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Charms and Well Being

By Land
               “Lord give me strength.” How many times have you heard someone say that? Implicit in that statement, we are reaching to the Divine Spirit for reinforcements. When you think of strength there are few things stronger than metal. So for our first charm let’s consider metal’s role in spirituality.
               Metal and metalsmithing play are important in traditional West African society, culture and spirituality.  The idea of transforming a mundane, stiff material into something useful, is an act of alchemy that is 
treasured—it is nothing short of magic(k)al.  The admiration for the transformative properties the metal-smith and all that goes into the process, led to a wealth of traditions within Hoodoo.  Two of the objects that are 
the subject of the most lore are horseshoes and nails.

               I am devoting this week’s Natural Healing Corner to strengthening and lucky charms because they promote well-being. Through greater strength and better luck, you will feel more capable, hopeful and able in your body, mind and spirit, to face any challenge that arises. 
Here are some of the ways to utilize horseshoes:
  • If you are lucky enough to live in such an area or country where you can find a horseshoe, pick it up and carry it with the prongs upwards.  Otherwise, you can purchase one from a farmers market, antique shop or farm, holding it in the same manner or propping it up in the car, this way until you get it home.
  • It should also be hung up with the u-shape at the bottom--prongs at the top; this manner of hanging allows the horseshoe to become a symbolic vessel that attracts, holds, and contains luck. 
               In the past horseshoes were hung outdoors on a property either on trees or fences.  When the horse was a primary form of transportation, you could walk around and find horse shoes.  Horse shoes, with the nails still intact, were thought to be especially lucky.  Some practitioners would work with the nails to draw good fortune, but for the most part it was considered unlucky to remove the nails.

               Nails were also important fasteners both in a practical carpentry sense and a metaphysical sense.  It was believed that you could drive nails into someone’s tracks at the heel to make them stay close to you.  To keep a lover close by his/her shoes were buried under the front step or porch and a simple pine plank was nailed down. Nails are a binding tool on several different planes of existence.

Draw from Mother Earth
Prosperity and Money Drawing Magic(k) works best started on a waxing moon on the day of Jupiter. (Thursday)
Press a Five-Leaf (not Four-Leaf) Clover (Trifolium spp.) between two heavy books.  After a few days take the clover out and laminate it.  I suggest taking two pieces of waxed paper of about 2” square.  Sandwiching the clover between the wax paper.  Ironing the paper with an iron set on low. Once it cools off, place the pressed clover in a locket and wear it every day or carry it in your wallet pressed between your paper money to draw more.

Charm of the Sea
    As humans we were first nurtured in a saline solution--the sea of our mother’s belly.  The sea as mother has many manifestations in diverse cultures.  Sea represents the Cosmic Womb, The Ifa Orishas of Life--Yemaya-Ologun and the Fon/Ewe Serpentine Goddess, Mami Wata are all powerful sea deities, orisha, and spirits.  Isis, the great Egyptian Earth Mother is also a goddess of the sea, as is Inanna an earlier incarnation of Isis, hailing from Assyria.  The Virgin Mary is closely associated with the sea and her colors like Isis and Yemaya-Ologun are silver, blue and white.  Aphrodite and Venus, goddesses of love and compassion sprung forth from the sea foam of the ocean--their home.  The sea is the place of origin--the genesis of life itself.  Using elements from the sea brings compassion, care, friendship, love, luck and prosperity. So I will end this charm post with ways to use a charming gift from the sea, so popular in Jamaican healing—Irish Moss.
Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) is a natural seaweed that can be carried on the person, placed in a dream pillow or powdered and spread under rugs to attract good fortune. 
To infuse: 
1. Pour water that has been boiled (and cooled for a few minutes) over it.  Cover.  
2. Steep 20-30 minutes.  Strain.  

You can use this in your hair, it is a great styling gel, yet it also brings the spiritual aspects of the sea close to your head for meditation and inspiration.

Be healthy, well, magic(k)al and lucky, until we meet again in the Natural Healing Corner, next Friday. I have written much more on this topic in "Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs"


  1. So interesting. I love lucky charms. :)

  2. Chrys: Me too! Since I was a little girl I was always seeking out the clovers and horse shoes.


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