Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santeria Baths - Magical Herbal Baths of Santeria

One of my favorite spellbooks over time has been the (unfortunately now out of print) Magical Herbal Baths of Santeria. Now, I would not consider myself to be one that practices Santeria, but if you're willing to appeal to certain entities in your work through either their Catholic or Santerian forms (example, Our Lady of Cobre or Ochun for love work) then you can perform the level of work that this book goes for. In fact the reviews by actual Santeria practitioners tend to be a bit negative, as the book's spells seems to go much more towards folk magic than formal Santeria.

If you don't speak Spanish you may have a little difficulty with this book, as a lot of the ingredients are given in their Spanish forms -- and plant names often don't literally translate very well. For example, lengua de vaca is no more a cow's tongue than lady's thumb is the digit of a female corpse. It's a good idea to try to scout a botanica to buy from that carries the ingredients under the same Spanish names listed in the book, if you're at all unsure about the plant's identification.

Here is a spell from the book, in its official folk magic spell section, which is a love bath that appeals to Maximon, or San Simon. By my translation, you need:

  • Palo Amansa Guapo
  • Abre Camino
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut Water
  • Aguardiente
  • Holy Water
  • Honey
  • Red Male Figural Candle
  • Red Female Figural Candle
  • Red Thread
  1. Boil the Palo Amansa Guapo, the Cinnamon and the Abre Camino in one gallon of water.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Mix the Coconut Water and the Holy Water with the liquid infusion.
  4. Carve your name on the candle that represents you, three times.
  5. Place the two candles facing each other and tie them together with red thread.
  6. Light the two candles and invoke the name of San Simon asking him to send you a lover.
  7. Pour the liquid into your bath water.
  8. Anoint yourself with the honey.
Remain in the bath water 30 minutes. Allow the candles to completely burn out. This bath should be taken for five consecutive days before leaving the house daily. Be careful what you ask for because you will get it.

Now, to add some additional commentary onto this recipe: Amansa Guapo is an herbal ingredient, from a plant reportedly in English called Sagebud. Its magical function is usually akin to the conjure formula called Compelling, and I'm sure this formula can replace it in a pinch. Abre Camino is better known, though some disagreement continues about its botanical identification. Quassia is usually said to be the Abre Camino plant. Road Opener formula could replace if it were needed.
Coconut Water is the clear liquid from a coconut. Luckily it has lately come into fashion as a beverage, and I can find it at Whole Foods. Of course, one can crack open a coconut and pour it out directly, if necessary.
Aguardiente is an alcoholic drink common to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. The name more or less means Fire Water. Precisely what it constitutes seems to vary country to country. If you can't find something labeled Aguardiente, pretty much any strong, clear liquor can serve (vodka, unsweetened schnapps, grappa, etc.) It can be flavored but shouldn't be sweetened.

On a final note, those of us accustomed to dressing candles might also pick up some San Simon oil to use on them. He'd probably appreciate the thought.

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