Canarian Folklore: Our Bird Breeding Hobby

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Jasper and Pearl, our young Gouldian Finches.

Bird breeding culture is really important in the Canary Islands, and we both come from families that have bred birds; my grandfather was a budgerigar breeder, who inspired the love of birds in me, and Fernando’s parents (and himself) are farmers, who have bred many types of birds, as well as farm animals.

18 years ago, I tried to do it myself, but I was too ill to do it, and had to give away my birds, which was truly heartbreaking for me. In June 2018, I fell seriously ill (as in, they thought I would die – ill), and was hospitalized for 3 weeks, but I finally got a correct diagnosis, and was able to start healing completely. Right now I am as full of energy as can be, and almost completely healthy – to say that I was excited to recuperate my hobby is an understatement.

You can follow the adventures of our aviary on our page La Pajarera on Facebook – photos, videos, and lots of tips for healthy bird friends!

https://www.facebook.com/lapajareracarolinayfernando

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Opal, one of our beautiful Budgerigars.

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Rosemary, Fennel, Sage, and Peppermint, our Giant Zebra Finches.

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Photo Post: Eggshells

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Working on the painstaking task of removing the inner membrane of eggshells, both to make Cascarilla and as a Calcium supplement for our birds. These are very special, because they come from Fernando’s parents chickens, which are treated like fucking royalty, and eat fresh food every single day – so, their quality for both magic and bird keeping is unmatched. These have been boiled, sterilized, and dried under our unforgiving sun for several days to make them as clean as possible – but it’s totally worth the effort.
 
And, since we are speaking about Cascarilla, let me remind you of something I see again and again: Cascarilla is NOT powdered eggshell. Cascarilla is a recipe of around twenty ingredients which CONTAINS powdered eggshell, and creates a paste that is placed in small paper cups and left to dry. The recipe is a secret for initiates, so unless you have purchased it from a legitimate Lukumi/Espiritista, you have been scammed.

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Photo Post: A Magical Life (2)

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

In The Sacred Garden

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

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

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

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

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

Magical Outdoors: Sacred Places

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

The Craft Of A Bruja

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

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Photo Post: A Magical Life

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

The Magical Outdoors: Wildharvesting And Sacred Places

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

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

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

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

The Magical Home (And Its Sacred Garden)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Inspirational Images

Feel free to grab, use, and share these inspirational graphics – and may they bring you many Blessings!

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Since the Financial Blessing Service will be happening this month, I thought it would be a good idea to make this little digital spell for anyone who may need it.

All the coins and banknotes you see in the picture have been gifts from customers and friends; some are collector’s coins, some are regular currency coins, and some are extremely valuable historical pieces – for example, some pre-medieval coins from judeo-moorish Spain that my brother gifted to me. Each one of them has not only the energy of financial power, but also of the love and good wishes of the people who gave them to me. They could not be luckier.

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I also made these two using images of my own statues, and of flowers that have been offered at Spiritual Services, so they are filled with power and good energy!

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And finally, a reflection on the power of your own intuition, for those moments when we feel disconnected from the Divine Source.

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Africa Babel: An Exhibition

This week, an astounding exhibition with over 400 African sculptures was open at a very important cultural center in Santa Cruz, the capital of our island. This meant a unique chance to enjoy a collection of art that had been never shown to the public, so we were super excited about it since it was first announced in our local newspaper. This morning we visited it, and loved it immensely – here is a selection of the most beautiful pieces, so you can enjoy this unique collection too!

Please notice that the exhibition was illuminated to be intensely atmospheric, and it really was – but that made it difficult to photograph because the lights were really low on most of the rooms.

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Wonderful beaded art from Camerun.

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Most pieces were made of wood, but there were also several ones with copper overlays like this elegant reliquary piece from Gabon.

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The collection of maternity pieces was marvellous – this one is Yoruban, from Congo.

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Closeup of a protection warrior fetish.

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Because of their fragility, there were only a couple of clay pieces – this one of a man smoking a pipe is so elegant.

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There were several example of this male+female statues from different countries, which are used to worship Ancestors. I do have a pair myself!

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The mask and helmet collection was absolutely impressive.

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How much does modern, sci-fi art owe to this?

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This piece was one of my favourites – it tells the story of Ethiopia’s kings, starting with King Solomon.

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This was another highlight for me, because several of the symbols are extremely similar to Guanche iconography.

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Such a fine, detailed work – sadly, the camera does not capture the energy some of the statues were emanating!

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This piece was life size, so you get an idea of the size of the horns. In the room, it was commanding all attention.

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The finesse on the carving in this antelope statue is another example of the absolute excellence of African sculpture.

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Closeup of another really large piece, with beautiful design and colouring. As you can see, Picasso invented nothing.

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My Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Magical Crafts: Abundance Wreath

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I love to make special decorations for our Spiritual Services, that not only reflect the purpose of the Service itself, but also the seasons and their changes. For us, Autumn and Winter are vibrant, green, and filled with life – a perfect inspiration for the upcoming Financial Blessing Service on November 21, which will focus on abundance at all levels.

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Starting with a blank wicker wreath, I added elements in green, gold, and red, the colours of wealth for me; berries for abundance, moss for healing, cinnamon for luck, bells for blessing, and of course, a beautiful candle to attract the power this Service needs. May it please the Spirits, and may it bring endless blessings on each of our customers!

To participate in our Service:
https://www.brujacarolina.com/product/financial-blessing-spiritual-service-november-21

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Photo Post: Noche De Animas, 2018

This photo post collects all the images from our Noche De Animas celebrations, from October 27 to November 1. Enjoy!

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Our celebrations began with an offering of fire, created with bundles of wood collected during the entire year from our gardening and wildharvesting. In the pic above, you can see bundles of sticks of Rosemary, Basil, Heather, Eucalyptus, Yerbamora, and more. As you can imagine, it makes an extremely fragrant fire.

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On a small table besides the fire, we created an altar to offer fresh herbs and scented candles, in front of the stone skull that Fernando carved several years ago. The stone was taken from a sacred area that our Ancestors, the Guanches, believed to be the land of the Dead. In front of the skull, you can see sage sticks, palo santo sticks, and a container with Storax resin, all to be offered to the fire.

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Since we have only a roof terrace, we make our fires in a small barbeque – it’s safe, convenient, and perfect for our needs.

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In Espiritismo, we prepare for the Noche De Animas exactly as we would for the visit of living family – we clean, we cook, and we make our home as beautiful as we can to let Spritis know how loved they are, and how appreciated their presence is. On Saturday, I made this flower arrangement for the altar, around a strawberry-scented candle that smells just divine. the flame was just dancing so high with joy, I had to take a dozen pics until I got the right one!

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Two pounds of chestnuts for our Spirit family – some will be roasted and shared with them on the Noche De Animas, and the rest will be later taken to one of our ritual places outdoors, for the Spirits of the Land. A taste that brings me back to childhood, and to my beloved grandparents, since they are part of every winter tradition in the islands.

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The altar, on the morning of the 31st. Apples, cinnamon, chestnuts, and goat milk with honey. Just perfect.

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Between the many obligations of the day (besides the extra ritual, I had a regular work day too), we managed to make a midday escapade to the mountains, to take some offerings and explore a new wildharvesting area. These gorgeous olive trees are our newest friends. For North Africans, olive trees are one of the most sacred and important, as their fruit has been used for food, medicine, and the making of oil, since the beginning or our civilization.

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Above – wreath made of Escobon (Cytisus Striatus, Spanish Broom) that we wildharvested that same day. It was made to honour the perfect circle of love between our world and the world of Spirits; after this holiday, and with a little extra bling, it will make a lovely Christmas decoration. Below, you can see it looking lovely in the altar.

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And finally, November 1, a day to rest and recharge with a good ol’ horror movie marathon, homemade soup and a little embroidery. What a lovely, lovely week this has been!

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The Goddess In The Stone: A Gift For My Readers

As most of you know, I am back at work since August 1, and feeling like new after being quite ill – to celebrate my healing, and to thank all of you for your kindness and support through this very challenging time, I am giving away a free comic!

The Goddess In The Stone is a five page comic  inspired by pre-islamic North African culture, where Goddess Allat was worshipped by my Berber ancestors. In the Canary Islands, the Goddess was called Chaxiraxi; after the Spanish colonization, she was syncretized with Our Lady Of Candelaria, whom is now our patroness. The comic was done in ink and watercolours, with no digital work except for adding the text.

Download your free PDF copy of The Goddess In The Stone by clicking the image below!

Visual Inspirations: Self-Care

After a very powerful talk with a customer, I made this graphic, which I hope will inspire you and empower you.
 
The year is about to end, we are all facing stressful times, and if want to survive and thrive, we absolutely need to be the strongest that we can be, the most badass version of ourselves. And that cannot happen without loving ourselves first – be your own lover, your best friend, your partner, your parent; only you can give yourself what you truly need.
 

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