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*USE OF BODY FLUIDS*

BODY FLUIDS IN HOODOO: MENSTRUAL BLOOD, SEMEN, and URINE In the folk magic of virtually every culture there are spells that make use of all of our bodily effluvia and detritus, including the amniotic sac (caul) of a baby, spit, semen, tears, urine, feces, head hair, pubic hair, and nail clippings. However, due to taboos surrounding menstrual blood, semen, and urine in some urban cultures, the use of these particular body fluids in spell-casting can be problematic for those unfamiliar with the larger history of folk magic. In light of the universality of bodily effluvia and detritus as tools of magic, the singling out of menstrual blood, urine, and semen is most rationally approached on the basis of their intended effect (generally spells of sex and love) than on the basis of their origin (human bodies). The frankest discussions of the uses of these substances in magic will be found in ethnological treatises on folk-magic; the "ceremonial high magicians" of the late Victorian era (including Aleister Crowley and his cohorts) were too prudish to deal with this matter as anything other than an antinomian and rule-breaking rite. They found it exhilarating in proportion to the degree to which they judged it to be daring, provocative, and naughty -- and their 20th and 21st century followers have continued in the same vein, especially as the possibility of blood-born and sexually-transmitted diseases has made working with these substances seem dangerous. In folk-magic, on the other hand, menstrual blood, semen, and urine are straightforward tools of spell-casting and the knowledge of how to deploy them is routinely passed from one family member to another. MENSTRUAL BLOOD In the African-American hoodoo tradition, as well as in Sicilian folk-magic, menstrual blood served to a man in his coffee or tea is a sovereign recipe for capturing his sexual attention. No ritual, prayer, or invocation is necessary; you simply add some menstrual blood to the man's coffee or tea. The idea is to get your scent into the beloved's sphere of consciousness. This is nothing more or less than pheromone-magic, and as such it partakes of biology as much as it does of occultism. My Sicilian grandmother believed in its efficacy completely. I have done this often, with uniformly good results. I have directly fed gobbets of menstruum to my lover, from my fingers, as one might feed a pet. This was done to bind him, but to avoid the sneakiness of slipping it into his drinks -- i want him to KNOW how much i want him to be mine, and to know that i am working the spell on him right out in the open. (As the old slogan for the Steak-and-Shake drive-in chain reads: "In sight -- it must be right!") VAGINAL FLUIDS Women who are not menstruating due to pregnancy or breast-feeding, who have had surgery that terminated their cycles, or who are past the change obviously do not have menstrual fluid to use in sex-spells. Their best alternative is to use vaginal fluids gathered after masturbation during the full moon. In hoodoo and Sicilian folk-magic, vaginal fluids make a good substitute for menstrual blood in coffee or tea love spells. I have used menstrual blood or vaginal fluids with equal success when anointing idols (statues of deities), amulets, and curios -- for instance, when dressing lodestones in spells for sexual attraction and bonding. URINE In European -- especially Italian -- folk magic, as well as in hoodoo, urine is occasionally used in women's coffee and tea love spells, as a quick substitute for menstrual blood, when the intention is to tie or bind a lover. Men also can put urine in a drink to tie a woman, although this is not mentioned so commonly. In hoodoo, one of the oldest traditions is for a male gambler to have a female lover urinate on his mojo bag or lucky hand while he is at play. If the gambler and his partner can retire to an alley to perform the act while the game is in progress, so much the better. This is called "feeding the mojo," and the use of the word "feed" is, of course an indicative link to African magico-religious thought, from whence this custom derives. (Lodestones are also "fed" in hoodoo -- with magnetic sand.) Women players rarely ask a man to urinate on their mojo hands, so, for whatever reason, it is female urine that is considered lucky in this case. Urine can be a vulnerable spot in a man or woman's periphery. An enemy who gets your "water" can cause grave damage to you by stopping it up in a bottle with red pepper and Graveyard Dirt. The result will be urinary tract problems, ranging from cystitis and nephritis to prostatitis and kidney stones. The only way to take off such a condition is to find the bottle and destroy it, letting the urine run out into a fire. Conversely, urine has its strengths -- a man can use his own urination to cure a case of impotence that was put on him through magic. SEMEN Men can make use of their sexual fluids in love spells. Josh Geller (dclxvi@best.com) gave this simple formula for an orgasmic spell utilizing semen: Masturbate to orgasm and preserve the resultant fluids. You should be concentrating on your desired result at the point of orgasm. Take some of the resultant fluids and insinuate a bit of them into the food or drink of your prospective victim. For every man who uses his semen to attract a woman, however, there are probably a hundred women who capture a man's semen to rule and control him or to keep him faithful. The most popular way to do this in hoodoo is by making a knot-spell on the man and keeping it tied up in a nation sack. For this purpose, the semen can be fresh or gathered from a discarded condom -- or even stored in the freezer until needed. Most of the rootworkers who have told me about how to capture semen have noted that it is important that the woman not have an orgasm when capturing semen, because then she might get "mixed up in the spell," and fall victim to her own conjurations. "Hold yourself aloof," was how one woman put it to me. "Don't let yourself get mixed into it when you collect his stuff." FROM FOLK MAGIC TO SEXUALIZED SPIRITUALITY Karezza is a sexual-metaphysical system in which heightened states of spirituality are believed to occur if both partners become highly aroused but hold back from having orgasms. However, even in the most ascetic forms of karezza, intercourse during menstruation -- not involving blood per se, but taking advantage of the woman's typically increased level of desire at that point in her cycle -- is perceived as a "rite" in the mystical sense. One karezza writer, John William Lloyd, who advocated abstinence from orgasm, declared that during "the woman's time of great desire" (e.g. at the outset of her period) she should be allowed to have all the orgasms she wants and that the man should go along with her and come too. So Lloyd recognized the menstrual period as qualitatively different from the rest of the woman's cycle, in terms of the performance of a spiritual sex act. WHY DOES IT WORK? The use of urine or menstrual blood in witchcraft, stregha, hoodoo, and other forms of folk-magic is a codification and amplification of the natural biological process by which a female attracts a male. Note that in token of this, urine/menstrual blood magic is almost always a subset of love or lust magic. Some people think of urine as a "territory marker," equating its magical deployment to the way that male dogs and other carnivores use it to drive off male rivals, and so they don't appreciate the fact that a lot of the urine magic encountered in folklore involves WOMEN'S urine, not men's. However, the basis for the utilization of urine in women's sex-attracting spells makes ready sense to anyone who has ever raised goats -- because smelling and even tasting the urine of a doe goat is the prime way that a buck goat has for determining the female's readiness for mating. This is true of many other mammals as well. Are humans more like dogs (males using their urine to drive off rivals) or like goats (males tasting female urine to assess readiness to mate)? Well, here's a clue: in humans, there is a notable difference between the sexes in regard to the body parts they sniff to get a whiff of attractant pheromones. Just as female humans are attracted to male underarm scents (rich in androstenone) so are male humans attracted to female vaginal scents, a complex compound of uterine menstruum, vaginal secretions, and lingering urine odors known collectively as "copulins." The composition of these copulins changes throughout the woman's monthly cycle, but they are basically attractants for males, not territory markers. They may function as territory markers to other females, of course. AVOIDING "CAPTURE" BY MENSTRUAL BLOOD OR URINE Because men are thought to be so susceptible to the magical deployment of women's menstrual blood, vaginal fluids, and urine, in some cultures they are taught to avoid eating anything served to them by an unmarried woman which might contain these bodily fluids. It is common for a man to refuse or only warily accept dark-coloured beverages like coffee or tea or foods with brown or red sauces such as barbeque, lasagna, or spaghetti from a woman. Some folks believe that the power of menstrual blood is inherent -- that is, it will work just the same whether it is deliberately added to foods or beverages as a magical act or ingested accidentally. For those who feel this way, any contact with menstrual blood may result in bewitchment. Nona C. Wright tells how this advice was passed along in her husband's family: My late husband, who was African American, used to tell me his grandmother warned him never to indulge in oral sex with a woman during her period because it would make him bound to her for life. I always took it as his quirky sense that one could use menstrual blood in love spells. But in hindsight this seemed to be a very powerful thing to him as he swore he would never do it. To him it had to do with giving up his free choice to be with someone and somehow being under their power or control. TAKING OFF A MENSTRUAL BLOOD OR URINE CONJURATION What can a man do if he suspects or knows that an unscrupulous woman is putting menstrual blood on him? What can a woman do if she suspects or knows that another woman is using that stuff on her man or on a male relative? Well, you can't stop her if she's already done it, but to take the mess off you have a couple of choices: 1) A doctor can perform a purification on the man -- such as washing him in a bath of rue herb tea, smoking him with Uncrossing Incense, and then dressing him with Van Van Oil and/or 3) If the man has been rendered impotent by the enemy woman, he can perform a specific spell of his own, such as drawing cross-marks on his penis for nine days or pissing into a red ants' nest to restore his manhood. and/or 2) The man or a root doctor working on his behalf can get back at the enemy woman and reverse the spell by capturing some of her menstrual blood and laying a trick for her, such as stopping her blood up in a bottle with 9 pins, 9 needles, and 9 rusty nails, then hiding the bottle in a hollow tree where she will never find it. That'll serve her very well. She'll get "female trouble" and will have to leave that man alone. SUBSTITUTES: THE MAGICAL LINK I am often asked what a person can use for this type of rootwork if bodily fluids cannot be gotten. In descending order of strength, according to hoodoo folk magic, here is a list of substitute magical links: Genital fluids: menstrual blood, semen, vaginal fluid Other biological concerns: urine, feces, sweat, blood, spit Hair: pubic, head, armpit, beard Person's unwashed clothing: underwear, socks, handkerchief Person's foot track lifted from the dirt "Shed" body items: nail clippings, baby teeth Person's handwriting on paper Something Person owned or wore Something Person touched, e.g. butt from smoked cigarette Photo of Person Drawing or silhouette of Person Person's business card Person's full name written on paper 9 times These items can be used for good or for evil; all that is indicated here is the relative strength of the tokens that represent the person. In practice, they are often combined to increase their power. For example; you may get the person's business card and then write their name on the back 9 times, or you may get their handwriting on paper, write their name on the back 9 times, and fold the paper around a hair you stole from their comb or brush while you were using the bathroom in their house. The following documentation on the use of body fluids in hoodoo spell-casting comes from "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," a 5-volume, 4766-page collection of folkloric material gathered by Harry Middleton Hyatt, primarily between 1935 and 1939. For a further documented series spells using salt in the German-American and African-American folk-magic traditions, see the page on Protection Spells. IMPORTANT: If this is the first time you have encountered Hyatt material at this web site, please take a moment to open and read the supplementary page called "Hoodoo - Conjuration MAN'S SEMEN IN PILLOW CAUSES IMPOTENCE {TIES HIS NATURE} 10262. Ah heard dey said yo' could take yo' discharge an' put it in a rag an' put it where no air kin git to it, an' put it in yore pillah, an' he cain't do nuthin off nowheres else, an' he'll have tuh stay home. HAIR -- PUBIC {AND MENSTRUAL BLOOD} 3207. Well the other is, you can take hair from around your privates and use in a way, say a man or a woman, if she is running around and you are in love with her or something and you want to stop her. Say you use that {her public hair} to stop her. (Do you know how they would use it?) Take it -- you have to get it during intercourse see and get it and keep it to yourself. Take it and put this hair in a bottle and stop it up, and the other {menstrual blood} goes with it -- take a cloth or a rag, anything she uses. Take that and... [Informant was so long trying to finish sentence, that I suggested:] (You carry it with you, is that the idea?) No, you can stop her to make her stay where you are, have no connection with nobody but you... [I stop machine and let him talk (see dots) and then attempt to summarize.] (By taking some of her private hair and a piece of her monthly cloth, and putting in in this bottle and stopping it up, and keeping it on your person. Wearing it.) No, Sir, place it in a secret place right over the door there or anywhere you can hide it -- up over her, where she goes through. (That will keep her from running around with men?) Yes. IF A MAN GIVES HIS URINE TO A WOMAN IN A DRINK SHE WON'T HAVE ANY NATURE FOR ANY OTHER MAN 10273. He takes and give her his urine to drink unbeknownst to her, like in beer or wine, and she won't even look at another man, won't have any nature towards any other man. That urine keeps her mine [mind] on that one man, her husband, when he is gone away from her, on a visit or somepin. URINATING INTO RED ANT NEST CURES IMPOTENCE 10271. If a person got chew fixed so yo' ain't got no manhood wit churself, yo' jes' go an' make water into a red ant's nest. It will freshen right up ag'in. Ah've lost mah nature mahself dat way an' ah've gained it back dat way. Dat's true about dat.

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