Mojo bags come from Hoodoo, they are sort of a spell in a bag that gets carried around with you for an extended period rather than being worked and then set aside or discarded.
The practice of making mojo bags varies depending on who you ask. Different traditions of Hoodoo have been developed throughout time so there is not one set way to do it.
However, the main components tend to be the same, or at least similar, across the board.
Common elements of Mojo Bags
These elements are seen in nearly every description of or set of instructions to make mojo bags.
The bags themselves are usually small, and red is the standard color.
They are filled with items, often natural, that correspond to the purpose of your bag.
Mojo bags can have a variety of purposes from luck and wealth drawing, to love or protection. If you can do a spell for it, you can probably make a mojo bag for it!
They are a personal item to be kept to yourself and carried with you. The degree to which these are followed do vary but there is usually some element of privacy.
Mojo bags become a living spirit. You breath life and energy into them. You need to charge and regularly feed them because of this.
They can serve as a talisman (used for attraction), amulet (used for protection/to keep things away), or even both at the same time.
Things that vary
While many things are common across the board, there are just as many, if not more, aspects of mojo bags that vary.
This seems to be because of the branches of Hoodoo along with differences in family traditions that are passed down.
The first of these is the type of pouch that is used. The most common fabric is definitely red flannel. But there are two main ways of constructing the pouch. The first is to sew one, usually by hand to add personal power. The other is to use a square of fabric that will close by bringing the corners up, twisting, and tying
How the bags are tied is another discrepancy among sources. Some people use red cord, some use twine, others use ribbon. Some people just tie off their drawstring bag, others wrap their cord around and tie three knots as they go, others don’t think it’s a good idea to tie any knots at all.
Perhaps the most widely debated aspect of a mojo bag is the idea that it should not be touched or even seen by anyone but you. The people who follow this idea believe letting other people see and/or touch the bag will reduce its power, make it completely ineffective, or even “kill” it.
Some people believe this comes from a time when there was competition between conjure folk. They would make and sell mojo bags and other items and want to keep ingredients and recipes secret. They told their clients to never show show or open their bags so they couldn’t be copied or traced back to them.
How to Make, feed, and charge mojo bags
These are the steps I plan on following when I make a mojo bag. It’s sort of a mash up of different ones I’ve found, but mostly influenced from this awesome video.
- Cut a square of red flannel, or another color depending on its purpose or what is available to you.
- Put herbs, roots, stones, and other items that correspond to the purpose of your bag in the center of the square. Many people say to include part of yourself like a hair or fingernail to connect the bag to you. You can also add petition papers.
- Gather the four corners of the fabric, twist so that the fabric is tight around the contents of your bag, then wrap your cord around and tie it off. Make sure the cord is tight and secure. You may want to wrap it around multiple times, tie a knot, wrap again, tie another knot, then repeat a third time or until it feels secure or you have a number of knots that is significant to you.
- Trim off excess fabric.
- Feed your bag! The most common option is whisky, others use Hoyt’s Cologne, Florida water, oils that correspond to the bag’s purpose, or even bodily fluids. Dab your chosen liquid on the bag, you don’t need much. Feed it regularly, frequency will depend on how hard it is having to work for you. Some say once a week, others say once a month.
- Pray over your mojo bag. Many people will use psalms or other specific prayers. Since prayer is not part of my practice right now, I’ll substitute with meditation.
- Breathe life into your bag. Hold it in both hands and give it three warm breaths, the kind of breath you would use to fog up a mirror.
- Charge your bag by keeping it with you for a week. You want it to be as close to your skin as possible. Keep it in a pocket, in your bra, pinned inside your clothing, etc. If you have pockets in your pajamas keep it there when you sleep, otherwise put it in your pillow case. The only time it shouldn’t be on you is when you bathe/shower. I love the idea that you know it is charged when keeping it with you becomes second nature like leaving the house with your keys and phone, you feel naked without them!
- After it is charged, continue to carry it with you, especially when you need it the most.
Can you open mojo bags?
This might actually be the topic with the strongest differences across sources. For many people it is a hard no. For others, mojo bags are not only living spirits, but also something that evolves and changes with you.
Being able to open and change the contents of the bag makes sense to me. If you’re trying to get a particular job you may want to put dirt from the location in your bag. You may want to put someone else’s hair in it if you wish to gain influence over them. If you need a boost in a particular area of your life, put in something that corresponds to that.
If a mojo bag is a living spirit that is directly connected to you, I think it makes sense that it would change and grow with you and your needs!
You may also want to open your bag to refresh things like herbs and roots that will crumble over time.
What are your thoughts on mojo bags?