practice isn’t like the movies make it seem. Most of the time our grandparents, performs these acts that is forms of magic but condemn it when a label is thrown on it. Making teas, cooking, superstitions, and many more are all forms of magic and almost all of our grandparents did things like this. I remember my great-grandmother telling me to not let people touch my hair or else it will fall out. ”You never know what someones intentions are,” she would always tell me. As well as not taking not taking candy from people, because they could you’ll see the good in them. I never thought about where these ideas came from but I’m happy she shared them with me, instead of dispelling them.

Chapters

The chapters are a good size. One thing I had a slight issue with, is the author mentions how to perform a cleansing on yourself, she suggests the reader to add ammonia into the persons bath. As far as I know, ammonia and bleach is not something that’s suppose to touch the skin. On the back of the bottle, it says it’s poison and use with caution. There’s other ways to get negativity off the aura / body without harsh chemicals touching the body; lemongrass being one of those herbs.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. I wish Angelie would’ve went more in-depth into Mojo bags, because it has been an interest of mine. I took really good notes of this book and I actually refer to them often. If you are completely lost on where to start, I highly recommend this book.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I truly did enjoy this book and it’s helped me get a basic understanding of hoodoo. I’m happy that I was recommended this book because it’s been making me look at my own practice and what I might identify it as, if I choose to categorize it. I even added some new techniques to my practice that’s made me feel more resourceful. If you ever wondered about hoodoo, then definitely check out this book.

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By Anaya Thomas

Writing has always been my passion and even though we were always on again, off again, I finally feel like I found the sweet spot on what I want to say

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