Amid myriad titles promising magic pathways to calm, comfort, and peace, clear a path for Miss Aida (actually a retired Florida nurse named Kerrjie Aida Severini), who has written a treatise on counterattacking the negative in life. Hoodoo Cleansing and Protection Magic (Weiser, Dec.) is geared toward readers who are enduring a run of bad luck, embattled relationships, or waves of narcissists, sociopaths, thieves, liars, and con artists draining their vein of compassion.

“People come to me for help, and I’m not going to beat around the bush,” Miss Aida says. She writes that she’s the daughter of a “sweet little ole’ Cuban witch” who taught her how to keep her aura—her personal energy field—“healthy and radiant” as a shield against arguments, insults, envy, jealousy, and “psychic vampires” who smother people with their problems.

The book offers techniques for how to block evildoers such as freezing their names—and bad intentions—in ice, or placing their photos in boxes of mirrors, magically assuring “everything that they do will bounce back to them.”

Miss Aida freely fuses traditions from Western religion, Santeria, and hoodoo, a modern variation of African-American slave folk magic. Peter Turner, associate publisher for Red Wheel/Weiser, says he sees “both a renewed and growing audience of people from various ethnic groups in these folk magic traditions.” He also expects that Miss Aida’s “distinct no-nonsense approach to magic will be broadly appealing to people interested in this genre.”

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