Sunday, June 22, 2014

Your Questions-Part One

I thought this would be an interesting and interactive way to create a blog post that answers some of the important or common questions I recieve. I posted on my Conjured Cardea Facebook  page, asking if there were any questions about myself, or my practices, anyone had. The result was just as I'd anticpiated, some wonderfully stimulating ideas! I look forward to creating more of these in the future so we can all share and get to know one another.

Mykull asks; "How do you energetically manage all of the deities and people you work with?"

I have always been a very energetic person who needs/wants little sleep. I do not drink coffee or caffeine or use stimulants of any sort. Since a child, I have only slept several hours a night, sometimes only a few. My dreams are very active and are where I receive most guidance. They are also when my Muse visits. I have always had a very active spiritual life. I believe this is partially due to the siezure disorder I developed at a young age. I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) which is very common in writers, artists and spiritual figures. You can find huge lists of famous creative figures who had some form of eplilepsy, especially TLE. I would like to believe that I would have remained the heavily spiritual and religious person had I not aqcuired eplilepsy but, of course, there is no way to know. Epliepsy is very common and the type I have is not an aggressive or violent type. So, since a child, my brain has worked differently than others. If I was tired from the spirits, I didn't know any better because I had always been that way. I was experiencing tunnel vision and black outs before each seizure, which I though were a daily part of everyone's lives since I'd always had them. While I am told these should have been exhausting, it was during these times I received messages and directions as to how to help others. For me, they were a great release. It was like a dam had been let down and information flooded in, renewing and educating me. Instead of looking at it as something that exhausts you, look at it as a means of strengthening and conditioning your mind and spirit. I began teaching my spiritual path and providing spiritual services at 19 which means I have been doing this for 13 years. You can ask anyone who has been at the same job for 13 years and you'll find that they're pretty damn good at it. They ought to be! 13 years is a long time. Now, I am no where near where I hope to be at 50 or 70 but I have a good foundation. There are a few "tricks" to working with spirits;

1) Do it EVERYDAY. If you swam everyday or rode a unicycle everyday, you'd get very good at it. It's called "practice". If you don't practice, you won't strengthen your mind or your relationship with the divine. For some reason, people forget this simple fact that applies to every other aspect in life they want to be successful at. They forget it because they want manual or directions for spiritual practice, but you have to-oh my god- TRUST YOUR DIVINE INSTINCTS! You have to really WORK, not just pick up a book and read once a month or join an internet group. Shut off you phone, shut off your TV, turn off your computer. That 2-3 (or more) hours you're spending on Youtube everynight could be used meeting a new spirit or guide, or getting important messages about your life. If you don't give them time to talk, how will you hear them? You must take the time and make the effort to make your mind strong so that you can develop a devotional ritual, ignore what has happened in your life during that day, and get rid of distraction. This all begins with making the time for a simple ritual each day. Skip that extra cup of coffee, light some incense and give a "thank you".

2) Stop asking for shit all the time. When I say "create a ritual" I DON'T mean "casting a spell" or "making a request". I mean creating ritual for the sake of honoring and respecting the spirits. If you're only interested in setting up an altar and inviting the spirits in order to gain something, this is not the path for you. Honestly, I don't know of any practice or religion that works that way.
If you've got a neighbor always showing up asking for a ride, or five bucks or to borrow something, how long will it be before you stop answering your door? The same thing will happen with spirits. If you just keep asking for shit over and over and don't create a relationship, that foundation, and show humility and respect first, they're not going to come to the door much. Instead of greeting you with guidance and messages it's going to be "Oh Christ, it's that guy again...." They may help you, but the spirits get tired just like everyone else as they still possess many human qualities.

3) Educate yourself. Find a pantheon that interests you, go to Amazon and purchase every cheap book you can afford about the history and correspondances of that pantheon. This way, when a spirit or deity visits you, you'll know who it is. You'll also be able to notice their signals from all that practicing which strengthened your focus. Sorry folks, but in my opinion, spirituality has a lot of education behind it.
Set an altar with a nice clean cloth, light a new candle and offer some food, flowers and spirits. Go ahead and sit there and pray or talk but if you find yourself always begging or pleading for something, get up and leave. They can enjoy the offering without your selfishness. 
Put yourself in their position.

Another tip is that I set aside 2-3 days a week JUST for services and working for clients. I don't squeeze them in between orders or household chores. I also keep a datebook where I can schedule all of my clients preffered days (some like to choose feast days or particular days of the week) several weeks in advance. I can also look and see which day would be best for their working according to planetary and moon phases as well as any holy days coming up which will boost the energy of the work. This also insures I am not overworking myself. If the datebook it booked for the week, I don;t take on anymore work. Being highly organized is a MUST for a spiritual worker. I also schedule similar workings togther so I am not jamming different energies into the same space and time frame. I schedule love workings, legal matter workings, prosperity workings etc. all within the same few days. It makes no sense to evoke Erzulie or Oshun for love mattes than jam Ogun in between for a legal working. It just doesn't produce a good flow and makes for a chaotic house in which there are already a lot of spirits residing.

The next question is from Ciera;
"What would be your best advice to a non-initiate who wants to/feels called to work with the Orishas?"
I'll be answering this one a bit later in the week, so stay tuned folks! If you would like to ask a questions, feel free to comment here. Thank you!

Saint John's Eve Vigil for Clients-Limited

Tomorrow will be Saint Johne's Eve and I am offering a very special service for my clients. I am making 20 slots available to those who would like to have their prayers and petitions sent out under the evocation of Marie Laveau, St. John and the Orisha on the very holy day of of Saint John'e Eve. If you would like a candle lit in your name, with your petition, please purchase from this listing;
Please join in my this deeply spiritual and holy day!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cemetery Life

Today, I took my two children, and a neighbor friend of theirs, with me to the cemetery on what I refer to as a "conjure run". I had several items on my to-do list and also stumbled upon a few other bounties. First, and foremost, was a stop at the entrance to the cemetery to pay honor to Eleggua. Now, the entrance for us is a bit different than everyone else because we have a secret path that runs directly to the back of the Jewish section of the cemetery from our community. It's a lovely secret that makes us feel special and gives me a discreet spot to stop and pay honor without being disturbed by people and traffic noise.

Next on the list, was finishing a working for a client. This was a two part working which took at least two weeks to complete. Today was the last day and the remnants of the working were to be thrown into a river or buried. The spirits led me to this spot in the cemetery.  I am always prepared with my conjure bag containing a lighter, a trowel, sage, dimes, liquor, my camera and plastic bags to collect trash from the graves and grounds. The children collected eight energy drink cans and one broken wine bottle. They do this, unprompted, which makes for one proud moma:)

I dug the hole and laid the remnants in, covering it and topping it with three dimes to thank Eleggua for his guidance and aid in this working.

I then went to the far east end of the cemetery where I gather many native herbs. There is a large glacial morraine where wonderful specimens of burdock, bindweed and black nightshade grow. All of which are very valuable to me in my work. They are wonderful plant allies that I have worked with for over 15 years.

Burdock. I will use the root, and the burrs when mature, in protection work.

Black nightshade. I will use this in hexing work.

After harvesting, we crossed back over to the south side where this grave spoke to me. I was unable to see it due to the large bush hiding it but I was called to it and discovered it lieing flat as I rounded the bush. I left three dimes, a white flower sprig from the woods and a bit of sage. The sage was nearly extinguished at the point this photo was taken, so I am unsure if it is smoke or a visit.

This is the bush that the grave is behind and almost taken over by.

This is the "angel" that the children love to visit. So we stop and admire her.

Bindweed, which will be used for, you guessed it-bindings!

All in all, a gorgeous and refreshing day. We even got a gentle rain while there and sat beneath a mighty oak to watch it. I love the refreshing fundamental in conjurework of ancestor and worship of the dead. Cemeteries do not have to be a place of harshness, death and sadness. There is so much life to be worshipped there, if we only take a moment to look and listen to the spirits and plants. Many are so eager to share themselves with us and guide us. 

I'll return in a week, with the children, as then the mulberries will be ripe:) I'll also return to collect earths from different different graves to replenish my supply. Some from a judge, some from lovers, and some from children. I was richly rewarded today and did not want to appear greedy to the spirits, so that conjure-run will have to wait.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Free Lucky Green Rice from!

I'm sending out a free bag of my hand-made Lucky Green Rice with each order of $20 or more from! A $5.98 value. Each bag is created with pure bergamot essential oil for luck, real gold flake and silver flake, clove, fennel seed, bits of cash, celery seed, sasafrass root, iron filings, lodestones, pyrite and more! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adventures in Austin

I was blessed to be able to spend 4 days with one of my coven-sisters, and close friend, in Austin Texas. We have been friends for 13 years and even though we have been apart at times when we get together I feel as if nothing has changed. It is a beaiutiful thing to have someone who you can confide in and love without judgement and reservation. She and her husband are amazing people and were such gracious hosts. We had a wonderful time visiting the local botanicas,shops, listening to music and eating many different kinds of cuisine.  It was wonderful to be able to share in the religious stores, shrines and art with a loved one. The trip was relished and I look forward to returning.

These are photos I took while there, permission was asked from each vendor and spirit and appropriate offerings were left;

This was a huge Santa Muerte, probably 6 feet tall, at Green and White Grocery. Santa Muerte is a very predominant spirit in Austin and she is heavily reprsented. The owner here was very nice and let me roam the store, even behind counters, as I pleased. I picked up several items here including a new large High John root and a Santa Muerte statue. Notice the dollar bills someone carfully folded into octagons and placed in her eye sockets as well as her scales of justice and balance.

A large Saint Joseph statue was also present.

Nino de Atocha was almost as heavily present and represented in Austin as Santa Muerte.

Saint Jude was also very popular in Austin, many candles and statues of him were available as well as large shrines like this. This statue is about 5 foot tall.

The Virgin of Guadelupe was popular as well, as she is a highly traditional and iconnic figure in Mexican history and belief.

Another, smaller Santa Muerte. About 3 feet tall. She was created from clear resin and filled with lucky rice, seeds and curios! I was enthralled with this representation. This one was covered in money and cigarettes, a common offering to her.

Another Nino de Atocha. You can see the large amount of coins and dollars placed around this one.

Beautiful Passion Vines grew along the roadsides. The Pass Vine represents the Passion of the Christ.The colors vary from deep purple (the color of Orthodox priests’ vestments during the Great Lent) to scarlet red, yet the numerical constituents remain the same: 10 petals (5 petals and 5 sepals identical in shape and color), 1 column, 72 corona filaments, 5 anthers, 3 stigmas.
10 – Biblical account of Christ’s suffering tells us about St. Peter who distanced himself from Christ during His last hours, neither was Judas; whereas, 10 is the number of remaining Disciples of Christ at the time of crucifixion;
1 – Column of flagellation;
72 – Traditional number of thorns on a crown of thorns set upon Christ’s head;
5 – Total number of wounds inflicted to Christ at time of crucifixion;
3 – Nails.
Additionally, the vine’s leaves are shaped like a spear used to pierce Christ’s side. Some even find representation to Judas’ 30 pieces of silver (dark round spots on the underside of some species). 

A lovely stencil painting on the outside door of a restaraunt representing the Vigin of Guadelupe. I wish this was on my fence! I may try to find a way to that actually...

An old church icon of Christ.

A smaller relic of the Nino de Atocha.

Painting of Christ.

Antique condition oil bottles from the 1930's. I purchased the "Drawing" bottle for my own collection.