It's a common question "How do I take care of my mojo?" Well, it's pretty instinctual and what you've been doing all along is probably fine until these questions come up; "Is my mojo dead?" and "Can I re-use the gris gris inside?"
First, create your mojo or purchase one from a REPUTABLE source. You have no idea how many pulverized, unrecognizable, dusty, old bags of shit are sold as "mojos". These people ought to be ashamed of themselves. If you can't read the feedback of a practitioner, know someone who has dealt with them, or find there Facebook page(s), blogs, or profiles easily on the web-DO NOT BUY from them. This goes for joining a physical group or coven as well. Use the senses the Gods gave you! Once you receive or create the mojo, open it up (unless instructed not to by the worker who created it) and breathe within it 3 times to breathe your life force into your mojo. You may also add a taglock at this time; a personal concern such as a fingernail pairing (this is most convenient) a bit of hair, a scrap of clothing, a drop of blood, etc.
Now, you've got a mojo. Do you have a good quality oil to feed it? This is important because you'll be feeding is a lot at first and then regularly every week then month, so have a good oil on hand. Some folks like to feed their bags with magnetic sand-I do both but for different reasons and at different times. You may want to have this on hand as well. I highly recommend having it around as it is very useful and common in many workings.
Prepare a an altar or small place you do your workings with a candle, water, and incense. Now, incense is a HUGE deal! If you can, please spend the time and money to find an incense that is purely herbs and resins NOT stick or cone incense which contains saltpetre, synthetics, dye, and chemicals-yuck. You can choose from pure resins such as frankincense, myrrh, copal, benzoin (storax), dragon's blood, and sandalwood. These will need to be burned in the ancient manner of using a charcoal briquette (hookah charcoal) to burn them on. I've heard of people setting the resins themselves on fire! DON'T! That's like setting your food on fire instead of grilling it! It is a complete waste to do this.
The water on your altar is for the spirits, ancestors, deities and/or saints whom you work. Remember, mojo means "to give praise" so it must be created in the name or under the guise of someone. While we are on the spirit part, the reason we do not use salt on these altars is because salt is protective and drive spirits away-not what we want to do at this time. Some folks pass the mojo over the flame of the candle as well or just leave the candle as an offering and symbol on the altar.
Prepare your incense by lighting the coal about 5-10 minutes prior to the ritual to make sure it is nice and hot. Place a bit of your resin on it and pass your mojo through this smoke. This is called "smoking" and is believed to activate the ashe' of the gris gris within the mojo. Now, rub a bit of the selected oil appropriate for your mojo between your palms vigorously to raise energy then CLAP your hands hard to show honor and get the attention of the spirits! Some traditions perform a dance where they drag their legs, slap their thighs and clap their hands to raise this energy and show respect and honor.
Now, hold the mojo in your oiled hands and pray or say your petition. Some folks have a particular Psalm prepared for their intent. I do not rehearse this part or read from any script-this should be from your heart and off the top of your head-It is So, So It shall Be. Keep your mojo as close to your body as possible for the first week. I choose to put mine in my bra or pocket. Your purse is okay if that's all you can do. At night, place it on your bed stand but make sure no one else touches it or you may have to start the ritual over depending who touched it. Children don't count as they are considered neutral.
Do this with the oil and mojo every day for a week. Then on the appropriate day that corresponds to the intent of the mojo every week. Then once a month from there on out. For an extra feeding, I like to add a pinch of magnetic sand once every couple of weeks or so.
So, does a mojo ever die? Anything will die from neglect. If you do not care for your mojo, first, I don't know why you bothered to make it or ask the spirits for help, and second-it ain't gonna work!
It only makes sense that you are going to acquire more gris gris you like after you make your mojo-go ahead and throw that shit in there! Swap the worn roots or lodestones for fresh ones. Take the old gris gris out side and bury it, returning it to The Mother.
Can you re-use gris gris or bags for new mojos? Yes! I do it often as I have very special bags from women folk in my family. Some ingredients are so special or so rare you can not replace them so take them out and smoke them, rub them with a little Florida Water of Hoyt's Cologne, put a bit of oil on them and call it good! Bags can also be re-used. For instance in Haiti the bags are often hand-sewn by an elder and are made from leather-irreplaceable! So honor this tradition and your elder by cherishing it and USING it.
Occasionally a client will contact me about a mojo they bought for WAY too much money and they are certain is worthless and dead. Then bury the whole thing and give it a bit of honor by returning it to The Mother to, once again, become something viable.
Lastly, place your mojo on your altar or in your power space once in a while, when you give everything a good scrub and freshening. Scrub your candle holders with sea salt water, replace your candles, dust statues, clean out offering and water bowls, and then give everything a little a sprinkle of Florida Water or Blessed Water.
Now, get to workin';)
Pictured is a Nation Sack I created for a client who agreed to the photo.