Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mojuba-The Art of Offering, Patience, Acceptance, and Faith

I get a lot of emails and messages each day. Sometimes it takes me several days to answer them, but there is one that presents itself over and over again. A client, or potential client, will write referring to a listing for one of my mojos asking "How does this work?". At first glance this seems daunting, to explain how something works energetically, magically, historically, culturally. Lucky for us, all of these aspects are tied together in the mojo.

The word "mojo", is a corrupted version of the word "mojuba" from West Africa, meaning "to give praise".

Mojo's are created from ashe', the natural, invisible power of our mother, the earth. Any natural object such as bones, feathers, earth, stones, roots, etc., contain ashe'. By utilizing and acknowledging the power of such items you are giving praise to the earth, our mother, and praise to your particular deity, spirit, ancestor, or saint. Mojos are not about you, they are about giving an offering to Gods, Spirits, Ancestors, Saints, and/or the Fates so that they will consider smiling fortune upon you and granting your request.

Mojos are also linked to the tradition of the Banganga from the Congo Basin in West Africa. This tradition is called "Minkisi" which translates to "sacred medicine" or "holy". They believe that all exceptional human powers are believed to result from communication with the dead. People known as Banganga (singular, Nganga) work as healers, diviners, and mediators who defend the living and provide them with remedies against diseases. Banganga harness the powers of bakisi and the dead by making minkisi. Minkisi are primarily containers; statues, ceramic vessels, gourds, animal horns, shells, bundles, or any other object that can contain spiritually-charged substances. Even graves themselves, as the home of the dead and hence the home of bakisi, can be considered as minkisi. Minkisi are typically filled with minerals from different places or graves, nails, plant material, bones, etc.

Mojos are not charm bags-they are not spells. They are offerings and a wonderful art form and practice that can really get you in touch with your ancestors.Typically charm bags and spells are created to get something. That's fine but there is no offering involved usually. I don't dig that and neither do the Gods, Spirits and Fates who will be answering your request. You have to give to get and it's just plain rude to ask for help without first offering something in return.

The truth is, sometimes, mojos don't work at all. The Fates do not have your request in their cards...yet. You'll just have to be patient and wait and continue to work just as hard on something else. Don't give up, just switch focus for a bit, then ask again.

People get so disappointed when whatever they are using doesn't work. It did work-it just didn't give you the answer you wanted when you wanted it because that's not how it works. Logically, you can not get a "yes" to your workings every single time. That is an impossibility. You know the song; "you can't always get what you want, but when you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."

So, the first step to working a mojo is; accept that it may not be the right time and accept that answer you get is truly the one you need-whether it is the one you wanted or not. This is called faith and we all go on and on about how much faith we have but when we don't get the answer we want we get all pissy. That's not faith-that is called being immature and unreasonable.

The second step to working a mojo is know what gris gris to put in it to keep it fed and full of ashe'. For this you must be familiar with the "Doctrine of Signatures" used by ALL good hoodoos, root workers, cunning folk, and witches. The ancient "Doctrine of Signatures" dictates that objects in nature reveal their magical or medicinal uses through their form and colour.This is a philosophy shared by herbalists about 50-90 A.D! This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body. A theological justification was made for this philosophy: "It was reasoned that the Almighty must have set his sign upon the various means of curing disease which he provided." The concept is still reflected in the common names of some plants whose shapes and colors reminded herbalists of the parts of the body where they were thought to do good; pulmonaria, bloodroot, barrenwort, etc.

Let's look at salep root also called lucky hand root. This light to medium brown, multi-fingered root is thought to have special provenance over "all the things that five fingers can do." For this reason a lucky hand root may be carried by those who play the lottery, bet on horses, play cards, or partake in any other form of gambling. Lucky Hand is highly beneficial to others who wish to increase their edge and success by subtle manipulation of the tools of their trade.

So, when you are out foraging around, keep an eye out for botanical items that you can use. Here is a short list of examples;

crab legs-to reverse a situation (because crabs walk side ways instead of straight ahead)

termites/nests-to destroy a situation or person

animal claws-to grab and attract your goal

teeth-to enhance connection and bring good luck and ashe' (because teeth are the first step to deliver vital nutrients to your bodes-what we need to live)

lodestone or magnetite-to attract good fortune and repel bad.

vertebrae-for support, grounding, confidence, and power. No one can stand without a back bone.

feathers-to bring creativity, intuition, and power

nuts and seeds-for fertility, abundance, and luck. As they are reproductive centers all in their own.

You can go on and on using your own experience, intuition, and logic to find what makes sense to you.

The 3rd thing you must do-give it time. When people ask me how long a mojo will take to work, my answer is always "I don't know". I don't know what the Gods and Fates have in store for you-if you want to know ask them or get a reading done. In my experience an answer is received within 6 months to a year. A long time right? Not really but we live in a world of instant gratification. People think "magic" means something will appear right before you eyes in a matter of seconds-like a rabbit out of a hat. That's Hollywood and media-don't buy into that because you will be disappointed with every single working you do. That is not real, OUR magic is, and therefore logic, statistics, and reason apply to magic and it must have time to work just as everything else. If you can't accept the pace of the results, then you are saying to the Gods, Spirits, and Fates; "You don't work fast enough for me. I know I asked you for help and for answers but I don't really dig what you're putting down." I am sure that will REALLY speed things along for you and for future workings.

Learn patience and acceptance when working mojuba or any practice of offering.

When you start a healthy lifestyle change, like watching what you eat, do you lose the 20 pounds you wanted to get rid of in the first day? No? Well why not? Is it because it takes time, effort, faith, and the right mind set devoted to the ritual of eating better and exercising every day? Is it because you have to really work and struggle with it, getting back on the horse after you've fallen off? Yes. It is. Faith is the same way-we work at it each and every day. We create ritual and leave offerings each day to remind us of our goal, what we are doing why we are doing it, who we are serving, and each day we get a little closer to it. This is magic. This is faith. This is mojuba.


  1. Thank you for this . It makes perfect sense.

  2. Thank you for this, it makes perfect sense.

  3. I always enjoy your posts and comments. I do learn things from you. Thank you.