|Part of the lore of mojo bags, though, is the frequently-encountered belief that they lose their power if seen or touched by another person.|
I can second that as far as tradition goes. That ain’t saying that the same dictate applies to your work, Princess S, but it’s a stronghold of Hoodoo. The taboo against someone else touching your mojo is quite a strong one; same goes for them being seen, though I tend to make occasional exceptions for that one. For instance, if I’m tying a mojo for someone, and leave it on a home altar to charge for awhile, then yeah, there’s the chance that my partner will see it. Also, though I commonly keep my own mojos in a secret pocket in my handbag, I often discretely take them out when I’m on the train, or sitting at work, to charge for a little while in the palm of my left hand. No one ever pays any attention…
…are there any "standardised" recipes for mojos like there are for Hoodoo oils? Or are mojos generally more individualised?
They tend to be pretty personal in my own experience, though there’s often some consistency as far as the botanicals used go. One does occasionally come across fairly simple little recipes for this bag or that, and who’s to say they don’t work just was well as something more complicated? But among rootworkers I know, and also in my own practice, bags tend to be quite individualised. Recipes often take into consideration the person whom the work is being done for, and often include their hair, fingernails or other personal concerns. Sometimes a little written charm, “name paper”, or photograph may also be included. The botanical herbs, flowers and roots added to the bag will depend upon it’s intent; same goes for animal or mineral curios. Sometimes the worker’s patron spirits will dictate the ingredients for a specific bag, or lead them on a drift so that the necessary elements may be gathered together.
Holders of mojos are often encouraged to “work” with their bag; often this includes holding it in the palm of the hand or close to the heart, with prayer, or visualised intent regarding the desired outcome. Often people place them on personal altars, or on those of their patron spirits for “charging”. It’s also common practice to “feed” a mojo with any number of liquids, in order to keep it strong. My personal mojo is often left of the the care of my Maitress (she adamantly refuses to be called Matron!) and fed with the substances that are favoured by the both of us: fine perfumes, frangipani absolute, florida water, holy water and rosewater.