Colouring Pages: Witch Seed Packets

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Those readers who follow my social media updates sure know that I have been working on new colouring pages. First, I thought of making an ebook, but following as strong intuition (because that’s what us Witches do), I have decided to give away all the work here, in several posts, completely for FREE.

This is the second set – a two-page file with two different sizes of seed packets; a large one for bigger seeds like beans/corn/sunflower/etc., and a smaller one for herb seeds. As you can see below, I have already formatted them in the page so you save on paper as much as possible.

Remember that these are my original designs, so these pages are for personal use ONLY. You are most welcome to share this post (not the file alone) in all your social media. Click on the picture below to download the full size PDF file:

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If you don’t want to miss the following pages, remember that the best way to get them as they are published is to subscribe to the blog. Now get those coloured pencils out :D.

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Textile Arts: Free Crochet Afghan Square Pattern

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Please click on the picture above to open the PDF file for the pattern of this afghan square, or download it from my Ravelry page if you prefer. As always, personal use only!

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Colouring Pages: Magical Journal Set

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Those readers who follow my social media updates sure know that I have been working on new colouring pages. First, I thought of making an ebook, but following as strong intuition (because that’s what us Witches do), I have decided to give away all the work here, in several posts, completely for FREE.

And, this is the first set – a three page document with one journal cover page, one blank journal page, and one lined journal page. Use them for your magical journal/ Book Of Shadows, for a new dream/vision journal, for handwritten letters… I have left the title space blank so you can better customize it to your needs.

Remember that these are my original designs, so these pages are for personal use ONLY. You are most welcome to share this post (not the file alone) in all your social media. Click on the picture below to download the full size, three-page PDF file:

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If you don’t want to miss the following pages, remember that the best way to get them as they are published is to subscribe to the blog. Now get those coloured pencils out :D.

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+

Subscribe to this blog, and enter a monthly raffle for a FREE email reading! All details HERE.

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News: Upcoming Open Service To Our Lady Of Candelaria / Chaxiraxi

On August 15, the Canary Islands celebrate their patroness, our Lady Of Candelaria. This advocacion of Mary, and this feast, were celebrated before the Spanish invasion as the Beñesmer, a week-long celebration around the full moon of August, devoted to Chaxiraxi, Guanche goddess of the sea, and mother of all Guanches.This year, we will be making a very special Service to her on her day, and all customers can participate!

A Spiritual Service is a feast devoted to a specific Spirit, where offerings of prayer, food, drinks, drumming, incense, flowers and herbs, etc. are made. This feast lasts usually a whole day, and it is intended to invoke the Spirit itself, so the Spirit can intercede for all petitions in exchange for the offerings. It is one of the most powerful rituals of our religion, and one that allows more customers to participate, as the price of the participation lowers considerably. To give you an accurate idea of the bargain you are getting, the last Service like this that we made for one single customer costed 700$.

All details here: http://www.brujacarolina.com/product/open-service-our-lady-candelariachaxiraxi-august-15

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Textile Arts: More Cross Stitch Magical Patterns – Secret Garden Sachet

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When I started this blog, my intention was not only to republish all the useful articles I have written over the past ten years, but also to document my life as it is, with its natural cycles. For us, July and August are the months of indoors activities – just as people in other countries are housebound by snow, we are housebound by the heat. With temperatures staying over 40C/104F as a minimum, day and night, and virtually nothing to wildharvest, it is the time to sew, knit, spin, etc. As our life changes from season to season, so does this blog :).

This new pattern was named Secret Garden because it has been designed for those Witches who have to hide their craft from other people’s eyes. From outside, it looks just like an embroidered sachet with a flower design, as the lavender ones used for perfuming cupboards – totally harmless. But it is so much more than that.

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The design features two overlapped crosses, one with thistles, and one with roses, making it a very powerful sigil for the protection and blessing of the home, specially for women and children, as both plants are strongly related to Mother deities. Of course, the filling can be customized to those needs, or to any other needs, depending on where you intend to place it. Here are some examples:

· For Money And Road Opening Magic: fill it with Basil, Bay Laurel, a piece of Cinnamon stick and three shiny golden coins of any type. If you work in an office, keep it in your purse; if you own a business, hang it near the entrance door; if you work from home, hang it near your desk/computer.

· For Love: fill it with Rose petals, Lavender, Peppermint/Spearmint, and something your lover/love target has touched. Hang it over your bed.

· For Protection: fill it with Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Wormwood, and a piece of Hematite. Place it over your front door (but in the inside of the house, of course).

· For Healing And Health: fill it with Sage, Rosemary, Marigold petals, and a piece of Amethyst. Keep it in your kitchen.

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The sachet is just two squares of fabric sewn together, one with the embroidery, and another one of your choice. Sew with right sides facing each other, serge, trim the sewing allowance and turn around. Fill the sachet and sew shut; you can leave it as that, or you can add lace, trims, pompoms, beads, tassels, charms… that really depends on your taste and sewing abilities.

Witches – remember intention at all times, from beginning to end of the project. The more focused you are on your intention, the more powerful the sachet will be.

A crafter’s extra note – to avoid plant bits to escape through the fabric, wrap the herbs in a paper towel to the shape of the sachet, like making a small packet or envelope, and place it in the sachet like that. That will also make much easier to sew it shut!

Feel free to download the sachet pattern by clicking the image below.  And as always –  personal use only, and never for items for sale!

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Urban Gardening: The Garden In July

This post is a compilation of all the garden pictures that haven’t been posted already, all of them taken through the month of July. I like to keep a good archive of photographs for gardening documentation and for future articles, but a lot of them never get published because other posts and images take priority. As the month ends, I am gathering them together with a few magical tips, so all readers can enjoy the beauty – and may it inspire you to create your own urban garden!

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Absolutely beautiful Salvia Coccinea (Scarlet Sage, but not the same Scarlet Sage as Salvia Splendens), grown from seed. Used for digestive problems, menstrual regulation, and slightly relaxing as most medicinal Sages. Magically, for blessing and cleansing (as all Sages), but with a little extra Warrioress touch :). It works very well against nosy coworkers and/or neighbours.

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I experimented this year for the first time at planting Statice (Statice Limonium), and it’s flowering beautifully (I wish I had planted more!). Medicinal use is almost nonexistent, but since the flowers can be dried and they don’t lose their colour, it has two magical uses – one, as a symbol of eternal love in Love Magic; and two, as an offering for Ancestor altars, as it also represents eternal life.

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During July and August, the most delicate plants are moved to the roofed part of the garden, to prevent the plants from drying to death under the sun. In this pic you can see the Blue Sage (Salvia Farinacea, purple flowers), the other Scarlet Sage (Salvia Splendens, red flowers), a huge Aeonium (top left), and a variegated Philodendrum (top right).

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A baby flower in a baby Common Sage (Salvia Officinalis). Due to our weather, regular sage grows very slowly and more bushy than in colder areas of the islands, so they need a lot of care to keep aphids and other pests away  – insects love bushy plants where they can nest undisturbed and unseen.

Not that I need to tell you the many benefits, magical and medicinal, or regular Sage. This plant just heals and blesses anything it touches, and increases the vibration of the body, mind and spirit.

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My baby Cinnamon trees. It will be many years until I can collect anything from them, but as the Audrey Hepburn quote says, To Plant A Garden Is To Believe In The Future. Cinnamon is pure fire, passion and luck – and pure physical healing, so when I found the plant nursery was selling a few tiny cuttings, I didn’t think twice. These are living amulets! They have cuadrupled their size since I brought them, so I think the feeling is mutual :).

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Textile Arts: Crochet Cushion Cover

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This cushion cover was made to save an ugly-but-useful-boring-beige cushion I was given by a friend. I’ve been crocheting for over 30 years; coming from a family of seamstresses, my love for textile arts started at a very early age. Crochet clothing is usually too hot to wear here, even in winter, so I can only make home stuff – and this ugly cushion gave me the perfect excuse :). In this post, you can find the links to the patterns I used, all from the lovely website Cypress Textiles.

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It started with making four of these squares, the Laura Square, from her Ravelry Page.  Then, I turned to the website and found the beautiful Celtic Lace Junior method of her creation,  which was used to put the four squares together. From there, I changed colour again and improvised a border of my own creation – but you can certainly use any of the lovely patterns she has shared for a border of your liking Here.

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In this picture above you can see it still unfinished, just pinned to the piece so I could know how much space I had left to cover. See how beautiful the joining method looks when the fabric below shows! Below, the finished piece.

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If you love textile arts, Ravelry is Pattern Heaven, so join if you haven’t yet! Although this work is not for beginners, this same author has simpler pieces that even beginners can do, so check her website and find yourself a new addiction :). Now, for a little extra inspiration, some crochet pieces I’ve made in the past years – no patterns for them because these were improvised, but it would be very easy to find patterns for similar pieces on Ravelry.

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A pentacle-shaped mat, for my cats, made by working with two threads at the same time – one regular acrylic yarn leftover, and a ball made of joining together leftover bits of handspun yarn. The cats love it :).

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Double sided potholder/teapot trivet, because herbalist friends deserve nice things :).

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A basket for moving my art projects sround the house, made with granny squares – stash busting!

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A few years ago, I crocheted a whole box of baby clothes for an Algerian charity – this is one of the pieces made.

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And of course, Tarot bags :).

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Urban Gardening: Recycled Shaded Area Structure – Revisited

On April 18, I published a post about the building of a shaded area stucture for our garden that was 100% made with recycled materials – you can read the whole post HERE. Three months have passed since that, and since today we had to make a small repair to it (a recent windstorm broke a couple of the strings that keep the canopy in place), I took a couple of pictures to show you how happy the plants are, and how successful recycling can be. Other than this little incident, the structure has suffered no damage at all, and we will definitely make another one as soon as we have all the materials.

This pic below is from the day we finished it:

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And these two are from this morning. What a difference! As you can see, we placed our Canarian Bellflower beside the pillar, and we’re coaching it with ties so it can lay over the roof and become a natural canopy.

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Urban Gardening: Bringing New Plants Home

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We grow many plants from seed, but some of the most useful herbs for a Bruja grow better from cuttings, so we  purchase those at a local plant nursery. Bringing the plants home, and helping them adapt to our very harsh weather is a labour of love; here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

· After bringing the plants home, we let them adapt for one or two days in a shaded part of the roof garden, and only water them if they are really dry – for the upcoming transplant, it is much better to work with a dry rootball than with a damped one.

· After 24-48 hours, they are transplanted into buckets, in small groups of two or three, keeping in mind that they share the same needs of light and water, and that their growth won’t end up in plants suffocating each other – for example, a creeping plant like Origanum with an upwards-growing plant like Lavender won’t bother each other, and both need the same amount of water and light. This saves a lot of space!

· Always water the pot immediately after transplanting it.

· Don’t be stingy with root space, or with soil quality! The bigger the pot, the healthier the plant. If you can, fill the bottom of the pots with vegetable scraps from the kitchen, eggshell, coffee ground, wood bits – remember that plants in pots have much higher needs for nutrients.

· The plant nursery sells you the plant while flowering because it’s pretty, but if you want your plants to thrive, you should cut off all mature flowers right after you transplant it. Not only it will regrow flowers very quickly – you will be giving the plant the strength it needs to adapt to its new environment, without exhausting it. Flowering and seeding takes all the energy of the plant, and if you ask the plant to do all this at once, it can become weak and lessen its medicinal and magical power, or even die because they do not have the strength to adapt to the change.

· If the plants adapt well, a week after the transplant is a perfect time to start fertilizing it, and become a regular part of your garden; if they don’t, my suggestion is always to discard them and get other plants, or other varieties that do better in your weather and location. A garden is always a work in progress, so don’t be afraid to make changes and look for what works naturally where you are – there is no healthier garden than a garden that fits in its environment, and it makes no sense to waste energy and time in trying to grow plants that are not happy in your garden.

· Prune, prune, prune. Since the plant cannot get more root space that what it already has, letting plants in pots overgrow is always a bad idea. Learn how each plant wants to be pruned, and keep them at a size that doesn’t exhaust them.

· Once a year, remove the plants from the pots, cut off all excess root growth, and give them new soil. They will really love you for this :).

· And finally, a piece of advice specifically for Witches: don’t fall for the myth that entheogenic  or poisonous plants are more magical, or more powerful, than those who are not. A peppermint or basil plant that’s well cared and healthy can be as powerful as a protection for your home as a mandrake or a belladonna. The path of the Poisoner is just as magical as the path of the Kitchen Witch who only grows cooking herbs – no more, no less.

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Canarian Folklore: Advocations Of Mary (2)

This article is a compilation of several short articles published during 2014, in an event hosted on my website that celebrated a month of devotions to Our Lady. Edited and revised for this blog, it presents four of the more important Advocations of Mary worshipped in our island: Our Lady Of Candelaria, Our Lady Of Coromoto, Our Lady Of The Valley and Our Lady Of El Cobre. These advocations have been chosen not only for their relevancy in our Curanderismo tradition, but also for their connection to Latin America and the religions of the African Diaspora.

Please read part 1 HERE.

Our Lady of Coromoto

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Our Lady Of Coromoto is the patroness of Venezuela, and also one of the patrons of San Cristóbal De La Laguna, the town where we live, so it is not only another proof of the constant Latin America – Canary Islands connection, but also one of our dearest advocations of Mary.

Says the legend that when the town of Guanare (Venezuela) was built, the Native Indians moved to the north of the town, into the forest. On September 8 1652, Our Lady appeared to the Indians, encouraging their chief Coromoto to convert. While many Indians converted, Coromoto didn’t, so Our Lady appeared to him again days later, this time materializing a wooden icon that is right now a relic at her Sanctuary. Again, Coromoto refused, but many years later, he finally converted after being healed from a venomous snake bite through the rite of baptism. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady Of Coromoto patroness of the country.

The veneration of Our Lady Of Coromoto is essential to Maria Lionza’s religion. She is considered to be one of the heads of the Celestial Court, and prayers for her presence and intercession are part of every important ritual in the religion. In our islands, she is mostly revered locally, where she has a small church and a whole neighbourhood named after her – and, of course, by the huge Venezuelan population that lives here, and by anyone who has emigration and/or immigration ties with the country, like me. There is also a statue of her at the Saint Ann church in the town of Candelaria (Tenerife island), another at the church of the town La Guancha (also Tenerife), and another in the island of El Hierro. In the 19th and 20th century, Coromoto has remained a very popular female name here.

Our Lady Of The Valley

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Right after Our Lady Of Coromoto, the beautiful advocation of Our Lady Of The Valley is probably the most revered in Maria Lionza’s religion. While she was already worshipped in Spain before the colonisation of Venezuela as the advocation of the Immaculate Conception, her importance in Venezuela, and the change in her name to Virgen Del Valle (Our Lady Of The Valley), begins when the image is moved from the island of Cubagua to the Valley Of The Holy Spirit in the island of Margarita, after floodings damagd her original sanctuary. Her feast is September 8 – which is, I’m sure you know, the day of Ochum :) – and she is considered as patroness of sailors.

Just as Our Lady Of Coromoto, her worship is well known in our islands, and Valle remains another popular Canarian female name; although, in truth, it is very difficult to find further information about her, besides the stories of her many miracles, and the fact that she is considered one of the non-official patroness of Venezuela. The fact that she is considered patroness of sailors comes from the story of a pearl hunter who got stung by a stingray; the wound got infected and gangrenous, so the sailor promised Our Lady Of The Valley the first pearl he would find if he was healed. He was indeed, and the first pearl he found not only had the shape of a leg – it had a very clear mark in the spot that would correspond with the sailor’s leg scar.

Caridad Del Cobre / Our Lady Of Charity / Our Lady Of El Cobre

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Our Lady Of El Cobre is the patroness of Cuba. Although part of the Our Lady of Charity advocation, in this country, and for most practitioners of Afro-Latin spiritual traditions, it has a completely distinct personality and legend.

According to the legend, around 1612, three fishermen (two native Indian brothers and a black man) were out to the sea in a small boat – a storm started, and the three men prayed to the Virgin Mary for help; the waters quieted, the clouds disappeared, and the men saw something floating in the waters towards them. Over a small plank of wood, they found a statue of Our Lady – in the wood, the words “Yo soy la Virgen de la Caridad” (“I am Our Lady of Charity”) could be read. Her first sanctuary was built near the local copper mines, starting the nickname of Caridad Del Cobre.

In 1916, she was declared patroness of Cuba, but her importance in Afro-Latin religion goes way beyond that, as she is syncretized with Ochum, Orisha of love. Their feast day is celebrated on the same day, September 8. And, once again, the relationship between Afro-Latin religions and the Canary Islands is brought to light by the fact that the Caridad Del Cobre advocation is patroness of Cuba, and also of two Canarian towns: Azanos, in the island of Tenerife, and Gallegos, in the island of La Palma.

Note – I do not own the copyright of any of these images. They are shown for educational purpose only, and no copyright infringement is intended.

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