Big Lucky Hoodoo

Karma Zain on hoodoo, voodoo, rootwork, and saints

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Karma Zain
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~My site's title "Big Lucky Hoodoo" is an homage to Tau Michael Bertiaux. See the bottom of the page for more info.~

About Me

I'm a reader and rootworker raised in, trained in, and based in the Southeastern United States. I grew up in Alabama and spent a lot of time in Pensacola, Florida, where my maternal great-grandmother lived, as well as New Orleans, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge & surrounding areas of Louisiana, where I have a ton of family on my mother's side. I have been studying herblore in the Southeast for over 30 years; studied art and design formally as an undergraduate; studied folklore, African diasporic religions, and philosophy formally as a graduate student; and am currently writing my PhD dissertation on the human soul and its relationship to saints and angels in medieval art and literature. However, that's not ultimately what's important. What's more important is that in between all of that, I have always studied and researched -- not just in libraries, but anywhere I could get a rootworker, palm reader, spiritualist, candle-shop owner, or tea leaf reader to talk to me. And I have taken that knowledge and those conversations and turned them towards developing an ability to clearly communicate concepts, methods, and insights to my reading and rootwork clients who come from all walks of life and backgrounds.

I am irreverent, eclectic, and easily annoyed by mass-produced bullshit, particularly if it's of the Herman Slater or fluffy bunny variety (watermelon fragrance oil, glitter, and jasmine for an attraction formula, for instance. That is just silly. It might work for some folks, but it's not hoodoo, and while there may be more than one way to skin a cat, I'm not going to mix you up something and call it hoodoo when it isn't. Watermelon fragrance oil is not hoodoo, and if you want to argue about this, go find somebody else to argue with - I won't argue it here.)

I study, though do not claim to be expert in, some strains of Latin American folk magic as well, and have a long-standing personal working relationship with Santisima Muerte I have been studying various divination arts and herblore for nearly thirty years, and come from a particularly Catholic-steeped folk magic background, so my hoodoo has lots of saints in it. I am much more than passingly familiar with Western Hermeticism and ceremonial magick; while I don't regularly immerse myself in it much anymore, as I've found the conjure I grew up around to be simpler, more direct, within the reach and means of virtually anymore, and just as (if not more) effective, I will know what you're talking about if you write with a situation that touches on this type of spiritual or magickal background.

Devotionally, I work in a Franco-Haitian Gnostic Voudon lineage with full consecration as a bishop in several lines of apostolic succession, and work with an active group of fellow bishops, energy workers, magickians, rootworkers, and serviteurs of the loa on a regular basis, here in the Southeastern U.S. Read more about me at my AIRR page or website.

To see more photos all in one place, or to keep up with me on facebook, visit me there. You can also "like" my business page.


If you'd like to donate towards my usually-annual headwashing event, or towards any of the pro bono work I do (I do a great deal of pro bono work through AIRR and directly, esp. for women and children involved in ugly custody cases and situations involving emotional and physical abuse), you can do so through this paypal button:

Languages: I respond and write up reports and consultations only in English. However, I can read French fairly well, and if you prefer to write in French, I will probably understand you, though I will answer in English because you would not understand my written French. I can read German poorly, and your English is probably better than my German; if you prefer to write in German, we can give it a shot and see how it goes, but again I would respond in English. If you prefer to communicate in language other than English, feel free to write me - if I cannot help you, I may be able to recommend a colleague who can help you, depending on your language preferences.


As of May 2013, I am currently booking email consultations as usual. The turnaround time is usually approximately 20-30 days. Please see my website for more info on what a consultation is and what it isn't.


As of May 2013, if you are an established client with whom I have worked before, and you are aware of and ok with my turnaround times, you are welcome to reserve your spot in the reading queue by booking your reading below. I am not accepting new clients for full, standalone readings at this time. Please read the applicable sections in this blog post for more information about the service, about who qualifies as an "established" client, and about what you can do to get help if you don't qualify. As always, feel free to contact me if you have questions, first, to be sure you understand how this works and what the turnaround times are for the various types. The bottom line is that the turnaround time can be significant and I *cannot* give you a firm date/time of completion for your email reading; it'll be started when it's your turn in the queue, and it'll be done when it's done. So I'm still not your best choice for tight deadlines/emergencies (though a few rush options are available for other, less involved services).

PLEASE DO NOT BOOK ANY READING OR CONSULTATION WITHOUT READING ABOUT HOW IT WORKS FIRST, AT THIS BLOG ENTRY, or at my website if you're booking a regular consultation. If you are booking a consultation to have your case assessed for rootwork, make sure you've read about how I work, what kind of cases I take, and what kind of cases I do not take, before you book. It wastes your valuable time, and mine, if you book a service that does not involve what you want it to involve, or want to have your case assessed for a type of rootwork I do not do. This happens a lot, even though I try to make it abundantly clear that clients cannot talk to me on the phone after they book an email consultation, for instance, or that consultations will not be scheduled for a certain time and day -- I make it as clear as I can in as many places as I can because I want my clients to be happy with their services, and understanding what the service involves is a big component of that. So please read all the pertinent info about the service before booking, and feel free to ask any questions you have ahead of time. My goal is happy clients and a content me, and you can help that along by reading the instructions and understanding the service you are booking.

For now, a few *rush services* are available. Read the blog post explaining what the options are for more info, and book rush services at the website's Altar Work and Consultations pages.


You may also book my usual light setting service and several types of commonly-requested services. See my blog for more info on what these spells are and what they involve - follow the "client info" tag -- or visit my website's "Altar Work" page.

For other work or more information about the services I offer, please visit my website's "Altar Work" page.

Readings versus Consultations: Please note that I am always booking new clients for consultations, but not for full, standalone readings that are not related to spiritual / altar work being undertaken or considered. If you are not sure about the difference between consultations and readings, you can read more about that at my website's Consultations page.

Email versus Phone: I am booking new clients for email consultations only at this time. If you are interested in a phone consultation or a phone reading, please visit my AIRR colleagues at the Hoodoo Psychics line, who can sometimes take your call right away, or one of the other readers I recommend below.

Readers You Can Trust

Looking for a reader or spiritual advisor? I personally vouch for and recommend several readers and workers, and if you want a standalone reading or to speak with someone via chat or phone, visit BigLuckyHoodoo.com for a list of readers and workers I can recommend, their bios, and their contact info.

Finally, I can recommend any of the readers and rootworkers listed at AIRR, the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers. You will want to have a look at their information pages to be sure they take the kind of case you're seeking before booking a consult or reading with them, though; not everyone does every kind of work.

I am a member of AIRR: the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers

The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is a gathering of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide psychic readings and spiritual root doctoring services to the public. AIRR promotes quality service and ethical conduct by means of accreditation and evaluation of our members. Unlike commercial online psychic reader services, AIRR is a membership-supported organization that receives no fees or kickbacks for referrals.</td>

Big Lucky Hoodoo
~See p. 1 of Bertiaux's Voudon Gnostic Workbook, 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 almost as a category of person or a title of sorts in this phrase: 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 nearly 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. His is not the only 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 that would categorize you as a Wiccan on Monday when you use European herbal correspondences and a Hoodoo on Thursday when you use 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 *as outlined in his particular system* which shares a lot with but is not in every aspect identical to traditional Southern conjure OR traditional Haitian sevis. THIS is what it means to be a Big Lucky Hoodoo - to live Hoodoo as a way of life, a worldview. 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.~

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