Shipping Update

  •  If you can not take the time to actually read my site, understand my process and what you are agreeing to, please, take your business elsewhere. ANYONE who knows me, via my personal life or business, knows I work 80 hours a week. I often work weeks in a row with no break, doing my best to get your orders and services out. By complaining about the shipping time, WHICH YOU AGREED TO AND WERE MADE AWARE OF by placing your order, you are telling me that I am not working hard enough or fast enough for you. All emails that contain even the slightest tone of rudeness about shipping times will now have their order refunded, without reply, and IP address blocked. If you don't have time for me, then I don't have time for you.
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03.15.2017 | Add new comment

Holiday Shipping and Service Dates

There will be no services scheduled from the 16th of December until the 7th of January. HOWEVER, I am still scheduling them from January 8th and after, as normal. There will be no orders filled from the 24th of December until January 11th. If you purchase a service during these dates, it will NOT be scheduled until January 8th or AFTER. Happy holidays and a blessed new year!

12.26.2015 | Add new comment

Spending Spirits

 

After sending a client a photograph from the candle vigil service she purchased, she wrote back with a very  important question; "What do you do with the money offerings?"
 
This particular candle setting was one devoted to Marie Laveau and used one of my Laveaus Love Candles.
I offered fresh flowers, cowrie shells, a cigar, fresh snow water, cornmeal, and a few coins.
 
 
Now, these particular coins were sent from my international clients who often send me coins from their countries as gifts. I choose to give these to my altars in offering. Money is it's own form of energy and has great symbolism. Spirits, who were once flesh and blood, still enjoy the things the living do; fresh flowers, clean, cold water, food, perfume, incense, money, etc.
 
However, when I use coins or dollars from the USA, where I live, this money is put into my Ganesh or Lakshmi pots after the working is finished. Donations from friends and neighbors, who often stop by for supplies, are also put into these pots or dishes. Friends and neighbors can never be charged for supplies, only donations (if they can afford them) will be accepted. By adding to the Lakshmi and Ganesh pots, one  blesses themselves in return.
 
 
 
So what happens when these dishes are full? What do the spirits spend money on?! Well, they never get full. We have two homeless men named Joe and Semi, a schizophrenic man named Rudy (who lives in a group home a few streets away) and young kids who come through looking for work (raking or shoveing snow) in exchange for a little money. Occassionally we have a new face who was sent by one of the above or heard about our home.The Ganesh and Lakshmi dishes are for them. Once the coins or dollars are placed into the dishes, the money belongs to whomever shows up in need. This money, along with an occasional cold glass of water on a hot day, a loaf of bread, a cigarette, a few cans of food, are all part of the dance. The exchange of energy in life. The only thing that keeps the dance flowing is to move, which is to give freely of one's self, skills and possessions. 
 
 
 
I believe these people who visit my home are the spirits in human form. I see the face of Eleggua in the children's eyes, I see Saint Dymphna in Rudy and I see Saint Margaret of Cortona in Joe and I see Saint Martin of Tours in Semi. 
 
Who would I be if I turned them away? How could I call myself a servant? A vessel?
 
Now, let me be clear. I do not do this BECAUSE I see the spirits in them. I do this because it is right and I have always been called to. Only then do the spiritsrev eal themselves to me. You will be amazed what messages and signs you receive from the spirits once you make a concerted effort to serve others.
 
If you live in the city, like I do, and routinely see those in need I suggest you too start a Lakshmi or Ganesh pot. If you live in a rural area, I suggest you save your pocket change in a jar and take it to the shelter once a month and you will find your blessings adding up and overflowing. I promise that you will meet new spirits, receive guidance and messages and progress a little further down your spiritual path. 
 
You must take the initiative to show that you want to be a vessel, for energy and spirit to pass through, in order to be filled and emptied. You can never be chosen if you do not step forward.
You must take the first step in the dance.

Holidays, Services and Oshun

Holidays, Services and Oshun

 
Today was spent cleaning my home and preparing it for a 5 day lamp setting for a client. The client had requested to find new, good friends, confidence and to experience the joys of life. What better Orisha to call upon than Oshun! Oshun governs all of life's joys; celebrations, family, friends, beauty, confidence and reciprocating love. This also makes the holidays a wonderful time to evoke her presence and energy as family, friends and celebration surround us.

This service took a few days longer to get to than usual as the holidays added a couple of extra days off in order to spend time with family. It is also important to perform services on the correct day. Friday is Oshun's day so though the service was purchased last week, it had to wait to be performed until a Friday was available. Though this means a bit of extra wait time for the client, the attention to this detail greatly increases the success rate of the working, in my opinion. A good spiritual worker will perform work when the time is right, not rush it to fit theirs, or the client's, schedule. Services and blessings are on the schedule of the spirits, which is important to remember. Rushing will not get you better or even faster results.

Today, after cleaning the house and scrubbing the kitchen, I set a cauldron of cinnamon and orange rinds over the flames of the stove to simmer. I find that this is a wonderfully efficient and inexpensive way to fill your home with the energy of whatever spirit you are evoking. The ingredients can be changed to suit the spirit you are welcoming. Such as apples for Chango or wine and plums for Oya, etc. This type of kitchen magic is a lovely way to feed the dwelling spirits of your home too.


I set a clean, vintage cotton table cloth with beach pottery shards, small shells, brass mirror charms-all given to me by clients. All of these trinkets are permanent fixtures of Oshun's altar which is right in the center of my kitchen on a butcher block used for preparing each day's meals. This is another way to work magic into the home-work it in right as you cook. Take each menial, seemingly meaningless task and give it purpose, energy and intent.


I then added fresh sweet bread, a clay dish of honey, pomegranate, and an orange rind lamp. The half peel of an orange makes a lovely, inexpensive and beautifully simplistic lamp. The "core" is used as the wick and all you need do is add a bit of oil of any type. I prefer sunflower oil when working with Oshun. A small mirror (also a gift), a brass pot of perfume and a small pumpkin-like gourd are all permanent fixtures to the altar as well.
 


I offered dragon's blood resin for it's powerful drawing abilities-to bring my client all that they desire. Yet this resin also possesses cleansing abilities, which I wanted in order to cleanse the client of their lack of self esteem, and self love. Like begets like, so we must care for ourselves before we can appreciate the effects of love of another in our lives.
 
 
I hope Oshun blesses all of my clients and readers with the little joys in life in the coming year. Friends, family, a party here and there, good food and small comforts-we are all deserving of these. I ask also that we be blessed with eyes of gratitude so that we may see the rewards in the seemingly small things. Be blessed!
 
 

 

A Binding

A Binding

 
I was contacted by my dear cousin a few days back about a concern of hers with the possible threat of harm. Of course, being family, I set to work immediately. Here is the working that followed and the process.
 
 
I first began my protecting my space with a hand made Archangel Michael incense. I also evoked Oya as she is the great protector of my home, family, and business. I then took a hand poured, Black Figure Candle and inscribed it with the name of the target. I did not load this candle because loading really imbues the candle with your ashe'-not what I wanted here since this was a binding working. 
The candle was then bound, from toe to head and back down again, with dark blue ribbon. This ribbon had been soaked in my Dark Arts Oil
 
 
I then poured pure palm oil over the representation. Just as you would bury a charm to protect your home in your yard, or just as you would add sugar to a working to sweeten what you want, I wanted to smother the representation. To cover the target so they keep to themselves and away from my family. A sort of symbolic cacoon or blanket to keep their energy and actions contained. This can also be done with mineral oil or motor oil but I don't recommed motor oil as it is toxic and can not be diposed of by buring or tossing into water.
 
 
I then covered the representation in crushed dirt dauber nest to seal the hex and also Guinea pepper to control the target. Dirt daubers ake there hard tunnel-like nests from thick mud. It completely encases them which makes this ingredient appropriate for bindings and hexes. The thick palm oil causes these to stick nicely to the representation.
 
 
A close up of the representation, now lit. Hexes followed for the next hour or so.
 
 
Double flames are a good sign in my workings and I recieve them often. In this case, I interpret the flame represents the seperation of the target from the circumstance. I also didn't mind the entire front of the representation then falling off and burning...
 
 
 
 
This is the final pool, which is still burning. The remnants will be taken to a swamp-a "dead" body of water rather than a "living" body of water. Living bodies of water, such as lakes, are typically used to imbue things with lively abundant energy. Rivers, though they are live, are often used to carry things away from you such as old partners or habits due to the fact that they flow away from us. A lake will always bring things back to shore so please take this into conideration when disposing of working remnants. Swamps are stagnant pools of water, few living things thrive in them, which is why I find them appropriate for binding workings. You can be certain that your representation will sink to the bottom and rot. They will NOT be washed back to shore.
 
Here are other Hexing Oils; D.U.M.EBat's Blood and Lost & Away
 

Nkisis and Working with Doll Babies

Nkisi and Working with Doll Babies

 
A while ago, I purchased a Beeswax Doll  made by Alyssa at Anathemum and had kept him tucked safely away until I felt the need to get him ready to work. Alyssa makes wonderful quality items and these beeswax dolls (or doll babies as we call them) are hand poured by her using her own mold design. The beeswax is a very good feature as natural materials are always best and full of the most ashe'. Beeswax also gives dolls a special weight and feel, almost flesh-like. Not greasy like synthetic waxes. It features a small hole in the bottom, making these dolls very suitable for workings because they are ready to use. They are also remarkably affordable and unparalelled in quality-I have seen nothing like them offered anywhere. I will document my process here with one way I prepare my doll babies.
 


Doll babies and poppets are both forms of sympathetic or fetish magic. The gris gris and items you use in, and to dress the doll, would correspond with your goal for the target. By target, I mean the person (or type of person) the doll is to represent. A doll baby is usually solid-made of clay, dough, or wax-and a poppet is cut of cloth, sewn, and filled with gris gris.

One of the historical fetish traditions that correlate with this type of practice is from the Bantu of the Congo Basin and it is called "nkisi" and "nkonde". "Kiti" refers to a spiritual entity in Bantu. They can be made from  animal horns, clay vessels, gourds, ceramic, shells, and bundles of items-a practice our gris gris bags mimic. These statues or dolls are filled clay, hair, blood, and herbs-just as we fill doll babies and poppets with our own gris gris and bodily fluids. And, in the same fashion as doll babies or poppets can be used, they are used to house spirits. The Nkonde are used for protection, and often represent the protection of entire community. These statues feature a cavity in the abdomen and there may be cavities in other places as well. They are also covered with copious amounts of large, square head, iron nails. Each nail driven in repesents a petition, an oath, and/or a promise. When a nail is pounded into the nkisi, it was believed to awaken the spirit. Nkisi can be used for divination, healing, to punish and enemy, to protect and for a multitude of other uses. The tradition of Nkisi (Minkisi is plural) was carried here via the slave trade from Africa to the Americas.
 
A Nkisi on display at The Musée du Quai Branly.
 
A nkisi I had the pleasure of experiencing in New Orleans.
 
I began by retrieving my doll baby, whom I had kept safely in my hoodoo cabinet, near all of my dearest curios. I took extra care to not bump or knock him while working while he was waiting to be awakened. It is not time for him to have a place of his own until he is activated, or filled with ashe'. However I did not want to begin with a mared or damaged doll, as this doll is to represent someone we truly love, care for, and would never want to harm. Should the doll have been made to represent an enemy, I would have have thrown him in a dark drawer and left him until I was ready. I then collected the items I wanted to use to fill the cavity of my doll baby. I covered my work space with a large piece of brown paper, to protect from wax drippings and the grit of iron fillings on my wooden table. I gathered my lodestones, one small, square iron nail, a name paper, my choice of oil (which was Come To Me Oil), a red candle to seal the cavity, and a few other bits of gris gris.
 
 
I inscribed my name paper (any slip of paper bearing a name), using a pen, with the name of the loved one. I then dressed it with my Come To Me Oil, rolled it up into a tiny scroll and sealed it with red wax. I made sure not to roll the scroll too tightly as I want to slip the iron nail down into the middle of the scroll to firmly attach this to the doll. The name paper was then tucked into the cavity of the doll baby.
 
 
I then dressed the iron nail with my Come To Me Oil and slipped it into the hole in the middle of the scroll. I  used my pen to push the nail as far into the cavity (and into the doll baby itself) as I could. This is one step in activating the doll baby, as you are firmly nailing the name and spirit of the person, as well as your intent, to the inside of the doll.
 
 
The cavity is now partially prepared and will be filled the rest of the way with oil, gris gris, bodily fluid, and my breath.
 
 
The cavity is then completely filled and sealed with red wax. Make sure to do this a few times as bubbles will arise from the cavity due to air needing to escape as the wax envelopes the contents of the doll .
 
\
 
After carefully holding and breathing life into the doll baby, I set to work on creating a resting place for him. The resting place can not be made until the doll is activated and can comunicate what it would like in a proper space. This will be saved for a post at a later time. I hope you all consider trying making your own and working with doll babies. Ashe'.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Congo Square

It was common practice for slaves to receive Sundays off from their work. On this day they gathered in the only place that remained legal for them to dance, sing, set up market, share their foods and practice their native religions and arts-Congo Square.

Townsfolk gathered to watch the 500+ "savages" dance and sing. The slaves arms and legs adorned with ribbons, tiny bells, and shells that whirled and rattled with their rythyms. Musical instruments ranged from everything from long drums, rattles, gourds, violins, reed pipes, and tambourines. NOLA residents believe this place was the foundation for New Orleans Jazz.

Vodou is called "The Dancing Religion" because each particular rythym signifies the entry of a new spirit. Spiritual possession happens during these dances as manipulation of the body and instruments signals the invocation and embodiment of a particular spirit. Spirits are attracted to the experiencs that humans can have but they can not; dancing, singing, eating, drinking, sex, and music making. The spirits called are repayed for their power and blessings by experiencing these human indulgences for a time.

As a new spirit is called, or arrives, a new layer of rythym and step is added, as well as chanting or singing. This results in a deep, colorful tapestry which often sounds choatic to the non-devotee.

As a devotee of Marie Laveau, this place is among my top two places to visit in NOLA. The feeling of this place is enough to physically shake you from your own roots and transport...transplant...you there in the 18th and early 19th century. To step foot in the ONLY place our slave ancestors were allowed to hear and sing their own songs and words. To eat their OWN food and hold their OWN rituals-when all had been stolen from them. Sheer magic is an understatement. 

I could feel the rythyms in my feet, hear the songs in my ears, smell the food and sweat. I felt the spirits in my veins. I can honestly say, a bit of my heart remains in Congo Square.

As I took a moment to lay down on the pavers and stare up at a magnificent tree, I was overwhelmed with emotion. What had this tree seen? The amazing, rich history of cultures, religions, celebrations and the birth of a new people. The unparalleled culture and feel of New Orleans.

How I wished to be that tree for a day during those times.

I was sad to finally notice I was the only person in the Square except for a few folks resting on the benches. I had imagined young and old folks alike, enjoying the Square... the weather, the history, the space, the trees.

I suppose the Square is no longer as useful and certainly does not hold the purpose it once did, but people to congregate for drum and singing circles once in a while...

Just often enough to keep the spirit flowing in the veins of that sacred ground and trees. Just often enough to keep the spirit of our slave ancestors alive.

 

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