New At The Shop: Peonia – OOAK Talisman Necklace

EDIT – SOLD!

The most special element in this necklace are the Huayruro seeds, also called Peonías in Spanish. The natural red and black coloration of the seeds have made them a symbol of Eshu Eleggua for centuries; they are used for protection, road opening, and of course for ritual use, showing your alliance with the Orisha of crossroads.

In case you didn’t know, Peonia beads have been retired from the market because, as many other common seeds, they are toxic if ingested (yes, someone was as stupid as to actually eat their jewelry!). The ones used in this necklace are from my vintage stash of beads, and once I am done with them, I will not be able to get more ever.

I have paired the Peonias with the finest, tiniest vintage glass beads in red and black. I wish I had a mannequin to show you how delicate this piece is, and how elegantly it sits around the neck! As with all my talisman jewelry, this necklace has received a very special blessing for the wearer, asking for protection, road opening, luck, and all the good things that our beloved Eleggua brings into this world!

https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/peonia-one-kind-talisman-necklace

EDIT – SOLD!

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News: Scarab Talisman Earrings

Following with the series of North African talismans that started with the Berber Earrings (all sold now, thanks so much!), the second series is for the Egyptian Scarab.

The Scarab is a talisman of protection, strongly related to the power of the Sun and to God Ra – as the ball of clay the Scarab creates rolls over and over, it represents not only the cycle of the Sun around the earth, but also the concepts of regeneration and healing.

Each Scarab bead was handsculpted, aged and patinaed individually. They were made in a custom Lapislazuli colour, and sculpted using proper historical references from the archives of El Cairo museum. As with all my pieces, the work is done under strict magical conditions, without mundane distractions, in a sacred space, and always after meditation sessions that provide inspiration and guidance. The work that was put in these beads means that a very powerful amount of energy lives in each one of them. May this amulet bless you and protect you!

Find them at: https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/scarab-earrings-talisman-protection-regeneration-and-healing

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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Service Preparations: Pictures

A bundle of artisan cigars that have gone through the Sobado ceremony last week, wrapped in fragrant Lemongrass leaves and ready to be offered on Saturday, in our upcoming Spiritual Empowerment Service.

Smoked, burnt as incense, or used as an offering, tobacco is a sacred plant that opens the channels of Spirit, empowers the connection between worlds, and cleanses away negativity and parasitic entities – all perfect properties for our Service!

A small batch of Kyphi – we serve our regular Kyphi in almost every Service, but this one has been prepared with a custom recipe for the purpose of the Service – to strengthen the connection with Spiritual Guides, cleanse the channels of magical energy, and helping all participants achieve more control and power over their magical practise.

After spending the weekend cleaning the house from top to bottom, it’s time to begin the magical cleansing that will purify and empower the energy of the altar room. In the pic, over twenty herbs, barks, and roots, to be used in a floor wash daily until next Saturday. 100% of the ingredients were either homegrown at our sacred garden, or wildharvested in Nature – our customers deserve the best, and nothing but the best!

Remember, participations close on Friday 20! To purchase yours: https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/april-21-spiritual-empowerment-service

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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Magical Crafts: Guia Necklace For The Tres Potencias

A very special project was finished today – a Guia Necklace for the Tres Potencias, the highest Spirits in my path of Espiritismo. The colours of the Tres Potencias are the same of Venezuela’s flag – yellow, red, and blue, a combination that is not easy to put together when making jewelry. The necklace features a gorgeous moon shaped mother of pearl pendant, Moroccan Blue Czech glass beads, and fifty-two handpainted wooden beads.
Yes, I handpainted each one. Several times XD.
I will use it during ritual, but for now, it is looking quite lovely on the altar, getting filled with energy! If you want to know more about Guia Necklaces, you can do so at this post from last June:

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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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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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Magical Crafts: A Home Painting Tip

This week, we have been repainting the altar room, just in time for the Noche De Animas Service – what a difference a fresh coat of paint makes!

Here’s a magical tip about painting your home that came from a very mundane source – professional painters sometimes add a few drops of essential oils on paints that are not new, to ease the smell that paints get when stored for too long. Scents like peppermint, pine and citronella are the most common, because they’re easy to find, and because they are the most used in cleaning products, as they neutralize bad odours.

Of course, as soon as I heard of this many years ago, the Bruja took over – because if you use that choice consciously, you can do a lot of magic this way! Pick the oils according to the use and needs of the room – for example, for the altar room we chose a teaspoon of my own Money Oil (because it’s where I do my business), a teaspoon of my Protection Oil (because it’s my home), and a teaspoon of Citronella Oil (for the good scent, but also for its road opening properties). And yes, it can be done with regular paint for your home, and no, it doesn’t have any effect on the paint.

Wishing you a very Blessed day <3!

To participate in our Noche De Animas Service, click here:
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

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Free Printables: Gardening Calendar

Do not download this pic – the downloadable PDFs are at the end of the post!

This two-page printable Gardening Calendar is based on the one I use myself, and will be very useful for beginning gardeners and wildharvesters. I write only the main monthly tasks, and also record what we have wildharvested (and where), so next year I can go back to it, and plan our wildharvesting trips in advance. It is a very efficient way to keep up with the cycles of the year, and once you have filled the first year, it is incredibly easy to stay prepared and organized. Below, you can find two versions for downloading, one in full colour, and one in black and white. And remember, as always, personal use ONLY.

Download The Full Colour Version

Download The Black And White Version (Printer-Friendly)

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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 Herbalism For Beginners III: Wildharvesting And Guerrilla Gardening

Beautiful mountains in the area of the Valley Of Colino, which crosses our town.

The third post of this series is about herbalism outdoors: Wildharvesting and Guerrilla Gardening. For those unfamiliar with the terms, Wildharvesting is the practise of identifying and gathering herbs that grow in natural areas, and Guerrilla Gardening is the planting of beneficial plants in abandoned urban areas.

We practise both – we live in a quite poor urban area, with very few green spaces and very hard climate conditions; and, since we have only an urban garden on the house’s roof terrace, we need to wildharvest to get plants that we cannot plant in pots. I hope our experience helps you and inspires you!

To read the first and second part of this series, please click Here (Part 1) and Here (Part 2).

Wildharvesting

· Wildharvesting requires the utmost respect for Nature and Her generosity; harvest just what you need, harming the plant as little as possible and leaving enough of the plant for it to regrow and feed the local fauna. If possible, harvest from several plants, instead of from one. Learn how to prune herbs correctly so you encourage growth

· Get a quality hand scythe, and keep it as sharp as possible. There is nothing that causes more accidents than a dull blade.

Our scythe – old, but very loved :).

· Protect your hands with gloves. We use the gloves that are sold for electricians and other construction workers – they are quite thick while allowing excellent movement, and have a non-slip cover on the palm for a better grip.

· For urban wildharvesters, a few ziplock bags and a good pair of kitchen scissors will be enough; for those who wildharvest with a car, and need bigger quantities of herbs, this is our car’s kit: besides the scythe and the gloves mentioned above, we keep ziplock bags in several sizes, trash bags (for actual trash left by others), a couple of big and sturdy plastic bags for bigger amounts of plants, cotton cord, a sturdy rope, water, food, and a small first aid kit.

· And speaking of trash – don’t make any, and if you find stuff left by others, pick it. The land Spirits will love you for it. Become the guardian of the place where you harvest, and you will always be welcome to the land and its secrets.

· Always leave a payment for what you are taking, and thank the spirits of the place for allowing you to find and harvest plants. You can take seeds, fruit, milk, tobacco leaves, honey, bread or cake… the list can be endless. Take something of quality, and only biodegradable items. No candles, plates, or anything that can poison animals like chocolate.

· Do NOT wildharvest endangered species, on public parks, on preserved areas, or private properties. Ever.

· Do NOT wildharvest right off the edge of the roads where there is car traffic, if you have any intention of ingesting the plant, or to use it topically. Those herbs are poisoned by the cars’ fumes.

· And, this is very important: wildharvesting can be a dangerous activity. Don’t be the guy from Into The Wild, please; stay safe at all costs, never go wildharvesting without telling someone, and never ingest any plant until you are sure you know what you are putting in your body. Nature is NOT harmless, and neither are plants.

In this area (I will keep the place private), we have replanted several Dragon’s Blood trees, a Fig Tree, and several Canarian Lavender plants.

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening is the act of planting useful, edible and endemic plants on abandoned urban spaces. Guerrilla Gardening looks forward to give back to Mother Nature, to make our urban spaces more beautiful and useful, to offer sources of free food for anyone who needs it, to educate others in honouring the Earth, and to give the urban bird and insect fauna more sources for food and shelter.

· We gather all the seeds from our kitchen scraps along the year, extra wildharvested seeds, and any overstock of seeds from our garden, dry them and mix them in a bag – once dry, you can keep a small amount in your purse/backpack in a ziplock bag, and just spread a pinch whenever you have the chance.

· You can also mix your seeds with clay and make balls/discs with the mixture; make sure it’s natural clay with no chemicals added, like potters’ clay, and do not use heat to dry them (in both cases, so you don’t kill the seeds). Once they are dry, not only you can plant them anywhere, they make great gifts for friends and family, or for anyone you want to turn into Guerrilla :).

· Remember not to spread invasive plants, and use only varieties that are native to your environment – this is extremely important! Always choose useful over beautiful, food and medicine over pretty.

· Plants that are butterly and bee favourites should always be among your choices – the more we help beneficial insect populations, the healthier and stronger our ecosystem will be.

Offering of honey and Anise cakes, for a very special Spirit friend in one of our favourite wildharvesting areas.

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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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