Musical Interludes: Conjured


With one of those deep, throaty voices that was just made to sing the blues, Wynonie Harris had a lot of success during his career, though he never rose as high in life as he did after his death, being honored posthumously with several awards. He had several big hits with his original mixture of Big Band and brassy sound incorporated with his Bluesy lyrics, but I have to admit that this is my favorite of his songs, even beating out his more popular tunes.


You said it was love made me stutter when I talk,
But is it love that makes me stagger when I walk?

The Gypsy woman told me, “She’s got you conjured, son”
Somebody’s lyin’ — you are that Gypsy one.

You said I was jealous when I didn’t go to work,
You sprinkled my shoes with graveyard dirt,

Yeah, the Gypsy woman told me, “She’s got you conjured, son”
Somebody’s lyin’ — you are that Gypsy one.

The whiskey you bought me, I was scared to unscrew it,
The Gypsy woman told me, it was embalming fluid.
You got a Black Cat Bone and a Buzzard Feather,
A John the Conquer Root and they’re all tied together

Yeah, the Gypsy woman told me, “She’s got you conjured, son”
Well, somebody’s lyin’ — you are that Gypsy one.

The whiskey you bought me, I was scared to unscrew it,
The Gypsy woman told me, it was embalming fluid.
You got a Black Cat Bone and a Buzzard Feather,
A John the Conquer Root and they’re all tied together

Yeah, the Gypsy woman told me, “She’s got you conjured, son”
Well, somebody’s lyin’ — its you are that Gypsy one.


Produced by: King Recordings


Witchery: Mambo Joyous and the Black Salt

I am not exactly sure where I first heard of using black salt for anything other than cursing, but I think it might have been long ago when I was working at DFW International airport in speaking with Mambo Joyous. Looking back on those days, I remember that in my youthful ignorance, when she first introduced herself as Mambo Joyous, I thought that was simply her name just as another woman might be named Mary Ellen. It was not until years later that I learned, Mambo was a title and not a name.

She was normally a very lovely woman. She was generous, kind-hearted, and good-natured. She had a beautiful smile and was usually found charming people up and down the concourses with her huge and joyous laugh. I used to tease her that her parents had named her Joyous because of her copious good humor. However, as I came to discover, when someone crossed her, she was downright frightening. She was a large woman to begin with, tall in stature and wide in girth. When angry she seemed to grow to twice her normal size in my eyes. Needless to say, I made it a point to never cross her during the years we worked together!

In the nature of things, there were always rude customers, especially when the weather was unpredictable. If a plane hit a spot of bad weather and arrived late, some of the businessmen on the flight were sure to miss their connections. When they did, there were always one or two who felt it permissible hurl imprecations at everyone in their path. Mambo Joyous, was always more than happy to hiss a few words back at them and toss a pinch of black salt at their back. If they were stupid enough to actually stand in her face and yell or argue with her, she had no problem, sprinkling it in their path and actually crossing them as they watched, dumbfounded. From what I saw over the two or so years we worked together, the woman had an inexhaustible supply of black salt, fetishes and what I now assume were mojo bags of some sort.

She always had peculiar things in her pockets and she would pull them out, holding them low, shaking them, start talking fast, low, and stalking toward someone who had offended her. It was typically her fellow Nigerians. Her normal heavily accented English disappeared as she reverted to her native tongue, her words coming as a terrifying hiss. I never knew what she was saying and was certainly too afraid to ask, but if she was not cursing them with all kinds of terrors, then I would be shocked.

I can remember that only two women truly crossed her where I could see the repercussions first hand. One lady, “Euphemia”, was not very bright to begin with from what I had seen of her. After she pissed off Mambo Joyous, she actually tried to stand up to her for a few minutes as Joyous stood there hissing her furious words at Euphie, as she was called. Finally, she was smart enough to leave the office at a run with Mambo Joyous fast on her heels, hissing something at her and flinging her black salt at Euphie’s back as she ran. Euphie did not last long after that. The other woman, Musu, was much brighter and immediately began what I assumed was a very abject apology, by the look of her actions and her placating tone of voice. She would place her hands together as if she were praying, as she spoke softly and nervously, then she would hold her hands out in a warding off gesture for a few seconds, then go back to the supplicating posture. All I know is that Joyous brought something out of her pocket and was waving it around for less than 5 seconds. Though I could not understand a word of it, Musu, at least, looked terrified, and from that day forward steered clear of Mambo Joyous at every opportunity.

I believe Mambo Joyous was the first one who ever spoke to me about black salt, because I cannot recall ever speaking to anyone else who would have known what it was and how to use it. I know she was fond of it when she felt it was needed, and I think I recalled her talking about it being both good and bad, “like life”, and saying it is all in how it is used. Years later, after doing some reading on the subject, I now understand that it is suspected that the uses of black salt hail from the Voudou, Conjure and Rootwork Traditions, but no one knows for certain exactly where it began, most scholars merely attribute it to the African Diaspora Traditions and leave it at that.

The uses that I have found for Black Salt include both black and white uses, as well as some that are a bit gray. They include:

  • Using it as Mambo Joyous did, as a way to repel someone who is evil or hateful by throwing it at them and chasing them off, apparently while cursing them soundly.
  • When someone is treating you unfairly, you may speak a curse and cross them to their face. This is why it is called “crossing” someone because you lay the salt down in the “X” pattern.
  • Sprinkle some across your doorways, hearth, and windowsills to turn back negativity and evil that try to get inside your house.
  • Use it as cleaning salt, add it to your floor wash to wash away, and banish negativity and evil spirits from your home.
  • Use it also in the wash to cleanse your altar and sacred space after doing crossings and hexes, to purify the area before you do any other work.
  • To rid yourself of bad neighbors you sprinkle it on their doorstep in the shape of an “X” when they are not looking, curse them and tell them to leave.
  • If you have been crossed or hexed, add some black salt to a tub bath water and make sure you wash every inch of your body, including your hair in it, allow your body to air-dry so the protection stays with you while you perform any uncrossing or unhexing spells.
  • If you know you have a powerful enemy, keep a small airtight glass vial on your person, in a pocket or purse, for times you suddenly feel angry, depressed, or negative for no apparent reason. Take some out and rub it between your fingers or hands, to absorb the evil energy they send you, then, cast the used salt far away from your person, home, office, etc. If it is a co-worker or neighbor, leave it in their office or yard.
  • Keep some in a mojo bag between your mattress and box springs, or beneath your bed to ward off nightmares, and evil spirits as you sleep. Change this out once a week.
  • If a co-worker is bothering you, spreading gossip, telling lies, defaming your character, sprinkle some in their office or under their desk when they are not watching, to make them go away and leave you alone.
  • Use it to purify items deeply ingrained with or bound with negativity.
  • Use it in a voodoo doll with any personal items you might obtain of an enemy, such as hair, a picture, or a list with their name and all you know about them, such as date of birth, place of birth, or any personal facts about their life.

These are just a few of the uses I have discovered for black salt. I am certain there are many more, but you will probably need to seek out a Conjure man/woman, a Rootworker, Hougan or a Mambo, someone trained in the use of this particular form of magick.

A few things to remember are that after the black salt has absorbed the evil or negative energy, it cannot be used a second time. You must dispose of it immediately. You never dispose of it near your home, office or any place you regularly visit, unless you flush it down the toilet, or toss it into fast moving water of some sort, which carries it away from your home and/or office. You can also toss it, or bury it in an enemy’s yard to do more damage, if you wish.