Ascension Day Cleansing/Blessing bath herbs

Get a packet of Ascension Day bath herbs at Seraphin Station.

There’s a lovely Italian tradition relating to the Madonna of the Baths (patroness of the region’s numerous hot mineral springs). This annual blessing and cleansing at the Feast of the Ascension is under her aegis. The Feast of the Ascension is on May 26th this year.

So if you can get your hands on clean, unsprayed, food-grade roses and mint, this is a nice little cleansing and blessing rite you could do with those.

If you can’t get your hands on fresh, organic roses and mint, I have made a blend of dried mint leaves and rose petals available in the shop as Ascension Day Bath Herbs.

The Bath Rite

On the day before Ascension Day, gather rose petals and mint leaves before dark and put them in a bowl or basin of water. Ideally, this would be spring water, but since most of us don’t really have fresh springs anywhere near us anymore, use whatever makes sense to you and is sanitary here. Traditionally, you would invoke the blessings of the Madonna of the Baths, praying and asking her to bless the roses and mint as you added them so the water will bless and sanctify the body.

Leave the basin outside under the sky all night, and in the morning, wash with the water for spiritual cleansing and blessing.

Additional Uses and Considerations

It is nice in a full bath as well, and it can be used in home washing/cleansing, but I will tell you from personal experience that it does *not* keep well AT ALL. If you bring it inside and refrigerate it, you could very well still get mold pretty quickly, so unless you want to preserve it with a sufficient ratio of ethanol or some other real preservative, you should divide it into portions and freeze it if you want some for later. (And frankly, the scent is extremely delicate and light – ethanol would probably completely obliterate it.)

Mint in hoodoo is well known as an uncrossing, purifying, and protective herb that deals with troublesome people and troublesome spirits. But I’ve found that mint is especially good for troublesome thoughts as well — stuff like anxiety loops, negative internal dialogue, invasive thoughts. It can kind of short circuit that stuff.

And rose, although commonly thought of as a love herb, is also an herb of blessing. It’s strongly associated with Mary, and beyond that, has deep associations with many figures of the Divine Feminine in religions and cultures throughout history, across the globe. In some folk traditions, it’s used to clear up negativity and crossed conditions around your love life, and it finds its way into blends for psychic vision, protection, friendship, and general luck, as well. (Though if I wanted to use this for protection or home cleansing, I’d probably add a handful of basil, personally. And if you did that, you’d actually have a pretty good Peaceful Home blend, too, come to think of it…)

It’s especially useful for matters related to *self* love – self esteem, self confidence, and self-forgiveness. As such, it pairs with mint to give you a blend that can help remove negative thoughts and negative influences in the realm of love, absolutely including self-love, self-esteem, internal dialogue, all that kind of thing. And then of course the Madonna of the Baths is associated with healing.

Read More

Read more about the bath herbs, or order some now, at Seraphin Station.

Learn more about the Madonna of the Baths via Storie di Napoli.

Hear a traditional folk song for the Madonna of the Baths (and read a traditional prayer, as well, if you can read Neapolitan) via Italian Folk Magic.

14 Holy Helpers Oil + 15% off Blessing/Healing formulas, 2 days only

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are saints or holy figures who were petitioned in medieval Europe during the terror of the Black Death. Also known as the “auxiliary saints,” they were called on as a group for protection from a variety of illnesses and troubles that would strike both people and animals. Their popularity continues to this day.

While you will occasionally see variations in a few of the names depending on region, the “standard” 14 Holy Helpers and their particular areas of specialty are as follows:

  • Agathius – headache, agonizing pain
  • Barbara – fever, sudden death, fire
  • Blaise – illnesses of the throat and protection for domestic animals
  • Catherine of Alexandria – sudden death, diseases of tongue
  • Christopher – plague, sudden death, and temptations while traveling
  • Cyriacus – temptation on one’s death bed, eye disease, possession
  • Denis – headache, demonic possession
  • Erasmus (aka St. Elmo) – intestinal and stomach troubles
  • Eustace – family discord and strife, fire
  • George – domestic animals, boils, lesions
  • Giles – plague, for good confessions, for the maimed and beggars, epilepsy, mental illness, nightmares, panic
  • Margaret of Antioch – childbirth, protection from devils, headache, backache
  • Pantaleon – physicians, midwives, against cancer and TB
  • Vitus (aka St. Guy)- epilepsy, lightning and storms, protection for animals and from animal bites

I released this oil years ago as part of an expanded line of blessing, uncrossing, and protection formulas, having no idea at the time that we’d one day be facing a sort of modern plague of our own. So I figured now’s a good time to make another batch of this stuff.

One of those multi-use spiritual oils that’s worth keeping in the supply cupboard because one little bottle does so much.

Enjoy 15% off tangibles in the Blessing, Healing, Protection, Uncrossing, Spiritual Cleansing, and Saints/Spirits categories on any order totaling $20 or more, at Seraphin Station or at Etsy. Offer good now through midnight CST on Monday the 17th. Discount is automatic – no coupon code necessary.

Read more or order now at Seraphin Station.

N.B. Not a medicine and not a substitute for proper medical treatment by a qualified medical practitioner.

Water of Life Oil

I’m publishing this review because, yeah, it’s a great review, but this isn’t purely self serving! What’s so cool here is they took time to explain how they use it, what particular effects they’ve seen, what their experience has been, and how they suggest people new to the formula consider using it.

This is especially valuable with a formula like Water of Life, which is an original biblical/esoteric oil rather than a traditional hoodoo formula, so there isn’t a whole body of already-existing knowledge and tradition and lore surrounding it and its usage. So this kind of first-hand feedback is extra valuable.

Thanks for sharing, M!

EXTRAORDINARY

I can’t recommend this oil highly enough! This is a a pièce de résistance from a master of the art of formulation in our generation. While the energy is soothing, the effects are profoundly powerful. I have found in using oil that events cease rushing to their inevitable, logical conclusions. Instead, space is created for unimagined possibilities where none existed before. Choice becomes possible. Change becomes possible. Outcomes are… asymmetrical. I have yet to correctly predict where the openings in situations would arise nor the direction it will subsequently take, but I will say, things work out better than I could plan. I haven’t used Water of Life to it’s fullest potential, but I recommend it as an anointing oil and to dress candles. It affects people in my proximity without physical contact. You don’t need to be a Christian to use it. Lastly, I suggest slightly open-ended petitions and not insisting on particular details that aren’t of consequence nor assuming at the outset you know the best means to your intended end.

M. Moore from Kansas City

Water of Life is a biblical anointing oil for blessing, healing, hope, and divine help. It’s inspired by Revelation 22, which says,

22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

(ESV translation)

This oil is created using traditional biblical perfumery ingredients to evoke the promise of Revelation 22: no more curses, no more darkness. When God’s servants can see his face, the darkness ceases to exist.

Use this oil when you need a radical change of perspective, when logic won’t work and you need something big enough and paradigm-shifting enough to lift you out of a dark night of the soul and remind you there will be light. You can use Water of Life to remove curses and spiritual darkness, to bring peace and emotional healing, and to invite or focus the gifts of prophecy and angelic communication.

The Blue Charm: Rustic Hoodoo Amulet Necklace

For this amulet necklace, I’ve basically deconstructed a classic rural Southern-style conjure bag, aka a mojo or toby, and made jewelry out of it.


This is backwoods conjure the way it used to be. It’s miles away from the shiny city general store with imported spices and soaps and fabrics. This is the part of the country where floorwash is made with chamber lye, not ammonia and certainly not Florida Water. New curtains come from recycled worn-out clothes, and those clothes come from recycled flour and feed sacks.

Old barn and field gear provides tiny scraps of leather. Copper, brass, and steel are scavenged from derelict machinery and buildings. Scraps of fabric — saved in an old cookie tin with thimbles and thread — tell 50 years of stories in a square inch: palest blue silk of a once-treasured gown; crisp white poplin once someone’s Sunday best; a thin strip of woven blue and gold once a hair ribbon won at the county fair. Whether passed on or simply moved on, those who once owned these bits and scraps are no longer here. And nobody was listening for their voices before you and I got here. Not everybody can hear them, after all.

This necklace is for those who can – or who want to. It’s for the medium, the storyteller, the card reader, the local historian, for the mad prophet, the family memory-keeper, the soothsayer. It’s for those who live too much in their own heads and those who don’t live enough in theirs, for those who want to remember and those who cannot forget. It’s for magpies of myth, keepers of scraps, and weavers of visions, those who can read the narrative in excavated brick or crumbling beams or rough-loomed fabric remnants. It’s for those who don’t go the long way round to avoid the cemetery at night and who aren’t afraid to slow down and chance hearing whispers in the wind.

Continue reading “The Blue Charm: Rustic Hoodoo Amulet Necklace”

Balm of Gilead Community Candle Service – April 24th

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).

Read more or book your spot at SeraphinStation.com.

St. Gabriel Light Setting Service – Communication, Fertility, Clairvoyance, Creativity

Have a glass-encased vigil light fixed, dressed, blessed, set on my Archangel Gabriel altar, and burned for you in a community altar work service.

Lights will be set the night of Wednesday, March 24th. 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.”

Usually, a saint’s feast day is the date of their death. Since angels aren’t human and don’t die (though they absolutely are saints), things are a little different with them. And you’ll find that these days, the official feast day of St. Gabriel the Archangel is September 29th – he shares it with the archangels Michael and Raphael.

But it wasn’t always so – feast days get moved around sometimes. And Gabriel’s used to be on March 24th, the day before the feast of the Annunciation, which was pretty much Gabriel’s starring scriptural role: he appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her that she was going to be the Mother of God. (And *that* had to be a trip.)

So while all angels are messengers, in a sense, Gabriel is kind of the archetypal angelic messenger. It’s his main gig, and so he’s the patron saint of messengers, including postal workers, diplomats, ambassadors, and those in telecommunications.

Because so many of his messages had to do with the realm of pregnancy, childbirth, conception, fertility, he’s also called upon to intercede on behalf of infants and children, pregnant women, and women wishing to become pregnant. Fertility and conception can be understood figuratively here, as well, to do with inspiration, ideas, and the creative process.

And looking more broadly beyond his mentions in the canonical books of the Bible, he takes on varied roles. In Jewish tradition, Gabriel’s the angel of judgment, and in Islam he’s the mouthpiece of God during the dictation of the Koran. In many traditions of Western esotericism, he’s associated with the West, the Moon, and the element of Water.

Thus Gabriel rules ocean navigation and trade; motherhood, birth, children, and home/domestic concerns; intuition, psychic ability, prophecy, and clairvoyance. He can, of course, also be called upon more generally for blessings as one of the canonical archangels known by name from scripture.

Learn more or book your spot at SeraphinStation.com.

Chaplet of St. Michael – Angelic Crown Rosary – SOLD

Call on the blessings and protection of St. Michael and the nine choirs of angels with this one-of-a-kind Angelic Crown chaplet, aka Chaplet of St. Michael.

  • Czech glass Pater beads in iridescent blues
  • crystal clear pressed glass Ave beads
  • cast bronze reproduction of an antique Latin American rosary center
  • cast bronze reproduction of an antique St. Michael holy medal

Brutal review of Coffee at Midnight

Some of y’all testers and critics are really mean!

Coffee at Midnight smells like coffee, for real, because it contains coffee oil, cold pressed from the seeds of Coffea arabica L. I source the best ingredients I can manage for this formula, and they’re expensive.

But some of you are not impressed. One reviewer’s verdict:

“Smells like pumpkin seeds covered in raccoon poop.” – Jane, age 4

Get a real job, Jane.

(I’m just kidding, sweetie. You’re good. And I’d probably be worried about you if you did like coffee at the age of four 😉 )

Fortunately, most adults who appreciate both coffee and conjure have reviewed it much more favorably:

“This is my favorite love/lust oil. It smells fantastic and quite delicious! I feel like this is an excellent oil for helping get my mind in the right place when I’m doing love work. The coffee smell is very present (and as someone who enjoys coffee and is in a relationship with a coffee-lover it felt like an appropriate choice.) I have a small almost empty bottle of the original, which has aged well and never went bad (even though it’s over 5 years old.) I loved it so much I used it very, very sparingly.” – an actual adult

(Thanks, E!)

So there you have it, folks. I think the takeaway point here is that preschoolers are philistines lol… But if you already like coffee, I think you’ll find Coffee at Midnight a refreshing, updated take on traditional “sweet” formulas for love-drawing in the hoodoo tradition.


If you like heady, exotic, definitely not run-of-the-mill blends in your ritual oils that owe a little bit to my dilettante-level perfumery experiments, you might also check out Song of Solomon, Balm of Gilead, and Queen Esther.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you received a coupon code in the last newsletter that applies to Protection, Blessing, and Healing products, and I believe those last three are all in that category.

And if you’re reading this and you’re *not* a subscriber, you missed a coupon code good for the whole month of December. And let’s see, another one for $10 off an email reading; and several heads-up messages about bonus rewards point events; some free lightning-struck pine; a dirt cheap batch of black chicken feathers [including frizzly rooster feathers]; and an exclusive chance to own a set of St. Cyprian oils I only make once a year – just off the top of my head.

If you feel like signing up, you can do that at the website or here:

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services and stuff update, N.B. 2015 folks

Oils and Other Formulas

I’ve been able to order some essential oils and herbs and they should be getting here any minute now. So I’m getting pretty close to being good to go on a full range of regular condition/dressing oil formulas.

Same with common bath/floorwash crystal mixtures, and this will enable me to make a decent range of mojo bags and pakets, too. It’ll probably be a minute before I’ll be able to have a dozen of every type of whole root in my cabinets ready to go on a moment’s notice — who knew it then, but those were the days! — but hey, one foot in front of the other, right?

Getting there on the vodou oils, but not quite there on all the specialty/esoteric oils. Some of that stuff costs a stupid amount of money and/or effort to source and I figure I better get the basics going strong before I focus on things that have a narrower appeal. (I doubt I ever sold even 50 bottles of Damballah oil in 13 years, you know?) In some cases, if there’s enough request for a certain formula and I can get a couple of y’all to maybe commit to purchase within a certain timeframe or something, I might be able to get it going sooner. But like I’ve been saying, just write me if you have any particular requests and I’ll prioritize it if I can.

I’ve had a few inquiries about Cool Heads, Warm Hearts, which is a type of specialty peace water for the home that is made with Maggie’s Cleansing and Blessing Water [*], and I’m actually dying to make this water again because I want it to have around for myself, too. But since I last made this, I’ve learned that not every supplier is as scrupulous as they could be about using proper preservatives in their hydrosols and/or labeling clearly as such and/or making that information available to their buyers.

So in addition to sourcing the essential oil ingredients, I’m still researching the best way to formulate this so nobody ends up spraying sweetly-scented mold water around their house. I’m looking at suppliers for hydrosols and their track records, and I’m looking at paraben-free preservatives, but I haven’t ruled out just changing the formula to an alcohol-based one, either. But then by the time I do all of that, it’s quite possible that this stuff would cost so much nobody would ever buy it, because I am not and do not want to be in the business of buying and storing 55 gallon drums of anything, but sometimes you really have to buy in serious bulk to get prices that make the product worth fooling with.

And then if it’s alcohol-based, I’m not sure what the selling point is to recommend it over just buying a bottle of Lanman & Kemp, you know? (sigh) In any case, I’m looking into it. I’m definitely not ignoring y’all that have mentioned it, but I want to do this right. [**]

If you guys expressing interest in “Cool Heads, Warm Hearts” and/or “Maggie’s Cleansing and Blessing Water: *compare to Murray & Lanman Florida Water” have any input on this formulation question, chime in!

 Altar Work and Consultations

I am offering consultations again and some altar work services now that I’ve mostly got all the usual herbs and oils and such lined up. I do not have an extended selection of every whole root under the sun, like I was saying above, but I’m aiming to keep at least a couple of everything on hand in the very near future.

2015 Clients

I also found most of the readings/consultations and reports that are likely to have fallen between the cracks in 2015, I believe. I know what folders i need to go through anyway as I check each one, and I do need to check each one. In some cases I’ll have to ask you if you ever got the report, though, ’cause Lord knows that filing system fell the hell apart there at the end and just ’cause something *says* it was delivered doesn’t guarantee it got where it was supposed to go. :/

If I owed you a service report or consultation and you still want it — though obviously for a new issue most likely (grimace) — email me and I’ll bump you to the top of the list. We can even do it via phone if you prefer, if our schedules are compatible.

Or if you’d like a store credit or gift card instead, I can do that right away, too.

If I owed you a service report or consultation and you just want a refund, I understand, and I am still doing like I outlined in the “2015 reparations info page” – going down a list, figuring out what’s what, and reaching out to folks one order at a time.

It is NOT going quickly, but I have been making progress. People have received refunds. I can only send out what I have, though, so the speed of this endeavor is directly tied to how quickly I can get the new shop self-sustaining. And I’m working very, very hard on it.

 


[*] In the past, I called this “Maggie’s Florida Water Spray” or the like in print at least once. I swear I checked before I did it, but I must have been looking at the wrong column or had the wrong tab pulled up or just gone cross-eyed, because I was sure I had managed the name in a way that was not a trademark violation. And I was wrong. I even had a customer mention it and I reassured them. I don’t remember who that was, but if you’re reading this, you were right lol…

Lanman & Kemp does own the rights to the name “Florida Water” with or without the word “cologne” even though the recipe predates their freakin’ existence as a company. Or, rather, the rights once owned by Lanman & Kemp and then by Murray & Lanman are now owned by Lanman & Kemp-Barclay & Co. (That might have been the source of my problem – I might have looked at an out-of-date company name and seen that the registration was dead and not considered that it was alive under a later iteration of the company name. Either way it was a stupid mistake on my part.)

And while it’s true that other companies manufacture something they call “Florida Water” that is a cologne just like this, they aren’t U.S. based companies, and that right there is the rub.

So anyway, this isn’t Florida Water. This is my mother’s cleansing and blessing recipe from back in the day that you will find smells and works a lot like Murray & Lanman Florida Water. 🙂 But it’s not! It’s Maggie’s Cleansing and Blessing Water.

Dear Lanman & Kemp-Barclay and Co. et al: please don’t sue me. I couldn’t pay anything you’d win in court anyway. I’d just have to go out of business and then you’d have to fight with the student loan people over my pathetic mortal remains to get any cash out of me.

[**] This has also occasioned my spending an awful lot of time on various suppliers’ forums and message boards, and let me just say that there are a ton of people out there making bath and body products who have no freakin’ idea what they’re doing and it is terrifying.

Folks, don’t be afraid of preservatives. I know we’ve all been told thousands of times how bad preservatives are blah blah blah, but don’t just let those mantras occupy your consciousness so you have a knee-jerk reaction to them. Sure, there’s such a thing as *food* that is over-processed and “full of preservatives” and is generally just all-around crappy. I don’t think anybody on the planet needs *more* sodium nitrite in their diet.

But that doesn’t translate in any way, shape, or form to cosmetic or body products or, really, any kind of thing you’re gonna spray around your house or on your linens. This is apples and oranges. And if you have a product you’re going to put on your body or spray all over your clothing or bedding and it contains water, it needs a preservative. Not just an antioxidant, a flippin’ preservative.

Preservatives are how you make sure your nicely scented, boutique, organic facial toner doesn’t turn into a very expensive bottle of boutique microbes. Preservatives are how your body wash and shampoo aren’t full of Pluralibacter gergoviaewell, hopefully. You see a face cream for sale at the flea market made with fresh pureed pumpkin and spice, and there’s a big sign saying “organic” and “all natural” and “unprocessed” next to it in Crayola marker? And you pause and are actually considering it? God, I hope you know how to read your cosmetics labels. And people. And that you don’t get tempted by some half-baked ideas about “organic” and “all natural” always being better. You know what else is organic? Freakin’ botulism.

Preservatives are not inherently evil.

All-natural is not always better.

Don’t fall for dumb shit.

(Credo Beauty has a good blog post about what they call FOP, short for Fear of Preservatives, why we shouldn’t succumb to it, and what we should do instead.)


Image credit Skitterphoto | Pixabay.