Or, “What’s a nice Faery like you doing in a Hoodoo Event like this?”

This year I was honored to have been asked to facilitate a Faery ritual for the Hoodoo Heritage Festival which is held each year at the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. The event was awesome and my ceremony was well-received.

The ritual was an invocation of the Faery Blue God, Dian y Glas, who is the “higher spirit” of every individual, as well as the spirit of beauty, pride, free-will, courage, sexuality and joy. He is our own indomitable spark of divine rebelliousness, which rises up against oppression and servitude. He is the “Son of God(dess)” as we are all children of God Herself.

But why invoke the Faery Blue God in a ritual at a Hoodoo event? On the surface it would seem to be out of place, which is probably why I saw someone on my Facebook feed asking this very question today. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on why this type of ritual was appropriate at this type of event.

As a practitioner of the Faery tradition of witchcraft I, of course, am familiar with the intersections between Hoodoo and our particular tradition of the Craft, but I do not expect those outside of Faery to be aware of them, and so will take this opportunity to briefly inform the reader of some of those connections, a bit of the history/vision of the Hoodoo Heritage Festival, as well as a little about my own involvement in that event/community. Hopefully this will shed some light on how this all came about.

The Hoodoo Heritage Festival, while primarily focusing on African-American Folk-magic, honors all folk-magic traditions (last year’s opening ceremony involved Mongolian ritual). Faery witchcraft shares some central tenants of Hoodoo and folk-magic (most notably that of the in-dwelling spirit in all things) and this was cited at the beginning of the ceremony. Faery tradition has a rich history of rootwork and folk-magic which intersects that of Hoodoo and Conjure. One of our founders grew up in the South and had family members who practiced this type of work. As a result, this type of magic was passed on in Faery circles, though certainly not all practice in this way.

Personally, I have been practitioner of Hoodoo/Conjure/folk-magic for many years and am a graduate of Cat Yronwode’s course as well as her apprenticeship program. As such, I am a member of that specific community which puts together said event. Cat asked me if I would do a Faery ceremony this year, with a specific focus on LGBTQ pride, given the terrible accounts of violence that our community is suffering globally in places such as Chechnya. The Blue God is “queer” in our lore, and is also my “patron” deity, and so this fit the specific needs of the ritual perfectly. While certainly not a Hoodoo ceremony (and it was never stated as anything but a “magical cousin” to the main focus of the event, which was primarily African-American in style) it served as an example of how —despite the specific religious tradition or language— we can focus on shared magical principles and take power from our diversity, together.

This particular Hoodoo community (much like the ongoing history of Hoodoo itself) is inclusive of diverse expressions of mysticism and magic, and so other forms of magic are also taught there, such as magical spiritualism, divination, and even witchcraft. The cursing class this year was a good example of different strains of magic being woven together into a cohesive unity, as the teacher was a practitioner of Cuban spirituality who also referred to herself as a witch (though I’m sure her use of the word is different than my own). At one point she even donned black ritual robes so that she could dramatically curse a doll she had created. Great stuff!

I’m sure that this is not everyone’s cup of tea. I just hope that those who attended it received what they needed from the ritual, as well as from the shared magical space we created together over the weekend. It’s a great event, and I would certainly recommend that anyone interested in Hoodoo and folk-magic check it out.

Arise! Descend! Thy Twins of Flame!
And flow as One into my heart!
We call the Winged Serpent’s Name!
Dian y Glas! Son of the Arte!

Behold how beautiful you are!