Hoodoo can be an intimidating subject, even for people who've practiced witchcraft as long as I have. It's something I've never wanted to get too involved with because of how dark it's perceived to be. But since I've been slowly making the transition from Wiccan to plain old witch, reading this book seemed like a good move toward shaking that three-times-three mentality I learned as a kid.
Hoodoo For Beginners: Working Magic Spells in Rootwork and Conjure with Roots, Herbs, Candles, and Oils by Angelie Belard shattered a lot of long-held illusions and made hoodoo an accessible path, something I can see myself studying further. I was disappointed when I finished it because I wanted to really delve into hoodoo some more.
Honestly, I was a bit iffy about starting this one. I worry with books like these (especially anything you'd find in the "New Age" or "self-help" sections) because, too often, you end up spending most of the book reading about how great the author is and very little time taking in useful information. Hoodoo for Beginners was perfectly balanced, with anecdotes used to show the usefulness of the practice, rather than the ability of the author. I really appreciated that.
Hoodoo for Beginners is easy to read, easy to follow, and full of useful information. It's a must-have primer for anyone considering the path. I'd love to have a paperback copy of this one on my reference shelf and I'll be coming back to it as I find my feet because the spells are easy to follow and don't require ingredients I'd have to spend weeks chasing down. Even a beginner witch or hoodoo practitioner should have everything handy for these spells. It is a primer, though, so don't expect it to delve too deeply into any given subject.
As far as I know, this is Belard's first book, which is actually a little surprising, considering how well-written it is. (Sorry, but you know what I mean.) I hope she continues writing because I'd love to see what else she has to offer.