Vendredi Fou (Black Friday) Sale and Free Gifts

20% off orders placed until midnight on Monday, November 28th. No code needed at Etsy or the main site. (Remember the main site has more stuff and often has better shipping rates too!)

Free gifts: Orders of $50+, Nag Champa candles for spiritual awareness & meditation. Orders of $75+, limited edition Three Kings oil for blessings and prosperity. These are not currently available separately for purchase anywhere – this is the only way you can get them. While supplies last.

2X bonus rewards points also active through Monday.

Newsletter has resumed – some list scrubbing was necessary

If you have not gotten the most recent newsletter and you used to get it, it’s possible that your signup got scrubbed ’cause I had to use some algorithms and AI there to help me clean up the spambot messes.

This is especially likely if you have never made a purchase at SeraphinStation.com, if you rarely open newsletter emails, and/or if your email address and actual name bear no resemblance to each other but both look like real names. e.g. If you are Kyra Smith and your email is LaylaEdwards@gmail, that might have gotten flagged. But Kyra Smith with email soccerfan21@gmail would probably be fine – it reads as less spambotty to the software I guess.

Anyway, if that happened, I’m really sorry. You are welcome to resubscribe — or subscribe for the first time — at this link.

Wed, Sep. 28th last day to book private October light settings

Wednesday, Sep. 28th at midnight will be the cutoff point to book private October light settings .

I am moving myself and a sort of travel-trailer-sized chunk of my materials, supplies, and inventory to Louisiana next month. I’ve been planning it and doing necessary preliminaries for a while, and things are finally at a point where it can happen.

This will enable me to help a family member with their land and crops and building projects, brush up on my ridiculously rusty French, fully immerse myself in the unique herbal and spiritual traditions of Louisiana (which has always done things its own damned way compared to any other state and which is still grossly misunderstood by most of the rest of the country), and deepen some ancestral ties. (Half my family tree has deep, deep roots in Louisiana, and I spent many summers there as a child, but I’ve spent comparatively little time there as an adult, and I’m excited to remedy that).

I can then apply the research and interviews I’ll be able to undertake there towards my work on A Bayou Hoodoo Herbal, which I was hoping would become a real book this year. That no longer looks realistic, but with this move, next year could be.

Admittedly, as it looks on the blog right now, Bayou Hoodoo Herbal doesn’t amount to more than a few social media posts. But I have *tons* of notes — decades of notes — waiting for me to flesh them out into actual English. I’ve just lacked the time and headspace to do that fleshing out. Once the dust settles, I should have a lot more time and headspace.

I don’t yet know how this is going to impact my currently available inventory. I really have to get in the space and see what I can realistically manage to cram into it. But I’ll be traveling back and forth between there and Alabama fairly regularly, so anything that’s unavailable for a little while is likely to be available again as soon as I sort out the logistics, or else I’ll publicly announce I’m discontinuing it or whatever.

My “field office” in Louisiana is only a few hours from here, so I’m not closing up shop. Currently-booked altar work and anything booked before Wednesday the 27th will not be interrupted. Monthly community altar services will not be affected, but it may take me a couple of weeks to get private services back online. I’ll announce it once they are.

And if you’ve been waiting *forever* for me to get back to you with a report or reading, and you’re rolling your eyes at what looks like my saying “a few more weeks,” I assure you that this is a move I’m consciously making in order to be able to safeguard and put firm, healthy boundaries around my time and energy, so that I can concentrate on what I need to concentrate on, which is my work, research, and clients. I’ve had way too much on my plate for a good while now, and this is going to function in many ways as a significant spiritual retreat, so I can get clear of a bunch of clutter and noise and get the most important things back into clear focus and good, healthy shape.

St. Martha Altar Service Begins Tonight: Steady Work, Fair Pay, Balance of Power, Peaceful Home, Domination

Big Lucky Hoodoo

This work begins the night of July 29th,the feast day of St. Martha, but there are several different modes of different lengths running concurrently here,so you absolutely can book late,as long as you see slots still available for the service you’re interested in.

St. Martha in the Bible

Famously depicted in the Bible as getting stuck with all the cooking and cleaning while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to him teach, St. Martha is the patron saint of servers, cooks, domestic workers, housewives,  and those in the hospitality industry – those who are behind the scenes making important things go even when nobody notices.

Her devotees will call on her for intercession when they need steady work, especially in these fields, or when they are having difficulty with their work, for instance if pay is slow in coming or a boss or manager…

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NEW BOOK: Medieval Rituals of Catholic Exorcism!

How am I just now hearing about this?! (squeals)

For y’all who don’t know me from back in the day, I’m a medievalist by training and wrote my doctoral dissertation on portrayals of the soul-body relationship in medieval English religious literature. This involved dipping into all kinds of things – poetry, herbals, sermons, penitentials, medical manuals – lots of old manuscripts in multiple dead languages. And it required gobs of original translation because much of it had never seen the light of day in modern English.

So I’m here to assert that medieval Christianity was often way freakin’ weirder than you probably think; many of the ideas we’ve absorbed about what it was like are incredibly off-base for many times and places of the era; and sometimes our operative categories for understanding and talking about this stuff don’t work *at all* and lead to mischaracterization and mistranslation. It’s absolutely fascinating.

Getting access to these old manuscripts can be quite difficult, and reading them is frequently brutal.

So *I cannot wait to read this.* This is me as a little kid, and I’m about to walk into the candy store.

THAVMA: Catholic Occultism and Magic in General

Medieval Rituals of Catholic Exorcism Covers

“Red Cover” – Lulu LinkAmazon Link
“Brown Cover” – Lulu LinkAmazon Link

After a year of labor, the new book’s finally finished! If you’ve ever wondered what scholars talk about when speaking of the “magical components” in medieval exorcisms, then wonder no more!

The new book contains several selections from Medieval exorcism manuscripts, with the complete rituals being given (in Manuals that contained multiple rituals, I gave a sampling).

For those unfamiliar with the Manuals, the primary source-texts of Catholic exorcism, the exorcisms of elves, dryads, and other spirits from folk beliefs, this book can be your introduction.

For those of you already familiar with the Manuals, this may be the first time substantial sections have been put into English, especially the Teilrituale or CLM 10085 – possibly one of the original “Solomonic-Catholic exorcism manuals” – and a full translation for Conjuration of Mirage from the…

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Another review of St. Expedite booklet

Big Lucky Hoodoo

Thanks for the review, Taylor! And you know I want to hear all about those “crazy things” and how you work with St. Expedite in your region and in your personal practice 🙂

To delve into your own St. Expedite craziness, pick up a copy of my St. Expedite booklet at Seraphin Station.

Want a similar book of Catholic conjure on working with the Sacred Heart of Jesus? You can still get the June Saint of the Month Box, which will come with my new booklet on the Sacred Heart.

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Ss. Cosmas and Damian Healing Service begins July 1st

Big Lucky Hoodoo

Have a vigil light fixed, blessed, dressed, and set on my altar for Saints Cosmas and Damian for petitions related to health and healing, both physical and spiritual, casting off evil, removal of crossed conditions, and protection from plague and other illness.

Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers who were practicing physicians in the 3rd century and treated their patients at no charge, hence their title of “unmercenary” or “silverless.” They have different feast days within different churches and denominations, and in the Orthodox church, in fact, there are considered to be three distinct sets of saints named Cosmas and Damian. Of course they all have different bios and feast days, as well. As with most saints from the early centuries of the church, there’s very little or nothing in any historical or archaeological record about their lives — we have rather to deal with legend (and subsequent mystical revelation…

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News & Reminders re. Shipping/Handling and Policies

Here’s my latest attempt to make this as clear as possible and stave off reading comprehension problems.

International Shipping

*Due to importation laws that place an undue administrative and financial burden on very small e-commerce businesses, I can no longer ship to Poland, Slovakia, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, or Lithuania.*

Handling Times

If your order contains:Handling time is:
0 custom items14 days
1 custom item25 days
2 custom items40 days
3 custom items55 days
etc.

Please note:

  • I do custom work. This is not Amazon.
  • I handle every aspect of your order myself. I do not have employees.
  • These handling times are estimates, not guarantees.
  • Plants, insects, wildlife, and the weather don’t work for me, don’t do things to spec, and don’t follow orders.
  • I’m a rootworker – literally. That means most of my day is spent outdoors tending to and harvesting plants or in my altar and work rooms doing work for clients and making things for customers. I am not on the computer or at a desk all day.
  • You will be notified when your order is ready to ship and sent a tracking number.
  • If you haven’t gotten a tracking number, your order is still processing.
  • Labels can be printed in batches several days in advance of the actual ship date.
  • Tracking is not real time.
  • There are probably orders ahead of yours in the queue.
  • There are probably emails ahead of yours in the queue.
  • COVID, war, and other global events have disrupted supply lines and availability of inventory and packaging materials all over the planet. Everything takes longer and costs more. This is not the same world we were living in three years ago. Please don’t take it personally or be a jerk about it.
  • Sonia does not live here. In order for us to stay on the same page, share the same inbox, keep all these systems and platforms and apps playing nice with each other, and make sure nothing falls between the cracks, we need you to follow directions for orders and communication.
  • All sales are final.

Custom Work

Prices on customized items like mojo bags, pakets, and custom oils are about to go up. People who don’t read item details and policies and don’t follow directions are creating too much extra work and giving me too many headaches.

But established clients and customers and generally reasonable people will be provided with ways to offset many of these increases, for instance through the loyalty/rewards program and subscriber-only discounts. I want you to know how much I value your business and your understanding of how all of this works and what this job entails. Y’all are who I’m working for and I appreciate you so much.

Shipping Rates

  • 95% of domestic orders will ship for a flat rate of $5.
  • 4% will ship for $10 max.
  • Expedited shipping options are available (but they do not account for or change handling times – just shipping method/carrier/speed).
  • Free shipping on domestic orders of $100 or more.
  • International shipping rates are quite competitive; more details here.

How to Get Banned/Suspended

  • Nagging, harassing, shouting, getting rude or hysterical
  • Repeatedly failing to read or follow instructions, item listing details, and/or policies
  • Filing a dispute or chargeback without talking to us first
  • Filing an “item not received” claim on a custom item, especially when that item
    • is completely custom-made from scratch for you based on your petition and situation
    • requires and takes into account the casting of your natal chart and calculation of ongoing/upcoming astrological transits
    • includes herbs, oils, essences, minerals, and curios which are rare, expensive, and/or not always frequently used in conjure
    • may involve further divination/spirit work and/or the creation of talismans/sigils
    • was ordered two weeks ago, for the love of freakin’ God

If you are blocked and you feel there’s been some error or misunderstanding, or if you have since located and read our Terms of Service and now understand the issue and our policies, we are open to discussing the reestablishment of your customer account.

Mailing List/Newsletter

I have begun the process of revalidating the subscriber list, and newsletter emails should resume in July. You will probably get an email asking you to confirm your interest in receiving the newsletters by resubscribing to the list. These should go out over the next week or so.

Newsletter subscriptions are now double opt-in, so new subscribers will get an email asking them to confirm that they do indeed want to subscribe. I’m really sorry for the extra step, but it’s just too crazy with the spambots and people forgetting they signed up or whatever.

If you don’t often open my newsletters or make purchases at my website, you may have gotten scrubbed, particularly if your name did not seem to match your email address in any way, if you signed up with an email address only and no name, or if you have an extremely unusual/unlikely name. Please don’t take it personally, but these are often features of fraudulent and spambot signups, and they’ve been a big problem lately. If you don’t get an email asking you to confirm your interest in the next week or so but you do still want to get mailings, you are more than welcome to resubscribe.

Time For Another “No Jackasses” Sale!

Well, folks, it’s that time again – time for me to deny jackasses any more of my mental real estate. And my strategy for this these days is to instead celebrate and thank the customers and clients I have who aren’t jackasses and who understand that I’m a human being and not a spiritual vending machine. (Also, shout out to y’all who are smart enough to not piss off your rootworker ffs…)

So I was nearly caught up with the shipping backlog from the epic trainwreck that my business relationship with the USPS has become, when right on cue somebody decided to take a page out of Glenn the Frizzled Bantam’s handbook and get their tetchy asses disinvited from the party… but only after making me drop everything else when they basically decided to force-jump the queue and make me jump through hoops they created due to their inability to read shop policies, follow directions, and calm the everloving hell down.

On the one hand, that’s whatever, ’cause some asshat is always doing that. On the other hand, this time somebody decided it was ok to talk to my assistant Sonia like she was a freakin’ 15-year-old Burger King employee scoffing at them when they asked for extra mustard or something.

So let me take this opportunity to make some things super clear.

For one, Sonia is not my employee. Technically, she’s an independent contractor. But really, she’s my colleague and my friend who for some mysterious reason puts up with my unending and vast technical ineptitude, my raging attention span problems, and my complete inability to keep to a normal schedule what with the whole running a business from my homestead/farm where I also raise crops and chickens and am constantly having to drop everything and run out the door to chase off a hawk or some crap.

I’m glad she does, and you should be too, because she is dedicated, patient, intelligent, trustworthy, discreet, reliable, efficient, and kind. And we go way back – I didn’t just put out a job ad and hire somebody off the street. She was around back in my *ebay* days. She was born into this work and it was in the dirt she walked on and the air she breathed and the food she ate growing up; she didn’t learn it from some book. So she doesn’t just know a couple of things about a couple of things — she is a rootworker in her own right.

She is also potentially your biggest cheerleader and advocate – she’s right here with me as I’m running through what I’m gonna need to work your case and how I’m gonna schedule and arrange everything, and she lets me know if you’ve sent a new message so I don’t miss it in all the traffic from all the channels/inboxes. She remembers where you’re from and what you’re worried about and what *I’m* worried about for you in terms of your case. She is just as happy as I am when I show her a photo of your candle wax and am smiling when I know I can give you some good news. She’s just as affected as I am when people’s children are in danger, or a client is being threatened, or someone loses their job, or a war or disease or death rips their reality from them and sends everything they had scattered to the winds. You’d be an absolute idiot to get on Sonia’s bad side, because unless she has a reason not to be, she’s your ally and is in your corner.

Even if she were “just my employee,” we’d still have a problem if you decided to be rude to her. This is not Burger King, you cannot have it your way, you cannot have it in 30 minutes or less or your next one’s free, and you cannot take your frustration or impatience or lack of critical reading ability out on somebody who is doing the job I hired them to do. Sonia never copped an attitude with anybody. She is every bit the professional. In fact, she’s generally way more tactful than I am, and whether they know it or not, there are plenty of people who should be glad she replied to their message instead of me 🙂

But Sonia keeps this place and me from freakin’ sinking under the waves. Any correspondence you’ve gotten in anything resembling a timely manner, considering that I have blown up my email inbox and/or my customer database no fewer than four times now, you probably have her to thank for it. Any paragraph you’ve read on my blog or site recently about folk Catholicism or Catholic conjure or regional herblore has probably been enriched by Sonia’s own extensive knowledge and experience that she brings to the table. There’s lots of overlap with our backgrounds, but there’s enough difference that I learn things from her all the damned time. And we talk about databases and apps, but we also talk about sourcing and growing herbs and about theory and practice in rootwork. She is my *colleague.* So anybody who dismisses her as just some “errand lackey” is making a huge mistake.

So I have on my site a little bit about how to get fired as a client and/or banned as a customer. And later on tonight, I’m going to add “being rude to my assistant” right up there at the beginning of the list. Anybody who thinks I care more about a customer’s potential credit line and what they might spend at my shop than I do about how Sonia’s doing and how she feels about all this work she does for me just doesn’t know me at all.

So now that we’ve cleared that up lol, all y’all who treat Sonia like you ought to and who behave like reasonable people, I just appreciate y’all so much. I know orders have not gone out super quickly lately and the backlog for reports and readings is absolutely ridiculous. I’m slowly but steadily working on improvements around all of that, but I know some of y’all have been patient to the point of sainthood at this juncture 🙂 and I am grateful. So if I’m not getting your stuff out to you as fast as either of us would hope, I do at least try to show my appreciation with a little lagniappe or a little coupon or a little limited edition something or other every once in a while.

Or, like now, a little sale. So please enjoy 15% off pretty much anything except services for the next 48 hours. If you’re not already a customer but you were thinking about trying out some of my stuff, well, you’re absolutely welcome to as well, just as long as you’re not a jackass 🙂 That means treat Sonia right, read the item listings and terms of service, and get familiar with my shipping and handling processes before you place an order 🙂 I post them all over the place so nobody will be unpleasantly surprised, because I want you to love what you get from my shop. And if you value personal attention to your work and the creation and shipping of your stuff, I think you will, and I’ll love having had the chance to provide you with some cool and useful stuff I made and packaged up with my own two hands 🙂

The rampant BS in essential oil marketing

…because I always come away from a Pinterest trip with something I have to write a PSA about! I’m sure this will piss off at least some of my readership, but this stuff has been ridiculous for a while now.

Y’all, there is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” essential oil. There is no governing body that grades essential oils and there is no standard definition of “therapeutic grade” or any other grade. Any company can decide to put “therapeutic grade” on their bottles. It’s totally freakin’ meaningless, and in fact, just speaking for myself, when I see a bottle of essential oil labeled “therapeutic grade,” my trust of the company goes down several notches, because it’s bullshit and they either know it, or they don’t know enough about what they’re selling to take their word on anything.

And if you see a blog telling you there are four grades of essential oils, I will bet you cash money that they are shilling for one of the big multilevel marketing setups that typically price their oils at least four times higher than typical quality retail brands. They use language like “therapeutic grade” to try to justify the markup, but I promise you, this is just marketing crap. Those oils are not some kind of ultra-elite anything, and they aren’t worth what they want you to pay for them. And the claim that “grade A” is organic and therapeutic grade, and “grade B” is food grade and could contain synthetics and contaminants… just click out when you see that bullshit. That’s garbage. People are just making shit up.

Now I believe those bloggers probably believe what they’re saying. There’s a lot of psychology going on here. I’m not saying it’s the bloggers necessarily who are lying to you – at least not on purpose. They have faith in this company or else they wouldn’t go to all the trouble. But that doesn’t mean they have the slightest idea what they’re talking about. The rhetoric that floats around, too often with bad advice, is dangerous. And if you believe these companies are angelic entities with humanity’s best interest, and not their corporate bottom line, at the heart of what they do, well, you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, and I suggest you put it down.

I also took a tour through the first 25 Amazon reviews of an essential oil set from a reputable and recognizable essential oil retailer. Absolutely zero percent of those 25 reviews were written by someone who knew enough to justly evaluate an essential oil. The criteria by which they judged the oil were nearly universally stupid and all over the map. Reviews like this are worse than useless as real data or any kind of yardstick of quality.

Also, don’t consume essential oils because some random website told you to. (Or at all.) No, that is not how your ancestors overcame illness. Your ancestors used the *whole plant* – not necessarily the whole thing from root to flower in every case for every blend, but the point is they did not use isolated compounds or massively concentrated distillations of only part of the plant’s constituent profile. They used the actual plants with their actual phytochemicals to make teas and salves and liniments and baths and such so that the infusion, decoction, etc. contained numerous active components that *worked together synergistically* in ways we still only barely understand. That is so far away from taking an aromatherapy essential oil internally that my head just about explodes when I see people recommending you ingest essential oils. That can kill you.

(I’m going to save for later the rant about how the trendiness of essential oils has contributed to some massive sustainability problems and ecological crises and exploitation, because that rant needs to come along with specific and practical discussion of alternatives as well as some historical, agricultural, and *chemical* context, and that’s gonna require significant time and research. But for now I’ll just say that the essential oil craze has actually been devastating to the environment, and I think everybody interested in rootwork needs to spend some time thinking about things like ethical sourcing as well as whole-plant infusion as an alternative to all-essential-oils-all-the-time, and choosing native/regionally available herbs and roots. Your great-great grandparents most certainly were not using essential oils to make up their medicines or condition oils or baths, and it’s unlikely that were they importing expensive, rare resins and spices from other countries. They were using what they could go out and gather. We’ve really developed a kind of perverse concept of essential oils as some “pure essence” of a plant, and this related idea that one plant is the Ideal for a certain thing and there’s nothing better anywhere, so we should get it by any means necessary and totally ignore what’s growing right under our noses in our regions. Nothing could be further from the truth.)

Bottom line: there’s a lot of freakin’ garbage out there. Some of it is just common obfuscation for the sake of marketing, but some of it is straight up dangerous. Some of the BS being circulated comes from well-meaning but gullible people who have believed a bunch of hype and overestimated the ethical character of the companies they shill for. You shouldn’t take their advice and you probably shouldn’t follow their recipes without doing some of your own research with reputable sources, either (esp. if they talk about “toxins” and “chemicals” a lot in really vague, sweeping terms, think you should put essential oil in your kid’s pancakes, and don’t think body products need preservatives).

And don’t just take my word for it, either. After all, I’m not a an aromatherapist or herbalist or a botanist or a scientist of any stripe at all. Go see what credentialed experts have to say about this stuff – not “momwithablog74” who wants you to buy a certain brand of incredibly expensive essential oil. Go see what trained aromatherapists think and how naturopaths feel about all this and what medicinal plant conservationists recommend, and while you’re at it, what the FDA and the Better Business Bureau have had to say.

If you’re going to use essential oils, you should know what the deal is, both in terms of the quality and ethics of the company whose product you use and in terms of the global status of the plant the oil comes from. Don’t contribute to ecological crises (or cultural theft) and don’t give your money to dishonest companies who use misleading marketing techniques. They are trying to swindle you.