Friday, December 18, 2009

From The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook: Red Fast Luck Oil

New Orleans is generally known as a place where things move at a leisurely pace. But sometimes you need to get things moving and moving fast. When folks in the Crescent City need to get their situation turned around, they use liberal doses of Red Fast Luck Oil. While some oils are meant to improve your financial situation and others are used to make you irresistible to potential lovers, Red Fast Luck Oil is an all-purpose ointment which is intended to bring you good fortune in both love and money – and quickly!

Red Fast Luck Oil begins with cinnamon oil. Cinnamon has long been used in magical and spiritual operations. The ancient Hebrews used cinnamon as one of the ingredients of their holy anointing oil, and the Egyptians used it in mummification. Its uses as an antibiotic and a culinary supplement made it a particularly treasured spice in medieval and Renaissance Europe: demand for cinnamon was one of the major factors behind the explorations that led to the Colonial era. In hoodoo cinnamon is believed to heat up magical operations and is said to draw wealth and inspire lust.

Wintergreen oil is also an important component of Red Fast Luck Oil. This must be added in very small quantities, as its active ingredient (methyl salicitate) is a powerful dermal and mucous membrane irritant. But only a little bit of this sweet sharp balsamic-smelling oil is required. Wintergreen is said to be a powerful money-drawing oil, and is also said to “heat up one’s nature” and improve both desire and performance in the bedroom arts. (That being said, do NOT put Red Fast Luck Oil on or near your genitals: the ensuing redness will happen fast, but you won’t feel at all lucky about it!)

And these two hot oils are counterbalanced by a third ingredient, oil of vanilla. Vanilla acts as a cooling and mellowing agent: a drop or two of vanilla can tame the bite of an overly spicy chili or an overly acidic tomato sauce. It is also believed to be an aphrodisiac: in 1762 German physician Bezaar Zimmerman wrote that “No fewer than 342 impotent men, by drinking vanilla decoctions, had changed into astonishing lovers of at least as many women,” while Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found the scent of vanilla was highly effective in increasing penile blood flow.

The red coloring is often created by synthetic dyes, but according to Catherine Yronwode the traditional coloring agent was alkanet root. Alkanet root is also known as “Dyer’s Bugloss” and is used to redden textiles, makeup and food. (It was once used to darken the color of inferior wines and to give wine corks an aged appearance). It also has magical uses for drawing luck and protecting money, so, as Yronwode says “it is a better colourant for Fast Luck than any synthetic dye could ever be.” But it is also a tricky dying agent: too little and you get Pink Fast Luck, while too much will turn your oil a muddy crimson-brown. If you are going to make your own, you are advised to add a few flecks of alkanet root per every half-ounce of oil and let it steep for a day or so until you get the desired shade of red. While it may bring you Fast Luck, its creation requires patience.

It also requires caution: both wintergreen and cinnamon oils can be corrosive on sensitive skin, so make sure you use enough carrier oil and test with a tiny amount to see if you find it irritating before putting on more. You will probably be better advised to use your Red Fast Luck Oil for anointing a mojo bag or using it in a floorwash to bring in a quick run of success to your business or your bedroom.