If you are serious about doing real, traditional herb and root magic, High John the
Conqueror root (pronounced ‘conker’) is the first herb you should obtain and keep
in stock at all times. It entered Hoodoo from Native American herb magic and from there it became a standard in traditional American magic. The Iroquois called it ‘Man Root” and considered it so powerful that children were not allowed to even touch it. They believed that a man who kept a root on him would be strong enough to carry two deer and if a man merely touched the root before hitting someone, his strength would kill them. For this reason it in herb magic to ‘command’ and direct, gain personal mastery and strengthen the nature of other curios in a spell. High John the Conqueror oil is used as a ‘fixing’ oil to empower almost all magic workings in Hoodoo. The first thing any root worker leans is how to prepare this oil. Also known as Bind Weed, Jalap, King of the Woods and Man of the Woods, High John the Conqueror root is one of the ingredients of a ‘personal power’ mojo bag. Place one High John the Conqueror root or root pieces in a red flannel bag along with Master Root and Sampson Snake Root. Tie off the bag and fix with High John the Conqueror oil and carry with you at all times. Keep it hidden and don’t let others see or touch it. It is said that someone who has a whole root will always have money, never lack for affection and enjoy good fortune, especially in business and games of chance. High John the Conqueror should not be confused with Little John Chew, a.k.a. Low John, or with Southern John Root, a.k.a. Dixie John. Both of these are entirely different plants. Also, High John the Conqueror root is not St. John’s Wort as some authors have claimed.
High John the Conqueror Oil
Place High John the Conqueror root chips and powder into a small container with a
Add about 1/2 pint of vegetable oil and 10-15 drops of Jojoba oil or one capsule of vitamin E.
This acts as a natural preservative to keep your oil from going rancid. Add a pinch of turmeric
to give it the traditional yellow color and 25 drops of cedar oil.
The cedar doesn’t add any magical properties, it simply makes the oil smell like the fresh root. Seal and store in a cool dark place, shaking the jar every day. The oil will be ready to use
after two weeks. Transfer to a storage bottle along with the root chips and powder.
High John preparations should not be used internally as it a strong purgative and laxative.
©2011 David Ball
High John the Conqueror