Magical Herbalism For Beginners II: Drying And Storing Your Harvest

Rosemary (homegrown) and Eucalyptus (wildharvested), ready to be added to our Apothecary. The stalks are tied in bundles for our magical bonfires.

On the first post of this series, I offered a series of tips on learning about herbs for beginning Green Brujas; this second post will be focused on the drying and storage of your herbal bounty :). Enjoy!

· The first step is to clean the herbs thoroughly of dust, animal hair, insects and all kind of natural debris, specially if you have wildharvested them. Remove brown and yellow leaves and dry stalks. Keep only the best!

· Once the herbs are clean, decide which herbs will be used fresh and which ones will be set to dry; fresh herbs are better to make incense sticks, kitchen oils and vinegars, to mince and make frozen cubes of cooking herbs, and so on. All the work done with fresh herbs is your first task.

· For the herbs you want to preserve dry, branches should be hanged in bundles in a shady but well ventilated area – remember not to hang them touching a wall, or the side of the bundle touching the wall can rot. Don’t discard the stems, as many plants contain more essential oils in them than in leaves or flowers.

· If possible, do not dry herbs in the sun as the essential oils of the herbs are highly volatile and the plants will lose some of its power if sun dried. Solar drying is good for roots, fruits, berries, barks, stalks, and anything that holds plenty of water.

The cardboard boxes from the plant nursery are always saved, as they absorb the herbs’ humidity very well. These are turned over daily for the best results.

· Smaller amounts of herbs, moss,  hair-like roots, seeds and loose flower petals should be placed on trays; either on trays made with netting for ventilation, or in regular trays lined with absorbent paper or tea towels. Again, they should be placed in a shady but well ventilated area, away from direct sun. Once a day, turn the batch around for an even drying.

· Remember that chopping herbs is much, much more easier to do when the herbs are fresh; if you suffer from arthritis, fybromyalgia or any other kind of painful/debilitating condition, you should consider chopping the hardest parts, like roots and barks, before drying them. The drying process would be the same as above.

· Those of you who live in colder and more humid areas of the world, may need to dry your herbs using heat – your regular cooking oven is always a good choice. Keep your oven at the lowest temperature and leave the oven door slightly open for ventilation. After half an hour, bacteria or bugs will not survive and, though the plant’s power will be a little lower, it will be perfectly safe to use and store.

· Depending on your weather, herbs may take from 1 to 4 weeks to dry. Once they are crunchy, paper-like and soft to the touch, they are ready to be placed in a glass or ceramic jar and labelled. Remember to add the date of harvesting, as you don’t want to use herbs that have been stored for more than a year – you are not a butterfly collector, so USE what you have harvested!

· To store herbs, I simply use recycled and sterilized glass food jars; to sterilize the jars, place them in a tub filled with very hot water after washing them regularly, to remove all stickers and dissolve the glue; after a few hours, scrub the stickers away with a wire kitchen scrubber (and lots of patience!) and wash them again. When they are dry, rub the inside surface with alcohol (regular rubbing alcohol or vodka will do). Be extremely meticulous when cleaning the lids too.

· Keep your herbs in a dark place, away from strong smells and, if possible, away from heated rooms like the kitchen. If you are using your herbs for cooking, save baby food jars or spice jars to keep a small amount of the herbs in the kitchen, while the rest stays in a dark and fresh place. That way, your herbs will stay fresh and filled with healing and magical properties until the last bit is used.

Roots like Ginger, and any other hard materials like barks or woods, are chopped prior to be set in trays for drying.

**********************************************

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Magical Herbalism For Beginners I: Starting The Journey

Lovely flowering Marjoram, from our garden.

Magical Herbalism can seem like a daunting task when you are a beginner. There is so, so much to learn, and so many fascinating subjects, that it may put off even the most enthusiastic practitioner. On the first post of this series, I am offering tips on starting your herbal journey, and on making the best of it without going insane :). Enjoy!

· If you’re a true herbalist at heart, you will continue to learn until your very last day – so start slow, and stay slow. You cannot learn the properties and Latin names of a hundred herbs in one day.

· RESEARCH. Do not work intuitively, specially if you are making herbal products that will be ingested, or used topically. Herbs are NOT harmless. Invest in good books on the subject.

· Learn the Latin name of herbs – it is much more useful than it seems; for instance, for online researching and sharing with herbalists from other cultures and languages.

· Learn first about your local herbs, the ones that grow easily around you – so many beginners are discouraged from continuing their learning, simply because they are obsessed with growing certain plants, and fail. Just so, start with live plants from your plant nursery, instead of trying to start everything from seed, which is much more difficult.

· Keep a notebook only for herbal lore – a regular ring binder is perfect, as you can add and reorganize as you go along. Herbalism is dirty work, so keep the pretty notebooks for something else.

Flowers and herbs, set in baskets in a cool and shady place to dry.

· If you cannot have your own garden, start buying a small amount of dry herb and, before you make any use of it, place the herb in a bowl/plate and place your hands over it. Welcome its Spirit into your life, and do your best to transmit your thankfulness and welcoming – then relax and let the herb speak. Note down everything you have felt, heard or seen.

· On the other hand, if you can have a garden, no matter how small it is, treat it well and put in the hard work. The key to reaching the deepest knowledge from your plant Allies is happy plants – learn as much about the practical side of gardening, as you do about magical gardening. Plants need food, space, and they need to be protected from illnesses and pests. Gardens that are loved and protected by a devoted Yerbera*, grow better, are more resistant to bugs and produce more leaves and seeds for your work.

*Yerbera – female herbalist.

·The Fairies/Elementals/Corte Encantada** are there to help you. Search for their advice as protectors of Nature by creating an altar to them in your garden, or near your herb caupboard. Make a fairy pond, leave offerings for them and acknowledge their presence.

**Corte Encantada – In Maria Lionza’s religion, a group of Spirits which includes Fairies, Elementals, and other child-like Spirits.

· And please, don’t fall for the “some plants are more magical than others” myth. While I have nothing against cultivating and consuming entheogenic or poisonous plants at all, that doesn’t make them more magical than the ones you would grow for your kitchen. A Basil plant that is well cared for, and grown in a Sacred space, is just as powerful as any Mandrake.

Basil bundles, just ready to be set to dry.

**********************************************

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Making The Right Questions To The Tarot

Just as important as having a good Tarot Reader working for you, it is to make the right questions to get the most of it. What I do is not for entertainment; I see my work as something entirely Sacred, and I take it very seriously. When I am working, I believe my Guides and Ancestors, and YOURS, are present during the work, adding information and guidance.

Customers who think their questions well, and who understand what the Tarot can and cannot give them, get much more valuable information, and better advice that fits their situation and needs. Below, I am giving three examples of the most popular questions I get, and that could be greatly improved with a simple perspective shift; I sincerely hope that it will help you make the best of your Tarot readings.

Oh, and as always, let me add – this advice only applies to me and my work as a Reader. Other Readers could have completely different opinions and experiences on the subject, and that’s totally fine.

Hypothetical Question 1: When will I get a new job?

What Is Wrong With It:  The “when”; Tarot is never, ever, good at giving specific timeframes, specially if you have no real options in your nearest future. Also, Tarot readings cover a specific time into the future, and not your whole life.

How To Make It Better:  Start by having an active job search going on before making the question, and ask something like: “Is there anything I can do to improve my job search?”, or “Which obstacles are there in my job search?”. The point of this is not only to avoid asking what cannot be answered, but also to give you actually valuable information that you can use to strengthen your path towards your goal.

Hypothetical Question 2: When will I meet my soulmate?

What Is Wrong With It:  As I said above, “when” is not a good request for the Tarot; and, more importantly, the concept of soulmate is something so complex, that it would take a full essay to answer just this question. There is not one soulmate, but many; there is not one chance for love, but many; some people find it, and some don’t, and that does not make the first people happier than the second. Some people find their soulmate, and still are deeply unhappy for other reasons; and above all, soul mate does not mean spouse/partner – your soul mate could be your friend, your child, your father or mother, anyone. And so on and on.

How To Make It Better: Find someone you like first, and make your questions about a real, specific person.

Hypothetical Question 3: Which deity should I worship/Which religion should I follow?

What Is Wrong With It: No one should make that decision but you. Whether if you feel a call to a specific religion or not, it is always a choice, and starts with your choice as the sign those deities/spirits need to acknowledge your relationship to them. You must take your time to consider the responsibilities and duties that come with entering a religion, but it is you who must always make the first steps to show your honesty and devotion. It is actually extremely rare that Deities/Spirits say “no” to a devotee. And believe me, this is the answer you will get in your reading every single time.

How To Make It Better: Make your own choice, approach your Spirits, and instead of a Tarot Reading, get my Guidance Service. I’m serious, it’s amazing :D.

**********************************************

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Canarian Folklore: Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

About The Word Santiguado

In the Canary Islands, we speak a dialect of Spanish, so we have plenty of vocabulary that only we use, and that is very difficult to translate into English. Although I use the word Curandera to define my work and tradition, Curandera is only the regular Spanish term; in our dialect, a Curandera/o is called a Santiguador (male) or Santiguadora (female), a word that could be translated as he/she who makes (someone or something) holy.

The tradition of Santiguado (or, Canarian Curanderismo), as most ancient healing traditions, mixes prayer, ritual and herbal lore on equal parts. In a completely holistic way, the treatment for any illness is applied equally to body, mind and spirit, as we deeply believe that what happens in one of those areas always affects the others. Spiritual illness that is created by a curse, if not treated, easily becomes physical or mental illness; just so, physical or mental illness turn the patient into a very easy prey for parasitic entities and harmful magic. In this blog post, I will describe a hex-breaking ritual of our tradition in detail; after the ritual, you will find a message about the topic of hex-breaking, that I have written specifically for my customers.

Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

Herbal Treatment:

  • A bottle of red wine;
  • Three eggs, laid on the day the work is done;
  • A handful of each of these herbs, fresh or dry: Tea (Camelia Sinensis), Lemon tree leaves, Orange tree leaves, Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) and Grapevine leaves (Vitis Vinifera).

The mixture is slowly cooked together until the wine reduces its volume in half. Once it has reduced, it is filtered, and then three stones from the furnace that are red hot are placed in the liquid to remove any negative energies from it. The patient must keep this mixture in the fridge and drink a small cup every morning, before having any other food or drink.

Ritual And Prayer:

The patient sits in front of the Santiguadora, a pot filled with water placed between them. The Santiguadora makes the sign of the cross continuously over the water with the right hand, while reciting the prayer below seven times in a row.

I have added the prayer both in Canarian dialect and English. All words between brackets on the English translation are added by me to make the meaning of the prayer easier to understand.

” Si en la cruz te mato, con la cruz me das vida, con el Espíritu Santo, y la Virgen María.

¡Oh Madre de los Remedios! ¡Madre de los pecadores! Remédiame lo que tengo, y quítame los dolores.

Cuando vayas a misa, y entres en la iglesia, ¿Qué es lo primero que rezas? Un Padre Nuestro y un Avemaría.”

If on the cross you are killed, with the cross you give me life, along with the Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary.

Oh Mother of all remedies! Mother of all sinners! Heal my ailment, and remove my pains.

When you go to mass, and enter the church, what’s the first prayer you say? A Holy Father and a Hail Mary.”

Then, the water is thrown away at a crossroads, saying:

Esta agua bendita, que te riego aquí, que te pongas buena, y no se me pegue a mí.”

This holy water, that I spill here, (for) you are healed (and so the ailment) doesn’t stick to me”

After the ritual is done, the patient must do something for the Spirits; usually, a mass at the town’s church is the tradition, on behalf of the Souls Of Purgatory (Anima Sola), but if the Santiguadora/Curandera has an altar, the patient can purchase candles, flowers and/or fruit, and offer them to the Spirits in the Curandera’s altar.

A Reflection On Hex-Breaking: To My Customers

I tend to give my customers as much agency over the Services they get done as I can, not only because I am not here to judge that, but also because I firmly believe that nobody knows better what we need than ourselves. I cannot count the times that a customer has approached me with the feeling of something going wrong in their lives, whether as the result of a curse or as the result of negative Spirit activity, and were completely right about it – actually, so many times that I do not request a pre-spell reading for hex-breaking work any more, unless the customer wants it.

I believe in my customers, because:

a) in the cases where the reading was actually done, only 1 out of 100 or less was wrong;

b) because I believe that it was their Spirit Guides who guided them to look for help;

c) because simply, I believe them. I have no reason not to. The people I work for have shown me, time after time, that they are to be trusted with such intuitions. My customers are not paranoid people seeing enemies everywhere; they are conscious, intuitive and empowered people using the Services I offer. Harmful magic is something very real, and its damage can be irreversible; they don’t take it lightly, and they know that neither do I.

So, if you are reading this, and feel that you may be under the influence of negative works or negative entities, please don’t wait to get help, and don’t try to fix it yourself, because you are not in the situation to do so. In these situations, it’s always one hundred times safer to seek help from outside, and allow someone else to fight the enemy. Someone who actually knows how to do their job.

And, please allow me to insist on this: people with grave physical and/or mental illness can also be the victim of harmful magic and/or negative entities, just as anyone – and in my opinion, even more, because their defenses are weakened. You wouldn’t believe how many times people with mental illnesses are just not believed when they speak about this. So, if you feel you are in any kind of situation where you cannot trust your own judgement, get a reading with an expert professional, and if you are right (which, as I said, it is very likely), get hex-breaking work done as soon as possible.

**********************************************

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

Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

Social Networks:  Facebook   ·  Twitter  ·   Tumblr ·   Google+  ·  Flickr

Spiritual Work: Tips For Beginning Witches

This post is a short collection of advice for those who are at the beginning of their Spiritual practise. Most of it has come from the most popular questions I get from practitioners through my Guidance Service – I sincerely hope it helps you and inspires you!

About Growing As A Witch

· Right now, it is your time to listen and learn; there will be plenty of time to be the one who talks when you are more experienced, believe me. BUT, listen actively and keep your critical thinking well alive. Nobody holds all the truth.

· Be aware of the enormous amount of magic that’s already around you, and use it. Local plant life, local traditions, local superstitions, are all at your reach, and hold more power than you imagine.

· Just so, the traditions and stories of your Ancestry can provide a great deal of personal connection and power, whether if you live in the same culture/country as them or not. Explore them, treasure them, and then add them to your personal path if they work for you. Feel the love and strength of your Ancestors through them.

Please notice that I am not saying that you should not worship spirits that are foreign to you – if that is in your calling, it is totally fine, and I am the last Bruja that would judge that. Both your chosen pantheon and your local traditions can coexist without any conflict in your path.

· If your commitment to your path is true, there will be many blessings, but there also will be a lot of pain – and you must learn to see it as part of the learning process that life itself is. The path of the Witch will break you, transform you, humble you. It will take things and people from you. It will change the way you live, the way you think, the way you feel. It has to happen, there is no other way for it to happen – let it happen.

About Your Relationship With Elders

· An elder should always talk from a position of experience, and never from a position of superiority. There is a HUGE difference. No human is superior to you in any way. Choose your elders wisely, because there are already too many horror stories about alleged elders abusing beginners, and do not take any oaths with anyone you don’t trust 100%.

· Nobody gets to be an elder in a day, a week, or a year. It takes time, commitment, and devotion, for a  lifetime. Keep this in mind at all times, specially when you feel you are “behind” anyone. You are not, because your path is your own, and comparing it to others’ paths is just a waste of time.

· Be wary of titles – of taking them too soon for yourself, AND of those who take them by the dozen. Whoever holds a title will be tested by the Spirits to prove said title, both the beginners and the experienced, so never take this lightly.

· And, if you find an elder you trust and admire, cherish them. Support them in any way you can, and recommend their work to others in need. Be respectful and loving, and don’t treat them as your permanently-on-shift therapist.

Professionals: About Dealing With Them…

· Be wary of the word “intuitive” – more often than not, it means “I do not care to take the time or the effort to learn this (insert magical or divination technique here), so I am just making it up as I go”.

· Also, be wary of whoever that assures that deities or high spirits are talking through them. This is a very real red light for cult tactics. Yes, the spirits can talk through certain people at certain times, but that is not what I am talking about at all. I am talking about people who say that Saint Michael the Archangel is their guardian angel. I’m sorry, but Saint Michael has more important things to do than being a regular human’s guardian.

· Whoever uses the words assured or guaranteed when it comes to magic, is a scammer. Period.

· A professional should always be open to customers’ questions, and the answers you get from them should always make sense. While you must be respectful if your spiritual worker has any sort of secrecy wovs, that has nothing to do with having anything to hide, or with giving half-assed answers.

…And About Becoming One

· If you want to do this professionally, then prepare yourself as a professional and act like a professional. Giving life advice is something very serious; you are not an entertainer, you are (or must be) the embodiment of wisdom.

· For the love of God, learn business, marketing, taxes, accounting, and whatever you need to learn. Your customers deserve it, and you deserve it.

· Carry yourself with dignity and kindness. Pick your battles, specially online; 99,9% of times it is not worth the hassle. Do not wash your dirty laundry in public. Learn to keep your mouth under control.

· Take no shit from people, but remember that it is your work as a professional to help people understand who you are, and what you do. That alleviates stigma, educates people into higher forms of thinking, and helps professionals and customers alike. Be an example, and make us all proud.

And, if you need more advice on any of these topics, remember that my Guidance Service is always available at my website. I have been guiding practitioners for many years, both online and locally, and in my opinion and experience, it is one of the most powerful aspects of my practise.

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Herbalism: Making Omiero

Water And Herbs From The Garden, To Be Used In The Herbal Wash

Afro-Latin magical terms that will be used in this post:
Omiero: a magical herbal wash, usually made for cleansing and blessing a space or a person. Term belongs mostly to Lukumi vocabulary.
Yerbero: a herbalist. The term is used both for medicinal and/or magical herbalism. Term is used in several Latin American countries, and also in the Canary Islands.
Corte: group of Spirits in Maria Lionza’s religion. Term belongs to the religion only.

An overview
The two main ingredients of Omiero are water and fresh herbs. The herbs must be cut in pieces, preferably by hand, and crushed with your hands so they release as much juice as possible. Then, they must be left overnight to steep; the following morning, the liquid is strained, and the herbs thoroughly squeezed, again by hand.

Tradition mantains that a knife’s blade should not touch any of the herbs, neither to harvest them nor to piece them, but in my opinion this is sometimes undoable. Ripping off pieces of plant with your bare hands can damage your plants, and woody stalks like Rosemary’s are just impossible to mince by hand, specially for someone like me, who suffers from fibromyalgia. I like to respect tradition as much as possible, so to go over this I just use my gardening scissors – I use them almost every day, so they are really charged with my energy, and they are not a knife.

Fresh herbs, minced and ready to be used.

Once the herbal liquid is made, the following procedure varies from tradition to tradition, and it would take me a whole book to describe them all, not to mention that most herbal recipes are a Yerbero’s secret (and so are mine). Omiero can be used as a floor wash for the home, as a Spiritual bath, to cleanse and feed altars/ritual tools/sacred spaces,etc. Just so, recipes are almost infinite, as well as the purpose – it is usually made to cleanse and bless, but recipes can be adapted to other needs.

Just so, it can be used along with any other staples of our practise, for any of the uses above – with Holy Water, with Agua Florida, with blueing, with salt, etc. That, of course, depends on the Yerbero’s experience, and on the use it will be given. To give it more power, Omiero can be prayed over, and each recipe and use can be joined with specific Spirits or Cortes. In my practise as a Espiritista, this is a requirement; we ask all the Cortes of Spirits to bless the Omiero, with a special request for those Cortes that hold spirits of Yerberos.

Charging The Herbal Washes

Note: take a look at the pictures I am showing in this post – as you can see above, the bowls were so full of herbs that the candle plates could stand over them without sinking. THAT is the correct proportion of herbs and water to make Omiero, if you want it to actually work. This is very important!

Some Questions

Can I make Omiero myself? Of course, this is only a herbal wash and it has many names accross different religions and practises. In my opinion, you should not call it Omiero if your path is outside the religions of the African Diaspora, so please refrain from doing that, and choose a term that is in consonance with your own path, and herbs you are familiar with. If your path does not have a specific term, just use herbal wash or cold infusion.

Can Omiero be made with dry herbs? In my opinion and experience, no. If one ingredient is absolutely required, and it’s out of season, it can be added dry because there is no alternative, but the point is that a good Yerbero can always find seasonal herbs for every recipe, and does not need to do that. The energy of fresh herbs cannot be matched in power. That is also the reason why there is no such thing as pre-made or commercial Omiero.

Can Omiero be stored? Only for a couple of days in the fridge, as it is used. When I make a batch, I schedule all the uses beforehand, so I know how much to make, and how much time I need to set aside to use it as quickly as possible. Usually, it is gone in 48 hours or less.

Once steeped overnight and strained – such lovely colour!

A Few Simple Recipes For Herbal Floor Washes

All of the following recipes are meant to be made in small amounts, for your personal use, and only as floor washes. A breakfast bowl full of fresh minced herbs, and the same amount of water, will do. Once the herbs have steeped, and you have followed the recipe’s instructions, add the liquid to a full bucket of clean water, and wash your floors. Always, start at the bottom of the house towards the front entrance, and throw away the remaining liquid on the street (preferably at night when no-one can see you).

For Protection And Cleansing: Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage and Fennel. Once strained, mix with a shotglass of Holy Water, a couple of drops of Azulillo (blueing), and use.

To Bring Peace To The Household: the petals of five white Roses, Peppermint, Spikenard flowers, Lavender and Rosemary. One strained, add a shotglass of Rose Water, a shotglass of Holy Water, and use.

To Bring Financial Blessings (this is for stores and offices, not homes unless you work from home): Cinnamon, Ginger root, Basil, Lemongrass and Spearmint. Once strained, add a shotglass of Ron Miel (Honey Rum), a shotglass of lemon juice, and use.

To Remove Negative Spirit/Energy: Rue, Thyme, Sage, Fennel and Holy Basil. Once strained, add a shotglass of rubbing alcohol, a handful of salt and use.

The last picture is from the altar, looking lovely and glowing after being cleansed with part of the Omiero, all ready for our upcoming Summer Solstice Blessing Service! By the way, if you want to read more about this Service, and participate, you can do so HERE.

My Main Website: Tarot And Spiritual Services

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Guardar

Service Preparations: Cigars

In the pictures, you can see the regular cigar offering for our upcoming Summer Solstice Blessing Service. Cigars are one of the most important staples in our Espiritismo tradition; they are used to clean sacred spaces, to open communication with Spirits, and as a divination tool (as in reading in the shape of ashes, and on how the cigar burns).

But, these are not regular cigars, of course. Leaving aside the fact that they are completely handmade, and that the Canary Islands has a great tradition of cigar making that is world famous (so the quality itself is astounding), the cigars that will be used in any ceremony must be “sobados” – this word, that literally means “caressed”, refers to the procedure of carefully anointing them with a mixture of magical elements, prayed over and left to dry for a few days before using them. This purifies them from any negative energy they may have caught, and prepares them to be a medium that the Spirits will use to speak.

These were purchased the past weekend, to an artisan business from the island of La Palma, and the Sobado ceremony has just been applied to them. They will be left to air dry for a few hours, and then they will be carefully stored in a wooden box until the day of the Service.

If you want to read more about our upcoming Summer Solstice Blessing Service, and participate, you can do so HERE.

My Main Website – Tarot And Spiritual Services

Guardar

Spiritual Work: Guia Necklaces In Espiritismo

I’m in the middle of a long day of work restringing some of our Guia necklaces – these get plenty of use, so it’s totally normal that need to be restrung and/or renewed from time to time. I took the lovely photo above to document them, and I thought this would make a good blog post for today, giving you an outline of what Guia necklaces are.

Guia necklaces are a very important tool for Espiritistas in Maria Lionza’s religion:

· They keep us protected and grounded during channelling and trance work;

· They protect us from parasitic spiritual entities, a big problem for mediums in training, and a very dangerous one;

· They put us in a constant, and very powerful, connection with the Spirits they represent;

· They deflect negativity and harmful magic from others, and keep our energy and vibration high.

Of course, these have to be made in specific conditions, under the presence of Spirits, and by an initiate. Some belong to the patronage of a specific Spirit, and some to a Corte (group of Spirits). The patterns of colours and beads are dictated by the Spirit or Corte they belong to, and can vary greatly depending on what the Spirits want at any given moment, so there are no fixed combinations. Besides beads, Guías can include shells, wood, talismans, seeds, nuts, bones/teeth of animals, feathers, and all kind of natural elements, depending on the Spirit they serve.

This is not just jewelry making – these must be made in a completely sacred environment, and under the energy of a powerful working altar. Stringing them is only the first part of the work – after creating the necklace, the Guías must be charged through ritual, and must be fed the offerings that Spirits dictate; for as long as they are used, they will be cleansed and re-fed regularly, and kept in the altar with great care when not in use, as the sacred tool they are.

Guías are usually not pre-made or purchased, because it is extremely useful that the Spirit or Spirits dictates what are the signs each practitioner needs to wear. Although each Spirit has favourite colours or ornaments, and it is expected that certain elements will be repeated, others are not. Your Guia necklace should be unique, because you have unique needs, and unique features as an Espiritista. So, it is quite usual that the most crafty person within a Spiritual community takes the role of Guía maker, and makes them only for the community they are involved in, under the guidance of Spirits and of the Banco (the head of the community).

Although it is understood that you will wear them at least once every day, it is not mandatory to wear them at all times. Some initiates prefer to wear them all day, and some only while performing spiritual work; some choose to have an “everyday” Guia that they wear all the time, and keep the rest for Spirit work time – imagine going to the gym with five pounds of fragile, expensive beads on your neck!

Guia necklaces have some rules, and while they can vary from Spirit to Spirit and from community to community, some general rules apply – they cannot be worn when sleeping, and you should not participate in fights or any acts of violence while wearing them. Usually, it is not recommended to have sexual intercourse wearing them, specially if that intercourse is with a non-initiate. When you take them off, you cannot just leave them in a tangle on the bedside table or the bathroom. In any case, the point is not to wear the necklaces in any situation that would diminish their energy levels, because it would be like parking your car and leaving the engine on; after a while, the battery will die and make the car useless.

One last note – while there may be similarities, these have nothing to do with Santería’s Elekes, which are given through specific ceremonies, and that follow an entirely different set of rules. We can, of course, wear Guias that represent an Orisha, because the Orishas are a much loved part of the Spirits we work with, but that doesn’t make them Elekes.

Main Website – Tarot And Spiritual Services

Guardar

Guardar

Spiritual Work: A Few Easy Spells

While it is known that I am a supporter of tradition and secrecy in Afro-Latin Magic being completely respected, and I would never reveal spells that belong only to initiates of any religion of the Diaspora, we also have plenty of what would be considered Folk Magic, and that almost anyone with a little experience with Magic can perform. These spells were first published on my Newsletter in 2012, and come from my learning with my Madrina’s Lukumi community; I’ve re-written the post quite a bit, adding much more content, and honestly, because my English is much better now :).

While I understand that most of my readers are already practitioners of any of the religions of the Diaspora, and will be familiar with most terms, there is a significant percentage that comes from European-based Paganism traditions. I have also added some notes directed at them that I thought helpful, specially about ingredients that may not be of regular use to them.

Spell For Good Luck And Protection

Materials: a square of white cloth, white thread, three garlic cloves, a pinch of Spearmint, a pinch of Parsley.

Make a small bag filling the cloth with the herbs and garlic, and tie it with the white thread, making seven knots. Go to seven places where you can find Holy Water* and, without being noticed, dip the bag in the water asking Obatala to give the amulet power for luck and protection. Do not let anyone see your amulet, and keep it hidden always.

*The water does not need to be Catholic Holy Water, of course. It can even be water from springs or fountains, as long as they hold true spiritual power to you. Also, the pilgrimage to those seven places does not have to be done in one day, but the amulet won’t work until it’s done.

A Spell For Attraction (Of Any Kind)

While this spell is used mostly for attracting a partner, it can be used for other means too; to attract a raise, a promotion, better relations, peace in the family, etc. It can be recharged every full moon, and the colour of the candle can be adapted to the specific purpose of the spell.

Materials: a red candle, a glass bowl, a charm made of pure silver (a coin, a cross, a medal, or something similar – shape is not important, but the material is), Holy Water, orange blossom water, Florida Water*, basil juice**.

Under the light of the full Moon, stick the red candle in the centre of the bowl, and then add all the liquids, about a shotglass of each. Place the charm inside this mix, and pray to the full Moon to attract whatever you need. Let the bowl outside all night, leaving the candle on until it burns off by itself. In the morning, take the charm and wear it as a pendant, or inside a fabric bag next to your skin; the mix of waters can also be used as a personal attraction perfume for a few days.

* Again, the Holy Water does not need to be from a Christian Church, and can be blessed by yourself. Both orange blossom water and Florida Water can usually be found at Botanicas, and should not be substituted by homemade ones, because honestly, the recipes going around on the Internet are a joke.

**Basil juice is made by liquifying fresh leaves and stalks of Basil, by hand or in a juicer/blender.

Remember safety when leaving magical works outside all night. If you cannot assure safety, leave it outside, but turn off the candle when you finish. No Spirit wants you to be in danger!

A Spell To Break A Stagnant Situation

In this spell, I am using the word Potencia, that literally means just Power, but for us in Maria Lionza’s religion, it means the Spirit that owns your head – that can be an Orisha if you are a Lukumi, a Lwa if you practise Haitian Voodoo, and so on. This is not exactly the same as a Patron Deity – there are many subtleties that are lost in translation, and that change from practise to practise.

Materials: A new and unused white handkerchief; five copper coins of the same currency and amount, three candies, seven peppercorns, white paper, green ink/marker, white thread, honey.

Write your petition to your Potencia on the paper with the green ink, and place it on the handkerchief. Place also the pennies, the candies and the pepper seeds above it and, using the thread, tie the handkerchief to make a small packet. Take the bag to your Potencia’s sacred place, feed it with plenty of honey, and leave the place without looking back. At home, light a candle to your Potencia for three days – the candle can be white, or in their representing colour.

A Spell To Protect The Household

Materials: 2 whole coconuts, eight white taper candles and one white pillar candle, rum, honey, cascarilla*, cleansing/protecting oil.

Starting on a Monday, rub a whole coconut with cascarilla, rum and your favourite cleansing oil and place it on a bowl behind your front door. For eight days, you will place a candle on the top of the coconut, also anointed with cleansing oil and cascarilla, and you will offer it to Eleggua. You don’t need to let the candle burn completely if you can’t, but it has to be renewed every day. Each day, ask him to protect the household against enemies, envy and negativity.

On the eighth day, take the coconut (remove wax and bowl) to the woods, and leave it at a crossroad. It is extremely important that you don’t look back when you leave, or you will offend the Spirit. Back home, cut the other coconut in two, and mix the coconut water with lots of rum and honey. Fill both halves of the coconut with that mixture, and offer it to Eleggua along with the pillar candle. Burn it for three days, to thank him for his protection. On the fourth day, you can throw all remains away.

*Cascarilla is a cleansing and blessing staple in Afro-Latin magic, similar to white chalk. My advice is to get it at a Botanica, because despite what is said online, it is NOT just powdered eggshell. Powdered eggshell has its own value, have no doubt of that, but Cascarilla is actually a very complex recipe.

My Main Website (Tarot And Spiritual Services): brujacarolina.com

Notice For Customers: Spiritual Service On June 21

A Spiritual Service is a ritual made for a group of customers, as opposed to Custom Candlework/Spellwork, which is made only for one – hence the much lower price. The ritual usually consists of offerings to the Spirits (candles, drinks, food, incenses, flowers, etc.), prayers (traditional to Espiritismo, and my own), drumming/music sessions, etc. The purpose of the ritual can be as varied as Custom Spellwork is. On June 21, day of the Summer Solstice, we will be repeating our very successful Blessing Service.
 
What Is This Service For?
· To attract good luck, opportunities, and new blessings of every kind into your life.
· To bring you special protection against negative people, circumstances and entities.
· To empower your health at all levels – physical, mental, and spiritual.
· To bless your home and family.
· To help you achieve your goals, and to help you find new goals.
· To remove whatever is no longer a blessing in your life, and release burdens and negative environments and relationships.
 
Read more about it and participate at: