The two African American women arrived separately at Stanley Drug Co., both searching for guidance.
Behind them stretched a mural of Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, along with prices and terms for seeing the Tarot card reader.
One, a Catholic wearing a gold cross, came because she suspected that a neighbor and gambling buddy had put a spell on her to steal her luck. The other noted that even the Bible mentions people who can see the future. And so both awaited the card reader: $35 a reading, by appointment.
Hoodoo, or folk magic, has been at work in the American South for generations. It was preserved by compounding pharmacies in African American neighborhoods...