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Erzulie Freda Altar Art Bottle, Mater Dolorosa
Erzulie Freda Altar Art Bottle, Mater Dolorosa
Erzulie Freda Altar Art Bottle, Mater Dolorosa
KZ

Erzulie Freda Altar Art Bottle, Mater Dolorosa

Regular price $80.00 $0.00 Unit price per
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This little confection of an altar bottle is densely packed with glitter, faux pearls, lace, velvet ribbon, and "gemstones" and beads made of crystal, glass, and resin. They adorn a glass bottle 4.75" tall and 2" across.

Features a full-color image of Mater Dolorosa, the Mother of Sorrows. If you serve or are even familiar with Erzulie Freda, you have probably seen this print and are aware it's a favorite image associated with this lwa. It has a curious little transnational, multicultural character that makes it a particular favorite of mine.

There's a route in Jerusalem, a sort of pilgrimage path or processional route, called the Via Dolorosa, the road of sorrow or the way of grief, supposedly the same path Christ walked on his way to Golgotha.

Along this path is a church called the Holy Sepulchre. In that church is a shrine with a sculpted statue of the Blessed Mother as Mater Dolorosa (it's not full-sized, but it's more than a bust). It's pretty much a giant nicho on top of a table or stand, or I guess you could call it a cabinet as it has a glass front or door.

Over the years, tons of votive offerings have been left by the faithful in thanks and recognition for the Blessed Mother's care and intercession -- jewels, crowns, necklaces, rings, all those gold and silver hearts, those are all behind the glass with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. They're a dynamic collection of sacred objects occupying a sacred space, given by Christians from all over the world.

A number of artists have drawn or painted pictures of this shrine with its offerings over the years. One of them was a Mexican artist whose name I haven't had any luck tracking down yet. A Mexican printer of chromolithographs prepared and printed the drawing and, like the version by a French artist that the Jesuits had circulated in Europe before, this print was widely circulated.

Since Erzulie Freda is generally portrayed as the Virgin alone, sans Child, and often as the Mother of Sorrows, those associations would have been in place already. But since she's also associated with luxury and beauty, with jewelry and fine things, this particular image of the Virgin Mary was just ideal and to this day I don't personally think there's a better one, imo.

So that's how this Mexican print of a drawing of a statue donated by the Queen of Portugal in a shrine in a chapel inside a church in Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa ended up on altars for the lwa Erzulie Freda in Haiti (and the Republic of Benin, too, for that matter. I just referenced the Benin iconography in a blog post the other day.)

Anyway, the bottle -- keep your libations for your altar spirits in it, store your incense grains or powders, keep holy water or Florida Water or Pompeia Lotion or an appropriate condition oil in it - use your imagination. (Do not, however, try to wash this bottle. This is folk art for your altar, not something meant to withstand being handled as a kitchen utensil, and please keep it away from children and pets!)

All spiritual and devotional pieces are made with care and intent with respect to traditional origins, lore, and practices, all of which I'm happy to answer questions about. If you have questions about customization or anything else, feel free to message me. I love to customize or custom-finish the altar pieces that have found new homes when I take them down from my altars they're residing on and package them up with prayers and blessings to send to you.


LEGALESE: As required by law, all items are sold as curios to preserve and teach the traditions of folklore and popular religion. I don't sell anything I don't use myself, though, and quite a few customers over the years have sworn by my traditional formulas since I started selling them in 2002.

Shipping/Handling/FAQs: Please click over to the Shipping/Handling/FAQs tab to read about handling times, shipping notification, and other terms of service, as your use of this site indicates your acceptance of these published terms, which include but are not limited to the following.

By using this site, you are stating that you understand and agree to our Terms of Service, including the following highlights:
  • handling times start at five business days minimum for all items  (excludes weekends and holidays)
  • posted handling times are estimates, not guarantees, and will vary depending on order size and amount of customization involved
  • all sales are final; we do not accept returns
  • any refunds must be initiated by us; chargebacks are considered theft
  • we will send a notification email when we purchase your shipping label for your packaged order, so when it's ready to ship, you know as soon as we know
  • we are not able to provide updates during order processing beyond this notification
  • any unusual issues affecting handling times will be announced on our website and social media channels
  • we don't send instructions for anything that doesn't say it comes with instructions, but there's lots of info at the blog
See the TOS page for more details.

HANDLING TIMES: Please note published handling times, which start at 5 business days minimum and will be longer for custom-finished items, large orders, and some specialty/extra strength formulas. You can expect a 10-day handling time for an order with one custom item, and longer than that if the order contains multiple custom items. Why? Two reasons:
One, I make all my formulas in tiny batches, decanting and praying over every oil order as it comes in, for instance. It's not a matter of just grabbing a bottle off a shelf and popping it into an envelope. And I stock only what I know I can use within a certain shelf life. That means I can have unexpected runs on formulas that use up my stock of an ingredient and it takes a few days for more to arrive, or I need to go to back of our acreage and dig up a certain root to go in your custom spell kit. The payoff for your patience is that you get fresh blends and fresh products, made by hand the old fashioned way, by a traditional rootworker with 35 years of experience.
Two, I live in the middle of nowhere and I have to expect time-sucking delays as par for the course, like the internet going down 'cause a cow broke the line, stuff like that.
USAGE: Oils are for prayer and ritual use; they are not cosmetics or perfumes. While some customers do use some dressing oils as anointing oils (which is not the same thing as wearing a perfume or cologne), they are careful to do a skin test first, since they know that all-natural does not equal hypoallergenic. If you need suggestions on how to use condition and anointing oils in the conjure tradition, see the Education link up top.
LEGALESE:  As required by law, all items are sold as curios to preserve and teach the traditions of folklore and popular religion. I don't sell anything I don't use myself, though, and quite a few customers over the years have sworn by my traditional formulas since I started selling them in 2002.
MORE INFO / KEEP IN TOUCH: Visit our blog for more information on various spiritual products and their uses, plus over ten years' worth of articles about folklore and conjure. You can also sign up for our mailing list to get the latest news and subscriber-only goodies.
TL;DR TOS Highlights:
  • handling times start at five business days minimum (excludes weekends and holidays); customization generally requires 10 business days minimum
  • posted handling times are estimates, not guarantees, and will vary depending on order size and amount of customization involved
  • all sales are final; we do not accept returns
  • we will send a notification email when we purchase your shipping label for your packaged order, so when it's ready to ship, you know as soon as we know
  • we are not able to provide updates during order processing beyond this notification - the answer is always going to be "your order will ship when it is ready"
  • any unusual issues affecting handling times will be announced on our website and social media channels and in the shop announcements section
  • we don't send instructions for anything that doesn't say it comes with instructions

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