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?!

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This 103-Year-Old Abuela Got Her First Tattoo After Starting A Bucket List During The Pandemic

Fierce

This 103-Year-Old Abuela Got Her First Tattoo After Starting A Bucket List During The Pandemic

Joe Raedle / Getty

It’s easy to believe that as time goes by and the older that we get that we have fewer opportunities to pursue our dreams. A grandmother from Michigan is setting out to prove us all wrong.

Dorothy Pollack is a 103-year-old grandmother who has been spending her time in the pandemic crossing off her bucket list.

The grandmother, who recently celebrated her birthday in June, has been spending the past few months in isolation at a nursing home in Muskegon, Michigan. Just like the rest of us, for Pollack, it’s been a struggle.

“Covid-19 had her in prison for months,” Teresa Zavitz-Jones, Pollack’s granddaughter told CNN. “The nurse in the home said she was horribly depressed and we needed to get her out. We couldn’t see her so we had no idea how she really was. She’s extremely hard of hearing so phone calls were not helpful.”

Weeks after being discharged from her nursing home Pollack decided that she was going to get a tattoo.

“It was pretty exciting because years ago my grandson wanted me to get one and I wouldn’t do it,” Pollack told CNN. “All of a sudden, I decided I would like to have one. And if I could, a frog. Because I like frogs.”

Last Friday, Pollack sat down for a session with a local tattoo artist and got her frog. “She took it like a champ. I didn’t even see her wince. Maybe she had half a wince once,” Ray Reasoner Jr, the artist behind her tattoo told CNN. “She was just so excited. It was an amazing experience. If someone over a century old tells you to do something for them you just gotta do it.” Reasoner, who works at A.W.O.L. Custom Tattooing in Muskegon, noted that Pollack is the oldest person that he has ever tattooed.

Pollack told CNN that she “absolutely loved” loved her tattoo and has been further inspired to cross more items off of her bucket list.

Onto more adventures for this one!

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Black-Owned Occult Shops That Every Bruja

Fierce

Black-Owned Occult Shops That Every Bruja

Buda Mendes / Getty

Buy Black.

It might be something you’ve only caught onto amidst the most recent massive protests brought about by the death of Black people at the hands of police. Yet, buying Black has been a center point of the fight for civil rights since the Reconstruction era. Despite the fact that our government never gave Black Americans their promised 40 acres and a mule, Black people in the U.S. were able to build thriving businesses across the country.

Even Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged people to buy Black. In his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech he said “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there.”

To promote buying Black, we’ll be highlighting Black businesses to buy from. Not just this month, but moving forward.

For brujas, here’s one you’ll be sure to appreciate it.

1. Skin Rituals Shop 

Etsy.com

This Houston- based brand offers vegan soaps, meditation, and intention candles. The brand has five stars with reviewers raving about its soaps and their smells. As of June 10, most of the items are not in stock but are said to be restocked by June 24th.

2. Piscean Spirituality 

Etsy.com

PisceanSpirituality offers tarot readings rituals and twinflame journies. All for purchase on Etsy.com. The most popular service they offer provides full readings covering topics on love and relationships, career, and spiritual journey. Full readings offer buyers a chance to receive answers for up to three questions. As well as three follow up questions once their reading has been delivered.

3. Heritage Apothecary 

Etsy.com

Heritage Apothecary creates crystal-encrusted smudging vials as well as resin-infused smudge sticks. Plus way more. What’s more, the brand creates its products with sustainability in mind.

4. Chakra Zulu

Chakra Zulu is a brand on a mission to share crystals with the world. The brand creates beautiful chakra sets and promises “one of a kind crystal specimens like wands, palm stones, and hearts.” The brand promotes crystal healing and is located in Florida but ships worldwide.

5. Just Kweenin 

Etsy.com

This brand is based out of San Bernadino and it creates jewelry and hand-poured soy wax candles. The “Issa Moon Thang” Manifestation Candle is made with “powerful magickal herbs and spices, a mix of essential oils and 2 crystals.” The candles include a money spell candle, a road opener candle, and a Silver Queen Nefertiti necklace.

6. Conjuria 


Etsy.com

Get ahold of these spiritual supplies directly from this store based out of New Orleans. The brand’s Hoodoo and Conjure oils come in over 30 different scents. According to Conjuria the oils have both essential and fragrance oils blended and its benches are hand-poured into amber bottles that protect the oil from the sun. Conjuria says that the recipes “are authentic and unique.”

7. Scrubtious Inc. 

Etsy.com

This natural urban skin and hair care apothecary sells 100% natural and organic that are completely handmade. Items from the store like the Banana Milkshake Hair Mask which is also a banana deep conditioner made with coconut milk and the unrefined Haitian black castor oil are among its highly-rated products.

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