New Orleans, the French Quarter, is like stepping into another part of history. Where the buildings are preserved from the early 1800’s and the culture is still very much rooted and respectful of their past. The veil of reality between this modern age and this history is very thin. A history filled with excitement, growth, bloodshed, voodoo and magick.
During our trip my partner and I managed to visit every single voodoo, witchy, new age, metaphysical, crystal shop…several times over. From each of the stores we picked up pieces that resonated with our Spirit that we wanted to have, to remember and bring home with us. Some low hanging air plants from the swamps and bayou’s, crystals and tokens comprised this collection. What to do with it? Why, make a conjure bag of course!
But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s first start by explaining what a conjure bag is. In the hoodoo belief a conjure bag is an amulet consisting of a bag that contains one or more magical items. It is a “prayer in a bag,” or a spell. Alternative names are a mojo bag, a gris-gris or a charm bag. Although most conjure bags are made of red flannel material I have chosen to work with color magick and chosen a purple draw string bag. Purple in color magick symbolizes: spiritual power, contact with Spirits and driving away evil. I chose this for my conjure bag because I wanted to protect the energies of New Orleans as a sacred way to honor those Spirits and to keep that memory alive.
Here is a list of the items collected, the symbolism and why I wanted them:
- Spanish Peat Moss: Drooping casually over the trees in the swamps of Louisiana is the air plant Spanish Peat Moss. I not only wanted a bit of the earth to encorporate into my spell but the moss was symbolic and special to me. Symbolizing both earth and air but also containing a deeper meaning. The moss was eeirly hanging from the tree limbs over the swamp water sending me the message to just relax. Breathe. Slow down. For there is no need to rush time. You will grow as time passes so just hang on, relax and live in the moment.
- A gator’s claw: Another piece of the swamp, land, earth is the claw. Alligators are very powerful animals, lunging to catch its prey and holding on with it’s strong jaws. The alligator uses its skills to capture, drown and eat its meals. It’s because of this that alligators teeth and claws are said to be a good luck charm. The energy employed by the alligator signifies the power to hold onto things in life. And so, hold onto the memory of the trip and the energies brought back.
- Another good luck charm is the skeleton key. The key can open doors which are closed to other than the key holder. Opening the door, gateway or veil of magick that is present in NOLA and allowing those energies to shine and protect.
- From a magickal witch shop I picked up two herbs: Rosemary and Rose Hip. Rosemary is used in spells to enhance memory, keeping the memory of this place and its Spirit alive. Rose hip for both goodluck and as an offering to encourage friendly Spirits to take up residence.
- From a crystal shop we picked up two crystals: Hematite and Tigers Eye. As New Orleans was a very grounding place for me I chose Hematite to remind me and help continue to facilitate being grounded. Tiger’s Eye has bold healing properties, helping balance toxic emotions giving inspiration, new perspective and the courage to manifest luck into your life.
- Lastly, two silver charms: A pentacle and a skull. Again, going with the earthy vibes of the area a pentacle was the perfect symbolic image to include in the conjure bag. And, well…the skull…because it’s a skull and its badass! That, and the skull represents not only humanity, but death. The history of New Orleans that although has long ago died is still very much alive and rich today.
Now, it isn’t easy enough to just throw these items in the pouch, call it a day and your good. Each person has their own ritual which is unique to them for doing this, and it’s best to figure that part out on your own.
For myself I will be waiting for the next full moon when the energies are the highest and it’s time to manifest some goodness. Light some candles, burn some sage and palo santo setting the stage. I cleanse my space and the items before saying a prayer. I will be talking to the items as I make the bag, complimenting them and explaining to them and the Universe why I am including them in the bag. After the items are in the bag I will seal it up, meditating on it and saying a closing prayer.
The conjure bag will be kept in our altar space. Filling it with all the earlthy protective energies from the area, reminding us of all the positive things the area and experience brought to our lives.
If you’ve made a conjure bag before what did you do differently? Comment below and share with the Squirrel Nest your experiences so we can all learn and grow! Much love and happy conjure bag making!
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