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Cascarilla Powder and Its Protective Use

Updated on October 16, 2016

A few minutes ago, my husband came in the living room while I was writing and said, “Next time we get some eggs, save the shells.”

Puzzled, I took to google and typed in "magic properties of egg shells," and the first thing that popped up was cascarilla powder. Cascarilla (pronounced kas-ka-ree-ja) means husk or shell in spanish. While egg shells are not popularly known to have been used in hoodoo/conjure in the U.S. as far as we know, it was widely used in Cuba and Saint Domingue (Haiti and the Dominican Republic during the time of the Transatlantic Slave Trade). It was used to banish negative energy and spirits, and remove negative energy from the person using it. Making symbols on the floor during ritual work, adding some to bathwater or floor washes, and dusting your hands with it before picking up items were ways cascarilla powder was also used.

If you go to a brujeria or metaphysical shop from NYC to Haiti, it is often sold in "ketchup cups," or those white paper cups you find at fast food restaurants for ketchup and mustard. You can even make the chalk at home yourself with a simple recipe that requires the shells of 6 eggs, flour, and hot water. Food coloring is sometimes added as well to give the chalk color depending on what you're using it for.

To make the chalk, rinse the shells of 6 eggs thoroughly and let them dry for several hours. Grind them finely with a clean rock on a hard surface until they sift like baby powder. Take a teaspoon of flour and a teaspoon of hot water and stir into a paste. Add a spoonful of the eggshells and mix thoroughly. Roll into a roll of chalk on a flat surface and then set aside to dry for 3 days. You can add food coloring to it, but too much will make the chalk crumble.

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