Tuesday, October 30, 2012
According to Scott Cunningham, Wiccans use Spanish moss for protection. The herb is included in protection sachets and grown in the garden or even directly on the home to keep the property and inhabitants safe. Cunningham also mentions stuffing poppets for protection with Spanish moss.
In hoodoo, however, the usage of the herb is very different. It is mainly utilized for jinxing but also for drawing love. There are some root workers who use Spanish moss for money drawing, placing it in mojo bags to help attract wealth. Others use it specifically for jinxing and, as herbalist and hoodoo expert Catherine Yronwode notes, it can be an ingredient in the crossing mixture known as War Water.
Where all root workers agree on Spanish moss is its use as a perfect stuffing for doll babies and so called "voodoo dolls". These are often used for manipulative working such as making someone love you or causing them to move away, leave a job or become ill. The Spanish moss is usually mixed with other herbs in combinations of three, six or nine that will achieve the desired outcome, then stuffed into a handmade doll baby representing the person on whom the root worker is focusing their magick. It is the rare root worker - I personally know of none - who will stick pins in the doll Hollywood-style. We're generally a tad more subtle than that...
A note on Spanish moss: this plant tends to attract bugs and even parasites like ticks and chiggers. If you harvest it yourself, you will need to wash it thoroughly and preferably before you bring it into your living area. A bucket or tub with soapy water is a great place to soak the stuff. After a half an hour or so you can rinse it and let it air dry as you might any other herb in a warm area. My aunt used to have an old washer on her back porch that my uncle had jerry-rigged to the kitchen water supply. She would wash work clothes in it but she also used to put any Spanish moss she had gathered in an old pillow case and wash it in that machine. Then she'd hang is up near the water heater with her other herbs and flowers. Most of us don't have the luxury of a second wash machine, but it's a thought if you do. Bonne chance ~
Header: Spanish moss in a garden in Louisiana via Wikipedia