Mojo bags are a potent form of folk magic that can be carried on your person in a pocket, bra, purse, briefcase, or anywhere else... bringing the magic with you everywhere you go! They are discreet and extremely effective, which is why they have become such a fabled staple of North American folk practices, and do have parallels in other traditions around the world (think of the medicine bag of the Native peoples, and the charm bag of European traditions).
Mojo bags are usually made of cotton flannel, and then fixed with herbs, roots, and curios which compliment the type of effect that one is trying to manifest. Using time honored methods and prayers, the conjure practitioner then joins the energies of each of the mojo bag ingredients into a powerful whole working towards the goal of the intended wearer. This is akin to taking lone soldiers, and combining their forces to make one formidable army fighting for a unified cause. The mojo is then passed through the smoke of incense, and provided with some whiskey or condition oils to lend it additional strength. In some cases candles may be burned on the mojo to help "heat it up" - putting some gas on its magical fire. In this way the spirit of the mojo bag is born!
Because the mojo bag is considered to literally be alive, it must be fed just like any other living thing in order to keep it working strongly. Mojo bags are fed by dressing them once a week with a few drops of whiskey, or a condition oil that is related to the job the mojo bag is doing. From time to time a mojo owner may intuitive feel that the spirit of the bag requests additional attention - such as passing it through incense again, or providing a different liquid to feed it with. Many mojo owners develop real lasting relationships with their mojo, and it becomes an important partner in their life's work!
Because many people will keep a working mojo with them for years and years on end, maintaining the mojo becomes part of the process of working it over time. Most conjure practitioners suggest having your mojo "refreshed" once a year. When one is carrying a mojo bag in their pocket or in their purse day in and day out, the cotton flannel can easily wear out and soft ingredients like dried herbs can be pulverized into dust. People whose mojo's are becoming a bit raggedy can take them to their maker and have them "refreshed", with the hard ingredients being placed into a new flannel bag, and the herbs being replaced with new ones. The bag is then dressed and smoked and may continue it's work!
Mojo bags are a secret kind of personal empowerment tool, meaning that no one is EVER supposed to see, and certainly must NEVER touch a mojo bag. Many believe that once a mojo bag has been seen (in the case of the Nation Sack mojo which is used to tie a man to you for life), or touched (as is generally the case) that the mojo is effectively killed! Some practitioners may be able to revive a mojo by basically taking the hard ingredients, such as roots or minerals, replacing the herbs, and basically re-building it around the original ingredients. Others simply bury a mojo once it has been found or touched, and will start a new one.
There's much more to know about this simple, but powerful piece of magic then I can get into here. Please feel free to surf on over to Lucky Mojo Curio Company's fantastic page - Mojo Hand and Root Bag - on the history and usage of the mojo bags in North American folk magic.
How do you choose what herbs/roots/curios/etc are best to add to a mojo?
Firstly, having a good working knowledge of the various herbs and such that are used in folk magic is the best place to start. You will have the knowledge of what items are generally used for a specific purpose at the forefront of your mind. But let’s say that you have a short-list of items that all correspond to your goal, but you’re unsure which ones might be better suited to your case than the others. That’s where intuition and divination come in.
Hopefully you were able to use your intuition to create the short-list of items, being able to pick out a handful of items that not only corresponded correctly, but strongly “felt” right to include in the bunch. You can then confirm if they are best by using divination. Depending on what divination method you are most comfortable with and skilled at, how you divine will change. I personally use tarot most often, and will concentrate on an item, visualize its properties in relation to my case, and then draw one card – interpreting the card as the answer. Many practitioners may use a pendulum to get yes/no answers about items. The possibilities are endless. Once you’ve eliminated all the “nos” from your list, then divine once again to determine that the ingredients you’ve got are the entire lot that you will need. If no, then go through the process again until you reach a final conclusion.
Once you have all your ingredients sussed out, you can then start the magic of bringing that mojo to life and working for you (or whoever you may be making it for).
What does it mean that a mojo bag is “alive”?
In conjure everything is believed and experienced as having a spirit. The herbs have a spirit. The curios have a spirit. Conjure is tapping into those spirits and getting them to work for you.
When you create something like a mojo it's like you are creating a new spirit from the combination of the herb/curio spirits. Like a spirit collective with a single purpose - your intent. It's like when you refer to a group of players on the same team by their team name, The Bears, instead of naming them all individually. When they are playing towards the same goal, winning the game, they become The Bears. Get it? So your mojo spirit is your spirit-team for that intent.
If you don't do a good job of getting all the spirits to work towards the same goal, which is what you are doing when you are making and fixing a mojo, then you end up with a flannel bag full of random items. They are not a team. You have to coax them into being a team. The ability to communicate with and work with these spirits is one of the skills that is vital to the conjure doctor.
Of course in modern magic there are plenty of schools of thoughts that reject the animist perspective for something more scientifically or psychologically based. If you are one of these people, you can still work effective conjure (though you will be stepping outside the traditional paradigm by doing so). If you don't like thinking of them as spirits, you can think of them as holding certain energetic potentials. You need to be able to get all the potentials resonating with one another so that they are vibrating on the same frequency, and becoming a like-attracts-like generator for your intent. Your Will and power of energetic manipulation/direction, as well as ability to strongly visualize (or otherwise crystallize your intent), help create an astral pattern that will be reinforced by the constant feeding/working of the mojo, until that mojo-blueprint manifests.
Anyway you look at it, you end up with a powerful spiritual presence that will need to be maintained in order to keep working strongly. This is done by feeding the mojo. This provides the spirit with energy from which to replenish itself, and draw from to aid it in manifesting your goal. Whiskey is sometimes called the “water of life” and so it is a common fluid used to feed a mojo. Some colognes, such as Hoyt's Cologne, also have a history as a dressing and feeding for mojo bags. Condition oils, which are made from the oils of a combination of herbs and roots which correspond to a particular cause, and which have been prayed over to enliven its spirit, are another very popular method of feeding a mojo bag. This provides the mojo bag spirit with energy that is specifically in resonance with its work, and also adds its own extra layer of influence to the matter, helping to amplify the effect.
How the bag is fed changes depending on the work the bag is created to do, or circumstances which may require additional energy from the mojo. For example, some gambling mojos require the user to urinate on it to quicken its effects while gaming. Learning to listen to what the spirit of your mojo bag might be asking for is a natural process of working one’s mojo bag. If a mojo has been working extra hard, you may find you feel it needs to be fed more often than the prescribed once a week. So keep your mind open to any impressions you may receive from your mojo. I generally feed mine with condition oil, but which oil it wants can change from week to week…and sometimes it wants whiskey. When I intuitive “feel” that a different feeding is appropriate I do that. It all has to do with developing a symbiotic relationship with the spirit of the mojo!
So how do you get the various herb, root, curio, etc spirits to work for your goal?
Different people will work with the spirits different ways - there's no one way to do it. If I sat here and wrote a stereo-manual for how I work with spirits, it could have 0% to do with how YOU would work with spirits. Some may actually be able to see them and interact with them directly in that way, others may sense them in a more abstract way and be able to communicate on a more subtle level. Each person will learn to sense and speak with spirits in a slightly different way that reflects their own individual intuitive gifts.
This is part of where the notion of a person being “gifted for the work” that if often referred to in folk magic comes in. The gift has a lot to do with this natural ability for working and communicating intent to spirits, as well as sensing subtle spiritual energies and being able to manipulate them in one way or another. Just like some are born with a natural aptitude for math or science, while others will struggle with it. Magical ability is no different. These talents can be learned to a certain extent, but there’s no denying that some people are simply born with that talent very strongly represented in their make-up. Others will need to work very hard to acquire even a marginal skill. But the secret is opening exploring what intuitive talents you have, and learning to exploit them to the best of your ability.
One thing that spirit work definitely is not, however, is forcing our will upon the spirits. Many people coming from a more modern magical perspective are very married to the ideas of “programming” and “charging” and “empowering” – a bit of an imperialistic approach, really, stemming from the proliferation of ceremonialist-inspired practices popular today. There is this idea that magical items are useless until the magician comes along and empowers them, or charges them. I wouldn't say that you "charge herbs/roots/etc with intent". We're not enforcing our will upon the plant spirits like they are our slaves or something. In conjure each item is believed to already be divinely powerful in a specific way – otherwise why would you use one object over another? We're helping to tune in all the spirits and their individual innate power to the same work. Part of that is having your intent and your desire very strongly available, but I consider it more of a communication process, then some sort of "programming" or something.
Speaking to the items as if they were individual people is one common way that a conjurer will approach this. They communicate what job they wish the herb/root to do for the specific case the mojo is being prepared for. For instance, cinnamon can be used in love or money work, so when adding the cinnamon to a love mojo bag, the conjurer might say “cinnamon, I want you to take your spicy heat, and make the passion between N and NN grow likewise fiery and delicious – in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, so be it”. This has communicated what specific energy the practitioner wishes that herb to contribute to the work at hand. Other workers may approach it entirely different depending on their personal style of spirit work, and their personal religio-spiritual preferences.
Once all the herbs have been added and their roles in the work communicated clearly, a personal concern from the person for whom it is being created &/or a petition paper onto which the overall intent of the mojo has been written, will be added into the bag. (Hair or fingernails are very common, in love or sex mojos a pubic hair or sexual fluids from the target are ideal - when a bodily concern is not obtainable, photos can work as well.) Again the conjurer will communicate with the mojo, letting the spirits of all the items know the larger plan of action of which they are a part. The personal concern helps the energy of the items target where to lay their effects. At this point, the practitioner will finish the work often breathe into the bag, giving it the “breath of life”, and then tying the bag shut. The finished mojo is then passed through incense smoke, and fed in some manner. The breath, smoking, and feeding are the final key actions that solidify the mojo as a unified working spiritual entity.
I’m sure you can now see why the mojo bag is such a powerful magical tool! It’s fairly simple to construct an incredibly potent item, and the fact that it utilizes nothing more complicated in many cases than easily obtainable herbs and roots makes it accessible to nearly anyone, and customizable for nearly any life situation that one may face.
Custom Mojo Bags Creation services and DIY Mojo Bag Kits from Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery
Here at Queen of Pentacles Conjure Shop & Village Witchery we're happy to create a custom mojo bag for your specific needs. We offer a standard Custom Mojo service, Custom Deluxe Triple-Strength Mojo service, and a Custom Mojo wirh Triple Fixed Vigil Candle Empowerment services, which you can order through our Conjure Shop.
We offer these options as stand-alone services for those who wish to obtain a personalized mojo bag, but don't feel the need to have a full magical consultation on their situation. In other words - they know what they want! Of course if you’re not sure what you need, feel free to book a consultation to read your situation, and develop a plan of action that includes a custom mojo bag.
I am happy to make mojos for nearly any positive purpose, but I will *NOT* craft double-cross, sexually or emotionally binding, or aggressively coercive mojos. If you are unsure if I will craft the type of mojo that you are looking for, please contact me directly to inquire.
For the more thrift-minded or independent practitioners, we also have some do-it-yourself Mojo Bag Kits! We have Money-Drawing, Love-Drawing, and Luck-Drawing Kits available through our Conjure Shop.
I hope this article has helped inspire you to try bringing some mojo into your life! It is certainly a fantastic magical tool to have on your side working for you.