Hoodoo Rootworker’s Seven-Way Rosary Chaplet – SOLD

Available through Seraphin Station, this rosary is handmade with a mix of pressed glass and Czech glass beads, each decade being separately attached to the center ring — a finger rosary — and embellished with a focal Pater bead of pressed glass, Czech glass, or in one case recycled sandcast glass. Whether you want to see this as a charm collection on a charm hanger displaying seven individual chaplets or single-decade rosaries, or as a sort of deconstructed All Saints’ rosary for contemporary rootworkers, this is a striking and unusual piece created by a rootworker with over 35 years of experience working with the roots, rosaries, and these saints in the folk Catholic tradition.

Large, sturdy, colored aluminum jump rings connect each decade to the center ring, so it’s possible, should you ever want to, to remove the individual decades and treat them as separate single-decade chaplets. This could be useful if you are working intensively with one or some but not all of these saints or if you’re traveling and need to cut down on how much spiritual stuff you’re lugging around.

Saints are chosen for their importance in the spiritual landscape of deep South hoodoo rootwork, with an eye towards popularity and contemporary usage (in the sense that while 100 years ago, St. Dymphna was probably not petitioned so often in conjure, today she is an enormously popular saint invoked by folks from all kinds of backgrounds and in all kinds of folk belief contexts. So she’s here!)

It’s made with strands or decades for the following:

  • St. Gerard, patron of pregnancy and childbirth in the Catholic tradition, also represents Baron Samedi of Haitian vodou in some houses and temples. He is the patron of communication with the ancestors and the dead. On the other side of this medal is Our Lady of Perpetual Help pictured with Christ and the angels Michael and Gabriel. OL of Perpetual Help is called on for all kinds of things – in hoodoo in my region, it’s often against sickness, income uncertainty, hunger, and unstable households. She’s known to help with all of those things. She’s also associated in some houses and temples with the lwa Erzulie Danto.
  • St. Lazarus is the patron saint of lepers and against leprosy, and by extension against plague and pandemic in contemporary practice. He’s also sometimes invoked by beggars, the homeless, people with HIV/AIDS, people with Hansen’s disease, and those who have unusually close relationships with dogs. He represents the lwa Legba, the patron of Yoruban divination and master of the crossroads, in many temples and houses, so he’s a powerful ally in road opening work.
  • St. Expedite is the patron saint invoked for fast luck, for help breaking through obstacles, for help with procrastination, and, increasingly, in desperate cases, much like St. Jude. He’s also the patron of computer programmers. In some regions and in some houses, he’s associated with the Ghuede lwa who rule the crossroads between life and death, esp. Baron Samedi.
  • St. Jude, the patron invoked for hopeless causes, is also called on more generally in conjure for financial prosperity and stability and is a good ally for those whose livelihoods involve working with emotional clients/customers and whose incomes can fluctuate for a host of reasons.
  • St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, children, and boat captains, invoked for safe travel. In some houses in New Orleans Voodoo, in which Santeria has had a noticeable influence, he is associated with the orisha Agayu. He presents his devotees with difficult obstacles but also grants them the inner power to overcome those trials and grow strong enough to carry all burdens.
  • St. Philomena is widely considered a miracle worker invoked by devotees for all kinds of things when other measures have failed. She’s the patron of babies and children and is considered the patroness of the living rosary. In some houses and temples, she is a lwa in her own right, seen as a helpful and pleasant spirit who helps those who make their livings as market sellers, removes negativity and evil from the surroundings, and grants the ability to have prophetic dreams.
  • St. Joseph is the patron saint of happy death, carpenters, stepfathers, and workers more generally, invoked in all kinds of situations to do with the financial wellbeing of a family and/or household, but especially petitioned by those seeking employment. He’s also called on by folks who need to sell their house. He’s associated with the lwa Papa Loko, the originary houngan and healer. St. Dymphna is on the reverse side of this medal. She is widely invoked against mental illness, anxiety, and depression, and she’s the patron of incest survivors and teenage runaways.

Some of these associations vary by region and the religious background of the practitioner, so I don’t mean to imply here that most modern rootworkers work with St. Gerard because of his association with a particular lwa in Haitian sevis. Most rootworkers do no such thing. Hoodoo and vodou are of course two distinct traditions, the former being folk magic and the latter being a religion. In Louisiana, though, especially New Orleans and surrounding areas, there is a strain of practice where the two are often blended to a greater extent than elsewhere as a result of the city’s unique history.

Continue reading “Hoodoo Rootworker’s Seven-Way Rosary Chaplet – SOLD”

up for auction – evil eye charm bracelet, OOAK rootworker’s rosary necklace

Hoodoo Rootworker's Rosary Necklace – conjure doctor's talisman, point chaud empowered

First, let me explain why I'm including both hoodoo and voodoo in the listing title.

Hoodoo and voodoo are of course two distinct traditions, the former being folk magic and the latter being a religion.  In the Louisiana area, though, especially New Orleans, there is a strain of practice where the two are often blended to a greater extent than elsewhere in the world and the African diasporic traditions.

Furthermore, in the work of Tau Michael Bertiaux, the systems of Haitian voodoo and hoodoo are blended into a dynamic system that offers step by step instruction to the practitioner who seeks to access to the Gnosis by means of esoteric prayer.

This set of hand made rosary beads is a product of the place where Louisiana culture and tradition meet Gnostic Voudon and good old Big Lucky Hoodoo.

Sometimes called a "medium's necklace," this set of beads is ritually created, consecrated, anointed, and censed on nine different altars by a fully consecrated bishop and exorcist in a gnostic voudon lineage of apostolic succession (me), and empowered to assist the practitioner in his or her work as a rootworker, serviteur of the spirits, and interpreter of messages from the Invisible World.

In creating this ritual piece, I have made a type of point chaud (aka pwen cho, and sometimes called a pwen achte for reasons I explain in an article I've written if you don't know this type of work; I can direct you to it) – a hot point, or physical object, in which the spirit is called (actually often sung) down into the piece through creation of a three dimensional (or four dimensional, depending on your perspective) crossroads where it is then housed.

This is not exactly the same type of point chaud that mambos and houngans in traditional Haitian sevis would prepare for a serviteur, or that you may have read about in some academic sources over the last fifty or sixty years – I have not imprisoned a spirit here, and this is not dangerous for the experienced worker, and no spirit or being was coerced.  The type of points chauds work I do is a bit different and informed by my own lineage's practice and my own experience and work, which is not what you're going to find anything about in that older academic work (I can direct you to some small amount of material/info on this if you like – just drop me a note upon purchase).  While it would be very unwise to become the owner of this piece and not feed it, it is not going to result in anybody's death if the spirits are not fed and worked with – it's not that kind of point chaud.  It is not, however, created for the novice or newcomer – I call this a rootworker's/medium's necklace for a reason. It's not likely to hurt a novice or new DIYer, but it's not likely to be a lot of use to one either, as it's designed for some fairly specialized things that most people doing conjure work at home for themselves and their family are simply not going to have a need for.

Bishop Tau Michael Bertiaux says of the rosary, in his chapter on Upadhi I in The Gnostic Voudon Workbook, that prayer beads are among the most effective ways to generate spiritual energy and "hook up" to God energy.  He conceives of the rosary as a "prayer machine" and emphasizes that the rosary is further blessed and empowered through use.  I have blessed and empowered this rosary, but it will absorb deeper spiritual energies through your repeated use.  For more information, see The Gnostic Voudon Workbook (and my blog, where I have a few articles on esoteric prayer and non-traditional rosaries – follow the tags).

This particular rosary is designed to assist the worker and serviteur with just about every aspect of spirit work and rootwork you encounter.  I have pulled out all of the stops with this one.  I have only ever made one of these a year at most, and some years I'm not able to make any because I don't have the time or materials when the appropriate astrological and celestial events roll around.  So I haven't made one of these for a couple of years now. This one is dedicated to mediumship, as the last one was, but it has other elements as well, including those for protection specifically geared for rootworkers and serviteurs.

It is made with stone, metal, and glass beads in segments of color appropriate to the following:

* Simbi, represented by St. Patrick; the patron of magicians and mediums

* Baron Samedi, represented by St. Gerard; the patron of communication with the ancestors and the dead

* St. Joan of Arc; the patron of clairaudience

* Legba, represented here by St. Anthony; the patron of Yoruban divination

* St. Clare of Assissi; the patron of clairvoyance

* St. Michael, the warrior archangel and supreme master of protection and all spirits, often called upon alongside the more traditionally "dangerous" spirits to protect the worker in these rites

* St. Benedict, a powerful ally for exorcism of both people and places

* St. Cyprian, the patron of magic and magicians

There is a medal for each saint and spirit, some modern "charm" style medals and some vintage medals imported from Europe.  The center bead is a large, lost-wax-method cast brass bead imported from Ghana, Africa, as are the pater beads, which are sand-cast (I purchase these locally from a local importer who owns a family-run shop and is a native of Ghana).  These one of a kind rosary beads also feature a small glass bottle pendant, with stopper, to hold a few drops of oil or a bit of powder – the top screws in securely via fine-threaded metal so you don't have to worry about losing it.

A vintage skeleton key on the strand opposite the glass bottle is at least fifty years old, possibly older, and to boost the key's traditional "road opening" power, it has been touched to doors/gates/entrances to several different important symbolic buildings or places, to give the bearer mastery over them, including a graveyard entrance gate, a police station door, the entrance to a neolithic longbarrow tomb in the UK, the door of a courthouse, and others.

From the center bead hang two charms. The first is a reproduction of an antique cross, hand-cast in bronze from a mold made from the 18th century original, a solid, sturdy piece that will hold up despite what looks like a delicate design of four equal arms terminating in relief patterns with an overall shape of a Jerusalem or Crusader's cross, emblem of the warriors of God.

The second is a bronze Tibetan prayer box pendant that opens to hold your small personal curios or items.  I will add appropriate herbs and curios to consecrated beeswax to secure them inside the pendant so they will stay safe.  These will include a Job's tear, genuine flakes of 24 K gold, a pinch of real diamond dust, and a genuine black cat bone – a tiny toe bone, complete with claw (my last claw that is not spoken for already).  This is my preferred type of cat bone to use when making protective and/or "work" amulets for professional workers and readers, because we need to hone certain skills for our own good when working with the public, aside from the usual divination and casting skills (and if you've read this far, you doubtless know the kind of thing I'm talking about – but if you don't, and you win the auction, I am happy to fill you in – just ask).  I will leave enough room inside for you to add your own stuff as well.  

Message me after purchase to give me any customization requests for blessings, prayers, or consecrations, or if you have any questions about its use.  I will finish its ritual preparation for its new owner, including preparation of the amulet ingredients and censing/dressing on any additional altars that you request, before shipping your new hoodoo rosary to you – so please allow me adequate handling time to do this work. This rosary has already been blessed at nine altars, and will remain on my medium's altar until it finds its new home.

The loop section measures app. sixteen inches with ends held together (not counting the cross and charm hanging from the center bead) – so this is a very long piece. The beads are large to match the size and presence of the piece – most are 8mm and some are larger – so it is not a lightweight piece either.  It is designed for ritual use, not for casual wear, and while I make it as sturdy as I can, you risk segments coming unconnected or glass breaking if you wear it out dancing to a nightclub.  So please don't do that (if you have to take it out wth you, then carry it in a pouch inside a pocket  or bag, ok?).  But this does not mean you should not wear or use it – you SHOULD wear it when working or reading, and you should use it regularly. I have consecrated it, but it will only become more powerful and more responsive to you as you use it over the years.  It was NOT designed to be laid up in a box or museum or curiosity shop and just looked at.  It was made to be worn and used in ritual work.

Ask me if you need care and feeding instructions (many of the recommendations for caring for mojo bags will apply here, including keeping away from casual handling and making sure it's fed regularly). It is designed with an eye towards the spiritual significance of the beads, charms, etc, not with an eye towards comfortable length for jewelry or the latest trend in necklaces, so this may be one of the odder-looking pieces you've likely seen.  But every single element of it is there for a specific reason, and you will not find another like it anywhere else. 

***

Evil Eye protection charm wrap bracelet

Beaded wrap bracelet is made with Czech glass seed beads spiraling around five loops of memory wire.  I've attached a plethora of dangles and charms, consisting mostly of multicolored resin evil-eye-protection beads hanging from large, brightly colored, sturdy aluminum jump rings.  There are also a couple of Czech glass beads and shiny metal dangles. 

***

livejournal is being stupid. I suddenly can't upload any more pictures. Earlier this past week I couldn't post at all, so I couldn't announce these auctions when they started.  I hope I don't have to pull up stakes and move to blogger – this is really beginning to irritate me.

Anyway, the memento mori chaplet can be seen at the below link :/

Memento Mori ancestor chaplet bracelet – matching earrings

Memento Mori rosary (technically a chaplet) is made of silver-plated brass beads and feature two bone skull beads carved from yak bone.  Offset with African cast brass spacer beads.

Bracelet is nine inches long and has a lobster clasp.  Matching earrings hang from silver-toned french hook ear wires and hang just shy of two inches from cener of earlobe.

In the Middle Ages and well into the Victorian era, images of skulls, skeletons, and other symbols associated with death were used to remind the wearer or bearer of the item to contemplate his or her own mortality, to remember that he or she would one day die.  Some people used this as a reason to seize the day; others used it as a reason to reject life's transient pleasures and focus on eternal rather than earthly glory.  Some used it as a reminder of the Christian promise of the resurrection of the dead
at the end of time, when bodies would rise at the Last Judgment and be reunited with their souls.

Regardless of the meaning you bring to it, this is a rosary (technically a chaplet) that would be suitable for the lover of medieval stuff or the Victorianist on your gift list, as well as any devotee of the family of Vodoun loa known as the Ghuede, who are patrons of death and sexuality and rule the cemeteries.

Seven Rays of the Archangels rosary; on inspiration and partial possession

Today’s mantra: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I’m going to repeat it until I am over having my designs and ideas ripped off, or until my tongue goes numb, whichever comes first.

New auction: One of a kind Rosary of the Seven Rays: this one is a 7 Rays of the Archangels rosary. [link removed, was to old ebay auction]

seven rays of the archangels

Description below the cut. First, a bit about ritual creation and esoteric prayer.

When I started making voodoo loa and hoodoo/medium’s rosaries (back in 2003 – when they weren’t to be had anywhere else online nor in any shop I ever set foot in; I had never seen them before and they didn’t exist as far as I knew, but I wanted an Erzulie Dantor rosary, so I taught myself to make rosaries… but I guess I’ll leave that alone what with my mantra working and all (sigh) ), I had a bit more time on my hands, and I’d usually make a few every month, and usually had a few for sale at any given time.  In looking over my old listings this weekend, I realized I hadn’t made any new ones in about six months – or more.  I have a list of requests from folks who’ve written about various custom things, and I try to make them as I have time, going down the list but sometimes skipping things if I’m not in the mood to make a piece on the list or don’t have the materials on hand, but time has been really scarce the last year or so.  But I really *miss* making rosaries, and I especially miss making the loa rosaries and the esoteric prayer rosaries – every one is a unique piece of folk art and I really like to see how they unfold, or bloom, or whatever the metaphor is, as I make them.

I don’t usually have a strict plan going in when I sit down – usually I’ll start with an individual spirit or saint or loa, or at least a family of loa, and I’ll fuss with the altar for a while – cleaning, dusting, setting out fresh water or flowers or whatever, depending on the spirit or saint, etc. And then I sit down with my bead box and my tools and I start working, letting the loa or spirits guide me.  This often isn’t a very different process from what any writer or artist or craftsperson might call “inspiration” – the next object or line or shadow or phrase or chord just comes to you when you’re “in the zone.”  Sometimes you get stuck or blocked, sometimes you hit a snag, back up, and reroute (much easier with beading than with knitting, let me tell you). Sometimes there’s on-the-go consideration and revision, choices between one shade or another, a decision about one metal or another.  Sometimes the loa chime in loudly and specifically; sometimes they do not (Simbi never seems to yell; Freda I don’t even have to be in the same room with to know what she wants.)

And then sometimes there’s no on the spot consideration or revision at all – it’s like a tidal wave.  Sometimes writing comes like that to writers, or an image to painters, where it all pours out instead of the usual work work work of such projects.  It’s like suddenly plugging in to some source, or tapping into some wellspring, that you don’t have access to all the time.  When this occurs in a certain context, this is what I call “partial possession” – it’s not the same as being completely ridden by a loa, where your consciousness is entirely displaced, but there is definitely a “flow” to it that is not your regular sitting-down-to-make-something flow.  It’s the same thing that happens a lot when I’m doing one of those all-day-into-the-night marathon ceremonies or spiritual bath events – I am moving stuff and making stuff and mixing stuff and handling stuff and saying stuff, but if you ask me later, I’m not always going to have any idea what I told you or what I put in that herbal mixture or what I wrote down for you (granted, some of that is sometimes sheer exhaustion.  But then again, that kind of full-on-body-mind-and-spirit exhaustion also makes possession much easier to slip into).  The spirits don’t always just hop in and take over, though – sometimes they sit on your shoulder, or talk in your ear, or seize your hands (in the case of work like making baths or making jewelry or pakets), or seize your eyes, as the saying goes, where your consciousness is not fully displaced, but a spirit is involved at some more narrow or circumscribed level, often involving one faculty or sense, or one set of appendages (so partial possession of the hands is common, if for instance La Sirene comes by when I’m giving a spiritual bath to someone, and she might come mix the bath herself, through my hands. It’s not a full possession but she is nevertheless involved in the action through me as a medium for that action).

The Rev. Docteur Tau Michael Bertiaux refers to partial possession of this type, when a spirit is involved in “your” faculty of vision, as “la prise des yeaux,” the possession (or holding or taking or seizing) of the eyes.  Now, it’s a lot more complex in Bertiaux’s scheme, and what I’m giving here is the “exoteric” interpretation of partial possession, but in all cases it’s describing a type of sight that’s akin to clairvoyance in a certain sense, but with a key difference: it’s a faculty that is absolutely based within the human being, the psychosomatic body/mind/spirit unity of the person plus his or her interaction with the spirit, with the human being as nexus or “container” (or depending on your vocabulary, battery or lodging place or even point-chaud, or the material “half” of the point chaud or pwen), and so the faculty of vision, the change that enables this to happen, is internal to the serviteur.  This is often different from, say, someone scrying, where he or she “sees” in a triangle or mirror or gazing ball or any external “screen”.  In prise-des-yeaux, the “other world” doesn’t get projected onto something you can see in your field of vision, like a crystal ball or a candle glass you might “read” the signs from.  Rather, the intersection, if you will, of the visible and invisible worlds is *inside* the practitioner.  Bertiaux calls it Esoteric Vision, and he also calls it a sacrament (VGW p. 254), and discusses it in terms that suggest he would not equate “exoteric” vodoun’s “partial possession” necessarily with the type of interactive relationship he’s discussing in the VGW.  But there are enough similarities in terms of how it works “on the ground’ to make it worth mentioning.

I am out of time to keep trying to sort my thoughts out on partial possession, but I want to get in writing some of what I see as the implications of possession and partial possession in my religion, how it differs from what that means and how it works in other traditions and vocabularies, and what the implications are for points-chauds or pwen work; they are significant, and even though I’ll likely make a mess of it, I can definitely still see some connections to some of the principles Bertiaux outlined back when he wrote the VGW, even though the Great Arabia Working participants and our current points chauds working group folks are working pretty far away from the original Bertiaux-inspired core set of points and articulation of their workings and ontology.  So, maybe I”ll get to it soon.

In the meanwhile,  this weekend I sat down to make a Seven Rays of the Archangels rosary.  These are esoteric prayer beads, a little more complex than a traditional Marian rosary.  Description (and a rant about people fundamentally misunderstanding angels) below the cut:
Continue reading “Seven Rays of the Archangels rosary; on inspiration and partial possession”

reminder and new rosaries

Just a reminder that the reading raffle purchase button will go down at midnight EST. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

I made a Mary Magdalene rosary this weekend; I wish I had more of these AB beads – they really look nice.

Continue reading “reminder and new rosaries”

two new one of a kind rosaries

Rosary of the Seven Rays.  Glass beads in seven colors are separated by Czech glass cathedral beads.

Rosary necklace for Oshun.  Fire-polished Czech glass bicone beads and a stunning pink chalcedony pendant.

Chaplet of the Five Wounds

I made this last night as the latest in a series of one of a kind rosaries designed specifically for esoteric prayer.  Faceted glass beads, Murano style red heart beads, and a hand-blown (technically, mouth-blown!) teardrop shaped centerpiece provide a setting for the coolest little crucifix – it’s from Jerusalem and has a little tiny heart in relief at each point of the crucifix.

For more info, see the ebay listing.

rosary of the seven rays (SOLD)


rosary of the seven rays
Originally uploaded by Karma Zain

This rosary is made of pressed glass pumpkin-cut beads in seven decades: pink, dark blue, sky blue, red, blue, black, and crystal. The centerpiece is an Italian glass medallion in blue and purple with a gold foil stripe, which terminates in three crystal beads and a large Murano glass heart pendant. Absolutely one of a kind.

This particular type of Rosary of the Seven Rays is used in devotions to the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This devotional practice is a prayer and meditation method that can raise human consciousness, and this particular rosary is designed according to techniques that focus on the heart chakra. Thus it is an excellent tool for those working with esoteric prayer and those who need help in opening and balancing the heart chakra. It can also be prayed on behalf of those who need divine assistance with emotional and spiritual imbalances and is a powerful tool in the arsenal of healers and lightworkers.

Entire piece is 22.5 inches long from end to end. Decade loop is 18".

This is a serious piece for the serious practitioner devoted to esoteric prayer. It won’t do you much good if you just keep it in its bag and look at it a couple of times a year – it’s not like a talisman you keep in your pocket. It’s more like a musical instrument — it’s designed to be used, and its powers increase with regular use.

Bishop Tau Michael Bertiaux says of the rosary, in his chapter on Upadhi I in The Voudon Gnostic Workbook, that prayer beads are among the most effective ways to generate spiritual energy and "hook up" to God energy. He conceives of the rosary as a "prayer machine" and emphasizes that the rosary is further blessed and empowered through use. I have blessed and empowered this rosary, but it will absorb deeper spiritual energies through your repeated use. For more information, see The Voudon Gnostic Workbook.

For info on the Seven Joys of Mary, go here.

For a Wikipedia entry on the Seven Rays, go here.  I don’t normally post links to Wikipedia entries (that is another rant entirely), but this one has a good references list and a good section on Further Reading.