How You Hoodooin? Folk Magic, Conjure, and Witchery for Every Day.
Explore ways in which you can easily deepen and sharpen your own practical magic by incorporating methods of divination and spirit-work. There's a little something for everyone in this hoodoo gumbo!
What's Shakin', Sweet Thing?
So you’ve got a crush on an acquaintance, and you’d like to try and stir up some passionate-lusty feelings between the two of you. Or you’re facing a real crisis and need to shake some sense into your nice-but-oblivious boss so they’ll grant the favor you’ve asked of them in time to meet your deadline.
There are plenty of situations where you may want to sweeten a person to you in a certain context, and where the circumstances can also stand for some well-intentioned agitation to get things moving and break through some inertia that is hampering your progress.
Honey jars are a staple of conjure, and with good reason – they’re extremely effective! But like honey itself, they take a gentle slow-build approach to things. Often this more subtle approach is exactly what a situation requires, and it also lends itself quite well to long-term ongoing work. If there’s been a great deal of friction between two people, a honey jar can go a long way to soothing and sweetening the energy between those parties, healing and calming things over the weeks and months for a very agreeable outcome. Also, if one is wanting to sweeten a new lover to them, to encourage the development of a sincere and well-grounded romantic relationship that will naturally flow into a long-term commitment, honey does the job marvelously well.
What if you want or need a person to be sweet to you sooner rather than later due to the nature of the circumstances at hand, or due to the particular magical strategy you’re planning to work with? Waiting months for a working to manifest may not always be desirable or reasonable. Can it be still be done?
Yes! Yes, it can. Working with sugar crystals, rather than thick and gooey liquid sweeteners such as honey, may be just what the root doctor ordered.
Using containers filled with sugar in sweetener spells has a long tradition in conjure – you can find tricks calling for a petition paper with the target’s name being kept at the bottom of the sugar bowl from which you sweeten their coffee/tea, or workings asking for the target’s name to be written on a popcicle stick and then plunged into a box of sugar. Also bottles which are shaken in order to get them working and bring some movement/agitation to the situation are often common. I’ve found that in some circumstances making a shaking sweet bottle to be extremely effective.
Now, I get asked if these Sweet Shakers can just replace honey jars altogether – I suppose because some folks are just impatient for results and they get the idea that Sweet Shakers are somehow faster/stronger/better than a honey jar. They do, in my experience, work a bit faster – but they’re in no way stronger or better, they just have a different energy to them and are sometimes more appropriate for certain circumstances. And there are definitely some situations in which they are NOT appropriate. Because they are utilizing a certain amount of agitation, they are not a good working to use on any situation where keeping things calm and quiet is desireable, or where there has already been some fussing and fighting. If however, a situation can stand to be shaken up a bit, then these can sometimes be just the ticket!
Examples of some good situations for a Sweet Shaker:
1) To help manage a romance, craft both a Sweet Shaker and a honey jar on your partner. Use herbs meant to enflame passion and lust in the Sweet Shaker (catnip, damiana, juniper berries, ginger, etc), and use herbs meant to encourage and cultivate a long-term sincere romantic relationship (honeysuckle, orange blossom, rose petals, Dixie John root, etc) in your honey jar. Work the honey jar regularly by burning dressed candles several times weekly on top to keep the relationship developing and deepening. Work the Sweet Shaker as needed by shaking it several times daily, as well as burning dressed candles on top at least once daily during the period of time you wish to inject more sexual passion into things.
2) If you need a doctor to listen to your needs more seriously, and to become a more proactive advocate for your health make a Sweet Shaker using your doctor’s picture and name placed inside with herbs meant to gently influence (licorice) and gain favor (five finger grass) with someone, as well as encouraging wisdom and clarity (Solomon Seal root, sage, etc). Work the jar at least 2-3 times daily by shaking it up, and praying your commands over it. I also like to burn a vigil candle dressed in an appropriate condition oil, and heat the jar over the flame a bit before shaking.
3) To get a friend to make good on a promise, try a Sweet Shaker before resorting to a more stern working such as Pay Me or Compelling work. Use herbs intended to influence as well as herbs to get them to favor you and make wise decisions, mixed in with their concerns. Work the jar by shaking it and verbally reminding them of their responsibility over it at least twice daily for 7 days, and burn a dressed candle on top once a day for that week, and then try reminding them again about their promise. Give it a 3 week run. If you need to haul out more heavy-handed work after that …well, they’ve kinda asked for it and you’ve been more than fair.
Making a Sweet Shaker is pretty simple.
- Get a bottle that fits easily into your hand and which is easy for you to vigorously shake.
Glass bottles w/ metal lids make the best bottles of this type as they can stand to be heated over candles if you want to incorporate that into a working, and they can safely have candles burned on top. Glass bottles with glass or plastic tops can also be used, but you’ll have to be more careful about burning candles on the lids – either not allowing the candles to burn all the way down to the bottom (as the heat of the flame directly on the glass is very likely to crack it), or using tealights (which some practitioners eschew since they do not drip down onto the bottle and they don’t lend themselves to divining signs from the wax, though I’ve worked very successfully and satisfactorily with them with no issues and they’re very safe). Spice jars at dollar stores very often fit the bill and are quite inexpensive.
- Get your sugar crystals, and whatever herbs are appropriate for your working
- Get personal concerns from your target
Obviously a hair, fingernail clipping, or other direct bodily concern is most ideal, but successful work can be done using just a picture and a full name. Even if I have a hair or other bodily concern, I will still use a picture. I like printing the picture out 2”x2” or 3”x3” and writing my petition on the back of it.
- Write your petition paper.
For a Sweet Shaker I write the target’s name 7 times in all lower case letters. Then I turn the paper 90degrees and write my command 7 times in block capital letters on top of their name. This way they are covered with my command/desire.
You may embellish the petition paper in any way you wish, such as drawing symbols or sigils of your goal in each of the corners. Take a small dab of appropriate condition oil, and dress each corner of the paper, including a 5th dab in the center. This seals and locks down your intent.
Place a small pinch of each herb and of sugar onto the center of the paper. If you have a bodily concern, place it in the center.
Fold the paper in half towards you, then turn it 90 degrees and fold it in half again, making a packet.
It should go without saying that as you perform all these steps you are praying, or otherwise focusing on your intent being manifested. Feel free to petition any Deity, angel, spirit guide, or other entity to aid you in your work. Remember that you’ll need to show your gratitude for their help at the back-end of the working.
- Load the petition paper packet into your bottle
- Pour some sugar and the herbs over the petition packet.
I like to fill the jar only a third to a half with the sugar and herbs. This leaves plenty of room for shaking and moving within the bottle as I work it over the next days and weeks.
As you add each ingredient, speak to the spirit of it, asking it to lend it’s specific qualities and power to the work – tell it how you want it to work for you, and how you want it to work upon your target.
- Get a cigar or other smokeable tobacco product, and blow the smoke into the bottle while you call out your command. Close the lid quickly trapping some of the smoke inside.
This step adds a nice punch of power to things. If for some reason you do not wish to work with tobacco, you may use an appropriate incense (frankincense & myrrh work well if you don’t have a condition incense handy) in a slightly different way by running the bottle through the incense smoke while you pray. Do try to trap some of the smoke in the jar before closing.
- Work that jar 2-3 times daily!!
I would recommend shaking it at least morning and night, and lighting a dressed candle on top of it once per day. You can, of course, work it more often if you are home and able to. I work from home and will often try to work it hourly during the day for the first 7 days. Obviously, just work it as often as you are able, with the ideal being 3 times daily.
When you are working the jar, make sure to call on the target’s full name. Shake vigorously while calling out their name and your desires/commands.
A Sweet Shaker can be a stand alone work, or can be combined with other works depending on the needs of your circumstances.
When you’ve completed your work, you may either bury the bottle in your backyard to anchor the manifested effects, or in the case that you did not achieve your ends you may empty out the bottle, rinse all the sugar and herbs out of the bottle, burn the petition paper, and then scatter the ashes at a crossroads.
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