High John the Conqueror Root

Curio Lesson of the Day 07 11 2022

High John the Conqueror Root

Country of Origin: United States of America / African American History

High John the Conqueror was named after an enslaved human being named John. He was reported to have been captured by Colonialists somewhere between the 16th-19th century and brought against his will to the Americas. Some historians dispute the existence of John, however, his story is one of great inspiration for people who are being oppressed.

Even though John was captured against his will by wealthy slave owners, he was nobody’s victim. He bravely stood up to those who would try to marginalize his worth. Eventually, John broke free and escaped to the north as a free man. His work to restore his freedom was far from over, however, he had conquered his greatest fears.

The root named after him is used in African American Hoodoo as a means of overcoming great obstacles. You can find it powdered, chopped, or in a whole root form. Sprinkle the powder over a purple candle for successful ventures. You can use the chopped root form to burn in a sacred bonfire. Stay by the fire, absorb the atmosphere of the bonfire. This means feeling the gentle warmth on your skin, breathing in the night air, and feeling the earth beneath your feet. Use that visualization later when you are facing challenges and your work will be bolstered by success.

If you are an animist (a person who believes that natural or inanimate objects have a spirit) you may really enjoy using the whole root of this plant. Building a relationship with the root is the central focus of this work. Find a root with a unique shape and choose a name for it based on how you first saw it.

What is a Curio?

A curio is an object that is usually derived from nature. It can be something like a feather, stone, herb, or bone. Some curios are man made such as coins, doorknobs, and keys.


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