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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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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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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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Feeding The Spiritual Frame

A big portion of everything we make goes to our daily spiritual work – keeping the Cuadro Espiritual (Spiritual Frame) happy and well fed is one of the most important everyday duties of an Espiritista. In the pics, you can see one of today’s offerings – a good sample of our new Kyphi incense, along with a Cinnamon scented candle, and fresh herbs from our garden.

Why is this important? Because it keeps the Espiritista protected against harm (both human or spirit-related harm); it keeps the correct flow of energy to perform divination, spellwork and any liturgical duties the Espiritista has; and, empowers and cleanses the Spirits that are still in the process of elevation. Without this foundation, us Espiritistas cannot do the work that we are meant to do, guiding and helping our customers and community.

At the moment of posting this, there are still four packs of Kyphi left in the shop – don’t miss your chance!

My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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New Series: Pictures Of The Week – 2018, Week 37

This new post series will feature 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!

Hydrangeas at the San Benito park. A very powerful plant for love magic, but one that I also relate to ancestral worship, as it was my grandmother’s favourite.

A new batch of Kyphi, that will be placed for sale on packs of 20 pellets on Monday Sept. 17 at the shop. Kyphi is a type of incense that was made in Egypt since the time of Pharaohs.  It is made with herbs, barks, roots and other natural items, and a paste made with raisins steeped with honey and wine. It is burnt on top of a charcoal, like you would do with frankincense. It smells delicious, and Spirits LOVE it!

Salvia Microphylla, a new addition to our magical garden. This type is a Mexican variety of Sage that hopefully will do well in our weather. I’ve never seen it growing here in the islands, so this is really exciting! As all Salvias, this is a plant of healing, blessing, and cleansing. It has a really spicy scent, so I’m sure this will do wonderfully in one of our Kyphi recipes.

The first Lavender flowers of the season, so tiny and fragrant. Lavender is a herb for blessing, that brings peace, forgiveness and understanding to your home and relationships, and that helps healing through grief, recovery from illness, and other long term healing processes. Angelic entities and any Spirits related to healing/medicine will gladly take it as an offering, as well as any Spirits who protect children. Infuse it in olive oil for a very easy, but really effective, blessing oil for anointing.

Cutting fresh Ginger root for future medicine, magic, and food. If you want to know how I preserve it, check this post.

New altar setup, so we could keep all statues together. In our tradition, altars are a very personal choice, and can be as eclectic as the Espiritista chooses, and can afford. We work with 21 full Cortes (groups of Spirits), so it would be impossible to have them all represented; we work with the statues that Spirits put in our way, and do the best we can to keep them all happy :).

Saturday morning’s harvest – Lemon Balm, Basil, Fennel, Spearmint, Argentinian Sage, and Lemongrass. The root in the lower right corner is also from Fennel; once dry, it will be a very potent ingredient for my herbal spellwork powders. This plant was grown from seed, and has been loved and nurtured for two years before harvesting, growing in a completely sacred environment – can you imagine how much power such thing can harness? And, aren’t you happy that this is what goes on your spells and candles?

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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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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!

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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