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  • Writer's picturedenise alvarado

Better Business Advice from the Voodoo Queen about the Business of Conjure

Marie Laveau is credited for making a business out of Hoodoo and Voudou. She shared commonsense advice for creating a better business that had nothing to do with gatekeeping and everything to do with business savvy.

Marie Laveau standing in her apothecary in nineteenth century  New Orleans.

Marie Laveau was a free Creole woman of color living in nineteenth-cen­tury New Orleans who became famous as a Voudou Queen. She is known for her entrepreneurial savvy and is credited for making a business out of Voudou. While many a published books claim to reproduce formulas from long lost notebooks written by Marie Laveau herself, she was illiterate and therefore was not able to document her formulas in written form. However, a number of people who knew her and worked with her shared their knowledge of her formulas and practices via word of mouth, and these were documented by employees of the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s and Harry Middleton Hyatt, the Anglican minister who compiled the seminal four volume work Hoodoo-Conjuration-Witchcraft-Rootwork. It is from these sources and more that I pull the formulas found in the Marie Laveau Voodoo Grimoire.

I am often consulted for ways to improve business by people who find themselves struggling in the business of conjure. I have noticed that a lot of people have jumped on the commercial hoodoo bandwagon, started making products and offering them for sale online. There seems to be the belief that there is a lot of money to be made in this niche. Then, when they fail to make very many sales, they don’t understand why.

First, you must understand that the business of conjure is an extremely small niche. There are limits to the demographic and only those entrepreneurs who set themselves apart by having expertise, fabulous products, and a knack for producing engaging online content will survive. Some folks who have the appearance of expertise seem to survive as well, at least for a time. Young, sexy workers are capitalizing on their youth and beauty to fuel their businesses. This may get you started but will not last in the long run as no one escapes the element of time.

Marie Laveau was no pretender, and she would advise against unethical and short-sighted approaches to business. While she was known to take many a business down with the help of New Orleans Voudou, she was also known to share snippets of advice to others about these things, and her advice made a lot of sense. Her advice had nothing to do with gatekeeping, however, and everything to do with being business savvy.

For example, if you are a conjure worker, don’t be so quick to share your secrets. Everyone’s making how-to videos for everything—whether or not they are accurate is another issue—but if you give away all your secrets, it makes you weak as a practitioner and everyone else will no longer need you. Even as I share and teach so much, there are some things that I will never share publicly. The source of my power is for me to know and use; I cannot become an empty vessel by telling all of the mysteries I am privy to from years of devotion and practice.

Marie Laveau agreed with this stance. As Mrs. Mary Washington tells it, she rescued Marie Laveau from a terrible storm where she was lost for three days in 1869. It happened during her St. John’s Eve celebration. On this occa­sion, Marie Laveau was dancing on a box. Others were in skiffs and on barrels. The sky was a silver blue that night and the moon shone brightly. Mary says she wasn’t at the dance herself, but her uncle was. She went to the lake three days after the ceremony at exactly 10:30 in the morning. While there, she noticed a woman lying on a box in one of the creeks. She approached the woman and lifted her up, noticing she was wearing a brown dress and a blue veil. She brought her home and gave her a drink of coffee. “You is a good child and I certainly love you,” the woman said to Mary in French. Fearing the woman was going to faint, Mary started to go for a doctor, but the woman would not allow her. Instead, she rubbed the woman down with a healing oil she had on hand. After a while, the woman began feeling better. “I wish I had known you sooner,” the woman said. Wondering who she was, Mary asked her name, and she replied, “Marie Laveau.”

Well, of course after that incident, Mary and Marie became friendly. “She taught me lots,” said Mary, “but told me not to tell anyone about my business cause other people would use my stuff.” One need only be a modern practi­tioner with a moderate following on social media to experience fake profiles and the rampant theft of intellectual property to know how true this really is. Some things never change, they just acclimate to new environments.

Aside from practical advice, there are a number of magickal approaches you could take to improve your bottom line. Today, I want to share six ways to improve your business using formulas found in the Marie Laveau Voodoo Grimoire for creating a better business. There is a class of commercial products actually called Better Business, but there are a number of other formulas with a similar goal of improving sales and increasing your customer base.

Formulas for improving business are typically used to enhance success, prosperity, and positive outcomes in business endeavors. They are believed to have several magickal properties and uses, including the following:

Attracting Customers: These formulas are often used by business owners to attract more customers or clients to their establishment or services. They are believed to create an energetic magnetism that draws in business opportunities.

Increasing Sales: These formulas are used to boost sales and increase financial prosperity in business ventures. As powders, they are sprinkled strategically in places of business or on important documents related to sales and transactions. Oils are used to anoint important business-related documents, cash registers, and money.

Success in Negotiations: These formulas can be used in negotiations or business deals to enhance one's ability to communicate effectively, persuade others, and reach mutually beneficial agreements.

Enhancing Reputation: It is believed that using certain conjure formulas can improve a business's reputation, leading to positive reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and overall success in the marketplace.

Protecting Business Interests: In addition to attracting success, these formulas may also offer a protective barrier against competitors, negative influences, and financial losses, thus safeguarding the business's interests.

Empowering Business Owners: Using these formulas can empower business owners and entrepreneurs, instilling confidence, motivation, and a positive mindset for achieving their goals and aspirations.

Following is a selection of 6 ways to improve your business using formulas found in the Marie Laveau Voodoo Grimoire. These innovative ideas to improve business utilize conjure formulas designed to improve your business’ bottom line. Each formula has no more than four ingredients making them super simple to make. There are more formulas in the book, but I will let you open the pages and peruse to find the others. I hope you find these formulas for better business helpful!


Better Business Incense

As its name implies, this powerful formula is specifically designed to help a business improve its bottom line.

  • Basil

  • Cinnamon

  • Cloves

Burn daily in your shop and pair with money and prosperity rituals to attract more customers and keep existing customers returning. Pass your business cards through the smoke to imbue them with magnetism.


Attraction Incense

Attraction is a highly magnetic blend which attracts love and entices good spirits. It is a potent love, luck, money, and success drawing formula alleged to conjure love, sex, passion, and luck in relationships.

  • Catnip

  • Peppermint essential oil

  • Cinnamon chips

  • Grated orange peel

Burn this incense in your place of business each morning to attract new and returning customers. To attract a love interest, write their name on a piece of brown paper three times, turn the paper 45 degrees, and write your name over theirs 3 times. Then place the paper under the incense burner face up and light the incense.


Bend-Over Oil

Bend-Over Oil is used when you want to dominate, subjugate, and force another to do your bidding. Described as a gentle persuader by some, Bend-Over Oil is designed to make others willing subjects to do your bidding. As such, it is a coercive and commanding recipe but very subtle in how it works. Use it with red and purple candles.

  • Calamus

  • Licorice root

  • Bergamot

  • Vetiver

Add herbs to a base of almond oil fixed with vitamin E to prevent rancidity. A common practice is to anoint the inside of your target’s shoes each day to keep them under your thumb. To get customers to purchase more at your place of business, anoint door handles, bathroom faucets, and any chairs or other seating. You may also anoint a doormat outside of your business, as this is something customers will walk on to come inside. Finally, as a potent, coer­cive formula, Bend-Over may be used to break jinxes and to send malevolent thought forms and evil spirits back from whence they came.


Easy Life Powder

Easy Life Powder is designed to help create affluence, where making a living is easy, and you are blessed with luck and success with minimal effort. Basically, it is for living the high life without lifting so much as a finger for it. Use with white, green, gold, and yellow candles.

  • Orange blossom essential oil

  • Mint

  • Calamus root

  • Cinnamon

Sprinkle this powder in the yard, your home, and your place of business. You may also use it to fix candles and petition papers in spellwork.

Louisiana Van Van Incense

This formula has multiple uses in New Orleans Voudou. It is used for uncross­ing, clearing, drawing love, and success. It helps remove negativity, change bad luck to good, uncross crossed conditions, and bring luck in love and business, as well as functioning as a road opener to new opportunities.

  • Rosemary

  • Cinnamon

  • Lemon verbena

Use Louisiana Van Van incense to consecrate and empower amulets and talis­mans and burn in any space to clear away negativity and open doors to luck and romance.


Luck Around Business

Here is a recipe for drawing good luck and paying customers to your place of business. It was reportedly used by prostitutes in New Orleans since early times.

  • Pulverized dollar bill

  • Magnetic sand

  • Powdered frankincense

  • Heliotrope flowers

Combine all ingredients and cover with gold jojoba oil or sunflower oil to which a little vitamin E has been added to prevent rancidity. Use with green, yellow, and gold candles.

Exploring the world of Marie Laveau's practices reveals not just the mystique of Laveau Voudou and Hoodoo but also practical wisdom for navigating the realms of business. The insights gleaned from historical sources and oral traditions shed light on the intricacies of conjure work and the cautionary tales woven within. As a modern practitioner, I've witnessed both the allure and pitfalls of the commercial hoodoo landscape. It's a niche that demands expertise, authenticity, and ethical conduct to thrive in. Marie Laveau's legacy reminds us of the importance of preserving the sanctity of our craft, safeguarding our secrets, and honoring the traditions that guide us. In an age of instant information and fleeting trends, the enduring power of magick lies not just in the spells and formulas but in upholding the wisdom of those who came before us.

An African American woman holding a broom.


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