Category Archives: Magical Tinctures

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.

Review: A Witches World of Magick

A witches world of Magick

The book A witches World of Magick is full of magical practices and concepts from around the world. For this reason the book is aptly titled. Through out the book the reader is exposed to magical cultures from the Meso-American cultures (like the Incas and the Aztecs) to Jewish Folklore, to Hindu Vedas. This book covers global magical practices.

The author of this book did a lot of research into the different folk magic practices and traditions around the world in the creation of this book. The authors dedication to providing a diverse selection of folk magic and folk lore on each topic covered is clear by the wonderful footnotes and credits given throughout the book.

This book is not your basic how to book on witchcraft or magic. If you are looking for a how to write a spell or how magic works book than this book is not for you. This book is focused on and for those in the intermediate area of study. This book is designed to provide experienced practitioners new ways of practicing magic and looking at magical concepts from folk magic practices around the world.

A witches world of Magick is an informative guide to folk magic around the world. By the end of each chapter the reader has covered several different approaches to magical techniques in folk magic traditions that they may have never heard of or explored otherwise. Each chapter while they cover specific magical concepts and techniques covers the magical concepts and techniques from different perspectives in different cultures. In doing this the author provides many different views of magic and different ways to look at magic.

There are ten chapters in this book. Each chapter focuses on a specific type of magical concept or practice. With the common thread or practice for the chapter defined, the author in each chapter provides the reader with a ton of different sets of folklore and folk magic.

The book opens by mentioning how universal the concept of magic is and how wide the varieties of magical practices there are. With in the first chapter it is clear that the book does take a global approach to the practices and magical workings. While the title of the book is “A witches world of magic” not all of the traditions and practices that are discussed are considered witchcraft. The book really only touches on witchcraft at the end of each chapter, providing witches with questions to think about for their magical practices as well as concepts for how the folk magic discussions can be applied into an individuals witchcraft today.

To further illustrate that the book is not a book for beginners the first chapter in the book covers working magic with out the use of tools. The chapter is titled No-Tools Body magic. Its clear right away that the author is showing advanced magical techniques covering the practices of the evil eye, through speech and voice alone, to gestures and movement of the body to make magic effective.

The second chapter covers potion or mixing magic. Once again the author provides a few unusual ways of thinking about potion making and mixing ingredients to make a spell work. From gypsy love potions to a tale about two Polynesian wizards the author covers both conventional and unconventional forms of mixing magic and potions. Again the author ends the chapter with concepts for the practicing witch to ask themselves to further their new magical practices and concepts.

The third chapter discusses container magic. The chapter does not mention Jar spells as found in Hoodoo and other forms of magic but rather other types of containment spells. The concept of talismans and amulets as a container for magical energy is addressed her, but is addressed in a manner related to folk magic concepts. Once again various cultures from Egypt to Nigeria and even the PowWow tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch magical practices related to containing forces and power are discussed in that chapter.

The fourth chapter is all about knot magic and binding magic. The spells covered here include a well known folk charm by sailors to create wind while at seas. Other knot magic and binding spells cover love and protection. From Gypsy magic to the sacred knots of the girdle worn by Zoroastrrians binding and knot based folk magic can be found in that chapter.

The fifth chapter is all about puncture magic. Yes the concept of voodoo dolls or dolls punctured to create a magical effect is covered here. However the dolls are only one of many different magical practices discussed here in this chapter. Not all piercing magic is baneful or curse like. The chapter covers a few examples of healing magic through punctures.

The sixth chapter is all about identification. In magic it is important to have a clear target or concept in mind when working a spell. If you are doing a distance healing for someone its important to know their name or have some way to connect the energetic forces to them. This chapter covers many different ways that a person can identify the target of their spell. From actual names to using body parts the folk magic in this chapter shows how identification of the target is essential.

The seventh chapter is actually related to the previous chapter. This chapter covers decoy magic. Here the magical practices include the well known witches jar, as well as using rocks or stones to distract a spirit. From using masks and loud noises to making an actual representation of the original target as a decoy, decoy and distraction magic is covered here.

The eighth chapter is about curse breaking. The author is clear in the beginning of the chapter that the two most common forms of magic practiced are those of healing magic and those of protection and curse breaking. The various mentioned include using parts of the body (hair, spit, etc) of the curser to remove the curse, destroying the artifacts, and sending back curses. From a modern American curse (the curse of the Bambino) to the Evil eye methods of curse breaking come in as many different forms as there are cultures in the world.

The ninth chapter is about masks and mimic magic. In shamanic cultures shape shifting is often involved in getting to know an animal spirit and to work with the animal spirit. This is just one form of mimic and mask magic involved. Other techniques include jumping high in the fields to show how the crops should grow. The idea is that by showing the fields how to grow they will and that by becoming the animal or spirit, that animal or spirit will manifest there and lend its power to the working at hand.

The final chapter discusses and mentions group magic and ritual. Group magic and ritual was common once but not so any more. From the ancient rituals of those who follow Dionysus to mentions of our modern day Pagan Pride day celebrations, the author covers why group magic is essential and why it should be considered a practice.

By the end of the book the author has given multiple cultural practices that a witch can integrate into their own practices and take inspiration from. The goal of this book is to inspire the witch to look at folklore and folk magic and find new ways of adding to their magical practices. This book is just what the intermediate witch needs to take their magic to the next level using only folklore and traditional practices.

I: Incenses -Why they are used, how to use them and choosing the right type

Incenses:

Today we are going to talk about the origins of a product line we have as well as why people use and work with magical incenses to begin with. Incenses are a large part of many forms of witchcraft, magic, and spirituality. Some people also just like to burn incense because they like the smell and the atmosphere that certain incenses can bring to a room. I know that for myself there was a simple pleasure in lighting an incense and simply enjoying the scent as it filled the room.

Why people work with incenses

So now why do people work with incenses? There are many different reasons that a person will work with incense. From simply enjoying the scent to working intense rituals incenses have many different properties that people enjoy and work with. Incenses are probably one of the most common ways that magic can be practiced. Its also one of the simplest acts of spiritual devotion that a person can engage in.

How people work with and use incenses

So what are some of these ways? It really depends on a persons spiritual path and the life an individual leads. Not everyone who burns incenses works with a spiritual or magical view. Not all paths work with incenses and sacred scents the same way. Some paths use blended incenses for rituals and magical purposes, while other traditions and practices will work with a single specific herb for its properties. Like any form of magical and spiritual work incense work comes in many different forms.

One way that most people enjoy incenses is simply to burn them for the various different scents that are out there. Many people have their favorite scents that they like to burn. For many the enjoyment of the scent is a way to relax and unwind. Other people just like to use different scents to lighten up their homes. Scents are very powerful ways that we can change our moods. This is a way that many non magical and spiritually minded people work with incense. Before I started to really study and explore magic myself, that was the main reason I worked with and enjoyed incenses.

There are some traditions that believe that when you light an incense and say a prayer over the incense that the smoke of the incense carries the prayer to heaven, the Gods, the ancestors, and the spirits that a person works with. For those who believe in this aspect of air magic and incense work by praying for their desire over the incense they believe that the energy is being scent to the Gods via the smoke of the incense. This is a very simple and easy form of magic that many people engage in.

Another belief and practice for using incense is to simply give an offering to spirits and Gods. There are different herbs and scents that are sacred and special to specific Gods and Spirits. Dragons blood resin when burned as an offering makes a wonderful offering to Dragon spirits. They love the scent and are happy when its offered to them. The God of Christianity has an incense of either Frankincense or Myrrh that is sacred to him. By offering different Gods and spirits incenses that are sacred and special to them a person can strengthen their bond with the deity or spirit.

Some people burn incenses as a part of meditation and trance work. The scents that they work with during this spiritual work often depends on exactly the nature of the work. Some people may have a blended incense that they use for generic meditation work. Other people will have different scents for different types of spirit work. They may have an incense for astral travel and out of body work and another for dream work, while having a basic scent for general meditative work. The idea here is the scent being burned in some fashion works as a mental and psychological trigger to get into that state of mind where one can engage in spiritual and magical work.

In religious ritual depending on the tradition the incenses burned have different roles. In most witchcraft circles the burning of an incense represents the element of air specifically. This allows the element of air to be present in rituals and to have the ritual and spirit work manifest through the element of air. In other rituals the scent can be used to help purify and protect a sacred space, or just to create a mood through the different scents that can be burned.

Finally a person can burn incense for the magical and spiritual properties of the herbs. By burning the incenses over charcoal, in a cone shape, or in stick form the energy and spiritual properties of the herbs are released into the world. When a person engages in the use of incenses for magical purposes by saying a charm over the incense as it burns their desires and intents are given a form to manifest in. The incense as it burns releases that energy into the universe. The person who casts the spell through the incense burning directs that energy through their intent and their words allowing the universe to manifest their desires.

Choosing the Type of Incense

Now there are different types of incenses that can be worked with. There are some benefits and there are some issues with all forms of incense work. This is why when people work with incenses they often have to make difficult decisions. There are many different factors involved with choosing the right sort of incense to work with. Depending on where you live and what sort of environment you are in some options might not be advisable for you.

There are some people who can’t handle incense smoke, so they need a different alternative. Those people often use essential oils and other scented liquids for their incense work. The scent is either diffused through evaporation means or through a small candle under a diffuser meant to heat off the scent. If you live in a place where you can’t burn incense for what ever reason essential oils through sprays and evaporation diffusers may be an option for you. Mystic Echoes sells magical tinctures that can also be effective in this use.

The most common form of incense is that of the joss or stick incense. These are the types of incenses you see in many different types of stores. The availability of the burners and types of scents in the stick style of incense is what makes them the most popular form of incense.  To use you simply place the incense in a holder and light.

The limit to this is that you have to be specific in your needs with the scent.  Unless you know how to craft and make stick incense yourself, you are limited to the choices available to you and there is a chance that the incenses will not be made will all natural only herbal ingredients.  This incense would not be used in placed where you can not burn things.  The benefit is that there are many different scents and varities out there so you can likely find something that will suit your need.

You also have cone or shaped incenses.  These are a little less popular than the stick incense.  Here the incense is placed in a fire safe container and lit.  The incense burns down into an ash form based on the shape.  The charcoal, oils, and herbs are pressed together to make this form.  So in order for this to burn you simply light the incense cone and place it in the burner.

Like the stick incense, cone incense are limited to the scents and styles sold by suppliers and may have synthetic scents to them rather than all natural pure herbal ingredients.  The other issue is that it can not be used in a place where burning incense is forbidden. The benefit is that there are many different scents and varieties out there so you can likely find something that will suit your need.

The last form of incense is the one that is commonly used in ritual work.  This is a loose based powdered incense.  Here the incense is completely based all natural.  It is just the herbs blended and ground together for a specific purpose.  The herbs are carefully chosen for their properties and only occasionally their scent.  These incense blends are mixed in a mortar and pestle most often and burned on a charcoal disk in a censor on the altar.    This is the form of incense that Mystic Echoes crafts and sells.

The issues here are that you are limited to charcoal and censors for working with this incense.  The other issue is that the charcoal may not stay lit the entire ritual.  The largest benefit is that because these are made by hand you can ensure that only natural and herbal ingredients are included.  You have full control over the content of the incense.

Conclusion

So this week we have covered the different types of incenses, how they can be used and why people use them.  The entry also covered the benefits and detriments to each form of incense that is out there.  By reading this article you have a better idea of what sort of incenses are out there and which one you may want to use.

Mystic Echoes currently sells tinctures which can be used as a liquid incense like an essential oil and loose powdered herbal incenses.  Both of these product lines have been handcrafted and created for your individual use.    Check out our Magical Incenses and ourMagical Tinctures

Next weeks Pagan Blog project will talk about how you can craft your own magical incenses and will explain how our incense crafting began.

H: Health and Wellness Tincture

Health and wellness Tincture

This is a magical curio only and not a medicinal item and is for external use only. The focus of this tincture is to bring out natural healing energies within the body and to allow those energies to flow easier through the body. It was crafted to aid in healing rituals and spells but can be an effective spell on its own.

This particular blend was developed to assist in Reiki treatments. Many healers enjoy using incenses and oils as a part of their treatment, however not everyone and everyplace allows the burning of incense. This tincture can be used as a liquid incense. By crafting a liquid alternative Mystic Echoes provides an herbal product that will allow a healing herbal scent to be present in a room without being overwhelmed. Its designed to be used just like any other oils would be.

The Health and Wellness Tincture is an infusion of Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint, Ginkgo Leaf. Each of these herbs were chosen for their associations with health, healing, and overall well being. Many of these herbs work healing magic in multiple ways. This allows the tincture to work on many different types of healing rites and services.

Ginkgo leaf is an herb that has seen popularity in iced tea drinks. This is an excellent herb for some base natural healing energy. It boosts your own vitality and inner systems. Ginkgo leaf specifically works on the circulation of the blood and the body which means vitamins and minerals as well as healing forces. This simple herb works in this tincture as the vessel for distributing the energy through the body through circulation.

Lavender is an herb that is used in multiple different ways medicinally and magically. In this tincture Lavender was chosen for a few reasons. Lavender is an herb that works well when fighting depression and anxiety. This makes it a healing herb for mental health issues. Lavender has additional healing properties in that it brings longevity, peace, and happiness. This herb also works to fight depression by allowing for peaceful nights sleep.

Peppermint and Spearmint were added as a pair of power booster herbs. These two herbs work well as a team for powerful healing and mental focuses. This team provides a force that is natural and energetic that allows for versatility and enjoyable scents around the home. These are two herbs that really should be worked in harmony together in most workings.

Both Spearmint and Peppermint share similar properties Healing is one of the properties. In this tincture the team works as a scent carrier. The scent of peppermint is relaxing and typically brings back pleasant memories. It is this both the relaxation and healing properties together that brought the spearmint and peppermint team into this tincture as an energy booster and a scent provider.

This is a spell ready to be used. You can use this tincture in the same way you would use any magical oil. You can apply it as a perfume/cologne, you can burn it as a smokeless incense, you can anoint a blue or white candle and burn the candle or you can place a few drops on the person or around the place/item to be healed

Available for sale Here & Here

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