The following is adapted from The Little Book of Rootwork by Paris Ajana. For more information about the rootwork tradition, hoodoo oils, rituals, and more, check out Paris’s book or her website, Hoodoo Goddess.

Rootwork, a Beginner's Guide to Hoodoo

What Is Rootwork?

Also referred to as “hoodoo” or “conjure work,” rootwork is the spiritual work that originated from the ancestors of Africa. During the transatlantic slave trade, Africans were packed on ships bound for America, separated from their homeland and forced to mix their traditions with others. Rootwork: The Power of Folk Magick 17 Hoodoo began to mix with the culture and magick of Native Americans. White Americans sought to convert Africans and African Americans to Christianity. Their descendants who followed hoodoo found ways to hide their culture without being persecuted, syncretizing hoodoo with certain aspects of Christianity to conceal their traditions in secrecy. In essence, hoodoo is folk magick, powered by the blood and tears of African ancestors.

In the rootwork tradition, conjured oils are also known as “anointing oils,” “conditioned oils,” and “hoodoo oils.” The oils consist of a blend of various ingredients, including flowers, herbs, high-quality essential oils, roots, minerals, and carrier oils to create a powerful, goal-oriented infused formula. Amulets, charms, talismans, and personal matters are sometimes added depending on the purpose of the oil.

Beginner’s Guide to Rootwork Oils

Oils play a key factor in ceremonial rituals. In early religious and spiritual traditions, oil was used to anoint the body for baptism, healing from illnesses, becoming initiated into tradition or religion, and during marriage and other rituals. In rootwork tradition today, we continue to use oils for the same purposes. They also help to give more power to achieving our intentions that we desire. Each essential oil has a unique fragrance that activates whatever emotions we’re feeling and any desires we have. For example, if you want to manifest peace in your life, consider using chamomile or lavender oils to evoke a sense of relaxation in your life.

Crafting conjured oils takes time and commitment. Plan and choose your ingredients wisely; consider the shelf life of oils, and remember your intentions and how you will use the oil. As mentioned before, pray over your ingredients and materials, and ask for blessings for your purpose both prior to and after preparing your conjured oil.

Once you have completed making the oils, store them in a cool, dark area for at least 3 weeks. Or, you may place them on a windowsill that receives a great amount of sun to allow the herbs to infuse into the oil for at least 3 weeks. Oils last up to several months as long as no water gets introduced to the oil. When it comes in contact with water it goes rancid and becomes moldy.


Choose organic essential oils, herbs, and minerals whenever possible. For the body oils, it is also best to use organic carrier oils that work great with your skin type. Adding vitamin E oil as an extra ingredient may increase the shelf life of your body oil and provide an extra benefit for your skin.

Feel free to alter the formulas to best suit you, keeping your health and well-being first in mind. Consider what works best for your skin when choosing a carrier oil.

Here is a list of the essential supplies to create conjured oils.

Essential supplies

  • Amber vials or bottles
  • Crystals and stones (Clear quartz, Lodestone, Magnetic sand, Rose quartz, Pyrite)
  • Dropper
  • Labels
  • Mason jars
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mesh strainer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Pen
  • Vitamin E oil (organic)
  • Wooden spoons

Conjured Body Oils

Body oils anoint your body with the specific properties that correlate to your desires and goals. They can be used on your entire body similar to applying a lotion or moisturizer, or they can be used only on the forehead, pressure points, or behind the ears or collarbones. Depending on the type of herbs, essential oils, and carrier oils used, it would be best to anoint yourself on the forehead, wrists, collarbones, or behind the ears for starters.

Use one after taking a spiritual bath to maximize your goals and turn your intentions into reality. These oils may also be used to anoint objects, dress candles, and so forth. The following formulas call for specific amounts of essential oils. Use only high-quality essential oils that you are able to use topically. Add vitamin E oil to preserve the shelf life.

Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant and slows the oil from oxidizing and going rancid. It also has the symbolic meaning of extending life or specific intent of a spell due to the natural properties it has, representing longevity. If you are not familiar with diluting essential oils in carrier oils, please consult with an aromatherapist. Remember, to make a 2 percent dilution, add 10 to 12 drops of essential oil to each ounce of carrier oil. If you are crafting your own conjured oils, make sure you plan out your measurements before mixing the oils altogether.

Good Luck and Fortune Oil

This oil will make you very lucky and triumphant in an unpredictable area.

  • 1 cup jojoba carrier oil
  • ½ cup vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops patchouli essential oil

Money-Drawing Oil

This oil will specifically magnetize money to you in spades.

  • 1 cup jojoba carrier oil
  • ½ cup vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 15 drops nutmeg essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Sacred Healing Oil

This oil helps promote a healthy lifestyle. Use it if you are recovering from injury or illness.

  • 1 cup jojoba carrier oil
  • ½ cup vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 20 drops sage essential oil
  • 15 drops thyme essential oil

As a safety rule, do a skin patch test with any essential oil or carrier oil that is new to you to make sure it will not give you a bad reaction.