Friday, December 27, 2013

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!

Friday, November 29, 2013

FREE shipping through Cyber Monday!

FREE shipping at both Conjured Cardea shops all the way through Cyber Monday! Minimum domestic orders of $25 or more and minimum international of $75 or more. Simply enter "BLACK" in the coupon code area upon checking out. Thank you for choosing to support my hand-made, small business for your spiritual supplies.

Many Blessings to you,
Moma Sarah

Excludes statues.

Sale ends December 3rd.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Final Harvest

Today is All Saints Day and I've spent it visiting the market for the last of the fresh parsley (to give to Saint Pancracio in offering) baking bread, pouring wine, lighting candles, splitting pomegranates, slicing apples, and taking photos. A lovely day it has been and I hope the ancestors and Saints have enjoyed their welcoming, and stay, in my home. A visit to the cemetery is on the docket for tomorrow to collect the year's last graveyard dirts. Soon, we will be covered in a blanket of snow and accessing graveyard dirt becomes rare.

These days of celebration bring sorrow too, of course. Sorrow that goes hand in hand with the memories we conjure up as we honor those past and sorrow for the summer gone. Yet today's photos will serve as tools to get us through the long, hard winter the Farmer's Almanac calls for. It also brings some joy as we revel in the turning of the wheel of the year-the wheel of life-which means letting go of some things...and some of those whom we love. The last harvest is so sweet; those vibrant colors, the sweetness in the air, the scents from the kitchen, and the smell of fresh cut herbs, and newly dug earth on my hands...

The Indian corn which served it's purpose of autumn decor for the past month, will be shucked and added to bacon rendering, then packed in oinion bags, to feed the birds this winter.

My largest arrowroot-she will be plenty healthy next spring and ready to harvest a few rootlets from.

Saint Christopher's garden, covered in leaves and ready for winter. Unlike many gardeners, I do not remove fall leaves but leave them as a blanket of protection for my herbs, and to serve as an organic mulch as they break down.

My home-made Kyphi being burned to invite, welcome and honor the spirits into my home.

The altar for All Saints Day; apple muffins baked by a coven sister, sliced golden apples, pomegranate, red wine, a candle devoted to Baron Samedi, parsley for Saint Pancracio, Indian corn, and kyphi.

These are Osage oranges or Hedgeapples, which grow natively here. The wood is wonderfully protective for balefires and collecting these brings back much nostalgia for me as my mother and I used to go collect them together when I was a child. There is one tree, way down in the swamps, that hangs over the road. As the apples fall, they are easily collected as most land right in the middle of the road.

To Baron Samedi.

This year's foraging of buckeyes led to discovering hundreds of them! Much better than last year, as I found just a few. I was too late and the squirrels had burried them all.

The season's last sunflower head-to be stripped and added to bacon renderings, to make winter food for the birds, as well.

The last three tomatoes. How sad it is! These were put in a brown paper bag and set on the window sill-an old trick my grandma showed me to get me through a bit of the winter:) Next year, I hope to have enough green ones still on the vines to get me through the whole winter! She said she used to be able to do that with her great plunder of green tomatoes, due to her vast garden.

The cinnamon ferns have gone to spore-I imagine I'll harvest these either for guerilla gardening 
or for some magic.

The cones from the echinacea-these will also be collected for guerilla gardening next year.

One of my arums. Fat, green and healthy-ready to make it past Old Man Winter.

The Day of the Dead is tomorrow. Graves will be swept, flowers left and candles lit...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Samhain Sale!

Blessed Samhain! Enjoy FREE shipping at BOTH sites!
Simply enter coupon code "SAMHAIN" upon checking out.
*$25 minimum on domestic orders, $65 minimum on international orders.

Have a blessed night!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Conjured Cardea has Moved!

Conjured Cardea is now located at Indiemade! Click here to visit the NEW Conjured Cardea!

Indiemade will allow me more freedom with the shop and the ability to provide you with more rare and unsusal supplies for your practice. The fees are also less, so the savings have been passed onto you with many items prices being lowered!

All items and listings have remained the same as they were in my previous shop.
You can still check out with either Paypal or any major credit card.
You can contact me directly via my e-mail by hitting the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of my page.
My blog and photos will now all be on one website, making information and accessibility a prioroty for my clients.
You do not need an account to purchase through Indiemade!
Shipping fees have remained the same!

Basically, the only difference is a new look and a more liberated feel to the shop. As always, you can contact me for free consultations and items recommendations or requests.

I look forward to you visiting your new Conjured Cardea and I hope to serve you soon!

Be blessed,
Moma Sarah

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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'.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

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

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love For Tucker Scott | Medical Expenses -

Please consider donating to my dear friend's family. Enduring the illness and loss of this newborn baby has been tremendously sorrowful. In addition, insurance does not cover a pre existing condition in an infant. Please consider foregoing one or more of your usual luxuries and giving $5, $10, or $20 to help. It is much needed and much appreciated. Thank you and be blessed.

Love For Tucker Scott | Medical Expenses -

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Picture Post; End of Summer Projects

Deluxe Love Mojo

The last day of a 9 day working for a client. The last of the candle is set outside to extinguish
 and gain it's last power from the earth.

Autumn Celebration Soap

A working for a client devoted to Lakshmi.

A custom incense for a client.

Drying wild rose petals for my Come To Me oil.

Tools of the trade. Only wood, bone, stone, and ceramic can be used. No metals.

My hand made Jack Ball.

A working for a client devoted to La Madama.

Bacchus incense.

Hand bound patchouli root bundles.

An offering of mullein, pomegranate and dimes to the spirits of the crossoroads.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Marie Laveau

My husband and I decided to take a trip to New Orleans and returned about a week ago. This was his first time, and my first time really hanging out of Bourbon Street, which is an event in itself! However, my reason for going was to visit two places I had missed; Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 and Congo Square.

Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is where Marie Laveau is believed to be entombed, though WHICH tomb is disputed. I chose to leave offerings at both but I did spend more time at the one I feel she is resting in.

When we arrived at the cemetery (only a few blocks from Dauphine St. where we stayed) we were greeted with a tour guide and group. In the future, I will remember to look up the times of these tours in order to avoid them-or go at night. Of course, there are also "haunted "tours running at night. I had forgotten about this and it made it quite difficult to get private time with her tomb, as it is near the front of the cemetery and, obviously, a popular stop.

I had spent the good portion of the day deciding on an offering and looking for a place to purchase one. The idea crossed my mind that one of the Vodou shops there ought to carry such things and provide information about leaving a proper offering. Another idea to store in the old vault for "some day".

I was extremely disappointed with the shops in New Orleans, but that's what I anticipated. Everything was far too commercial and shops were full of colored oils bearing Marie's name. I was also treated very poorly by the woman behind the counter at one shop, until I took out my credit card. Now, I can blame it on the amount of uneducated people, or drunk people, who wander in and make fun of the wares they offer. I could blame it on the fact that I don't look "scary" enough to practice (which is the best disguise of all). I figured she probably dealt with rude tourists all day, everyday, and I can only imagine how fed up she got. So I forgave her shortness and her leeriness of my ability to pay for what I'd picked out. We then had a lovely talk of our obsession with hoarding paper and packing materials. This helped to smooth the transaction.

The man in the back was extremely helpful and we spoke of how the new resin Orisha statues were very "Disney-looking" and how we preferred the old, Catholic Style chalkware or plaster pieces for our altars. He was a very sweet and kind young man. He showed me their gris gris bags after I had chosen my statues saying I could use those along with the statues if I was "really into it". He was feeling out my practices-something practitioners do. I politely declined the bags remarking that I prefer to make my own offerings.

I decided on taking a bottle of the perfume oil I wear and a cigar to Marie's tomb. We stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall cigar shop run by a young Indian boy and I purchased the best cigar I could afford. I brought my perfume because I sense spirits through the olfactory and I often wonder if spirits can smell me too, so I like to wear a signature scent. Everyone says they can smell me coming.

I got to her grave about 15 minutes before the tour did-enough time for my husband to stand guard and shoo people away while I had my time in offering and praise. It seemed people got the point as they kept moving right along while I was there. I put on my perfume and my lipstick. I left the cigar and found 3 pieces of brick to leave there so I could draw my X's and so someone else would have something to draw with as well. I drew my X's, thanked her for everything she had done for her followers and asked her to protect my family, blessing us with health and happiness. Lastly, I kissed her grave.

My X's

Why the X's?
There are different theories about why three X's are drawn. The idea is, you draw three X's then knock, or spin around, and say your request and the spirit will grant it. Slaves were illiterate and uneducated. They drew an X to sign their names, since they could not write. It is believed that the original X's were a signing of her devotees names, saying "It's me, I was here". The number three is also sacred in most any religion as the holy trinity exists in some form or another to most people. It is also believed the X is a symbol of the meeting of light and dark and at the center is where we can communicate with the spirits. There is also a theory that since Vodou originated in Haiti, the slaves passing through is how it was brought to New Orleans, that the X is a version of the Haitian Cross which can look like two X's overlapping.

As I was leaving my cigar, and I was surprised it was the only cigar there, I felt the presence of two people approach. My husband stood between me, as I was kneeling in prayer, and them. It was what I assume to be a father and daughter (in her late teens, early 20's). She asked my husband "What's all this?" He replied "It's the grave of Marie Laveau." She replied "Who's THAT?" My husband's response; "She was a Vodou Queen." The young woman replied with an"Oh". And she hurriedly backed up, walked WAY around me and left.

Hurriedly is an understatement.

I chuckled, and I think Marie did as well.

As I finished up, the tour then met up with us. The tour guide was pointing out the offerings-what were "true" offerings from devotees and what were from tourists. There was scads of make-up at certain graves through out the cemetery. The tour guide began to speak of the offerings; "The make-up is left by tourists. This is not an appropriate offering-a devotee would never leave this. The CIGAR however, is from a devotee as well as the beads, flowers, and food." I have to say, I was a bit pleased with my choice and hope Marie was as well.

The tour guide then talked of the strangest offerings he had seen; one being a dead snake and one being a cell phone. He laughed, "What is she going to do with that? Phone home?"

One woman on the tour, I'd say in her 50's and with red hair, stuffed some cash down into one of the vases in front of Marie's grave. The man with her seemed pleased.

I then realized an unspoken rule in my practice and the practices of most people I know; an offering should be biodegradable. Make-up is full of chemicals, synthetics, and plastics. It has no ashe'. It can not return to the earth. It will remain there forever making a big junky, gooey pile of trash. Without being told, I was always taught to leave offerings that would decompose; cigars, food, flowers, water, or liquor. If the ashe' from an offering can not return back to the earth, then how it is an "offering"?

We stopped at several more commonly visited tombs and we walked the whole cemetery. I learned the architecture of the 10 or so types of graves and stopped and paid respects as I was called to. My heart was heavy when I had to leave but I also felt spiritually refreshed, renewed, and fulfilled. Plus, I had to get over to Congo Square which is another post...
A Fleur de lis fence surrounding a tomb.

My big ass collecting brick pieces-permission asked and offerings left.

Pediment style tombs

Platform style tomb.

The ONLY painted tomb-all the other's were white or brick.

Oven Vault style tombs.

Dilapidated Pediment tomb.
Temple style grave.

Fenced-in graves are considered their own category.

I hope you enjoyed taking a stroll with me through St. Louis Cemetery No.1. If you haven't visited it yourself, add it to your bucket list:)