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Mojos, Hands, & Jack-balls

Mojo (pronounced /ˈmoʊdʒoʊ/)

Mojos, sometimes also called "hands" (especially those used for gambling), stem from the Hatian Vodou tradition of gris-gris. They are bags often made of flannel with a drawstring closure or sewn shut, filled with various prepared sympathetic objects, powers, and/or oils, botanical, zoological, and/or mineral curios, petition papers, and the like, placing items in proper order, correctly "dressing" or "feeding" the mojo, often involving incantations, blessings and/or consecrations during the process, all depending on the mojos intended use. Mojos are often worn or used as an amulet or talisman typically worn under clothing, or for the physical delivery of a bit of spellwork, perhaps buried in their yard or at a crossroads.

Jack balls, also known as luck balls, are similar to and less common than mojos; essentially a small collection of items tightly wrapped usually in yarn, which can also be used as a divination device as a sort of pendulum. The items often include (and may only consist of) a 'High John the Conqueror' root, "Jack" being a common nickname for those named "John".

Both invariably require some item of the intended owner or recipients to be included, usually hair. They often include a handwritten signature, a statement of intent, and/or a seal or pentacle from the various medieval Grimoires. When used as a worn talisman or amulet, it is usually somewhere next to the skin hidden from sight although very few simple ones may be simply kept in a pocket. Letting others touch your mojo or jack is often bad, they’re "killing" it or "stealing your luck". You don't want to "lose your mojo", as it were.

They also usually require being "fed" on a regular bases with whiskey (especially those regarded as being alive) or "re-dressed" as needed with any number of possible substances (often also whiskey) depending on its purpose if it's to be used more than once. Alcohol was known in Classical Latin as "aqua vitae", or "water of life". It is, in fact, a by-product of living organisms, the same sort used to make breads and cheeses among other things, while the grains used in its production have obvious symbolism to agricultural cultures.

Preparing them correctly can be difficult. It takes a bit of time, and a lot of work. If you simply toss a few things into a bag or tie them up you wind up with nothing more than a bag full of useless curios, or a cat's toy.

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