Sunday, January 25, 2015

For Valentine's Day, try some love mojo

            Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, so why not do something unique for your loved one with a little mojo magic?
            Gris gris bags, mojo bags, root bags — whatever you name them, they offer conjuring magic in a small pouch. Using amulets and charms to attract love has actually been in practice for centuries and in many cultures. In the South, Africans and African-Americans collected a variety of ingredients — usually “sticks, stones, roots and bones” — and placed them inside a flannel cloth, preferably red, as a magical amulet. These “gris gris” or “mojo” bags were used for luck in gambling, attracting love, stopping gossip, warding off evil and many other charms and spells.             So being in the spirit of the Valentine season, we’re going to show you how to create a love gris gris or mojo bag, based on the popular book, “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets” by Jude Bradley and Cheré Coen, (yes, your Weird South blog author).
            The best day to create a love gris gris is a Friday on a waxing (growing) moon. A full moon works as well. When the moon is waxing, it is time to create intention for things or people that you wish to come into your life. When the moon is full, the pull of the moon’s energy is at its highest, but a waxing moon works nicely too.
            Start with a pink or red bag, the color of love and passion respectively. You can make your own bags but simply sewing together three sides and connecting the top with a string pull or purchase these bags at craft stores. The pink ones you see here were bought at Michael’s.
            Choose your ingredients. Some of the most popular ingredients for love include roses, rosemary, lavender, basil, cinnamon and rose quartz. You can also include a photo of the person you love or wish for you to love you, or write that person’s name on a piece of paper and either include in the bag or burn and place the ashes in the bag. (Burning the paper releases your intention into the universe.)
            Add the ingredients into the bag, but make sure there is an odd number. Any number of items can be included in a gris gris bag, as long as the combination of elements adds up to an odd number and there are at least three items in the bag and no more than thirteen.  
            Carry your love gris gris with you, smell its earthy scent and know that love is on the way.           
            Want to learn more? Our book contains information on the use of bags throughout the world, what natural elements such as herbs and stones mean and how to create a variety of gris gris bags.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pocahontas in Mississippi?

            If you get weary traveling up U.S. Highway 49 through the heart of Mississippi, you can visit a rest stop that includes bathrooms, tourist information and two Native American mounds.
            Located inside the highway’s median within Hinds County, these mounds — known as Pocahontas A and Pocahontas B — date back between 800 and 1300 A.D. and are registered with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It is believed that the Coles Creek and Plaquemine Mississippian cultures once occupied the site. Researchers at Mississippi State University suspect the mounds may be older than previously thought, perhaps dating as far back as the Middle to Late Archaic period, from 4000 to 1000 B.C.
            Pocahontas Mound A is rectangular, dating between 1000 and 1300 A.D., according to the NRHP web site, and includes the “remains of a mud-plastered log-post building” on top of the mound once used for ceremonies or as the home of a chief. A village once surrounded the mound, according to the NRHP.
            The reason for the name has nothing to do with the mound’s Native American origin, however. At least not directly. The park and mounds are located in the town of Pocahontas, which originated when the Illinois Central Railroad came through in 1884. The town was named for the famous Native American princess, who lived on the East Coast and saved pioneer John Smith during America’s colonial days. The mounds inspired the early residents to give the town such a name, but Pocahontas never set foot in Mississippi and those who lived at the mounds never associated with Pocahontas’s tribe.
            Before the mounds were preserved, residents would use the tall earthen rises as platforms for speeches, mostly political. When U.S. 49 was being built, one of the mounds was almost destroyed to make way for the highway. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History came to the mounds’ rescue and convinced the powers-that-be to curve the highway away from the ancient rises. 
            In 1968, the park was constructed.

            Visitors can view the mounds from a short distance and learn about the site from information available at the rest stop, which is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. The town of Pocahontas is about nine miles north of Jackson, Miss., at the interchange of U.S. 49 and Interstate 220.