Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big John de Conqueror beats the Devil in West Hell

Welcome Boos and Ghouls! I'm excited to be able to join you on the blog tour! Today, I think I'm going to tell you the story of how John de Conqueror beat the Devil in West Hell (and stole his daughter, too!) Anything with Hell or the Devil is canon Halloween material, in my opinion!

First a bit about Conjure Oils. It is, at heart, an old time Southern style Hoodoo shop. Sure, we make-fancy pants perfumes and Witch-worthy magical oils but our roots are squarely in Hoodoo and Lukumi. 

Hoodoo is a true American magical system. It took the African beliefs of the slaves and combined them with Native American herbal lore, Protestant Christianity (particularly the Psalms of the Bible) and a deep belief in the inherent powers of herbs, minerals, and other curios. When the power living within a herb is aligned with the almighty power of prayer the power of that herb is focused and blessed transforming it into something truly magical indeed. No belief in the need to charge, cleanse or consecrate a herb or a stone exists - it's already sacred since it came from the Almighty; simply needed is the blessings of the Creator.


Now, one of the most potent and famous herbs is called John the Conqueror root (pronounced "conker") It's the root of impomea jalapa, a relative of the Morning Glory and sweet potato and has had its praises sung in many a blues song. It has a smoky, deep woody smell and the appearance of a brown, shriveled testicle. The testicle connection is of little coincidence - John the Conqueror roots are renown for their love and lust drawing properties. They are also carried for any endeavor where having "a pair" might come in handy: gambling luck, mastery, success, fertility and fortitude.

There are many theories as to who exactly John the Conqueror was. Some say he was a slave liberator, others claim he and the Orisha Shango are one in the same. While no one knows for certain, he's definitely become legendary! Here is a tale that exemplifies the might and brazen wit of John the Conqueror from from A Treasury of Southern Folklore edited by B.A. Botkin:

     "West Hell is the hottest and toughest part of that warm territory. The most disparate malefactors are the only ones condemned to West Hell. which is some miles west of Regular Hell. These souls are chained to rubber coffins so that they go bouncing though Regular Hell and on to their destination without having to be carried by the attendants as the Devil does not like to send his imps into West Hell oftener than absolutely necessary.
     This suburb of Hell is celebrated as the spot where the Devil and Big John de Conqueror had their famous fight. Big John de Conqueror had flown to Hell on the back of an eagle, had met the Devil's daughters and fallen in love with the baby girl child. She agreed to elope with him and they had stolen the Devil's famous pair of horses that went by the name of Hallowed-Be-Thy-Name and Thy-Kingdom-Come. When the Devil found out about it he hitched up his equally famous jumping bull and went in pursuit. He overtook the fleeing lovers in West Hell and they fought all over the place, so good a man, so good a devil! But way after while John tore off one of the Devil's arms and beat him, and married the Devil's daughter.
     But before he left Hell he passed out ice water to everybody in there. If you don't believe he done it, just go down to Hell and ask anybody down there and they will tell you all about it. He even turned the damper down in some parts of Hell so it's a whole lot cooler there now than it used to be. They even have to make a fire in the fireplace in the parlor now on cold nights in the wintertime. John did that because he says him and his wife expect to go home to see her folks some time and he don't like the house kept so hot like the Devil has been keeping it. And if he go back there and find that that damper has been moved up again he mans to tear up the whole job and turn West Hell into an ice-house." 

Indeed, John the Conqueror is an intriguing figure! Thanks for letting me share some fun folklore with you! Have a great Halloween!



Conjure Oils is giving away a 5ml bottle of perfume or ritual oil of your choosing! That's right; pick any 5ml off the site!  We have some spooky Hallows blends, or maybe you'll want to try out High John the Conqueror oil in the Hoodoo collection for yourself! It's completely up to you!

Here's the skinny:

To Enter:
- Leave a comment about anything on this post. (Comments are moderated, so please be patient!)
- Leave an EMAIL for contact! (if you don’t feel comfortable leaving it here, email me at vajra at conjureoils dot com)

Extra Entries:
+10 Refer a friend who places an order and mentions your name!
+5 “Like”Conjure Oils on Facebook
+5 Follow CO on Twitter (@ConjureOils)
+3 Subscribing to this blog.
+1 Add all your entries! (including this one!)

U.S. Only!
Ends October 31st!
Good Luck!

Be sure to check out Scott Noir, Published Author of Erotica, Studly Man, "Smoldering Prose" He's next up on the Blog Tour!


Naya Aerodiode said...

I think I feel a trip to the local herb and hoodoo store coming on - I could use a pair for dealing with some of my more difficult projects! Thanks for sharing that wonderful bit of folklore.

Michelle said...

One of these days I need to try some of that blend, I see people mentioning it a lot.

Enter me, please.

MichelleB675 AT gmail DOT com

I follow on Twitter, same username as the beginning of my email.

I subsribe through Google, same username (also follow via the follow thingie)

10 entries? I just woke up so my math could be failing.

Anonymous said...

How cool! I think I may have to pick up some of this.

I would like to enter! I follow on Twitter & Facebook (username cammycat for both). Email cam [at]

Nadia Romanov said...

Hi! I follow you on Twitter (@bylighofthmoon ) and on Facebook....and followed blog....commenting here.... would so love an oil sample... hope I win.,...and thing that is a total of 13 entries?


Xkarji said...

I love reading your insight into Hoodoo lore, always seems like there's something more to learn. Haven't found a Hoodoo/Occult/Herb shop anywhere near me, though, which is very sad. (And odd, considering I'm in the Appalachians right now.)

I'd love to enter! :D My email is killer_qishi_one (at) hotmail (dot) com, and I follow on facebook and will follow this blog right after this.


Dragonfly said...

I love your blog, a friend recommended it. :)

Entering the contest. :D

Love and Horror Amy Williamson said...

Conjure Oils are simply magickal (this comes from firsthand experience)! So happy you are on the Simply Wicked: 13 Days of Halloween Blog Tour my friend!!

❥☠ Love and Horror Amy

daeodon said...

I would like to enter! I follow you on Facebook (E. Baxter)and will subscribe to the blog.

Jynxxxie said...

I also practice root, Ms. Vajra. Please enter me into the contest. I'm already a follower on Facebook (Angel Jynx). I can be contacted at Thank you kindly.

Deadra Morrison said...

Wish I could visit your shop; oh wait a minute, I actually did--I ordered yesterday! Can't wait to receive it. I enjoyed the story and intend to check out your blog so I can learn more about the making of oils and conjure oil lore. I find it all very cool, best wishes to you! Oh, so with this I have 15 entries--math is obviously not my strong point >:-/

Deadra Morrison said...

I forgot to add myself to your blog (duh). Okay, so I think I am at 16 entries...yes, I really want that oil, lol.

Evil Lily said...

Love the content in this post!

Of course I want to enter! Pretty please?! I think I follow you all over the interwebs already, sis. I just started following your blog here on Blogger.



agameofthree said...

I loved this story. Thanks for sharing, V. :)

Of course, I'd also love to be entered into the contest! I already follow you on Facebook and Twitter (as well as LJ :P), but have added this blog of my Google reader. Email is agameofthree [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks for the cool story!

Donna Carrick said...

Sounds like hoodoo fun! Thanks for sharing the story. I won't enter the contest, since I'm in Canada, but I'm glad you were on the tour!

Unknown said...

Hey there,
I love the way the story was written, the language and attitude of John de C.

email is svetsyswanton yahoo.

I've already liked CO on Facebook and subscribed.

That's 10 entries!

Anonymous said...

I'm just starting to looking into this sort of root working and magic. I find it very satisfying so far. The problem is finding supplies ... so a free bottle would be great!

I followed you on Twitter (gypsyjolie), already liked & reading on Facebook (Holly Walsh), and subscribed your blog to my Google Reader ( Please enter me in the contest!

portalkat said...

follow you everywhere! LOL Twitter, FB, LJ and the email addy is
If I win, I am for sure choosing Incubus as my bottle, because I am completely in love with that resiny goodness. What I really came on to say, though, is V A N I L L A !!! I have been wearing your Madagascar Vanilla layered over patchouli for the last week and it is the most amazing aroma. I would love to see more vanillas in the Apothecary category, maybe a smoky one or a foody one, or.....? <3
Oh, and I think that there is an order winging its way to me now!

Anonymous said...

I love oils, all kinds. I have thought of making my own blends but I prefer to leave that to the professionals.

Nachtwulf said...

The story was great, Vajra~ You can totally hear the storyteller's accent in the retelling.

(And you can reach me at garaan (at) gmail (dot) com.)