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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Book Review: Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magick by Miss Aida

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.

A couple of months ago Weiser reached out to me to review another book, Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magick: Banish Negative Energy and Ward Off Unpleasant People by Miss Aida. I was honored to be given such an opportunity and happily agreed to read another book on the topic of Hoodoo, despite it not being my practice. Let's just say that life lately has gotten in the way of all things witchy, and it took me a lot longer to finish this book than normal. For that, I sincerely apologize. However, it wasn't such a bad thing that it took me a while to get through this book, as it allowed me to digest all the details and given thought and consideration to the practices outlined in the book.

Again, I want to make it abundantly clear I am not a practitioner of Hoodoo. I do not have extensive knowledge of the practice apart from what I have read so I cannot speak to the accuracy of the book, but I can say Miss Aida, a Cuban-born practitioner, speaks with authority and from experience, which to me far outweighs extensive historical research supporting her claims. Furthermore, she is a nurse and has a degree in science, which means she supports ruling out the ordinary before turning to spiritual causes of disturbances, illness, and disease. Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magick covers a variety of topics from general cleansing and protection to how to deal with different spiritual entities and how to find authentic professional help. The rituals and spells are clearly outlined, explained, and supported with anecdotal evidence and experiences. Reading the experiences of others is something I thoroughly enjoy and it gives me the opportunity to assess the validity of one's writing. You would be surprised how much of a person's energy and life comes through in their writing and I can safely say Miss Aida is no liar. I found that the section on how to find a true, professional, spiritual worker, and when you should seek professional help, was some of the most useful information in the book. As witches, we like to think we are capable of doing everything on our own, but there are a lot of times where that isn't the case; either we don't have enough experience or the entities are too powerful for a single person, especially a person without the skills or knowledge to take on such a being. Furthermore, I loved the curse positive language of the book. Miss Aida makes it very clear that cursing is a natural part of our world, but you should be cautious when doing so as in all things. I loved her honesty about her own hotheadedness and that she can be spiteful. I found a lot of what she said sounded like it came from my own mouth. To add to it, she encourages her readers to take precautionary measures, avoid retaliating when you do not know the source of the curse so you don't hurt an innocent person, and when in doubt, do nothing because like all magic, the curse will eventually dissipate. 

Despite the practices in this book being closed to me, there are some great nuggets of information that can be used by anyone, no matter their cultural background. It is the foundations of magical practices that ring true throughout every culture in the world, and Miss Aida's experiences and advice are extremely helpful in setting those foundational practices of protection and cleansing. For an experienced witch such as myself, this book was a great reminder that I need to practice protection and cleansing daily, not just when I feel like it or when I "remember." Her words are encouraging and remind the reader that having a consistent daily practice, even a simple one, is best practice. When we become lazy in our magical workings, allowing our guard to drop, that is when negativity can creep up on us, wreaking havoc in the life we meticulously sought to protect. Furthermore, Christianity, from which many of the prayers and spiritual entities are from, is open to all and therefore easily incorporated into our practices. I know that many witches come from Christianity and no matter what your personal feelings may be on the topic, the prayers are there for you to use when needed and the angels will gladly help you in your magical workings given that you develop a relationship with them first. For some, this may make your practice more comfortable and "real" in that it pulls from your past experiences. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pulling from your previous religion in your craft; in fact, I highly encourage it because you already have a connection with the practices.

The only issue I had with the book was the use of white sage and smudging. However, because I am not a member of this closed culture, I cannot and will not pass judgment, but I did want to make it known to all my readers that I found some of the language to be personally problematic.

Whether you are a practitioner of Hoodoo, a new witch, or an experienced witch, I highly recommend Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magick: Banish Negative Energy and Ward Off Unpleasant People by Miss Aida. As in all things, remember that not all the practices are open to you if you are not from the culture, but that doesn't mean that you can't learn from the lessons and develop a better spiritual practice. Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magick: Banish Negative Energy and Ward Off Unpleasant People by Miss Aida is available now.



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