Herbalism: Dove’s Heart Pepper (And Others)

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One of my plans for gardening next year is to grow as many Canarian + North African varieties of peppers as I can fit in our small terrace garden. Yesterday, at my favourite shop at the local farmers’ market, I found a type that I had not seen in a long time – we call them Corazón De Paloma (dove’s heart). This morning they were strung and set to dry, so the seeds can be planted soon.
I plant these for three reasons – as food, as a way to preserve endemic species, and of course for magic. Spirits love them as an offering – by themselves, as part of cooked dishes, or steeped in rum or other clear spirits like Aguardiente.
Also, they act like “heaters” of magic potions/oils/incenses – they can make works go faster and stronger, but they must be harnessed by someone who understand the Pepper’s Spirit very well, since heat can easily go too far, and make situations get highly volatile, or explode in your face.
Other varieties in my collection:
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Ibarra Peppers – the variety is originally from the Basque Country (north of Spain), but these are from organic farmers from Tegueste, Tenerife.
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Pimienta Picona (literally, Hot Pepper) – the most famous Canarian pepper, and the main ingredient in Mojo Sauce, one of the most important elements of Canarian cuisine.
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Cuerno De Cabra (Goat’s Horn Pepper) – one of my favourites for cooking. Perfect for stews, soups, and Love Spells :D.

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Spiritual Bath Recipe

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This month, our Ancestors are closer than ever, and receiving all their blessing and guidance is extremely important for our own elevation and growth; here is an easy recipe for a Spiritual Bath that you can do to empower and cleanse the energy channels between you and your Ancestors. You will need:
 
· The petals of three roses, in your favourite colour (mine is pink);
· A glass of Holy Water (not necessarily Catholic Holy Water);
· The tea made from cooking a large piece of fresh ginger root, about a glass;
· A handful of coarse salt, the best quality you can afford.
 
Fill your bath with water, and add all the ingredients. Remember, no soap – if you need to wash yourself, do that before the spiritual bath. Get in the bath, and ENJOY it – this is not a chore, this is a spiritual experience, and allowing joy to be a part of it is extremely important! Feel how the energy of the ingredients clean you, empower you, and elevate you – visualize the entire bath being made of golden light, washing away negativity and filling you with power.
 
Once you leave the bath, remember to allow the water to dry on your skin without scrubbing it off – if it’s too cold where you live, you can wear a robe, but it’s really important that you let the energy of the bath truly fuse with yours. Repeating it only enhances its effects – in my opinion, a weekly spiritual bath is a must in your self-care routine!
 
 

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A Home Cleansing

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As the veil is thinner than ever this month, a good cleansing of the home is a wonderful idea. A combination of floor wash and spray made of herbs and Holy Water* is always my option, and of course, after the home has been throroughly cleaned of dirt first. Negative entities love dirt and clutter, and no matter how much herbs and incense you use, if your house is a mess, your life will be a mess.

For a good cleansing, I would choose Rosemary, Cinnamon, Thyme, and a handful of good quality salt. Make a tea, strain it well, and place half in a bucket of clean water without any soap, and half in a spray bottle.

Going room by room, starting from the farthest point and going towards the entrance of the home, mop the floors, and spray doors, windows, and all corners. Pay special attention to dark areas, like under stairs, basements, etc. When you get to the door, throw the remaining water outside.

After cleansing, you can light white candles, and offer incense, water, and sweets to your Ancestors.

*I make my own Holy Water, you don’t need to get it from a church.

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Spiritual Work: Cleansing+Blessing Home Wash

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I made this today, and it worked so beautifully and so quickly that I thought I’d share the recipe:
· The leaves and flowers of a branch of fresh Tulasi Basil;
· The leaves of a branch of fresh Rosemary;
· Florida Water;
· Holy Water.
 
Crush the leaves and flowers on the mortar well, so they release the juice; add half a glass of Florida Water, and keep crushing the leaves a bit more. Top the mortar with Holy Water until it’s full, and pray your cleansing+blessing prayers of choice.
 
Strain, place on a spray bottle, and spray your house completely, from the farthest point towards the entrance door. Pay special attention to doorways, windows, dark spaces under stairs, and any place where energy can become stagnant.

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Herbalism: Spearmint

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The best of Sunday is always spending the whole morning in the garden, without a hurry, enjoying the physical work, and the abundance and generosity of our plant friends. Despite summer being the less productive season of the year for us, there is still beauty and life everywhere around us – and work, lots of work.
 
In the picture, the lovely flowers of Apple Spearmint, my favourite variety, and of course an essential plant of North Africa’s apothecary.
It is the plant used by the Arabs to make their famous mint tea; for medicine, it eases upset bellies, relieves colds and headaches, and is mildly relaxing and refreshing – perfect after a meal, or before sleep.
For magic, it brings blessing, luck, health, and love. A holy plant that blesses the home, and one that I always recommend to beginner gardeners, because it’s really easy to grow.

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Photo Post: Guia Necklaces

A new batch of Guia necklaces has been made this week, and these pictures show part of the process of feeding them and preparing them to be made available at the store. Enjoy!

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Above, some of the herbs harvested from the garden for the Omiero. Below, the Omiero itself, ready to steep overnight. And, by the way, this is a huge salad bowl, and that’s two inches of fresh herbs minced by hand. THAT is the regular amount we do for any kind of wash, spiritual bath, etc. When I see people using a pinch of herbs in a bowl, I really wonder who taught them so poorly!

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Below, the eight necklaces in the batch.

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Look at the colour of that infusion! Please notice that this was not cooked – it was merely steeped at room temperature for around 20 hours. That, my friends, is the power of fresh and homegrown herbs!

After a few hours feeding off the marvellous Aché of the Omiero, the necklaces will receive several sets of prayers to empower them, cleanse them, and give them all the energy they need to be the best aid for mediumship. Tomorrow they will be available at the shop!

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If you want to learn more about Omiero, you can check this post:

https://connectedwithlife.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/herbalism-making-omiero/

If you want to learn more about Guia Necklaces, you can check this post:

https://connectedwithlife.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/spiritual-work-guia-necklaces-in-espiritismo/

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Photo Post: A Magical Life (2)

Images from everyday magic and everyday life, that I hope will inspire you and delight you!

In The Sacred Garden

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A new variety of Lavender for our garden, Lavandula Stoechas – doing well for now. Summer temps are already here, and all plants will be put to the test.

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Mealy Sage (Salvia Farinacea), flowering this week. A Mexican variety, favourite of butterflies and bees.

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It’s corn harvest season here, and every year, I make a husk doll with the first ears that we get from Fernando’s parents’ crops.

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Lovely Lady Corn got a headdress of Lavender flowers, and offerings of bread and honey. Making the garden Spirits happy is a total priority when you live in the SubSaharan area – temperatures are already very high, regular sandstorm season has started, and we need our green babies protected, for us and for all the customers who benefit from this garden through their candlework and spellwork. As you all start enjoying warmer weather and blooming gardens, we begin the slowest season – the first harvest is done, the land goes dormant, and we retreat inside most of the day.

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Gorgeous Fiesta Gitana Marigold – this variety of Calendula is doing so much better in our weather than any other I’ve planted before. Hopefully I will be getting lots of viable seeds to plant next year!

Magical Outdoors: Sacred Places

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One of the most beautiful traditions of May 1 is the Cruces De Mayo, which celebrate the foundation of the capital of the island, Santa Cruz De Tenerife. Accross the entire city, neighbourhood associations, schools, and the ciry hall, decorate huge crosses with flowers and fruits. A beautiful example of spiritual traditions crossing lines into civilian life, and blending with it unnoticed – since the cross is a powerful symbol of protection, these decorated ones protect and bless the entire city. We found this gorgeous examply while driving to the plant nursery to get some new plants for the garden.

The Craft Of A Bruja

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I took this picture only to promote the Tarot Forecast Newsletter, but it’s so pretty that I wanted to add it to this post. The lovely Italian style deck was a gift from my mother. By the way, you can find the link to join the Newsletter below.

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Photo Post: A Magical Life

I have not done one of these photo posts in a while, so here is one with my favourite images from the past months. Images from everyday magic and everyday life, that I hope will inspire you and delight you!

The Magical Outdoors: Wildharvesting And Sacred Places

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Seeds of Mustard (Sinapsis Alba, Sinapsis Arvensis) and of White Lupin (Lupinus Albus), wildharvested. Both species are part of our traditional cooking – Mustard is very well known, but the beans of the Lupin are not so common as human food. In several countries of the North Of Africa and the Mediterranean, they are boiled and brined, and eaten as a snack. These two will be part of our garden after the summer is over – a very lucky find.

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The sacred Ceiba, tree of knowledge, tree of wisdom, tree of sacrifice, one of the most important of our Tree teachers. At the La Granja park, Santa Cruz De Tenerife.

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Beautiful grafitti of Our Lady Of Candelaria, on the city that bears her name, this week. One of my favourite places in the world, home of our Holy Mother Chaxiraxi.

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Fumigation sticks made of wildharvested endemic varieties of Wormwood and Sage. These will be used on our cleansing rituals, and as offerings.

The Magical Home (And Its Sacred Garden)

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Beautiful pine wood cross, made by Fernando using a piece of wood found in a very magical area of our town, historically known for being home to Akelarres. A Spirit of the area told us to make the cross for protection, and this Bruja is old enough to not question that kind of intuition :). Not for sale.
In case you don’t know, Akelarre is the Basque word for a reunion of Brujas. It literally means “field of the male goat”.

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A sunflower for my beloved Ochum, as every year. I have many plants (and I mean specimens, not types) that are devoted to a specific Spirit: a Rosemary for Saint Michael, Guava trees for Eleggua, Chrysanthemums for the Ancestors… they make gardening a sacred task, and the garden a temple.

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Friends who fish – and owe a couple of favours to this Bruja – make the best magical gifts!After a few weeks under our very unforgiving sun, these will be dry and ready to be used in magic work – claws and shells for prosperity amulets, and the rest will be powdered for protection/defense work.
Please notice that a) supermarket crabs; b) cooked crabs; c) farmed crabs will not have the power required to do the work. There are many reasons for the success of my work, and one of the most important is the extremely high standards of each one of the ingredients I use. These crabs have been fished using traditional methods, in an extremely small scale, and without affecting the environment – be very, very wary of occult shops having a constant supply of rare/exotic supplies, because that is simply exploitation of resources.

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Burning a few of the fumigation sticks shown in a previous photo from this post.

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The first Cosmos flower appeared a few days before the Spring Solstice. Such a joyful flower.

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A special craft to celebrate May 1, made with a Christmas decor wreath, dry flowers, ribbons and bells.

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New Series: Pictures Of The Week – 2018, Week 39

This post series features the best and most magical pictures I post during the week on social media (check links below). Hopefully, this will show how varied and devoted our work is, and how many different things we do in only seven days!

The Autumn Equinox brought us a lovely gift – this gorgeous Colonial-style piece of furniture for our altar, with plenty of storage space and room for all statues, and fabulous carvings of fruit wreaths. Courtesy of Romani neighbours who were throwing it away, which always means an extra pinch of luck :).
The week had a busy start, shipping the weekend’s orders, running errands, and preparing for the work of the week. Stopped by the local candle shop to get some Tres Reyes incense, a mixture of resins that they make for the churches of the island, and probably my favourite incense in the world. The first serving is, of course, for the spirit family.

Captured this lovely fat orb yesterday while taking pictures of the lovely gardens in the road of San Diego. It is one of my favourite places for walking, since it’s known as an area where Akelarres happened – in case you don’t know, Akelarre is the word for a reunion of Witches, a word from Basque language. FYI – the photograph was taken without flash, in the shade, and on extremely hot and dry weather. I am a very decent photographer, so I can assure that this is not a lens reflection of any kind. Not that I need this as a sign of Spirits around us, but it’s always nice when it happens :).

Flowers for the Spirit family, from the city’s farmer market. Fresh flowers and herbs are food for the Spirit, and a staple in Espiritismo’s practise. The carnation is one of the most cultivated flowers in the islands, and to me, a flower that represents joy and abundance – perfect to let Spirits know how much we love them.

A very happy addition to our herbal garden – this beautiful Laurel specimen. A tree of protection, banishing, and cleansing – a true holy warrior, and one of the most sacred trees of the islands; we have several endemic species of Laurel, which give their name to the Laurisilva forest, a unique type of prehistoric forest that is part of the Macaronesian islands (Canary Islands, Azores, Cape Verde and Madeira).

The end of the week caught us sorting and processing last week’s wildharvesting bounty, which was already dry.  In the pic above, Mastic Tree (Pistacia Lentiscus); in the one below, Canarian Wormwood (Artemisia Thuscula, endemic).

And finally, the weekend, which was spent working on the creation and consecration of a completely new Spiritual Bath for the shop: Siete Poderes. The purpose of this bath is to balance and restore your entire spiritual power, cleanse your energetic channels, and re-energize you completely. I am so happy with this product, and I’m sure our customers are just going to love it as much as I do. Check it HERE!

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New Series: Pictures Of The Week – 2018, Week 38

This post series features the best and most magical pictures I post during the week on social media (check links below). Hopefully, this will show how varied and devoted our work is, and how many different things we do in only seven days!

Sunday found us at the beautiful Mesa Mota mountain, gathering herbs. First wildharvesting trip of Autumn. Harvested Eucalyptus, Heather, Saint John’s Wort, Juniper, Mastic Tree, and Fig Tree.

The wildharvesting bounty, being sorted in bundles and baskets to be set to dry. In a few days it will be ready to be part of our Apothecary, and of course of our spellwork and candlework for customers. What a blessed life.

New holy cards for Saint Cyprian and Saint Barbara – as I have posted before (check this post), I make them as part of my ministry as an Espiritista, and give them away to anyone who wants one. Of course, all orders this week have got one of each :).
As the summer ends, the lovely Alyssum is finally growing back, making the bees happy with its gorgeous honey-like scent.
Despite having an extremely busy week, we managed to make time onThursday to visit the mountains of Las Mercedes, an area that was seen as the land of the dead by the Guanches of Tenerife. We don’t do any wildharvesting there because it’s a protected area, but we regularly leave offerings and connect with our Ancestors.
And, there was a very lucky wildharvesting score – a Cedronella Canariensis plant full of seed heads ready to be harvested! This is a very rare and endemic plant, and one of the several plants called Balm Of Gilead in the Bible. I will be more than happy to welcome in into our garden this winter!

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