Modern Hoodoo practitioners use petition magick as well. (Hoodoo is American Southern folk magic which has elements of European and African folk magic.) They use different inks and papers for different spells. For example, for financial prosperity, black ink on the back of bank statements is used. To enhance the petition, herbs or candles are often included.
Petition magick usually works for a variety of reasons. First, there is magick in writing. Many cultures tell how their Gods have given them the gift of writing. The Ancient Egyptians tell of Thoth, who not only created writing, but also speech. According to the Hindus, Sanskrit was handed to the humans by the God Shiv. Ts’ang Chieh, the divine Sage of the Chinese, communicated between the heavens and the earth with the writing that he had invented. Therefore writing itself is a divine act.
Second, petitioning beings with powers greater than humans is a form of prayer. Asking the Gods, Angels, or Saints for help is an ancient form of receiving supernatural help. Putting the plea into writing makes it real.
Third is the element of manifestation. By writing a petition, a person puts their energy and intent to it. The idea of attraction means that “like attracts like”. By desiring something, a person’s energy is sent out in a focused manner into the Universe. By creating a ritual around it with the selection of words, pen, ink, and paper, the intention becomes even stronger. The Law of Positive Attraction states in part “that which is sent, returns”.
Various magickal traditions employ different methods in performing petition magick. Modern Roman and Greek Neo-Pagans use plain unlined paper and “lead” pencils. (Lined paper is for ordinary use such as writing book reports, and therefore not used.) “Lead” pencils (modern graphite pencils) connect the petitioner to the Chthonic Gods. Written in command form, the petition includes the proper titles for each God. The petition is, also, repeated three, four, or nine times. The paper is then rolled and buried or nailed to a plank of wood.