I came to the path of conjure due to playing guitar in a band with Trinidadian singer and hoodooist Earl Marlowe. When I first knew him, Earl looked to be in his early sixties (although he claimed to be 127).
He was a very picturesque character. His head was shaved and he regularly wore purple-tinted aviator sunglasses. Sometimes he would wear sharp Italian suits, other time colorful African robes.
During our association together, Earl told me many sorcery-related stories about the Caribbean and the American South (where he lived before settling in England). He also taught me much about the trade of the hoodoo doctor. This coupled with my own study of African and New World religion, proved invaluable as, after Earl died, many of his clients came to me asking for help.
At first I was reluctant, lacking confidence in my abilities. But then a friend of Earl, and old West Indian guy who ran a domino club, said to me, “Earl handed his mantle down to you. You might not know it, but he did.”
With that, he gave me a silver snake ring, telling me that Earl had entrusted it to him just before he left this world, with instructions that it be given to me.
After that, I spent two weeks in deep meditation, burning oils and incenses, and communing with the spirits.
The result was that I took the name Doktor Snake and became a professional witch doctor.
First published in Doktor Snake’s Voodoo Spellbook.