Hell Notes – (Joss Paper, Spirit Money, Paradise Notes)
Hell Notes are printed representations of legal tender bank notes. They are often burnt as offerings to the deceased/spirits. In some Asian cultures, it is thought that the ‘souls of the dead are first judged by the Lord of the Earthly Court, Yan Wang, they are either escorted to heaven or sent into a maze of underworld levels and chambers to atone for their sins.’ (Everington, Keoni “Monks Gone Wild”, 2016) In this earthly court, spirits need to use money.
While Asian in culture, these notes have made their way into many folk magicks within the United States. Spirit money is most commonly burned, however, it can also be offered to a gravesite, or scattered to the wind. It can be used/burned when bargaining with more nefarious spirits during necromantic works, or graveyard rituals. I have seen it used as symbolic money during money-drawing works, added to money-drawing mojo’s, shredded for use in money rice, etc. It can be kept on your altar as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. I have also left it at the Crossroads as an offering.
I also burn them when I wish to give thanks for the spirits and ancestors.
Hell Notes are usually sold in bundles – and vary by weight, not by count. However, we sell them both ways. The bundles of bills contains approximately 75 notes and weighs just shy of 2oz.
We will also be offering another form of more traditional Joss Paper squares in the future.