Mojo Beans have the power to make wishes come true; at least that’s what some folks seem to think. It’s one of the reasons why they are called African Wishing Beans. Others refer to them as Saint Joseph Beans, and for good reason. They are considered very lucky. According to the stories, the entire country of Sicily once experienced a total crop failure. Everything perished except for the beans, which kept the people from starving. Because of this, the locals gave thanks to Saint Joseph that year and every year afterwards on Saint Joseph’s Day, in many Italian villages.
The common names for mojo beans are broad beans, fava beans, or faba beans. The origin of this bean is unknown. They have been widely cultivated as a food crop, dating back to ancient times, as they are very easy to grow. The plant is hearty in cold climates and where poor soil exists. Raw fava beans are 26% protein and contain numerous essential nutrients.
How Mojo Beans are Used
In America, New Orleans in particular, many of the local inhabitants follow old Sicilian customs. They put mojo beans on home altars on March 19th, the Feast of Saint Joseph day. Among Christians, Saint Joseph was revered as being the husband of the Virgin Mary and the feast day is regarded as one of the most important occurrences annually. They are then distributed to the local community as good luck symbols. Additionally, since Saint Joseph is associated with selling property, mojo beans are incorporated into the event. The connection about Saint Joseph and real estate was made because Joseph was considered a loyal husband, reliable to a fault, safeguarding, and a good father who kept the household together and did so with a strong moral compass.
Some people carry a mojo beans all the time, believing it to be a good luck charm. Others believe that if you carry one regularly, you will never be without the necessary essentials of life; food, shelter, clothing and the like. Others though that if you had one in your pocket, you’d never run out of pocket change. Most believe that they must be carried in a flannel bag for maximum effectiveness.
In Hoodoo, practitioners instruct people to make an odd number of wishes (1,3, and 7 or 1,3, and 5) and for each wish you put one mojo bean in your pocket. After 7 days of carry them, the person was instructed to find a source of running water , call out each wish aloud (some say in the name of the father, son, and holy ghost), and throw the beans in the water over your left shoulder. Then, walk away without looking back and your wishes will be granted in seven days.
There are a few places that try to sell what they call, “Black African Mojo Beans”. They are actually Tonka beans, which are used in a similar fashion as mojo beans, but an altogether different thing. Tonka beans are nicknamed “love beans” and they are used for love or romance spells/wishes. The tonka bean is actually the fruit of a tree and are high in coumarin, and used as a basis for many prescription drugs available today. In America, any food that contain the chemical compound coumarin are considered by the FDA to be “adulterated” and have technically been illegal since 1954, so as earlier noted, buyer beware.