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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Reflections: Self-Care

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Do not confuse self-care with self-spoiling, or with self-soothing. Self-care is facing your challenges head on. Self-care is having the respect for yourself and leaving the place where you are being abused, even though being alone may be scary. Self-care is standing for yourself when no-one else does. Self-care is courage, is self-awareness, is discipline, is empowerment.
 
Yes, of course we all deserve a treat, and of course we all deserve being forgiving with ourselves. But that is neither self-spoiling nor self-soothing, which are ways to escape reality and overcompensate. Actually, self-spoiling and self-soothing is abuse to oneself, because none of them will put you closer to our goals, and you may end up paying a huge price for them.
 
So, see self-care for what it really is – as being your own parent, your own Ancestor. Do what is best for you, not what is more pleasing or gives a quicker satisfaction. Be your own protector, your warrior, your guardian, your Higher Self. Be God*, experiencing itself in your self-awareness, and change the course of your life forever.
 
In the pic, Filomena Lubana / Mami Wata, to whom you can pray to be in control of yourself and your own life. It’s good to be responsible and strong, but don’t forget Spirits are there to help too <3!
 
*Please notice that I do not attach any gender, religion, or specific characteristics to the word God.
 
Feel free to share <3!

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A Bit Of Everything: This Week’s Pictures

This week, Five new Guia necklaces were added to the shop this morning! I love this orange and blue colourway, and as always they received an ovenight bath in my Omiero, which as described by a friend, could free the souls of Purgatory :D. Also, there are still four of the first free colourways.
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We also made a quick escapade to the mountain of San Diego to get the yearly supply of Eucalyptus.
The city hall had cut down some of the bigger trees to prevent summer wildfires, which is good and bad at the same time; it was sad to see the landscape change because those trees were beautiful, but the tree stumps were already sprouting again in full force, and in a couple of years they will be huge again. Without that kind of action, wildfires could be extremely dangerous in the summer, because that mountain in filled with farms and homes, with completely dry crops that could burn completely in minutes.
Unless you uproot it completely, you cannot kill an Eucalyptus, and that is why it’s one of the most powerful tree Spirits we have in the islands – a warrior, a protector, and a teacher, that is the star of our hex-breaking, protection, and banishing magic.
On the second pic, you can see the Eucalyptus harvest, plus a good amount of branches of Piruétano (Iberian Pear Tree), a type of pear tree that gives inedible fruit, but that has some of the most wonderful wood for our bird cages.
And, speaking of birds, we are happy to announce that Fernando and I will be administrating La Pajarera (The Aviary), a page for our bird breeding activity. As much as possible, we will be posting in both Spanish and English, so feel free to follow us there if you are interested in this subject!
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The total highlight of the week was this wonderful trade with dear Blackfoot artist and friend Chrys Davison – when indigenous peoples accross cultures and continents give to each other with love, the greatest magic happens – thanks so much, my dear friend! These will be treasured and honoured forever.
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Spiritual Work: The Way Of Spirits

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The Tres Potencias, the highest Spirits of Venezuela’s Espiritismo. Negro Felipe, Reina Maria Lionza, and Cacique Guaicaipuro.

Very often, I get emails asking me questions like “I cannot find this herb where I live – how can I substitute it?”, or “I feel like I am being called by this Orisha – can I set up an altar to them?”, or “Where can I find books to learn about Espiritismo?” always from people who, despite having the best intention, are completely outside the culture and the practise of the religions of the Diaspora. As much as I would like to have easy and comforting answers for these questions, I don’t – this blog post is (hopefully) a detailed and clear answer to those questions.

The way Spirits are worshipped in the religions of the African Diaspora is not chosen randomly – actually, we usually have very little room for choice. It’s the Spirit themselves who have taught us the exact way they want to be treated, and that knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation, from one House to another. Before Internet, it was through oral tradition, small-edition books, and even photocopies – right now, thanks to Internet, we can communicate with our brothers and sisters around the world, and share the knowledge we have (and, as someone who practise for over a decade before Internet existed, you cannot imagine how happy that makes me!).

Our Deities and Spirits are not archetypes, concepts, or ghosts from the past – our Deities and Spirits are alive, with full agency, and speak to us directly through the possession of Mediums, and through the oracles they see fit to use. Depending on the situation, the tradition, and on their own preference, they can use everything from cowries to regular Tarot cards to talk to their children; but, the preferred option is direct transmission through trance and mediumship, which does not need to be interpreted.

There is a reason for every ingredient and for every procedure, and we don’t question them, try to adapt them, or look for substitutions. Many of the products we use all the time have long lists of ingredients, sometimes very difficult to find, and can take months to prepare. For instance, I only make one batch of my homemade Florida Water a year, because it actually takes me a year to gather the ingredients and prepare the concoction. My recipe comes from Cuba, from my Madrina’s Ile (house of prayer) – and yes, you can assume that all the alleged Florida Water recipes floating around on the Internet are… well, horse manure, to say the least.

NOBODY in the ATRs learns through books – nobody. Learning is always through a Padrino or Madrina, and through hard and patient service to a community. There is no such things as classes or workshops to be initiated, and in my opinion, anyone who tries to sell you initiations is an absolute scammer. This is not about race, because Afro Latin culture has people of almost every race; this is about culture. Either you are part of a culture, or you are not – and yes, I know I mentioned books above, but those are not books to learn about the religion as an outsider; those are highly specialized works, and unless you are extremely familiar with the terms used in each religion, you are not going to understand a thing. ATR slang is there for a purpose – to act as a gatekeeper.

I learnt by staying at my Madrina’s house, and taking care of her home and her children when she suffered backaches. I learnt through the five weeks I took care of her when she broke her ankle and needed an operation. I leant the several months I spent working for almost nothing at a local shop, covering for a Cuban Santera who had suffered a thrombosis and could not walk. I learnt while cleaning, cooking, and taking out the trash. There was no class, no workshop, and not a second of glamour, because i was not allowed yet into rituals – but I happened to catch the attention of Spirits… and here we are today. You become family. It is seamless. It is made of love.

So, I’m sorry, but doing things your way, without the guidance of a Padrino / Madrina that introduces you to the specific items and customs of each Spirit (and of each community), it’s a complete and utter waste of time, money, and energy. While you may not be putting yourself in any real danger, your message will simply not reach the Spirit, or the Spirit will not be able to understand it. It’s like someone speaking to you in a language you are completely foreign to – and if spiritual work is not clear, concise and extremely focused, it loses strength greatly, and becomes a waste of energy. And, you can be grateful that you are not being heard, because I have seen the wrath of Spirits when initiated people lose their way, and it’s not pretty… but that is for another post!

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Guia Necklaces Available!

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I have worked my ass off all weekend, but I am happy to say that twelve Guia necklaces, in three different colourways, were listed at the shop an hour ago – and four have already been sold at the time of writing this post, so don’t miss your chance before this batch is gone!
Check them at:

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Photo Post: Guia Necklaces

A new batch of Guia necklaces has been made this week, and these pictures show part of the process of feeding them and preparing them to be made available at the store. Enjoy!

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Above, some of the herbs harvested from the garden for the Omiero. Below, the Omiero itself, ready to steep overnight. And, by the way, this is a huge salad bowl, and that’s two inches of fresh herbs minced by hand. THAT is the regular amount we do for any kind of wash, spiritual bath, etc. When I see people using a pinch of herbs in a bowl, I really wonder who taught them so poorly!

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Below, the eight necklaces in the batch.

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Look at the colour of that infusion! Please notice that this was not cooked – it was merely steeped at room temperature for around 20 hours. That, my friends, is the power of fresh and homegrown herbs!

After a few hours feeding off the marvellous Aché of the Omiero, the necklaces will receive several sets of prayers to empower them, cleanse them, and give them all the energy they need to be the best aid for mediumship. Tomorrow they will be available at the shop!

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If you want to learn more about Omiero, you can check this post:

https://connectedwithlife.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/herbalism-making-omiero/

If you want to learn more about Guia Necklaces, you can check this post:

https://connectedwithlife.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/spiritual-work-guia-necklaces-in-espiritismo/

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Reflections: Not Conquered

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Reproduction of the Idol Of Tara, a representation of the Guanche Mother Goddess.

Every year, as summer approaches, I get asked the same question over and over again on my social media accounts: “Hey, I am going to the Canary Islands on holiday – can I go and meet you? Will you show me the places of power of your Ancestors? Will you read cards/perform magic for me? Will you teach me?”

The answer is NO. I am not a tourist attraction. I do not welcome visitors, I do not perform magic in front of anyone, and believe me, if you dare come to my house uninvited, not only you are putting yourself in danger because the area where I live is not tourist-friendly; you will meet my rage and you will not put a foot in my home.

Be careful with that colonizer mentality, because you are not entitled to me and my life AT ALL. I am not a good savage, happy to get a tip from white saviours for performing magical tricks, and willing to share all my secrets – I have learnt from the past, and believe me, the path is closed. I do not owe you anything.

Your Ancestors murdered mine, enslaved them, destroyed my culture, erased it from my education, removed any idea of indigeneity from my people, and now you want me to give you what I have worked my entire life to regain? Sorry, not going to happen.

Too many stories of spiritual teachers dying in poverty, alone and abandoned, after giving away their secrets to white researchers, film makers, university students, or just people looking for an “ethnic/exotic/real” experience because they are completely empty inside (ayahuasca, I’m looking at you). Too many stories of indigenous peoples used, abused, destroyed, for the greed of others. Too much pain and anger in the heart.

And, the fact that you get offended when I say NO, shows very clearly that you have learnt nothing, and that you still see me as less than you. So, no, I am not interested. This Guanche is not, and will never be, conquered.

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Espiritismo: Don Juan Del Dinero

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The Financial Blessing Service has just finished, and it was truly electrifying! You could really feel the air vibrate with the energy of Spirits during the prayers. I have no doubt that the Blessings coming will be abundant, powerful, and beyond every expectation. Thank you so much to everyone who participated <3 <3 <3!

I am not sharing images of the Spiritual Services any more, but I am definitely glad to share this with you – a new statue of Don Juan Del Dinero (Mr. Juan Of Money) that was presented to the altar today, and purchased with a percentage of the participations sold.

The Corte of Don Juanes is a group of Spirits from Venezuelan folklore, that represent different areas of magic. Besides Don Juan Del Dinero, the most famous are Don Juan Del Amor (of love), Don Juan Del Tabaco (of Tobacco/Cigars), Don Juan Del Volteo (of reversal), Don Juan De Los Caminos (of the roads/crossroads), Don Juan del Desespero (of desperation/obsession), and Don Juan Del Dominio (of domination) – there are many, many more; as with every Corte of Espiritismo, many of them are local Spirits worshipped only by small groups of followers, so it’s impossible to track them all, or work with all of them.
 
Please notice that they are not archetypal Spirits – Espiritismo does not believe in that! All our Spirits are present, living entities, that communicate with us through mediumship and possession regularly.

 

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