Best Audience: Herb Magic practioners working with Hoodoo traditions
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by Catherine Yrwonde is one of my favorite Hoodoo herbal references. For someone like me, who pieces together a magical practice rather than strictly following any one tradition, Yronwode’s work is a useful reference. I particularly appreciate her references and examples of how each herb or magical component has been used in traditional spellwork as well as medicinally as applicable. She includes the botanical or Latin names for all herbals along with a short description and folknames.
Hoodoo is a traditional system shrouded in mystery, often for particularly sound reasons, which makes it hard for outsiders to gain enough understanding to include a respect for Hoodoo into their own practice without trampling on Hoodoo’s territory. Yronwode offers those of us with such desire a glimpse into the underlying logic of the Hoodoo herbalist.
My one frustration is that Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic doesn’t have an index. Entries are organized by common name, which has often meant flipping back and forth and brainstorming for all potential common names until I’ve found the plant I seek. Given that I haven’t found a better more thorough simple reference on Hoodoo herbal uses, that’s a small price to pay for the gold Yronwode offers in Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic.
Bottom Line: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by Catherine Yrwonde has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.
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