Introduction to Obeah – What is Obeah?


The world consists of both the spiritual realm and the physical realm, which is definitely a fact that is undeniable. In every form of culture, among different kinds of people including modern and ancient, there have been individuals who have managed to have the gift to explain or even tap into the metaphysical and spiritual forces. These are people who are known as the medicine men, shamans, rabbis, priests and amongst people of Africa, the Obeah men.

What is Obeah?

Obeah is a form of magic and sorcery practices derived from Central and West African traditions mixed up with Christian influences, although in much less degree than in Voodoo. It is practiced mostly in the Caribbean region and is considered as both white magic and black magic. It was brought to America by the Central African slaves and was in mild conflict with another form of folk magic, Myal, delivered by the slaves from West Africa. The peak of this conflict took place in the mid of the XIX century in the English colonies, as the side effect of fanaticism and spiritualism caused by the appearance of the comet combined with Christian millennialism, resulting in disorders and violence. Many Myal men were arrested and sent to prisons, and because the world survived despite the fate, their beliefs were weakened, putting Obeah in the place of power.

In general, Obeah means not only a form of magic but also physical objects like talismans or charms used for magic by the priests, the Obeah men. Contrary to common belief, which made Obeah fearsome and evil, the bad reputation is mostly overestimated. Like in many other forms of African-originated religious practices, Obeah contains also many forms of positive magic, like love spells, luck spells, and healing practices.

As in many other forms of folk magic, Obeah derives power from contacting spirits and deities (positive or negative) during rituals involving minerals, herbs, individual possessions, bodily fluids or animal parts, as well as chants or other verbal actions.

How Obeah is Practiced

Obeah might be called a spiritual practice by some, and a collection of beliefs by others.  No matter how one defines it, one thing is clear, this is a spiritual practice with much to teach those who are not native in the area where it began.  There are two sides to Obeah, the good side, and the dark side, just as there is in any magical practice.  By realizing what Obeah is and how to practice it, you may be able to use this folk magic’s tools in your own life to help you create a better world for yourself and others.

The Recognition of Duality

While many spiritual practices might have two sides or two ways which they are seen, Obeah is a faith that embraces both the dark and the light. Since you can not have one without the other, Obeah recognizes them both as being tools one can use in order to make a life change. When one is able to understand there may be dark forces in the world, they can actively seek to work against these forces. Instead of simply ignoring the bad, the Obeah practitioner can find ways to change it and to block it from causing harm in one’s life.

The Use of Talismans in Magical Workings

One of the most common practices in Obeah is the use of talismans. Once the energy of a spell is focused, then the practitioner can move the energy into this inanimate object to help direct the energy to change the situation. The talisman is used in a magical ritual, infused with the energy of intention and of the final desirable result. In this way, the charm can then be carried with the person as the spell is doing its work or it can be moved to a new location to help bring energy to the situation. For example, if you’re having troubles in the bedroom, you might create a talisman which you place under your pillow or on your nightstand to attract more lust or desire.

Talismans can also be used to remove things from your life, putting the unwanted energy into the talisman and then putting it far away from you can be very effective. Talismans and charms can also be used as jewelry to keep the intention of the spell close to the spell seeker’s heart, allowing the energy to follow wherever you might go.  Or you might give the talisman to someone else whom you want to attract to you.  The uses of talismans are endless and can certainly help you bring the goodness you want in your life.

Increasing Luck and Abundance

Within the practice of Obeah is the promotion of luck and of abundance.  Obeah followers believe they can do things to increase their luck and to make sure they have all the things they want in life.  They might perform rituals or dances to help increase their luck.  Another common way to enhance luck is to give offerings to the deities in order to show them you are worthy of their help and their blessings.  Luck can help a person improve their own life, giving them the responsibility to then take whatever actions they need to take in order to bring joy and happiness into their lives.

With Obeah practices, you can begin to draw love into your life or any other positive situation you like.  By focusing your energy and increasing your luck through charms and offerings, you can utilize the magic of the Obeah to help you bring more magic into your life.

Deities and Orishas in Obeah

If you are looking into using Obeah practices to help you with troubles in your life, you are one of many.  This folk magic and medicine can help you to bring luck, love, and prosperity into your life, even when you think there’s no hope.  At the top of this spiritual practice are the deities and the deities, watching over the people, though never directly interfering in their lives.  In this structure, the people are given the power to change their own lives and to see how they can make changes to their minds and actions.  As a result, they are responsible for their lives and the luck they make for themselves – or don’t.  To help you with the practice of Obeah, here are the deities you will want to honor in your spells.

A Name is Tricky

What you might notice when you read about the various deities in Obeah is that their spellings can change, depending on where you find them listed.  So, you may not find these spellings elsewhere, though the other name you find will be the same deity.  There are seven main deities in the Obeah practice.  Here they are, starting with the lower level deities.


Oshun is thought to be the keeper of the waters, of all of the waters in the world.  She is also one who is connected to the energy of love and would be the perfect deity to call on during a love spell.  As a deity, she is connected with money as well as sexuality and loves to be given offerings for her time, like honey or coins.


Yemaya has also taken on the name of the Virgin Mary in order to protect her from other faiths who wish her to be gone.  She is a mother figure, one who watches over women and all of the birth mysteries.  She is a deity that should be called on for fertility and for healing.


Yansa is the deity of power and might.  As the Goddess of Storms, she is a protector of sorts, though she can also be angry at times.  When you want to add power and might to your spells, this is a deity to make offerings to.


This deity is one of vengeance, one who is passionate and powerful.  This deity watches over the lightning in the world as well as the dance.  When a man has to look for forgiveness from a woman in a relationship, this is the deity to call upon.


Another warrior deity, that focuses on war and blood.  He is also the deity of tools and of industry, helping those in society to create and to fix things.  In a situation where healing is needed, Ogun is a deity to ask to be a part of the spell.


Eshu is one who watches over the gates of the world, guarding the space between worlds, being a messenger for the deities to the world.  This person is the one you would call on in order to send a message or a request to another deity.  Eshu will make sure the message arrives.


Obatala is considered to be the Creator, the one over all others who has pieces of each of the other deities inside of himself.  Practitioners of Obeah do not contact this god directly.

By knowing more about the deities in Obeah, you can make sure you are calling on the proper deity to help you, no matter the situation.  Learn about these deities and see which one seems most suited to aid your working.

Working with Obeah Spells

As a potent form of African folk magic, Obeah spells are one of the most powerful available to mankind, yet complex to cast. Obeah, despite some similarities to Voodoo and Santeria, is much less known, thus does not share their bad publicity. Obeah spells involve complex rituals and the use of certain materials that have a powerful influence on a spell. Spells are passed down through generations only by word of mouth. The spells are a closely guarded secret that Obeah practitioners use for the benefit of mankind. Obeah spells are considered a spiritual contract between the priest and the person who desires a spell to be cast.  They may involve the use of bodily fluids, herbs, personal possessions of the person on whom the spell is to be cast, as well as certain incantations. Very often, a dance is performed to invoke the spirits.

How Obeah Spells Work

The exact form of Obeah spells still remains a mystery to those not initiated, but some rules are well known to all and they are no different from all other African traditions of magic. Obeah spells cannot harm anyone, cause negative side effects in the long term or trick the subject of the spell. The one wanting a spell to be cast is responsible for the effects, as the spell caster is only a medium to the spiritual forces of the world and is not personally involved in any way (The same rules apply of course to curses and any other negative spells). Still, just like in the case of other magic systems involving the spiritual world, Obeah spells can sometimes work not as we expected, so we must be very careful what we are wishing for. The effects will be beneficial, but unless we make our wishes clear, we may still be a bit disappointed. An example of such surprises is a woman who wished for a truly loving companion. A week after the spell was cast, she found a dog. A good thing, to be sure, but not entirely what she wanted.

Obeah Spell to Remove Bad Luck

Removing bad luck in your life partly has to do with removing your belief that you have bad luck in the first place. Make a point of transcending any bad energy that can be sent your way.

Obeah Tree magic works well for breaking a streak of bad luck.  Trees are purifying agents that have the type of energy that grounds you.  This spell is a process spell which means that the magic is happening as you perform a specific action of gathering seven different twigs from different trees.

Ingredients for the Obeah Spell to Remove Bad Luck

  • Seven twigs
  • Bonfire

How to Cast the Spell to Remove Bad Luck

You go for a walk in the woods.  Be sure to pick up seven twigs from seven different trees.  A good approach is to pick up one willow, one oak, one chestnut, one maple, one yew, and one elder.  What trees you will be able to access will probably have something to do with where you live.

Take the twigs home and burn them in a fireplace or hearth.

As this happening say:

Bad Luck Be Broken

As these Words Are Spoken

Then take them to the nearest stream or body of moving water and sprinkle the ashes to get rid of bad influences forever.

Obeah and Wanga

In order to truly understand Obeah, you need to witness it in action.  Outside of that experience, describing Obeah doesn’t necessarily do it justice.  While it might seem like this is a strange spiritual practice, far away from anything you may have experienced growing up, this magic is a magic that can help you to bring joy and comfort into your life.  Folk magic connects with the simpler energies of life, helping to pull these energies and all of their aid into the universe in order to promote love, to heal wounds, and to cure the sick.  In many Obeah rituals, a practitioner may use a Wanga to focus their energy.  This is what a wanga can help you do.

What is a Wanga?

Though the word ‘wanga’ might be new to most people, it is not an unfamiliar item.  This item is a small packet that can be used as a magical charm.  It might contain different herbs and powders, or it might simply be empty.  The wanga might be filled up during a ritual, bought from an Obeah practitioner, or it might be made on one’s own at home.  This packet need not be complicated or too ornate as it is simply a reflection of the energy needed for the spell to work.  You can create a packet in any way, so long as you begin to infuse your energy into the packet, helping to make it unique to the situation and to the spell which you are trying to complete.  You can use a wanga for a variety of different purposes.

Bring Yourself Luck

For most people who follow Obeah, the wanga will be used for bringing good luck to a spell.  Though the spell itself may have been done perfectly, when the spell is not done with energy and with emotion, it might not have enough luck to support it.  With a wanga, you will be able to have a place where you can focus your energy and your intention.  This way, you can carry the packet with you wherever you go, bringing yourself luck in all of your decisions and actions.  Though the packet itself may not seem to be magickal, holding it close to your person, as in a pocket, will help to remind you of your spell and it will help it to continue to work.  These packets can also be placed in areas where you feel you need extra luck.

Healing the Sick

Many Obeah practitioners will use wangas to help heal the sick.  By putting healing energy into the packet, the packet can then be put with the sick person until they are well.  Or the packet can be infused with the disease and then thrown way to facilitate healing.  In any case, the packet can be used to draw sickness out of a person and then to help the person begin to heal more rapidly.  Choosing to use a wanga is quite common in Obeah healing practices.  Putting healing herbs in the packet can be useful, as can putting herbs or other offerings in the packet to help entice the help of a deity or an ancestor.  The more help which can be drawn to the person who is sick, the better their luck will be to heal wounds or infections.

With Obeah, a person can begin to utilize nature to help them direct energy and change their lives. Though it might seem as though the packet is just a small object with little power, that packet will be filled with your energy and that will certainly help to create a successful spell result.

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