I just talked to the nicest CNN New York journalist on the phone. He wanted me to blog for them – but didn’t notice that I don’t live in the States, and that I am spanish, so don’t worry, I will just keep blogging here :D. I will just enjoy the moment of recognition, and use it to create some extra lucky charms and spells today. Thanks so much Mr. Journalist, you really made my day.
Archive for September, 2011
As our life and spirituality evolves with time and practise, so does our business. We had to start as a result of sudden unemployment, and none of us had any business training, so we made all mistakes possible and I’m sure we invented a few more. Very soon, too soon, we discovered the importance of things like accounting, inventory, branding, feedback and all the other elements that make a homemade business support a family completely. Along the way, there has been much worry, many tears and many not making ends meet; it’s not unlikely that there will still be more in the future, because no business is finished growing, ever, as no life is.
But, we have learnt quite a few things already. We are near 2000 sales, our stock of products is usually around 200 items, and as I write this we have had 225.000 blog visits. That means one thing at least – that we are closer to the vision we truly have of magick, and of business. And, this week, we are taking another step towards it.
As you know, we work with a mixed pantheon of deities – orishas from africa, and america (north and south), norse deities, folk spirits from many cultures, or ancestors the Guanches and even a few Catholic saints and angels. We have never belonged to any particular religion, and we will never do. I don’t even like the world religion and I use spirituality instead most of the times.
When we use oils, waters, floor washes or powders for our own work, we use the same products for any deity, of any pantheon. I have offered our Pomba Gira water to Freya, and she has loved it just the same as Pomba Gira did. We do not believe in syncretism, so we treat PG and Freya as separate entities, but we do believe two deities of love can vibrate through the same elements, and use the same connection to communicate and work with us. At the same time, we focus on working with what we can plant and wildharvest ourselves, so the amount of elements is definitely dictated by Mother Nature, that here is a powerful lady of the desert and the jungle. So, Odin and Obatala get the same free-range eggs we eat ourselves, seasoned with the herbs we grow. None of them has complained!
So, our everyday magickal word is very non-denominational, and we want House Of Eleggua to be the same. Most of the products will stay having the same formula – though a few will be discontinued for a little while, as the improved new recipes are brewing – but the names will become more generic, so they are easier to find and use by Pagans of all faiths, with any pantheon they have chosen to worship. We have noticed that many buyers need a lot of guidance about what to buy for their specific needs, and we also hope this change will make choosing easier, as “Love oil” is obviously something easier to find than “India Rosa Oil”.
Also, we are adding bilingual titles to all labels, in English and Spanish, as we have plans for our local expansion and, honestly, we only want to make all this once! Not so many people speak English here, and that is a problem when we are offered working outside the web.
We will start changing the names of the products on batches regularly, and not at once – we will add a permanent list here and on the website, with the old and new names, in case you want to purchase something you’ve already bought before. We are already working on all the bottles, and hopefully this week I’ll have time to photograph them all and edit all listings. Wish me luck!
Oh – did you know we have a sale at the shop?
We have been discontinuing, reformulating and changing our range of bottles on many products this year – so everything that’s in the “old” format, in this case oils and floor washes, has been discounted on our Etsy shop! Please visit the Sale Section – prices are already reduced for your convenience, so it’s just grab and go!
Bat Nut Charms
Bat nuts are the seed of the Asian Trapa Bicornis plant, a traditional lucky food in China, usually cooked for spirit offerings. In Western Witchcraft it has been used as a powerful talisman, due to its resemblance to a two-faced devil’s head. In Santeria, Voodoo and Hoodoo, it is used to ward off negativity, and offered to Eleggua as he is often depicted as a two-faced deity too. They have been listed separately, for each specific use:
- Bat Nut + Key Charm: Protects the house. Hang this over your door to keep unwanted energies away, and to receive Eleggua’s blessing. Red or Violet.
- Bat Nut + Sword Charm: Protects against enemies. Our homage to the warrior Orishas – Eleggua, Shango, Ochossi, Oggum and Oya. Hang it over your door to stop gossip, to return negativity and envy back, and to keep enemies away. Wherever it is hung, your enemies won’t be able to enter, very much as red brick powder does. Yellow or Red.
- Bat Nut + Horn Of Plenty Charm: protects your abundance in all areas – not only money abundance, but also on love, family, health, creativity… perfect for hanging on the altar, or near the entry of your business. Blue.
- Bat Nut + Horseshoe Charm: Brings luck and opportunities. Horsehoes bring luck, send negativty away, and are also used for gambling and business. If you’ve been going through an unlucky phase, this talisman can send that bad luck away.
Triple Power Mediterranean Magick Charm – Hamsa Hand, Evil Eye Bead and Eye Of Providence Bead
Wire wrapped with copper wire for optimum attraction of positive energies, this fantastic charm contains three of the most ancient and used charms in Mediterranean and Arabic magick:
- The evil eye bead comes from Greece and Turkey; each bead has three small eyes that keep negativity away.
- The Hamsa/Fatima hand come from the origins of Arabic religion, and represents protection, generosity and divine protection;
- The eye of Providence can be tracked mainly on three sources: egyptian magic as the eye of Horus, Buddhism as the eye of Buddha, and abrahamic religion as a symbol of the Trinity. It is a charm for wealth and material protection.
Juniper Smudge Sticks
This type of Juniper, the Juniperus Pheonicia, is among the rarest of its type, and a very powerful tree for us Canarians – here, we call it a Sabina tree, and it is honoured and protected since the times of the Guanches. Use it as any other smudge, for renovating energies, cleansing and blessing your home/sacred space, for cleaning off hexes from your clients, etc.
Eucalyptus – Decongestant, Purifying
Wildharvested Eucalyptus Globulus, 100% Organic.
Medicinal Properties: the best herb to clear a congested chest, either by vapours or making a salve with it and applying it on chest and throat. Also, a great herb to repel insects – make an infusion of it and spray on exposed skin before camping or during farming work with animals. Spray the infusion on your pet’s beds too, to keep bugs away.
A traditional Canarian remedy for children who are sick with a cold – boil a handful of crushed leaves and take the pot to the child’s room, leaving it beside the child’s bed. Even when a kid is too young to breath vapours (or simply refuses to do so), it will be enough to clean the room’s air and help the child rest.
Magickal properties: there must be some magick in the tradition I’ve written above, because the fumes or vapours of eucalyptus send misfortune, illness and bad luck away for good! Use it on your incense mix along with wormwood and rosemary to bless and clean even the most ghost-infested place.
Medicinal Properties: the rose geranium is grown mostly for oil distillation beause of its gorgeous rose-and-lemon scent, and its flowers and leaves are used in confectionery for its also delicious taste, but this plant has not so known properties for skin cleansing and renewing. Use the infusion as a skin tonic for the whole body, specially after sunburnt.
Magickal properties: its sensual, intoxicating scent is perfect for love magick – incenses, potions, spell herbs… but, it also has a very powerful effect when used on Angelic magick, so consider offering some to your Guardian Angel.
All Saints Cross – Set Of Necklace And Prayer Beads – Five Colours Available
This type of cross has several different names – all Saint’s cross, seven african powers cross, mary’s saint’s cross… I have researched a lot for them but didn’t find unanimity in its description. In Santeria they are widely used to represent the seven african powers and their blessing, even though the saints depicted don’t match exactly.
On each side there are carvings of several saints, along with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the virgin Mary. We have also identified the child of Prague, the Holy Spirit, Saint Anthony, Saint Joseph and Saint Peter. A blessing has been casted on each set.
Each set contains a necklace and a mini rosary/prayer beads set. They have been double wrapped in sterling silver wire, which makes them almost unbreakable, using vintage glass pearls. Chain of necklace measures 62 cms/ 24 inches, lobster clasp – fits all sizes. It can be shortened at request. Each set comes in a beautiful organza pouch.
Five colours available: soft beige, violet, red, peach and dark brown.
If any of our buyers has any more info about this type of cross, or customs related to it from other countries, I would love to know!
Our favourite Drago tree, bleeding through a natural knot in the wood. That is dragon’s blood in its purest state. No, we didn’t harvest any, we only take seeds from this tree as it is in a park and there’s a segurity guy always following us wherever we go :). As soon as the seeds are dry, we’ll put some up for sale! This tree is the father of the dragos you have seen on our roof garden pics.
There is a beautiful artificial pond in the park filled with koi fishes and lotus flowers – it fascinates me, and every time we go to the park I just want to jump on it, probably because there are no rivers, lakes or ponds here in the islands.
Oh, and before I leave to enjoy my free day, let me say Happy Mabon/Ostara to our readers worldwide! May your day be filled with Magick, Joy and Miracles!!!
Yemanya/Jemonja – the mother Orisha, queen of the sea and owner of all the riches of the world. Kind and generous, but very demanding to her sons and daughters, of whom she requires the utmost devotion.
Colours: transparent and blues. Offerings: fruits, flowers, anything exquisite and rare.
Olokum – another Orisha that is represented as a male and a female, Olokum is the depth of the ocean, in its most mysterious and terrible aspect. He/she always wears a mask, as humans cannot stand his/her vision.
Colours: black and blue. Offerings: chicken, corn cooked with garlic and onion, beans.
Brommu And Brossía – daughters of Olokum and Orishas of rain and dew. On other traditions, they are spirits of the cemetery and keep the bones of the dead.
Colours: blues, or red and black, depending on the tradition. Offerings: smoked fish, rabbit, chicken.
Oshum – Orisha of love and wealth that lives in the rivers and waterfalls, she protects relationship but is also the keeper of economic growth. A powerful priestess, she is often taken too lightly – those who do it know her wrath.
Colours: amber, yellow, orange. Offerings: pumpkin, honey, sweet corn.
Oya/Yansa – Orisha of Lightning, queen of the dead and owner of the market place, she is a fierce and loving Orisha. She is particularly fond of Shango’s sons and daughters, and protects business women.
Colours: browns and purples. Offerings: plums, wine, chocolate, beans.
Nana Buruku – called the grandmother Orisha, this mysterious and multifaceted deity is represented by a giant serpent. Full of wisdom, she can be as generous as she can be terrible. She lives on swamps, deltas and on the depth of the sea.
Colours: blues. Offerings: meat, beans, peas, milk.
Obba – the Orisha that protects women with troubled lives inhabits the rivers and lakes. Often works on love and family matters with Oshum and Yemanya, and is particularly fond of children. She represents faithfulness and sacrifice.
Colour: pink. Offerings: Yams, grapes, plums.
Yewa – Orisha of widowed and single women, she is considered a virgin. She works with Oya protecting the cemetery and the spirits of the dead. She is pure and shy, but greatly respected.
Colour: pink. Offerings: fish, peanuts, gofio.
Ayao - Oya’s most loving guardian, and her sister in some traditions.
Colours and Offerings: same as Oya.
Dada - a male or female Orisha depending on the tradition, he/she protects newborn children. In her female incarnation, she is believed to have raised Shango.
Colours and Offerings: Same as Shango.
The Ibejis – the twin children born of the love of Shango and Oshum, they are very powerful and rule over children and their destiny. They are much loved by Eleggua and they are feasted together very often.
Colours: blue and pink. Offerings: sweets, toys, candy.
… that this blog’s readers are among the most awesome people in the universe? I know I have, and today I have to say it again. Completely out of the blue, a reader offered to send us a whole box containing parts of several oak trees – the oak tree doesn’t grow here, so it is such a precious gift for us herb lovers! She has spoiled us with many other surprises, that I will keep for myself ;). Right now they are finishing drying on the witchy room, and soon they will be part of mojos, herbal healing and of course lots of magick.
A small rosemary offspring, flowering. Unexpected perfection to keep bees happy.
Knitting a baby blanket for our mail woman – we just knew last week that she’s pregnant. She always goes beyond duty to make sure all our international mail arrives, and has become a friend through the years. I hope I can finish it before Christmas, but I’m a really slow knitter.
We got some new seeds in the mail (wild lettuce, cascara sagrada, red clover). Planting season is here already!
After the work of the day is done, there come the daily (or better said, nightly) devotions.
And here’s a hint of the artwork that’s to come! Can’t show it entirely because it’s a project for a friend magazine, but hopefully soon I will.
On Thursday, the last post on the Orisha List will be published!
(To read the first post of this series, please click HERE)
Oggum – the Orisha of forge and iron, Oggum works for the benefit of all humanity. Protector and patron of soldiers and all caretakers, he is very passionate and protective of those who worship him. Oggum teaches self-sacrifice and restraint to those who need it.
Colours: green and black. Offerings: oggum loves grilled and smoked meat and fish. Alcohol should be offered n very small quantities.
Ochossi – the hunter Orisha, he is the provider of justice for those who are unfairly judged. As Oggum, he works for the benefit of all humanity, answering the prayers of those less fortunate. He often works with Shango and Oggum.
Colours: yellow and black. Offerings: any hunt animals, beer, milk, honey.
Ogbon/Ogboni And Oggan – guardians of the secrets of the priest, and protector warriors that keep Obatala safe.
Colours: white and gold. Offerings: as Obatala, any white food.
Aye/Aje – guardian of the treasures of the planet and of the sanctuaries of the Orishas. It is believed he has no arms, so he can’t steal anything.
Colours: white and gold. Offerings: a shell filled with coins.
Shango – the supreme judge of humanity, and provider of karma along with Eleggua. He represents honesty, justice and fatherhood, and is also patron of music and dance. He was the first priest of Santeria, and often divines along with his brother Orula. He is the owner of thunder.
Colours: red and white. Offerings: rum, all hot foods. He must be treated like a king when it comes to offerings.
Aggayu - the Orisha of volcanos. The unbridled power of the earth, owner of the secret of fire. Teacher and destructor, taught Shango the secrets of thunder.
Colours: red and amber. Offerings: all drinks, as he is always thirsty.
Oggue – the Orisha of horned animals, and the sorcerer of Shango, whom he protects devotedly.
Colours: red and white. Offerings: the meat of horned animals.
Oke - Orisha of the mountains and hills, works with Osain and Orishaoko as the manifestation of the element of earth.
Colours: brown and black. Offerings: honey, milk, spring water.
Oshumare – Orisha of the rainbow, Oshumare is genderless. It is depicted as a serpent and a rainbow, as he represents the unity of earth and sky. Oshumare also represents wealth and progress.
Colours: yellow and gold. Offerings: eggs, mice, anything that snakes eat.
Osun – the guardian Orisha. Works with Orula and Obatala by protecting the devotee from negativity and joining us with our ancestors. He is represented by a rooster.
Colours: white and transparent, also yellow. Offerings: doves, cocoa butter, cascarilla, blessed water.
To be honest, writing a list of all the Orishas is almost impossible. Every country has different lists, depending on the area of Nigeria where the slaves where taken, and on the culture they blended with. So, please understand that this is very basic list, as some writers speak of over 400 Orishas! This post will be separated into several parts, to be published on the next weeks, so stay tuned!
Oloddumare/Olofi – the supreme Creator of the Universe. Oloddumare has no gender or age, and does not come to Earth for possession, as he/she is too big and too powerful for a human being to contain him/her.
Colour: All. Offerings: All
Obatala – the Orisha that rules over the Earth. As Oloddumare, Obatala can be a female and a male deity at the same time. Obatala represents purity, justice, higher knowledge and conscience, and healing. His/her sons and daughters are natural judges, healers and counsellors. Obatala lives in the top of the mountains, as he/she prefers solitude and freedom.
Colour: White. Offerings: White food – milk, eggs, sugar, flour, rice.
Oddúa - the king of the Dead. Along with Oloddumare, he created the world, as there cannot be life without death. Since nothing can live around him, he doesn’t contact humans through possession.
Colour: Black. Offerings: All, but he prefers incorporeal offerings like the smoke of cigars, gunpowder and incense.
Orula - the supreme diviner and Orisha of prophecy and destiny. Orula is the guide of priests and priestesses, and the owner of the cowrie shell oracle.
Colours: green and yellow. Offerings: yam, coconut, basil, fine sweets. Everything must be prepared very carefully for him, as he requires extreme cleanliness. Orula works often with Shango and Eleggua.
Eleggua – owner of the Ashe, of the crossroads and of the paths of man. Eleggua is the trickster Orisha, and teaches humility and thankfulness by testing humans. He loves children, as they are always innocent and sincere, and despises hipocrisy and power abuse.
Colours: Black And Red. Offerings: rum, coconut, chocolate, spicy foods. Eleggua must be always served before any other Orisha.
Legba – The older avatar of Eleggua. Wears a straw hat and smokes a cigar. He can be found in fields and in Nature.
Exu – the dark avatar of Eleggua. Blocks the path of those who behave unfairly or abuse others.
Inle – the Orisha of medicine and healing. He protects doctors, healers, and fishermen, as he lives where the sea meets the jungle. A kind Orisha that works with Yemanya, Babalu Aye and Ochosi to help human communities grow, specially those who live off the land and the sea.
Colours: Blue and green. Offerings: fried fish and all vegetables.
Babalu Aye/Asojano – the Orisha of pain and epidemy, healer and protector of the poor and rejected. He is always accompanied by his two dogs, lives wherever homeless people live, and on abandoned places.
Colours: yellow and purple/brown. Offerings: wine, popcorn, corn meal.
Osain – the Orisha of herbal knowledge, lives in the forests and jungles. He was born of the earth itself, and despite his peaceful nature, he is a fierce protector of his sons and daughters, to whom he inspires knowledge about the medicines of Nature.
Colours: green and brown. Offerings: vegetables, grilled meat and any traditional country food.
Orishaoko – the peasant Orisha, protects the crops and those who live off the earth. He teaches the patience and perseverance that every farmer needs.
Colours: brown, green and yellow. Offerings: all edible roots like yams, beets, potatoes, carrots, etc. He also enjoys wine and honey.