Hoodoo rootworker
Hoodoo rootworker
Cat Yronwode is the owner of Lucky Mojo, which sells Hoodoo items, including snakeskin and dragon's blood.
Owner(s): Cat and Nagasiva Yronwode

A young Cat Yronwode passed a store window with a bottle whose label showed a woman in a turban and bikini bowing to a Buddha statue. Intrigued, she went in.

"Right away I noticed I was the only white person and asked if it was okay for me to shop there," she recalled. "It wasn't only okay, I was welcomed."

Thus began Yronwode's love affair with an African-based system of spiritual practice called "Conjure" or "rootwork." Her interpretation of that she calls "Hoodoo." A broad definition would be the methods and rituals of many cultures using botanicals, talisman and amulets of power to influence the outcome of situation.

In 1994, Yronwode posted a web page on Hoodoo and soon was contacted by someone who wanted to buy several John the Conqueror roots. The roots are used for increasing male power and luck in gambling. Recognizing a business opportunity, Yronwode started The Lucky Mojo Curio company in 1996 with $5,000.

The company now has a dozen employees, wholesalers from Australia to Sweden, an online forum, weekly radio show, correspondence course and will bring in $1 million this year.

Both the online and the brick-and-mortar in Forestville, Calif., sell conjure, occult and magical supplies for ritual work used in a host of pagan practices and traditional religions around the world. One can find a shed snakeskin, dragon's blood, and a statue of the Virgin Mary on the shelves.

Most customers (29,000 in the store's database) are looking for help in the areas of court cases, spirituality, healing, obtaining blessings and money, "uncrossing" or removal of problems, protection, and revenge. But, "the number one area is always love," said Yronwode.

By Kitt Walsh, contributing writer @CNNMoney - Last updated December 09 2011: 11:12 AM ET
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