PBN Blues Series: “Stones in My Passway” by Robert Johnson

Ah yes, that good old-fashioned favorite has finally made its way to this series.  In most practitioner’s scope of service, there will inevitably arise the question of foot track magick. The laying of tricks and the fixing of soils is as old as the first time someone drew the image of their enemies on the bottom of their shoes. Salting the earth so nothing grows is the mundane cousin to dusting the ground where folks will walk.

Image: How-Soon Ngu

The foot, and the need to crush those under it, is primal. The use of their footprints to get to the enemy is well-known. There are varied applications of this, and it is up to the parties involved in the situation. Sprinkling powders, driving in objects, or burying fetishes in the ground are in many magickal practices, so be ready for anything no matter where you set up shop.

Quick and sloppy service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

Image: Bruce Emmerling
Image: Bruce Emmerling

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since court.

You tell SuGhee T. that this is a simple fix. You direct her to a set of novena candles and give her instructions on using them. You also sell her a small High John root to carry. You offer to dress the candles and sprinkle a bit of glitter and oil just on the top of the wax. She leaves and you go about your day.

 

Getting down to business for effective service

SuGhee T. walks into your shop and comes straight to the counter. She smiles at you and asks you how you are faring. She places her purse on the counter and removes a pack of photographs and slides it to you. She asks you to look at it and tell her what it all may mean.

You check the set of pictures and it tells a very revealing story. You ask their origin. SuGhee T. tells you these are prints from her surveillance camera on the side of her house. The photos show a man laying what appears to be a powdered substance on the porch steps of her home, and sprinkling it all the way to her car door. He then dusts the handle and walks backwards away from the yard turning at the last-minute.

SuGhee T. tells you that this man in the photographs is her cousin. They have been in dispute over an inheritance from their grandmother. She won the case in probate court, but ever since then, her affairs have been in chaos. Her dog died, she has been in two car accidents, and her house caught on fire. This has all occurred in the course of no more than 30 days since the court case.

After more conversation, you find out that things in her yard and home have gone missing. There was a day not too long ago when her window was open, even though she never leaves it open. Nothing of value was stolen, so she had forgotten about it. Upon reflection, she notes that several personal items have gone missing.

Adding to this disclosure, she tells you that her yard has been slowly dying near her tree. There is a bare spot where rain damaged the ground by flooding it. It is just outside her bedroom window. She remembers strange mounds in the earth and unusual stones. You grab your divination set and get to work.

Image: Joy Stamp
Image: Joy Stamp

You shake your head and take a moment for a deep intake of breath. In this moment, you have deduced that this is going to be an ongoing situation. You also know that it will take some serious work, so you let SuGhee T. know that this is not an overnight fix. Things are going to need she get her hands dirty. You also tell her she is going to have to re-purpose some of her kitchen tools.

The fact that the cousin has become so brazen speaks to his level of malevolence. The unexplained happenings are all tied into the timeline. The images are the final nail in the coffin of proof that buries any doubt about the source of this run of disasters.

Together, you devise a long series of workings to battle back this attack. The cousin has used a combination of magicks, contagion, probably sympathetic (according to your oracle), and conjure. So this will have to be fought on multiple fronts. You warn her not to tip her hand that she knows what he is doing. The soil around her house will have to be handled as well.

An order of spell components is placed for the missing items. Ancestor Work is your main plan of attack, as well as graveyard work. You are going to bring Grandma into this fight. She is also going to have to do some night time work of her own.

A friend of hers of the dangerous sort lies buried not far from her home. She decides to pay him a visit and ask for some assistance. She makes a quick search on her smartphone for the closest store that sells a good grade of rum and adds a few more items to her list.

Image: Todd Quackenbush
Image: Todd Quackenbush

Reversal work can get nasty. You give her a set of instructions for clearing herself, her home, and her property. She buys a railroad spike from you for her car and a few lodestones for her bag. Her kitchen will be her headquarters for the next few months, so she also buys a good mortar and pestle while she is there.

Later

SuGhee T. follows the plan and comes back to your shop within a month’s time. Her spirits are higher, and she has a new dog. The cousin is mysteriously no longer coming around, and actually has fallen quite ill. Such a shame when that happens, you say. You both share a look and your customer buys a few more things. She leaves your shop, satisfied and ready to refer more clients.

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