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Hoodoo and Conjure Altar Tools

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A splendid road-opening altar
A splendid road-opening altar
Catholic saints and an indigenous American hunter watch over a road-opening spell on a conjure altar; the hunter acts as a scout, on the watch for future blessings
Catholic saints and an indigenous American hunter watch over a road-opening spell on a conjure altar; the hunter acts as a scout, on the watch for future blessings
On this candle altar, the practitioner's ancestors and Catholic saints assist sweetening spells for various purposes
On this candle altar, the practitioner's ancestors and Catholic saints assist sweetening spells for various purposes
An altar for speedy business success and gambling luck, featuring Saint Expedite, Buddha, and a lucky chimney sweep
An altar for speedy business success and gambling luck, featuring Saint Expedite, Buddha, and a lucky chimney sweep
This altar contains several images of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This altar contains several images of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A fold-up travel altar can be as versatile as your needs require or your imagination permits
A fold-up travel altar can be as versatile as your needs require or your imagination permits
The Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, honors the ancestors with traditional food offerings on home altars. These can also be made for beloved public figures or heroes; the making of such altars is often assigned as a school project in Mexico, where the tradition originates
The Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, honors the ancestors with traditional food offerings on home altars. These can also be made for beloved public figures or heroes; the making of such altars is often assigned as a school project in Mexico, where the tradition originates

Many professional root doctors set aside a dedicated space where they can work at crafting goods and spiritual supplies for clients. Some also maintain a workspace where they perform candle spells for clients or offer altar work and prayers on their behalf. Some conjure doctors also establish dedicated religious and spiritual altars for the veneration of deities, saints, and ancestors. Travel altars, fitted into wooden boxes, are also a long-held part of the hoodoo tradition, and may be brought to a location by the root worker who arrives to perform a hands-on personal or location cleansing spell.

Home practitioners and reading clients may also wish to create an altar. If you want help with such a project, your rootworker can provide magical coaching and spiritual advice on how to craft a workable and beautiful home altar.

Contents

Altar Surfaces

From a kitchen table or night stand to a marble slab or a concrete patio, any flat place can be used as an altar. If the work is to include the burning of candles, lamps, or incense, the surface is often made of metal or stone, and if it is made of wood or is covered with an altar cloth, heat-proof containers should be used for any item that holds flame.

Altar Decor

Decorating an altar is an act of personal belief and aesthetics, and a practitioner's religious customs may influence the altar's appearance. Some religions forbid the use of graven images of deities but permit the placement of stationary or moving candles, working tools; images of nature; photos of clients, ancestors, or family members; and symbolic items such as stones, keys, or food offerings. Other religions encourage the use of statues, printed images, and remembrances of deities, saints, and spirits on the altar.

Holders and Containers

Plates, bowls, and other containers may be made of clay, wood, or glass, but any object that holds fire should be made of oven-proof glass, heavy white chinaware, metal, or stone. Typical metal altar-ware includes buckets, steam-table trays, bread pans, brass plates or bowls, and cookie sheets. A home fire extinguisher nearby is also recommended. Optional tools of this type include metal candle stands and holders, and a menorah for setting multiple candles in a run. There are also special burners, braziers, and ash-catchers for incense. Vases and bowls for floral offerings are also important. It is the custom in many parts of the world for all types of holders to be supplied in matching pairs, to establish symmetry on the altar.

Spiritual Supplies

Beneath the altar, or in a cabinet to one side, the root doctor keeps a cupboard of necessary spiritual supplies. These are used in performing spells on the altar and also in crafting items such as mojo bags, dolls, and container spells. Such supplies include anointing oils, roots and herbs, incense and charcoal briquets, sachet powders, perfumes, and colognes.

Craft Supplies

Small tools are often kept in a drawer or box beneath the altar surface so that they do not clutter the work space unnecessarily. These items may include a candle snuffer, an incense cone-shaper, pins, needles, nails, an awl, a screw-driver, skewers, a knife, scissors, pinking shears, kitchen tongs, matches, lighters, paper, pencils, pens, ink, and glue.

Scriptures and Spell Books

Quite a few conjure workers have a drawer or hidden space under their altar where they keep reference materials, such as books of spells, divination tools, wisdom teachings, and copies of the Mosaic and Solomonic seals. It is common to have a Bible or a Book of Psalms open on the altar during times of prayer, and the entire Book of Psalms is online here.

Cleaning Supplies

Altar cloths, spell containers, and surfaces should be cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning materials for laundering cloths and for removing wax and soot from altars, walls, and ceilings include a variety of spiritual laundry products, washes, and waters.

See Also

Personal tools