Working the Spirit: The Advanced Art of Rootwork Part 2

From $58.50 USD every Two Weeks (7 Payments Total)

Course Enrollment is Closed.

Course Start Date: TBA

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Aaron Davis

Online Course Length: 8 Weeks

Want to dive deeper into Hoodoo?  Instructor Rev. Dr. Aaron Davis returns for Part II of Advanced Rootwork in his Rootwork series.  In Part 2, the course continues a deep dive into rootwork workings and subject areas, with a decidedly baneful turn as you learn how to execute and fight against negative workings. Because some people may take the modules out of numerical order, the first two weeks from Module One are included in Module Two. This way you have the prerequisite material to practice these eight weeks.

Completion of part one and part two of this sixteen-week course will give you all of the key tools and knowledge from which to build your own unique approach to Hoodoo. You will then have the option of practicing rootwork for yourself and your immediate loved ones, or to become a professional rootworker. The community we began in “Working the Roots” will be your collegial community of practitioners, in addition to any community you cultivate where you live. 

In Working the Spirit: The Advanced Art of Rootwork, Rev. Dr. Aaron Davis expertly guides you into the world of hoodoo, spirit work, and folk magic, with a heavy emphasis on building the skills you need to become a professional rootworker.  A rootworker of 16 years, Rev. Doc Aaron has drawn from his extensive experience to create a course of rare quality that combines hands-on practice with in-depth study, offering this work that can be truly transformative.


Rev. Doc Aaron welcomes students of all kinds, regardless of race or spiritual persuasion.  He does ask that you have taken his first course on rootwork prior to enrolling.  If you are already an intermediate rootworker, he will consider your eligibility on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us at if you have questions about eligibility.

*Course includes weekly videos, written lessons, and an optional interactive Facebook group community!


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Why You Should Take this Course

The ability to adapt and resist oppression is the core impulse of this spiritual practice. This is perhaps the most important reason to practice rootwork; namely, because you need a flexible and highly-adaptable tradition that provides useful, time-tested tools to navigate life’s travails and challenges with greater ease. By the end of this class, you will have a firm grasp on what Hoodoo is, as well as how to apply it meaningfully to your existing practice.

As other teachers in the Blackthorne School have said, Hoodoo is probably not your only spiritual modality. We are all grown folk and able to discern how to incorporate Hoodoo into what we already do. That said, the class discussion forums are just the place for us to discuss and work out collectively where this may not be so clear, which sets us apart from other more individualistic Western traditions. Here in our Facebook forums, we can draw upon this community to find our way.

If you are ready to learn about a great American folk practice that can give you tools to weather the conditions of life, I warmly invite you to join me!

Week One: Introduction & The Black Man, Part Two

    1. My personal story of how and why I went deeper with Hoodoo and how it fits with other practices
    2. An overview of the sixteen weeks’ lessons across both modules
    3. Presentation of the Black Man Road Opening Ritual

The primary purpose of the first week will be to introduce the class and its content. I will also discuss another segment of my own spiritual journey as regards Hoodoo and discuss how, for me, it is the “crossroads” practice that links all my disparate practices together, so students taking the class can begin to consider this for themselves (especially if they are considering rootwork as a profession).

The week’s lesson will end with the Road Opening Ritual to once again call the Black Man into your life to guide and empower much of what will be done in this class. It will be important for students to refer back to the lesson in “Working the Roots” to refamiliarize themselves with the Black Man if they have not been diligent with working with him.

  1. Week 2: Attaining Your Spirit-Ally
    1. Discussion and analysis of the Spirit-Ally ritual, the resources I drew from, and the effect this Ally will have on your rootwork
    2. How to “carry” your Spirit-Ally/Familiar, hoodoo-style, and some deeper discussion of the theology behind mojos as “descendants” of nkisi

Lesson Two goes straight away into the first significant spirit-conjuration of this course, of attaining one’s Spirit-Ally or Familiar. This lesson comes early in the course because this spirit will be important in the workings of subsequent lessons across both modules. I will discuss some of the history behind this spirit, why I chose it over others, and different ways the worker can interact with their Familiar for themselves and others.

  1. Week 9: Hoodoo Powders, Dirts, Hot Footing and Their Deployment
    1. A review of the philosophy behind usage of these materia for hoodoo
    2. Sympathetic magic as regards this lesson
    3. The Materia:
      1. Dirts
      2. Powders
  • The Hot Foot
  1. The Uncommon Mojo Hand

In week nine, we explore how dirts, powders and hot footing is used in hoodoo. Key concepts to enlighten your work, especially from Congo cosmology, will also be addressed. The core of this lesson is the Uncommon Mojo, which is another traditionalist innovation to give you an unique method of deployment using mojos to do baneful magic. Here in this lesson is one of the places where you participate as a human psychopomp in world-creation!

  1. Week 10: Influence, Coercion and Confusion
    1. Aaron’s hang-ups and concerns about this lesson
    2. The challenging logistics of these workings, and things to watch out for
      1. Working against the Will of another
      2. The original intent of these workings, as understood historically
  • The importance of the worker’s discipline to overcome the target’s Will
  1. Influencing
    1. The philosophy of this working
    2. The tools needed; the importance of smoke/incense vs. the Will
  2. Coercion
    1. The philosophy of this working and how it differs from Influence
    2. Working with the Black Man to assault the target’s Will through the Black Man Coercion Ritual
  3. Confusion
    1. The philosophy of this working and how it differs from Influence and Coercion
    2. Candle work and powders deployment as ideal methods
  4. Introduction of St. Dymphna as the “Saint of Confusion”
    1. My divination session with Dymphna and why she agreed to do this work
    2. Devotional practices to Dymphna
  • Suggested approaches to confusion work with the Saint

In week ten, we look at the traditional workings used to negatively affect a target’s mind and mental well-being with hoodoo. The three major categories of Influence, Coercion and Confusion are addressed, and students are introduced to the third spirit of this hoodoo arcana who I have had great success working with for mental/emotional issues. Unlike many saints, I discovered that Dymphna has a “dark side” to her spirit that is directly connected to her trauma at her father’s hands. We are not working with Dympha’s trauma, but rather her evolutionary understanding as a spirit who comprehends, in depth, the complexities of the human mind.

  1. Week 11: Jinxing, Crossing and Cursing
    1. The importance of self-care basics in baneful work—ala Healthcare Universal Precautions
      1. Dr. Aaron’s suggested precautions for consideration
    2. Definitions of Each Category
      1. Jinxes
      2. Crossing
  • Cursing
  1. Baneful Workings
    1. Goofer Dust, creation recipe and workings
    2. 3 Spades Curse
  • Enhancing the Curse of the Spirit-Ally (see working in Lesson 5)

Week eleven continues the decent into all things baneful, looking at the pillars of hard-hitting negative workings historic to hoodoo. The lesson starts with a discussion of precautionary measures, so the energies being unleashed do not rebound back on the worker. Then we explore the contours of each category, in preparation for suggested workings, one of which draws directly on working with the Spirit-Ally to leverage an unusual curse.

  1. Week 12: Hoodoo Death Magic
    1. The historical ethics and application of death magic
    2. The Materia of Death
      1. Graveyard dirts (refer to previous “Working the Roots” lesson)
      2. Dirt, Crawfish and Snake Dust
  • Ace of Spades Death Spell
  1. Dr. Aaron’s “Death Reversal” Spell

This week catalogues some of the hardest hitting spell work within the Hoodoo canon. I will also explain why Death Magic should be used sparingly and with great restraint. There are times in life where such workings are necessary, however, and workers need to know the mechanics of this crossed condition, whether they engage this magic or not. We also explore the varied tools used in death workings, depending on the worker’s intention of suffering for their target. Finally, I will share a unique working of my own that I have used when family and loved ones were spiritually attacked. I am not a pacifist and firmly believe that everyone has a right to defend themselves and those they love when they are attacked. This is no different for me in Hoodoo.

  1. Week 13: Dolls & Sympathetic Magic
    1. A brief historical overview of dolls used as spiritual tools, and how that connects to hoodoo
    2. Some insights about hoodoo’s approach to dolls
    3. The commitment of having a doll; the trust between us and our clients
    4. Rules of Engagement:
      1. Enlivening dolls
      2. Disposal of dolls
    5. The Ritual of Making & Enlivening a Doll

This week is all about doll magic and the sympathetic magic that goes along with it. Dolls have a long and deep history, and are a powerful way to reach people from a distance. We will also explore the commitment level required to work with dolls, and also how to properly and respectfully dispose of them, should a working require it.

  1. Week 14: Hoodoo Love and Sex Magic
    1. The complex maze of love/sex magic in hoodoo
      1. Remember the focus: preservation of family
      2. Dr. Aaron’s reservations about coercive “love” magic, and when coercive work is justified
    2. The Workings of Love
      1. Tying Down Someone’s Nature (Hoodoo Knot Spell)
      2. “Make It Last Forever” Love Ritual (a combination of reconciliation, love/sex and commitment workings)
  • Cut and Clear working
  1. The Black Walnut Bath

Week fourteen’s lesson is about as potent as death magic, for like the Song of Solomon says “love is strong as death; passion, fierce as the grave (Song of Solomon 8:6).” These are potent energies that get at the heart of who we are individually and in relationship. All this will be discussed and explored as it relates to a rootworker, and several workings of a positive and baneful nature will be showcased to students. This lesson covers the span of love from its beginning to its painful end, and everything in-between. The tools of this week’s work are designed to make sure that people can make it, spiritually, through the emotional rollercoaster love brings.

  1. Week 15: The First Spirit of the Grave & Advanced Boneyard Work
    1. Introduction of the First Spirit of the Boneyard
      1. The spirit’s lore and relevance to hoodoo
      2. How such a spirit will assist a rootworker
  • The importance of offerings and stabilizing the relationship
  1. The Pact
    1. Pre-pact preparation and workings
    2. Making the pact
  • The Novena-Elevation of the First Spirit
  1. Creation of the First Spirit Home Shrine
  1. First Spirit Workings
    1. The Unmaking Ritual (decommissioning the shrine)
    2. Poor Man’s Mirror Box Spell
  • “Die Hard” Reconciliation Spell

This penultimate lesson of our course introduces the final spirit to complete this arcana, the First Spirit of the Boneyard. While the Spirit-Ally can and does perform some baneful workings, the Boneyard Guardian works and attacks differently because it is a spirit of the dead with enormous power in the realm of the Dead. We will explore this spirit’s lore and importance for our work, how to conjure this spirit from the grave and into your home, and three sample workings. This spirit is akin to a “Spirit of Place,” or Genius Loci. It differs from the Genius Loci in that its power is drawn primarily from your chosen local cemetery. There is thus a discussion of what to do when one moves too far from this locale, so your practice adjusts to the changes of your life.

  1. Week 16: You’re A Rootworker – Now What?
    1. An overview of lessons learned
    2. Sage and professional advice about being a rootworker and what it means
    3. Where to go next with your studies: other branches of rootwork
    4. The importance of letting your spirits guide you!

Our final lesson explores some of the mechanics of now being a full-fledged rootworker, considerations for your practice and some suggested avenues for you to continue your studies as you get grounded in this methodology. My final word to you is to lean on and learn from the spirits you have conjured and who walk with you in your DNA to be your primary teachers. There may also be some cool surprises as the class comes to a close!

  1. Lesson 16.5: The Final Closing Ritual (this is a surprise lesson and therefore not to be posted publicly)

The final closing ritual has a two-fold purpose: one, to draw together the conjured spirits as one working unit to assist you in powering your rootwork and two, to “close” the road of this class so other roads meant for you will open, all with the Black Man’s help. This is also where I reveal that students can use the shrine-building ritual and technique to create shrines for all of the conjured spirits, when they sense the time is right.

  1. Lesson 16 and Three-Quarters: Dr. Aaron’s Hoodoo Benediction (also not to be posted; it will be a final blessing I give to the students to go forth and be empowered for the work, likely by audio file instead of video, so they can listen to it or play it aloud)

This mini-lesson concludes the class with a blessing from yours truly, when I impart some of my own energy and well-wishes to the students, for success in their rootworking endeavors!

Instructor Bio


What Former Students Have Said About Rev. Doc’s Teaching