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Spiritual Merchants: Religion Magic & Commerce

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
They can be found along the side streets of many American cities: herb or candle shops catering to practitioners of Voodoo, hoodoo, Santería, and similar beliefs. Here one can purchase ritual items and raw materials for the fabrication of traditional charms, plus a variety of soaps, powders, and aromatic goods known in the trade as “spiritual products.” For those seeking h ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published May 31st 2001 by Univ Tennessee Press (first published April 2001)
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Amazing, well-researched book about botanicas, hoodoo drugstores, root workers and the spiritual products industry. Ms. Long has a lifelong passion for the subject and she is careful to document all the steps in her research (and to call out mistakes she has found in others' work).
The book is respectful and curious in tone, without being sensational or voyeuristic in any way. FASCINATING!

PS -- I stayed up late reading this on New Year's Day. Got up on January 2, turned on the radio and the dumb
Oct 09, 2015 Min rated it really liked it
Growing up in the South, some of these spiritual products were a common site to see. This book, helps to familiarize with the business of it all. Exploring, briefly, the history of Voodoo, Hoodoo, Obeah, and the influences that built the practices, the author enters into the world of the people that make these products on a larger scale.
First the author examines the previous hoodoo practice, as recorded in several oral history documents, and first hand accounts of freed slaves, Douglass, for ex
Jul 23, 2014 Onyx rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those interested in black history
Read this for American Black History Month. This is the kind of subject they don't teach in school...and probably won't. If you do an essay on it, you'll probably get an "A."
Now with the preceding hype aside, we can go into the review itself.
If this book could get seven stars, I would give it that. I respect the author's tenacity in researching this subject, considering the odds she faced as a white woman in the attempt of investigating the dying mystical practices among Afro-Americans...and sim
Bri Saussy
Apr 04, 2012 Bri Saussy rated it liked it
This is a great book for spiritual merchants-tarot readers, witches who charge, folks who light candles or create rituals for clients--anyone who is in the business of magic will appreciate this and enjoy the read. Long takes her readers through the history of Spiritual mercantilism focusing heavily on the old fashioned Conjure candle shop of early 20th century America and the newer Botanicas that have spring up in border states and all over California. Images of old labels and ad copy spice up ...more
Derek Fenner
Apr 17, 2012 Derek Fenner rated it really liked it
Shelves: esoteric
Fantastic book on the spiritual products industrial complex. Cat Yronwode comes off as a perfect purveyor. And I would love to meet Thomas 'Pop' Williams at Eye of the Cat in Columbia, SC.
May 06, 2012 Bkwyrm rated it really liked it
Shelves: cliff-would-like
REALLY useful, for anyone considering going into the occult-shop business, or selling anything related to New Age products. Just about the only text ON this subject, so we're lucky it's a good one.
Jul 13, 2009 Marisa rated it really liked it
The history of "commercialized" hoodoo in the US is a lot richer than what I had previously thought! A great hidden history.
Excellent, gave me several leads for sources of formulas.
Aug 10, 2009 Cayla added it
good, cool photo's
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