Category:The Dead and the Graveyard
From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
The spirits of the dead, either as spirit contacts within the Spiritualist Tradition or as embodied in their graveyard dirt, can be very helpful to rootworkers both in the performance of spiritual work as well as casting spells. As with crossroads work, working with the dead is a form of spirit work that includes a broad range of altar work and prayer as well as magical spell casting in which root doctors may contact or seek the aid of spirits and spirit Guides for the aid of their clients.
The spirits of those who have passed possess certain gifts and abilities, and within African diasporic ancestral traditions, it is an axiom that ancestors and other spirits of the dead can produce quick and effective results for clients in such diverse areas of work as love spells, protection spells, money drawing spells, and spells to bind or control enemies.
Conjure doctors who assist clients may perform graveyard work in matters of career success, personal power, mastery, wisdom, love drawing, romance, marriage, fidelity, reconciliation, money, business, luck, protection, safe travel, cleansing, uncrossing, road opening, court cases, legal matters, spirituality, blessings, Blessing, Cleansing, Healing, crossing, jinxing, or cursing. In addition, when rootworkers take on jobs for clients, they may send the clients talismans or herbal or mineral remedies for their use, which may have been prepared in a graveyard and/or include graveyard dirt.
Contact by Spiritual Mediums
The spirit medium will attempt to establish rapport or contact with the departed, and will relay messages to the client, often offering advice, warnings, consolation, or information that will help the client overcome challenges in daily life.
Spirit mediums who contact the dead on behalf of clients, either in the context of the Spiritual Church Movement or as private workers, may additionally utilize graveyard dirt as a touchstone or magical link to the spirits of the dead who are most important to their clients.
Graveyard dirt may be selected by the root doctor based on factors such as a spirit's relationship with the rootworker or with the client, the special gifts and abilities the dead had in life, or powers attained by the dead through how they crossed.
Hoodoo practitioners approach work with graveyard spirits -- and the collecting of graveyard dirt for such spell casting -- as contract work which requires payment. Traditional hoodoo offerings that are placed on or in the grave include coins and alcohol.
In some cases, graveyard contact may be sought in the hope of receiving helpful talents that a particular spirit may provide. One such spirit is that of Marie Laveau, a 19th century practitioner in New Orleans whose assistance is sought by some who wish to embark upon a career as a professional rootworker. In this case, the above-ground tomb of Marie Laveau is not dug under for dirt, but X-marks are made on the tomb to connect with the spirit of Marie Laveau.
If the graveyard spirit is also an ancestor, the offerings may be more personal and may include tobacco, candy, flowers, food, and other goods deemed appropriate to the particular spirit.
How Conjure Doctors Work for Clients at a Graveyard
Many rootworkers go to graves to perform spells on behalf of a client or to buy graveyard dirt on the client's behalf. Properly bought and paid-for graveyard dirt may also be purchased through reputable establishments for use in conjure spell casting. Some magic spells performed on an altar, such as mirror boxes and other spells of jinx breaking, uncrossing, and reversing are customarily finished by ceremonial burial in a graveyard.
Work that root doctors perform on behalf of clients that involve the spirits of the dead range from gathering graveyard dirt to use in altar work at home, taking work to be buried at the graveyard, as well as more elaborate rites performed at the graveyard itself with the intent of getting the spirits of the dead to work on behalf of the conjure doctor.
The Graveyard in Other Cultures
- In the African Traditional and African Diasporic religions of Lukumi and Santeria, the orisha associated with cemeteries is Oya, who commands the armies of the dead.
- In the African Traditional religion of Gabon, the veneration of the dead is known as the Bwiti cult.
- Spiritualism is a belief and a series of religions in which mediumistic contact with the dead may form part of regular practice and worship services.
- Medieval European Catholic monasteries not infrequently contain ossuaries where the bones of the dead are arranged in orderly and even decorative arrays.
- Among the Hindus of India, where it is more customary to cremate the dead than to bury them, the Hindu deities associated with the charnel grounds are Shiva and Kali.
- Within the Islamic tradition of folk magic, a special class of djinn or genies, called ghouls are said to inhabit cemeteries.
- Religious Traditions
- Magical Traditions
- Divination, Fortune Telling, and Oracles
- Hoodoo, Conjure, Witchcraft, and Rootwork
- Working with Spirits