I let my frustration with my ISP reach blood-boiling proportions today as I found myself at the end of a busy week with a to-do list full of way-overdue things in large part because my internet never freakin’ works. (I still wasn’t caught up from the LAST time it crapped out and they took three weeks to come repair it.)
I’m kinda still there, really. But my point for the moment is that I’ve gotta cancel the Pentecost novena service – I’m not doing anybody any good when I’m this angry, I am absolutely fed up with fighting with the internet today, and I need to go outside and chop some wood for a while and try to get my perspective back 🙂
I’ll get an updated calendar out as soon as I can calm down enough to figure out how to do that with no internet 🙂
Work begins Thursday, May 13th, but this altar setting will be worked and available for the whole time Jupiter is in Pisces this go-round — about 2.5 months, until July 28th — so you absolutely can jump in late as long as you see slots still available.
This round or phase runs through the end of May, but you’ll have the option of booking/renewing/extending for the next round with no interruption a little closer to that date. My goal is to try to speak to everyone participating in the initial phase before the end of the month to work with them on articulating, identifying, imagining, obtaining, and/or creating their own very particular and very personal “lucky stars Jupiter good luck charm” that they can have going forward. This will be potentially quite time consuming work that I’m not being compensated for, so that’s why I want to bookend it with a definite cut-off date.
What’s This For?
So this is a great opportunity to sow some seeds now for what you’d like to see take flight in this realm next year when Jupiter spends most the year in Pisces. Jupiter’s at home in Pisces, so this is great big benevolent Jupiter energy – wisdom, the intuitive search for the truth, spirituality. We can get a booster shot of faith and optimism now that we’ve finally gotten shut of some Saturn energy that’s been weighing on us for a couple of years now. And Jupiter in Pisces is just plain lucky – an excellent “good luck charm” transit. What’s kind of rare here is that Neptune is also in Pisces at this time, and together, Jupiter and Neptune co-rule that sign. Jupiter’s urge towards expansiveness and Neptune’s urge towards larger social and mystical vision can combine for some crazy big magical opportunities, especially those related to Neptune’s wheelhouse.
You don’t apply for certain types of jobs because (fill in your demographic) never gets those jobs? *This is when you should flout the odds and apply anyway.* Nobody in your family has a lick of psychic ability and you’ve always thought your tarot cards might be deliberately messing with you? *Time to call them on it and figure out what’s going on.*Found your dream home but your annual income is missing a few zeroes you’re sure you’d need to get financing? *They just might overlook that strictly by the book stuff this time* – might as well ask Jupiter to send a little of that expansive benevolence your way.
If there’s some burden or limitation or restriction you’ve always thought you’d never get out of from under, you’d never get ahead of, this is the time to suspend that cynicism or resignation and see what’s possible, see if you can get some leverage or hint of fresh air in the next couple of months that might change your perspective and give you an enlarged sense of what might be possible in 2022.
Pay What You Can
Because Saturn and COVID both have been kinda breathing down our necks and trying to crowd everything else out of our spaces for a while now, I’m offering this as a pay what you can service.
If you can pay the regular rate, great! If things are finally looking up for you and you can afford to pay the extra donation rate, or you want to make a donation to fulfill a vow of offering to a saint or spirit, that donation rate helps offset some of the costs I’m absorbing otherwise.
But if not, no worries – if you or someone you know needs a booster shot of Jupiter luck and abundance but money’s tight, it’s fine to book the reduced rate option – that’s what it’s there for. As long as I have a solid handful of participants and I can at least break even on materials used/consumed in performing the work, I don’t mind donating some of my time to help folks who are in a tight spot and need some help.
How It Works
This service will be conducted somewhat like a honey jar, though the container will be containing other things specific to these planetary energies. But much like a honey jar, your petition and any personal concerns you send (e.g. photos, documents) will be added to the jar and the jar worked on a very specific schedule for the entirety of the time period covered by the service.
Once I’ve got everything set up, I’ll send out a notification email that will contain an invitation to the client Discord server if you’d like to join. That’s where in-progress photos and discussion can happen. (I don’t discuss workings in progress or send updates on an individual basis to participants in community altar work, but I will join a conversation or answer questions that are posed on the client Discord server.)
You’ll also get a link to my client calendar. It will show you key dates and times that you might choose to take advantage of on your own, as well. For instance, you might want to time a spiritual bath to coincide with a planetary day/hour or astrological event. I will occasionally make suggestions for things like this, too.
If you want to book on behalf of a friend or loved one, that’s fine for this type of work, even if they don’t know about it.
I will set the first light on the prepared jar on the evening of Thursday, May 13th, so it’s ideal to get your petition in before then. However, there is plenty of wiggle room and you *can* join up after the work starts.
Sorry to get this reminder out so late, but it’s been raining heavily again, and rain at Seraphin Station usually means no reliable internet at Seraphin Station, sigh…
Anyway, as usual, I’m doing one honey jar for issues related to relationships (and they don’t have to be romantic relationships) and another for prosperity/career/income. Since COVID has brought such massive change and instability to so many people’s lives and and income situations, I’ve been offering the prosperity honey jar as a pay-what-you-can service.
Work starts tonight, the 12th, but there is a little wiggle room and you can join up late as long as you still see spots available.
A participant recently shared a review of the service:
Unique and Helpful Service
I have been taking part in the Community Prosperity Jar for a few months now and have really enjoyed the experience. I really like the community aspect of it because it’s not just community as in a group of people sharing one honey jar, but a community on Discord as well. I’ve learned some things I wouldn’t have otherwise that have been really useful in terms of my magical education and enjoyed the interaction with the group. The jar itself has been really helpful in gradually opening up a difficult situation where I had an extremely unsupportive and uncommunicative academic advisor. I now have a new advisor and a new committee member who are both available and supportive. This was a situation I had been struggling with for a long time so it was amazing to have some people finally want to support me in my work after I’d been getting the cold shoulder from my advisor for years.
*Please note I have decided to restrict the Ascension Day blessing and cleansing rite you see on the calendar to existing clients only. That way I can focus on getting caught up after several back-to-back time-sucking internet service disruptions. If you are an existing client who wants to participate, hit me up on the Discord server before dawn my time (which is about 6 a.m.)
I will have the other services up shortly – it’s just taking me forever to do it via phone
As I’ve mentioned a few times lately, I’ve been kinda running around like a chicken with my head cut off these days and I’m definitely not the fastest with readings and altar work reports at the moment.
If you’re in the market for a reading and don’t want to wait on my slow ass, I’ve got two recommendations for you today.
The first is my cousin Lindsey on the Louisiana Creole side of the family. Young but no fool, she’s insightful and sensitive, and she’s doing donation-based readings right now. Contact her through her Facebook.
She can also look at your astrological transits – a service I offered with readings once upon a time way back in the day but no longer offer because it makes readings take three times longer than they already do, in part because astrology induces brain fog in me. Unlike me, Lindsey actually *likes* and…
From World Religions and Spirituality Project, here’s an interview with Manon Hedenborg White, author of The Eloquent Blood: The Goddess Babalon and the Construction of Femininities in Western Esotericism (Oxford University Press, 2020) and co-author with Fredrik Gregorius of “The Scythe and the Pentagram: Santa Muerte from Folk Catholicism to Occultism” (Religions 8:1, 2017). I think a few different segments of folks who wander by here might find this worth a look.
I had originally inteded to stop this blog post at the above.
But the Santa Muerte article in the journal Religions is open-source, available in PDF format from MDPI under a Creative Commons Attribution (CCBY) license. I read it, and I have some problems with it. Fair warning: the rest of what I say here is going to presume you’ve read it. I don’t have time to summarize it right now.
I have read Conjureman Ali’s book on Santa Muerte and have recommended it to clients, remarking to a client recently that he and I appear to have been taught quite similarly and during roughly the same time period (which was 20 years ago now). And I’ve begun to address this issue of “the trappings of Catholicism” in Santa Muerte’s devotion elsewhere (though I still haven’t finished part 2 of that article). I don’t have time right now to fully engage all of Hedenborg White’s and Gregorius’s analysis, and I do get that this is an academic work and sets out to do a certain job within a certain framework and for a certain audience, so of course it’s not going to be as fully nuanced in every area as every reader in every potential audience would like – I’m not trying to review something according to criteria it never set out to meet in the first place.
But I do want to return to this – and I will when I finish part 2 of the article – to more fully contextualize the milieu here and why writers/workers like Conjureman Ali emphasize not throwing out the traditional. And this is going to involve complicating what I as a folk-Catholic hoodoo rootworker and educator perceive to be the authors’ oversimplistic operative categories, viz. “Anglo-American occultists.” This is far, far too broad a brush, and addressing it is going to involve addressing not just Christianity in Anglo-American occulture but specifically Catholicism in Anglo-American occulture — among other things, about which more below — which is something that most writers on these things have tended to get wrong at least some of the time (when they haven’t just tossed the whole thing out the window to begin with).
So there are *multiple* audiences, so to speak, within what they are calling Anglo-American occultists. There is not a single “mainstream culture” in the way that she’s framing it on p. 12, one that Conjureman Ali occupies alongside Sophia diGrigorio and Tomas Prower. And Conjureman Ali’s work (quite deftly, I think) manages to speak to a segment of it that hasn’t historically been spoken to directly all that often when we’re talking about the world of mass-market occult publishing, i.e. stuff that your average American can easily get their hands on.
Hadean Press is good about this, in fact, speaking more broadly beyond just this booklet, and I’m sorry I was late to the party finding out about them due to living under a rock for a few years. But the article’s authors collapse Ali’s motivations and subject positions as a hoodoo rootworker (an Afro-American tradition) and practitioner of Quimbanda (an Afro-Brazilian tradition) into a simple manifestation of the larger statement of intent by Hadean Press on their Guides to the Underworld series of pamphlets, which is honestly just a little sloppy in terms of scholarship. Part of what they’re missing is that people who have historically not had a voice in these arenas and who have had their religions and folkways misrepresented, even demonized, when they aren’t being yanked wholesale out of context and appropriated for a different kind of misrepresentation (one that pads Llewellyn’s pockets while infants in Haiti die of freakin’ dysentery, which nobody in the 21st century should have to die of) – some of these people are now finding platforms in some cases. Sometimes these platforms are even the same ones that have tended to contribute to the very misrepresentation that is so significant here, like mainstream publishers of occult works (though we are still a very long way away from perfection on that front – but any change in the right direction is noteworthy, even if it’s still very little and oh so late in coming). So we really need to complicate any underlying assumptions that everybody being published by a given publisher is toeing the same line.
Who gets to talk about this stuff, who gets to be read, who has a platform – this has been changing dramatically and rapidly. And if you’re talking about folk Catholicism, you have to engage the ways in which Catholics have been crowded out of that conversation in occult circles and how fundamental the misunderstandings are that that can produce. And then of course there’s hardly a single Catholic identity either, and folk Catholicism will certainly have different “flavors” or “textures” in different cultures, even Catholic cultures.
It’s true that Ali didn’t fully elucidate the ontology of modern Mexican Catholicism for an audience of non-Mexican non-Catholics – that would be a pretty tall order for what set out to be a slender pamphlet. But one thing to consider is that Santa Muerte isn’t a passive non-agent here. She might not be able to make a dent in the likes of the very dyed-in-the-wool “all gods are really one god” types who don’t see any problem with their entire spiritual life being a mix-and-match buffet, but that’s hardly every “consumer” of works like this, and she can and will effect changes in her devotees over time. And the *numerous* devotees and practitioners who are thrilled to see more available works on folk belief and religion written by actual practitioners from other-than-mainstream-pagan perspectives, who have been frustrated with what mainstream publishing has tended to make available — they often ultimately find that there’s more to the Catholicism as operative in her cult than just “trappings” or “window dressing.”
While it’s true that some people do rip her out of a Mexican and Catholic worldview, it’s also true that Santa Muerte invites many people *into* a Mexican and Catholic worldview – or at least opens those doors in productive ways that aren’t always about a thin veneer of political correctness or whatever. I mean, first-generation Mexican-Americans already have a different relationship to “Mexican Catholic culture” than their parents who were born in Mexico. None of this is monolithic or inflexible – it’s a lived religion, and it’s way more complex than just what’s officially on the website of the local archdiocese, or the Vatican, or whatever replaced the Baltimore Catechism. What’s out there, what’s published, doesn’t give you a well-rounded view of *who practitioners and devotees actually are.*
It also doesn’t elucidate the extent to which rootwork is so different to some strains of modern neopaganism insofar as *it really matters what dirt something grew in,* so it really matters that you come to understand that dirt when you work with the roots that grew in it, or how the spirits of the roots are also active agents in this whole energetic system, not just dead objects we move around that have power only insofar as we attribute it to them.
And it doesn’t account for the possibility that one can start out with a fairly nebulous vaguely witchy or vaguely occult-curious perspective and ultimately develop quite a different practice or even devotion over time. And when it comes to budding Anglo Muertistas, all roads do NOT lead to Llewellyn and paganism and armchair Goetic philosophy. Sometimes, some roads lead straight to the Catholic church. And of course there are all kinds of stops in between.
Basically, if we’re going to talk about Anglo-American occultism, we have to talk about Anglo-American occult publishing, which means we have to talk about representation and access to platforms and race and ethnicity and class and language and religion — ’cause for fuck’s sake, not everybody in the “Anglo-American occultist audience” is a pagan or flatly unreligious, and not every consumer of occultist works in North America is Anglo-American.
But this article fails to even imagine the complexity and diversity and thus motivations of some of the operative audiences, plural, here, and how some of them are part of a larger “speaking back” to what “mainstream culture” has tended to produce, both in terms of academic scholarship on magic and religion and in terms of mass-market works on “the occult” (yes, those are scarequotes). And such an understanding would provide a much more accurate and nuanced view of where Conjureman Ali is coming from and what he’s doing than the article exhibits.
Again, I know this article set out to address a fairly specific question and that what I’m raising would require a different article altogether to address, but given that it claims to examine “what these books reveal about the contemporary occult milieu” (4), I do think mine is a valid critique, or will be once I actually make the argument, because the article’s analysis really just fails to understand the contemporary occult milieu.
To be continued.
Postscript: As unlikely as it seems, it’s happened before, so in case the authors do stumble upon this blog post, let me say this is absolutely not personal, and I recognize at least some of the constraints you’re facing and the challenges of doing scholarship like this at all – and I’m glad you’re doing it despite the challenges and the fact that somebody is always going to want you to have written a different article than the one you wrote. I’m engaging here because I think it’s important work and an important conversation, and I believe that some of the most exciting stuff to happen in “the occult world” in ages is happening in large part because the gap between theory and praxis, between scholar and practitioner, is being bridged in new ways, and we’re seeing the results of that both in the academic efforts towards open source scholarship that exist and in occult publishing, which I seem to see in a drastically different light than y’all do 🙂
Modern trends in occult publishing may be packaging Mexican spirituality for the Anglo American occultist… but they might also be opening doors where the guy doing doctoral work on the Spanish grimoire tradition can have a Facebook conversation with a tech-savvy modern curandera, and holy cow, a native Spanish speaker not affiliated with a university can now publish an English-language work on Santa Muerte that is available in the mass market, and boy did we not have that 20 years ago! I love the gap-bridging and the conversations, and they don’t happen without goodwill – so please understand I have goodwill here.
Have a vigil light set and worked on my Jesus Malverde altar in community altar work service beginning on Monday, May 3rd, which serves as the feast day of this folk saint. There is some wiggle room and you can join up after the work starts as long as you see that there are still spots left and it doesn’t say “sold out.”
Jesus Malverde, also known as the Angel of the Poor or the Generous Bandit, is a folk saint who is said to have lived and died in late 19th/early 20th century Sinaloa, Mexico. His reputation as a sort of Robin Hood figure began before his death, as the legend has it; he targeted the rich, redistributed the money and goods he stole to the poor, and basically spent his life on the wrong side of the law but by all accounts on the right side of morality.
While many details of his life and death are the stuff of legend and as such unverifiable and certainly prone to dramatic embroidery, what’s undisputable is that he has a solid reputation for responding to the prayers and petitions of his devotees, especially those who find themselves running afoul of the law due to poverty and corruption.
Since the 1970s, he’s gained greater notoriety in the public eye as a narco saint — the patron saint of drug dealers and smugglers — and that is how many folks beyond the borders of Mexico who hear of him categorize him, increasingly so since the 1990s. But to dismiss him as merely a narco saint and his devotees as drug kingpins and criminals is to ignore the lived realities of the faithful in a complex world where things aren’t always so black and white – where sometimes breaking the law is the right thing (or the only thing) to do, where justice isn’t blind, where the distribution of wealth is immoral, where there is government corruption and the police aren’t always on the right side of the law – humanity’s or God’s.
His devotees petition him to have enough food for their children, for safety in dangerous lines of work (including but definitely not limited to smuggling), and to get them out of legal difficulties, as you might expect from a bandit folk saint. But they also tell of how he miraculously cured their illnesses, returned lost or stolen property, even helped them get *off* drugs and get their lives on firmer footing.
His reputation as a narco saint has blossomed only over the last 40 or so years and not without a good bit of help from the media. His reputation as the Angel of the Poor and the Generous Bandit, however, long predates the sensationalist “narco saint” appellation, and as a folk saint, there’s a lot more to him than this. So it would be appropriate to petition him for pretty much anything related to living a life that is in some way “on the margins” or precarious or dangerous. It would also be suitable to use this service as an opportunity to “introduce yourself” to Jesus Malverde if you’ve been thinking you wanted to learn more about him but haven’t begun working with him yet.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you do not have to pay for a spot in the vigil service in order to have your name and petition included in my prayers and offerings to Jesus Malverde on May 3rd. You can simply submit your name and petition via the intake form and in place of the service/order #, type “jesus malverde prayers only.” There is no cost for the prayers-only option, though if you’d like to, you can make an optional donation in any amount you wish to help offset the cost of time and materials used, and in this case, I will set at least a votive light for you to burn for a few hours, depending on the number of reduced rate/pro bono requests I get for this service.
I’ve been doing some sort of pro bono or reduced rate/pay what you can service every month since COVID began to help those who need spiritual help but can’t afford to book private services. And I’m happy to present your petitions and pray for you as part of my own thanks to Jesus Malverde. Remember, when Jesus Malverde answers your prayers and grants your petitions, you should “pay” the saint by making a donation to the poor. Don’t protest that you are the poor and therefore you’re exempt from this duty – there’s *always* someone poorer than you. You must participate in the spiritual economy, which with Jesus Malverde is always already a financial one as well, and approach him with open rather than closed hands. Make sure you keep your side of the bargain!
Please note that community altar work services do not come with individual readings/reports, though I will post at least one photo of the work to the Discord “forum” for clients, which you’ll receive an invitation to after you book your vigil service spot.
If you’d like to make a donation to help offset the cost of pro bono and reduced rate services that I provide for folks experiencing income instability and career challenges during this COVID mess, you can do so here. (Offsite PayPal link)
Have vigil lights set and worked on my St. Joseph altar in a nine-day community altar work service beginning on Saturday, May 1st, the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. There is some wiggle room and you can join up after the work starts as long as you see that there are still spots left and it doesn’t say “sold out.”
I will begin a nine-day novena and chaplet recitation to St. Joseph on this same day, focused on petitioning his intercession for the unemployed, the underemployed, those whose income is unreliable or unpredictable, and those struggling to find dignity in their work. Your petition/intention will be included daily in my novena and chaplet work.
You do not have to book a spot in the vigil service in order to have your name and petition included in my 9 days of novena and chaplet prayers. You can simply submit your name and petition via the intake form and in place of the service/order #, type “joseph novena prayers only.” There is no cost for this option (though if you’d like to, you can make an optional donation in any amount you wish).
St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers, foster parents, carpenters, craftsmen, travelers, immigrants, and families and workers in general. He has two feast days in the Western Catholic calendar, and this one focuses specifically on his patronage of workers.
Please note that community altar work services do not come with individual readings/reports, though I will post at least one photo of the work to the Discord “forum” for clients, which you’ll receive an invitation to after you book your vigil service spot.
Vigil light setting service – Have a fixed, dressed, blessed vigil light candle set with your petition/intention along with other community members’ candles to burn for the entirety of the nine-day novena (and since commercial vigil candles these days generally burn for about five days, this service will involve two candles per petition/intention so lights are burning continuously for nine days). I need the date of birth and full name of the person who the light is being set for along with a one- or two-sentence petition or intention.
Prayers only – If you can’t book a vigil light service but want your petition/intention included in my novena and chaplet prayers, you can simply submit your name, DOB, and petition using the intake form but typing “joseph novena prayers only” in the box for the service/order #. There is zero cost for this option. You will not do anything from the listing page except click the link to the intake form, since you aren’t checking out to book a service.
Donation – If you’d like to make a donation to help offset the cost of pro bono and reduced rate services that I provide for folks experiencing income instability and career challenges during this COVID mess, you can do so here. (Offsite PayPal link)
After you check out, fill out the intake form giving your order #, petition, the names of any people involved, and any photos you want me to use in setting your lights.
Once I’ve got everything set up, you’ll receive an invitation to my client Discord server via email if you’ve booked a vigil light setting.
I’m still not caught up from the backlog due to weather/~3 weeks offline. But I want to illustrate why all of my handling/turnaround times are estimates only and a service can take longer than expected. 
I just finished a reading that a client booked last month.
The typed reading was 7,000 words long.
If I were still a freelance editor or writer working in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1″ margins, that would be 14 single-spaced pages.
It wasn’t some special “next five years” or extended birthday reading. It was just a regular old Tarot reading. But it was an incredibly important issue for the client and a pretty complicated situation with a lot of moving parts connected in sometimes quite subtle ways. And the cards were really digging into some nooks and crannies. I had no idea it was going to end up being that long…
This slightly complex charm to cross a river or running water safely requires the traveler to apply juice from the plants called yauhtli  and tepepapaloquilitl  to the chest, to have the stones beryl and sardonyx as well as an oyster , and to keep the eyes of a large fish enclosed securely in the mouth.
The beryl is to be held in the hand. It’s unclear to me from the manuscript whether the sardonyx and the oyster are also held in the hand or kept in the mouth with the fish eyes.
Near as I can tell, these herbs are specified because they are sacred to the god Tlaloc, the lord of rain and celestial waters.
I think I’d need a charm to help me be brave enough to try this charm.
 Mexican marigold, Tagetes lucida
 lit. mountain butterfly weed; could be another type of marigold, or Porophyllum punctatum, or one of a number of plants called deer herb depending on who you ask.
 Probably. The translator was not entirely sure. If it’s an oyster, it would be sans shell.
The De La Cruz-Badiano Aztec Herbal of 1552. William Gates, trans. The Maya Society, Baltimore: 1939, p. 103.
Lights will be set at midnight on April 24th, though this is a vigil service and so there is wiggle room to get in after that time as long as you still see openings available.
I am seeing lots of celebration in various forums about the Pink! Supermoon! with a hefty focus on the positive. Not to be contrary for the sake of being contrary, but don’t let the pink nickname fool you. This is a pretty intense period with some intense astrological transits – Sun and moon both square Saturn in Aquarius, Sun conjunct Uranus on the 30th, Pluto’s about to go retrograde, and that’s not even half of it. All those big social upheaval transits of 2020? This wave is part of that storm, so to speak.
Whether we feel those tensions on a larger societal scale in the form of political or economic events or just on a more personal or local level, they are likely to be charging the air. Anybody who tries to sell you only the love and light and fluffy rainbows and affirmations version of this full moon should be tarred and feathered – or at least have your most skeptical flat stare leveled at them for a long second.
And all this promise of personal transformation is one thing, but transformation can be *hard,* especially if you feel you’re having it thrust upon you.
If you still have anxiety about all these transformations that this Pink Supermoon in Scorpio seems to be promising, *you are totally freakin’ normal.* There is nothing wrong with you. Humans developed anxiety for a reason, and in reasonable doses, it can help inoculate you against system failure when at some point things inevitably don’t go according to plan.
The problem is when anxiety exceeds reasonable doses, when it clouds out other perspectives and constrains your sense of what’s possible and where your own agency lies. You’re still normal if that happens, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to take spiritual measures to dial down the stress a little.
Or maybe you’re not so much anxious as just a little… bruised. You did a few rounds in the ring with a pretty big opponent and you’re still feeling it and wondering if you’re really all that enthusiastic about doing any more transforming just yet.
This Balm of Gilead service is designed to help with that. Balm of Gilead is renowned as a healing herb in the physical as well as the emotional realms. It can be used to soothe mental and interpersonal trouble and tension, reconcile estranged friends and lovers, and heal body, mind, and spirit. Think of it as a spiritual anti-inflammatory (it cools things down), antimicrobial (it kills little pesky things that trouble and sicken the spirit and relationships), and analgesic (calms the pain).
Community altar work services focused on a particular goal or area and with a limited number of “seats” for each working are a great compromise between big workings open to any number of folks (inexpensive but with little customization available) and hiring a worker to do 100% custom, private services just for you (completely tailored to you but often considerably more expensive since the cost of time and materia magica are not being shared by more than one person).
If you’re interested in seeing a type of service or working that I’m not currently offering, please feel free to make suggestions. Some work I don’t generally perform as group work (stuff like revenge, crossing, and binding – that’s always gonna be 100% custom and private). But it could be I do offer it, only it just so happens that saints’ days kept me too busy this month. Or it could be that I don’t often have clients asking for that type of work so I haven’t focused on it before. So don’t be shy about asking – if I can offer it and am likely to get participants, I probably will, and if I can’t, I’ll at least tell you why and let you know about some other options you might consider.
Have a glass-encased vigil light fixed, dressed, blessed, set on my St. Expedite altar, and burned for you in a community altar work service for this famed and beloved patron saint of fast results.
Lights will be set the night of Monday, April 19th. There is some wiggle room and you can join up after the work starts as long as you see that there are still spots left and it doesn’t say “sold out.” The service fee covers the cost of your vigil candle and appropriate food, beverage, and flower offerings.
St. Expedite’s feast day is April 19th, and while you can petition him any day of the year, you might be able to get a little extra bang for your buck on his feast day.
But beyond that, his feast day would be an excellent time to thank him for for previous services rendered if you already work with…
Stumbled across a set of instructions for making red brick dust the other day. It had 10 separate steps and required a mortar and pestle, some rum as an offering, hand/wrist strength, patience, and a whole lot of praying.
Y’all, I’m gonna give you my secret recipe for red brick dust. And this is authentic — my ancestry on my father’s side is Louisiana Creole through and through. My father was the first generation in our lineage *not* to be born in Louisiana since my 5th great grandfather in 1752. New Orleans cemeteries are positively jammed with ancestors, on both my father’s paternal side (French Creole) and my mother’s maternal side (Spanish Creole, many of whom settled in Florida after coming through the port…
We have (mostly)* reliable internet again for the first time since March 23rd. Of course, now we have no hot water because there’s never a dull moment at Seraphin Station.**
Y’all, the backlog on email (esp. light setting reports, readings, and consultations), DMs/PMs on various platforms, and Etsy messages is freakin’ considerable. It’s about to storm, but I’m gonna get started on trying to prioritize all these messages in all these inboxes as soon as I get in from weather prep (protecting the more delicate and/or new plants and getting the chickens set up in case we get any flash flooding – there’s an advisory and we live on the edge of a swamp).
Let’s hope the internet still works after it rains again. (Storms are why it quit working last time.)
*This is still the worst ISP in North America and they still haven’t buried the DSL line, so it still gets damaged when a cow looks at it wrong and it still doesn’t like to work when it rains.
**Calling this an old farmhouse would be way too poetic and generous. It’s just an old house. And it’s not even that old – it’s not charming or quaint or anything like that. I’d say it was built in probably the early ’80s, apparently by someone who never cooked a meal for more than one person in their life, ’cause the kitchen just doesn’t make *any* sense.
The first owners had an active farm here for a while, including goats. At some point, perhaps in the twilight years of farm activity — I’m speculating — at least one goat would spend the night in the house when the weather was bad.
The next people who lived here had, over the course of about 10 years, at least 20 cats. And when we moved in, the carpet was original.
So we had to rip the carpet out before I could spend the night in the house. We lived on bare subfloor and throw rugs in most of the house for a good while. The living room/my office area is still bare subfloor with some area rugs on top.
My kitchen floor was several layers of peeling linoleum until last summer.
We laid down some fairly nice cork-backed laminate flooring in the hallway a couple of years ago, but we had to pull it up last year when we realized the hallway bathroom toilet was leaking *under the floor* and had soaked into the subfloor all the way out into the hallway. (I almost didn’t survive that one – it’s not a stretch to say I was about apoplectic.) We had to replace the toilet.
We just had to replace the kitchen sink faucet and some plumbing last week.
I don’t know how old the water heater is, but I know that resetting it is just a temporary fix, so it’s gonna need more fix than that. There’s also something wrong with the oven and I cannot currently bake in it because it just randomly decides 200 degrees is fine, it doesn’t need to stay 400 degrees, thank you very much.
So I often warn people that our house is an active construction site. But that’s just a polite way of saying that if we turn our backs on it for a second, it will be literally falling down around our ears. And our appliances are, for the most part, dinosaurs. And there are fields and fencing and pastures and garden areas and chicken runs and firebreaks and an orchard and an old grape arbor and a barn with an original roof, all of which need regular attention. Oh, and that shed that collapsed hurricane before last, I think it was? Yeah, you can’t just leave stuff like that just lying there lol
So please, please don’t take it personally when something happens and I don’t reply to your emails right away 🙂 Seraphin Station is a working farm, emphasis on the “working,” and in a way, we’re trying to “reclaim” our house just as much as we’re trying to get the farm going again.