Talking To An Artist: A Short Reflection

Garden Harvest, my latest watercolour work.

Personally, I would never get offended by it, and I know that when people say it, it comes from a place of true admiration, but when you talk to an artist, you should avoid the words “talent”, “blessing”, “gifted”, or anything similar.
 
Why? Because there is no such thing. Good art is always the result of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, and nothing more. There is absolutely no gift, no talent, no blessing – actually, it is quite a frustrating profession, specially when it comes to selling and promoting it. When you talk about gifts, you are erasing the hard work, the many years of practise, the sacrifice of devoting time and money to your art when everyone around you is enjoying their weekends, their holidays, their time off.
 
In what applies to me, I am doing my art on top of managing my own business at Bruja Carolina (and being the only income bringer at my home), on top of a chronic illness, and being completely self-taught. As I said, you would never offend me with such a compliment, because I am a big girl and I completely understand where it comes from, so this is not a rant or a complain – but I will not deny that I would much rather hear other kind of comments.
 
Don’t tell me I’m good, because I know that already, and I don’t care if it sounds prideful, because I have many reasons to be proud, all cited above. And, to be honest, compliments should be for the art, not for me
Tell me what the art makes you feel. Tell me what it brings to YOU, what it inspires and wakes up in you when you see it. Tell me what the painting is telling you, not what you think I want to hear.
 
And AGAIN – always, always, thank you for your comments and support. That DOES matter. A LOT. <3 <3 <3

Happy Valentine’s Day: On Love Spells

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As every year, just as Valentine’s Day comes, some people like to sit in a very high horse, and point fingers from there, telling everyone how wrong both practitiones and customers are for doing (or asking for) love spells. Personally, I care very little about this kind of Internet debates, so do not take this article as my reply to them: this post is for my customers, so they can understand which is my position on this.

First, I do not judge my customers’ desires, because God* did not put me in this world to judge. I am not nearly as wise, as all-seeing, as to pretend that I can judge anyone’s choices, so I just don’t. Whether if I personally think my customers will be granted their request or not, it’s not my FUCKING BUSINESS, because I am not the one who grants them; I am merely the mediator between my customers and the Spirit world. I am here to provide a Service, and serve my customers in the way THEY want to be served; I have no guru delusions at all. My personal opinion is, to all effects, irrelevant.

I do not deny, because I am not a “love and light” Bruja, that sometimes the requests are selfish, dominant, and most likely unfair. There are requests that have you thinking “girl, you are going to regret this!” – but again, it is NOT my life, and whatever consequences come from that spell, good or bad, are for the person who requests it, not for me. I do not treat my customers as if they were children – it is their work to understand what they are buying, and what they are requesting, and not mine. My customers are empowered people, they know what they want from life, and my work is to help them get exactly what they want, being a communicator with the Spirits that can help them get there – again, I do not play guru.

Second, the scenario is not nearly as terrible as these people want to make you think – yes, there are some seriously deranged people (as there are in every profession and area of life), but the truth is that I have done thousands (literally) of spells that helped couples solve their differences and find communication; that helped then find the “spice” back and empowered their intimate life; that removed blocks of interference from outside the relationship, and allowed them to move forward together; that helped people who lived far from each other come closer. When it comes to love spells, most people have nothing but good intentions in their hearts; couples can go through temendous stress, through terrible misunderstandings, and we all need a little magic sometimes when the shit has hit the fan. None of us is free from making huge mistakes, or from falling in love with someone who has made a huge mistake. In my opinion, it is very prideful to say “I will never do this kind of magic” because we never know the circumstances we will face in this life, and how desperately we will need help from the Spirits. I was born with very little privileges, so whatever is essential in my life, I have every right to defend it to the very end, and I will. And, the truth that applies for me, applies for all those I work with.

And, before I finish, let me add something – if doing love spells doesn’t adhere to your beliefs for whatever reasons, FINE. As I said at the beginning of this post, this is not a debate for me, and as long as you don’t go around pointing fingers, I will ALWAYS respect your decision AND your religious beliefs. But, not all religions work that way – love spells, both binding and non-binding, are a completely common practise in many religions of the African Diaspora, and in plenty of other cultures around the world. In my religion (Espiritismo), there is no such thing as the Three-Fold law, OR as Hell, OR as Karma, and we are not fearing any kind of repercussions, from God or from the Magic itself. We are free to perform Magic as we see fit, and we are free to live our life as we see fit – if we make wrong choices, we face the consequences, just as everyone; but that is not something we see as an unbreakable magical law, that is just life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

*I do not adhere to a specific concept of what, and who, God is. For me, the only meaning of the word is “the source of Energy that is above the Spirits”, but I do not add any more qualities to that energy. Insert whatever you want there, male or female, one or many, all-powerful or not.

A Final Note – feel free to comment, but keep your religious bigotry away. Comments telling me I’m going to hell, that I’m breaking this or that law, or anything like that, will simply not be approved. I’m really not interested, so don’t waste your time and mine.

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

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

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Happy Equinox (A Short Reflection)

Sow Thistle, my latest watercolour.

With the Equinox right around the corner, and appointments finished for the morning, today it was a perfect time to get into the studio and give it a major turnaround, which includes giving away a few boxes of supplies to my dearest sister Eva, and making proper space for my paintings and drawings.
 
In December last year, after two years of working non-stop on improving my painting and drawing skills, and taking quite a few commissions, I took a hiatus with no determined time frame, and truly enjoyed every bit of that time. I have absolutely no problem with that, and I never considered it an “artist block” at all. EVERY artist needs to step away sometimes, so if you are reading this and wondering when your Muse will be back, DO NOT WORRY. It will return :). It always does. While my muse was on holidays, I worked on my dolls, I crocheted, I did lots of embroidery, and spent more time on the garden than ever. In almost nine months, I only made a couple of small paintings from photographs, and the colouring pages you have seen in this blog.
But today, and after slowly reconnecting with my artwork in the past weeks, I felt the hiatus was over, and that I was seeing my future work as a painter in a much more clear and mature way than I had ever seen it. Don’t worry, Bruja Carolina is not going anywhere! I have absolutely no intention to close my site or to stop offering my Tarot and Spellwork services. There is time for everything if one puts away distractions and works hard – and making my studio the right place for the future work is the first step in that direction. I am the kind of artist that needs harmony and order to be able to focus and produce, so it was the perfect excuse to make a generous gift to a younger, beginner artist like my sister. I was once the younger, beginner and definitely broke artist, and I also received unexpected mentoring sometimes, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. I will never, ever, forget those who put tools or education in my hands, so I could grow – it was my time to do the same for someone else.
Witches: doing this just as the change of season comes is a very powerful magical action. In the tradition of Feng Shui, creating open space and purging opens the energy for new opportunities; if we combine that with the inherent magic of the Autumn Equinox, and with the fact that the supplies I am giving away will help someone grow as an artist, we are working in total harmony and power to make good changes happen. And that is how you live Connected With Life :) – while I have nothing against altars and/or rituals (again, there is time for everything!), to make the best of important days, and truly benefit of the energy they bring, a Witch should weave their magic into the allegedly mundane things, until there is no difference between the two. Instead of “As Above, So Below”, I’d say ACT ABOVE, ACT BELOW.
Wishing you a very, very Blessed Equinox!

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

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Reflections: Daily Tips For Powerful Spiritual Growth

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Originally published on my website’s blog in 2014, edited and expanded for this repost.

Spiritual growth does not rely on ritual knowledge, because that is something everyone can memorize; spiritual growth is all about personal power – when one understands what true personal power is. All these tips, if the practitioner is focused on their intention while performing them, create an unbreakable foundation for spiritual growth.

And no, this is not a new agey thing for me, and yes, this is exactly how I do it. I have said this a million times, and I will say it once again – there are no secrets for connecting with Spirit, with Magic, with Power. My power as a Witch does not come from secret recipes or spells AT ALL; my power as a Witch comes from following this tips, every day without failure, as much as I can, until my last bit of energy.

· Tell yourself “I Love You” at least once every day. After that, you can add any other compliment, like; you look beautiful, you are stronger, you are healthy, I accept you, I forgive you, etc., depending on your personal needs, but let’s start with pure, divine Love. A daily dose of that Love can change everything.

· Tell someone else you love them, at least once every day. As in the previous tip, you can add anything you want after that. Plants and pets also count as “someones”, even places, or the Universe. The object of your love is irrelevant – and you get extra points if you say it to the unloved, the broken, the imperfect, the forgotten.

· Ask someone “How are you?” and LISTEN. If the news are bad, give advice if you can (asking permission to do so), give comfort if you can, and pray for that person. If the goods are new, rejoice with that someone.

· Do something that scares you. It does not matter if it seems silly, or insignificant to others; your challenges are not anyone else’s challenges. It does not matter if you “win” your challenge or not. This is not about winning – or better said, you already win if you try, no matter which is the result. Results are for people who keep scores, experience is for the wise.

· Learn something new. Get an encyclopaedia and read one page every day. Or, listen to a documentary, an audio book, a podcast, etc. Information is everywhere, and your mind is always hungry. Feed it, so it can expand.

· Listen to music, to different music, to music you’ve never heard, and if possible, dance. Let the music change you and cleanse you. After the music is over, lay or sit very still and listen to silence. Observe how it becomes another kind of music.

· Talk to your Guides, to your Potencias, to your deities. Perform a simple ritual action every day, like lighting a candle,burning incense, or tidying your altar. See it as calling your family – tell them about your day, listen to their advice, and ask them if they need anything. If you can do it, promise it, and keep your promise.

· Observe how magic and miracle exist outside your practise. Acknowledge magic outside yourself, connect with it, let it change your perspective. Project magic in all directions, and see it return to you; enchant your food, enchant while you clean, enchant your car, your workplace. There are plugs for your spiritual connection everywhere, and in everyone. Break the barriers between the magic and the mundane, because they exist only in your mind.

· Imagine something wonderful happening (to you or to anyone else), in as much detail as you can. The power of the imagination is one of the most powerful tools of magical and spiritual work, and there is no other way to enhance our use of tools than practise. And I’m not speaking of imagining yourself winning the lottery, which is not bad in itself, but this is not The Secret – I’m speaking of imagining worlds, of imagining your Ancestors/Guides/deities, of imagining the depth of outer space. Imagine the unimaginable, so it can manifest.

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

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