How to use Hoodoo Magic for the holidays

The winter holiday season is often a time for travel, a time to visit home to celebrate and reconnect with family members, and potentially a stress-filled time. But for Halicue Hanna, a tarot and hoodoo practitioner, it’s also a time to recapture ancestral practices and incorporate magic into our seasonal family rituals. As host of the New Hoodoo podcast, she and her sister share powerful and accessible information for those beginning their magical practices. Hanna’s work focuses on liberating the politics of respectability and proudly reclaiming her southern hoodoo heritage within her own family lineage as a way of healing generational trauma, which is how this kind of hoodoo has always been practiced. spirituality.

The term hoodoo covers a broad range of African-American spiritual practices that stem from the southern United States and incorporate a variety of influences including religious practices of Native American, European, Christian, and African origin. Some may refer to hoodoo as folk magic, but for many practitioners it is entwined with their religious beliefs. Hanna describes hoodoo as “an African-American folk art and spiritual practice” that is still practiced today as a way to “talk to ancestors to heal the trauma of slavery and oppression.” For her, it is a form of “generational healing for our family, and almost always done for family or friends and within our family structure.”

“[For example]Let’s say you are witnessing an abusive relationship or you see abuse taking place within your family. How do we protect our spirit and be at peace? It was developed as a means of maintaining spiritual connection in the face of brutal conditions. Hanna explained that traditional African religions changed “as they left us and we were changed, especially because we were very oppressed in the United States, specifically. We weren’t even allowed to play the drums.”

People of different cultural backgrounds and religions, such as the Yoruba people of Nigeria or the Vodun of Benin and Ghana, preserved and reinvented their practices in different ways in the diaspora of the Americas and the Caribbean. In the South, these spiritual practices had to be kept hidden and closed, so their forms of magic syncretized with the Christian church of the South. “Some say you can’t practice one without the other,” Hanna says, “For example, we use the Oppressor’s Book of Psalms as a spell book.”

Despite extreme repression, these practices have survived and been passed down to this day. Hoodoo has always been a way for people to use the tools they have access to as a means to create change and claim agency over their realities, under any circumstances.

use your sweetness

Hanna deeply believes in channeling your divine feminine energy as a source of strength and power – the power of charm. In magical terms, we call this sweetening work. We may have to deal with certain people and situations that can be difficult to deal with, which is where this comes in handy. “In hoodoo, to protect ourselves and survive, we often banish through blessing,” she explains.

Honey or sweetener jars are an ancient magical practice where herbs, prayers, and intentions are infused into different types of sweeteners, which can then be used ritually or even in cooking. Different sweeteners are used by different cultures, and each has its own unique effect. For example, brown or white sugar generally produces “quick results,” while honey and even molasses can be used to create longer lasting positive results. As you prepare your jar of sweetener, remember to infuse it with your most positive intentions: use your “active voice” and say your intentions for harmony and balance out loud. Hanna explains that she uses these practices as a way to “turn off nasty toxic talk” and that potential conflict can be avoided by using a little enchanted sugar or honey when making sweet tea or baking cake for guests. This use of charm and sweetness can also be done through gift-giving. “Gift-giving has powerful magic. Gift certain crystals with properties that you think could help that person.”

find a safe space

Spend time each morning in a quiet place and alone, if possible. Hanna emphasizes the importance of daily meditation and introspection: “As spiritual people, we need to meditate. We need quiet time because that is how they listen to their ancestors. Find that space where you are going to go and stay calm. It could be by a river, in a closet, by the woods. Your spirits are with you wherever you go, but it’s important to bring something to create that space for yourself.”

Bring any items that might be useful to create a mini-altar or mediation space. For most spiritual workers, all that is needed is a candle, incense, and a cup of water, and perhaps a favorite crystal. These elements are simple and invoke the energy of the four elements: earth, fire, air and water. (“Wherever the four elements are,” Hanna says. “The spirits are up there!”) She also expressed the importance of divination and consulting the ancestors before taking any action, magical or otherwise. Not sure if you should go home for the holidays or what specific tools might come in handy? “Divine before anything else,” she recommends. “Ask the ancestors, Is it the right time or the worst time?? You can use the tarot or play cards and see what intuitive messages come to you.

Work on an ancient project

Hanna emphasized that there’s always an ancient project to do, whether it’s photocopying old photos or recording stories and recipes. Cherish the time you have with loved ones on the physical plane, and take time to record memories that might otherwise be forgotten.

“You will go home where your ancestors are. It could trigger a lot of emotions and bring back those feelings of angst and chaos from when our souls were first taken as children,” Hanna explains. “When you’re home and things get crazy, remember that your ancestors are there. They want us to talk to them. You can always escape them.

You can follow and learn more from Halicue Hanna at and on the New Hoodoo podcast.

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