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.

January Prosperity and Relationships Honey Jars

January honey jars start tonight, for Love/Relationships and for Prosperity/Success/Income. The prosperity jar is Pay What You Can.

Community altar work services focus on a particular goal or area and have a limited number of “seats” for each working. They 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 costs of time and materia magica are not being shared by more than one person).

Learn more or book now at Seraphin Station.

Questions you’ve asked: St. Cyprian for love work

A reader asks,

“I would like your guidance on getting the right St. Cyprian oil for myself. I have been working with the same . . . brand for years. . . . [but] I’m unfamiliar with him assisting in love work. What aspect of that does he help in? Or how does he help with that? Which type of oil should I get?”

Answer:

As to love work, what you’re missing is the entire Spanish grimoire tradition, which is the base off of which many of the folk magic practices of the Spanish-speaking world are built. And that’s not some gap in your education you should feel weird about if you don’t speak/read Spanish. There are lots of overlaps with American and Mexican folk magic, but they are definitely not simply interchangeable, and this is one of those areas where there’s a whole distinct field that hasn’t trickled over into the English-speaking world so much, where St. Cyprian is primarily known for being the patron of magicians.

And what you have in this tradition is a very longstanding practice of invoking St. Cyprian in the same way you might invoke St. Martha (often in her dominator aspect) and/or Santa Muerte (in her red aspect) in work designed to call or keep a lover – and if you’re familiar at all with that type of thing, you know it’s often got a lot of that binding/commanding/urgency stuff tied up in it that merges very quickly over into the Intranquility side of things: e.g. may he not sleep until he is by my side, may he be on fire for me, blah blah blah. That Intranquility stuff is *ancient* and has been an unbroken practice in the Spanish-speaking world for I don’t know how many centuries. Lots 🙂

You can see an example of the type of prayer/spell I’m talking about via The Coptic Magical Papyri: Vernacular Religion in Late Roman and Early Islamic Egypt site, in a manuscript that dates from between 1001 and 1100 CE. There’s a bit titled Love Spell of Cyprian that includes some of these elements.

There’s also an Intranquility-style prayer from Mexico at the main St. Cyprian resources page at Big Lucky Hoodoo.

Now that is not to say that you can only call on St. Cyprian for dominating/intranquility type love work. He’s just like any other saint – folks who form a relationship with him call on him for all kinds of things that may or may not have anything to do with the precise stuff he gets mentioned in books/on websites and on prayer cards for. That’s kinda how patronage works 🙂 So if you’re not looking for Intanquility-flavored stuff but you want to work with St. Cyprian on love matters, you should feel free.

His popular hagiographical story has this whole business starting because he, as a pagan, tried to cast a love spell on St. Justina, who deflected it with the sign of the cross. Cyprian figured he’d just run into something more powerful than his magic – which he’d studied his whole life – so he needed to reassess which side his bread was buttered on. So that’s what he has to do with love magic.

Read more about St. Cyprian at Big Lucky Hoodoo.

So to some, he might seem like a weird choice to tap for love work, esp. considering no love spell ever worked on St. Justina and instead she and Cyprian both remained celibate and in the service of Christ for the rest of their lives, but nonetheless, he’s been called on for love work for ages and ages 🙂

The oil you have at home is probably most similar to my regular St. Cyprian oil, the not-seasonal one. It can be used in any kind of work with, or even as an offering for, St. Cyprian.

However, if you did want to get an oil that was made with an eye towards doing effective love work specifically, then version B of the seasonal oils would be your best bet. You can use any of the seasonal oils for any type of working, though – they’re all “keyed” to St. Cyprian beyond just one certain type of work.

Lots more info at Big Lucky Hoodoo.

Saints Clare and Philomena Candle Services and Novenas Begin Tonight

Big Lucky Hoodoo

*While I normally ask that clients book one service per order and check out for separate services separately, in this case, since Saints Clare and Philomena are so closely associated in some traditions, I’m offering a bundled discount if you book both services together. To get the discount, you have to check out with both services at the same time.

Saint Clare Candle Service & Novena – Clarity, Wisdom, Insight, Clairvoyance

Have lights set and worked on my St.Clare altar in a nine-day community altar work servicebeginning the night of August 11th,the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi.There is some wiggle room andyou can join up after the work startsas 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.Clare on this same day, focused on petitioning her…

View original post 529 more words

Algiers Luck Oil

Algiers is a regionally-specific old New Orleans style hoodoo formula designed to bring luck in both love and money. It was particularly favored by gamblers who planned to spend the night out getting lucky – in more ways than one.

It still has an element of “fast” in it, ingredients-wise, but if Red Fast Luck clocks in at about 90 mph, Algiers comes in at a perhaps more dignified 70 or so. But when we want fast results, we can’t always expect deep and long-lasting ones, and when we want luck that sticks around for a while, we can’t always expect fast. And that relationship holds true here, as well – if Algiers shows up to the party a few minutes later than Red Fast Luck, well, it sticks around a little longer, too.

It’s quite likely neither will still be there in the morning, of course. But where Red Fast Luck invariably pulls the Irish goodbye, you just might, if you’re attentive, see Algiers’ half-grin and tip of the hat on his way out the door.

(Honestly, I’m just having a bit of fun. There’s not a lot of difference between these two oils in terms of how they work. If you already have one, I can’t imagine why you’d need the other as well. But if you have neither and you’re trying to pick one, I guess the biggest difference is really probably scent, and still, it’s not a big difference. Algiers smells just ever so slightly less like candy than Red Fast Luck. Neither one is particularly dignified, but they know how to have a good time. Algiers might be the slightly older Creole cousin who’s got just a little more experience – maybe five months older, tops 🙂 Oh, and Algiers is purple.)

Half-ounce bottle.