“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have been lecturing on Voodoo and Santeria for over fifteen years, and believe me I get a lot of weird questions. Many people wish to connect with the energies of the religion but are not initiated or under the proper guidance of their spiritual godparents. I had one woman after I became distracted after the end of my workshop come over dip her finger in the liquified candle wax from my Oshun candle and anoint her dog. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye but I let it go. Some time later I saw her again at one of my lectures and she listened intensely as I spoke of Oshun,
the goddess of love and fertility. When the class was over, she came up to me and confessed the deed. I ask her what the dog was like now, she said it ate all her underwear. Obviously I don’t recommend this as a method of connecting with spirit, although it was quite amusing. There are several ways in Voodoo and Santeria to connect by performing ritual cleansings of your space. Some of the simplest involve the sprinkling of Florida Water and black salt in the corners of the home during the waning moon, this can be done in conjunction with the burning of white and/or black candles. My favorite brand of Florida Water is from Murray and Lanman. It has an amazing scent and is the best all-purpose cleansing water available over the counter. According to the Lanman & Kemp-Barclay & Co., the formula was introduced on “February 14, 1808. Immediately it gained popularity and approval from the consumer and became a worldwide, well-known cologne, not only because of it’s delightful fragrance but also because of the more than twenty uses attributed to it.” I’m not exactly sure what those twenty uses are, but I know my Sicilian grandmother used it for spiritual blessings and for St. Anthony. I’ve have met Peruvian shamans that use it to cleanse and individual of negative energy. In Santeria it is used as a necessary ingredient in many different Orisha baths and floor-washes. I’d love to hear from people out there as to their favorite uses, please leave them in the comments of this message. Maybe we can find twenty or even more.
Pick a Coconut That Looks Like You….
Another simple cleansing can be performed with the use of a fresh coconut. Pick a coconut whose markings resemble your facial features. I know that sounds bizarre, but once you start looking at different coconuts you will start to see what I am talking about. Cover it with cascarilla, or powdered eggshell, available in botanicas (Santeria supply shops), and kick it around all the corners of your house. Do your best not to touch it with your bare hands, as it will be absorbing all the negative energy in your area. When all the corners have been covered, kick it out your front door and onto the open earth. If you are a city dweller you can literally “kick it to the curb.” For those who live in a more pastoral setting, kick it under a tree. Then you are finished. This spell should be performed before moving into a new home, before ritual, and whenever you feel the energy is becoming uneasy. These are some great ways to get started or continue to keep clean for a spiritual life.