In the African American Hoodoo Magical tradition, the black cat bone is a common lucky charm. It is a very effective charm that is used to attract good luck and protection. It is also used by witches to achieve invisibility, for rebirth after death and in love spells.
In Ancient Britain and Ireland, the black cat has always been a symbol of ill luck and good luck. It is said that if newly wedded couples found a black cat then it symbolizes prosperity in marriage. Sailors often carried black cats while sailing to avoid misfortune during their journey. In Scotland, having a black cat in your home symbolizes prosperity and brings luck to the home.
How can you get the black cat bone?
By all accounts, the black cat charm entered Hoodoo practice via the popular grimoire of Saint Cyprian. The ritual is as follows:
“Cook the body of a black cat in a boiling water with white seeds and wood from the willow until the meat is loosened from the bones. Strain the bones in a linen cloth and, in front of the mirror, place the bones, one by one in your mouth, until you find that you have the magic to make you become invisible. Keep the bone with the magic property and, if you want to go somewhere without being seen, place the bone in your mouth.”
How would you discover the special bone that contains all the magical efficacy of that particular cat?
There are different rituals that can be used to determine the right bone and prepare it before the cat is slaughtered. Also, the methods vary according to traditions. According to the Zora Neale Hurston’s in the book ” Mules and Men”, a fasting ritual is carried out before the actual capture of the animal. After the boiling of the cat’s corpse, the Hoodooist tastes each of the bone and then selects the first bone with a bitter taste.
Another method used to determine the magical bone is by using a mirror. Any bone that produces a dark reflection is considered to be the magical bone. Meanwhile, in the Sea Island Tradition, any bone that doesn’t create a reflection in the mirror is believed to be the magical bone.
Another method used is that all the bones are dumped into a river and any of the bones that float upstream and heads south (or north according to some authors) is taken to be the magical bone.
You can anoint this bone with a Van Van Oil and place it in your mojo bag along with other components. This charm can also be used to bring back a lost lover. The cat’s oil or fat got during this ritual is stored and used for anointing gambler’s charms.
Black Cat Bones in Contemporary Time:
Over the years, laws were placed on the indiscriminate killing of black cats to prevent the complete extinction of this species. For this reason, nowadays most Hoodoo supply stores sell items labeled as “black cat bones” but most often these are usually small bones taken from a chicken and dyed black. Also, instead of the black cat bones, the black cat fur is commonly used in magical practices.
The Black Cat Dust:
There was also the practice of killing a black cat to get its left front shoulder bone which is used to make the black cat dust portion. This dust is believed to bring good luck, protection and helps an individual in getting a job.