Jesus Malverde Community Altar Service starts tonight

Have a vigil light set and worked on my Jesus Malverde altar in community altar work service beginning on Tuesday, 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!

Read more or book your spot at SeraphinStation.com.

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)

Light Setting Service Options

Vigil light setting services now come with two different options at Seraphin Station. You can book a light setting with a full one-page report with photos and interpretation, or you can just book a light setting with a photo if you don’t want or need a typed report.

I’m also experimenting with a subscription service. I can just about guarantee something with it will not behave the way I expect because that’s just how this goes, so let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems.

Lucky Stars IV: Jupiter in Pisces (The Final Chapter, featuring Jupiter Conjunct Neptune in Pisces)

Work begins Friday, April 1st, but this altar setting will be worked and available until Jupiter leaves Pisces on May 10th,so you absolutely can jump in late as long as you see slots still available.

Lucky Stars IV this go-round is “the final chapter” – Jupiter leaves Pisces on May 10th and we have to say goodbye. But Jupiter is giving us one more gift before then – Jupiter is conjunct Neptune in Pisces on April 12th. More on this below.

What’s This For?

Jupiter’s at home in Pisces – you could call it his command center or throne room, even – so this is great big benevolent Jupiter energy: wisdom, expansion, opportunity, dreams, the intuitive search for the truth, spirituality. It’s a wonderful, much-anticipated transit after the strain, drama, and restriction of 2020-2021.

Jupiter in Pisces is just plain lucky – an excellent “good luck charm” transit – and will be there until May 2022. It’s a great time to ask the universe for what you want and put your energy towards manifesting it.

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: empathy, imagination, the metaphysical, psychic vision and intuition, spiritual awakening.

Dream big. Grab hope. Jupiter wants to give us what we need to sort our shit out so we can be happier.

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.

Jupiter Conjunct Neptune in Pisces

Jupiter is conjunct Neptune in Pisces on April 12th, though we can expect the influence of this transit to be felt in the weeks preceding and following the point at which it’s exact on the 12th, especially between April 7th and 17th.

The last time Jupiter was conjunct Neptune in Pisces was in 1856, the year Nikola Tesla, Booker T. Washington, Sigmund Freud, L. Frank Baum, John Singer Sargent, George Bernard Shaw, and Robert Peary were born.

This transit has to do with new ways of seeing, with subtle ideas, and with the creative impulse, so it’s especially beneficial for petitions related to intuition, divination, creative works, imagination, and inspiration. If you have a longstanding obstacle or issue that needs a fresh approach, or outside-the-box thinking, or even just a magic flash of lightning and you don’t know how to make it happen, that’s the kind of energy this transit can bring.

In a way, it’s also a “thinning of the veil” energy, a time when it should be easier to connect with other realms or planes of existence, so it really speaks to anything related to art, painting, creative writing, music, meditation, dance, mediumship, psychic ability, breakthroughs in the arts or sciences, and inspiration to break through roadblocks or plot a new course.

This service has Pay What You Can options.

Learn more or book your spot now at Seraphin Station.

Inner Fire: New Moon in Aries Service Begins Tonight

This is something of a special new moon – the moon is at 11 degrees Aries and it, the sun, and Chiron are all within a degree of each other. On top of that, Mercury is at 9°44’ Aries applying a conjunction to the new moon as well. This is a four-planet stellium conjunction. 

What’s this for?

This is a great time for “setting intentions” or articulating petitions for endeavors you need to begin, or want to give a fresh boost to, over the next few weeks, as well as those already underway that will culminate over the next six months, particularly if they require:

  • creative vision
  • assertive expression
  • clear communication
  • solid motivation
  • some sort of leap of faith

Chiron

You know that old cliche “it’s always darkest just before the dawn”? Another way to approach thinking about this Chiron influence is to think about what has been absolutely kicking your freakin’ ass lately, what’s been stubborn, barely budging, resistant to your conscious efforts even though you know it’s something that needs fixing or healing or attention.

This is also prime energy for dealing with issues of self-esteem, self-worth, belonging, shame, and your general sense of what the hell you’re even doing here, if that is something you have been struggling with.

Similarly, pain points in relationships with parents, siblings, and others very close to you are highlighted during this transit, and these energies can bring these to the surface but also make it easier to talk about them and get them out into the open.

Read more or book your spot now at Seraphin Station.

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.

Moment of Truth: Mercury conjunct Venus and Pluto Service

Lights will be set beginning on December 29, but the effects of this transit will be felt for some time yet, so there’s definitely wiggle room with booking late. 

Normally, Mercury conjunct Venus is great – we can be smooth talkers, communicate clearly with business associates and loved ones, confess our love for someone, even “pop the question.”

But Venus is doing a long sojourn conjunct Pluto this season (for most of December, and the cycle won’t be over until March), and Dec 29-30 are something of a trigger point for an acute phase of this transit. And Pluto? Pluto wants to peel back our layers just about down to the bone so we can face the really deep shit that makes us tick. Taken all together and shaken not stirred, the simplest way to describe this sort of energy is probably “Scorpionic.” On steroids.

You want to rip off the bandage, rifle through the disavowed junk drawers of your psyche, figure out why you are attracted to a certain type of person, why you repeat a certain type of pattern, even why you like a certain type of thing in bed? Want to sit down and grill your significant other about deep and foundational elements of your history and dynamic together, no matter how uncomfortable? Super! This transit is perfect for you and wow, are you ever gonna learn a lot.

Not quite ready to wrench the door off the closet and greet the psychic skeletons all at once? Is digging for the “truth” at any and all cost not your cup of tea, and maybe you’re more of a one-trauma-at-a-time versus let’s-dump-the-whole-suitcase-out-right-now type? Are you feeling a little more John than Sherlock where it comes to emotions and dynamics [BBC versions]? Then pay attention and tread carefully.

This is dark stuff in the realm of Venus – what folks sometimes call “shadow work,” and all about what makes us tick in terms of our subjective experiences, likes and dislikes, what we find pleasure in, what is at the root of various feelings we have. Of course it doesn’t have to be catastrophic – much depends on us and our development and our own natal chart stuff. And this can be an opportunity to finally really grok some things and get at what we really want (and Pluto would generally like to inform us that if we think we already know this, we are wrong, and he has some revelations for us… and Pluto’s revelations are rarely kind and gentle). Pluto’s transformative power is immense, and Pluto aims to transform our minds and our hearts so that there are no secrets between them.

But the light side to all this shadow is that we can come out of this with profound new self-knowledge that enables us to transform our relationships – with ourselves, with money, with others – and it’s the kind of knowledge that can enable us to truly and efficiently “cut and clear” so that we aren’t wasting our energy and time with things that no longer fit or serve well. And then, of course, we can turn that energy and time towards what will in 2022.

This service is designed to help you navigate this Plutonian guidance with grace, equilibrium, and compassion (for yourself as well as others).

Learn more or book your spot now at Seraphin Station.

All Souls Vigil Service with Novena and Chaplet for the Dead – Free Options

Nine-day vigil, novena, and Chaplet for the Dead service.

Have lights set and worked on my altar in a nine-day community altar  service beginning the night of November 2nd, All Souls Day. 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.”

Along with setting and working lights in the name of your loved one, I will perform a nine-day novena and daily recitation of the Chaplet of the Dead, with appropriate offerings, incense, and other materials and including a photo of your loved one if you have one to send.

The Chaplet of the Dead is a four-decade rosary that includes prayers such as the De Profundis (Psalm 130) and prayers for the repose of the departed soul and the comfort of the bereaved. 

In Catholic tradition, the prayers of the living faithful can benefit the souls of those who are in Purgatory. Once purified, these souls will join the company of heaven. Once a loved one has died, they can no longer engage in works or deeds on their own behalf, but the living can pray for them and dedicate their own works and deeds for their benefit, thus helping them enter the presence of God and the saints.

Even if you don’t believe in purgatory in the most literal sense, these prayers and offerings focus on peace and rest of the departed and can serve as comfort for both the dead and their loved ones who are grieving. And it’s completely appropriate to perform such a service for ancestors whose names are unknown, as well, or for the souls of the departed who have no one living to pray for them. You can also use this service as an opportunity to thank those departed, known or unknown, whom you’ve received help or comfort from yourself.

You do not have to book a spot in the vigil service in order to have your loved one’s name and/or a petition included in my 9 days of novena and chaplet prayers. You can simply fill out  the intake form and in place of the service/order #, type “all souls novena prayers only.” There is no cost for this option (though if you’d like to, you can make an optional donation here. (Offsite PayPal link)

Learn more or book your service at Seraphin Station.

St. Martha Altar Service: Steady Work, Fair Pay, Balance of Power, Peaceful Home, Domination — with Pay What You Can options

Sorry for getting this set up so late – my internet has basically been useless for about a month now, but they finally came to fix it, so I can finally connect via my computer again.

There’s currently a double rewards points bonus at the Seraphin Station shop good now until midnight August 5th.

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:

“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” – John 11:5

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 is being unfair. She’s often called on to help with peace in the home, as well, as an extension of her association with the domestic sphere.

St. Martha the Dominator

Some legends have her leaving Bethany for France after Christ’s death and resurrection. William Caxton’s 1483 English translation of the Golden Legend tells how she tamed an infamous monster through her confidence in the power of God, her faith in the sign of the cross, and her skill in using the domestic tools with which she was familiar and comfortable.


And this was no garden variety baby dragon. It was really more of a sea monster, half beast and half fish, the offspring of the infamous Leviathan and some Galician beast. It was bigger than an ox and had the strength of a dozen lions (or bears, take your pick). It regularly sank ships and ate people.


Martha, being a badass, made short work of the beast by tying it up with her girdle (which can be understood in context as her belt). She didn’t need a sword or armor. 

The Golden Legend explains in detail how the creature defended itself from attack, and boy is it disgusting.
Read more about St. Martha, her history, and working with her in general at this main article.


These extra-scriptural legends account for much of her fame and reputation as a patron saint. She is called on for assistance by those who need to get the upper hand in any kind of relationship in which they find themselves “at the bottom of the totem pole.” In conjure and in the folk traditions of Latin America, she’s earned the title of St. Martha the Dominator, and she’s often called on when women want to dominate a man. 


But in this role as dominatrix, she is also petitioned to help employees get better treatment from their employers, for instance, especially if they are household employees like kitchen servants or nannies. So she is a great ally for all types of situations in which you are the underdog, or you might be taken for granted, or there’s a built-in power imbalance in a situation.


There is a tradition in some circles that she doesn’t like men and won’t work for them, but that’s not always necessarily true. It depends on what they’re asking her for and how they’re approaching her. You can read more about this and about working with Martha more generally at Big Lucky Hoodoo where there’s an entire article with lots of resources devoted just to working with St. Martha.


In orthodox Roman Catholicism, she is also the patron of dietitians, hemophiliacs, housewives, landlords, waitresses, servants, cooks, and women workers. Will she help a man in any of these roles?  I have certainly known her to. And that she assists in situations that don’t have anything to do with “dominating” someone should go without saying at this point.


Under the title of “St. Martha the Dominator,” she has gained a widespread reputation, and there is a ton of info out there on dominating work under her aegis. But just as you might call on St. Joseph under his title “St. Joseph the Worker” for work-related petitions, but you understand it’s the same saint, the same person, not two different people, so you can call on St. Martha for things that don’t involve wayward spouses at all. And you certainly don’t have to be a woman to call on her.


I’ve heard folks say she’s helped them with sibling issues in their family, like jealousy, or manipulative attention-grubbing, or rivalry.  I’ve also heard her called on by folks who are facing difficulties in managing their households because of strife or poverty; along with St. Joseph, she is a wonderful ally if you have a lot of mouths to feed and you are running short of money and resources to take care of them all. 

St. Martha Oil

My St. Martha formula is created from this sort of three-dimensional perspective of St. Martha rather than focusing only on her role as a dominator, and the same is true with this service I’m offering. While it’s suitable to use if you’re asking her help in getting the upper hand with a boss or returning a straying spouse, it’s also suitable to use if you’re setting lights to honor or thank her, if you want to invoke her aid for something specific, or if you’re seeking her help for something more general like patience or pragmatism.

Even when the difficulty is internal rather than interpersonal, St. Martha can help. If, for instance, you need help accepting the fact that right now in your life, you have to be waiting tables if you want to be able to stay in this town and have a shot at an acting career down the road; if you’re struggling with disappointment, envy, or resentment related to your current station in life; or if you need help accepting the things you cannot change while you’re figuring out how to change the things you can, then St. Martha can be a great ally for you.

Learn more about the service and the available options, including Pay What You Can if you’re facing financial difficulties and want to petition her for help, at the Seraphin Station shop.

status update

Contact and Pending/In Progress Stuff

  • my new email is karmazain@seraphinstation dot com, but you don’t have to do anything different to get in touch with me. The old @gmail address still works and things sent there will show up in my new inbox and the site contact form will continue to work.
  • If you are still waiting on a reply from me and it’s been a week or more, *feel free to write again,* ideally by responding to the last message in our conversation so you’re basically bumping it up to the top of my giant disaster of a new inbox. I know I used to tell people not to keep “reminding” me they were waiting because it’s counterproductive and clogs my inbox. Well, that was before I accidentally screwed up everything I had set up to organize inbox stuff this past week. Now my inbox is a huge mishmash of undifferentiated, unprioritized, unlabeled stuff, so feel free to raise your hand and make noise in the meantime if you don’t want to just wait for however long it takes me to get to the bottom of this mess going message by message.

Etsy

  • That applies to Etsy messages as well – go ahead and write again if you still want a reply from me and you’ve been waiting a week or more. Once I discovered my notifications weren’t working with the app on my phone like I thought they were, I started working on a way to get it set up so Sonia would see those incoming messages too and help me not lose track of everything in case of app/software/my attention span/whatever failure. Well, let’s just say Etsy does NOT make this easy, and in fact nothing we’ve tried so far has worked. We have a new plan of attack we’re gonna be trying here soon but bottom line is we have not solved this yet, and all the organizing features I had blew up, so it’s all a big mishmash of undifferentiated stuff. So feel free to raise your hand and holler so I can pluck your message out of the mishmash, put it in the appropriate place, and answer you 🙂
  • If your initials are N.S. and you were waiting on a lodestone spell kit, you will be getting that with your current in-house order as a gift from me by way of apology for making you wait so long at Etsy.
  • Folks, with the way Etsy runs things and the current status of existing and affordable integrations that let Etsy talk to other apps/services? Etsy is the worst damned way to get in touch with me at this exact second. If the notification of an incoming message pings my phone like it’s supposed to and does so at a time when I can answer pretty soon, all’s usually well, but in reality, Etsy’s messaging system and I don’t get along so well. So you’re always welcome to email me directly and you probably *should* for best/fastest results.

Current/In-House Orders and Bookings

This does not apply to orders that come in – those do not get lost. There is and has been a system beyond just my memory/email inbox to manage that stuff, so there is still no point in asking “when will my order ship” questions. The answer to that is the same as ever. See your order acknowledgment email for details 🙂

The only exception is gonna be a few services for a few clients where we were having an ongoing discussion on Discord and that discussion covers/crisscrosses *more than one topic or booked service.* I thought the Discord chat idea would be great for the folks who wanted to do asynchronous chat about their reading or report. And for isolated bookings, it is. But when there are several different services/reports/bookings/topics discussed via PM, it rapidly becomes a nightmare and something I just can’t stay on top of in terms of “where are we with order #S8888” or “where is the light setting report for S4567?” And I’m really sorry about that, about proposing an approach that ended up not being a very good one.

ETA: Well, WordPress ate an entire paragraph I had here, and it has something to do with its new freakin’ Blocks feature and [redacted for expletives so ridiculous they make even me feel a bit abashed]. Anyway, if we have had an ongoing PM thread at Discord on multiple things, I’m gonna have to separate these issues/topics out – or you can speed this up by nudging me if you want to tell me which orders/services we’ve begun to discuss but you’re still waiting on a response to a question on or something like that. I will create a private channel for each of those orders/bookings so it’s one issue/topic and one service booking at a time and we both know where that convo is happening, and I’ll paste over whatever info is in that disorganized PM thread and invite you to the private channel once I get it set up. Otherwise, if you’ve been waiting a while for a light setting report or consult and we haven’t started talking about it, you’re not dealing with a systems problem or a message getting lost – you’re just dealing with me being buried with work and slow as Christmas. Once we have my exploding inbox and task lists sorted back out, though, Christmas should start coming a little sooner again, so to speak.

Continue reading “status update”

Mercury Retrograde service, bonus rewards points

If you find Mercury RX tends to wreak havoc in your life, or you have an important Mercury-ruled event coming up during the retrograde period that you cannot control the timing of, or you just want a little added peace of mind during this transit, that’s what this community ritual service is designed for – to help you navigate this round of Mercury retrograde with minimum fallout.

Work begins on Saturday, May 29th. There is some wiggle room and you can book late as long as you still see available slots.

Learn more or book your spot at Seraphin Station.

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).

Participants are invited to my client Discord server where they can ask questions, chat with me and other participants, and see photos of the work in progress. Joining the server is not mandatory, but a lot of clients like the option to have ongoing convos “backstage,” as it were, and in fact, some have been there continuously since I started offering community altar work services last year, and it’s actually become a little community – and everybody in it is really cool. No question-shaming or anything like that 🙂


Double rewards points now through midnight Central time on June 1. Find out more about the free rewards program here.

(deep breath)

I am in the middle of two consultations that I should have delivered last night, along with posting a custom listing, finally getting the incredibly patient E. her light setting report, and making a big dent in the emails.

Since 8 p.m., I have had three hours of sleep, one unexpected visitor who stayed a while, one rooster with a bloody foot who is very human-averse and hard to catch and who I’ve so far only managed to hit with Blu-Kote from a distance, four (yes, 4) separate hawk sightings necessitating installation of new hawk deterrent measures over three acres, and a hen who is still acting weird on day 3 and who might be egg bound, which means she has to go to the vet *today.* (The condition is fatal if untreated, and this is Hi Top, the ISA Brown whose face greets you when you see a mailing list signup form. She’s not just any old hen.)

Hi Top as a teenager with her sisters Freddie and Starbuck in the background and some random chicken butt I can’t confidently identify from this angle

I’m freaking out a little. Both our vehicles are out of commission and we have access to a borrowed one, but it means only one of us can knock out errands and neither of us can go finish this painting job that the customer wanted finished last week. And my back is still pretty twingey.

And then two adults here need to vote today somewhere in all of this, and meanwhile murder hornets, civil unrest, and mutant crawfish in Europe who can reproduce by essentially cloning themselves. If this were a screenplay, nobody would buy it because it’s too unbelievable.

Meanwhile, I have a case of the ass about some shitty feedback on Etsy for shipping time from buyers who didn’t read the shop policies and/or didn’t think giving me a chance to respond should happen before shitty feedback. Now that kind of thing is going to happen when you do this – I should know, I used to sell on eBay – but my anxiety brain doesn’t care and wants me to go into “sky is falling” mode.

And the housemate we had to evict who turned nasty on us is heading over here right now to get the last of her things.

So a couple of things:

One, if you have a moment and grok how a chicken can be important to somebody, Hi Top could use some prayers.

Two, I pretty much reserve coupons/specials for mailing list subscribers only, but I’m making an exception today. If you’ve purchased from me this year and have NOT been AN ASS and left negative feedback about delivery times recently, esp. considering we’ve had THREE hurricanes and a death in the family in 6 weeks, I’m thanking you with a discount on your next purchase. If you haven’t made a purchase before, you’re welcome to use the code, too — as long as you read the TOS/shipping info and aren’t AN ASS about delivery times 🙂 Coupon code is NOTANASS and it’s good at the Etsy shop and at the main shop through 11/30.

Three, I’m also going to give away at least one email reading/consultation this month. I’ll post details in a separate blog post. Staying busy and helping people is one of the best cures for panic and self-pity that I’ve found, so that’s gonna be my MO. That and breathing.

Flash Bonus Rewards Points + New Stuff

Earn 2X rewards on all purchases made through midnight. Read more.

Recently Added:

Chuparosa – Hummingbird Oil

Chuparosa formulas made their way into hoodoo from south of the border, and this delightful oil is named for the hummingbird as a symbol of serious, committed, faithful love. The hummingbird has long history in Mexican folk magic, one that once involved using actual hummingbirds. The hummingbirds didn’t come out the other side of this intact. Read more.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help tinwork altar ornament

This handmade ornament is intended to evoke the Blessed Mother’s elegance and grace but without removing all the rough edges and scuff marks that are part of this icon’s history and that characterize the fabric of her devotees’ genuine lived lives. Read more.

I hate the new block editor in WordPress. It took me a whole 24 hours to get this post finished. It keeps eating my captions when I adjust images, and i have no idea how to get things where I want them. The things i want are always grayed out or don’t work. Yes, I read the freakin’ instructions. Right now this caption is twice the width of the image, which I cannot move or adjust for some reason. Not a fan.

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.