Stumbled across a set of instructions for making red brick dust the other day. It had 10 separate steps and required a mortar and pestle, some rum as an offering, hand/wrist strength, patience, and a whole lot of praying.
Y’all, I’m gonna give you my secret recipe for red brick dust. And this is authentic — my ancestry on my father’s side is Louisiana Creole through and through. My father was the first generation in our lineage *not* to be born in Louisiana since my 5th great grandfather in 1752. New Orleans cemeteries are positively jammed with ancestors, on both my father’s paternal side (French Creole) and my mother’s maternal side (Spanish Creole, many of whom settled in Florida after coming through the port of New Orleans but ended up buried in New Orleans anyway given how the Catholic Church and its diocese system works – and one of these ancestors made her living in Pensacola by running a brickyard). [*]
And this is how we do it in my family. I’ve never shared this with the public before. You ready?
- Get your bricks and put them in an old flour sack or canvas bag.
- Put the sack in the road/your driveway under one of its larger stones or bricks and let people and passing traffic turn your bricks into dust.
- If you need fine particles of red brick dust more quickly than you can get them via this method, use a sledgehammer.
You’re welcome to do more complicated stuff with offerings and praying the whole time you’re using a mortar and pestle, and the author of those instructions created a nice little ritual that has some not-inappropriate resonance. But it’s a creation, alright, and a creation by someone who was not raised anywhere near any of these practices, ’cause seriously, your mortar and pestle on your altar? Ain’t nobody got time for that, not today and not back in the day!
Seriously, don’t make it more complicated than it is 🙂 If your formal introduction to magic was Laurie Cabot and the ritual you’ve created involves praying to your gods, you’re already starting pretty far afield from its origins and practical applications. Knock that shit off, y’all 🙂
[*]My 6th great grandmother who arrived in the port of New Orleans from Santo Domingo in the 1780s owned property in New Orleans but lived in Spanish Florida, and in 1784, when she appears in the records in Pensacola, Pensacola was under the diocese of Santiago del Cuba. Yes, in Cuba. The diocese of New Orleans was formed in 1795, after which point Pensacola fell under it, though they had to wait years sometimes for the bishop to make his way out there to hear confessions and administer other sacraments – and so many, many baptisms, weddings, and burials of Catholics who resided in Spanish Florida took place in New Orleans, with people traveling regularly between them and maintaining close, longstanding social and familial ties. Pensacola Catholics didn’t have a reliable, sturdy church building of their own or a permanent pastor until 1833, in fact.