St. John the Baptist

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blessed Solstice Everyone!

    Midsummer corresponds with St. John the Baptist Day, June 24, being the day of his birth.  Since saints have a strong connection with conjure, I thought today would be a good day to talk about St. John and how to use him in your work. 

St. John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus of Nazareth, was born on June 24 and died, by beheading, in Jordan on August 23.  A prisoner of King Herrod, his death was a result of the venegance of a jealous woman.  His head was brought to her on a platter.  In turn, St. John can be called upon to guard against the jealousy of others. 

Traditionally, St. John is depicted carrying a tall, slender cross and often a lamb.  Sometimes the imagery is that of a decapitated head on a platter. 


St. John's Patronage:



St. John and West African Spirituality:

St. John is also connected with the orishnas of Santeria.  The Yoruba people of West Africa recognized three levels of spiritual being; Olodumare, orishnas, and eggun.  Olodumare is the creating force or being; orishnas are nature spirits of messengers; and eggun are spirits of the dead, which are to be honored and revered.  Orishnas are much like Christian angels, and when years of slavery in the Americas forced the Yoruba people to practice in secret, they adopted many Catholic saints and angels. 

There are nine orishnas; Ellegua/Ellegua, Obatala/Obatalia, Yemaya/Yemalia/Yemalla, Oya, Oshun/Ochum, Chango/Shango/ Xango/Sango, Ogun/Ogum, Orula/Orunmila, and Babaluaye.  Each orishna is associated with a saint, most are associated with more than one.  St. John the Baptist falls under Ogun/Ogum, along with Saint Anthony, Saint George, and Saint Simon Peter (San Pedro).  This orishna is the Lord of metals, minerals, tools, birds, and wild beasts. 


Seven of the nine orishnas were combined into the common image of "The Seven African Powers."  The Seven African Powers are a symbol of luck, power, and and protection, and are utilized by many rootworkers.

The image portrays the crucifixion of Christ, while a rooster on a pedestal watches.  The crucifixion is surrounded by the images of seven of the orishnas.  At times the image may include the names of the orishnas and at others the names of the saints. 

This image is often found on incense, powders, baths, candles, and other conjure tools.  Often the center image, without the orishnas, can be found on candles bearing the inscription "Just Judge" or "Faithful Judge."

For more on The Seven African Powers please see THIS post on Lucky Mojo.


Working with St. John:

Along with the above mentioned correspondences, St. John is often called on to relieve chronic headaches.  Let's look at one way this could be done.  This working is of my own design.  Please feel free to use it in its entirety or as inspiration for your own creations.

Materials:

Healing Master Candle
Small White Altar Candle (this will become your petition candle)
Small Candle Holder for Petitioner Candle
St. John's Wort
Peppermint
Rosemary
Healing Oil
2 St. John the Baptist Prayer Card
A personal concern - such as hair

First, you will need to create your petition candle.  If you are not familiar with petition candles in conjure, please see THIS post. For this candle, I chose white, instead of the more common blue used for healing, because white is the color associated with St. John the Baptist.  The candle should be annointed, or dressed, in the healing oil of your choice and then rolled in rosemary, peppermint, and St. John's wort.  Rosemary and peppermint because both are excellent herbs for headache relief.  St. John's wort I chose for two reasons.  First, the herb also has along history as a pain reliever, but also, it is an herb strongly associated with St. John.  This plant's bright yellow blooms appear around the time of midsummer, or St. John's Day, and, thus, the plant was given his name. 



After the candle is dressed and rolled in herbs, you will need to light your Healing Master Candle.  If you are not familiar with such a candle please see THIS earlier blog post.  Bring the light from your HMC to your petition candle and allow it to burn for a few moments, long enough to melt enough wax to bring up over the wick.  Remember while you are doing this, you should be *setting* your petition for a specific purpose. In this case, relieving the chronic headaches of the target.  You may also wish, during this process, to carve the name of the target into the candle.  Do so before dressing the candle. 

Once your petition candle is set, and its purpose locked inside, you are ready to get started.  (Please note that petition candles can be made in advance or at the time of the working.  Additional candles can also be made if you wish to work simultaneously with another person, such as the target or another rootworker.)

First, you will take your two St. John the Baptist prayer cards, (these can be purchased on ebay, amazon, or a from a Catholic supply store,)  and place them back-to-back. In between the cards, place the hair or other personal concern.  With the cards back-to-back, place the candle holder, with the petition candle in it, on top of the cards. You can also laminate these cards with the personal concern inside.  This makes them more durable and allows you to use them in future workings for the same petitioner.

Now, light the petition candle while *praying* to St. John.  This simply means tell St. John what it is that you want, state you petition.  In return, you should promise St. John an offering when the working is complete.  Do not make the offering at this time.  Simply make the promise.  For St. John, an appropriate offering could be white flowers placed on your altar or a place of high visibility along with his image.  In addition, a public thank you, such as one placed in the newspaper or even on FB, is always an acceptable offering for a saint.  Not to long ago, a young woman, from a conjure group I belong to on yahoo, posted her thank you on the groups message board.  These "Thank You's" can be annonymous, also, if you are more comfortable with that.  A simple "Thank you St. John" placed in the local newspaper will do. 

After you have made your petition and promised your offering, allow the candle to *cook,* burning down as far as possible without going out.  Then, blow the candle out, sending the working out for its purpose.  If something arises, and you must leave before the candle is ready to be blown out, simply snuff the candle.  This will lock the working inside.  Re-light and continue when you are able to finish the work.  Bury the candle stub near your front door to bring healing in. 

And WAH-LAH!  Now you have worked with St. John the Baptist! :)



Blessed Solstice and Blessed Workings!

2 comments:

Joseph said...

Tremendous! And crazy helpful. :)

Strata said...

Thank you, Joe!! It means a great deal to me that you found the post useful! :)

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