High John the Conqueror is a legendary folk hero from Afro-American traditions. He represents freedom, strength, sovereignty and cunning. Sacred to this hero is a root, which comes from a species of morning glory (Ipomoea), either Ipomoea jalapa or Ipomoea purga (sometimes the two are used synonymously). The root is round or egg-shaped, of a dark brown color and has a shriveled surface. Because of this it has been compared to the balls of dark-skinned men and is also a symbol of potency and power. The root plays an important role in different lines of Afro-American folk magic. Often greater value is placed on the shape of such root than on its size or weight. When used in spellwork, the root must be whole and sustained with libations of alcohol, anointed with oils or offered tobacco (as if you would be giving these offerings to the actual folk hero). It is believed that by rubbing the root, the spirit of High John the Conqueror can be contacted and petitioned for help in different matters concerning the struggle for a better life, love, wealth and good luck in gambling. Alternatively ground root parts are used for magical oils or in special incense blends.
The roots are offered here as charms wrapped in red cloth, together with Devil’s Shoestring root, coins (for attracting money), other herbs and load-stone (to enhance the spell). They can also be bought single or in pairs if you wish to make your own charms or make magical oils.
Above is a photo of all High John the Conqueror roots currently available (prices for single roots, root pairs and vials as given).
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