Culture

Here Are Just Some Of The Ways My Abuela Taught Me How To Remove The Negative Energy From My Life

If you were lucky enough to have a loving, doting abuela who looked after you while your parents worked overtime, you may have faint memories of her doing strange things around the house. She may have placed a cup of water behind the door, propped a broom upside down in a corner, or shooed everyone out the house so she could clean. No ordinary cleaning, it could be that on those Sunday mornings full of loud music and earthy aromas, your abuela was cleansing the house of negative energy. Feelings of unending exhaustion, illness, frustration, stress, or worry are signs that your home could use a limpieza too.

When I was a child, I would accompany my gold-toothed grandmother to Newark Avenue on Saturday afternoons. She would put curtains on layaway at Woolworth’s, and stop by the meat market and the fish market. Some Saturdays, our last stop before heading home was at la botanica. More than a magic shop, this was a place to procure spiritual elements from statues of Catholic saints to potions guaranteeing love and money. My grandmother would move nimbly about the shop selecting Indian Spirit money spray, incense, frankincense, and myrrh. Pretty biblical, right? I recall watching Sunday morning cartoons as she cleaned the apartment from back to front, windows open, a ritual concluding with her swinging her tiny cast iron cauldron, resin smoldering inside, while wearing an iconic bata. You know the one!

If you asked Abuela, she wouldn’t say this was Santería or Brujería of any sort.

Credit: Karim MANJRA / Unsplash

Latinidad is abstract in the way it allows a constellation of diaspora to take cultural practices from here and there, creating our own interpretations according to our needs and resources.

While energy-cleansing rituals can be extremely complicated; like the one where you buy a coconut, bathe it in Florida Water, and gently kick it around your entire home while smudging sage then kicking the coconut of your house, picking it up with your left hand, walking far away from your house and throwing the coconut over your head, making sure it splits, otherwise you will need to start the ritual again with a new coconut.

If you’re short on coconuts and time, but would like to try simple ways of cleansing your home of negative energy, here are a few simple suggestions inspired by Abuela.

It all begins by cleaning your home.

Credit: JESHOOTS.COM / Unsplash

De-clutter, organize, and arrange items neatly. The science behind cleaning shows your space is a reflection of your mind. Marie Kondo your situation to clear away bad energy, calling forth peace of mind and calming spirit. A real-deal abuela would advise you to clean your floors with La Bomba, a spiritual floor cleaner. Mop from the back of your home to the front door, and throw away the mop head. You probably won’t find La Bomba in Target. Check online botanica retailers, and look for all-purpose La Bomba solutions that can be used to clean your car and other spaces where you may have experienced a bout of bad luck.

Channel the elements: earth, air, fire, and water in your energy cleansing enterprise, like Earth.

Credit: elementsofsage / Instagram

Boasting benefits like curing insomnia, boosting your mood, and neutralizing ions, smudging sage has been widely attributed to Native American tradition. Sage sticks, and smudge kits are widely available, but if you are into drying your own sage, consider adding dried roses, lavender, palo santo, and rosemary. If nothing else, it looks pretty and your home will smell lovely.

Air

Credit: JOHN TOWNER / Unsplash

Open the window. It’s as simple as that. Release stale air to remove negative energy, and in the spirit of my own abuela, take down your curtains, give them a wash while you put up beautiful new curtains. Maybe you don’t believe in negative energy, but you can’t deny the uplifting effect of getting some fresh air.

Fire

Credit: Theresa Vargas / Unsplash

Burn bay leaves. Also known as laurel, the practice of burning bay leaves dates back to Ancient Greece. Write down all the things you want to release directly on the leaves, burn the leaves in a fireproof bowl, and safely discard the ashes.

Lighting candles is a large part of the cleansing process for abuelas too. Light candles of your favorite saint, or cruise your botanica for some highly specific candles promising to banish the evil eye—if that’s your thing.

Water

Credit: Anita Austvika / Unsplash

Like my abuela, place a glass of water behind a door, or place a glass of water under your bed, which is said to absorb negative energy.

Bathing, a literal cleansing, can also serve to clear bad energy. Abuela would advise you to bathe in your favorite flowers, perfume, milk, and honey, an ancient tradition found around the world. Light a candle, turn the lights down and ask for the things you want to receive as you luxuriate in your bath. 

Last, but not least—Florida Water! Wipe some across your forehead when you have a headache. Add it to your La Bomba floor cleaner. Pour some in your bath. Use it to wipe down your altars, doorways, and wash your hands with it after meeting with people who harbor negative energy. Or, quite simply, dab it on mosquito bites.

Finding peace in your home is imperative to your wellbeing. 

                                                Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

Experimenting with energy cleansing practices can take you down a winding cultural, and traditional path that can prove to be effective in your life. It can also bring a sense of closeness with an abuela who is no longer with you. Even if energy cleansing is not your thing, actively taking steps toward peace of mind is great thing, and I’m sure your abuela would love nothing more than to see you at peace. 

READ: This Woman Found Brujería In Her Wall During A Home Renovation And How Is She Still Standing There?!

From Glow Necklaces That Detect Ghosts To Prayer Beads, These Are The Items You Didn’t Think To Pack In Your Brujeria Kit

Culture

From Glow Necklaces That Detect Ghosts To Prayer Beads, These Are The Items You Didn’t Think To Pack In Your Brujeria Kit

When you’re a bruja, you know that a big part of your lifestyle is all about the swag. From the perfect incense to the best sage smudge sticks, brujas need it all. So, what’s on your brujeria kit wish list?    Here’s a list of 13 amazing and unique products for all your witchy needs, from finding ghosts to connecting with your inner self.  Let the magic begin!

A Unique Wooden Box to Carry All The Sacred Things

DharmObjects/Amazon

Every bruja-in-training needs a special box to hold all of her sacred objects and witchy tools, especially a bruja on the go. Keep all of your stones, card decks, herbs, and more safe and sound in a box that is both beautiful and useful. Not only is this one easy on the eye with a Tree of Life design, but it’s also good for the planet; it’s hand-carved in India by skilled artisans from eco-sustainable mango wood as well as recycled wood. Next time you’re headed to a seance or moon circle, you won’t have to wonder where your favorite crystal or special feather went. Just pick up your bruja box and go!

This “Ghost-Detecting” Stone That Turns Red If A Ghost Appears Nearby

BAKETAN / Amazon.com

If you’re into the paranormal, consider this stone that supposedly picks up on paranormal activity.

Songs To Raise Your Vibration and Connect With Your Inner Goddess

Loli Cosmica/Amazon

What better way to connect with the universe–and yourself–than through sacred song? Hailing from the southern end of the American continent, Loli Cosmica has been sharing her sweet sounds with the world for quite some time. Songs like “Yo Soy Diosa” and “Sagrado Feminino” are perfect to share during your next women’s circle or even simply while singing in the shower. You’ll be sure to fall in love with her pure voice and sacred message. 

Do Like Beyonce and Channel Yoruba Goddess Oshun

Gifts by Lulee/Amazon

Beyonce doesn’t have to be the only goddess channeling the powers of Yoruba orisha, Oshun. With this bright yellow necklace, you can do your part to honor the water goddess of female sensuality, love, and fertility. She was known to be both benevolent and malevolent, prone to a hot temper that Beyonce leaned into as she smashed cars and stores in her video, “Hold Up.” It’s up to you to choose: which side of Oshun do you want to honor today

A Candle For Haters to Shut Up

Indio Products/Amazon

There’s a candle for every day of the week– and every possible occasion. Light this blood-red candle when you need protection against the haters–people who are trying to bring you down with vicious rumors and gossip. Indio products also have candles to help a bruja out if you’re looking for Fast Money or sweet loving with their Come to Me candle. These candles will burn for 120 hours–plenty of time to get rid of the negative juju and conjure up the good stuff. Once you get your hands on these energetic bombshells, the haters will never mess with you again!

Dispel Negativity and Ground Your Soul With These Spiritual Cleansing Concoctions

Art of the Root/Amazon

Are you feeling dragged down by negativity or sapped of energy? It’s time to create a new self-love ritual with Art of the Root’s Cleansing Pure and Natural Ritual Kit. The kit comes with a smoky quartz infused soy candle and all-natural roll-on perfume that will be sure to purify and revive. But the most exciting part of this kit is the luxurious bath tea bags that are chock-full of everything you need for a deep soul reboot: herbs, dead sea salt, and oatmeal. Next time your nerves are feeling frazzled, slide into a tub infused with one of these Pure & Natural tea bags and watch your worries wash away. 

Inspiration for the Salty Brujas In Your Life

Roxan McDonald/Amazon

Not all brujas have to be holier-than-thou. Roxan McDonald, of the hit Instagram account @spiritual_AF, created these “super-salty, ultra-inspiring” cards to help you make your life go from sh*tty to shiny in no time flat! With cards like “LOOK AT THE F***IN’ MOON”  and “DANCE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE CAN GO **** THEMSELVES,” they’re certainly not for the faint of heart. But behind the F-bombs, there are some true words of wisdom, with real-life advice like how to stop from participating in the toxic gossip mill. The deck even includes a stand for you to display your favorite profane phrases!

This Gemstone Pendant Has All Your Chakras Covered

JADENOVA/Amazon

Raise your vibration on the daily with this wearable healing crystal. With 7 layers of gemstones, each one corresponding to a specific chakra, you can emit positivity and stay connected to your energetic centers as you go about your daily life. Made from high-quality materials, this necklace can also be used in divination, dowsing, meditation, and Reiki. Make a fashion statement while feeling fantastic–no matter what life throws your way. 

Magnify Healing Vibrations With Lavender Dragon Mist

Moonwater Elixirs

We can all benefit from a refreshing spritz to purify the air of stagnating energy and bad vibes. Whether you’re looking for a boost during meditation or to clear negative energy from a physical space, Moonwater Elixirs can get you feeling positive, peaceful, and uplifted. Containing the master of all healing crystals, quartz, this mist is charged with moon magic as well as Reiki energy. Also available in other scents such as sandalwood and frankincense. 

Want to Know What Your Great-Grandmother Has Been Trying To Tell You?

Hasbro Gaming/ Amazon

You can’t be a real bruja if you haven’t tried communicating with the dead, and what better way than with the classic ouija board? You probably first learned about it in the classic teen movie, Now and Then, but you’re never too old to give it a try. Gather your coven and dare to ask the questions that have haunted you all of your life. There’s no need to fear–only to be open to what the spirits want to say. 

Find Out What It Really Means When a Black Cat Crosses Your Path

Kim Krans / Amazon

Have you ever wondered what it means to find a snake resting on your car windshield or unexpectedly spotting an owl in broad daylight? Have you always connected to dolphins but were never quite sure why? Well, Kim Krans can share the spiritual world of animals with this beautifully illustrated card deck. Find out what’s your spirit animal and which energy is associated with each creature. Receive guidance from the special creatures that surround you. You might be surprised to find that the animal kingdom with whom you share the world becomes more alive and instrumental in your spiritual practice. 

No Spiritual Practice is Complete Without A Special Journal For All Your Revelations, Incantations, and Speculations

KomalC / Amazon

Everyone with a spiritual practice needs a place to express their dreams, thoughts, revelations, and observations. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be to another person. Instead, we can roam across the blank page, completely free, and these gorgeous hand-crafted, ethically made leather journals are just the place. Perhaps you want to jot down a dream in the middle of the night or doodle a vision you had during a meditation. Keep your innermost thoughts safe in this old-fashioned journal, which comes with a handy strap to lock it all in. Take it with you on your journeys, whether those be of the mind or in the world. 

This Woman Found Brujería In Her Wall During A Home Renovation And How Is She Still Standing There?!

Culture

This Woman Found Brujería In Her Wall During A Home Renovation And How Is She Still Standing There?!

@2sandz / Twitter

Cuidado: this post contains actual brujería which may cause goosebumps and a high need for access to holy water.

Being Latino means growing up believing that an entire other plane of existence is all around you. Let a curandero read you and you know you’re constantly surrounded by spirits; that your spirit guide is a giant bald tattooed man (true story); that you were a bruja in a past life, living by a lake and using it as your own magical cauldron. We all have our own stories of making contact with the dead and the spirits around us. Usually, we share our stories with the people who believe, needing no proof but our word. Unless you’re Sandra.

On June 23, 2019, Sandra was minding her own business renovating her own pinche home when brujería found her. In fact, brujería had been living with her family all along and she only just discovered it.

Sandra’s family decided to knock down a wall in their home and found an assortment of obvious brujería inside the wall.

Credit: @2sandz / Twitter

“We been living in this house for like six years now lol,” Sandra followed up. You know that “lol” is all kinds of nervous laughter. 😅At least she had the good sense to wear a glove to prevent skin contact with the trapped spirit inside that feather.

Like, what is this? Can anyone explain what this is and what it can be used for?

Credit: @2sandz / Twitter

All we know is that Sandra’s family home is in Denver, Colorado and that the brujería must have dated before 2013 when the family moved in. Her padre was off work for a week and “he needed something to do,” which prompted the renovation. Latino dads are restless and it is clear that they were not expecting to find any of these artifacts hiding behind the wall.

There were also velas, matches and “OLD gum and weird red rocks” in the wall. *shivers*

Credit: @2sandz / Twitter

Someone had the courage to ask Sandra for an explanation of the photo she shared. “It was mad feathers, candles, matches, OLD gum and weird red rocks,” she replied. The very fact that these brujas were not allowing any lighters to be involved is just further proof that this was a bruja ceremony.

Sandra’s comadres were quick to come in with some protective measures.

Credit: @lovelyyyySJ / Twitter

“Pour rubbing alcohol and sugar, then burn it sis. That sh** is wild,” tweets one friend. Look. We all have our experiences and beliefs around brujería. First and foremost, Latinos are believers, no question. Most of us just don’t mess with it because we fully understand its power and consequences by allowing that kind of energy into your life. Another friend told her straight up, “Ask a santero.”

Time to meet brujería with brujería lite.

Credit: @beenhadthewave / Twitter

“Get your house blessed! hang up some crosses,” replies another friend. Ever wondered why Santería was born so naturally? Tell a bunch of Taínos and brujas that, also, this holy water will repel evil spirits and we just add it to our collection of tools. Slap a Saint on that vela and now you have the power of that spirit behind you. We’re not saying it doesn’t work. We’re not questioning the powers of anyone. *makes the sign of the cross*

Others think that Sandra’s family is already cursed.

Credit: @Xtassy / Twitter

We love a friend whose going to be so brutally honest and unhelpful. It’s all over, comadre. Bendiciones to you and your family. Honestly, if we were to add all the superstitions of every Latinx family and take it as truth, we wouldn’t be able to do anything without it being bad luck.

So much for renovating the home–now you have to move.

Credit: @cocoashaibin / Twitter

HGTV, we’re waiting for this quality-level plot twist. Bait us, por favor. We need follow-ups! Meanwhile, Justin a.k.a. @cozyyJ came in with something to consider, “Nah y’all buggin. Everyone here saying brujería but what if this shit was blessing ya house and now you took it away.”

Over a month post-brujería and Sandra says “so far so good lol.”

Credit: @daniellimarz / Twitter

Is it just me or am I reading into that “lol” as nervously-kidnapped-by-spirits laughter? No? Just me? We’re avoiding eye contact with all the walls and lighting mad velas for you girl.

READ: Aja’s ‘Brujería’ Is The Anthem For All Of The Brujas Who Are Just Living Their Best Life