At Karma Soup, I write about my chickens (badly-behaved), my gardens (reluctant), and my life trajectory (bewildering) in between researched pieces on family lore or regional history. And then I offer the odd handmade rosary, folk art shrine, spiritual cleansing floor wash, and/or salvaged/refinished end table in between DIY tips and various esoteric ramblings at the Seraphin Station site.
Work on deGruy family and Conner-Tally family research continues as I have time. Projects: the deGruy-Glapion-furniture connection; children's book on family pet stories (need illustrator); family recipe book(s); children's book on Mae's scary neighborhood creatures.
Santo Niño Huachicolero emerges as part of modern-day “folk bandit spirituality” in the state of Puebla in Mexico as the patron of huachicoleros – those who steal gasoline. His iconography is adapted from that of Santo Niño de Atocha, the Infant of Atocha, as shown here in this Instagram post if I can get the embed thingie to work:
The Catholic Church is obviously not happy about this, but this is vernacular religion in action, in direct response to social and economic realities when the official modes of religious observation and praxis do not meet the needs of the people. Thus Santo Niño Huachicolero joins the ranks of figures like Jesús Malverde and Santa Muerte who serve to fill those gaps.
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).
If you’re interested in seeing a type of service or working that I’m not currently offering, please feel free to make suggestions. Some work I don’t generally perform as…
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?
We have (mostly)* reliable internet again for the first time since March 23rd. Of course, now we have no hot water because there’s never a dull moment at Seraphin Station.**
Y’all, the backlog on email (esp. light setting reports, readings, and consultations), DMs/PMs on various platforms, and Etsy messages is freakin’ considerable. It’s about to storm, but I’m gonna get started on trying to prioritize all these messages in all these inboxes as soon as I get in from weather prep (protecting the more delicate and/or new plants and getting the chickens set up in case we get any flash flooding – there’s an advisory and we live on the edge of a swamp).
Let’s hope the internet still works after it rains again. (Storms are why it quit working last time.)
*This is still the worst ISP in North America and they still haven’t buried the DSL line, so…
Mercury conjunct Chiron is an especially opportune time to reflect on and come to terms with past emotional wounds, ultimately turning it into an opportunity to heal longstanding hurts.
Since it’s Mercury transiting Chiron, it’s touching especially on the realms of words (including thoughts), whether they’re your own (such as habitual negative self-talk) or someone else’s (such as returning to a memory of cruel words someone once said when you’re stressed out).
You may know intellectually that your inner critic is a little too critical or the person who said cruel things to you was being an asshole, but this intellectual knowledge may not be enough to keep you from getting swept up in the emotional response despite your best intentions. In short, there are wounds that do not simply heal with time. Unprocessed, they can lead us to hurt ourselves and even others if we lash out defensively when…
Have a glass-encased vigil light fixed, dressed, blessed, set on my Archangel Gabriel altar, and burned for you in a community altar work service.
Lights will be set the night of Wednesday, March 24th. 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.”
Usually, a saint’s feast day is the date of their death. Since angels aren’t human and don’t die (though they absolutely are saints), things are a little different with them. And you’ll find that these days, the official feast day of St. Gabriel the Archangel is September 29th – he shares it with the archangels Michael and Raphael.
But it wasn’t always so – feast days get moved around sometimes. And Gabriel’s used to be on March 24th, the day before the feast of the Annunciation, which was pretty much Gabriel’s starring scriptural role: he appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her that she was going to be the Mother of God. (And *that* had to be a trip.)
So while all angels are messengers, in a sense, Gabriel is kind of the archetypal angelic messenger. It’s his main gig, and so he’s the patron saint of messengers, including postal workers, diplomats, ambassadors, and those in telecommunications.
Because so many of his messages had to do with the realm of pregnancy, childbirth, conception, fertility, he’s also called upon to intercede on behalf of infants and children, pregnant women, and women wishing to become pregnant. Fertility and conception can be understood figuratively here, as well, to do with inspiration, ideas, and the creative process.
And looking more broadly beyond his mentions in the canonical books of the Bible, he takes on varied roles. In Jewish tradition, Gabriel’s the angel of judgment, and in Islam he’s the mouthpiece of God during the dictation of the Koran. In many traditions of Western esotericism, he’s associated with the West, the Moon, and the element of Water.
Thus Gabriel rules ocean navigation and trade; motherhood, birth, children, and home/domestic concerns; intuition, psychic ability, prophecy, and clairvoyance. He can, of course, also be called upon more generally for blessings as one of the canonical archangels known by name from scripture.
St. Benedict has multiple feast days, depending on region and tradition, with his original feast day of March 21st having been moved in many church calendars because of Holy Week. However, the Benedictines still celebrate his feast day on the 21st of March, and it’s a great date to honor him or ask his intercession and aid.
Lights will be set the night of Sunday, March 21st. 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.”
St. Benedict is Catholicism’s exorcist par excellence, invoked for protection, driving away evil, and dodging the snares of the wily serpent, with the power to banish Satan himself in the name of God.
He’s the patron saint against poisoning, and he’s called on…
How did you know you’d been afflicted with the evil eye in Scotland back in the day?
Yawning and vomiting were signs. So were a “general disturbance of the system” and a “grim, gruesome, and repulsive” appearance (42), according to the gorgeous treasury of lore gathered in Carmina Gadelica by folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912).
How did you cure it?
Collect water from a stream with a wooden ladle in the name of the Trinity. To this water add a gold ring gotten from some wife and something or other made of gold, of silver, and of copper. Make the sign of the cross over it and chant the following formula:
Who shall thwart the evil eye ? I shall thwart it, methinks, In name of the King of life. Three seven commands so potent, Spake Christ in the door of the city ; Pater Mary…
I’m offering community honey jar altar work monthly, beginning after the new moon each month. One service is for matters relating to prosperity/career/income and one is for matters relating to love/relationships (they don’t have to be romantic relationships). January’s community altar work services start on Wednesday, January 13th.
Here are the details for the prosperity/career/income service:
This service, focusing on goals related to prosperity, work, income, and career success, has your name/petition added to a sweet jar with the names/petitions of other community members having similar goals. I work these community jars on my altars for a month, from new moon to new moon, with special attention to pertinent moon phases, astrological transits, holy days, etc. as applicable. Participants receive a link to my client calendar detailing the work over the course of the month and are invited to a private Discord chat for participants for that month.