August 11th, 2011

stabat mater dolorosa

clearing up some confusion re AIRR and Lucky Mojo; how I use the term "Big Lucky Hoodoo"

Clearing up some potential confusion:

I am not an employee of Lucky Mojo, and I am not affiliated with Lucky Mojo.  There is some confusion on this out there; I regularly get emails from complete strangers who want to ask me where their Lucky Mojo order is, or ask me something about Lucky Mojo products.  AIRR is not Lucky Mojo.  AIRR is sometimes publicized in banner ads at the Lucky Mojo forums, but they are separate entities, and AIRR members may or may not also be authorized Lucky Mojo resellers.  I am a *customer* of Lucky Mojo, and I am a student of cat yronwode's (the owner of Lucky Mojo), and I am a member of AIRR, but I do not work for Lucky Mojo, and neither do most of the readers and workers who have AIRR listings.  The I in AIRR stands for Independent.

My site's title "Big Lucky Hoodoo" has nothing to do with Lucky Mojo as a company.  My site's title is an homage to Tau Michael Bertiaux.  See p. 1 of his Voudon Gnostic Workbook, c. 1988, heading "Lesson One: Who Can Be A Big Lucky Hoodoo?"  The Rev. Dr. Bertiaux responds, "Anyone can become a big lucky hoodoo."  He goes on to explain how, and what follows is a ritual from his tradition, which is not necessarily synonymous with the hoodoo that I practice, nor with traditional Haitian vodoun sevis, though he goes on to use both the terms "hoodoo" and "voodoo" in this lesson.  But the attentive will note that he is using Hoodoo as a noun here: in this chapter, a Hoodoo is a person who harnesses the powers under discussion and who works with the spirits of hoodoo.  It is in that sense that I use the term on this blog.  I believe that anyone can become a Big Lucky Hoodoo (though you do not become one simply by naming yourself one!)  There is a lot about Bertiaux's system that is clear only to initiates in his system.  There is a lot about vodoun that is better left to initiates, and a great deal that is best left to trained serviteurs of long standing even if they are not initiates.  There is even a lot about hoodoo that is best done under the guidance of someone with experience who comes from the way of life - ie, I don't recommend your first non-funeral trip to a cemetery be to dispose of ritual remains.  If you don't come from a culture that is friendly with the dead, you need to get friendly with the dead before you go working cemetery magic. And Hoodoo is a way of life, in my opinion, not *just* a "magical path" or set of spells or correspondences, so you are a Wiccan when you are using European herbal correspondences and a Hoodoo when you are using African-American ones.  Not at all.  What Bertiaux is outlining is a method for aligning your perspective and ultimately your way of life to be "in the current" of the spirits of hoodoo.  THIS is what it means to be a Big Lucky Hoodoo.  A Lucky Hoodoo lives, eats, sleeps, works, breathes, speaks, prays, and dies immersed in hoodoo.  It is in the water we drink and the music we grew up with and the soil that grows our food.  And in this sense, anyone can become one, if they are willing to put in the work -- and undergo a potentially radical change in perspective, depending upon where one begins.  For others, the journey is maybe not so far.  But in this sense, it is open to anyone.