Dandelions and a Mojo Hand

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The dandelion's bright yellow blooms bring visions of sunny days and spring picnics and its white powder-puffs conjure memories of childhood wishes and hopeful dreams.

I just love them!!

Though considered a weed by most people, dandelions have many culinary, medicinal, and spiritual uses.  Dandelion is crammed full of Vitamins A & C and has more beta carotene than carrots!!  A diuretic, it is used to treat liver, kidney, and digestive problems and to improve skin health.  The white sap in the stems can be used to treat scrapes or bee stings.

All parts of the plant are edible and the flowers make a fabulous addition to a spring salad.  These flowers are slightly sweet and add vibrant color.  The leaves, which can be eaten raw or brewed in a tea, have a bitter taste that allows them to aid digestion.  The roots can be eaten raw or roasted as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute.

All parts of the dandelion, especially the seeds, are used for various magical purposes from divination, to communication with spirits, to bringing good luck. In hoodoo, however, it is the root that we are most concerned with.  Hey, there's a reason they call us rootworkers!

In hoodoo, the root of the dandelion is traditionally dried, chopped, and brewed into a tea.  It is said that if a person drinks this three times a week  they will have "true" or prophetic dreams.  In addition, this brew is said to increase the second sight or psychic awareness.

To grant a wish or bring good luck, one can carry the root on their person.  This can be as simple as carrying the dried root in your pocket -OR- for a little added oomph you can create a wish-granting or good luck mojo hand.

Wish Granting Mojo Hand

Dandelion Root
Mojo Beans - Five
Grain's of Paradise - Five
Small Piece of Parchment Paper
Five Strands of Your Hair
Green Flannel Bag
Holy Oil or Blessing Oil

Write your wish five times on the piece of parchment, each overlaying the previous. Turn the parchment a quarter and cross your wish by writing your full name five times, each overlaying the previous.  Wrap the whole dandelion root with your hair and then place them over your crossed name and wish.  Fold the parchment towards you over the root and hairs. Anoint with Holy Oil or Blessing Oil.

While reciting Psalms 40:5:
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. 
Place the package inside the green flannel bag.   Repeat the Psalm until it has been recited five times, while adding the Mojo Beans and Grains of Paradise.  In between, each recitation, talk to your mojo hand. Tell it what you are doing, why you are creating it, what you want it to do.  I find, like many rootworkers, that giving it a name helps you connect to it.  Mojo hands are living things with power.  Giving it a name helps the rootworker to really see their mojo hand as alive and vibrant.

Then holding your mojo hand, say a prayer for the wish you want to be granted and sew it shut.

Now, you need to cleanse it, breath life into it, and then feed it.

First, run your mojo hand through incense smoke (I use frankincense and myrrh) and sprinkle it with salt water to cleanse it.  Hold it over a candle flame (not in it) to ignite its power. A fellow rootworker and friend calls this "getting its mojo cookin." I would use a green candle for this particular hand.

Next, to breath life into it.  Holding your mojo hand in your left hand call out to it three times, by name.  Tell it that it's time to wake up and get to work.  Then pat it three times as if trying to wake it up from sleep.  Now, you will literally breathe life into it.  Holding your mojo hand take a deep breath and exhale sharply through pursed lips onto it.  Do this three times.  Your mojo is awake and ready to go to work.  Say Hello!!

Finally, you just need to feed it.  A conditioning oil relevant to your purpose is used for this.  For this mojo hand, we use Holy Oil or Blessing Oil.  Place five drops of oil on the bag.  Repeat this about once a week.  Remember, just like you, your mojo hand needs to eat.  You must keep feeding it for as long as it is needed.

Now, keep your mojo hidden in your pocket and out of sight at all times.

As a final thought, dandelion roots can be real bothersome to harvest.  I have been known to curse and shake my fists at the air during this process.  If you are a first timer, here's a helpful link to make it much easier for you.  Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots


A Hoppin' John New Year

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's almost a new year and I'm back.  I would apologize for the long absence, however, I was focusing on bringing my husband to the U.S. from western Canada.  I cannot be sorry for that. :)

I did make it back before the new year and that should count for something, right?


Now, let's talk about Hoppin' John.  If you grew up in the South, like I did, I am sure you are familiar with the custom of eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day. My Canadian Celt of a husband thought I was joking when I started talking about preparing this meal. "Isn't black-eyed peas a band?  And what  in the world are collard greens?"  Much to my surprise, he is not the only one who seems to be somewhat in the dark.  Many, many of my southern friends and family seem to have no idea why this meal is consumed, outside of it having become a cultural/social holiday norm.  Year after year they prepare and partake with no thought as to why.  

The first historical account of Hoppin' John appears in Frederick Law Olmsted's A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States written in 1856.  It is commonly believed that Hoppin' John is a combination of French and African culinary influence and superstitions.  During the early years of slavery, Southern plantation owners discovered that rice grew quiet well and could easily turn a profit.  As a result, slave traders brought over West Africans who were experience in the cultivation of rice beds. Soon they also began to import black-eyed peas from the same region.  With rice, black-eyed peas,  and strong memories of home, West African slaves began preparing Hoppin' John.     

The tradition of consuming black-eyed peas and greens is said to bring luck to the diner. Today, the peas represent coins or money, financial luck.  The greens being...well... green,  the color of money represent the same. Cornbread, representing gold, is often used to sop up the juices for extra luck.  Several variations of the tradition have developed over the years.  Some say that you should place a coin into the pot for good luck.  Some say that you should place a coin under each dish.  Others say that you should leave three peas on your plate for wealth, romance, and health.  Still others say that you should count the amount of peas in your serving to determine how lucky you will be in the coming year.   Our tradition is to use Hoppin' John as part of our ritual offering to Marie Laveau and High John the Conqueror along with petitions for the coming year.  

 Marie Laveau's Hoppin' John

1 lb. Black-Eyed Peas
8 slices Bacon, cut into fourths
1 1/2 cups Onions, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
½cup bell pepper finely chopped
2 1/2 quarts water
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1/8 teaspoon Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 cups raw Rice

Soak black-eyed peas overnight in water. Fry bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Add 1 1/2 cups onions, and cook until the onions are transparent. Add 2 1/2 quarts water, bring to boil. Add garlic cloves, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Drain peas and add the boiling mixture. Barely simmer mixture, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hour. Add 2 cups raw rice. 
Please note that there are hundred's of variation on Hoppin' John.  Personally, I prefer adding cayenne pepper and insist on red onions.  Two reasons 1) I like it HOT! :) 2) Red is often associated with luck, fast luck in particular. A quick google search will help you find a recipe that appeals to you.  Just keep in mind that rice, peas, and pork are the staples. 

Wishing wealth, health, and prosperity from our house to yours!

Happy New Year!

Florida Water

Monday, September 12, 2011

A fellow root doctor recently shared an ARTICLE on facebook about a 147-year-old ship wreck. The ship was the Mary Celeste, and in the wreckage, preserved at the bottom of the ocean, researchers found a bottle of old cologne.  On the bottle was embossed, "Murray and Lanman, Florida Water, No. 69 Water Street, New York." This is the oldest known sample of Florida Water, to date. 

So, what is Florida Water? 

Florida Water, named for the legendary Fountain of Youth rumoured to be located in Florida, is a 19th Century comercial formula for toilet water.  It has heavy floral scents and a water-alcohol base. It is important to note that toilet waters are simply *weak* perfumes.  Where perfumes may contain 1 to 3 oz of oils per pint, toilet waters may contain 1 to 6 oz of oils per gallon, which is then diluted with water.

Currently, only two commerical suppliers still manufacture Florida Water, Lanman and Kemp and Two Girls.  Lanman and Kemp, once Murray and Lanman (pictured at left) is the most popular manufacturer used among hoodoos today.  Still, historically there were many commerical manufacturers for Florida Water, and no *true* way to make it.  A simple google search will supply one with an array of independent recipes to choose from, as well. 

How does one use Florida Water?

Florida Water can be used for home protection, sprinkled around the inside and outside of the house or used as a floor wash.  It can also be used to protect a person, sprinkled or dabbed on like the perfume it is.  Or, in the same fashion, Florida Water can be used to engender peace in a person's location.  For instance, if a person is subject to a hostile workplace, they simply dab on a little Florida Water to bring peace to their surroundings or sprinkle a little around a malicious coworker's work space.  While Florida Water can and is used in its pure from, many hoodoos like to *doctor* it a bit for its purpose.  For instance, if a root worker wishes to use Florida Water to bring peace when at home, they might add borage leaves and motherwort.

Florida Water can also be used in spiritual matters.  It can be used as a spiritual cleanser, added to a bath by itself or as part of a ritual bath recipe.  Also, Florida Water is used as an all-purpose altar offering.  Simply add a small amount to a dish of water and place it on your altar as an offering to whichever spirits you are working with.  For ancestral work, I use Kananga Water, but for all other spirit work, inlcuding working with Saints, Florida Water would be appropriate.   

Black Hens... eggs, feathers, feet.. Oh, and some blood...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Black Hens have a curious place in both conjure and Appalachian folk magic, and I first became interested in their use when I was in my pre-teens.  My grandmother and great aunt loved to tell stories about growing up deep in the hills of Appalachia.  One such story involved an old Appalachian medicine woman and a black hen.  My grandmother was in her early teens at the time, and she came down with her first case of Shingles.  At the time they lived far back in the mountains and a doctor was not readily available, nor would one have been a lot of help.  However, everyone, especially the children, knew about the old *witch* woman who lived even farther back, mainly because they were told to stay away from that part of the woods.  So naturally, my grandmother, being much like me, didn't.  She persuaded her younger sister, my aunt, into accompanying her back to the old woman's house.  She cried and begged and told my aunt that she would die of the pain, until finally she agreed to take her.  So they snuck off towards her house one day.  They knew roughly where it was located because my great-grandfather had warned her of it on trips out to check his moonshine still.  "Watch your step," he would tell her, "That witch woman lives out there. Even the animals there are hers"  So, my aunt and grandmother headed "out there."  They said it did not take them long to find the place.  It was only a few hundred yards off their trail.

My grandmother said she was most surprised by the fact that the woman looked "normal."  I think they expected her to be grotesque in some fashion, with a long nose, a hunch back, and unruly hair.  Instead, she just looked like an ordinary old woman.  However, my grandmother did note that the woman's house smelled "funny."  Both sweet and dirty at the same time, like berries and hot, dry dirt.  The old lady didn't really act surprised to see them.  Simply asked the girls why they had come to visit and looked my grandmother over.  My grandmother told me that the woman looked at her sores, her eyes, her throat, and then felt around her head, wrists, hands, and feet.  Then, she instructed the girls to wait three days and slaughter a black hen.  They were to pour the blood over my grandmother's sores and also sprinkle some around their property.   The old woman told the girls that after three days the sores would be gone, and my grandmother and aunt both swore that they were. 

I was so fascinated by this story when I was younger that I didn't think to ask "Why?"  Why had the woman instructed them to use the blood of a black hen?  My aunt told me that she was very specific about those two points.  It must be a hen, and it must be black.  I never thought to ask "How?"  How was this suppose to help?  I think that I never imagined that they would know the answers.  I think part of me found the story too strange to be factual.  Now I've that I've witnessed much stranger, I can look at the story with a sense of intrigue rather than shock.  So, I decided to ask my aunt, my grandmother having passed years ago, why?  Why did the old woman tell you to use black hen's blood.  My aunt laughed and said, "The old woman believed that your grandmother had been cursed." 

One use of black hens in southern conjure and appalachian folk magic is to undo tricks layed against a person or their property.  Because foot-track magic is very popular among African American derived traditions, its easy to see why hens would become a popular tool of protection for conjurers in rural areas.  Foot-track magic is preformed by either placing something; a powder, water, or the like, such as War Water, in the path of the target so that they step on it and are thereby *infected* through their feet, or by using the dirt from a person's foot-track or a related item, such as a sock,  in a working intended to harm the subject in some way.   The *infected* person much then cleanse or remove the trick that was layed inorder to remove the hex or prevent future damage. In rural areas, hens roaming a persons yard are very good at *cleaning* up these tricks.  Hens are more commonly chosen for this task then roosters because they tend to scratch more.  The hens scratch and peck and remove the trick that was laid from the targets property.

The black hen is often associated with "the black man" or "the devil," sometimes also known as "Old Scratch." This European derived devil is not the Satan of Christianity, but rather a Teutonic wood-spirit that can be both benevolent and malicious, and frequently plays the trickster.  In Central and Eastern Europe, this devil under varies names, including Krampus, accompanies St. Nicholas during his Christmas gift deliveries.  In addition, this devil, as "the black man" has a strong connection to crossroads were it is believed that a person can make a pact with him if he is willing.  I have heard of conjurers keeping a black cock feather on their altar in tribute to "the man," or "the black man."  Now, just as "the devil" can be both malicious and benevolent, so can the use of black hens be. 

Conjurers use black hen products, such as feet, eggs, and feathers for various purposes, both protective and harmful.  Black hen eggs can be used to remove negativity from a person by rolling the whole, uncooked egg over their body.  This egg absorbs the ngative energies and then can be disposed of in one of a number of ways; at a crossroads, in running water, or by breaking the egg at the base of a tree.  To cause harm with an black hen egg, it is used in a form of foot-track magic.  A hoodoo will drill a small hole in the top of the egg and add various ingredients, such as powders and herbs, that are relavent to their working.  Then, this egg would be thrown against the target's door or on their walkway so that they would step in the mess.

Black hen feathers can also be used for both malicious and benevolent purposes.  I have read that black hen feathers can be used to lay tricks against a target, whereas black cock feathers can be used to remove those tricks because the hen is submissive to the rooster.  However, it is appropriate to use hen feathers for *sweeping* or purifying a place or person in most situations.  A simple way of doing this is to make a whisk  from the feathers and sweep it over your clients body from head to feet or around your house.  At right is a very simple black hen feather whisk that my husband made recently.  You may even use a whole wing, if one is available to you.  In addition, black hen feathers can be burnt and their ashes added to purification powders, which can then be sprinkled around your property for cleansing.     

Chicken feet are often use as a protective talisman in Southern conjure.  They can be worn, carried, or placed in doorways and windows or on walkways and gates to symbolicly *scratch up* any negative work or energy intended for the owner or property.  They can be fixed as an active form of protection where they *scratch* back at the person who intended you harm.  Also, they are used in cleansing work much like the whisk. For this purpose, the worker would use the chicken foot to physically *scratch* themselves, their client, or the area, removing negativity and any tricks that have be laid. 

Whether your purpose is to protect or cause harm, if you live in a rural southern area black hens can be an easy, relatively cheap tool for your hoodoo arsenal.  Talk to local farmers, visit the local farmers market, or the local fair.  Most breeders and farmers will be politely accommidating with very few questions.  They'll assume you have one quirky reason or another for specifying black hen products, they may even have their own beliefs or ideas about these hens and others.   Listen to them. :) After all, it's the nature of Southerners to be superstitious, and supersitions often hold truths. :) 

Happy Workings!

St. Christopher - Patron Saint of Travelers

Thursday, July 7, 2011

For those of you who don't know, my husband is currently living in BC, Canada.  WAY OVER on the west coast... This Saturday my four-year-old son and I will be traveling to see him.  The trip includes seven and a half hours on planes, one way; hours and hours of traveling by car; and eventually a couple ferry rides.  I have made the trip before, but this will be my first time traveling with my son.  Therefore, I decided to have a few extra safety measures in place.  This trip I will be calling on the aid of Saint Christopher, Patron Saint of Travelers. 

Saint Christopher is generally depicted as a man, in mid-life, bearing a staff and wading across a river carrying a small child, the Christ child, on his shoulders. 

Legend has it that Saint Christopher was born Offerus(Offero), in the 3rd century, to Greek parents.  His parents having prayed and made offerings to their gods, Machmet and Apollo, on his behalf, Offerus grew tall and strong.  As he grew older he searched the heavens and Earth for a Lord who was worthy of his service.  After being continuously disappointed, he was convinced by a hermit to vow allegiance to Christ.  He was baptised and rechristened "Christopher," Christ-bearer.  Christopher would make no promises of fasting or praying, but agreed to use his great strength to safely transport others across the river.

One day, a small child came to the river asking to be carried across.  Much to Christopher's surprise, as they crossed the river the child became steadily heavier, until it was almost impossible for Christopher to carry him further.  When Christopher asked the child why he was so heavy, the child replied, "Because I carry the weight of the sins of the world."  Christopher was skeptical, so the child instructed him to place his staff in the ground by the river.  The next day it had turned into a beautiful palm which was bearing fruit.  This act enraged Decius, and Christopher was imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded.

To me, this has the smell of a Greek myth/story turned Christian conversion tool.  There is virtually no concrete evidence of Christopher's existance and it is generally agreed upon that he was added to Christian cannon sometime during the 12th century.  The Catholic church apparently came to the same conclusion and de-cannonized Christopher during the late 20th century, when many, including Brigid, were purged from the rank of the Saints. Still, Christopher retains a following among both Christians and conjurers, especially among Meixcan and Italian Catholics.  In Santeria, St. Christopher is assocaited with the orishna Aganyu, patron of travelers, walkers, drivers, aviators, and stevedorers. 

Christopher's Patronage:

Simple Protection Working:


Protection Master Candle
Red Altar Candle (Red is the color of martyrs and is also the color I use for protection, in general)
Protection Oil
Small Straight Pin
St. Christopher Medal (These have become a bit difficult to find in stores, but you can find them on Ebay, fairly cheap)


Begin by creating a protection petition candle using your Protection Master Candle and your red altar candle. First, using the small straight pin, carve Saint Christopher's name onto one side of the red candle, lengthwise.  Then, on the other side, carve your own name or the name of the person/persons you wish to protect.  Then, dress the candle with your protection oil.  Bring light to your Master Candle, charging it with an intent of general protection.  Next, transfer the light from your Master Candle to your petition candle, this time charging it with a more specific purpose, to protect you (or client) while you (they) travel.  Allow the candle to burn for a moment.  Then snuff it out and pull the melted wax up over the wick, locking the mojo inside. 

Next, you will set your petition candle in a candle holder and place you St. Christopher Medal in front of it.  I like to place the candle inside the cord/chain, that way the necklace forms a circle around it.  Light your petition candle and tell St. Christopher your petition.  This can sound much like a prayer. For this particular working, I asked that St. Christopher provide safe travel for myself and anyone traveling with me, including my son and husband.  Remember that you must promise an offering that will be given when the petition has been granted.  For this petition, I have promised to publish a public "Thank You" to the Saint, when my son and I have returned home safely.   

Psalm 91 - For Protection Against Enemies

Monday, July 4, 2011

It is common practice within hoodoo to utilize the book of Psalms for various purposes; for protection, health, to reconcile relationships, increase fertility, provide safe travel, and more.  A great number of hoodoo practitioners are Christian, so it should be no surprise that these verses found their way into hoodoo practices.  However, the book of Psalms can be a very powerful tool for all hoodoos.  Its usefulness does not have to be limited to Christian practioners.  To ignore this tool based on Christian symbolism is to limit your own practice, in my opinion.

Still some occult and magical practitioners are hesitant.  Some have asked me, "How do you work with the Saints and the Psalms?  You aren't Christian."  In regards to the Psalms, for me, the answer is simple.  The same way I work with any spell.  Essentially, the Psalms are words like any spell.  Their effectiveness depends on the practitioner and the meaning and energy they put into them.  So, if they are just words, why use them?  Why not use some other, non-Abrahamic, verse?  Well, the amazing thing about the Psalms is that they are words in which millions and millions of people have put energy and meaning into over hundreds of years. They have become, in essence, an extremely powerful egregore.  When you recite the words of Psalm 91 for protection you are activating a powerful thoughtform contructed by the thoughts and prayers of millions and millions of people.     

So, when I am "praying," or reciting, each psalm, the *Lord's* or *Almighty Father's* and so on are not, for my purposes, the Abrahamic God.  For me, I am simply calling on the protective thoughtform, the protective energy attatched to these words.  Again, the words only have meaning if you give them a purpose.  If I recited the same words without purpose, I might was well be reading the newspaper.  You cannot call upon the egegore or energies without willful intent. 

Now, let's look at one way to use the Psalms in our practice, for protection from enemies.

Psalm 91 (KJV)

1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
 9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


A Simple Protection Working:


Protection Bath Crystals
Psalms 91


This is a very simple working, and just one example regarding the use of psalms.  The Psalms can also be used in candle magic, with poppets, with spell bottles, and more. For this working, simply, dissolve the bath crystals in a hot bath.  Then, get into the bath and take a handfull of the ritual bath water and pour it over your head while reciting Psalm 91.  Repeat this process a total of three times.  Each time you pour the water over your head recite the psalm.  Remember that it is important that you recite the psalm with purpose. It is not enough to just say the words.  You must say them with intent, calling upon the energies to protect and shelter you.  Between each pouring take a few moments to think about what it is you want.  Why do you need protection? Is someone causing you problems at work? At home?  What is the nature of the protection you need?  With each pouring envision yourself being covered in the protective energies of both the mixture and the psalm.   

Now you, yourself, are protected.  However, depending on the nature of the danger, additional workings may be needed to protect your home and any others. 

War Water

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

War Water, also known as Iron Water and Mars Water, is not native to hoodoo practices. Most likely, it is a European influence, as its name and purpose are derived from the Roman god of war, Mars. However, despite the fact that is it not historically traditional to hoodoo, War Water has earned such a prominate place in modern conjure it is worth talking about. 

What is War Water?

Essentially, War Water is rust iron suspended in water.  In its most basic form it is water in which cut iron has been allowed to oxidize and rust.  The water and iron used depends on both the purpose of the concoction and the conjurer preparing it.  To some conjurers the type of water does not matter, others will insist that it is necessary that you use thunderstorm water for the best results.  Still others will insist on running water as the base, specifically water that runs in a direction away from you and your home.  As for the iron used, some recipes call for cut nails, some coffin nails, and others railway spikes, depending on the purpose. 

After War Water sits for a while and the iron oxidizes, it is strained.  At this time, other ingredients may be added to the mix.  The these ingredients might include additional iron, graveyard dirt, thorns, urine, rotting oak leaves, and/or spanish moss.

Spanish Moss (seen at right) is a flowering plant that grows on trees in the South. It has become a common additive in War Water. It rots well in water giving the concoction a putrid or *swampy*smell and also a nice black color, which some prefer.

The following is pure spectulation on my part, but I personally believe that the spanish moss is a crossover from Tar Water.  Tar Water is made from bog water or swamp water and contains creosote and spanish moss.  It is traditional in conjure, and often contains nails and such, as well.  Zora Neale Hurston uses the words "Tar Water" and "War Water" interchangeably in "Mules and Men", and I believe over time the two recipes became intermingled.  However, War Water is *not* traditional hoodoo, while Tar Water is.  Furthermore, War (Mars) Water, in my opinion, should be red due to its connection with the Roman god Mars and iron. 

How is War Water used?

Unlike many gods of war, such as Ares, who is a primarily destructive and destabalizing force, Mars is military force meant to bring about peace.  Like its namesake, War Water, is an offensive tool meant to bring peace back into ones life by causing discord in another's.  Essentially, War Water's primary purpose is hostile foot track magic. 

Most accounts call for War Water to be contained in a glass jar, which would be thrown onto an enemies porch or against their door, breaking, and leaving a sharp dirty mess for them to step in.  The trick would cause dicord and stife for the person or family within and eventually drive the enemy away.  However, if breaking a glass jar on someone's door step does not seem feasible to you, it is not a necessity.  In a excerpt from Harry Middleton Hyatt's "Hoodoo - Conjuration - Witchcraft - Rootwork," one rootworker interviewed talks about an alternative way to lay down this trick:

War Water to Run Off an Enemy:

(Well, go ahead.)
You go to the drug store and you ask for war dust.
(You go to the drug store and.)
You go to the drug store and ask for war powder.
(What color would that be?)
And dey goin' give you a brown powder.
(What kind?)
A brown powder. He goin' give you a brown powder.
(Yes.) [Meaning - continue, go on.]

And then you'll turn back around and ask him for that war water. That's to
make you get out right now - get away from around 'em.
(I see. Well, now how would they use that war water to get you out of the

How would they nuse [use] it? They'll come by like they come to visit you -
just like some of your friends, [not] like your relatives - but supposed to be close
friends of you. They'll get into your house. When they get into your home, they
going to start and they going to throw it from your steps. You ain't going to never
see 'em because you don't have no idea of that. They'll put it in through the steps
and when they get into the house they'll just drop it down in there, but still an' all
you ain't afraid of just a little water whatmight be spilt from upstairs or somewhere
down. But it's a little vial about that long.

(And they call it war water?)
War water.

(And what will it do to you?)
It will run you away from there - you won't stay there at all.
(I see. All right.)

All you do - it's only a little simple thing, you see. You can take and go
to the drug store and ask the drug store man - it's the drug store they call the
Crackerjack Drug Store. You can't get those things without you get it out the
Crackerjack Drug Store. You see, when you get it out of the Crackerjack Drug
Store, you got to have somebody to get it what's been dealing with the hoodoo.

(I see.)
And they'll get it for you.
(I couldn't go down and buy it there?)
No, sir. You have to get it from someone what's been dealing with them.
(I see.) And they'll get it for you, everything what they would get. You see
ah cain't half tell you some of the things 'cause it'd take me some time to set here
and start to [laughs].

[New Orleans, LA; First Informant in New Orleans; a woman, Informant #780. Volume 2, pg. 1625]


According to this informant, it would be prefectly acceptable to simply pour the water out.  In addition, I read an account of another rootworker who placed their war water inside an empty coke can.  An in-law was causing constant problems for their daughter and they wished to be rid of this person, so they paid them a visit.  When they got out of their car at the person's residence, they began pouring the water out like it was old coke.  They poured it right up to and across the person's door step.  They went inside, had a cup of coffee with the person, and then left.  Soon after those within the house began to quarrel and the offending person moved out and left the family, bringing peace back to the rootworker's daughter. 

Hey, rootworkers are nothing if not innovative! :)