|Old John-Bear with two of my Master Candles|
One old rootworker lady I used to know used it in a way that I've since fallen in love with. It took me a long time to figure out what she meant by the term "mojo." She used it to describe the essential traits of not just people, but animals, things and places too. If she were a neo-pagan, she might have used the term "energy," but that phrase doesn't quite encompass it.
When it came to conjure, though, it is all about the mojo. The rootworker has mojo that she lends to the work she's doing. Some rootworkers don't need a whole lot more than their own mojo, laying on hands, using breath and spittle and prayer.
But unlike many modern occultists, a root doctor will never tell you that all the magic is "just inside you" and the roots, herbs, animal parts and minerals we use "just props to help you focus." To the conjure, everything has mojo, and to claim that it's only people who have it is not just wrong, but it's a little uppity, too.
Mojo has a "flavor," too. People can shift the flavor of their mojo when they're working, if they've got the talent and/or the training. A rootworker does this as they work different kinds of magic: from love to blessing to crossing to healing. Some of this can stick around, like a cooking pot that wasn't cleaned good enough, to taint other work you do, which is why conjures also emphasize cleansing well and often.
The mojo of most non-person things is pretty fixed, however. Mint has a flavor of "money," and patchouli has a flavor of "love." Working conjure is like cooking - you bring ingredients together with a complementary mojo "flavor" to strengthen the work you're doing. In fact, I sometimes refer to setting oils, mojos and other finished curios in front of my master candles as "cooking" them.