Book Review – Reclaiming the Power of Hoodoo by Alisha J. Brown

Book Review
Reclaiming the Power of Hoodoo:
A Beginner’s Guide to African American Folk Magic
To Cultivate Peace and Abundance in Your Life
Through Rootwork and Conjure
by Alisha J. Brown
Publisher: Independently Published
180 Pages
Publication date: April 6, 2022











Bright Blessings!

I am thrilled to share all about Alisha J. Brown’s Reclaiming the Power of Hoodoo book. Before I delve into what the book discusses, let me say this is hot off the press, released this year in 2022 and was independently published. It’s an ample 180 pages, and an easy read. Let’s explore Brown’s writings, but first a little about this author!

Her bio on Amazon says, “Alisha J. Brown was drawn to Hoodoo to reconnect with her family and her roots. To her, Hoodoo represents tradition, family, community & acceptance. She feels drawn to fighting the prejudice, injustice & myths that surround the practice & and wants to show the world it’s more than what the media and Hollywood would like you to believe. You can reach her on Facebook.”

Now about the book! The book discusses the history of Hoodoo from its beginnings in Africa to today and discusses it’s core beliefs. It discusses tools for practicing Hoodoo and tells you how to build an ancestor altar. Brown shares how to harvest, dry, and use herbs in Hoodoo and talks candles, bones, mojo bags, oils, and sweetening jars. There is a lot of detail on spellwork and spells for complete beginners as well as more advanced practitioners are shared. To break it down further, but not spoil it by sharing the whole book, I will share parts from the chapters on Hoodoo Beliefs and Rootwork.

Hoodoo Beliefs
This section beautifully lays out basic beliefs of Hoodoo, and explicitly states that Christianity and Hoodoo are intimately tied. For example, many who practice Hoodoo today are practicing Christians, but while they believe in the Abrahamic god, Hoodoo Christians beliefs and practices differ from many other Christians. Hoodoo Christians will call upon the saints and will work with herbs and roots, believing in the spiritual ability of each plant to help us with magic and healing. Hoodoo Christians are different than many other kinds of Christians because Hoodoos believe in the ability of humanity to influence their own lives and control things. Prayer for most Christians is petitioning their god to act for them, but for people who practice Hoodoo, they will pray, but also make change happen for themselves, believing themselves to be in control of their own lives rather than doomed to wait for a fate that was decided by their god. Brown writes about the Low or Loa, and discusses their connection with human beings in Hoodoo.

Brown writes:

“While it is said that there are thousands of Lwa, at least 232 of them have been named. Each Lwa has its own personality and is associated with different colors and objects. Hoodoo practitioners can communicate with and interact with these spirits through their practice. You can call spirits into a place or create a barrier that they cannot pass. If you use them to complete a spell, they will expect to be paid through offerings. Pleasing the Lwa through ritual, divination, and offering can provide a practitioner with protection, assistance, and wisdom. Likewise, offending a Lwa can result in serious affliction.”

She goes on to explain that spirits in Hoodoo are divided into three categories. The first is spirits in roots and plants which are used in magic. Next is Spirits of Earth, be it a graveyard or church grounds where the spirit, power, and energy of the place will empower your magic. Finally, the spirits of Ancestors and about them, she says,

“In Hoodoo, one’s ancestors are essential. For many African Americans, we are the descendants of slaves whose family line was never recorded. For many of us, the only way we can connect to our ancestors is through the spiritual realm. Our DNA carries with it the stories, suffering, triumphs, and spirits of the people who created us. Our ancestry is how we come to know ourselves, and only by understanding ourselves can we hope to utilize our full spiritual abilities.”

She goes on to discuss six basic principles of Hoodoo and those are Intentions, Divination, The Divine Providence or god, The Principles of Signatures or our place in creation, Vengeful Justice, and The Afterlife. About Vengeful Justice, she says,

“Unlike other religions, spiritual beliefs, or magic systems that cling to the importance of doing no harm, Hoodoo accepts harm in the form of fair retribution. This doesn’t include doing unearned harm to a person, but if someone slights you, you can use Hoodoo to get revenge or offensively protect yourself. The harm done through Hoodoo must be proportionate to the harm incurred.”

I love how she breaks down explaining things so simply. It’s easy to understand what the beliefs are and how they fit into the religion.


About what rootwork is, she writes:

“Rootwork taps into the natural power that exists in all the gifts of Mother Nature. Hoodoo became known as Rootwork precisely because of its uses of roots and herbs, though some use the term to refer specifically to rituals that include plants. Much of this knowledge was brought over from Africa to the States, where most healing was done chemically rather than herbally. White slaveholders often feared being poisoned by their slaves because of this rich herbal knowledge. Laws were passed to prevent enslaved black folks from practicing or administering medicine for this very reason. Enslaved women used herbs to control their fertility and cause miscarriages to prevent children from suffering slavery. This developed into an intrinsic connection between black midwives and Hoodoo.”

To get your roots and herbs, she first recommends foraging or growing your own. She admits that’s not convenient, but wild and natural is best for magic! She teaches how to preserve fresh herbs and roots including drying and says airtight glass or ceramic receptacles are best for storage. She then shares a list of essential herbs and roots and what they are used for from alfalfa to rosemary. She discusses herbed garlands, and then breaks down lists of what herbs are good for what uses. For example, for wealth, business, and employment, she recommends frankincense, sandalwood, and clover as well as plenty of others.

Hoodoo and other folk religions and magical traditions are getting a lot of attention these days, and there are plenty of books you can find about Hoodoo. This one is an essential one for beginners, and more experienced practitioners alike because not only is it chock full of great information, but Brown spells it out so simply. Some books are complicated, as if the author is bragging about their knowledge and using it to assert their superiority. Brown’s book is specifically written as a reference to help people practice hoodoo. This is an easy read and it won’t feel like drudgery to get through it. It’s a comprehensive guide that has all the information you need to practice Hoodoo from what hoodoo is to all about how to practice it using what things.

The sections are well labeled in the index, and you can skip around the chapters, learning what you want to at your own pace. Brown teaches lovingly, and in genuine hope that people learn to use this spiritual practice well. Don’t take my word for how good this book is. Get your own copy today!

Blessed Be!









Reclaiming the Power of Hoodoo on Amazon



About the Author:

Lady Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, Lord Shadow, and she became a Third Degree High priestess in 2022. She belongs to the Black Dragon Clan.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].