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.
further to previous abuse of our photos, please do not reproduce photos without our permission, these photos are copyrighted and only shareable if you are raising money for charity, this is not an opportunity to make money off granny but to help her.
I put on the Mexican news, the scenes of Hurricane Agatha are horrific. There are shards of glass strewn everywhere, homes razed to the ground, trees uprooted, some people are bleeding, cut from flying debris, others have lost their homes and are despairing. Animals lie dead. Mothers are sobbing, their children have nowhere to sleep, nowhere to rest their heads and no blankets. There is no electricity, no running water, no WiFi, food shortages and the entire area for as far as the eye can see is devastated.
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
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.
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.
In orthodox Roman Catholicism, she is also the patron of dietitians, hemophiliacs, housewives, landlords, waitresses, servants, cooks, and women workers.
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 people 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.
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 very strong ally for you.
Jupiter and Neptune co-rule Pisces, and their meeting up together in that sign is a rarity. 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.
As a free supplement to the fourth and final phase of the Lucky Stars Sweet Jar service going on now, I’m setting lights on it today to make the most of this transit for the service participants. (If you’d like to have a light and petition set for this, you can still book a spot in the Lucky Stars: Jupiter in Pisces service that’s going on until May 10th).
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.
As for the Jupiter-Neptune meetup, Neptune with this configuration can deepen your understanding of your life purpose and your relationship with the world. That doesn’t mean you get a sudden burst of knowledge like a flash of lightning today, necessarily, but you can expect things to shift, other things to initiate, profound changes to begin that will ultimately have a very deep impact on your sense of who you are and what you’re doing here once they’ve fully unfolded.
So this is a great time to ask for insight into your life’s purpose, or start laying the groundwork for the next phase of your journey towards fulfilling it.
This is a project I’ve sat on long enough, I think, and it’s high time I get it out to people’s hands in at least one form I can manage.
While it’s been a long time since I’ve bothered—I fell out of it after it started feeling like a slog and a drain—I recall how my now-defunct CuriousCat account got quite a lot of attention, and was a great way to come up with post topics or other points for discussion and research. Starting around May 2019, I think, people really started asking me about dominoes in quick succession, as if it were some sort of joke picking up speed on the way to be a running one or something. It all started, I think, when someone asked about a connection between geomancy and dominoes. After all, the geomantic figures are combinations of dots, and so are the pips on…
My internet has been complete garbage the past couple of days, so I’m late posting this to various social media spots, for which I apologize!
Mars takes two years to make its journey around the sun, and as the planet of drive and action, it’s often described in terms related to the archetypal hero’s journey – the knight sets forth, has adventures, slays a dragon and all, and ultimately returns home different, having gained or learned something or grown in some way.
This two-year cycle began anew earlier in October when the sun conjoined Mars on October 7th. Then the sun entered Scorpio on October 23rd, heralding what is shaping up to be a pretty darned eventful “Scorpio season,” astrologically speaking. The sun is joined by Mars entering Scorpio for the first time in two years on October 30-31st (depending on where you live). Scorpio is Mars’ domicile or home territory.
So there’s a LOT of energy here to be harnessed for growth and productivity. Mars has that penchant for action, even confrontation, and Scorpio brings a capacity for keen observation and careful examination so that action can be based on the most solid intelligence available, whether of the seedy underside of a public facade, the disavowed corners and closets of the personal psyche, or the unvarnished foundation upon which a potential colleague, ally, or partner has built their promises (so you can know whether you can trust them or not).
To put it another way, this isn’t the young, naive, overconfident knight riding forth thinking to make his reputation and finding in his first encounter that dragons are a hell of a lot bigger than he thought and this armor is actually *incredibly uncomfortable.*
Rather, this is the knight who’s sought and considered good counsel, who’s been training and studying, and who’s held vigil in the chapel the night before, praying, searching his soul, and ordering his thoughts. So he rides out at dawn fully aware that the task might be difficult and victory uncertain, completely accepting that this journey could involve discomfort and fear, but confident that the fight is one worth fighting and he’s been able to make an accurate self-assessment of his fitness for the quest.
Of course it doesn’t have to be so grand as all that with some epic opponent. That is, after all, just an analogy. But this sort of energy is useful in much more mundane and practical situations as well, and that is what this service is designed to help you with:
if you need greater focus and clarity
if you’ve been struggling to make a tough decision or to take action on a complex issue
if a situation is so complicated you haven’t been able to see the forest for the trees
if an area of your life needs remodeling, reinventing, “curating,” or “deep cleaning”
if you need support in navigating and disarming your own psychological or emotional minefields that have held you back in the past
if you’re finally ready to “put your armor on” and go out to that dark old forest and fight whatever your personal dragon is
if you have a fixed rising sign, fixed moon, or predominantly fixed chart and need support towards the goal of getting through Scorpio season without Hulk-smashing the people and entities you will encounter who will obstruct your path or suggest that your emotions about your situation aren’t the most important thing right now
Some key points in the Mars in Scorpio timeline and what the service will be supporting or focusing on:
October 31st – Mars in Scorpio; Getting familiar with the woods in Scorpio season, seeing clearly, getting the lay of the land, assessing accurately, examining unflinchingly; taking action based on solid intelligence and accurate calculations.
November 5th – Mercury in Scorpio; listening to our intuition without ignoring or foregoing rational assessment of the possible courses of action we might take in response; not going off half-cocked despite our eagerness to *be there already.*
November 10th – Mars square Saturn in Aquarius; not being defeated by delays, setbacks, and obstacles but rather accepting them as the specialized live training exercise Saturn is offering us to help us fine-tune our strategies; doing necessary maintenance on our “equipment and weapons”; restocking provisions and reserves.
November 17th – Mars opposite Uranus in Taurus; harnessing restless energy to direct it towards creative problem-solving and thinking outside the box; resisting shiny distractions and unnecessary side quests that take us off-course; staying the course in the face of frustration or the unexpected.
November 20th – Mars square Saturn backs the hell off finally; integrating and processing the lessons Saturn has imparted; getting our sights set clearly on the goal for the next stage of our journey, armed with this new wisdom and experience.
December 7th – Mars square Jupiter in Aquarius; acting on hard-earned confidence and courage without overestimating our own abilities or underestimating what we’re up against; looking really epic and having great lighting on our best side as we deliver a decisive blow, pass an important milestone, or land a significant achievement.
December 13th – Mars leaves Scorpio for Sagittarius; everybody gets a cookie. And by cookie, I mean a Crown of Success light setting to see them on their way to the next phase of their journey.
And all this advice and walking-through that she’s patient and generous enough to offer here (and elsewhere, many many times over the years)? Well, I don’t have that kind of patience lol, which is why folks contacting me for reconciliation work have a less than 10% chance I’ll take their case. 🙂
But this is highly recommended reading for anyone who might be considering undertaking love work involving an ex (and any serious student of hoodoo, for that matter). There is soooo much more to spiritual work than just what happens at the altar, and this post is a little insight into some of that.
*While I normally ask that clients book one service per order and check out for separate services separately, in this case, since Saints Clare and Philomena are so closely associated in some traditions, I’m offering a bundled discount if you book both services together. To get the discount, you have to check out with both services at the same time.
Saint Clare Candle Service & Novena – Clarity, Wisdom, Insight, Clairvoyance
Have lights set and worked on my St. Clare altar in a nine-day community altar work service beginning the night of August 11th, the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. 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.”
I will begin a nine-day novena and chaplet recitation to St. Clare on this same day, focused on petitioning her intercession for your stated intention, which will be included daily in my novena and chaplet work for the duration of the nine days along with appropriate offerings.
St. Clare is the patron saint of television, goldsmiths, and eye diseases. In folk Catholic practice, she is also petitioned for clear vision, literally and figuratively. Her devotees call on her when they need insight into a situation affecting their lives or guidance on how to make a difficult decision. Spiritual workers and diviners also call on her for aid in developing their clairvoyance.
In some houses and temples of vodou, St. Clare is served as the lwa Klemezin Klemay, who aids her devotees by helping clear away bad luck and negativity, and who is known to grant clear insight and the gift of dreaming true. I do serve Klemezin and have for many years, so I will accept petitions related to service of this lwa.
Saint Philomena Candle Service & Novena – Lost Causes, Mental Illness, Health, Committed Love, Better Business
Have lights set and worked on my St. Philomena altar in a nine-day community altar work service beginning the night of August 11th, her feast 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.”
I will begin a nine-day novena and chaplet recitation to St. Philomena on this same day, focused on petitioning her intercession for your stated intention, which will be included daily in my novena and chaplet work for the duration of the nine days along with appropriate offerings.
Known as the Wonder Worker, she’s invoked by devotees for all kinds of things when other measures have failed and it seems pretty much hopeless. Some call her the patron saint of the impossible. In that respect she’s become something of a companion saint to St. Jude in contemporary folk practice.
Those who have formed a relationship with her have sought and received her help with everything from the conversion of unbelievers to fertility problems, healthy pregnancy and delivery, cure of mental illness, attraction of a spouse, and the sale of real estate. She’s said to have effected miraculous cures of injuries and illnesses ranging from heart defects to cancer. But officially, she’s the patron of babies and children and is considered the patroness of the living rosary. Padre Pio called her the Princess of Heaven.
In some houses and temples of vodou, St. Philomena is served as the helpful and pleasant lwa Filomez. She helps those who make their livings as market sellers, removes negativity and evil from the surroundings, grants the ability to have prophetic dreams, and aids her devotees seeking love. Some consider her related to Erzulie Freda, while others do not, but while the two lwa might appear to have a good bit in common, Filomez is not as demanding or haughty as Freda and doesn’t have to be handled quite as “carefully.” I do serve Filomez and have for many years, so I will accept petitions related to service of this lwa.
For this amulet necklace, I’ve basically deconstructed a classic rural Southern-style conjure bag, aka a mojo or toby, and made jewelry out of it. This is backwoods conjure the way it used to be. It’s miles away from the shiny city general store with imported spices and soaps and fabrics. This is the part of the country where floorwash is made with chamber lye, not ammonia and certainly not Florida Water. New curtains come from recycled worn-out clothes, and those clothes come from recycled flour and feed sacks.
Old barn and field gear provides tiny scraps of leather. Copper, brass, and steel are scavenged from derelict machinery and buildings. Scraps of fabric — saved in an old cookie tin with thimbles and thread — tell 50 years of stories in a square inch: palest blue silk of a once-treasured gown; crisp white poplin once someone’s Sunday best; a thin strip of woven blue…
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.