The Proper Collection of Graveyard Dirt

Graveyard dirt is essential to many spells and concoctions. However, you can’t just go grab some. At best, it won’t work, and at worst, you’ll have to deal with the ire of the spirits you stole from.

You may wish to choose your grave beforehand, or you can let the spirits guide you to the correct grave. 

If you choose your grave beforehand, do your research on the person who died and make sure that their life and death has something to do with your purpose. You aren’t just collecting dirt; you are offering to employ a spirit for your purposes.

You may wish to find the grave of a heroic soldier, police officer, or judge when you desire true justice, or your object is protection. If you desire terrible revenge, those who died violent deaths are usually the best to choose. If you are using your graveyard dirt for love (or protection), you can gather dirt from the grave of someone who loved you, or from an ancestor. And so on.

Before you enter the graveyard, pause and declare your intention to the spirits there, and tell them that you wish to treat them with honor and respect. Enter.

Find the grave of your choice. If it is dark, use a natural source of light.

Show your offerings to the intended spirit. Traditional offerings include silver-colored coins, tobacco, and liquor. If you knew the person and know specifically what they like, bring that. If you wish to be especially discreet, bring flowers to plant or bring a potted plant to place on the grave, and no one will think twice about you digging.

Tell the spirit what you need and why. Be brief, but don’t exclude important information that may convince the spirit to help you. Tell the spirit you will pay for the dirt and their help, and present the offerings. Ask them if they agree. Sit silently and wait for their permission.

When you have permission, thank them, and use a ritual knife to dig some dirt from their grave and put it in a bag. (if this is too difficult, you CAN consecrate a trowel, or use one you use in magical gardening.)

Don’t take sod. Once you’ve dug a small hole and emptied it, put your offerings into the hole as payment. If there was sod, replace it. If you were going to plant something here, plant it over the offerings.

Thank the spirit again and take your leave. Before leaving the graveyard, address the spirits again, thank them for letting you do your work, and ask that no one follow you. Spin around three times to confuse any spirits attempting to follow. Once you exit the graveyard, spin around three more times. Before entering your home, spin around three times again.

You now have an extremely powerful ingredient.

Goofer Dust (Killing Powder)- from Spiritus Arcanum

Goofer Dust is a traditional Hoodoo formula which is designed for works of crossing and cursing, It is used in spells of vengeance, revenge, and those designed to kill an enemy.

Most commonly Goofer Dust is sprinkled with the left hand, upon a path where you know the target will walk. This is accompanied but curses against the target. Goofer Dust may also be used for dressing black figure candles named for your target. Any remnants of spell work for crossing your enemies should ideally be disposed of in a graveyard.

Making REAL Goofer Dust

You’ve all probably seen it in metaphysical stores: a little bottle of pale green, sparkly dust that someone has labeled “goofer.“ It probably looked something like this:

And someone has probably told you that goofer dust is good for cursing others, or for protection, and you thought you might try it.

Look at the ingredients label next time. What’s that? Yeah, it’s talc. It’s not gonna do you any good unless you apply it after a shower.

Here’s a recipe for how to make the real thing. Keep in mind there are NO SUBSTITUTES for ANYTHING IN THIS POST. 

You will need:

  • sulfur
  • salt
  • skin or head of a venomous snake, dried and ground
  • black pepper
  • graveyard dirt

Optional additives:

  • red pepper
  • ground bones
  • ground insects
  • sage
  • mullein
  • anvil dust

All you have to do once you have these ingredients is to mix them together in a container. You can then cast and scatter this dust. Cast it where your target will walk, or where they work, or where they will most definitely be. Be warned that it will affect anyone else who also uses that space.

Your target will develop a very serious, chronic illness that may result in death. Accordingly, be sure to cleanse yourself and your space after handling completed Goofer. (It wouldn’t hurt to wipe down the outside of the closed container after, either.) If you or anyone unintended falls ill, sprinkle salt in the corners of your house, and commence sweeping and washing. Be sure to ritually cleanse the unintended victim, preferably in a magical bath.

ABOUT SNAKE SKIN: It is important that you verify the species that your skin comes from. Many sellers of skin sheds and snake parts are well-intentioned, but cannot properly identify a snake species. Many distributors of snake sheds will also tear it up or grind it up for you, which means you can’t verity that it comes from the snake that you need. Find an online listing for a snake skin shed and contact your local herpetological society or university by email and ask them to identify which of your links has an actual (let’s say) rattlesnake skin. It’s very easy to do, and having the correct item is invaluable. Many non-venomous snakes have patterns that are intended to look just like the venomous ones.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: There is NO substitute for graveyard dirt. Collecting it is a process. Many suggest that a combination of herbs associated with sleep and death are a substitute for graveyard dust, but that is not true in the case of a Goofer recipe. You MUST have dirt from an actual grave, and you must collect it ritually, asking for permission from the spirit whose body is in the grave, and leaving offerings for the dead in payment for the dirt. It is a process that is not dangerous, but must be undertaken with care, out of respect for the spirits and to ensure that none of them follow you home. Before attempting to collect it, please read my post on the proper collection of graveyard dirt!