Prosperity Work With Saint Pancras

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Financially, January is a tough month for businesses and buyers alike – after the holidays’ excesses, everyone is broke and those of us who are independent workers are definitely among those who suffer the consequences of such excesses the most. Also, today is also the end of the latest Mercury Retrograde period – so, to make the best of the forward flow of energy this will bring, and give a little free magical advice for improving your finances, I decided to make a special offering to Saint Pancras, one of the Saints that’s traditionally linked to prosperity.

· Take a nice plate, and place a layer of brown sugar on it. Sugar is an essential food for Spirits, and in Prosperity Magic, represents abundance coming easily and “sweetly”. Nobody wants their money to come through the pain or loss of another.

· Over the sugar, forming a circle around the outer edge, add thin slices of lemon, as many as you need to make the full circle. Lemon cleanses and purifies, so our abundance doesn’t come from “dirty” sources, and the slices represent the Sun, bringing protection, strength, and success.

· Over the lemon slices, place fresh parsley and rosemary, in any way you want. Parsley is Saint Pancras’ herb, so it is deeply associated with Prosperity Magic, and so is Rosemary.

· In the center, place a red or green candle. It does not need to be tree-shaped as mine; any type will do. We just got this one from a friend, and here, all special candles go to the Spirits, so this work was a perfect excuse to use it. If you have any Prosperity or Money oils, you can, of course, anoint the candle with them.

· Offer it to Saint Pancras; of course, you do not need to have a statue – Saint Pancras is not deaf, and he will listen to your prayer! You can print an image from the Internet, or simply keep an image open in your phone/computer as you do the work. Or nothing.

Speaking about prayers – I do not use any particular prayer when working with him; I just call him, tell him that the offering is for him, and ask him for what I want with gratefulness and confidence. This work is not a ritual, it’s just simple Prosperity Magic so it does not need any formality – what it needs is trust and love for Saint Pancras.

And – this is VERY important -, if your request is granted, praise Saint Pancras in some way, and consider giving him a permanent place on your altar/sacred space.

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Visual Inspirations: The Island In January

Happy New Year to all readers and subscribers!!!

January is the greenest, most beautiful month of the year when it comes to our tiny islands. This year, after an unexpected (but deeply grateful for) very rainy autumn, Winter has started cold (by our standards :D ), sunny, and totally delicious.

The places where we wildharvest regularly become our gardens, our adopted areas; we know every tree that grows there, when they flower and seed, and when they are not to be cut. Many of the older trees hold very powerful Spirits, and they have become our friends through each visit, each offering, each time we clean the place from trash. We see seasonal plants come and go with the year, rejoicing by their return every single time. We are as attached to these places as if we owned them, and when civilization ends with them, our heart will be broken.  So, what you are looking at is not only pictures of pretty things – it’s our green family :). Enjoy!

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Hibiscus (above) and Bird Of Paradise/Strelitzia (below) are in full bloom during this season.

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Gorgeous moss textures on the bark of a bottle tree (Adansonia Genus, Baobab).

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Canarian Ivy (Hedera Canariensis) growing over a Pepper Tree (Schinus Molle).

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The Canarian Palm tree (Phoenix Canariensis) is giving fruit abundantly – only animals eat their dates, but the sap that is taken from the crown of the tree is the origin of the Canarian Palm Honey, one of the most delicious relics of Canarian cuisine, and sadly a disappearing tradition.

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Inside the branches of one of my “adopted” Dragon’s Blood Trees. This one is actually the biological mother of the one I grew from seed, and that lives in our garden.

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And finally, my beloved Juniper trees. These five trees grow around a well that is centuries old, and are the home to several families of blackbirds,  so they are quite magical indeed.

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Canarian Folklore: November And Saint Andrew

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November 30 is the day of Saint Andrew, one of the Saint more revered in our island. This post is a little homage to him, and to the folklore traditions around his worship in Tenerife, because both Fernando and I are tied to him through our families.

In Puerto De La Cruz, the city where I was born, and were my maternal granndparents lived, Saint Andrew’s feast was celebrated with a tradition named Correr Los Cacharros (Running With The Pots/Tins), which consisted in gathering old tins and pots, tie them to a rope, and run around the cobblestone streets of the town. I participated several years when I was a child, and it was so much fun – it’s one of my most treasured childhood memories. If you know a bit about older magical traditions, I’m sure you have already made the connection – making loud noises, specially by children, is a custom in many places in the world to send away evil spirits and negative entities.

In the town of Icod De Los Vinos, in the north of the island, we have the tradition of the Tablas De San Andrés (Planks Of Saint Andrew). The town is quite famous for its extremely steep streets; on the eve of Saint Andrew’s feast, the fearless Icodenses*  get to the higher point of those streets, armed only with a greased plank of wood, and using it as a seat, just launch themselves down a very, very dangerous race.  Sometimes, they do that in small groups, with three or four racers in the same plank. There is no way of braking, so racers just crash at the bottom of the street on a huge pile of old tires… and survive :D.

*Icodense means citizen of Icod.

The very brave Icodenses :)

San Andrés is also the name of the town where Fernando was born and lived with his family, and where we lived our first two years as a couple. This small town by the sea, which was once the home of Guanche Mencey** Beneharo, has the tiniest and loveliest church dedicated to him (along with Saint Lucia); November is a whole month of special events in the name of the Saint – special masses in his honour, events to showcase folkloric music groups, a procession, and of course, a good ol’ verbena***.

** Mencey was the title given to the Guanche Kings/Chiefs.

*** A verbena is an open-air dance, usually made in the town’s biggest square. It includes live music (traditional and contemporary alike), and food and drinks are sold.

The lovely and tiny church dedicated to the Apostle in the town of San Andrés.

All around the islands, Saint Andrew’s day also marks the date when the new wine is sold; roasted chestnuts, grilled fish and boiled sweet potatoes and yam are the most common food at local festivities. Being a patron of fishermen, and thus of coastal towns, the celebrations usually include maritime events, where fishermen deck their boats with flowers, flags and strings of lights, and parade together near the shore at dusk, usually with one of the boats carrying a statue of the Saint.

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Ancestor Stories

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Ancestors are on everyone’s minds these days – during my morning meditation I was thinking of them, and was inspired to do this: to share a funny and/or endearing memory about my Ancestry, and invite you to do so, however you choose. Post it on your social networks, share it with friends, share it with your children, it does not matter. The point is remembrance, loving remembrance, by sharing bits of their existence. So, there go mine :).

My grandmother told me that when my grandfather was a young man, he kept his hometown in terror for a week by putting a donkey skull with a lit candle inside on top of a very promiment rock, so everyone throught their town was hunted by the Devil. He stopped doing it after a week, never told anyone it was him, and let the town gossip about it for months. He told my grandmother many years after that, when they were already married :D :D :D.

My favourite story from her is different, and quite moving – and it is a Christmas story. She told me how one Christmas, right after the spanish civil war, she received an orange and a handful of peanuts as a Christmas gift. She held the peanuts in her hand for as long as she could, postponing the pleasure of eating them through the whole day, until my great grandmother threatened her to throw them away, because they were starting to get all sweaty and dirty. Every time she told me that story, she would say again and again how tasty they were, and how happy she was with her gift. Really humbling.

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Preparations For The Service: A Photo Post

This post is a selection of images of the preparations for our upcoming Noche De Animas Service that I have posted in the past three weeks in my social networks, for those of you who do not visit them often, or have been away for any reason. With it, I want not only to inspire you, but also to invite you to participate in the Service, and show how every detail is cared for lovingly. Spiritual Services are, for us, the top of our skill as Espiritistas, and a task that we take with the love and devotion it requires – as I hope this post will show you :).

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Herbal liquor (named Parra here in the islands), made with herbs from the garden. Once steeped for a few weeks, it will be sweetened with local organic honey and poured on a special bottle for the altar. On the sides of the jar, Sage and Lavender incense sticks, also made with herbs from the garden.

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The altar begins completely bare, and is purified with herbal waters and incense. A fresh tablecloth is placed, and just a candle that will be lit most of the day until the 31st. With fencing wood and handspun wool, I made a trellis to work as the background of the altar. That was really fun work :).

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A few days after, it was decorated with a garland of dry Bouganville flowers and Eucalyptus leaves, strings of beads, bones, a small horseshoe (probably from a donkey), owl feathers, and the incense sticks you have seen in the first picture of this post.

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A very special moment in the preparations for the Service – setting our Mother Africa statue and embellishing her. She will represent all Ancestral lines, ours and our customers’ lines. The energy in the altar, and in the whole room, changed as soon as she was finished.

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I got some vegetables from a dear sister’s family crop, and among them there was a couple of corn ears. Of course, I had to save the husk for a Corn Lady doll for our altar. A little wool for filling, red string for good luck, my amulet bracelets for her necklaces, and two keys in her arms, for opening and closing energies as she should :). The Corn Lady is abundance, prosperity, growth, medicine, susteinance. You can see how lovely she looks on the altar on the pic below.

dscn3100Our Noche De Animas service celebrates, empowers and strengthens your relationship with your Ancestral lines – and, this year, it has a totally irresistible price of 10$. Read all details here:

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Visual Inspirations: To Saint Michael, On His Day

Today is the feast of Saint Michael, and since he is tremendously important in the Canarian tradition of Curanderismo, and on our own personal practise as well, this post has the only intention of honouring him. He has performed true miracles for us and for our customers, and he deserves no less!

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Saint Michael By Cesare Dandini (1596-1657).

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Saint Michael By Guido Reni (1575-1642)

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Saint Michael By Rafael Sanzio (1483-1520)

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The Last Judgment, by Hans Memling (1430-1494), with Saint Michael weighing souls in the centre. Above, full piece and detail.

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Saint Michael Freeing Souls From Purgatory by Jacopo Vignali (1592 -1664).

May the protection and love of Saint Michael bless you always!

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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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Canarian Folklore: Advocations Of Mary (1)

This article, which will be published in two consecutive posts, 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.

Our Lady Of Candelaria

Our Lady Of Candelaria is the patroness of Tenerife and of the whole Canary Islands. Before the Spanish invasion, she was worshipped as Goddess Chaxiraxi by the Guanches; she was called “Mother Of The Sun”, “Lady/Queen Of The World”, “She Who Holds The Firmament”, and “Princess Of Great Kindness”. Chaxiraxi means “The One Who Carries The Owner Of The World” – the owner of the world being her son, Chijoraji, the infant God.

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It is believed that the original statue was found around the year 1400 (almost 100 years before the spanish conquest) by two Guanche shepherds in a ravine in the area that is now the town of Güimar. The shepherds were trying to put their goat herds inside the cave where they slept, but the goats started behaving crazily and didn’t want to enter the cave; when they approached the cave’s entrance to find out what was happening, they saw the image of the Virgin standing above it. At first, they thought it was a living woman; one of the shepherds tried to throw a stone at her to make her move, but his arm was paralyzed; the other, scared, tried to stab her, but ended up stabbing himself. When they finally reached the statue, their wounds and paralyzed limbs healed.

Note – the picture depicts a reproduction of the original statue found by the Guanches, not the original one. There are no images of the statue found by the Guanches.

For a long time, the statue, which most likely was brought to the shore after a pirate shipwreck (with a little help from Chaxiraxi, I’m sure!), was worshipped at the cave of Saint Blaise, while the first church of Our Lady was built in a very near location. That original statue, and the original church, are now lost – both were destroyed during a flood in 1826. The great sculptor Fernando Estevez was hired to make the image of Chaxiraxi that you can see on the top of this post, which was restored in 1972 by Ezequiel De León. This statue resides now in the Basilica Of Candelaria, a cathedral dedicated to her worship; every year, on February 2 and specially on August 15, thousands of Canarians visit her and worship her with pilgrimages to the Basilica.

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Our Lady’s Basilica

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A very special note is deserved for the church of Our Lady in Caracas, Venezuela – for all those who are interested in the Canarian-Venezuelan connection in our work and spirituality :). In the county of Mérida, also in Venezuela, she was worshipped as the protector of Black slaves, after manifesting herself to a little black girl; slaves were not allowed in the local church, so the worship of Our Lady in Merida started as a hidden cult after Her apparition. You can see the main altar of the church in the pic below.

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Part 2 Coming Soon!

Note – I do not own the copyright of any of these images, except for the images of the Basilica and Saint Blaise’s Cave. They are shown for educational purpose only, and no copyright infringement is intended.

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Canarian Folklore: The Eve Of Saint John’s Day

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The Eve Of Saint John’s day happens in the night from June 23 to June 24, and is one of the most magical nights of Canarian folklore. It is also celebrated in the rest of Spain, and in other countries as well, but on this blog post I will focus only on Canarian traditions.

Although not specifically on the same day, Summer Solstice celebrations predate the Spanish invasion – the Guanches believed that the days around the summer Solstice were specially propitious for connecting with their Dead, whom would come back as human-shaped mists coming from the sea.

Today, Saint John’s Eve is entirely devoted to the power of fire and its ability to clean negativity, and its main magical element is the bonfire. Created on public spaces (rural and urban alike), the bonfires are made entirely of salvaged wood – old furniture, pallets and any wood scraps from home renovations or carpentry. Other regular additions are old clothes, papers with petitions for what people want to forget or finish, and school papers from students, as the school year has just finished here. No matter what you use to build your fire, the point is that it’s no longer necessary, because this turn of the wheel is all about renovation, rebirth, about cleansing the old and welcoming the new.

In this picture you can see quite clearly how the bonfires are made of discarded furniture and wood scraps, and not regular logs.

In this picture you can see quite clearly how the bonfires are made of discarded furniture and wood scraps, and not regular logs.

The bonfires are lit at dusk and, by midnight, when the bonfires are reduced to burning coals, the tradition asks to jump over them three times to be cleansed of all negative energy for the whole next year. If the bonfire is made in a beach (which is quite usual here), the tradition calls for three baths in the sea after jumping over the coals, to assure the good luck of the following year, and the banishing of all evil spirits. The baths must be taken facing the beach, not facing the sea, so the waves can take all negative energies away from us.

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A young man jumping over the coals at Las Teresitas beach in San Andrés, Fernando’s hometown.

Speaking of specifically Canarian traditions, each island has different ones, and sometimes even each region; in the north of Tenerife,  we have the sadly disappearing tradition of the Hachitos , which are burning three-armed ornaments made of wood, flowers and ribbon, where dry corn kernels soaked in tar are used as torches. The Hachitos burn during the whole night, marking the path towards certain churches or places or prayer for the pilgrims, or being taken along with the pilgrims’ processions.

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Both pictures above depict pilgrims carrying the Hachitos. Sorry for the bad quality, these were really difficult to find!

In Puerto De La Cruz, my mother’s hometown, Saint John’s Eve’s central celebration is the bathing of the goats, a ritual where thousands of goats from shepherds from all towns in the north of the island are led to the beach, to be bathed and purified for the next year – truly a beautiful celebration! I would like to add that in this ritual, absolutely no goats are harmed – actually, sea water is extremely beneficial to them, as it removes parasites, and aids in healing wounds because of the iodine content in sea water.

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The tiny beach of the El Charco Square in Puerto De La Cruz, with the goats ready to be bathed. I was born less than a mile from this place!

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The man with hat and traditional wool cape in the middle of the picture is the late folklorist Chucho Dorta, one of the most important keepers of Tenerife’s traditions. I never met him, but he was my mother’s schoolmate.

There are also many small local superstitions around the night of San Juan; we have been pestering our family and revising our books, gathering them for you :).

· That night, place a big bowl of water outside. Before the sun comes up, look at yourself in the water. Whoever that does not see their image, won’t live to see another night of San Juan unless they get help from a Curandera immediately.

· If you have seen your image in the water, use said water to wash your face; it is the best beauty aid you will ever try. You can bottle the rest of the water and use it as a beauty tonic until finished.

· Saint John’s Eve is a night of powerful divination; the most common method is lighting a white candle and putting a glass full of water between you and the candle. On the glass, break an egg that has been laid that day and study the figures that the egg and the water form, much like when making tea leaf readings. We have found a version of this spell using molten lead, probably using the small drop-shaped lead pieces called sinkers.

· Whoever is holding a branch of fern exactly at midnight, will be lucky for a whole year. The fern branch must be hung over the front door before the sun comes up.

· At the exact time of midnight, place a candle between you and a mirror. You will see your funeral behind your reflection in the mirror, for a brief instant. We have also found a version where you will see the Dead instead of your funeral.

· Any woman looking to be pregnant in a year shall wear wormwood in a sachet next to the skin while jumping over Saint John’s Eve bonfires.

· Choose three small potatoes with similar shapes and, in a jug filled with water, put one completely peeled, one half-peeled and one unpeeled. Place the jug under your bed; when you wake up the morning of the 24th, and before you put your feet on the floor, reach the jar without looking and take one potato, the one you first touch. If it’s peeled, your husband will be poor; if it’s half peeled, he will be just rich enough to support the family; if you get the unpeeled one, your husband will be very wealthy.

· Instead of potatoes, there is also a spell made using paper bits with the names of the “competitors” for a woman’s heart. The paper bits are rolled and placed in a jug of water; the morning of the 24th, one paper will be unrolled and floating over the water; the name on that paper will be the name of the girl’s husband.

· The name of the first man that walks by your door after you wake up on the morning of the 24th, will be your husband’s name.

Note – none of the images used in this post is mine; on that night, I am usually too busy witching to take pics :). They were all found online, mostly on local newspapers’ websites, and are shown here only for educational purposes.

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Medicinal And Magical Plants Archive: 1

A new series begins at the blog – one that will offer more extensive profiles of plants of the Canarian tradition of Herbalism, both as a medicinal and as a magical source of reference. On each post, I will add five new herbs to the archive, explaining their medicinal use, their magical use, and any bits of folklore that I know related to that plant.

And remember – I am not a doctor, I am a Curandera. My advice is only that – advice, and cultural reference, and it should not be taken as a substitution for medical advice. Do your research, and know your own body – plant medicine is not harmless.

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Rue

Latin Name: Ruta Graveolens

Medicinal Properties: This is a very bitter plant so its tea is not very pleasant. Pregnant women should avoid completely it as it is a powerful abortifacient. It is helpful to treat irregular menstruation and it is also antispasmodic, but I wouldn’t advise its use unless you are quite familiar with herbal remedies, because it is not a plant for beginners.

In the Canary Islands, there is a traditional remedy using rue for indigestion: fry a fresh branch of rue on two teaspoons of olive oil, set aside until the oil is warm and then dab your fingers on it and use it as a massage oil for the stomach area. I have used it myself and it works much better, and much more safely, than tea. This oil can also be used for arthritic pains.

Farmers: If you want your farm animals to breed, cut off all rue from their grazing zones.

Spiritual Properties: it is placed at the door of the house/business/temple to repel negativity, as this plant is a powerful warrior against negative magic, evil eye, and evil spirits. It is a major element on protection amulet bags (dried leaves) and on protection floor washes (tea).

CAUTION!!! The combination of rue and solar exposure is very dangerous, specially during the plant’s blooming. It may cause severe burns and blisters if picked during daytime, so harvest before or after sunrise and wash your hands well after picking. Not everyone is allergic to it, as it happens with other allergy-inducing plants, but don’t take risks or you could end up in hospital.

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Epazote

Latin Name: Chenopodium Ambrosioides

Medicinal Properties : Epazote is used mainly for digestive issues. It is a wonderful herb for indigestion, or after big meals to help the digestive system work properly. In my personal experience, epazote works worderfully both as a tea or as a tincture – actually, it is a very common addition of the Parra, a traditional digestive herbal drink that is used to finish huge meals.

Along with Wormwood (Artemisa Absynthia), it has been used for many generations to treat intestinal parasites of all kind. Though the risk of children having internal parasites is nowadays very low, pets can benefit greatly from this combination of plants, as fleas and ticks hate them. You can powder it and sprinkle your pet’s bed, or atomize the infusion over the pet’s body, always avoiding the head. This can also be used on farm animals’ beds, of course.

Spiritual Properties: used in protection and hex-breaking – as always, the magickal properties are analogous to the medicinal ones. Epazote helps us digest the obstacles in life and removes spiritual parasites. It makes a wonderful smudge/spray for getting rid of residual negativity from our houses: smudge/spray the house with it after situations that are highly stressful for the whole family, like after a family member’s death, after a divorce, etc. A bundle of dry epazote is a wonderful protection to keep nightmares caused by spirits away, and to protect children from spiritual attacks.

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Passion Flower

Latin Name: Passiflora Caerulea/Edulis.

Medicinal Properties: The Passiflora plant is the mother of the Maracujá or Passion Fruit. There are about 500 subspecies, but the most comon are the Passiflora Cerulea, which produces the yellow passion fruit, and the Passiflora Edulis, which produces the purple passion fruit. The fruit is one of the subtropical fruits with a higher amount of C and A vitamins. The juice is incredibly tasty and aromatic, as is used mainly to enhance the taste of orange and papaya juices. A juice made of papaya and passion fruit is a powerful cleansing and revitalizing juice, and does wonders for people with gastric problems.

Teas and tinctures of this plant’s leaves are used to treat anxiety and depression. This plant is usually combined with Valerian Root, Lemon Balm, Orange flowers, Violets and other calming herbs and flowers. The leaves can also be smoked, dried and powdered, and mixed with other smokeable herbs, as the sedative alkaloid it contains has the same effects.

Spiritual Properties:The flowers are used mainly for love and passion amulets – a bundle of leaves, left to dry over the bed, will assure the couple lovely and passionate nights; but since it is also related to the Passion of Christ, this plant is also used in ceremonial/blessing incenses and oils, as it is believed to keep away negative entities.

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Thyme

Latin Name: Thymus Vulgaris

Medicinal Properties: though used mainly as a spice for soups, stews and sauces, thyme has many powerful medicinal properties. Eases fever, phlegm and cough; relieves muscle pain and headaches caused by menstruation and sunstroke; helps digestion, lowers fever, and it is also a powerful antiseptic and antibiotic. Along with rosemary and sage, there is little thyme can’t heal.

Spiritual Properties: in magic, thyme equals courage and luck. A powerful amulet against negativity, evil eye and persistent ghost activity, it is also used for money and prosperity spells. It is just as powerful as a medicine than as a magical herb: there is hardly a spell/amulet that doesn’t improve with the use of thyme! It is also a very fragrant herb, so it can be burnt as incense to repel negative energies, specially on businesses.

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) - for easing upset stomachs and healing Magic.

Fennel

Latin Name: Foeniculum Vulgare

Medicinal Properties: this humble plant, often overseen as a weed due to its prolific nature, is full of healing properties. Eases digestion, relieves nausea and vertigo, works instantly on heartburn and bloating, and it is mildly sedative, becoming an excellent after-dinner tea. It is also a wonderful eye wash, specially for people with allergies or those who are exposed to dry climates, and an excellent wound/sunburnt wash.

In the islands, it is customary to give fennel tea to babies with colic. Although today herbal healers are extremely cautious when giving herbal teas to babies younger than a year, many generations of Canarians have used this remedy for their sick babies with great success.

Spiritual Properties: fennel is highly related to children’s protection and thus, to angelic magic. Tied in a bundle over the main door of the house, it is a sign of angelic protection, keeping negative spirits away. It is also a very known herb for lucky gambling – keep a small red fabric bag filled with fennel near your lottery tickets for an extra dose of good luck.

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