I know when I placed this image within the first contest page that a few people would be confused. I had hoped that perhaps some folks would have glanced at it and said, “That looks so familiar, I’ve seen them but what could they even be used for?” Honestly, I totally didn’t think it would have stumped people. Part of me is glad that it was a bit mysterious but a larger part of me was sad that so many people didn’t know what it was. I’ll explain why follow this logic.
Hoodoo is all about magic from whats around you. It its most basic form its about doing powerful magics from whatever you can find in your junk drawer. These nests are no exception. Often in the south people would have these nests every where. Any place high up you can find them where they live. Which is usually close to a large pond where spiders are plentiful (which is both their diet and requirement for breeding). As you can see from this image as well these nests are composed entirely from mud (Which drys and then becomes dirt!) in little cylindrical tubes that are stacked on top of one another. Because of this build often these are also called pipe organ wasps. The wasps themselves are large and black. They have very long legs they dangle when they fly and in general have little interest in things that aren’t spiders. They rarely sting anything not spiders unless they are heartily harassed so if you see one, leave it be and it will leave you be. The very unique thing about them is that they will always return to where they were born to place a nest near or on the nest that they were born in. Where I found this very large specimen there were dozens of these nests so I took one that looked used and abandoned where the others were fresher and being used. Now! Lets talk about how these nests are used in the hoodoo tradition.
These nests are used for quite a few varying things. In how I was taught they were mixed into powders (After powdering the nest themselves) to add extra zing to any controlling trick. Often these tricks are used as casting powders for foot track magic. Toss the powder across someones door step or into their “space” and the powders then sticks to them with their desired purpose. Throwing to make someone move is often the aim of these powders but it does have a lot of beneficial uses as well. Because of the nests high placement, often people will use the dirt for a success powder. Commanding folks to do business there so to speak. You can also add it to powders to keep lovers from cheating (Or in the traditional phrasing, “Running around”). In general, the nests are always powdered and then added too or used as a component of another powder.
A simple formula to use in a business setting would be:
1 part dirt dauber nest (powdered)
1 part cinnamon stick (powdered)
1 part Bay Laural (powdered)
Take this mixture and grind everything together normally within a mortar and pestle. Each pass recite your intentions over the powder. “To me, customers do their business. To me, customers spend their money to get what they want. To me, customers find what they need”. As this is a commanding powder, you can see the compelling nature of the spell. After you complete this operation, take the powder you have made and throw it (see that as, sprinkle it) any place high within the place of business. This will both attract customers, help them find what they need and shift the scale a bit to have them purchase what they find. Again this is a commanding powder, so apply your own ethics and morality to its use.