When we think of magical practice, European and Middle Eastern traditions are often what come to mind. The many branches of Wicca, as well as Druidism, Ásatrú, and other Neopagan practices have great publicists and now constitute the status quo in conversations about nature-based spirituality. It is equally tempting to imagine that all magical practices are either Pagan or Heathen-based, or that they are all reconstructed versions of lost medieval religions. What we may fail to consider is that some of the strongest and most vibrant folk magic cultures, including Hoodoo, Granny Magic, Curanderismo, and Brujería, all covered in this book, are not Pagan at all, and despite having roots in other parts of the world, primarily developed in the United States. Brujería and Curanderismo across the American Southwest, Hoodoo in the Gulf area and Southeast, and Appalachian Granny Magic throughout the Eastern United States all form a strong, interwoven network of folk magic practices rooted in a syncretized Christian foundation. These practices flourished during a time when they were needed most, enduring to our modern age due to the layering of historic conjuring and healing techniques onto the foundation of the more socially acceptable Christian precepts. Although Hoodoo is the system one usually refers to when speaking of “Conjure” as a practice, the New Orleans branch of Hoodoo and Voodoo practice, the Cajun traiteur healers, Appalachian and Ozark folk magic, Native American practices, and the Gullah Geechee of South Carolina are all also technically forms of Conjure. Conjure is a broad term much like “Paganism” or “Christianity” in its application, encompassing a large scope of traditions and modalities with unifying commonalities.
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