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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Review: 2013

The Wheel of the Year has come full circle one again. With the end of another year comes the need to pause and reflect on one's life, all that has occurred in the previous year, what one has learned and look forward what will be in the near year (but that will be the subject of another blog). 

2013 In Review

In the beginning of the year, I performed a tarot reading for myself which stated:

"With the end of one cycle comes the beginning of a new one and you have the good fortune to be possessed of a great deal of potential. You are surrounded by strong allies in both human and spirit form who are willing to assist you. However, your advancement forward can often be blocked by an oppressive force, do not let it distract you and drain you of vital energy causing you to make poor choices. Instead keep your eyes on your goal and keep your thoughts, words, and deeds consistent with who you really are. Soon you must evaluate the wisdom of holding on to that which does not serve to uplift you so that you that you can keep and protect that which reflect your true-values as well as that which is necessary in order for you to grow. Nurture your creativity and talents and your efforts will be richly rewarded!"


This has been a really great year for me. My career as a writer has grown thanks to the support of my friends and fans. My conjure practice continues to grow slowly but surely (as is my preference) as I split my time between my conjure practice and my day job in the non-magical world. I have grown closer to the spirits with whom I work and our relationship continues to unfold (super)naturally.

However, even as I have grown close to my spiritual allies, I have grown farther and farther apart from those who I once counted as close friends. Over the summer, I had to walk away from a years long friendship due to the individual's constant drama and need for attention. I realized that I spent so much energy and attention supporting her and attempting to help her "fix" her life that I completely neglected my own.

In addition, for all the support and encouragement that I gave her, I got very little in return. In fact, it was revealed to me that this person did not want me to advance or improve my condition in life because she felt that if I met someone or made other friends that I would no longer be available to her when she needed me, which was pretty much all the time. Looking back, it was a difficult decision and one that I put off longer than it needed to be. However, the universe stepped in and gave me the precise opportunity to address this issue and make the cut. Fortunately, despite this individual being a complete drama-mama, the split occurred with very little drama attached and hopefully we are bother better off for having put such distance between us. I know I am.

Unfortunately, I must not have learned my lesson with the drama-queen because as the year comes to a close I find history repeating itself in the form of another friend and business associate who for the past year has taken every opportunity to attempt to embarrass, humiliate and disrespect for in the most harsh manner. The change in our relationship occurred slowly over time, so slowly in fact that I really didn't realize just how much she had change and how abusive our relationship had become. Even as I write this I really do hope for a healing between us, because I do respect the person that she was and the value the friendship that we had. Even so I am prepared now to walk away from the relationship if need be, however, because this person is not only a "friend" but a business associate and  has a certain financial foothold in my life it will take time to sort out. Perhaps this will give us the needed time to heal our relationship or not...only time will tell.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Mailbag Monday: Burial of Ritual Remains

Today's question comes from M.B. who writes...

Hi Carolina, I've been spending lots of time on your site and have been getting a lot of information too. Thanks for this site. I however am wondering about the candle disposal. If I don't have a yard at all and live in an apartment, can I dispose of my remains in running water? Or to the east? 

Merry Meet,

Thanks for your question. First, let's review the theory and purpose behind the proper disposal of ritual remains. Many people think that a spell is complete once the candle is spent, but this is not the case. A spell is not complete until  its magical remains (i.e. candle wax, petition, herbs, etc...) have been properly disposed of. This is especially true in the folk-magic tradition of Hoodoo where disposal of magical remains has a direct symbolical bearing on the work at hand. 

The intention of your spell often has a direct correlation on how you dispose of magical remains. Below you will find a general guide-line grouped by intention/goal to help you determine how best to dispose of magickal leftovers. 

  • To Attract Influences- If the work was done to draw something to you such as prosperity, a new lover, or good health,  the remains are buried on your property, often near your front door or under your front doorstep. 
  • To Keep and Maintain- If the work was done to keep something with you indefinitely such as a straying lover, the remains are buried in your backyard.
  • To Move Away- If the work was done to move something away from you such as a jinx, an enemy, or a negative condition, the remains would be buried off of your property. Choices for burial include 1) tossing in running water  or 2) burying at a crossroads.
  • To Increase- If the work was done to create or increase a condition such as prosperity or good health, bury or throw it toward the East so that its strengthen with the rising Sun. 
  • To Decrease- If the work was done to end or weaken a condition such as an enemy's good luck, ill-health, etc.. bury or throw it towards the West so that it will diminish with the setting Sun. 
As for your original question, I have no idea what option would be proper in your situation as you failed to explain the goal/intention of your spell. Disposing of ritual remains in running water is done to move something away from you that you wish to be free of, whereas disposing of something towards the East would be symbolic of drawing something to you or to manifest some type of increase in a condition (as in the rising sun).

However, I can tell you that I too live in an apartment. My apartment is on the ground floor and I have a row of bushes along the front of my apartment and a good piece of a backyard including two trees where I am able to bury items. If your apartment isn't on the ground floor, like mine, you have a few options to consider. 

  • Potted Plants- If you don't have a yard connected to your apartment you may want to place potted plants in your home and use them to dispose of ritual remains. However, you will have to make sure that those remains are such that they will naturally break-down in the soil or they will just build up over time.  (Note: Soy, Paraffin, and Beeswax candles are biodegradable).
  • Adopting Land- Find a place which is 1) easily accessible to you and 2) reasonably private which you can adopt to be your special place for disposal of ritual remains.
  • Storage-  This option may be considered unorthodox, but it is one that I have used myself at certain times in my life.  Obtain some decorative jars which can be placed on a shelf in an inconspicuous manner.  Dedicate each jar to a specific condition (prosperity, love, protection, health). Store your magical remains in its corresponding jar until such time as you feel it is no longer needed or can be disposed of in a more traditional manner.
 I hope that you have found this information helpful to you along your spiritual journey.

Blessed Be!

Do you have a question that you would like me to answer in a future installment of the Mailbag Series? Email me at

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review: Anansi Boys

Review: Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman

· Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
· Publisher: HarperTorch (September 26, 2006)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0060515198

If Shakespeare was correct that “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players” then Charlie Nancy would much rather be a passive viewer sitting in the dark corner of a back row in the theater of life. Charlie is so self-conscious and awkward to the point that everything and everyone (including himself) is a constant source of embarrassment to him. The main source of his embarrassment (other than himself) is his father, a man who loves (and is much loved by) women and who never seemed to hold down a job or had any visible means of income.

Mr. Nancy, Charlie’s father, gave him the nickname of ‘Fat’ Charlie at a very young age; and despite the fact that Charlie isn’t fat or even pudgy, that nickname has followed him throughout his life and everywhere he goes, even as far as England where he now lives and works. Despite his poor self-image and low self-esteem, Fat Charlie has managed to find gainful employment with the Graham Coates Accounting Agency and become engaged to Rosie Noah, who works for a charity.

As the story opens, Rosie has reluctantly convinced Charlie to invite his father to their wedding only to discover upon attempting to contact Mr. Nancy that his father has died. As his father’s only son, Fat Charlie travels to Florida to do right by his father and get his house in order. True to form, Fat Charlie is late to his father’s funeral and ends up causing a scene by giving a eulogy to his father at the wrong funeral!

Later, after the funeral, Charlie is visiting his old neighborhood and while talking with some of his father’s friends, four elderly black women, learns that his father was, quite literally, a God. At first Fat Charlie doesn’t believe the women and humors them, but they insist that Mr. Nancy was a God. In fact, he was Anansi, the Spider God, a trickster who own all stories. Even Mrs. Dunwiddy, at 104 the eldest of the women, remembers Mr. Nancy being a man when she was but a little girl. In addition, Fat Charlie is surprised to learn that he once had a brother, who inherited his father’s god-like powers, but who was sent away by Mrs. Dunwiddy many years prior after he broke her garden gazing ball. Before leaving to return to England, Caroline Higgler (Mr. Nancy’s neighbor) tells Charlie that if he ever wishes to meet his brother, just tell a spider and that he will get the message.

On his first night back in England, Charlie’s girlfriend is startled by a spider in his bathtub and asks Charlie to take it outside. While removing the spider, Charlie remembers Mrs. Higgler’s instructions and asks the spider to pass a message along to his brother. Not long after, Spider Nancy shows up at Charlie’s door and Charlie must give Spider the bad news that their father has died. Spider promptly disappears through a photograph to verify his father’s passing for himself leaving Charlie to wonder if their meeting had actually occurred. When Spider returns, he takes Charlie out for a night on the town to mourn the death of their father and celebrate his life with ‘wine, women, and song.’

Charlie drinks too much and embarrasses himself at a karaoke bar, only to pass out and be taken home by Spider and Daisy (one of many women that Spider charmed into tagging along on their night out). The following day, Charlie oversleeps and wakes up in bed with Daisy. He learns that Spider has gone into his office pretending to be him, although Charlie doesn’t quite understand how every would believe that Spider is Charlie. Spider actually does a very good job impersonating Charlie, in fact his was too good at his job.

Spider discovers that Graham Coates, Charlie’s boss, has been embezzling funds from his client’s accounts and has been doing so for some time. When Graham Coates calls Spider (who he thinks is Charlie) into his office to terminate his employment, Spider reveals he knows all about Graham Coates’ embezzlement without making a direct accusation. Graham Coates then gives Charlie two weeks off with pay and a bonus, which he believes will get Charlie out of his way until he figures out how to deal with the situation. Graham decides that the best solution to his problem is to make Charlie the scapegoat for his crimes and sets about covering his tracks and planning his escape. Before he can complete his plan, Graham is forced to murder a client who has discovered his theft and confronted him with the evidence.

Spider begins to discover that he actually likes being Charlie, and so he slowly land deliberately begins to take over Charlie’s life and identity. However, it is when Charlie discovers that Spider has slept with his fiancĂ© Rosie, he resolves to get rid of Spider. Charlie returns to Florida where he seeks the advice of the four elderly women whom he compares to the witches in Macbeth. He convinces the women to help him and they perform a ritual which sends him to the Beginning of the World, a magickal place inhabited by animal totems. Here, Charlie travels through a series of caves meeting with various human/animal hybrids seeking their assistance in getting rid of Spider.

Charlie strikes a bargain with Bird Woman offering her Anansi’s bloodline in return for her getting rid of Spider. At this point the action really begins to accelerate as Spider begins to be attacked by birds everywhere he goes and Rosie discovers Spider’s deception. She declares that she won’t have anything to do with either Spider or Charlie, who has been arrested for suspicion of embezzlement. In an effort to distance herself from Spider’s betrayal as well as to examine her feeling, Rosie goes on a cruise with her mother. Spider is captured by Bird Woman, stripped of most of his powers and left at the mercy of an old enemy; while Rosie and her mother are captured by Graham who wishes to take his revenge upon Charlie by killing them. With Spider unable to assist him and without Rosie’s support and encouragement, Charlie is forced to embrace his heritage and save the ones he loves.

The characters in Anansi’s Boys are multi-dimensional, colorful, full of personality, humorous, flawed, and best of all human (even when they’re not). I really liked the inclusion of traditional tales and mythology concerning Anansi and the animal kingdom as well as the casual manner in which the elderly women in Florida discuss and practice magick. Neil Gaiman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Gaiman’s love of writing and passion about his subject matter clearly shows in the details which make up his stories; which makes him a story-teller worthy of Anansi himself.

Carolina Dean 

Purchase the Book 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Triple-Strength Mojo Hands


I first heard of “trio-hands” on the Lucky-Mojo website and later Miss Michaele (of the HoodooFoundry) shared a recipe for one such hand herself on an edition of the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Radio Hour. A “trio-hand”, or Triple Strength Hand (as I prefer to call it) is a type of mojo hand that is comprised of three packets of three herbs/roots each and which are prayed over three times. The three packets may be placed into the mojo bags separately, or alternately each packet may be made up of the one which was created before it in the same manner as nesting dolls.

Today, I will describe a triple-strength mojo hand which I created for a straight-female whose desire was to manifest a long-term relationship and who recently wrote to me to tell me that she has “met the man of her dreams”.  Such a mojo bag is not limited to heterosexual couples and can easily be adapted for use by gay or lesbian individuals who are searching for love.

Triple-Strength Mojo Hand for a Love

To create this mojo-hand you will need the following:

  • Flannel / Red Thread
  • Bible
  • Red Pen and White or Pink Paper
  • Red or Pink Candle
  • Love-Drawing Incense
  • Adam and Eve Oil
  • Haitian Lover Oil
  • Amour Oil
  • Come to Me Oil
  • Hair from your Head
  • Hair from your Pubes
  • Hair from your Underarm
  • Adam and Eve Root
  • Coriander Seed
  • Sampson Snake Root
  • Catnip
  • Damiana
  • High John Root
  • Queen Elizabeth Root
  • Rose Petals

Working the Root: Begin by dressing a red or pink-candle with Come to Me Oil and light it along with some  love-drawing incense. Next, take out your Bible and turn to the book of Genesis and using your pen write down the verses which describe the creation of man (And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) If you are a man or a lesbian seeking to attract a woman you would substitute the verse where Eve is fashioned from Adam’s rib.  As you write these words, think about the type of man that you would like to attract. 

When you are done anoint the four corners and center of the paper with Adam and Eve Oil. Place some hair from your head in the center of the paper and fold it towards you three times saying:

“As I fold this paper towards myself, so may my lover come to me now. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Dress the Adam Root with Adam & Eve Oil and place this on top of the petition, then anoint the Eve Root with the oil and place it next to the Adam Root. Finally, sprinkle some Coriander Seeds over the roots. Fold the petition towards yourself creating a little packet and secure it with red-thread.  Anoint the packet with Adam and Eve Oil and smoke it in your incense as you make your prayer or petition saying:

“With God’s blessings, as Eve was created for Adam in like fashion so may my lover manifest for me.  In Jesus name. Amen.”

Set the packet aside and take out your Bible again. This time, turn to the Songs of Solomon and write down the verses wherein the bridegroom’s handsomeness is praised (My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand…) Again, as you write these words, picture your ideal mate and imagine your life together.  

When you are done anoint the four corners and center of the paper with Haitian Lover Oil. Place some hair from your pubic area in the center of the paper and fold it towards you three times saying:

“As I fold this paper towards myself, so may my lover come to me now. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Anoint the Sampson Snake Root with Haitian Lover Oil and place this on top of the petition, then sprinkle some catnip and damiana over the roots. Place the first packet from before on top of this and  fold the second petition towards yourself creating a little packet and secure it with red-thread. Anoint the packet with Haitian Lover Oil and smoke it in your incense as you make your prayer or petition saying:

“With God’s blessings, as Sampson loved and desired Delilah, in like fashion so may my man love and desire me. In Jesus name. Amen."

Set the packet aside and take out your Bible again. This time write down the verses found in Chapter 8 of the Songs of Solomon (Set me as a seal upon thy heart…). As you write these words picture your ideal mate and imagine your life together. When you are done anoint the four corners and center of the paper with Amor Oil. Place some hair from your armpit (which is close to your heart) in the center of the paper and fold it towards you three times saying:

“As I fold this paper towards myself, so may my lover come to me now. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Anoint the High John Root with Amor Oil and place this on top of the petition, then anoint the Queen Elizabeth Root with your oil and place it next to the High John Root. Finally, place a few dried rose petals over the roots. Place the packet from before, which contains the first packet, on top of this and fold the petition towards yourself creating another packet and secure it with red-thread.  Anoint the packet with Amor Oil and smoke it in your incense as you make your prayer or petition saying:

“With God’s blessings, as every Queen must find her King, so may I find my lover and make him mine. In Jesus name. Amen"

Place this packet in a red or pink mojo-bag and dress it with Come to Me Oil. Alternately, you can wrap this in red-flannel and secure it with thread, yarn, or ribbon.  Smoke it in the incense and make your prayer or petition saying:

“With God’s blessings, and by all the powers of attraction and desire which are His to command, I now grant life and strength to this mojo-bag so that it may serve to draw unto me a man who loves me as I love him, who needs me as I need him, who desires me as I desire him.  Grant me the wisdom to recognize him when he appears and the courage to allow him into my life and into my heart when he does. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Leave the mojo next to the candle until it burns down to nothing. Thereafter carry your mojo with you next to your skin for at least a week. Feed your mojo bag Come to Me Oil each week to keep it strong and working for you. When your lover manifest, you may then feed the bag other condition oils as appropriate such as Follow Me Boy, Cleopatra, Stay With Me, etc....


Carolina Dean 

Additional Links

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hey, Don't Look Me Over

This spell is used to draw the attention, interest, and admiration of others so that they don't look your over (i.e. fail to notice you). To perform this spell, you will need:

In addition, you will need a condition oil such as Bewitching, Cleopatra, Follow Me Boy, Follow Me Girl, or Chuparrosa  (available at Creole Moon). 

To begin write your name nine times on the back of the 3rd Pentacle of Venus with a red ink pen. When you are done, dress the four corners and center with your chosen oil and fold it towards you three times saying:

"With God's blessings, as I fold this paper towards myself I now attract the attention, interest, and admiration of [here you may insert the name of a specific person or type of person(s) you wish to attract]. In Jesus name. Amen."

Set the petition aside. Next, mark the red-human figure candle with your name. If you like, you may dig a little hole in the base and load this with your personal concerns before re-sealing the hole with wax. When you are done, anoint the candle with your chosen oil stroking it towards yourself and saying:

"With God's blessings, as I stroke this candle towards myself, I now draw the attention, interest, and admiration of [here you may insert the name of a specific person or type of person(s) you wish to attract]. In Jesus name. Amen." 

Set your candle in a holder and place the Third Pentacle of Venus underneath the candle holder. Light the candle and repeat your petition following by the 23rd Psalm.

When the candle is spent, remove the pentacle from underneath the candle-holder and place this in your right shoe.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pow-Wow or Long Lost Friend

Published by John George Hohman in 1820, this tome is the quintessential grimoire of Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Magic and Healing.

Rooted in the Christian faith, this book contains many spells for binding, protection, finding thieves, etc.... Most of the charms take the form of prayer which is followed by making the sign of the cross. In addition, it contains a wealth of information on herbal remedies for the health and well being of men and animals alike. For example,

  • A Charm To Stop Blood

A certain Remedy to stop Bleeding, which cures, no matter how far a person be away, if only his first name is rightly pronounced while using it:

Jesus Christ dearest blood!
That stoppeth the pain and stoppeth the blood.
In this help you [first name] God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

  • How to Obtain Things that Are Desired

If you call upon another to ask for a favor, take care to carry a little of the five-finger grass with you, and you shall certainly obtain that you desired.

  • To Compel a Thief to Return Stolen Goods

Early in the morning before sunrise you must go to a pear tree, and take with you three nails out of a coffin, or three horse-shoe nails that were never used, and holding these toward the rising Sun. you must say:

"Oh, thief, I bind you by the first nail, which I drive into thy skull and. thy brain, to return the goods thou hast stolen to their former place; thou shalt feel as sick and as anxious to see men, and to see the place you stole from, as felt the disciple Judas after betraying Jesus. I bind thee by the other nail, which I drive into your lungs and liver, to. return the stolen goods to their former place; thou shall feel as sick and as anxious to see men, and to see the place you have stolen from, as did Pilate in the fires of hell. The third nail I shall drive into thy foot, oh thief, in order that thou shalt return the stolen goods to the very same place from which thou hast stolen them. Oh, thief, I bind thee and compel thee, by the three holy nails which were driven through the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, to return the stolen goods to the very same place from which thou hast stolen them. + + + “

The three nails, however, must be greased with the grease from an executed criminal or other sinful person.

The book itself is a powerful talisman for protection against one's enemies, accidental death, and persecution owning to the following statement found therein:

"Whoever carries this book with him, is safe from all his enemies, visible or invisible; and whoever has this book with him cannot die without the holy corpse of Jesus Christ, nor drowned in any water, nor burn up in any fire, nor can any unjust sentence be passed upon him. So help me."

Like the spells that it contains, the talismanic powers of this grimoire requires nothing more to activate that the power of belief. 


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MIPC: The Happy Housewives Love Drawing Spell

The following spell was given by Carlton Gebbia, the newest cast member of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Carlton is quickly gaining fame as the first practicing Witch in the Real Housewives franchise. 

During the course of the latest episode which aired November 25th, Carlton and Brandi were shopping  when Carton commented that she is a huge believer in visualization and on the subject of drawing a lover advised Brandi to make a very specific list of qualities that she is seeking in a mate (an intention list) and bury it with a crystal during the full moon. You can see their conversation here.

Commentary:  On the surface, I think this is a  simple spell that has the potential to be quite powerful, however (as Carlton mentions) you have to invest some time and energy into the process. Magic really is all about defining for yourself what it is that you want, desire, need, etc... and then taking steps to bring it about. 

Writing down one's goal is a powerful act and is the first step in taking one's wish out of the realm of thought and into the concrete realm of the physical. Quartz crystals have been used in magic for hundreds of years to magnify or amplify other energies. The moon rules one's emotions while the earth element provides stability. The act of burying one's intention list with the crystal at the full-moon pulls in both the energy of the earth and the moon to help manifest and solidify one's desire.  In this case, however, I would use Rose Quartz which specifically vibrates on the frequency of love. Furthermore, I would perform this rite on a Friday (which is ruled by Venus, the planet of Love) in the planetary hour of Venus.

From a Hoodoo perspective, however, I would make a few changes. First of all, I would cross and cover my intention list with my own name written nine-times. I would then five-spot the paper with an appropriate condition oil such as Lavender Lust or Adam and Eve Oil (available at Creole Moon). I would then fold the intention list around herbs and roots known for drawing love such as coriander seed, lavender, catnip, lemon balm, etc.... This, in turn, would be folded into a flannel packet and bound with red yarn or ribbon into which you have tied your wish.

Finally it would be dressed with your chosen oil. If you desire, this could be done in the light of a fixed candle for the same purpose. When the candle is spent, I would bury the packet near my front door OR in a potted plant in my home so that my intention to draw love to myself would radiate from the plant as it grows. Each time you water your plant you can reaffirm your wish for love, and perhaps sprinkle a little bit of the dirt from the plant near your front door to draw your new love to you.


Friday, November 22, 2013

MIPC: The Fourth Nail

“Have you ever heard the legend of the fourth nail?”

Kojak, Queen of the Gypsies
Original Air Date: Jan 19, 1975

Commentary: The legend of the fourth nail is a very old story told among Gypsies and it has many variants. The story goes that a very long time ago a traveling blacksmith was working in the holy land. One day, a soldier came to him and placed an order for four nails. That night the blacksmith had a dream in which an old man directed him to make four nails but to only give the soldier three of them, saving the fourth one for himself.

Taking the dream to be a sign from God, the following morning the blacksmith wrapped three nails in a cloth and gave them to the soldier. It came to pass that the nails were intended for the crucifixion of Christ and the fourth nail would have pierced his heart bring instant death. In return for sparing Jesus the pain of the fourth nail, God granted the blacksmith and all his descendants the right to steal. The blacksmith was a gypsy.

In some stories the blacksmith has a daughter whose gift of foresight allows her to see the true purpose of the nail and begs her father to only give the soldier three nails to which he agrees. In this instant God not only forgives the gypsies for their petty crimes and theft, but also grants the gift of prophecy to them. In other stories, a gypsy steals one of the four nails and uses it to repair his wagon. God curses the gypsy to roam the earth for the sin of stealing, but grants them the right to steal in order to survive.

Carolina Dean


Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Like Water for Chocolate

A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

By Laura Esquirrel
· Paperback: 256 pages
· Publisher: Anchor (October 1, 1995)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 038542017X
· ISBN-13: 978-0385420174

I first became aware of Like Water for Chocolate when the movie became a selection on my cable company’s free movie menu. The description of the movie seemed interesting and I watched it, even though it was Spanish with English subtitles.

Like Water for Chocolate takes place on a large ranch during the Mexican Revolution (think Pancho Villa) and concerns the life of Tita De La Garza, the youngest daughter of the clan. Due to the shock of hearing that her husband has died, Mama Elena (the matriarch of the De La Garza family) gives birth to Tita prematurely. However, Mama Elena is unable to breastfeed Tita and so she falls under the care of Nacha, the ranch cook, who nourishes her with teas and broths in lieu of milk, and teaches her the lessons of life in a way only the kitchen can.

The fact that Mama Elena is unable to care for her daughter is ironic in that as the youngest daughter, Tita is bound by family tradition to never marry or have children in order for her to take care of her mother until the day Mama Elena dies. Mama Elena firmly believes in her family’s traditions and takes a special delight in ensuring that both recipes and the rules of proper society are followed to the letter. She rules her family with an iron fist and frequently abuses her disobedient daughter both verbally and physically.
When Pedro comes to ask for Tita’s hand in marriage, Mama Elena refuses citing the harsh family tradition. In order to remain close to Tita, Pedro decides to marry Tita’s older sister Rosaura instead. Forbidden from being near the man that she loves, Tita expresses her desires and pleases him in the only way that she can…through her recipes.

The story takes on an almost surreal quality as Tita’s thoughts and emotions while preparing meals seem to imbue the food with magic that has a profound effect on the hearts and minds of those who consume her dishes. In one instance, Tita is forced to prepare all the food for her sister’s wedding banquet. Mama Elena tells her that she must do this and show no emotion,” not one tear.” However the wise and sympathetic Nacha allows her to cry, knowing that Tita must release her pain over her lost love. Unfortunately, Tita’s tears fall into the cake batter and when the guests take their first bite of the cake they become overwhelmed by the memories and heartaches of their own lost loves. In addition, they also become violently ill leading Mama Elena to believe that Tita put an emetic in the cake to purposefully make everyone sick out of spite. Mama Elena beats Tita so badly that she has to stay in bed for a week to recover.

In another incidence, Pedro gives Tita a bouquet of roses the petals of which she uses to make a sauce for roasted quail. Tita’s passion and desire for Pedro pours into the sauce and when it is consumed by her eldest sister Gertrudis she becomes enflamed with passion. So much so that when she attempts to cool her passions in the outdoor shower the water evaporates before it touches her skin, and the wooden shower itself burst into flames. Ultimately, Gertrudis runs naked from the shower and is swept away by a revolutionary drawn by the powerful scent of roses emanating from her.

Throughout the story Mama Elena does everything that she can to keep Tita and Pedro apart. Similar to her own birth, Tita becomes the primary caregiver for her sister’s son, Roberto, after her sister is unable to care for him to due to a difficult birth and Rosaura’s inability to breastfeed. Sensing that Roberto is drawing Pedro and Tita closer, Mama Elena sends Pedro, Rosaura and Roberto away to live with distant relatives. Unfortunately, Roberto dies and Tita blames Mama Elena.

Tita becomes even more rebellious and locks herself away in the dovecote and refuses to come down or even speak. Mama Elena, believing her daughter has gone insane, arranges for a doctor to come to the ranch and take Tita to a mental hospital. The doctor, John Brown, takes Tita to his own home instead where he allows Tita to heal in her own time and in her own way. During her recovery, Tita is visited by the spirit of Dr. Brown’s grandmother, Kikapu, a wise Indian herbalist, who offers her a delicious tea and establishes non-verbal communication with her. It is here that Tita gets her first taste of freedom and finally gets the opportunity to decide for herself what she wants to do with her own life.

Dr. Brown falls in love with Tita and then she must decide if she loves him enough to marry him, if her heart still belongs to Pedro, or if her destiny is to deny herself love all together in order to take care of her mother. Along the way the spirit of both Nacha and Kikapu is there to guide and support her.

As the title states, Like Water for Chocolate includes recipes, romances, and remedies. Each chapter begins with a recipe as Tita expertly prepares the dish in question. Some of the recipes explore the traditions behind the meals. In addition, the healing power of soups, teas, and even barks are discussed and even a little bit of science and medicine is included. At only 256 pages, Like Water for Chocolate is a quick read and can be completed in only a few hours, however it is a story that stays with you long after the last page is read, the book is closed, and returned to the shelf.

Carolina Dean

Purchase the Book

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Taking Off the Evil Eye

Items needed:

a potato that has 'eyes' on it

pins or needles

knife or scissors

black sharpie

The Job

Begin by writing the name of the person whom you believe jinxed you with the evil eye. If you do not know the name of the person, just write "the person who jinxed me" Next, impale each of the potato's eyes with a pin to remove their power over you and finally pass the knife or scissors over the potato to sever the ties that bind victim to perpetrator.

When you are done, take the potato and bury it on the West side of your property so that the evil will lessen each day with the setting son and the perpetrator's power will rot away as the potato rots in the ground.

Carolina Dean

Friday, November 8, 2013

MIPC: Death Spell

Affix a candle to the inside of a glass jar. Light the candle and put the lid on the jar. Focus on your enemy and chant "take his/her breath" several times over and over. As the oxygen contained in the jar is burned up by the flame the person will begin to choke, when the flame will the target of attack."

Season Two, Episode Five: Love Hurts
Original Air Date 10-29-1989


Before I begin my commentary, I'd like to say that the source material for Magic in Popular Culture (MIPC) includes works of fiction. I am sharing these spells here to examine how magic is portrayed in works of fiction such as television, books, movies, and comic books. In many cases the villain of the story is often a magical practitioner and therefore some of the spells and rituals I will be examining will be of a darker nature.

It is not my intention to share this information for the purpose of promoting the un-justified use of these types of darker spells and rituals. I am simply examining their symbolism and offering conjecture on how I think they would operate in the real world of witchcraft, hoodoo, and rootwork.

That being said, the symbolism behind this spell is quite clear. However, if I were to attempt to cast this spell I would change a few things, for example carving the name of the intended victim on the candle, which would be black, and anointing it with a specific condition oil, such a D.U.M.E. Oil

I can tell you from several attempts at taking the above picture that I would also use the largest jar that I could find. A larger jar would contain more air and therefore it will take much longer for the candle flame to die giving you more time to focus and pray.

This spell may even require you to light the candle each day for several days, perhaps when the moon is waning and in an hour when both clock-hands are falling.

Carolina Dean

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Alchemy Of Fear

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

---Litany Against Fear, Frank Herbert's Dune

Fear is a basic survival mechanism which takes the form of an emotional response to a perceived threat such as pain or the threat of danger. Fear often triggers a release of chemicals in the brain that cause an accelerated heart beat and shallow breathing also known as the fight or flight response.

Like other emotions such as happiness, jealousy, joy, etc... there are degrees of fear which range from moderate (caution) to extreme (terror). Fears can either be rational such as having a fear of death; or irrational such as a fear of long words (called Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia).

Paranoia is a form of fear that falls in the irrational category. It is defined as a chronic perception of being persecuted. It is an extreme emotional state in which a person had deluded themselves into believing that they are in danger.

There are certain universal fears among human beings such as a fear of speaking in public, rejection, terrorism, snakes, success, etc...Scientist believe that certain universal fears where a result of evolution in response to situations that were believed to bring about harm. For example, being in an enclosed space makes one more vulnerable to predators and other enemies. Other fears are a result of mimicking our parents fears, or of experiencing/witnessing a frightening episode such as being caught in a burning building.

Anxiety is distinguished from fear in that fear is a response to a direct threat while anxiety is a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune. I have personally always been an anxious person. My anxiety often takes the form of anticipating what might happen.

My anxiety has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand I'm often prepared (both mentally and physically) when something bad happens; on the other hand I've often missed out on a lot of opportunities because I was afraid of looking like a fool at a party, or having a car accident because I wasn't sure how to get to a certain destination.

Over the past few years I've challenged myself to overcome my fear of the future with a simple technique. Whenever I feel myself becoming anxious about something, I simply tell myself that I'm not afraid, I'm excited! When you think about it, excitement and fear are a lot alike, they both occur in response to an outside stimulus, both are marked by biological changes such as shortness of breath and an accelerated heart beat. So, I keep telling myself over and over that I'm not afraid, I'm excited until finally I transmute my fear. When fear becomes excitement, you're not afraid anymore.

I challenged myself everyday to do something that I otherwise would not have done. Each day, I took a different route to or from work; I would break up my routine and go shopping during the busiest time of the day; I would make it a point to smile and say hello to a stranger. I sang karaoke, I danced. I shared a deeper part of myself with the world. Because of this I have been able to learn more about the place in which I live, met a lot of great people, and begin to live the best life that I can live.

And you can too! So tonight, I am challenging you, my readers, to break out of your comfort zones and do something you've always wanted to do but didn't because of fear. Tell me your story......

Carolina Dean

Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Anna Riva's Candle Burning Magic

  •  Author: Anna Riva
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: International Imports; Anna Riva's Candle Burning Magic: A Spellbook of Rituals for Good and Evil [Paperback] Anna Riva edition (October 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943832063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943832067
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches 

Anna Riva is a name that is well known in the magical community as the author of a number of spell-books as well as the manufacturer of a line of spiritual products, including oils, and powders.   Folks either love her or hate her. However, few know the story behind her [in]famous brand.

Born Dorothy Spencer in 1923, Anna’s pen-name is derived from a combination of her mother’s and daughter’s first names. Spencer began writing as Anna Riva in the late 60’s and in the early 1970’s, her company International Imports began publishing a number of spell books such as Modern WitchcraftSpellbook (1973) and the VoodooHandbook of Cult Secrets (1974) among other popular titles. Many of these spell-books recommended the use of spiritual oils that International Imports also manufactured---so the books were akin to advertisements for the oils.

In the late 1990’s Spencer retired amid rumors that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and sold her company to Indio Products who continued to publish her books and manufacture her oils, incenses, and powders. Spencer ultimately died in 2005.

Anna Riva's Candle Burning Magic begins with a very brief introduction on candle magic and its basic rules followed by a list of color correspondences and a very well thought out and detailed section on figure candle.  Next, the author gives details on how to construct an altar, duration of candle magic rituals, how to time your spells and finally she instructs the reader in how to prepare of dress you candles.  What follows next is a series of 125 candle magic spells.

Each spell has a picture of the prescribed altar layout complete with the correct candles, oil(s), incense, and a brief affirmation to be recited before, during, and/or after the spell. The remainder of the book is taken up with a an overview of how to perform a novena, prayers to various saints, and psalms for various goals, as well as a list of Seals and Magic Squares that can be used in conjunction with your spells. The book ends with a succinct article on Ceromany, or divination by wax.

I really like this little tome of candle-magic. It is, however, only an overview of candle magic and gives the briefest details on the subject. Nonetheless, it provides a powerful foundation on which to build your own candle-burning practice. In fact, the spells given can be personalized based on the individual and/or situation. Some folks are put off by the fact that the author calls for her own Oils, Incenses, and Powders for use in her spells, but these products can easily be substituted with similar ones for the same purposes.

I do wish that the author had included diagrams of the seals mentioned, however, these can be found easily on the internet or in a copy of the Sixth and Seventh Book of Moses. In fact, I often use Anna Riva's Candle Burning Magic in conjunction with other books such as the Sixth and Seventh Book of Moses, or Power of the Psalms to write and perform powerful spells...and YOU can too!


Carolina Dean

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Observing Vigil Lights

After publishing my last blog entry, I received a number of requests about the process of observing vigil lights and writing candle-burn reports. So today, I thought I would share my own process. 

First, I would like to say that I personally regard the setting a lights as a journey. The journey begins when you first light the candle and ends when the candle is the candle burns it leaves evidence of the journey along the glass in the form of wax remains, plant matter, soot, cracks, etc.....The appearance of such signs and omens often have a direct connection the person for whom the candle is set, their emotions, and / or events surrounding them.

I begin with a Blank Vigil Light Observation Worksheet. Beforehand, I fill in the clients name or  ID number and mark the wax-level on the diagram. Once the setting-of-lights has been completed I make note of the date, time, and moon phase that the work was begun as well as any additional information that may be relevant to the working.

I check the candle at approximately the same time each day making note of the day, date, time, etc....marking the wax-level and any signs or other omens I may observe. For example, did the moon go void-of-course during the day. If so, what time? Did any marking appear on the candle during this time, etc....?
If the client has been in communication with me during the process of their candle burning, I make note of any information they shared and compare this to the candle. For example. I recently noticed that on the third day of a candle burn a blackish soot began to appear on the glass around 7 pm. The following day, the client emailed me and shared that she had had an argument with her boyfriend around that time.

When the candle is spent, I make note of the overall condition of the glass. I examine it for residual wax or plant matter clinging to the glass, soot, residue, or even breaks in the glass. When examining a vigil-light I often get psychic impressions about the work that have nothing to do with the anything I physically see in or on the glass. In some cases, I may pull one or two tarot-cards for clarification. I then take all this information into account and write a Candle Burn Report. The client is emailed the candle-burn report and a copy of that and the observation worksheet is retained in his or her client file.



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sample Candle Burn Report

Setting Lights

Setting Lights is just another service offered by Rev. Carolina Dean. The setting of lights entails the burning of a fixed Vigil-Candle on top of a client’s petition for a period of 7 to 9 days, however long it takes for a candle to burn down.

When you engage me to set lights for you, I will ritually prepare a Vigil Light in accordance with traditional techniques and for your specific issue, condition, or situation. Once it burns down you will receive one photo taken after the candle has burned completely down. In addition, you will also receive a follow-up candle burn report.


Date Started: Saturday, 10/19/2013

Date Ended:   Friday, 10/25/13                        

Moon Phase:  Waning           

Moon Sign:     Taurus (Money Matters)                    

Time:              6:30 am                       

Goal:               To draw money to the client.


The moon was on the decrease, so the focus on the work was that "money flows as the moon goes".   The only remains were some plant matter clinging to the inside of the glass near the top and appeared on the second day of the burning.  What that tells me is that something happened on Sunday the 20th that represents some lingering unfinished business that needs to be dealt with.

The inside of the entire glass is covered in a whitish residue. What this tells me is that there remains some obstacle that prevent the free flow of money to the client. However, I believe that these obstacles are of a natural nature and not the work of any evil force such as another spiritual worker or even a self-induced jinx.

My recommendation is that this work be followed up with a Road-Opening bath as well as a Road-Opening Candle that includes some money-drawing roots and oils. 


Carolina Dean

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Break Up Bottle Spell

Bottle-spells are a versatile type of magic which can be adapted to virtually any purpose. Everything placed inside the bottle as well as the bottle itself will speak to the nature of the work being done. They may be plain or decorated as in the Peaceful Home Jar (at left) which has been decorated with verses from the Holy Bible.

Break-Up Bottles are used to bring about the end of a person's relationship. Although they are commonly used on romantic or married couples, I have known folks to employ these types of spells to break-up friends and even business partners!

Timing the Spell

This spell should be begun the first night after the full moon and for 8 days thereafter for a total of nine days.

Working the Root

To perform this working you will need the following items:

  • Bottle
  • Personal Concerns
  • Pen and Paper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Sulfur  
  • 9 Pins
  • 9 Needles
  • Bark from a Dogwood Tree
  • Catnip

Take your paper and fold it in half with a line down the middle. On the left side of the line write the name of one person nine times. On the right side of the line, write the name of the second person also nine times. When you are done, tear the names apart down the middle and say:

“With God’s blessing, as I tear these names apart in like fashion so may the bond between [N] and [N] be torn asunder”

Continue by pinning the names back to back and then folding the papers away from you several times saying:

“…may they turn from one another in anger, and hatred...”

Place the paper in the bottle in which you have place the cayenne pepper, sulfur, pins and needles and say:

“…may their every encounter erupt into heated arguments to that they bark and nip at each other like cats and dogs. May one’s thoughts of the other be like unto a pin piercing their brain and causing them pain and suffering unlike any other. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Seal the jar and using your own spittle draw a large X on the lid. Finally, shake the jar and pray

“As surely as Moses killed the Egyptian, in like fashion may the love and devotion between [N] and [N] be killed by the power of this root. As the staff of Moses swallowed up those of his enemies, so may the serpent of contempt consume them with anger and hatred for one another. As Moses separated the waters and led his people out of Egypt so may [N] and [N] now be separated and lead away from one another. As the Jews wandered in the desert and never found the Promised Land, so may these two wander away from one another never to meet again. In Jesus name. Amen.”

The following night and each night thereafter for a total of nine nights, you will take your jar and shake it violently reciting the “Moses” prayer above. On the final night, dispose of the bottle by tossing it in either running water or the middle of a crossroads. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Sex-Magic, Sigils, & Social Media Oh My!

In a previous entry I gave an overview of sigils and described a unique method of creating them. Today, I would like to share a method of using sigils to attract a romantic or sexual partner. This method is specifically for those individuals who use dating sites such as Craigslist or to meet prospective dates, however, it can be adapted for use by those who prefer to meet a prospective partner at a social event.

Placing Your Ad & Creating Your Sigil 

The process pre-supposes that you either already have a personal ad online or will be creating one. To begin, you are going to create a sigil to attract what you want by using whatever methods you deem appropriate. For the purposes of this blog, let's use the example of a man who wishes to attract a casual sexual partner. To make this as simple as possible I am going to use the same language often found in personal ads.

S W M I S O F W B 

Here, our acronym stands for "Single White Male in Search of Friend with Benefits". Now, using one of the aforementioned methods of sigil creation I create the following sigil. 

Now what you will do is take your sigil and using a program such as or photoshop and hide this sigil behind your photo using a process called layering. 

The result will be your photo with the sigil hidden behind it which will invisibly help to attract your partner to you.

Backing Up the Work

To take this process a step further, you might want to print your sigil on a square of paper. On the back of the paper you can write a brief description of what you desire, then turn this 1/4 turn and write your name over this description nine times.

Next, anoint the four corners and center of the sigil with an appropriate oil such as Adam and Evil Oil, if you are straight or Lavender Lust Drops is you are gay. Fold the paper around one of your hairs and smoke it in incense while making your prayer or petition and set it aside.

Mark a red candle with your name and anoint it with your chosen oil. Stroke the candle towards yourself saying something such as:

With God’s blessings, may my lover come to me now as quickly as possible. May he yearn for me as hard as, or harder than, I yearn for him. May he want me as I want him; need me as I need him; desire me as I desire him. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Place your sigil under the candle and set it to burn. 

Dating in Real Time 

Let's say that you're old-fashioned and you'd prefer to meet your partner in a social setting such as a bar, club, or concert. In this case, simply create your sigil as before and perform the candle-rite portion of this working. However, you will set your candle to burn while you are out-of-the-house and actively searching for a date or sexual partner. In addition, you will also anoint yourself with your chosen oil (some folks even find it helpful to add a bit of their sexual fluids to their oil).