Jul 23, 2010

Seven African Powers and their Corresponding ( syncretised ) Saints

In Creole Voodoo, practiced in swampy Louisiana and particularly New Orleans, even though not being officially worshiped/ respected/ petitioned deities, Saints serve as images and representation for the Loa , spirits in Voodoo ( also called Lwa ).
So why is that ? Loa's and Saints are elevated to those respective positions, according to way of life they led on earth, but they are two very different kind of spirits indeed. Well this is due to historical reasons, and also similarities Black people saw between their Lwa and Saints of Christianity they found when arrived to States.
But here is an excerpt from my recent Scribed publication that will illustrate this practice for You :

The first image shows St. Anthony often used to represent PaPa Legba in New Orleans Voodoo ( image source : http://www.sacredgrove.com/St_Anthony.gif ) , second picture shows Catholic image of Our Lady of Grace, an common representation of Androgynous king of white clooth Obatala ( Loa ) in New Orleans Voodoo ( found it in public domain and edited )

With the coming of enslaved black people to America, other than new “home” they were supposed to get also a New Religion, Christianity being that one. Their native believes and teachings were described as harmful and work of the De**l. So black people, in order to keep practicing, replaced the Images of their deities with Saints that were similar to them, so they could freely pray before a Saint’s image and same time petition some Loa. This Practice still remains and in New Orleans Voodoo it is very common to petition Loa, using Saints depictions as focus image/representation of them ( Loa ). It is commonly said by sociologist how Loa have been syncretized with Saints this way, yet from a Theological viewpoint. That statement is highly debatable, mostly due to different origin of the spirits.
Even under such, cruel and unfair treatment the Black folk managed to keep their believes and practices. Some Loa have almost same qualities as Saint Representing them, which according to Black people stands to show how Loas and Saint are not that different after all. In the end both were people that were powerful and virtuous by life, though virtue criteria may differ in places, between Christianity and Voodoo religions of course.
Not all Loa have Saint to represent, not to say camouflage their image lol , but ones of Seven African powers system certainly do, and here is the basic Saint-Loa correspondence list:

• PaPa Legba – St. Anthony , St. Michael the Archangel , St. Miguel Caballero
• Yemaya – Lady of Regla, Mary Star of the Sea
• Oya – Our Lady of Candelaria ( mostly Santeria ) and St. Teresa
• Ogun – St. George and sometimes Saint Anthony ( New Orleans Voodoo ) St. Peter ( Santeria and Palo )
• Chango – represented by image of St. Barbara, most often Greek Orthodox depiction , sometimes an image of St Jerome is also used as representation
• Obatala – Most often represented by Catholic depiction of Our Lady of Grace
• Oshun – Our Lady of Charity is a common depiction both in Santeria and New Orleans Voodoo

Another interesting Loa of Christian origin is Papa Lebat. I am adding this here simply to show how hard black people fought to maintain their believes, and how inventive they were while doing so. Also in a way it is one of many links of Christianity to Voodoo.
So the story goes that there was a Catholic Priest, in early 1900ies , named Father Jean Baptiste Lebat that tried to eradicate Voodoism in New Orleans. Even after many years of constant oppressions Voodooists managed to elevate this man to Loa status after his death. Voodoo people gave him the opposite function in the spiritual realm than his role in the physical realm. Instead of oppressor and squelcher of Spirit, he became the road opener and protector serving pretty much the same function as Papa Legba and is invoked before each ceremony, and is asked to clear the way, provide protection, and remove obstacles so that Voodooists may serve freely.
How cunning, wouldn’t ya’ say ? 

Hope You liked my post , to read my whole publication on Creole Voodoo go here :

"Creole magick of Seven African Powers" by Shadow


Enjoy the weekend, Thank You for reading, and Blessings !

Jul 14, 2010

Saint Dymphna Patron Saint of of the sexually abused , chastity, and those affected with mental conditions

Yay an post about Saint's finally :) I'll try to have more of those

Well the title clearly gives an idea of when and why to pray for this Saint intercession .

Saint Dymphna is a Christian Saint and martyr , that lived in 7th century AC.
Saint Dymphna was a Christian , daughter of Damon an Irish pagan tribal elder, with women that was devoted Christian and who’s name is l no l onger known( mother ). As her Mother died, when Dymphna was in her teen ages, she was left alone with her dad. He saw Dymphna’s beauty and purity and felt dirty urges towards her, presumably because she reminded him of her mother. When she declined him he got very angry and abusive. She fought him off and fled across the sea to Belgium, accompanied only by an elderly priest and family friend named Gerebernus.
Her father searched for them and when led to Belgium and when innkeeper refused to take his currency as it was hard to exchange he suspected that Dymphna is there. He finds Dymphna and decapitates her friend which trys to protect her. As she refuses to be with him once again he kills her too.

***The image is a common depiction of St.Dymphna and is from Wikipedia,
with no ill will used , merely used as ilustration to this post and a image that could be printed, framed and used for devotion and work with St. Dymphna

The burial place of St. Dymphna has long been associated with accounts of miraculous cures of mental ilness/conditions . An infirmary was built there in the 13th century and to this day Gheel hosts a world-class sanatorium.. These tombs can be found in Belgium

Her feast day is on 15th of may and being a Catholic Saint there is no difference between Gregorian and Julian calendar.
Her colors are Green and Light Blue, and candles of such color can be burned when petitioning this Saint, or You can burn a Novena candle dedicated to this Saint :)

As for plants associated with St. Dymphna , honestly there was very little I could find both online and in books, I have heard though that Lavender is one of them. If You know more on herbs, and St.Dymphna oil please leave a comment bellow, I am sure that all tha read this and myeself will be veryv grateful to You :)

Becuse of an institution for the insane that was erected near Dymphna's grave, and as it became known for its miraculous healings of the mentally ill, epileptic, and possessed, Dymphna was deemed the Patron Saint not only of the victims of child sexual abuse, incest, and rape, but also of those suffering from nervous afflictions such as anorexia nervosa, depression, and anxiety. She is also famed to be great to invoke for ridding oneself of addiction and purity/chastity/celibacy, even temperance and fortitude according to Catholics. Here are some prayers You can use in work with St. Dymphna

Prayer for Mental Afflictions and conditions to St. Dymphna

O God, we humbly beseech You through Your servant, St. Dymphna, who sealed with her blood the love she bore You, to grant relief to those who suffer from mental afflictions and nervous disorders, especially (Name). St. Dymphna, helper of the mentally afflicted, pray for us.Glory be....

Prayer for Saint Dymphna’s intercession against addiction

God of mercy, we bless You in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who ministered to all who came to Him. Give Your strength to (name of person addicted), one of Your children, enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God's children.
Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, strengthen them in the work of recovery, and help them to resist all temptation.
To those who care for them, grant patience and understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Dymphna for Chastity

Most pure virgin, St. Dymphna, we live at a time when many are intent on satisfying every carnal appetite. Your single-minded dedication to Christ alone is providential and inspiring. Please help us by your power with God to see life in proportion as you did. With your aid we propose to perform all our actions for a pure motive, and promptly to resist all our evil inclinations. Amen

Jul 9, 2010

Hoodoo powders

Powdered sulphur ( Image from wikipedia )

I wrote about many magickal products on here , but hardly ever mentioned powders .
Have no idea why really lol , but we will fix this right away :)

Powders had been used in magick so long that it is rather hard to determine year or epoch when the practice of using powders first started.

The practice of using powders in magick had been renewed and popularized in Middleage ( there is one recipe later in my post ) and in Modern days mostly thanks to Hoodoo.

How to make powders

It is not that difficult at all to make them. All You need is a good mortar and pestle ( I suggest ceramic ones, but wooden ones can do ) and a material to be pulverized , mostly herbs , resins and minerals, rarely animal parts.

While powdering them it is suggested to visualize Your goal You wish to achieve with powder.
However Of You would find visualization while grinding, or powdering disruptive, the mere intent and Your effort, even physical, shall energize the mixture
If You grind in coffee grinder or blender ( which I would only do If the root or bark is too hard to powder or when the material can only be powdered with help of technology ) visualize the goal after done, holding the powder and mixing it with bare hands , as in this case it may lack the extra energy that powders get by grinding.

How to deploy powders ?

- You can walk backwards sprinkling them as You do so ( on someone’s doorstep or in someone’s yard for example )
- You can add them to food, drink, shoe bottom, clothes or maybe even bath
- You can dust candles with them ( If You dress a candle with Condition oil in Hoodoo and then dust it with powder , You fixed the candle )
- You can add them to mojo hands or dust the same with them - You can blow them to Your target, dust doll babies, or burn as incense, possibilities are so many , be creative J

Now few recipes as examples and to show You that I like sharing If You have not noticed that by now already J

Red brick dust

Powder red brick to fine powder. It will kill ( neutralize ) any powders lain to harm You and is used in Reddening practice of New Orleans of which I wrote earlier here ( o0n this blog , Hoodoo trademark protection spells, I think was the post title )

Crossing powder

Used to cause harm, create crossed Condition and jinx. Mix and powder the following

* A spoon of Asafoetida root powder
* A spoon of Sulphur powder
* Half a spoon of Crushed Red Peppercorns or Red pepper flakes
* Half a spoon of Powdered Vandal root
* A good pinch of Black salt or Graveyard dirt

Good traditionalists may add powdered Dirt dauber’s nest , particularly if love jinx or Intranquil spirit type jinx is intended .
These can be dissolved in Boric acid or Four thieves vinegar , but that is to for another story :P

Image shows Cayenne pepper powdered Recipe by me Shadow of Shadows magick place or Shadow-333@hotmail.com

Down home Uncrossing powder

This traditional formula calls for burning Black hen’s feathers and collecting then ash. This is called “Down home Uncrossing powder” and as the name suggests ( Hoodoo names rock huh ) is used a very strong uncrossing agent. You can powder people, inanimate objects or dwellings ( corners mostly ) or add to bath.

Lizard Hoodoo powder cure

Quoted from “Folklore form Adams County Illinois” by Henry Middletone Haytt
9578. "To overcome a Hoodoo kill a lizard. Do it by smoking. Beat it to a powder. Mix the powder with whiskey. Drink it. This will cure you." Negro.
All I can say , Ew :P

As single ingredient powders most of us are familiar with Salt, Saltpetter and Espom Salt, Alum and here we have few of them combined in powder recipes9626.

Red pepper and Salt

"If you think someone has a spell on you, put red pepper and salt in all four corners of the room. It will take the spell off." Negro.
From same source as one above

Simple “Fear not to walk over evil powder”

Wearing this powder in Your shoes ( on the bottom of the shoes ) shall prevent “feet poisoning” or being Jinxed by walking over crossing type powder , Hot foot or where bottles are buried.

* Salt
* Saltpeter
* Red Pepper
* Black Pepper

Three of the above listed ingredients are enough to combine and are usually already in powder form so basically just mix well with bare hands. Recipe by Miss Catherine Yronwode ( respectfully )

Powders can also be used as floor sweeps, meaning powdering herbs and or minerals and mixing them, sprinkling on floors or most often carpets and sweping them out with broom ( often used in cleanisng ceremonies ) and one great example would be Basil, Eucalyptuss leafs, and Salt to base of Na2HCO3 ( Sodium bicarbonate ) which is along with Baking powder base for floor sweeps and is added ussualy in twice or thrice amount bigger than herbal mixture
Powders can be burnedon charcoal as incenses too.

Three ingredients confusion powder

All ya’ need is to mix and powder poppy seeds, Black mustard seeds with some Cayenne

Recipe by me Shadow of Shadows magick place or Shadow-333@hotmail.com , If You wish to use any recipe signed by me elsewhere feel free but add credits , That goes for the next one too

Three ingredient Peace Powder

Use as Peaceful home powder and to calm down the anger, also where War Water has been used ( You can combine with peace water )
Basil , Rosemary and Cumin seeds , powder well and use.

Well hope You liked my post, and have a great weekend, Many Blessings J

Jul 1, 2010

Ghost month O.o

Ok so this will be a quick but hopefully informative post , July is here and that means it is time for Chinese folk to appease the Hungry ghosts that walk freely for a whole lunar month ( 28 days aprox )

*painting "Ghosts rising" found here http://www.logoi.com/pastimages/img/ghost_3.jpg

You may or may not be familiar , or even agreable
with Chinese magick or Chinese customs and craft of the folk , but trust me there are quite a few good reasons to do so
What are they You may ask ?
- The core of this practice is appeasement of ancestral and other spirits , which is always a good idea, any good practitioner needs spirits
that will be on their side , as spirits can do so much more than mere humans :)
- This kind of practice builds up discipline in magickal practice that majority seems to lack nowadays
- Good for general spiritual development and boosting mediumship abilities
- Learning about other traditions ( if of course You are not from China :D )
- It os uter fun , you get to burn things lol ;)

Chinese gosth month , or Ghost festival ( pinyin , guiye )

The fifthteenth day of the seventh Lunar month is in Chinese tradition considered a Ghost day ( festival ) while the whole 7th month ( both Lunar , and the common calendar 7th month aka July commonly ) is considered a Ghost month in all the sense of the word.
Just like on Haloween , or Dia de los Muertos , or St. John's day ( Holly day of Voodoo ) in Louisiana , this is time of year when the veil is rather thin indeed , and the dead walk among the living.
In the Chinese tradition on this day and on whole month the gates of lower plains are opened and both the ghost of deceased visit their families and cousins and spirits walk among humans too. Some Chinese folk say that many of them spirits are in rather nasty mood and try to find someone to take their place in lower plains ( kind of like He*l ) in order that they could be set free and roam the Earth.
This is why cunning Chinese folk protect themselves and appease the ghosts and spirits
If You wish to share their practice that not only ensures safety from Nasty spirits but also brings blessings , there are but a few simple and fun things You can do :


- Hang Bagwa Mirrors near home or on Your front doors , room doors etc. for they are brilliant protection of spirits and they deflect negative energies
- Hang decorations and or protection symbols made of peach fruit in same manner s bagwa mirrors

- Traditional Chinese amulets for protection against ghosts ( such as Jade animals on thread ) are hung at thresholda and entrances of Your property

Offerings and appeasement

- Colorful fruit or sweets are offered to spirits
- Sweet smelling incense sticks ( such as vanilla ) are burnt daily to appease spirits
- fake money or colorful paper is burnt to give spirits "money" to get what they need on "other side" and show them respect. This also brings good fortune for ones burning them
You may pettition spirits to be kind and bring You blessings while You do this

What You should evade dong by all cost

According to Chinese folk lore it is an offense to spirits ( thus makes them rather angry and puts in vengative mood , and trust me, that is hardly a good thing ) to
- whistle in house
- spill ashes or empty ashes near home or inside

So there You go eclectic view on this very interesting and scary celebration

Article by me , Shadow