The 1st Annual Bayou City Conjure Community Awards: Statement of Gratitude from Denise Alvarado

Greetings folks!

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who voted for me and several of my projects and mutual endeavors with others that resulted in winning awards for the 1st Annual Conjure Community Awards 2012 hosted by Bayou City Conjure Radio. I am so honored for the recognition as Best Visual Artist as this award not only recognizes me, but also my ancestors; specifically, my Mother and Father who both inspired and nurtured by talents from the moment I could hold a pen, paint brush and sewing needle. 

A big surprise was winning the award for Best Blog – this blog, The Art of Conjure. I am not an everyday blogger; I blog when I have time and feel I have something to give and say. This blog simply consists of my thoughts and musings as a conjure woman who likes to share personal experiences in the hopes that it inspires and informs others.

The additional awards of which I am a part include Best Home Business - Crossroads Mojo with Madrina Angelique. The success of our young business is the result of what can happen with true teamwork, a mutual vision, and support and encouragement from countless others who believe in us, our products and our devotional art. Working with Madrina Angelique has been one of the most positive and professional experiences I have had the privilege of participating in. Above all, the Best Home Business Award for Crossroads Mojo is dedicated to Papa Legba, without whom the website would never have come to be.

Finally to win Best Facebook Group - Hoodoo and Conjure Magazine is quite the irony considering our beginnings. Even with the group out of the public eye, the satisfaction I feel for winning this award is immense, to say the least. But this award would not be possible without the blood, sweat, and tears of the writers, contributors, partnerships and all my brilliant fellow conjurers and group members who routinely give to each other and treat each other with respect. You are integral in creating and maintaining the group as a true, supportive, nonjudgmental community. Thank you to Carolina Dean, Madrina Angelique, Alyne Pustanio, Winsom Winsom and all group members who so graciously contribute their time and energy to both the magazine and to keeping the group running in my absence. Even with a few bumps in the road, you never give up. I am honored and humbled by the recognition and acknowledgment of the magazine’s group and our purpose, and most of all for having such loyal friends in my life. This award belongs to all of us.

I extend my congratulations to all of the other winners. Special congratulations go to a couple of Hoodoo and Conjure Magazine contributors whose light shone bright in their own right. Dorothy Morrison as Best Authoryou are an inspiration, a witch of integrity and a true friend. Thank you for your life’s work, much of which I was reading long before writing myself. Dragon Ritual Drummers as Best Music Group – thank you for the awesome drums and rhythms, providing us an expression of and connection to the heartbeat of the Spirits. Witchdoctor Utu in particular, I thank you for your support and friendship. Priestess Miriam as Best Community Figure - you and the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple represent what New Orleans Voodoo should be all about. Well done, my friends!

Finally, many thanks to Bayou City Conjure Radio for giving all of us an opportunity to acknowledge individuals and groups who contribute in a positive way to the conjure community. May 2013 be the best year ever!

Peace and love,

Denise Alvarado


  1. Congratulations and well deserved!! I am excited I was able to feature a lot of these folks on my blog too! Congrats to all the winners!!

  2. Thank you Angelique. Feel free to post a link to your blog so folks can find it:)

  3. YAY!!! So excited for you (Denise) & Madrina!

  4. Congrats Denise & Madina! Well deserved!

  5. Congratulations to all of you...well deserved. I am so very proud to be a member of the group and to be able to interact with all of is an honor.

  6. Dear Denise Alavarado. Thanks for all your great work! I have a close friend who is born and bread Nigerian from the Egba tribe. He has given my permission to write this quick reply and set the record straight. He was troubled by certain claims that only innitiates can make x,y z item and so on. Anybody can make an Eshu statue. This is very common in the Egba tribe and No. the person do not have to be a Babalawo. Many many people have and still are making their own statues. Just as a christian is free to make their own images of Jesus or the cross. There are several mistake on a certain website that claims to be the defender of cultural traditions. There are Orishas mentioned on there that are NOT Orishas but in fact tribes. Elegba means an man or woman from Egba NOT a diety. Elegbara is a forest spirit that has nothing to do with Eshu, Women are and can be Babalawos I spoke to his sister last night and she is one. There is nothing particularly special about the famous cement head. Nigeria has many many diffrent statues of Eshu a quick online search in google immages will quickly show the multitude of Nigerian art that features eshu. Including low and behold a woman that has made her own statue Im going to see if I can find the pic. Eshu is a force, If I for what ever reason use a stick to defend myself against an intruder or attacker the stick is Eshu, The stick has become the instrument with which justice has been carried out. If i wanted to anoint that stick and save it Its still Eshu ie. and instrument of justice that has kept me from harms way. This is exaclty how he eplained to me. No one and I mean NO One has the right to say what is sacred or holy or powerful to another person. If Eshu has chosen you to make his head he has chosen you. If you were not meant to make it it would not have happened by the grace of Oludumare. Only Oludomare desicede what can be and what can not be. Not man not Babalawo. Babalawo is not a cultural police. He is a conduit between man, Orisha and Olodumare nothing else. We are both sorry that you have had to put up with this redicolus smear campaign by people who do not seem to have their own facts straight. Keep up the good work. Ps My name is not meant to be offensive.

  7. Thank you so much for your kind words Mariella. I have spoken to several folks about the issue, all initiated - male and female and one a babalawo and none of them agree with the accusations made against me. They can easily see that what I make is not any sort of appropriation, and the funny thing is, they said the same thing you did...that if Eleggua did not want me to make him I wouldn't be able to.
    People who know me know I have been the target of a small group of people for quite some time who don't like the fact that I express my opinions and that my opinions are different than theirs. My life experiences and my spiritual beliefs are my own and no matter what they say, they can't take away my experiences. It's a shame that we can't have some dialogue about these differences instead of a smear campaign as you so aptly put it. I think part of the problem is that people are taking the Africa out of the traditions and trying to claim them as their own. I just read a blog a little while ago that said Hoodoo is not an African derived is southern folk magic. Hmmm, and I have been accused of "deliberately rewriting" the history of Hoodoo. No, that has already been done. I am merely trying to respect the ancestors who brought the traditions to these shores, without whom, there would be no Hoodoo. Without Africa, it is not Hoodoo. It may be some other sort of conjure, but it's not Hoodoo. That's my opinion and I'll probably get slammed for saying that too. LOL, whatever makes people feel relevant....I have no time for it. Like Luisah Teish always says, we got work to do. And that's what I'm doing.


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