Monday, February 29, 2016

What is the difference between Tar Water and War Water~~~~

Dear Ms. Q,

"I've read some where about Tar water and about War Water are they the same?"   "I need something stronger than Peace water to keep bad stuff out of my home.  What can I do?"

“I hear folks talking about War Water and Tar Water are they the same or are they two different kinds of water?”


These two waters are constantly being mixed-up and sometimes mixed together,  in part because of Zora Neal’s Houston’s book  “Hoodoo in America,”  where she describes War Water as “Oil of Tar in water (filtered)” Oil of Tar is a thick distillate of creosote or burned pine resin (sometimes called Pine Tar) and it is carcinogenic and dangerous.  But it would be rare for her to mix the two up and some folk’s think it was an editorial mistake and not the authors and that she was referring to Tar Water.

But in her book “Of Mules and Men” she appears to use the words Tar and War water interchangeably, but some people still insist that the mix up was caused by the editors thinking Tar really meant War,  (much like the French word of fur  (vair) sounding liked the French word for glass (verre)  if Charles Perrault heard the story being told orally, which might explain how Cinderella got a glass slipper instead of a fur slipper).

Either way both Waters are used for cleansings and protection but each deals with a different psychic or metaphysical aspect---

Tar Water:  This is used this for space and personal cleansings, removal of negative thought- forms including haunts, golems, and psychic manifestations created by the power of the mind out of fear and extreme mental suggestion (this is in part described in Dion Fortune’s classic book “Psychic Defence”.)  

 Some people believe that if you think a house is haunted then ghosts will manifest but this is by suggestion and by the power of the -mind, the concept of thought forms have been discussed in Alexandra David-Neel’s book “Magic and Mystery in Tibet” and in the book “Conjuring up Philip” by Iris M. Owen and Margaret Sparrow.     Thought forms can also be created by powerful conjure if the person’s mind is strong enough.  Also any negative thoughts left over by extremely hostile people. Some people believe that thought forms were the real alleged "witches familiar".

War Water: This is used this to gain protection, this is an extremely aggressive forceful spiritual cleanser, to reverse a  curse and send it back to where it came from, as well as to place a curse, war water is a traditional and allegedly potent weapon during psychic warfare and witch/hoo-doo wars.  War Water needs to be kept refrigerated and carefully labeled.

Both of them are Poisonous and should be labeled as such, obviously do not consume and keep both away from pets and children.

But it appears that War Water maybe from more of a European origin and not from Hoodoo or folk magic.  Eventually through a mix-up or a mis-understand the two became as one although they are really separate. 

War Water (sometimes called Water of Mars or Mars Water) was originally created to treat Iron anemia although in modern times much better treatment is available.   So it would be obvious to ancient man if it keep sickness away it had to be a powerful magic.

The same was thought of with Tar Water which we have to give the Vikings credit for, the Vikings used pine tar to waterproof their ships, and also using tar water for medicinal and spiritual purposes.  Historically it was used to treat scurvy, skin ulcers, inflammatory distempers and nervous disorders, the Vikings have also used it for warding off spirits from their homes by placing a drop of tar water on the stoop of all doors leading to the outside, on all windowsills, and on the stoop of the chimney's fireplace door. This actually works best if no spirits have latched onto you, or else they'll stay confined inside the house.  Eventually the idea of cleansing oneself from any spirit attachment grew out of this idea.

In modern times, tar water has been used in witch craft and hoodoo for warding (as the Vikings have,) as well as for cleansing especially in the case of those targeted by curses and crossing spells or are haunted. In Santeria (especially the Santa Muerte cults) and in Hoodoo (and possibly Voodoo), tar water is used for the same applications as well as a substance to  aid in curses and cross work (in the same manner as goofer dust, hot foot powder or bend over powder).

Tar Water traditionally is made from bog water or swamp water that naturally contains creosote from decaying pine trees  and spanish moss.  It is traditional in Southern conjure, and often contains nails and other things as well, depending upon the practioner.   

Because in Zora Neale Hurston’s books the words "Tar Water" and "War Water"  are used interchangeably in "Mules and Men", and it’s believe over time the two recipes became intermingled.  However, War Water is Not traditional hoodoo, while Tar Water is. 

War Water, as I understand it, traditionally should be red not black, due to its connection with the Roman god Mars and iron and since it is more from a European tradition.

It’s possible that the use of Spanish moss is a crossover from Tar Water into War Water in the belief that it increased its cursing potency but that’s speculation on my part because of what Mrs. Washington who was from New Orleans, and Mrs. Rose who was from South Carolina told me about the mixing of Tar water.

They both told me that where there was some sort of ulcers or open sores that had difficulty in healing on the skin a mild form of Tar Water would be used and seemed to be effacious in healing them.  

Interestingly, in 1878 a brand of soap came out called “Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap” and I remember Granny having Grandpa bathe with this soap when he had a rash that would not heal and it cleared up.  Mrs. Washington would take this soap and shave some of it into a ritual bath whenever she felt some, as she called it, “Haints glued to me”, aka psychic sludge.   So obviously this became a much safer way of doing this kind of bath. This soup is still being made today and can be found on the internet.

Now a day’s tar water is strictly used for cleansing, especially to get rid of any “ghosts or haints”, as its powers for warding and crossing is not completely known.

How is Tar Water used?   Practitioners tend to use tar water as a wash, mopping the 4 corners of their homes with it, washing down their doors/stoops/patios and even mixing it with holy water to dress the 4 corners of their front and back yards.  Although some will use it as a personal wash to remove any psychic sludge from one’s life but use only a tiny bit like a capful in your bath water.

To make Tar Water:

There are several ways to make Tar Water---

The standard traditional way is to soak burnt pine tar (from a pine tree) in water for several days in a bucket of tap water or in the old days well water, then slowly filter off the water into a master bottle leaving the tar in the bucket (you might as well forget using that bucket for anything else), they also use to use Road Tar as that kind of tar was used to make roads.

Now a days and I have to confess I did it recently (I’m a bad, bad girl), there was some work done nearby on a street, which this tar was put down on a road as a “slurry”  to preserve the road,  when they took their lunch break I picked up a few pieces of rocks that had the slurry on it and put it into a plastic zip lock food bag, ya never known when it will come in handy. (By the way it pays to carry small envelopes and plastic zip lock bags and a felt tip pen to label them because you never know what you'll find that comes in handy)

Now to make it beyond just pine or road tar and water, traditionally the water should come from a swamp or bog, which is why Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Rose would get jugs of water from some relatives who would visit and these jugs had water from the Mississippi River in it.   But since real bog/swamp water would have things rotting in it, the addition of Spanish Moss helped

So you’d be looking at a Traditional Formula as being made with:
 Pine or Road Tar
Swamp or bog water
And Spanish Moss
For further protection they would add Holy Water.

Now to ramp it up some practitioners would add coffin nails and a pinch of sulfur

Some folks would use a product called Creolina which is used by commercial dry cleaners and it is a coal tar deodorant cleaner. Now you have to be very careful with this stuff as it will burn your skin and it smells awful.   But people have used it for cleansing and protecting their home and property and claim it works.  

Other folks would use Turpentine instead as it is more readily available, but again it’s caustic and poisonous.   

A slightly more modern formula would be:
Spanish Moss
Holy Water
and if you have one in your area bog or swamp water, if not then water from a cemetery (where they have those lawn pipes so you can draw water for the jars to hold cut flowers) or stagnate water and considering how much chemicals a water treatment plant puts into our drinking water that is stagnate or dead water.  You can also add sulfur and coffin nails for extra added strength.

On the amounts I'm not sure because I've seen both Granny and some of the ladies vary it depending upon the size of the jar, and be sure to seal the jar because it will get pretty smelly.   But you would only need to pour off from your Master Bottle, a tiny amount to put into your mop water, or just a capful  (the size of a small soda bottle cap) into your ritual bath water.  Be sure to filter it as you pour, what is trapped in the filter can be put back into the Master Bottle and you can add more water to it.

Then Mrs. Washington and my Granny came across Pine Tar soap, much safer to use especially in personal cleansings to get “haints off of you”.

So if you’re going to use this as a personal cleansing, put only a small capful into your bath water and wash,   Set up candles as you would in Uncrossing spells on either end of the tub.   After you bathe, air dry and let the water drain down, the “haints” will go with it out to the sea as they say.

But if you are fearful of having any carcinogenic liquid on you then the use of Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap is a safe substitute.   For that shave off a little bit of the Pine Tar Soap into hot tap water (water from your faucet)  so it will dissolve, and add some church blessed Holy water to it then put a small amount into your ritual bath water and keep the rest in a master bottle, refrigerate to prevent mold.   If mold forms toss out and make fresh.

In clearing out the psychic sludge out of your home and off your property, then make a solution with turpentine, swamp/bog/cemetery water or tap water, Spanish moss, some old rusty nails or coffin nails, and a pinch of either gunpowder or Sulfur (Sulfur is much easier to get from a metaphysical store), let this stuff “marinate” for 2 weeks, shake it up if necessary, this give the moss a chance to rot, trust me this stuff will smell gross, then add church blessed Holy water.

This will be your “Master Bottle”  from that filter out a little as you pour it (put what you filter out back into the Master Bottle) and only pour just a small amount into a clean bucket of mop water, you can use pine-sol (regular) in the mop water as well. 

Be sure to mop all four corners of your kitchen, bath, because psychic sludge loves to hide in dark corners, take a clean cloth and wash down your window sills, and door frames top to bottom,  if you have wall to wall carpeting then using an eye dropper or a pipette put a drop in each corner of the room, and one drop in the center of the room, if you have a hall entrance put it there too, any place that is not wall to wall carpeted wash down the four corners as well,  including any entrances to the attic, even sprinkle some in the attic if possible.  Don’t forget the four corners of your closets.   

If you have a garage and it has windows, do the four corners, the windows and the garage door.

Mop down your porch(front and back), the steps to your porch (front and back) then walk down to the edge of your walk way and then pour the remaining water in a straight line across the walk way so that way anyone with evil thoughts will have to cross over it and it will negate their thoughts and destroy any “tricks” they should try to put on you as well as keep negative thought forms and ghosts away from you.  

Make a 2nd bucket of water with a little of the Tar water and pour into the four corners of your front yard and if you have one the back yard too, if you have a patio made with either wood or cement or bricks, wash that down using a broom, dip the broom into the bucket and scrub the deck or patio.   Any left over water again pour into the four corners of your yards.

As Mrs. Washington would say “Dat ‘ill take care of dem haints” and trust me she was an educated woman but every now and then she’d slip into her parents and grandparents vernacular, it was her way of staying bonded to them in spirit.


Well I talked so much about Tar Water let’s be clear as possible about War Water also known as water of Mars or Mars Water.

War Water, is not native to hoodoo practices, it is likely a European influence, as its name and purpose comes from the Roman god of war, Mars.  In spite of the fact that is it not historically traditional to hoodoo, War Water has gained an important position and is firmly in place in conjure and folk magic and should be talked about.

War Water, is an offensive tool meant to bring peace back into one’s life by causing discord in another's usually the person who is making life difficult for you.  Essentially, War Water's primary purpose is hostile foot track magic.

War water is used:
To gain protection. This is an extremely aggressive, forceful spiritual cleanser.
To reverse a curse and send it back to where it came from.
To place a curse. War water is a traditional and allegedly potent weapon during psychic warfare and witch wars.

War water can be used for:
 In Floor washes
To splash on a door step or other target
It can also be added to or used in spell work for protection, cleansing, reversal spells, hex work, and more (great for spell bottles and jars), there are a lot of them out there.

 Once you have made War Water, how do you use it?

There are several methods, depending on just what your final intent might be. If you intend to use the most basic rust-water formula for protective purposes, you can use it as an addition to a spiritual bath just a capful,  a wash for the outside of your home or business put some in the mop bucket, sprinkle for any letters or papers you might be sending out to someone hostile to you (such as legal papers, I’ve known a few women who used it in their divorce proceedings)

The most common use of War Water, is as a component of psychic warfare, such as cursing or sending back a curse,  Draja Mickaharic makes a good case for having sturdy defenses in place before beginning any ritual of cursing or hexing anyone one.  He says “If you are going to declare psychic war on someone you should mop your stairs, porch, doorway, and any outside surfaces of your home on which anything can be cast or thrown before you begin the war. This ensures that you will be protected when the other person’s inevitable counterattack comes. In most cases War Water will cause any spell which is placed on your doorstep to rebound instantly to the sender.”

If you’re going to use it for your own personal protection as a spiritual bath you only need it in its rusty iron and water from, and just put in a cap full in your bath water again bathe as if you were doing an uncrossing ritual using two glass enclosed candles to create the psychic portal before you enter your bath tub or shower.  So unless you need a more aggressive formula that usual works very well.

But I’ve seen a lot of emotional drama especially among young people, so there is a more aggressive formula as well.

So I’m going to give to you the mild version, the slightly more aggressive version and the very aggressive version and several ways of deploying it.

The mild version is to get some cut iron nails  and put it in spring water in a good size jar, put it in the refrigerator, open the jar every day so it will get air and the nails will oxidize, the nails can be plain old nails, not thing special except for your intention.  Once it starts to get nice and rusty (allow at least 2 weeks for the rust to form) and turn the water red, pray over it for protection Psalm 23 is always good.  For your protection bath just put a capful into your bath water, that’s all you need to do.

Now if you want to be more aggressive if you can use Storm water or water from a violent rain storm (thunder storms are best) if you haven’t had a violent rain storm or don’t see one in the immediate future (check my posts on spiritual waters) then use bog or swamp water, even stagnate water the smellier the better.

Add to it cut iron nails and Spanish moss and some thorns if possible,

Again allow to marinate for at least 2 weeks, occasionally opening the jar to increase oxidation.

For Very aggressive War water again try and get water from a violent rain storm if possible, or bog or swamp water

Add to it red pepper (the hotter the better)
Sulfur or gunpowder (Sulfur can be purchased at a metaphysical shop)
You own urine (hey remember the old saying “P*&% on you”)
Spanish Moss
Cut iron nails (if you have a really big jar an old rail road spike works very well but it can break a glass jar)
Also Nails from a building where you want this person to go such as a court house to lose a case, hospital to be ill, jail to never get out, or if you can’t get nails from that then coffin nails
Some folks will add goofer dust or graveyard dirt to this mixture and in some cases Black Salt and/or a Dirt Dabner nest (it’s a type of wasp’s nest)

All of these formulas are just a few that I know of but it also depends on what the practitioner knows that works for him or her.  

Now there are several methods of deployment of War Water, the best known is to put it into a small bottle and then throw it at the other persons house so the bottle will break and the person on the receiving end has to deal with broken glass and it gets on them as well as their property.

My Granny and her Ladies heard about some sort of psychic war fare between practitioners, which included drive-by war water glass bombs,  as far as Granny and her ladies were concerned it was childish and foolish and remained above the fray, and not take sides,  besides Granny and her ladies dealt with the Depression of the 1930’s and were a frugal lot, why break a bottle when you could get 3 or 5 cents return for it. They knew of an easier way Thanks to Mrs. Byrd.

What one practitioner did and even a couple of Granny’s ladies did is have some war water in an old soda bottle and then when they visited they’d pour it out on the ground as if the soda had gone very flat, and then leave the bottle for them to get the 5 cents refund,  I myself did it with someone who was pissing me off,  and I had an empty cola soda can and it was late at night so I poured it out on the ground near her steps and left the can there, and that worked very well.

But Mrs. Byrd was very angry at a couple who called her some very insulting names, and they had no reason to do that, so what she did is she took an egg and made a tiny hole on both ends and blew the yoke and the egg white out (she used the yoke for cooking that day), putting a bit of shell and glue to one end and a bit of tape she filled the egg shell with war water using a thin nosed eye dropper (a pipette works very well for this), and she taped the other end.  

In the middle of the night like 2 a.m. she went to their house and threw the egg against their porch, and that worked very well too, in a week they were evicted unexpectedly and left the area.   And egg shells are so innocuous, but carry them very carefully in a zip lock bag, Mrs. Byrd carried hers in a small brown paper bag.  

Now you only pour out the water from your master bottle, be sure to filter it into a smaller bottle or what container you’re going to use.   What filters out put back into the master bottle and add more water.

Other uses of War Water
    To banish evil and  remove negativity from your place – Sprinkle around your house
    To protect you, your loved one and your property from future psychic and magical attacks
    As additional aid in unbinding spells- Use it in your ritual to remove malevolent magic that has targeted you and your loved ones
    To remove obstacles- When you feel that your road is blocked by unseen powers
    For jinx removing- Add some drops in your bath along with a pinch of Black Salt (if you feel the jinx is very bad)  and bathe

Warning: tar water is acidic and can burn the skin and eyes. Pine tar itself is flammable as well as acidic. Handle with care. If on skin or eyes, rinse well with water for 15 minutes (longer if necessary) Go to the Emergency Room of the hospital for further medical assistance.  Remember it contains pine creosote (a known carcinogen). Do not ingest. Keep out of reach of children and pets.   Do not keep any sizable amount of the raw tar in your home or garage because it is flammable. Keep it outside in its bucket or a safe container

And there you have it about Tar Water and War Water, I myself have not had to use either personally except for one time (but I do have those rocks with the tar slurry for just in case) and I hope you dear readers never have need of it.

But the information is here for your understanding.

How does one counter act War Water?  

You use Peace Water, and also try to make amends with anyone who has a grudge against you, if nothing else to at least make them look foolish and small by you being the understanding person who does not wish ill will.

Peace Water Formula
It is used as the antidote to the previous two waters by combining equal amounts of
Holy water
Spring water
Rain water
River water
Ocean water

This is poured on places where peace and harmony is needed, or where tar/war water has previously been spilled.

Bright Blessings,
Ms. Q


  1. Dear VooDoo Queen,
    I could really use your vast and apparently expancive knowledge on curses. Thru a much abravated history....I have been experiencing
    A long list of occurances that couldn't be possible even if one attempted to accomplish they couldn't..none of them good...Most of these things are or would be severely damaging both to body & spirit. I've always been knowing or psychic, since i can rember & seeing
    Is as common to me almost as breathing. Though raised in a old prominently catholic household. I discovered i was adopted. Which would evplain a great many occurances with relative's...but to my question...I loved my mother but we always had a contemptuous relationship at best.blame goes both ways. However as mother advanced in age, and due to my profession i was uniquely qualified to care for her. I discovered her heritage was from the Carpathian alps ancients. Mother had a birth mark on her leg which slowly was fadeing as her illness advanced.To see a loved one deterate befor your eyes.while given the best of care is heart breaking. At best. As she was almost at her end a curious thing began to take place her birth mark began to fade on her an then began to appear on my leg in the same area as hers, the unique shape of the birth mark could not be mistaken. Then after her death it slowly began to fade on me .i was aware of this occurance and sought assistance regarding this matter continuously where ever possible. As to its meaning and no the years have passed 7 or 8 now. The usual difficulties and. Everyday occurances became much more problematic and obstacles far more severe in nature. Thru prayer and assistance from unusal sorces & my own dilligance ive survived against all odds. Friends have sugestes this faded birth mark of a very recognisable bird ( swallow ) is the source of these many obstacles.. Im at a loss both physically & spiritually to explain these occurances. These thing are impossible and couldnt be happening yet they have and are...any help or knowlage would be appreciated. Im told my time is running out physically so if assistance can rendered...well u know. Thank u...and blessings

    1. My Dear,

      Blessings upon you.

      First I want to let you know I’ve included you in my prayer circle for healing and strength, and I want to say to care for your Mother even if the relationship was difficult does speak to the love you had for her, and I am proud of you for caring for her, I too was a caregiver and it was difficult and took its toll on my health, I know what you speak of with the heart-break.

      But your mother in her own way has spiritually told you she loves you as well. How? The birthmark, in Carpathian lore the Swallow is considered a blessed and lucky bird and is the bird of the Lord, it has been believed from even the ancient Greeks that the swallow carries the souls of the departed to heaven, and is a sign of love, the swallow also represents love, care and affection towards family and friends, showing the loyalty of the person always returning to them. The bird also represents freedom and hope. The swallow is about communication and relationships. It comes to teach us how to use our thoughts to bring about change and to make our thoughts a reality. The swallow as a spirit guide shows one is undergoing transformation and love.

      Only among the Irish and the Japanese is the swallow believed to be unlucky.

      In her being cared for by you she connected to your energy, now that is both good and not so good, because all though she did it for love she unwittingly transferred some of her illness to you, not in a bad way because I’m sure she didn’t realize what she was doing. She subconsciously knew that you caring for her was an act of love. This transference showed up in the birthmark.

      Now I have heard of it happening, not often but it has happened, like stigmata. Unfortunately because you didn’t do any safeguards to protect your energy, you became “infected” so to speak, something I’m sure your Mother never wanted to have happen to you. Either way you are one with the Divine Presence because of that mark.

      I do not know if the 13 herb bath will work for you, to try to remove any of the negative effects but you could try, another thing is being psychic you are also an empath as well and take on the spiritual burdens and ailments of others without knowing it. If you can get holy water from the church have it in a bowl and bless yourself each time you go out and each time you return.

      Also wear a St. Michael's medal as well as one showing the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary have them blessed as well. If nothing else they will help you stop taking on psychically other ailments, but whether it will turn things around for you physically I don’t know, but you can try.

      But remember this is in addition to seeing your Doctor and taking your prescribed medicine and medical treatments. This is not a substitution for medical care.

      You may also want to consider doing a Novena to one of these saints, not knowing what you are dealing with if its chronic ailments then I suggest St. Juliana Falconiere or St. Aloysius as you were a caregiver or if it’s another more specific ailment find out which particular saint you can pray to.

      About your other obstacles I recommend a Novena to St. Clare of Assisi for strength and courage, she a woman alone faced a marauding horde of barbarians and holding only the Monstrance containing the host she turned them away.

      I wish I could do more for you, but if my explanation about the mark helps a bit, then that is something, your prayers are powerful, do not stop praying and I will keep you in my prayer circle.

      Brightest of Blessings to you,
      Ms. Q

    2. Dearest Ms.Q,
      Thank You so very much for your quick responce. Those 2 little words do not seem to be adquate enough to express my thanks to you.
      You have my deepest sympathies about your up comming surgeries with your dentist. I had a similar experience approximatly a year ago.I'll pray for your quick recovery.
      you were right on about everything..How Greatfull i am for your assistance in the information about the swollow. I only knew of the one reference, the bird that ushers the souls to heaven.p.s.I'm Cheryl from Mich.I'm still looking for the thirteen herbs for the bath thou. my doors & windows & property are all anointed again. i hope your niece & spouce will forgive this post. I hope it finds you well & on your path to a speedy recovery. Sleep is great for healing.Sincerely, Cheryl

    3. Hi Cheryl,

      This is Ms. Q's niece, I've told her about your good wishes, she said "Thank you and Bless You".

      Once she gets past the dental surgery she'll be fine, right now she's a bit fuzzy headed and a little dizzy, the antibiotics do that to her.

      She wishes you all the best and in her words "Bright Blessings"

  2. Dear Ms. Q, thank you so much for your very informative and valuable response re: 4 thieves vinegar! Can war water be used in lieu of vinegar when making a breakup bottle? Dropping individual photos of the couple into a bottle of war water while surrounding it with hot pepper and other nasty stuff and burning black candles anointed with Separation oil over it? How would the effect compare to a vinegar breakup bottle? Thank you again!

    1. Hello My Dear,

      Traditionally War Water is used to be broken or spilled to create strife or to commence magical warfare. Catherine Yronwode remembers in the late 60’s a magical warfare battle that occurred in the city where she lived, I remember it too but my Granny and her ladies stayed above the fray and instructed me as a younger member to avoid it as well, primarily because they thought to engage in such things was nonsense when it would be better to join forces together against a more common enemy, but egos were getting in the way.

      War Water would have a wider purpose in the downfall of a person, or their business or home life.

      Where as a vinegar break up bottle is more specifically directed to a couple.

      If you want to create strife between two people it’s possible that you could do that but the idea of war water is to spill it upon the person or on their property to create that strife. Adding Black Salt to increase its potential is a possibility.

      So theoretically what you could do is one bottle with their pictures in it and then a 2nd bottle to be spilled onto their property on the threshold of their front door (minus their photos and noisy nails), but you need to be careful what with everyone having security cameras. I’ve known people to carry it in empty soda cans to appear innocuous.

      The idea with the vinegar is to make their relationship bitter forcing them to break up, with war water you’d be creating strife in their relationship in the hopes they’d break up.

      Technically you could do it. I would give it a try, but remember if it is to break up a relationship that is getting along well, to interfere with it for selfish reasons is not good and could come back on you, you intent should be pure of purpose, remember that. Because it could turn out not the way you expect it to.

      Bright Blessings,
      Ms. Q