House Blessing Pumpkin Pakets

Pumpkin season is about more than Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, spiced lattes, and fall colour – It’s about sharing and celebrating our hard-worked harvests with our family and friends. But as we gather inside together, buttons get pushed, dramas erupt, and we start feeling less than celebratory. House blessings are needed more than ever in this time of long, dark, cold evenings and full houses.

The pumpkin packet has a heart of conjure, loaded with a charm bag or conjure packet that is activated and blessed in my badji and by my spirits and the natural spirits of the herbs and minerals inside. It will bring calm, peace, blessings, and protection to your home through these wintery holidays. It also makes a welcome gift to other homes we love.

Physically the pumpkins are made from vintage silk velvet remnants and stuffed with buckwheat hulls and polyfill. I make each one unique, with individual decoration chosen from my treasure trove of vintage millinery and dressmaking supplies. Conjure some beauty this season! Bondye se bon.

 

My Holiday Offering!

That’s right!  They’re natural, hand-made, luxury spiritual bath products inspired by the traditional baths Vodouisants take during the twelve days of Christmas.  They will cleanse and refresh you for the new year ahead, setting you up with luck, happiness, and spiritual revival. 

On the more material side, the water dispersible Murumuru butter and lecithin is beautifying, moisturizing, all while keeping bathroom clean up quick and easy.
This is self-care courtesy of living tradition, modern techniques, and the earth herself.

They are a very limited edition, the three kings are only willing to carry so much… Se bon bagay!

Please be aware that there are some whole herbs in this product, take care when standing up in the bath.

 

Treatments, Spiritual Baths, and Spiritual Bath Products

One of the most common things initiates with the right training and gifts do is treat spiritual conditions.  These treatments are prescribed via divination and tailored to the afflicted individual, and they can take many forms – tea, subfumigation, massage, and frequently a bath.  A successful treatment depends on a successful divination, the inherent power and spark in the materials used, the blessing of the practitioner’s spirit, and the initiatory gift of the practitioner.  Put it this way:  the knowledge of the initiate is crucial, but also the initiate’s connection to spirit, and the spiritual power in their hands (“fos”) is an irreplaceable element.  It’s absolutely essential, and rarely can be honestly offered by a non-initiate.

A spiritual bath, as mentioned above, can be a treatment, custom prescribed and made for the recipient, or it can be a standard recipe for standard purposes:  remove negativity, enhance luck, attraction, etc.  These recipes are held in houses and lineages and shared among their members.  Some are prepared and blessed by initiates, and some are prepared and blessed by individual practitioners, members of houses who serve their personal spirits, for their own use.  The traditional format is almost always a basin of liquid filled with fresh herbs, perfumes, fruit, flowers, and other living ingredients.  Dry can be used, but fresh is more traditional and usually preferred.  Imagine a very hot climate, a long day, and now you’ve got a basin or large gourd of cool, fragrant liquid ready to sluice over your head and body.   Fresh, clean clothes for afterwards, and a nice rest.  It’s transformative.  Now transport that format to a temperate climate, it’s not high summer, and this feels a little different.  We’ve definitely moved indoors, but still, it feels a little more like an act of discipline than a gift.  Watery gifts in temperate climates involve steam, warmth, and soaking…a good long soak.  But still, negativity needs to be washed away, then we can fill that void with something positive like luck and soak in that!

What do I mean by living ingredients:  ingredients that hold a connection to life, like plants or milk, rather than a refined chemical.  Think animistically – ingredients have both material and spiritual aspects.  It’s similar to Michael Pollan’s concept of real food or Ayurveda’s focus on diet as medicine – the value is in the whole plant, herb, or dish, more than one component that can be extracted.  The sum is greater than the parts.  I’m not advocating chemical phobia here, or dismissing manufactured ingredients, those have their place and purposes, but I do reduce them to supporting parts, not main players.  Nor are natural ingredients an excuse for poorly made products that can’t fulfill the function of their form well.

So what’s a spiritual bath product?  There are lots of commercial ones, I mean, without Lanman and Kemp we’d be in world of hurt!  But that’s mainly due to some items becoming classic and becoming imbued with specific qualities:  Florida Water, Hoyt’s Cologne, Pompeia:  all of those are perfumes that are both sought after, non-substitutable spirit offerings, and spiritual ingredients in their own right.  But there are stand alone bath products offered by big commercial producers and small crafters.  Some of these are strictly riding on imagery and a familiar scent, and maybe some herbal correspondences, and some are more thoughtful, “fos” filled creations.  There is no substitute for a treatment when you know you need a treatment.  There is no substitute for a good, traditional bath from time to time, especially if you do spiritual work for others, intense personal work with other people, or are an initiate at some level – but a spiritual bath product made with living ingredients, imbued with “fos,” and blessed can be a great way to extend the benefits of a traditional bath, a very accessible way to share some of the benefits of spiritual bathing to friends and family, for spiritual practitioners in non-initiatory traditions, and anyone looking to re-enchant their world.  Conjure some beauty, se bon bagay!

Blowing the Dust Off

For me, creativity, glamour, and spirit are all intrinsically linked.  I love finding the spirit in antiques, in found materials, and in natural materials.  Spirit and material are the basis of talismans, charm bags, and so many other spiritual products that help us on our path..  Creating art for spirits is another layer of that, and something I moving back towards.  Jewelry was on of the first craft real skills I learned, and making skin care formulations and bath products was the second.  I’ve got a new vision, and new creations I will be sharing here.

Primer Ambivalence

This is an odd choice for my first post, I admit, but I think of it as an extension of an “about me.”  I kind of resent primers.  I guess it’s probably because as a member of generation X, I didn’t come-of-age, makeup-wise, with them.  I started using a face primer in the early 2000’s, when I started shopping at MAC.  I only used it for dance performances, though.  It didn’t really occur to me that I needed more than that for my makeup to stay on as long as necessary – Studio Fix powder foundation took care of that just fine.  I also had an eye primer, but again, only used it for performances.  Being someone with deep-set eyes, elaborate eye-looks are kind of limited, and I only usually go to the trouble for performances.  So I guess I feel like regular products should be formulated well enough to not need them unless we’re dealing with extra-ordinary conditions, or that look really has to last all day and all night.  I also come from a generation used to dealing with touch-ups, so they aren’t that big a deal to me – not to mention that it’s rare when I have to go so long with no opportunity to touch up or change my makeup completely.

Anyway!  Fast forward ten years, and while I’m much drier than I used to be, and much less oily, my eyes are a little more sunken, and I now have little dehydrated patches that appear when foundation is applied, and enlarged pores in my T-Zone contributing to the beauty of my maquillage.  I’m finding myself reaching for primers more and more.  I shouldn’t resent them I suppose, I should be happy we have so many options, but I still don’t like products that only work well over primers.  What’s in my primer collection?  An old deluxe sample of Dr. Brandt “Pores No More;”  I like this one for my t-zone, and think it really does help certain foundations.  I think it would feel weird all over the face.  My deluxe sample of YSL Touche eclat primer lends itself to more of an all-over application, but it seems very heavy, and I worry about it breaking me out when I use it.  My skin has not historically liked silicone-heavy products.  Of course it didn’t use to like shea butter either, but now it seems to be making peace (and getting drier!)  This primer does smooth things out, especially if I know an area is a little dry or flaky, but for pores I prefer the Dr. Brandt.  My old standard is my MAC Prep and Prime eye primer.  I’m testing some new ones, but this one is the one I know best.  I’ve got a couple of new ones though, and those will pop up in the reviews over the next few months.

Rock Pile Beauty

Headed out to Coors Field for an afternoon game (for those not in the know, The Rock Pile are cheap seats at Coors Field,) or maybe checking out Dove Valley?  Beauty regimenes that stand up to the stands are a little different than when we’re just headed to a game day house party, or our favorite sports bar.

Skin

  1.   Anti-Oxidant Serum or Lotion:  Despite our best efforts we can still a get a little too much UV, plus, we’ll definitely get a dose of urban pollution down at the stadium.  Anti-Oxidants laden products will help us fend off dullness and damage by doing their clean up job on free-radicals, and they’ll help keep everything soothed and calm.  Some of my favorites are green tea, algae extract, sake extract, and vitamin c.
  2. Sun Protection:  I always recommend a physical, mineral-based sun block.  Those are easier on sensitive skin, healthier for those trying to avoid excess synthetic chemicals, and gentler on the environment (have you heard about the coral reefs?  so frustrating…)  If you have a deeper complexion and are concerned about it leaving an ashy cast on skin, try one of the versions with the minerals micronized, sometimes touted as “sheer.”  You are looking for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  3. Hydrating Mist – Maybe it’s because I live in a desert, but I can’t do without these!  Go as lux as you please, but you’ll want it in a travel size.  If I’m worried about potentially leaving it behind, I love those little ones by Evian (not sponsored!)  And they are just plain water.

Hair

This is why they invented the ball cap.  A big hat is more my style, but my fellow fans probably won’t appreciate an obstructed view!  Not only do you want to protect your scalp, but if you color your hair you need to protect that color.  So for long hair that will hang out I like a UV protection product as well.

Makeup

Now for the fun part – it can get hot and sweaty, though, so think easy touch-ups and long-lasting.  I like a cushion foundation compact that I can throw in my bag for my drier, somewhat mature skin, and mineral makeup is long lasting and fuss-free for oilier complexions.  A little bronzer, simple but defined eyes, and liquid lip won’t transfer everywhere or wear-off quickly.  Play ball!