HIGH JOHN THE CONQUEROR ROOT magical properties – Often used in mojo bags, High John is a must for African American folk magic. For mastery, power, drawing luck, masculine energy, sexuality, money, strength and is sometimes used in domination spells. Also used to boost the energy of a potion by its inclusion. Wash hands with an infusion of High John before games of chance and gambling.
Ipomoea jalapa, also called Ipomoea purga, is a species of Ipomoea that is related to the morning glory and the sweet potato; its root is commonly referred to as High John the Conqueror or John the Conqueror root. The name bindweed or jalap root describes the plant in various regions. It smells good, like the dirt, but it’s a powerful laxative (do NOT ingest!) In folk magic, however, it has a different function: as a component of a mojo bag. Typically, it is employed in sexual spells of various kinds, and it is also thought to provide good luck when playing the slots. The dried root looks like a dark man’s “family jewels,” which may have contributed to its reputation as a sexually magical herb. Therefore, when the root is used as an amulet, it must be complete and undamaged. Pieces and chips of dried root are combined with oils and washes to create magical concoctions.
John the Conqueror is a legendary figure in Afro-American tradition. He is also known as High John de Conqueror, John, Jack, and many other names. In American folklore, particularly in the hoodoo school of folk magic, he is linked to the roots of Ipomoea purga, known as John the Conqueror root or John the Conqueroo, which are believed to possess magical properties. Two of Muddy Waters’ songs, “Mannish Boy” and “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” both feature references to him as Johnny Cocheroo. Both “Mannish Boy” and “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” feature the lyric “I guess I’ll go down/To old Kansas too/I’m going to bring back my second cousin/That little Johnny Conqueroo.”
John is rumored to have rode a giant crow named “Old Familiar” in one incarnation, while in another he is the son of the king of the Congo. While in the Americas, he became a slave. He was a slave, yet it couldn’t break his will. Even though he was the victim of numerous practical jokes during his life, he managed to live on in tradition as a reluctant folk hero, a mischievous character of sorts. Br’er Rabbit, from the Uncle Remus books by Joel Chandler Harris, is akin to High John the Conqueror in that they both triumph over their enemies. High John de Conquer” appears in Zora Neale Hurston’s collection of folktales, The Sanctified Church.