Category Archives: Magical Herbalism

Devil’s Shoestring: Powerful Herb


Devil’s Shoestring:

Powerful Herb, Witches Friend

Devils Shoe String is a remarkable herb.This herbs is not as well known as many others in witchcraft.  With all magical practices there are local and regional variances in practices, these differences include herbs worked with.  This herbs is common in folk magic practice.

Devilsshoestring

Devils Shoesting is one of the first herbs that we started working with from the world of Conjure.    At the time our interest was in hex breaking and curse breaking roots out there.  There are many herbs and roots used for hex breaking and protection work.  What caught our interest was how not just how the herb was used in work, but that it protected and hexed at the same time.  To us this became something to look at in working with the herbs.

There are many different herbs known as Devil’s Shoe string  This is common with folk names.  In order to know what plant you are getting you should always ask for the botanical name.  Most plants have several different folk names along with regional names.  Every plant has one botanical name.

These following plants (common names and botanical names) are known as Devil’s Shoe String:

Hobble Bush (Vibrunum alnifolium)
Cramp Bark (Viburnum Opulus),
Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium),
Witches Hobble (Viburnum trilobum).
Devil’s Thongs (Cracca Virginia),
Cat’s Gut (Cracca virginiana),
Goat’s Rue (Tephrosium Virginiana)

All of the above plants can be used as Devils Shoe String in workings.  Most commonly it is Hobble Bush or Vibrunum alnifolium that is used in work.  These plants are excellent allies to have and work with.  Their messages to us are often subtle, but when these allies have something to tell us they will find a way.

When it comes to magic and witchcraft.  It is important to remember that we do not use plants in the work we do.  We work with them.  They give something to us, we give something back to them.  They are our partners and our allies.  We give them attention, they give us protection etc.  If we grow them we give them life and a home.  They protect us in return.  When we work with plants we are working with their spirits creating spiritual bonds and friendships.

Now that you know what the plant is, you may be wondering what the magical properties are.  There are several.    Many of the properties of the plant are hidden within the names of the plant.  The first hint is in the name Hobble Bush.

The plant is called Hobble Bush.  Why?  The larger branches are very easy to trip over or be “hobbled” by.   The plant Hobbles so it trips up your enemies.  It protects you from them.  The smaller more supple vine like branches bind and twist preventing things from getting close to you as well as from

The other secret to the use in hexes or hex breaking with this plant comes in the folk name itself.  Devil’s Shoestring.  There are two keys in the name of the plant.  The biggest one here is the word Devil.  Any plant or root with the name Devil can be used to protect from hexes, hex people, and break hexes.  The Devil was historically associated with hexes and curses as well as binding and tricking people.  So it is an apt name.

So far we have covered the most common associations of Devil’s Shoe string: Hexes, Hexbreaking, Binding, and protection.   There are many other associations as well.  Luck and money are other properties to this herb.  Depending on how you are using the plant, you are protected from badluck and provided with good luck and customers.    It can be used to drive troublesome customers away or to invite beneficial customers.  There are even uses in gambling to enhance your luck.

So in total the associations we have here are: Hexing, Hex breaking, Binding, Protection, Luck, Money, and Success.

In order to get you started working with this herb here is a simple working you can do to protect yourself and bring luck your way.

 

Lucky String Packet

Materials:
1 Pieces of Devil’s Shoe String chopped into seven small pieces
Yellow Paper
Green Ribbon
Black Pen

Working:
On the paper write out your petition for luck and what areas you need to increase your luck.
Place the Devils Shoe string in the paper and folk it towards you as you fold it chant

Chant:
“Devil block things sent my way
Tangled in their knots they shall stay
Blocks busted on this day
Lucky blessings flow my way”

Turn the paper towards you and fold it in half towards you again as best you can.  Repeat the chant.  Turn the paper towards you once more and again fold the paper in half.  Repeat the chant

Take the green ribbon and begin to tie the packet together.  As you begin to wrap the paper with your ribbon visualize good luck coming your way.  See yourself being successful and having your needs met.   Continue to recite the chant while you wrap the ribbon around the packet.  When the packet seems to be full your energy tie a knot and seal the package.  Carry it with you until you feel your luck has returned.

When you have well established good luck (I’d say about a month of good things happening after a run of bad luck) burn the packet and spread the ashes at the crossroads near your home.  This will continue to bring good luck your way from all four corners of the world.

You can Buy Devil’s Shoe string Here: Devil’s Shoestring

Come to me Love Spell

With tomorrow being Valentines Day a lot of people are looking for love spells and quick romances.  While these spells can be effective, they can also end up in dangerous and destructive relationships.  To prevent that it is best to work a spell that is about attracting love in general.

If you really desire a relationship than it is important to work towards attracting a specific type of person rather than an individual.  So for example rather than addressing Jill from reception or Phil from across the street your spell would adress the type of person you are attracted to. You would include things like hobbies and interests (example enjoys role playing game or being out doors) as well as quality and personality traits (an example being likes being around children, strong heart, passionate about their interests etc). This allows you to be open to the universe rather than drilled into a specific person who may not be a good fit for you.

This spell here is geared towards attracting the right person to you. The items used in the spell not only attract love but also open and enhance sexual desires and friendship.

 Come to Me Love Spell

Materials:
Red Candle
Red Pen
Paper
Witches Red Salt
Red Rose Petals (Love)
Catnip (happiness and Joy)
Lavender (Peace, love, romance)
Passion Flower (Friendship, Passion)
Cinnamon (sweeten the universe and that type of person to you)
Spice Up Desires Oil (aromatherapy oils or ritual oils work well here)
Censor
Sharp Object to ensrcribe the candle
Charcoal
Censor/incense burner
Red Ribbon, chord or string

Spell:
Take the pen and on the paper write out all the qualities of the type of person that you are attracted to.  Be sure to include things like hobbies and interests you would like to share as well as personality traits (cares for others, emphatic, etc).  These are the things that you are looking for in your partner for your relationship.
Take the knife or sharp object and inscribe love,  relationship, passion, friendship, and joy
Light the charcoal
While the charcoal is starting take the Rose petals, Catnip, Lavender, Cinnamon, and Passion Flower.
Combine them in your mortar and pestle.  Grind them into a fine powder.
As you grind the herbal mixture together visualize yourself surrounded by love.  See yourself in a red and pink light.  See that light extending out to the universe bringing love to yourself and others.
Sprinkle half of the herbal mixture of the censor (this is your incense) this will burn and send the love energy gathered into the universe
Next add a drop of the Spice up desires Oil to the burning incense.
Add three drops of the oil to the candle.  Take the oil and run it on the candle from the bottom to the top.  You want love to grow.
Next take a portion of the remaining herbs and add them to the candle.  Again apply them from the bottom of the candle to the top of the candle.
Now light the Candle
Take the petition paper and sprinkle the Red salt over the petation papewr
Next fold the petition paper towards yourself.  As you fold the petition paper towards you begin to chant:

“Love flowing like a fresh stream
Bring me a partner to be a team
Bring a lover that is new
One who to me will be true
A love that is alive
A love that will thrive”

Turn the paper 180 degrees towards you.   Once again sprinkle the Red salt and recite the above chant. Continue to turn the paper packet and fold it.  Before you fold the paper each time sprinkle the red salt and then fold the paper in half towards you..  Repeat the process until you can no longer fold the petition paper.
Grab the Green ribbon or chord.  Start to wrap the chord around the folded pack towards you.
When you have wrapped the paper five times tie a knot.  As you tie the knot state:

“I seal in love”

After you tie the knot turn the packet 180 degrees towards you and again wrap the chord.  Repeat  with the knot after five wraps.  Continue this process five more times.
Once you have completed the process take packet over to the candle.
Pick up the candle and drip a little bit of wax over the packet.
Bring the packet over to the incense and pass it through the smoke.
When the candle and incense are done burning bury them on your property at the base of a tree.  You can also bury them at a cross roads sending the energy out into the universe.
Carry the packet with you until love manifests in your life.
Once your love has manifested burn the packet outside and sprinkle the ashes into the wind and around the tree or at the cross roads where the candle and incense remains were buried.  This will finish sealing in the magic.

If you are looking for the supplies to perform this spell you can find them:
Mystic Echoes Red Witches Salt
Red Love candle
Spice Up Desires Oil
herbs and curios for spells

 Items used in the spell

love-oilRed love, lust, and passion Red Salt

Product Review: Money Powder by The Astral Bridge

money-draw-powder

Today I am going to be reviewing a magical powder that I have been working with for a few months. I have been working with the Money Draw Powder by the company The Astral Bridge. Working with herbal powders in spells is a central component to my personal magical practice so for me using this powder was a great way to work my magical practice.

On their website the shop describes the powder as such:

Do you need more money! Well use this powder to empower all your money draw workings. Sprinkle it on cash, roll an anointed candle, use some on yourself or in a mojo bag.

The wonderfully smelling powder has a cinnamon powder base mixed with powerful money drawing ingredients.

I have found that description to be fairly accurate. The powder does have a cinnamon base which works as cinnamon is a powerful herb with money drawing aspects. The only issue I have as a customer is that there is no other ingredients listed. While I can understand not wanting to disclose recipes to the public, there are issues of allergies and dangers to animals or small children to consider. So I would advise the business owner to disclose the other herbal components to their Money Draw powder.

As to the effectiveness of this powder I can say that it has worked. I have been using it in a money jar spell, I have used it in packet spells, and I have also simply sprinkled it over my products before events. When I have used these components together I have had more successful sales than other times. I will continue to use this powder until I run out of my supply and even after that I may buy some more.

This product is so effective that a very little bit goes a long ways. You only need a pinch around your candles and in your packets to be effective. Once the powder starts to work you will notice results. As a business owner the next thing I am going to try with this powder is dusting my table with it at an event and my work space at home to ensure continued sales.

To purchase your own visit: Money Draw Powder available here

Other products are available on their home website: The Astral Bridge

Working with the Happiness Incense

 

A Happiness Working

One of my favorite products is my Happiness Incense blend.  It became a major part of my cleansing rituals and workings for a long time because of how effective it is in magic.  Its also a very uplifting scent.  I’ve found that the potent spirit powers in this blend make it work with very little needed for a single working.  Which means the half ounce packets should last you a while.

Happiness Incense and PowderSo how do you work with the happiness incense and powder?  I personally like to use it sprinkling it around my home after a full house cleansing to invite happiness and peace into the home.  I go through each room stating a prayer for happiness and peace as I sprinkle the powder.  I make sure to get windowsills and into the corners of the rooms.  Sprinkling it on the base of the floor to ensure that the room is charged.  Often times I also fill the room with a pink light and call on the spirits of the plants to bring peace and happiness to the home.I then draw an invocation and sealing pentacle over the room with my hand to seal in the power.  I repeat this in every room.

This simple working has brought happiness during some of my most stressful and most depressed days.  You could also walk around your property and sprinkle the powder outside as well.  This like other powders and oils would double the effect of the working bringing is to be both in the home and out of the home.  This working can also be modified for work spaces and single rooms as well.  Its all about filling the place that needs the mood lifting with an energetic transformation.

There are other ways you could work with this powder as well.  You could sprinkle a little in your shoes in the morning with and affirmation or prayer along the lines of :”With every step I take Peace and happiness is my fate.”  This is a simple charm which would be practical and effective.  Its also one that is hidden and would be based on working with what you have on hand.  The goal is about actively bringing and attracting those energetic forces into your life.

In many ways this powder is the opposite of Hot Foot Powder which is a working to remove negative forces and force them to leave.  This brings about peace and love through an energetic transformation.  It is about attracting something rather than removing it.

You can get your Happiness Powder at Mystic-Echoes on Etsy: Mystic Echoes Happiness Incense

Magical Powder Recipe: Bring Me Love or Love Draw

This powder recipe here is one of the two powders that we made at Pagan Unity day in myIntroduction to working with Incenses and Powders. All of the ingredients will have links to where you can buy them in the amounts given.

Materials

Materials:
1/2 ounce Rose Petals
1 ounce Dragons Blood
Half ounce cinnamon
half ounce Catnip
One ounce Nutmeg
Mixing Bowl
Wand

How to

Step 1: Gather your materials in your work space

Step 2: Ask the herbs to bless your work and guide you in your work

Step 3: Take the Dragons blood and pour it into the mixing bowl

Step 4: Place your wand over the Dragons blood and ask them plant for its blessings of lust and desire as well as to protect your love and your passion that no harm may come to you and them in the relationship

Step 5: Add the Rose petals

Step 6: As before ask the Rose petals to grant you romantic love but also that the thorns harm any who would come between the two of you

Step 7: Take your wand and direct those emotions into the blend as you stir it with your wand.

Step 8: Add the Nutmeg to the blend

Step 9: As you blend the Nutmeg into the blend ask the spirits for a healthy relationship and to be in a relationship where fidelity is honored

Step 10: Finally add the Cinnamon

Step 11: As you mix the cinnamon into the mixture ask for there to be lust and desire in the relationship and that you have the power within to protect them and yourself if needed.

Step 12: Add the Catnip

Step 13: As you add the catnip ask the spirit for loyalty, friendship and love. Relationships need to have a strong base of friendship and love before romantic lust and desire can really be the focus

Step 14: With you hands mix the mixture longer focusing on blending the energetic forces of the plants. Repeat the need for protection,romance,strength,courage,power and lust over and over. Once you have felt the power build up and the chant is running rather fast force the energy raised through your hands into the mixture

Step 15: Hold the bowl to the heavens and thank the spirits of the plants. Place a small sprinkle of the mixture on the earth and thank the earth mother, and the green realms for helping you in the ritual.

Step 16: Place mixture in a storage container until ready to be used.

Uses

This is a powder. It can be used as a spell by itself, in spells, and as an incense. Let your magical imagination guide you on working with this powder.

Book Review: Backwoods Shamanism

Backwoods ShamanismThis book is full of information. At first I wasn’t really sure what to think by the title of the book. The book is titled backwoods Shamanism, and for me most books on shamanism are vastly different from this book. Most books cover spirits of the land, trance work, and some rituals to honor those spirits. This book contains information on working with spirits and some rituals/ways to honor them but it is not your typical book on shamanism.

I’d put this as a mixture of shamanism and hoodoo myself which is what makes the book so unique. The author teaches about working with spirit and how we need to focus on the physical and the spiritual to heal and have holistic lives. Yet his approach to shamanism and shamanic work is not the familiar Native American style. Its more reminiscent of the African traditions which is due to the Hoodoo practices.

This book comes in three primary sections with five different appendix resources. Each section including the appendix actually deals with a specific and unique area of Hoodo/conjure work. This set up makes the book ideal as a reference for a beginner to the craft and spiritual practice that is Hoodoo.

The first section of the book is all about the history and basics of Hoodoo. One thing I like is how the author approached Hoodoo themselves. In many books you get the feeling that unless you were either raised in the south or are African American you can’t practice Hoodoo. He takes a slightly different approach to this view.

The author makes it clear this it is a specific culture or way of life that makes Hoodoo what it is. He makes it clear that if you can respect the origins and the culture that created Hoodoo you can practice it.

The author spends some time talking about the view of God in Hoodoo. He makes it clear that while Hoodoo is not a religion, a relationship with God and some spirits is essential. The view of God the author expresses is not a conventional view either which further shows that Hoodoo is not a religion but a holistic craft that deals with the spirit and the body together.

For those who are new to magic in general the author includes a basic idea about how magic works. He describes the process of working magic known as sympathetic magic or imitative magic.. This is also part of the authors explanation on how and why you will see things like hair, nails, shed skin and much more in Hoodoo workings.

The last bit of information in the foundation of the book is on ancestral veneration. Working with ancestral spirits is one of the key components that make Hoodoo what it is. The author includes the reasons for working with our ancestors as well as how we can work with them and instructions for setting up an ancestral altar.

The second section of the book is one I wish the author had spent more time with. This is the section on home remedies and folk medicine. A major component of Hoodoo is the medicinal work with herbs and treatments. It is here that the author gives information on the medicinal practices in Hoodoo.

Rootdoctors are one of the many names associated with hoodoo practitioners. This is because many rootworkers were also the neighborhood healers. They were the ones with the knowledge of what herbs could be used for healing what ailment. In the areas where Hoodoo was formed there was little to no money to go see a city doctor unless it was a major problem. So they relied on the local Root Doctors.

This section though is a bit too small. While there are instructions on the different medical terms for herbal mixtures and how they are used there are only a small handful of remedies available. The definitions of the types of remedies and the information on the doctrine of signatures is very useful.

The remedies offered include a cough syrup, flu relief, sleep aid, and a general salve. So while there are only a few remedies these are simple and are enough to start a newbie working on holistic medicine for themselves and their family. They are a starting point, and we all need someplace to start from.

Now we get to where the real meat of the work is. The third section in the book is all about the magical practice. The author titles this section Conjure. This section is full of spells, rituals, workings, and many other useful bits of information. This is why many people will buy the book.

The author starts off by going over the importance of performing divination before doing any sort of working. It is a part of the Hoodoo traditions. These readings not only tell you if work needs to be done but also what sort of work needs to be done to correct the situation you are in. The author covers bone reading and playing card reading and gives instructions on how to work with and use both of them.

The author covers mirror work, making a scrying mirror & scrying, container spells, a few bottle and jar spells, poppet, baths, and more. The author provides detailed instructions on how to perform each spell and how they will work.Something I had never heard of before were wish boxes. With the information provided by the author I may just make one myself.

The last section of the book before we get to the appendices and resources is a section on related traditions. Here the author provides what information he can on traditions that are related to Hoodoo or have similar practices. The author includes this information as he believe that there is something about Hoodoo that is attracting more and more people and that these related traditions may have connections to our own ancestral paths or have something that Hoodoo doesn’t and we need in our practice.

The book serves as an excellent primer on Hoodoo and provides a little bit of everything you need to get started in the practice of Hoodoo.

Review: Old Style Conjure Wisdoms, Workings and Remedies

Old style Conjure Wisdoms, workings, and remedies

This book is not exactly what I expected. However Mama Starr didn’t leave me without wisdom and insight. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I thought I was getting when I got this book. I knew there would be folk remedies in there but that was about it. It was actually for the folk remedies that I bought this book.

The introduction of this book is actually very uplifting. This section should not be ignored. It contains the reason why she wrote this book and a cleansing exercise for the readers to do if they are ready to start making changes in their lives. Its simple exercises and affirmations that really make the meat of this book. The introduction cleansing rite is just the first to open the doors.

Prior to really getting into the meat of the word Mama Starr provides associations for candle colors and other magical and spiritual associations for the days of the week. The first section of this books covers daily affirmations. There is an affirmation or “daily wisdom” for each and every day of the year. Each month starts out with the Herb of the month, basic month trivia, sacred stone for the month and birthstone for the month.

The second part of the book is full of folk magic and healing remedies. She starts this section off with a fair warning that she does not expect anyone to try these themselves but if they do each individual must take their own responsibility for any averse effects that the treatments may have. She is not a doctor after all. These are just things that her family did while she was growing up to treat various ailments as they had no money to go to the doctor.

This is the reason why I bought this book. This section covers a small variety of the remedies that she used growing up and continues to use them. From earaches to dipper rash, nightmares and spirit removal this small section of the book covers many remedies that have proven to be effective. Some of these remedies are things I had seen elsewhere like the earaches with garlic oil.

Finally she ends the book with resources and references that readers may find useful. She also includes her own websites on there for further references as well as many other well known and trusted Conjure resources.

So if you are looking for a book of simple daily wisdom this is it.

Forming new Products

The process of forming new Products

 

Today I am going to discuss the process that goes into developing each and every herbal product that we sell. I handcraft each tincture and each incense blend and over the next few weeks will be crafting oils and candles. The process that goes into crafting each of these items is the same regardless of what form the product takes. It is a mixture of intuition, research, and hearing experiences from others in crafting similar items or when working with similar oils and products. The process is intense and it does take a lot of time but I as a witch and magician learn a lot about herbs and oils through this research and am able to grow my craft so I can best benefit you my customers.

In this post I am going to discuss the importance of each part in crafting the items I sell for you here. Without any one of the aspects of this process I would not be able to ensure the quality of the products I have to my customers. These parts are also essential to how I approach my spiritual crafts and practices in general so the crossover is essential. As I grow in my craft and practice so do my skills and my abilities to provide products that serve the needs of my customers.

 

Research

When it comes time to develop a new product I think about what I want to make.  For example when I think of oils I make a list of oils I have thought about working with and or have worked with.  I also think about spells and what sort of magical oils would best work with those spells I want to help my customers cast.  With the list of the oils I want to craft based on needs created I turn to books and websites. This is where the research portion really begins.

There are three Primary books I work with on my general witchcraft and magical oils, incenses, tinctures, and brews.  Those books are Magical Aroma Therapy, & The complete book of Incense, Oils, and Brews both by Scott Cunningham.  The last physical book I work with is the book Kitchen Witchery by Marilyn Daniels.  These three books form the basis of my general occult, witchcraft, and magical herbal products..  I also have an e-book by Lady Gianne called The Magical Oil Recipe Book.

A few of my new Oils, Tinctures, and Powders have a Hoodoo Inspiration to them.  This is true.  I am starting to as I have mentioned on the Facebook page, this blog and our other outlets that I am starting to study and explore the practice of Hoodoo.  These products that are inspired by Hoodoo have been deeply researched.  I have books and websites I have looked into for herbal associations, recipes, and spells from the Hoodoo perspective.

These Hoodoo inspired products have additional prayers and charging aspects done with them.  They are also prepared in a slightly different mentality as the ethics within Hoodoo vastly differs from the ethics found within most modern witchcraft traditions.  So I make it my own by adding my witchy inspiration to the mix.  Its the addition of herbs from a witches cabinet as well as those from Hoodoo/Rootwork/Southern Conjure that makes the products Hoodoo inspired rather than being strictly traditional Hoodoo.

After I use my book resources I start to look into the second phase of developing my products.  The second phase of product development really doesn’t make any sense without the research first.  The research prepares you for what you might encounter in this next phase.  For me this helps temper my overwhelming inspiration and intuition at times with the research.

Personal Experiences

This second phase is one of the main reasons I have joined so many different forums and social media exchanges related to witchcraft over the years.  The sharing of personal experiences for me is one of the best ways to explore experiences both that you have had and that you have and those you have read about.  The sharing of personal experiences by others is also a way to prepare oneself for doing new work.  Its a way of gathering insight and may provide ways of looking at things that you would not otherwise consider.

Personal experiences with herbs can also help a person develop a wider understanding of herbal spirits and practices.  While there are some spiritual and magical aspects that seem to cross cultures with various herbs, other experiences are based in culture or tradition specific practices.  By combing the traditional lore shared in books with personal experiences deeper relationships with herbs can develop.

At the same time new herbs and new ways of performing magic and working with herbs based on the needs can also be learned through discussions of personal experience.  Through these discussions healing charms that can be carried in the pocket and may be a single herb can be learned about and simplicity can be embraced.  Other applications could be learning edible and medicinal aspects to herbs as well as folk medicine and remedies that one may not have considered before.

One personal experience notes have been taken down and added to the notes from book research the final stage of the actual preparation begins.  This is the stage where my witch hat gets applied and my spirit speaks through me.  This is where the actual crafting of the spell and magical actions beginnings before the physical development starts.  here is the mental preparation and focus.

Intuitive decisions

During the research portion I write down copies of the recipes that spark my intuition and make me think “yes this is what I want”. When I am done with the personal experience notes I gather the recipes and I put them into piles based on need and topic (all money oils together, all healing oils together etc).   After a while I look at the piles.  I will then take all the recipes of that need (lets work with money for example here) and compare the components in each recipe.

I’ve noticed that it is very common to have multiple recipes in a book related to needs.  There are several different types of money oils I have found in each of my resources.  In noticing this factor I also made a note of the exact nature of the money oil (wealth, employment, fast cash, etc).  This helped me further refine my own product decisions and allowed me to start refining magical and spiritual practices to more specific needs and desires.

I make a list of the herbs and oils I find in each recipe.  From there I look at my herbal correspondence lists from earlier research.  These lists provide excellent resources for future development as associations are already listed and correspondences have started to become known.  Through using the herbs in multiple ways I start to know them very well.  After working with them in a time the knowledge becomes second nature and I just know what herbs to add to a spell or ritual.

Its at this point that I start to write down what oils and herbs are going to be used in what new product.  I often look at what I already have in stock so I can continue to develop working relationships with those herbs.  However I am also always looking for new herbs and minerals to add to my practice.  In each new product release I am working with a new herb or mineral.  The last batch added sea salt to my practice.  This new batch is adding several new herbs and essential oils.

Once I have the herbs and oils decided I can start the actual blending.  After making decisions based on the research and personal experience my intuition decided in the end which herbs and oils to be used for each blend.  Aside from choosing the herbs and oils there is one other essential aspect to the product development with the use of my intuition.  That is the actual ratios of the herbs.

Often times in practice the actual plans end up needing to be changed to an extent.  The ground herbs can take up more or less space than originally planned and envisioned.  In this case slight changes need to be made based on how much of an individual herb I have left as well as for occasionally looking at substitutions.

This is where the intuition and personal knowledge and experience with the herbs comes into play.  The more I know an herb through experience the better I can decide what to substitute and what to add.  This also for me is where being crafty can come into play as I have to let the spirits of the plants and my spirit speak to me much as artists must let their muse speak to them.  The blending of herbs is an art form in its own right.  Its a spiritual art that often goes unappreciated.

Once these are all placed into balance the product has been developed.  I test its use myself and keep some of each batch for my own personal use.  This ensures to me that the quality of the product I send out is the same quality I would use myself.  If I wouldn’t use it I wont sell it.  This philosophy is also why the development of herbal products is tied directly into my own personal spiritual development and magical studies.  The more I study and experience the more I can provide here.

Review: The complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews

The complete book of Incenses, Oils, & Brews

The complete book of Incense, Oils, & Brews is a wonderful guide to working with these practices. Like many of his other texts the author Scott Cunningham created a very useful and effective resource for working many different types of magical spells and rituals. This text works great in companion with his Aromatherapy book and his two Herbal Magic books-Herbal Magic and his Magical Herbal encyclopedia or it can be used effectively on its own as its own resource. The text provides a comprehensive list of tools you will need as well as instructions on how to make the different items found within the book.

This book is broken up into three different sections. Each section addresses a specific aspect of working with and creating incenses, oils, soaps and more. This organization makes the book ideal as a reference guide for making these powerful spiritual and magical aids. By having the three sections a beginner to incense and oil work will be able to get the most out of it while an experienced crafter will also be able to find just what they are looking for and nothing else.

The first section deals with magic basics, proportions, empowering the creations, ingredients and creating your own recipes. This is the foundational portion of the book. Here the author goes into the very basics of what you need to know in order to make the most out of thi reference guide.

The first chapter here is on magic basics. While many people interested in this text probably have a basic understanding of the practices and concepts associated with magical practice this chapter is a nice refresher. For those new to magic the information here is very basic and a great introduction for some one who wants to have practical applications right away. The chapter covers ethics, power, working for yourself and working for others. It also covers the basic magical tools that you may need in your journey within this text.

The second chapter is very brief. This chapter was included because people asked for specific proportions to the ingredients in individual recipes from an earlier edition of this book. This chapter says to use them as guidelines but also to trust your intuition and personal judgement. The importance of keeping a record of your work is stressed here as well.

The third chapter focuses on empowering your creation. After you make an incense or an oil they need to be charged for use. This chapter gives you a small ritual way to empower these new objects as well as explains why additional power is needed for the incenses, oils, and brews to be effective.

The fourth chapter is a chapter on the ingredients that you will find in some of the recipes. Here the author mentions how we can obtain the items for various recipes. The chapter also gives information about uncommon terms and ingredients that might be found within magical oils and incenses. The explanation here provides an easy guide to the ingredients listed later on in the book.

The last chapter in the first section is all about creating your own recipes. As some one who makes their own incense blends this is a chapter I refer to often to check my process. Here the author explains that you can use what you have to make things work. The guide includes thinking about the form of what you are going to make and then herbs and other associations. There is even a sample incense process given to illustrate the process involved.

The second section makes up the bulk of the book. This is where you have the recipes for the incenses, oils, brews, and other items contained in this book. This is the real reference section here. This section provides beginners with step by step recipes to work with from the beginning and allows experiences crafters and practitioners to find inspiration for their own work. The types of items covered allows every one to find something they can work with.

The section starts off with incenses. Working with incenses is one of the most common herbal and magical or spiritual practices and it covers many cultures so it makes a great starting base. In the first section of this chapter the author talks about the two different types of incenses and the benefits and issues of working with either one. He gives a step by step guide on how to make the different types of incenses. Then he starts the recipe selection. One of the key parts of this section is how the book notes which incenses shouldn’t be inhaled and or that contain dangerous ingredient so you may want to look up a substitute.

After the incenses Cunningham discusses making oils. In this section the author talks about how you can make oils and also which oils work well on their own for different purposes. The first part of this chapter is the how to and the second section covers the recipes and guides on making the oils.

After oils the author covers in this order Ointments, Inks, Tinctures, Herb Baths, Bath salts, Brews and potions, Soaps, Herbal satchels, Powders, and miscellaneous. Each section contains as the previous sections did how to make the items and why they are being used. The recipes cover many different needs allowing for a wide variety of practices and magical tools.

The last section deals with different ways you can make substitutions in your work allowing for a person to work with what is available rather than needing to get a lot of expensive new herbs and items. The author includes planetary substitutes, herbs & basic ingredients,elemental, and need based. This section allows a person to be able to make anything they want and need based on what they have in their home and maximize them to the fullest extent.

Incenses: Crafting a Magical Incense

Last week we explored the concept of how and why people work with various types of incenses. We even discussed the various types of incenses that exist in the world today. This week we are going to discuss and talk about actually crafting and making your own magical and spiritual incense blends. That’s right. Incenses can be their own magical spells and tools. Today we are going to talk about creating them for ourselves.

Incenses

Crafting magical and spiritual incenses for your personal use

Working with natural and handmade incenses is one of the easiest magical practices a person can engage in.  There are very few tools required to craft incenses and there are very few tools needed to make the incense spells manifest and become reality.  By creating and crafting your own magical incenses you can also be sure that they are all natural incenses and that only items that you want to have in the incense are there.

Now you can use commercially made incense sticks and blends effectively for magical work.  However those incenses are not always going to be only herbs and oils.  Many of the commercial and large orders of incenses that you see for sale are made with synthetic oils and scents.  For people who are sensitive to synthetic scents and smells these sorts of incenses don’t really work well.  So its important to know what is in your incense before you use them.  By crafting the incenses your self you know for sure what is going to be in the incense and you can guarantee that any allergies or sensitivities that you or your friends and family have will be taken into consideration.

The supplies needed in crafting incenses are minimal unlike working with oils which can require a lot more time and effort depending on if you are collecting your own essential oils or if you are mixing oils and herbs.  In order to make an incense blend you need: a grinder (a mortar and pestle works fine for individual/one time use batches), a censor and charcoal (to burn the incense on), a jar or bag of some sort to hold and to mix the incense, and the herbs optional-essential oils.  Many people use essential oils in their incense blends as well as dried herbs.  Here at Mystic Echoes we only use herbs in our loose powdered incenses.

The first step as with any spell or ritual work is to decide on what exactly it is you want to get out of the work being done.  In order for magical incenses to be effective in manifesting the goal of the spell or ritual a clear intent needs to be given.  Magic can not work without a specific intent.  You can have a vague idea of what you want and work from that if you’d like.  However by working from a vague concept and vague ideas you will get vague and questionable results. So its best to have a clear concept of what exactly it is you want before you start working on the spell.

Once you know what it is that you want to have as the outcome you can start gathering supplies.  Now is the time to do research.  Say for example you wanted to do a spell related to gaining money or employment.  This is the goal of your spell.  This is what you want.  Now you need to research herbs and oils that are related to that intent and outcome.  Write down and make a list of all the herbs associated with money and employment.

Now you have your herb list.  The next step is to choose which herbs that you want to work with for this incense.  When it comes to magical incenses its not really the scent that is important.  In magical incenses it is more important that the incense is charged with your intent and desire.  So while you could focus on creating a really nice scented incense, the scent doesn’t matter so much as the intent being a part of the entire process of creating that incense blend.

So in choosing your herbs you don’t need to focus on scents.  What you need to focus on is the properties of the herbs.  The list you made earlier should include a rather large variety of herbs that have associations with money and or employment.  The process of choosing the herbs should really be intuitive.  In this situation you would look at the herbs on the list and the herbs that really jump out at you are the ones that you should work with.

By letting your intuition guide you in your choice you are basically allowing your higher self to really program in the intent and desire for the incense.  This means that your intent has become a part of you and a part of the process.  Your intent is speaking out through the actions and thoughts.  Your intuition and intent meld together in the crafting of the incense when they let you know which herbs to work with for that particular incense blend.

Now that you have your herbs chosen its time to actually get to the crafting.  I have found in my own incense crafting that there really is no golden ratio of the herbs for the scent to balance and the incense to work.  So I have found that choosing one of the herbs to be the base or the main powerhouse really helps define the exact focus of the incense.  As you start to craft more and more incenses the process will become automatic for now in choosing your base look at the herbs you have chosen and the one that screams “Me me me” is going to be your base.

For measurements as I said I have found that there is no golden ratio of herbs to herbs in the incense blends.  I have found that a teaspoon is a good size for a single ritual batch.  If you are making a batch that you intend to use in multiple rituals I have found that a table spoon is a good size.  So start with one or two tablespoons or teaspoons of your base.  Once you have that measured out start to grind the herb.

The process of grinding the herb is one of the aspects of charging the incense.   So as you grind the incense you need to focus your intent into the action of grinding the herb.  Put all your emotional desires for the money and employment to come your way into the force of grinding.  If you are using a grinder rather than a mortar and pestle you will hold your hands over the grinder as it grinds  and focus your intent through your hands into the grinder and into the herb.

If you wish you can say a chant along the lines of: “herb of the earth I ask of thee to send the money I need to me”.  Saying this chant as you work the grinder and as the herbs grind along with the physical energetic force charges the herbs for the process at hand.  This may also trigger your own mental and emotional focus deeper into the process of casting this spell.  The more you charge your energy into the incense the more powerful the incense will be for you.

Once the first herb is ground you will need to place it in the container discussed earlier.  For the rest of the herbs follow the same process of measuring the herb and grinding the herb.  This charges each herb for the process at hand.  Once all the herbs are together in the container its time to blend them together into a mix.  This action here will further charge the incense blend.

Shake the jar and fill it even more with your intent and desire.  If you said a chant while you were grinding the herbs individually you should repeat the chant here again.  See the money and the employment you seek manifesting in your life.  Put this energy into your shaking.  The more vigorously you shake the container and mix the herbs together the more powerful the mixture will be.  Your intent has been charged in the mix through the chant, the grinding of the herbs, and the shaking of the container mixing the energetic forces together.

Now the incense is blended and made ready to use.  You just need to label it now and you can use this incense any time for this magical intent.  The incense you have just crafted is now a magical incense ready to use.  There is a spell contained in this incense that you have crafted and charged through out the entire process.

To cast the spell you simply need to burn the incense on a charcoal disc in a heat safe or heat proof censor.  Simply by burning the incense you have released the spell that you created when you crafted the incense.    As the incense is burning all the energy that you built up in the incense through the process of crafting the incense is released and the spell can be cast.  The smoke rising into the heavens sends the intent to the universe allowing the universe to manifest your desire.

The above process is the process that we here at Mystic Echoes use in the crafting and creation of the magical incenses that we sell.  All of the incenses that have been crafted by Mystic Echoes are essentially spells ready to be used.  All you need to work the spell in the incense is a censor and a charcoal disc.  Once the incense is burning the spell is released and the magic can take effect.

You can use the magical incenses crafted by other people just as effectively as you can use your own magical incenses. This is why stores like Mystic Echoes can craft and sell pre-made incense blends. The incenses that are crafted by those who make and sell them for other people make them so that any one who needs to cast a spell can cast them and manifest their desires. In the end magical incenses are one of the simplest ways that you can work magic and cause changes in your life.
Mystic Echoes Magical Incense Blends

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