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I was born Catherine Manfredi on May 12th, 1947, in San Francisco, California, to bohemian/academic parents, a German-Jewish immigrant book scout named Lilo Erlanger and an Italian-American abstract expressionist artist named Joseph (Fred) Manfredi. That makes me a Taurus with Gemini rising and the moon in Aquarius. I have Uranus at the Ascendant and Venus conjunct Mars in Aries.

In the 1950s, my parents divorced and my father moved to Sacramento, where he became an oil-field cartographer for Standard Oil. I was raised in Berkeley, where my mother was a library student and later a librarian and my step-father, Bill Glozer, was first a pastry chef and later ran an antiquarian book store with my mother. I spent a couple of years in Santa Monica when my mother worked at the Department of Special Collections at UCLA and then a year travelling through Europe with my folks. During the mid to late 1950s i became interested in folklore, ancient Egypt, sorcery, and popular music -- which for me meant rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and rock'n'roll up to around the time of Buddy Holly's death.

During the early 1960s i further formed my musical tastes, which have remained unvaried to this date: i like rural acoustic blues, jug bands, string bands, and early country music, as well as offshoots from these forms such as gospel quartets (both white and black), early New Orleans jazz, Cajun, Zydeco, Norteno, and some post-War electric blues. Anomalously, i am also very fond of Bing Crosby prior to 1934 and Hoagy Carmichael at any point in his life. In 1965 i went to Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois, as an early entrant, before completing High School -- but soon dropped out and hit the road with my boyfriend Tom Hall. During the latter half of the 1960s i travelled around the United States and lived at Tolstoy Peace Farm, a rural anarchist commune in Washington state. I joined the I.W.W.; i protested the war in Vietnam; i attended the Great Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park. I went to jail in Spokane for growing marijuana. I travelled to England to fulfil a dream in which i was told i should seek out John Lennon. I met my long-time partner Peter Paskin, a fellow blues music and natural history fanatic, and we adopted the made-up surname Yronwode, and since that time i have been known as cat yronwode. In 1969 Peter Yronwode and i left Berkeley and moved first to the little town of Forestville and then to Equitable Farm, an anarchist commune in Mendocino County, California. There we had a daughter named Cicely Yronwode, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when she was very young.

In 1971 Peter and i had another daughter, Althaea yronwode. We spent much of the 1970s raising goats and sheep in the Missouri Ozarks on an 80-acre commune called the Garden of Joy Blues, south of the tiny town of Birch Tree. We and our fellow communards were subsistence farmers, using 19th and early 20th century technology and home-schooling our children. There was no running water, and the only electrical appliance we used was a battery-operated cassette tape recorder, to play our precious compilations of rural acoustic blues. To supplement our home-grown garden produce, dairy products, and meats, the group of us earned money by hauling hay, hand spinning yarn from our flock of sheep, and making patchwork quilts for sale.

During this time, i started seriously pursuing a career as a freelance writer, beginning with articles on old-time crafts and farming techniques. I cast horoscopes to supplemen my own personal income, under the Durga-Shiva Auury Company name. I was also involved in the organization of viewings of old black-and-white films at the Cabool State Theater in Cabool, Missouri, and participated in regional meetings organized by those who were concerned with environmental issues. This blurry picture was taken in 1972 at the Garden of Joy Blues. I was 25 years old.

After Peter and i broke up, Althaea and i left the Garden of Joy Blues and lived at various sites in the boondocks off Highway 60 between Birch Tree and Mountain Grove, Missouri. It was during these years that i first began to write about popular culture for a living and to practice and write about a 19th century form of sacred sexuality called karezza. I still maintain my links to the people i knew during those days.

In 1980 i began to write a weekly column about comic books called Fit to Print, which continued through the mid-1990s. I edited comic strip reprints for Ken Pierce and comic book reprints for Kitchen Sink Press. In 1981 i wrote a book called "The Art of Will Eisner," about the works of a popular cartoonist. Eventually i wrote and edited a number of other titles of a similar sort for Kitchen Sink Press.

Through connections in the comics field i met Dean Mullaney and we were attracted to one another becuase of our mutual interest in comic books. For about 12 years -- from 1981 to 1993 -- Dean and i were partners and we ran a comic book and trading card publishing company called Eclipse Enterprises which had as its central mission the pioneering of creators' rights for comics writers and artists, similar to what creators enjoyed in the field of book publishing. The company was also known for pioneering the use of a fuller pallette of colours than mainstream comics employed at the time, and for introducing innovations in computer colouring as that technology developed. In 1983 i co-wrote a book on the history of female cartoonists called "Women and the Comics."

That same year i persuaded Dean to move with me back to my home state of California and i became Eclipse's editor-in-chief. The comic book company grew steadily, but in 1986 our house (and the entire town of Guerneville) was flooded and we lost almost everything we owned. We were married in 1987 and bought a house together in Forestville, near where Peter and i had briefly lived in 1969. The Eclipse office and warehouse grew to include 14 staff employees and about 200 freelance writers, artists, letterers, and colourists. This picture shows me at a comic book convention in 1986. I was 39 years old.

By the early 1990s Althaea was grown up and had gone off to college at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1993 Dean left me; in 1994, shortly after our divorce, Eclipse went bankrupt. As i write this, i am listening to a CD that replicates an LP i had back in the 1960s -- a collection of rural acoustic blues from Mississippi recorded on 78s during the 1920s. This is typical of my course through life, which displays many superficial changes and a modest number of accomplishments in the ever-unfolding present, but always seems to have been anchored in the time span between 1924 and 1938, somewhere in the rural central South. I have not altered my basic attitudes toward politics, science, religion, philosophy, metaphysics, sexuality, diet, music, or country living since i was an eccentric, bohemian child. Aside from changing my surname to yronwode, my life has been entirely devoid of sudden surprises; i have made no sudden conversions to charismatic Christianity, radical feminism, Scientology, vegetarianism, alcoholism, or the Republican Party. I have neither gained nor lost weight or height. In fact, except that i have aged physically, memorized a very great deal of trivial information, found steady employment, picked up a bit of self-confidence, and bought a house, you will see in me the very same person i was at 17, when i first left home. I support myself by writing, editing, graphic design, and typesetting in the fields of popular culture, comics, collectibles, magic spells, hoodoo, herb magic, and gardening. At right is the cover of a book i wrote in 1998 called "The California Gardener's Book of Lists."

From 1993 to 2007, i worked in the production department of Claypool Comics while simultaneously owning and and operating two online businesses, The Comics Warehouse (which closed in 2003 with the final sale of all Eclipse back-issue stock) and The Lucky Mojo Curio Co., an occult shop. In addition, i have created and am maintaining a web site called, a scholarly research archive for academic students of hoodoo rootwork. This picture, taken in 1998, shows me making a mojo bag in the Lucky Mojo spiritual supply store.

Althaea graduated from UC Berkeley in 1996 and from UCSF Medical School in 2002. She is now a surgeon in the San Francisco Bay Area. When i was 50, i performed a very serious love spell that led directly to my living in tantric partnership with tyagi nagasiva, whom i first met through the internet in 1994 and then physically in 1998. When he moved in, he brought with him his best friend, Eris, the Doggess of Discord, a beautiful black curly-coated Portuguese Water Dog.

Our home is Arkaotika, an 1875 Victorian farmhouse in Forestville, California, surrounded by a two-acre garden and orchard. The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. occult shop is located on the premises. Our chickens are two 2 black Minorca-Polish cross hens, a reddish Minorca-Polish-Sex-Link cross hen, a grey Minorca-Polish-Sex-Link cross hen, 2 brownish American Auracana hens, 2 silver-laced Wyandotte hens, and a silver-laced Wyandotte rooster. Our cat is Kitty Boy Floyd, a long-haired feral grey tabby. We drive an art car called the California Mojo Car, which is covered all over with lucky, magical, and religious statuary. In addition to vegetables and fruit trees, i raise lots of roses, especially old-fashioned ramblers and climbers. Our house is full of books, magazines, pamphlets, and comics. I also collect labels, advertising art of the pre WW II period, Catalin jewelry and other Catalin artifacts, Fiesta and other Homer Laughlin dinnerware lines, McCoy pottery, Roseville pottery, Mary Engelbreit chinaware, folkloric lucky amulets, Victorian and reproduction blown-glass Christmas tree ornaments, and linen-era postcards of roadside attractions. This picture, taken in 2000, shows me with my daughter Althaea.

As the 2000s began, nagasiva and i were married. The ceremony took place December 31st, 1999, through January 1st, 2000, at June's and Valerie's home in Milpitas, California, and it has its own Wedding Web Page where you can read the entire ceremony and see a series of pictures. As a result of our marriage and in order to signify "a changed relationship with the Cosmos" tyagi legally altered his name to nagasiva bryan w yronwode. This picture shows siva and me snuggling at our pre-nuptial party. His nieces Ariel and Beverly were the originators of my custom of neatly plaiting his beard in numerous small braids, which he wears as his everyday style. Because this party was a special event, i wove black ribbons into his beard and each braid terminates in a small silver jingle-bell. I am wearing a necklace of Thai penis amulets. I was 52 and he was 38 at the time.

In 2002 i published a new book, Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: a materia magica of African-American conjure. A few months later, our beloved Eris, to whom the book had been dedicated, died at the age of 14 1/2. One year after that, we acquired another Portuguese Water Dog, the darling Sophie, another black curly girl. My daughter and her husband David brought new happiness to us with the birth of their son Max in 2007 and daughter Samantha in 2009.

From 2010 through 2020 nagasiva and i put our energy into developing and sustaining The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. occult shop. As the company grew, we hired and trained employees to work in the shop, and they have done a remarkable job of keeping it running, both online and for walk-in trade. In 2003 i was asked to teach a course in hoodoo. The result, two years in the making, was a 432-page curriculum called The Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course. Published in the form of paper sheets and email lessons at first, by 2003 it had spawned an active email list, and in 2006, the entire course was printed and bound as a massive hardcover book. To date, more than 2,200 students have studied with me, and since 2005, i have also created and maintained a completely free hands-on apprenticeship program for my graduate students. In this three-week program, course graduates study with me, learning the history of hoodoo and how to make spiritual supplies.

In 2004, with the help of friends and colleagues, we started a weekly podcast, The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour. Through this radio show we have educated the general public in practical divination and magic, and have given thousands of free psychic readings to callers. In 2006 we added Missionary Independent Spiritual Church (MISC) to our home-based operations. Billed as "The Smallest Church in the World," MISC opened its doors and altars in 2007 as The Candle Ministry an online service for setting vigil lights with prayers for clients. 2008 was our busiest year. Three enormous new projects came into being with the help of dozens of colleagues and friends. First, Ms. Robin York kicked off the Hoodoo Heritage Festival, a yearly gathering of teachers, friends, and students. Then Lara Rivera inaugurated the Lucky Mojo Forum, which functions as a customer service desk for practitioners who want advice about using our shop's line of spiritual supplies. The Forum has become the home to successive waves of moderators and administrators who keep it going, answering dozens of questions daily, and providing a great magical space on the web. Finally, this year saw the founding of the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), another program initiated by Ms. Robin York. The AIRR private elist chat group was also started at that time. In 2009, drawing upon the skills and talents of our founding members, and spearheaded by Lara Rivera, AIRR made the transition from telephone conference calls and an elist to a full-fledged web site open to the the public with 100 pages of content.

In 2011, The Crystal Silence League popped out of obscurity and into the light. This prayer circle, founded around 1919 by Claude Alexander Conlin, had gone dark when Conlin passed away in the early 1950s. MISC paid for the development of an online Crystal Silence League web site, where people could post their prayers and send blessings to one another. In 2011 and 2012, MISC reprinted two of Claud Conlin's pamphlets on crystallomancy. In 2012 i became the first contractor to sign up as a reader at my friend Deacon Millett's brand-new psychic phone line, Hoodoo Psychics (HP), and i remain a regular member to this day. The HP membership also had its own private elist chat group, and i participated in that as well. 2012, with other aspects of our work in place, and two popular books ("Hoodoo Hernb and Root Magic" and "Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course" under our belts, siva and i decided to return full-time to publishing. Both of us have written books for the line, but we also take great pride in editing and publishing the metaphysical, magic, and spiritual books of our colleagues and friends in MISC, AIRR, and HP, as well as showcasing some of the wonderful older books on hoodoo from past decades, updated, restored, and revised for a new generation. By 2020, the Lucky Mojo Publishing Company had released 36 titles.

In 2016, due to changes in chat group technology, nagasiva and i decided to donate server space to the elists in which we participated. The HRCC Course student group, AIRR chat group, and HP chat group, with their tens of thousands of archived messages, were all transferred to hosting at the Lucky Mojo Forum that year. These members-only forums cannot be seen by the public, but we devote considerable time and resources to keep them running. Also in 2016 our weekly Hoodoo Rootwork Hour podcast, then 12 years old, grew, through the help of willing friends and talented colleagues, to become The LMC Radio Network, hosting a wide variety of shows on magic, metaphysics, and spirituality, all archived and accessibile through the Lucky Mojo Forum. In 2017 we suffered a set-back, as the MISC church burned to the ground, but to our eternal gratitude, a GoFundMe campaign raised enough money from fans, friends, and those who used the service, to rebuild the church and resume our candle ministry by 2018. One of the wonderful outcomes of our pause in church services was that MISC, along with a half-dozen other small churches, became part of the newly-formed Association of Independent Spiritual Churches (AISC). AISC then became responsible for the daily operation of the AIRR web site, which has grown to encompass more than 650 free informational pages on all aspects of fortune-telling, conjure, religion, and spirituality Finally, in 2019, after 12 years of organizing and presenting the annual MISC / AISC Hoodoo Heritage Festivals, and producing two wonderful books of lecture notes from these festivals, i decided to step back from hosting the shows. I gave away the tents, and never looked back -- opening the way for other members of AIRR to take on the job, and offering my services as a presenter and typesetter if there were to be further festivals.

As 2020 rolls around, our world is going through some rough times. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed our shop on a mail-order basis only. But there was alo a bright side for us: The decision not to hold a Hoodoo Heritage Festival in 2020 was prescient, for had we planned for a festival in May, as we always did, we would have been forced to cancel it and would have lost a lot of money. So, other than the difficulties caused by the pandemic, which are being shared by everyone on Earth, we are grateful and contented, enjoying the friendship of many and the acquaintanceship of many more. Look me up in Facebook if you want to follow my daily adventures, or join the Lucky Mojo Forum if you want to ask me questions about folk magic.

For more about me as a collector, you can rent or buy the film "Hunters and Gatherers," in which i am interviewed and in which i can be heard raving rather excitedly about "bringing order out of chaos." Contact:

Darrell Varga
Hunt and Gather Productions
P.O. Box 10575
998 Bloor St. West
Toronto, Ontario
M6H 4H9 Canada

A few years ago, a friend and i were discussing our "deep levels of being" for some reason or another. Out of this discussion i produced a diagrammatic view into my own self-perceived outer, middle, and deep levels of being. These "levels" are available for browsing, should you be so inclined.

go to cat's outer levels
go to cat's middle levels
go to cat's deep levels

I guess that's about all i have to say about myself. I am 5'3" tall, i weigh 110 lbs, and so forth and so on, but since you are reading this on the web, those particular details are not of much practical use to either of us.

Association-of-Independent-Readers-and-Root-Workers I am a member of AIRR: the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers

The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR) is a gathering of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide psychic readings and spiritual root doctoring services to the public. AIRR promotes quality service and ethical conduct by means of accreditation and evaluation of our members. Unlike commercial online psychic reader services, AIRR is a membership-supported organization that receives no fees or kickbacks for referrals.

I am a reader at Hoodoo Psychics: 1-888-4-HOODOO

Hoodoo Psychics is a telephone service of professional practitioners of African American folk magic, hoodoo, conjure, and rootwork who provide instant, on-demand psychic readings and spiritual rootwork consultation services to the public. No need to pre-schedule your call: just dial 1-888-4-HOODOO and the extension of your favourite reader. My extension is 1111. Follow Hoodoo Psychics on Facebook for updates and to see who is online now. All calls are $3.99 per minute by pre-authorized credit card.

Hoodoo Psychics


Search All Lucky Mojo and Affiliated Sites!
You can search our sites for a single word (like archaeoastronomy, hoodoo, conjure, or clitoris), an exact phrase contained within quote marks (like "love spells", "spiritual supplies", "occult shop", "gambling luck", "Lucky Mojo bag", or "guardian angel"), or a name within quote marks (like "Blind Willie McTell", "Black Hawk", "Hoyt's Cologne", or "Frank Stokes"):


copyright © 1995-2020 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.
Send your comments to: cat yronwode.

This is a personal web site for an YRONWODE family member.
However, most of my writing can be found at LUCKY MOJO,
a large domain that is organized into a number of interlinked web sites, each with its own distinctive theme and look.
Here are some of the LUCKY MOJO web sites you can visit:

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by cat yronwode: a materia magica of African-American conjure
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archive: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
The Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive: captured internet text files on occult and spiritual topics
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist

Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
EaRhEaD!'S Syd Barrett Lyrics Site: lyrics by the founder of the Pink Floyd Sound
The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
The Spirit Checklist: a 1940s newspaper comic book by Will Eisner, indexed by cat yronwode
Fit to Print: collected weekly columns about comics and pop culture by cat yronwode
Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards
Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards

The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.: spiritual supplies for hoodoo, magick, witchcraft, and conjure
Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course with cat yronwode: 52 weekly lessons by email
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and online shopping

catherine yronwode: the eclectic and eccentric author of many of the above web pages
nagasiva yronwode: tyaginator, nigris (333), nocTifer, lorax666, boboroshi, !
Liselotte Erlanger Glozer: illustrated articles on collectible vintage postcards
Jackie Payne: Shades of Blues: a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer

Lucky Mojo Site Map: the home page for the whole Lucky Mojo electron-pile
All the Pages: descriptive named links to about 1,000 top-level Lucky Mojo web pages
How to Contact Us: we welcome feedback and suggestions regarding maintenance of this site

Arcane Archive: thousands of archived Usenet posts on religion, magic, spell-casting, mysticism, and spirituality
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: psychic reading, conjure, and hoodoo root doctor services
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic, plus shopping
Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith; prayer-light services; the Smallest Church in the World
Mystic Tea Room: tea leaf reading, teacup divination, and a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Satan Service: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including ex-slave narratives & interviews
Tiger Tiger: prayer flags, singing bowls, beads, ritual religious statues, and altar tools from Thailand and Nepal
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective, plus shoppinng
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Yronwode Instituion: the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology


For free magic spells and information about how to cast them, as well as recipes for making your own magick oils, potions, and incenses, go to the Lucky Mojo Free Magic Spells Archive. The URL is and you will find hundreds of magic spells there, sorted by category, such as

-- plus many more magick spells -- and there is also a fast, easy-to-use search engine at the site.

Thanks for reading what i write.