Visual Inspirations: Spirit Doll Photoshoot

The pictures I posted on yesterday’s post about Spirit dolls were taken at the studio table, which has great light for working, but is not the nicest setting to showcase the work done on this doll. So, today I did a little staging with shells, feathers, and one of my favourite silk scarves, and as you can see, this looks so much better – the early morning light was warm and perfect for the powerful colours of the clothing.

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Magical Crafts: Dressing A Spirit Doll

The doll’s headdress features rhinestone chains, beading, tulle flowers, and a lovely paisley print from vintage clothing. The pendant is real silver and moonstone, and it was the gift of a fellow dollmaker. It is entirely hand stitched from start to finish (no glue is one of my work’s trademarks).

In many, many cultures, dolls are seen as talismans and Spirit vessels – many of the religions of the African diaspora use them, and so does Espiritismo. This is a subject I know really extensively, because I have been an enthusiast of dolls and of textile arts for almost two decades, and I am quite an expert doll seamstress.

This year, I wanted to make a new set of clothing for a doll that I share with one of my Spirit Guides. In Espiritismo, dolls can be used as Spirit vessels, but when we speak of Spirit vessel we talk about a physical object that is spiritually owned by the chosen Spirit, and that improves the communication with them. This has nothing to do what people (stupidly) call a haunted doll. There is no such thing in the African Diaspora as a haunted doll, and any resemblance to that is as much a Hollywood invention as Voodoo dolls, zombies, etc. Our dolls are an homage of our love for Spirits, and a gift to them, that we craft to the highest standards.

The beading of the belt. The teardrop-shaped beads were hand dyed  by me, and the lace of the belt is Valencia lace, which is a Spanish type of handmade bobbin lace. Absolutely exquisite!

The same Valencia lace, on the lower edge of the skirt. The patchwork fabric was entirely hand stitched too.

I rarely make fixed sets for my dolls, so what you will see in the pics is how the doll looks as of now – I’d much rather build a wardrobe where I can mix and match, so unless something is made for a specific occasion, clothing sets are always open to change and improvement.

Very often, I work on the headdress while it is on, to place ornaments exactly where they should go. Here, I am affixing the rhinestone chains. As you can see, no glue!

There is no dress code in Maria Lionza’s religion – since many Espiritistas are also Lukumi, dressing in full white is very common, but this is not a fixed rule at all; in a Misa Blanca, you will find a complete rainbow of extremely flamboyant clothing, that depends only on the personal preference of the wearer, and very often of the rule they will carry during the ritual. Mediums that will be possessed by specific entities usually wear fantastic clothing in the colours of their Spirit, so they can dance and show off as they deserve; but those who do the more mundane work (like musicians, cooks, assistants, etc.) wear more comfortable clothing, and just special jewelry.

How the doll looks so far. I really, really love this. The colours are just singing!

So, each one of these pieces is a completely fantasy creation, which shows my love for traditional costume, and for the Spirit who Guides me. Sometimes, I get a direct request for a dress in a colour combination, or for a type of hairstyle – but, most of the time, I do whatever my inspiration and instinct ask me to do, because the doll does not need to imitate the Spirit’s look,  style, or ritual attire. For me, this is a completely sacred work, that I hold as high a standard as any other side of my Spiritual Work – and also, something that ties me deeply to my family heritage, since I am the third generation of clothing makers in my family, and I want to make my Ancestors proud :).

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Herbalism: Drying And Preserving Ginger Root

Ginger root is just amazing – it has so many properties, for both medicine and magic, that you would need a whole book to put them all together. I use ginger in my food, as part of herbal teas, and of course on my magical work – it is a perfect choice for Road Opening, Empowerment, Protection, Love, and even Hex-Breaking magic.

In my opinion, there is no comparison between starting with a fresh root, and purchasing the tasteless shit the supermarket sells on the spice section. But, a root is quite big, and if you leave it in the fridge, it will start wrinkling and losing taste and power very quickly. Here is a post on how I preserve and store ginger root from fresh – enjoy!

The root is pieced in chunks, the skin is peeled off as thinly as possible with a short and very sharp knife, and the root is then cut into thin chips or dices. If I only used it for magic, I wouldn’t peel it and just go straight to chopping it, but a lot will be used in the kitchen too, so peeled is easier to measure and powder if needed.

Note 1: Don’t throw away the peels! These are perfect for incense, infusing oils, for natural potpourri or amulet sachets.

Once the root is peeled and chopped, you must place it in on a shallow layer in a tray, and let it to dry on the warmest place in your home. Every day, you will turn the layer over to prevent it from molding until it is fully dry, which can take up to 2 weeks or more, because of the high water content roots have. It is a very good idea to place a layer of absorbent paper under the root chips, or a tea towel, to gather humidity – but the important step is to turn them over every single day.

If you live in a very cold and/or humid environment, you can place the root to dry in the oven. Keep it at the lowest setting for 3-4 hours, and keep the oven door slightly open so it doesn’t actually bake. Note for beginner Brujas: if you can smell it while it’s in the oven, it’s too hot!

Note 2: do exactly the same with the peels if you are keeping them.

This is how the root chips look when dry. Now, a part will be powdered in a coffee grinder, and placed in a small jar in our kitchen; the rest will go as is to our magical apothecary to be used in spellwork, oil lamps, etc. If properly stored, its scent and properties will last for many, many months!

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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NEW Service: Oil Lamp For The Anima Sola And The Animas Benditas

Traditional holy card of the Anima Sola.

My relationship with the Anima Sola and the Animas Benditas (Souls Of Purgatory) begins in primary school, as I studied at a nun’s school that was devoted to Our Lady Of Mount Carmel. She is often depicted releasing souls from Purgatory, and she is not the only one – if you do a little research, you will find a plethora of paintings and sculptures around this theme. Here are some of my favourites:

Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

Saint Francis Of Assisi

Saint Michael The Archangel

I have to say though, that I do not believe in Purgatory as Christians do – or better said, did before they changed their mind (!!!). As an Espiritista. Purgatory is the phase of spiritual cleansing that every Spirit has to go through before elevation or reincarnation. It is not a punishment, but a necessary step to release the earthly ties Spirits carry, to burn off any residues of their lives and past, and to reach a new level of energy and existence. When I look at the image, the fire is that purification, and the chains, those earthly ties.

As an Espiritista, working on the elevation of these souls in transition is a total obligation in our devotional duties, and is done almost every single day of the year without failure. This obligation has its return in the form of protection from those Spirits, and of the granting of requests. I have been looking for the way to extend this blessing to our customers, and finally, it is here: our new Custom Oil Lamp Service.

The Service

Our new Service will consist of a Custom Oil Lamp, prepared for your specific petition, which will be lit for three consecutive days in our special altar for the Anima Sola and the Animas Benditas. During the time the lamp is lit each day (around two hours), a set of traditional prayers to the Animas, plus a fully customized prayer for your request, will be recited; offerings of Holy Water, and of a unique herbal incense created just for this type of work, will be made.

In the pic above, you can see an example of how this work looks. All kind of non-binding petitions are accepted for this Service – for healing, love, protection, money/business, road opening, etc. Please click this link to read all details about this service at the shop:

https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/custom-oil-lamp-anima-sola-and-animas-benditas-%E2%80%93-three-day-setting

 

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

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Espiritismo Calendar: A Gift For All Our Customers!

Before the year ended, I wanted to do something as a gift to thank all readers and customers for the success and growth that Bruja Carolina has had this year. After many hours sorting through thousands of photographs (literally!), and also quite a few in Photoshop, my gift for you is ready: a downloadable Espiritismo calendar for 2018, with some of the best photographs I have ever taken, and most of the Spirits we work with through the year. I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do!!!

NOTE: the link to download the PDF is at the bottom of the post – no need to save the images below, these are only so you can see all the beautiful pages!

I know that once you put something online, you have no control of it any more, but this time, I have to really remind you that this is for personal use ONLY, because these are images of my personal devotion. I am more than happy that you share it, but please share the link to this post, and not the file itself.

Download The Espiritismo Calendar

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Spiritual Work: Objects Of Power

 

The pictures you see in this post are from the process of charging my gemstones today – these are mostly gifts from people I love, so although I am not a gemstone hoarder, I am very fond of my small collection, because of the people that gave them to me. I’ve had some for more than 20 years, and I have used them extensively, mostly in healing work. If you have watched Vision, the movie about the life of Hildegard Von Bingen, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about :).

This is what I (and many others) call a Object Of Power (Objeto De Poder) – which is any object, natural or man-made, that can be used as a battery of energy whenever is needed. If it’s a natural object, like gemstones/bones/furs/etc, it can be charged to improve its natural abilities; if it’s man-made, like a talisman or a mojo bag, it must be recharged/fed to keep it working as new. The more this process is present in your practise, not only the more powerful they will become, but also, the more tied to YOUR energy they will be, and the more they will empower you.

My process for recharging most of my Objects Of Power is quite simple and straightforward, as most of my practise. If the Object Of Power can be cleaned with water, they get a good wash first with running water (from the tap is fine, because running water is very powerful by itself), or soaking for a night in a basin with water, and a splash of Holy Water and/or Florida Water. If they cannot be cleaned this way, like Tarot cards, they get a good smoke cleansing with Rosemary, Wormwood, or Rue (depending on what’s in season). Delicate items like furs or taxidermy are brushed and left in an aireated but shaded place in the garden during a sunny day.

Note: when it comes to gemstones, it’s not a good idea to soak them overnight, because a lot of them can dissolve and get damaged, so a few seconds under the tap for each stone, and placing them on a towel to dry, is just fine.

After being washed and dried, the Power Holder is placed in front of the altar, along with offerings for the Spirits, so they get their blessing and recharging. This time, the offerings are the candle, the flowers from our garden, and an offering of incense that you cannot see in the pics, because it was placed on the altar where the statues are. This is an offering of gratitude and love for the work the Spirits do, and it can vary as my work is deeply seasonal – you can also offer some food, drinks, perfumes, cigars, fresh herbs, honey, etc.

I always try to be creative with offerings, because I am an artist, and both visuals and creativity hold extremely powerful magic for me – but also because Spirits appreciate the effort and time it takes. Doing this as a chore because it needs to be done regularly is senseless to me, because it wastes a perfect chance to make use of your Creator Energy, which is one of our truest Divine Connections – so, I invite you to be as creative as you can, as often as you can!

How do you keep your Objects Of Power? Any tips you want to share?

 

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Updates: Last Call For The Noche De Animas Service

· Participations for the Noche De Animas Service will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday 31, at midday Tenerife time, which is the same as London time. Get Yours Here.

· The Service will begin at dusk tomorrow, Tuesday 31, and will be closed in the first hours of Wednesday, November 1. We will be off all day, and reports will be sent on the morning of November 2.

· Since the Service won’t begin until the evening, I have ONE Spellwork slot for tomorrow morning. If you want to take the chance of using the energy of such special day, Get It Now.

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

Spiritual Work: Empowering Your Ancestor Connection

The Noche De Animas is just a few days ahead of us, and every year without fail, I get a long line of emails from customers asking for guidance on how to improve their connection with their Ancestors. Not that I mind about that, of course, but I thought that maybe more customers or readers could have the same questions – so, in this post, I am giving you what I think are the most important guidelines to keep a powerful and effective relationship with your Ancestral lines.

And, please notice that all this advice applies only to Espiritismo. Other people in other paths could have entirely different views on this, and that is totally fine!

1. You don’t have to connect with every Ancestor. We all have Ancestors we do not agree with, and that lead lives we do not agree with. Nobody has a perfectly clean family lineage; so, make your choices freely. If there are people you do not love sincerely, never feel forced to worship them. Ancestor worship is, above all, about mutual love and support between our world and theirs, and there isn’t a force in the entire Universe that would force me to give worship to someone I do not love.

2. Don’t expect them to carry you by the hand like a child, to give you an answer to your every question, or to make decisions for you. You Ancestors are not there to be your personal coach, or to babysit you. Your Ancestors are there to love you, support you and empower you on your decisions, on your path, and you are the director of that, not them.

3. The two real keys to successful Ancestor worship are simplicity and consistency – one candle, one glass of clean water, and one prayer of elevation* per week is enough, if it’s done every week without fail. You do not need a big altar, you do not need dish after dish of offerings – leave those to us professionals, and you focus on having a loving time with your family.

* In Maria Lionza’s religion, we empower our Spirits through prayer. This process is called elevación (elevation).

4. And speaking of elevation, our Ancestors are just people, and they don’t have any superpowers just because they are dead, unless they already had them while they were alive. We work on their elevation so they can be cleansed of their earthly ties and burdens, and so the connection between us and them becomes stronger – not because we want them to turn into something they never were.

The Golden Rule in Ancestor worship is: we do this because we LOVE them, not because of what we will get in return, as a homage to what they have already given us – our very existence, our cultural heritage, the family stories that keep us together. If you are looking for anything else other than love, you will not find it in Ancestor worship.

And remember, we’re in the last days to participate at our Noche De Animas Service – click on the image below to get your slot!

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

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Visual Inspirations: An Amulet Collection

Now that the altar room has been repainted, and everything is back in its place, it’s time to make the room as beautiful and comfortable as possible for our Spiritual family, and the Ancestral Lines of our customers.

All these amulets were hanging around the house, doing their work :D, but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while – to show them together as a collection in the altar room. Most of them were gifts, either from customers and friends around the world, or from Exu Okkada, so they all hold very special memories and meaning to me.

BTW, don’t forget to participate in our Noche De Animas Service :):
https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/october-31-2017-%E2%80%93-noche-de-animas-service

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

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