17-20 October 2024
International Convention Centre Sydney

Spiritual Cleansing in the Hoodoo Tradition

Spiritual cleansing is a process by which we clean ourselves, our home, or our things. There are many reasons to do a spiritual cleansing. After you have done work that is particularly negative, or you were around harmful energy in some way. Perhaps you have a build-up of negative energy on you from your dealing with the public. If you are planning on doing a working and you want to prepare yourself and your tools and space for it you would do a spiritual cleanse.

When the African Americans were freed from slavery, they took up jobs as domestics. They were treated unfairly overall, and their very life was contingent upon their employer’s treatment of them. Spiritual home cleaning was a way for them to “lay tricks” (a hoodoo term meaning casting a spell), to get their employer to be fair to them.

You can choose the timing of your bath or your cleansing based on the phases of the moon, the hands of the clocks or the day of the week.

Spiritual Home Cleansing:

Traditionally you would do a spiritual cleansing of your home when you first move in. Leave your old broom at the previous address, and buy a new broom so that your troubles won’t follow you.

If you feel your home is haunted, you can do a cleanse to ask the spectre to move on. If you have a build up of negative energy in your home you can cleanse. Floor washes will influence those who walk on the freshly clean floor. If you wish to create a space that will influence someone’s mood who will be walking in your home you can do a cleanse where this person is sure to walk. For example, a love and peace cleansing, or healing cleanse.

In order to do a spiritual house cleanse, you start with a tidy home. Clean up and make sure you have access to the floor and the walls. Sweep with a broom first, from back to front. In a mop bucket you would traditionally use Chinese wash. Chinese wash was popularized in the 1920s. It was a strong cleaner with a scent of oriental grasses. The root workers would add straw from their brooms to it. It cleans out negativity, turns bad luck into good, and brings in prosperity. Chinese wash is van van oil added to your pine cleaner of choice, and a few strands of straw from your broom. You can purchase Chinese wash or van van oil commercially or from conjure doctors, but I suggest you make your own.

Van Van Oil Recipe:

★ a small piece of pyrite (fool’s gold)
★ a handful of lemongrass or 20 drops lemongrass oil
★ 15 drops citronella oil
★ 15 drops palmarosa oil
★ 15 drops vetiver oil
★ sweet almond oil to fill the bottle

To make Chinese Wash, use a few drops of van van oil above, put it into a hot mop bucket with pine cleaner and a few bits of a straw broom. Chinese wash is the basic all around spiritual cleanse for you home. Other options are to steep a pan full of herbs for your intent, and add them to the mop bucket. For example, you can steep roses and lavender and add them to a bucket and spread relaxation and joy throughout your home. You can also use condition oil in your mop bucket. I like to use Florida water in my mop bucket for a spiritual cleanse.

Four Thieves Vinegar Cleaner is a hoodoo cleaner to keep out unwanted energy and to stay healthy. The legend of the four thieves is that they created this concoction and when they wore it they were able to steal from plague victims. Once caught, they received a lighter sentence for revealing the recipe.
You can make it by infusing herbs in vinegar:

Four Thieves Vinegar Cleaner Recipe:

★ fresh lavender
★ fresh rosemary
★ fresh sage
★ fresh marjoram
★ lemon zest
★ cloves of fresh garlic (crushed)
★ raw apple cider vinegar

Chop the fresh herbs and add them to the jar. If you’re using dried herbs, just toss them in and cover with the vinegar, allowing to macerate for 7-10 days. Strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag into a clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry cupboard. This vinegar will last indefinitely.

Once you have the ingredients in the bucket, you should wash the counters the floor and the walls. Don’t forget the corners, or we will have negative energy lurking our corners. You can recite a Psalm or a mantra, intent or prayer as you go. When you finish each room and leave it, light a white candle. When you get to a carpeted room, you can add a bit of the mop bucket solution in a spray bottle and spray it instead of washing the floor. If you have a steam cleaner, you can use the solution and steam clean your rugs. When you finished, you should toss a portion of the scrub water outside, at a crossroads, off your property, over your shoulder.

A note about Hoodoo:

Hoodoo is not voodoo, Voodoo is a religion, it has initiations, levels and rules. Hoodoo, however, is a magical practice with many cultural influences that can be entwined with your current spirituality and path.

Originating in the southern United States, when the Africans were captured, tortured, and brought to the USA as slaves, they brought with them Hoodoo, other indigenous religions, and magical practices from their place in Africa.  They did not have access to the tools, plants or animals in the new world, and they were not familiar with the spirts of this new land.  They looked to the Native American who informed them about the magic spirits of the new world.  The magic of the corn, and other herbs, coyote magic and more.  They added Christianity to Hoodoo for a couple of reasons,  they were being converted to one, and for another, they could practice in secret if the slave owners thought they were praying to God. As time went on Jewish mysticism, and Latin American Catholicism was added.   From this, they came up with the beginnings of a system of magic that has become one of the most powerful and most empowering systems of magic.  It has informed Wicca and witchcraft practices around the world. Practised slightly different depending on where in the USA you live,  and the cultural background of the area.

The original hoodoo practitioners were powerless, there lives completed dictated by others.  Every day was a struggle and Hoodoo allowed them to have some of the power in their life.  That is what hoodoo is really about.  Empowering yourself.  Being responsible for your own actions, and making positive change in your life.