I am working on my second book in the series of Vodou. This one will concentrate on services. Small ones, actually. It's hard to write about the big ones, so much is off limits to outsiders. But there is enough to tell about the little ones, that I have over 400 pages of notes alone. Not sure how to approach it all, actually. I began by printing out stuff, then became enamored of a list of lamp recipes I have. Before I realized it, three hours had gone by and I was correcting the spacing on a chart somewhere in an odd document.
I was quite taken by the materials used in lamps. And the smell of some sure sounds delicious. One of the more aromatic versions I'd like to offer here. I have made this lamp - and it makes the room smell like dessert. It is made for Sweet Surrender. You will need a fire proof container. In Vodou, we use little three legged pots called "zins". Here's a pic for you to see what they look like:
If you don't have a zin, then a small cast iron cauldron can work as well. You will need the following items for your lamp:
An egg custard.
One tablespoon of cinnamon
One tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of cornmeal
One cup of vegetable oil
Quarter teaspoon of powdered ginger root
A cotton wick
A discard aluminum soda can
Put on the gloves and using the metal shears, cut the aluminum soda can open. Carefully flatten it, and cut out a strip of aluminum 2" wide and approximately 4 inches long. It doesn't have to be exact. Using the shears, cut a small slit about half an inch from one end. Slip the cotton wick through this slit. You will be setting this strip on top of the cauldron, to support the wick.
Now, in the order given, place the egg custard into the cauldron, sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Pour in the honey and sprinkle the cornmeal. Add the cup of vegetable oil and dust with the ginger powder.
Take the metal strip with the cotton wick, and insert it into the bowl. You can do a variety of things to help the wick 'float'. You can make the slit in the middle of the strip and just lay the strip across the cauldrom top. Or, bend the metal strip into an "U" shape, making the slit in the middle of the bend. Insert the wick and then turn the 'U' upside down into the bowl. However you choose, be sure the tip of the wick is out of the bowl, but the remaining strip is submerged.
I always ask Legba to open the door for me to have success. It's doesn't need to be a big evocation - simple ask Legba to open the door so the work can flow in both directions. You want a sweet reward so you are offering this sugary scented lamp with tones of cinnamon and ginger to spice it up a bit. By making this offering, you are engaging the oldest and most well documented effect of magical operations - the scent of success. The belief is that scent is appealing to spirits.
Place the lit lamp where it won't be disturbed. Now comes the fun (hard) part. This lamp is to burn for five days. You will need to refill the oil from time to time. And be sure the kids, pets and partner do not put it out. I usually place my working lamps in the sink in the kitchen (we don't have kids or cats).
At the end of the five days, take the contents of the lamp and discard them at a crossroad, with five pennies. Leave and don't look back.
In five days, your Sweet Surrender should be revealed.
If you have questions about this work, just email me and we'll chat!