Category Archives: Witchcraft
One of the most unique products available at Mystic Echoes is our collection of Shed Snake skin. These shed skin come from our two loved Baal Pythons. They shed their skins several times a year as part of the natural cycle of life. So no worries. These snakes are well loved and cared for.
Animal bodyparts have been used in magic historically. Shed snake skin is no different. The snake skin contains the essence of the snake spirit. It is a vessel for the spirit of the snake and the snakes spiritual energy. These skins allow us to contact and communicate directly with the spirit energy of snakes. These skins also provide an excellent physical charm to carry with you. These physical charms allow you to access the energy of the snake spirit at any time. Some traditions call those items fetishes.
The magic of the snake can be found across cultures. In some cultures snakes are symbols of evil and darkness for example in Christianity snakes and serpents are associated with the Devil and Hell.. In other cultures serpents are symbols of primal energy and are considered to be highly passionate creatures. Some cultures associate Snakes with transformation as well as growth and development. Every culture is different.
You may find over time that you develop your own associations with snakes and serpent energy. As with any magical practices and associations it is up to you to develop your own connections to the magic within the spirit. The more you work with the spirit the stronger your relationship will become and the more you will learn from them.
So how do you begin to work with the magic of snakes? First you have to think about the many associations with snake spirits and their energy. Secondly you have to think about your personal feelings on the snake spirit. What do snakes mean to you? What does your spirit say about working with that energy? Finally you have to think about your magical and spiritual objective. What do you want to get from the spell or ritual? How deep do you want this relationship to go? Once you have answered those questions you can begin to formulate your spell and ritual.
In order to help you start working with snake energy and the snake spirit we are going to fo through the process of developing a ritual and spell to start your relationship with serpent energy. We will be working with the first associations that my intuition developed when I first held onto snake skin.
So let’s start at the first step. The first step in the process is understanding several of the magical and spiritual properties associated with the curio. As shown above there are different properties and works from different cultures. This list is a collection of properties associated with just the snake skin.
Magical properties of Snake Skin
- Sex and sexuality
- Hexing and or cursing
- Change and Transformation
The next step in working with snake skin is deciding what snakes mean to you. What do you think of when you hold the snake skin? For myself the first thing that comes into my mind is shedding of old so renewal,rebirth,and removal. The next thing that comes into my mind is Change or transformation as well as healing.
The last step is what your personal goal is and how deep you want the relationship to go. Since you are going to be calling on the spirit of the snake it is important to be respectful and acknowledge the power and presence of the spirit. The magical goal is important, but its important to have the spiritual aspect understood first.
Here I am going to deal with healing depression. I want to feel connected to myself. I want to remove ill feelings and I want to feel refreshed and renewed. So the goals here are healing, renewal, and removal. Those are the magical goal. Since the healing is related to a mental health issue this is something that is going to be continual. So this is a relationship that you may want to develop for an extended period of time.
Let’s start with a ritual to get to know the snake spirit. From there we can then focus on the magical work. Its a two part process. First is the calling on and greeting the spirit. Second comes the magical work. For this you will want to have a few pieces of snake skin three for the spell and one for the ritual, or you can use one large one that you break into four smaller components.
Calling the Snake spirit
Offering of Water
Set up your altar with a large white candle for your spirit and a glass of water for the snake spirit as an offering
State a prayer to your spirit Guides and ancestors asking to open and connect the way to the animal realms
Place the Snake Skin on the Altar
As you place the Snake Skin on the altar pray to the spirit:
“Serpent spirits hear my prayer
I call to you,
I ask that you hear my plea
Send your blessings to me
A friend to you I will be
In my heart you will stay
open the doors in my way”
Sit there and be in the moment. Hold the snake skin and see what comes into your mind. When you feel that your communication has ended snuff out the candle and leave the altar. Keep the snake skin there. Over the next month twice a week light the candle and repeat the prayer and meditation. This will keep the communication open to you and the spirits.
After the month of prayers and developing a relationship with the snake spirit you can start doing your first magical working with the snake. This is where we will call on the snake energy directly in the spell and ritual.
Healing with Snake Skin
3 Pieces of Snake Skin
3 pieces of Paper
On the candle inscribe it with the words “healing, renewal,removal”
Take the healing oil and dress the candle from the top to the bottom (you are healing and removing things so top to bottom works)
Light the candle and state:
“Candle burning bright
Bring healing with this light”
Pick up the snake skin and call to the spirit of the snake. A prayer like this would work well:
“I call upon the ancient powers of the snake
May you help weave the web of fate”
On the first piece of paper Write out everything you wish to have removed from your life
As you write out the things you want to have removed see them gone, feel them behaviors and emotional issues removed from your life and you set clear
Once you have poured all that emotion into the paper place one of the snake skins on the paper
Fold the paper in half away from you. Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again. Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.
When you have tied the knot state:
“I banish that which causes me ill
In their stead blessings fill”
Next write out on the last piece of paper how you want to be healed. Talk about what you will do when you are healed and feeling a sense of being a new person. Include things you want to do but haven’t been able to do for a while. Be as clear as you can. See yourself outside doing those activities.
Fold the paper in half away from you. Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again. Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.
Tie the folded paper with the black thread. as you tie the knot state:
“Renewal and refreshed I am on this day
Cleansed and blessed will I stay”
On the last paper write that which you want to heal. Include as many details as you can. be as emotional as you can. As you write out these healing requests see yourself healed. See yourself feeling the way that you want to feel. Know that you will be healthy.
Once all of that emotion has been placed into the paper place the next piece of snake skin.
Fold the paper in half away from you. Turn the paper away from you and fold the paper again. Do this twice more and then tie it with the black thread.
When you have tied the knot state:
” Healing Come to Me
Better health I do see”
Next take the candle and the three packets and go outside. Place each of the packets in the candle flame. As they burn state:
“candle burning bright
Giving me your sacred light
Burn all obstacles in my way
Health and wellness stay”
Once the packets have burned and there are ashes sprinkle those ashes at the crossroads, into the wind, and into a stream. This will send your desire to be healed into all directions. If there is no stream you can bury the ashes on your property or blow them all into the wind.
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
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)
Sharp Object to ensrcribe the candle
Red Ribbon, chord or string
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.
Items used in the spell
What Witches Do is an awesome introduction to the world of British Traditional Wicca. The author wrote this book during his time as a first degree initiate till he earned his second and third degrees and became a High Priest of the tradition. In many ways this book reflects part of the authors training as he explored the religion of Wicca from the inside out.
For those more familiar with Wicca as styled by Scott Cunningham, Edain McCoy or even Raymond Buckland this book takes some serious adjustments. Most people forget that Wicca when it was founded by Gerald Gardner and then the Alexandrian Tradition founded by Alex and Maxine Sanders was a coven based religion and continues to be so today.
This book is a perfect text for those who are interested in Traditional Wicca but are not quite ready to contact a coven. This text was my introduction to Traditional Wicca several years ago and remains to be one of my go to books when I need a refresher on Traditional Wicca. There are several practices that are discussed in many books on Wicca that I feel this book covers the areas that are “missing”.
If you are interested in Traditional Wicca this book is perfect for you. If you are looking to learn more about the early forms of Wicca prior to the solitary traditions this book will cover that. If you are interested in what religious witchcraft looks like this book is for you. If you are looking for instant initiation, solitary rituals and spells this is not your book.
There are some spells and rituals in the book. In this book they provide context to how Wiccan coven rituals may run and what sabbat rituals could entail. None of the rituals or spells within this book can really be performed solitary. It comes from a coven based tradition so it will have a different feel than other books.
This book has so much more information than I remembered. Every time I reread the book I learn something new. It’s packed with information. 5/5
Today I would like to give my readers a simple post talking about a love spell. This love spell is designed to attract romantic and passionate love into your life.
Red Witches Salt
Red Rose Petals
With a sharp needle or knife inscribe the candle one one side with the word love and the other side passion.
Take the Love Oil and rub the candle from the bottom to the top. As you rub the candle with the oil visualize love growing in your life.
Place the candle on a plate.
Take the red salt and sprinkle the salt around the candle. As you sprinkle the salt around the candle
Next light the candle. As you light the candle state:
“Candle flame burning bright
Ignite my passion on this night
By this candle light
I am within true loves sight”
Sprinkle the rose petals around the candle dropping an occasional petal into the candle.
When the candle is done burning take the remains of the spell under a tree in your yard. As the tree grows so to will your love.
All of the materials for this spell can be bought at Mystic Echoes
Small Glass Jar
(Money draw powder)
Green Witches Salt
Coins/small loose change picked up over the course of day to day life
Money Bath and Soak
Fast Cash Oil
Succsess Aromatherapy candle
Wash the jar seeing it filled with money and succsess. Add 1 tbs of the Money Bath to the wash.
Walk around your home picking up any loose change. As you see the change if it is heads up state “Hi Hunting money you found me” and put it in your pocket. If it is tails flip the coin thrice stating “hunting money ,hunting money, you found me hunting money” Pick it up and kiss it before putting it in your pocket.
Once you have the money gathered put it in your jar.
Cover the jar with the lid
Shake the jar chanting:
“Prosperity flowing free Money and wealth come to me”
See yourself with all your financial needs met and having money to spare for entertainment etc. Shake until you feel it full of that energy.
Uncover the lid. Sprinkle the money powder and the salt over the cash. Add three drops of the Money oil.
Cover and repeat the shaking and chant.
Shake the jar two to three times daily with the chant as above.
At the end of each day put any and all spare/loose change in the jar. Repeat the edition of the oil and powders. Shake here again.
Every time you pick up spare change use the “hunting money chant” and that will help bring you wealth and succsess in general.
When the jar is full take the money out and buy yourself something. You can use the same jar over and over again.
If you decide to use the candle dress the candle with Fast money oil, Luck gain oil, and The Green salt as well as Money draw powder. Burn it near the jar but not on top of the jar unless you plan on burying the jar to create a permanent charm.
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.
So 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
Book Review: Trolldom: Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk Magic Tradition by Johannes Björn Gårdbäck
Over the last year and a half my magical practices have started to take a change towards more folk magic systems. To me the lack of formalized ritual for spells is much more appealing than the need to invoke deities for every spell or magical action I perform. In many ways folk magic traditions relate to me more than most of the modern witchcraft practices as they do not make magic separate from day to day life. Magic in this instance was a tool for life nothing more or less. Folk magic simply was and is The Magic of the people.
I’ve been focusing on Hoodoo which is an American system of folk magic created during the slave era and deeply tied into African American culture and Southern Culture in general. I figured as an American I might as well look into a system of magic that was born here in this country. Often times I get mixed views on my interest in Hoodoo as I am not Black nor am I from the south. I am a Northerner. I am from Maine and I have never lived outside of Maine. So for some of them I was participating in cultural appropriation. Not being from the South or Black how could I understand all the intracices of the culture? How could I honor those ancestors?
One common theme of advice I was given was to look into my own personal heritage and see what sort of folk magic traditions I could explore. I’d be honoring my ancestors and I would be staying within specific cultural guidelines. For this reason I looked up and did some searching on Germanic or Norse style of Folk Magic. Trolldom was the topic that came up. So when I was given an opportunity to read a book on my own ancestral practices and traditions I was all over it. It felt right to be reading that book and to start looking at adding some of the workings into my own practice.
If you are expecting spells and forumulas that deal with the Norse Gods you wont find a lot in this tome. Most of the spells either deal with a land spirit or they call on Jesus, God,Mary,The Holy Spirit, or the Devil. Like most folk traditions alot of the pagan elements are still there but you will have a hard time to find specific workings with the Norse Gods. There are plenty of books on the market for Nordic witchcraft and magic that deals with those deities.
This is the magic of the people. We are lead to believe that all the magic died out when the Norse Culture became Christianized. That is simply not the case. In fact many of the old workings which dealt with the old gods were simply modified to deal with the spirits and the religion of Christianity. Knowing this now I am still quite happy with the material in this book as I feel it still connects me to those ancestors. Afterall my most recent ancestors would have been Christian. So if they practiced this craft or if they had a family style of Trolldom it is the Christian spells and spirits they would have worked with.
For the reasons above I have read and enjoyed reading Trolldom. It took a long time to read. This book is intense and full of information. I spent a lot of my early days with the book just going back and forth with the glossary at the beginning of the book. There were so many new terms and phrases to learn and understand. The language component in this book is one of the most important elements but it is also one of the most difficult components to deal with.
The language barrier involved in this project is the reason there are two sections based on language. You have a glossary (which is right after the dedication) and then you have a section on different terms for different practices within this particular set of workings and systems. Trolldom encompass more than just Norway and Icelandic magic which is why the language issue is present. This book actually ecompases quite a few different “Nordic” cultures. It covers Norway, Iceland, Sweeden, and Finland as well as having a bit of Anglo-Saxon and some Lore preserved in Powwow or the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions. For this reason the section for the glossary and on the terms is not only important to mark and return to throughout the book, but is an essential part of understanding this practice.
This book is broken into a few different sections. First is the glossary which was the most difficult to get through. The second section is about the History. Here the author showed how and where Trolldom survived. I find it interesting to note one of the places visited and mentioned in the book is in my Home state of Maine. Its not a town I have been to or near but it in some ways brings this book and its workings closer to home. I feel better knowing that there are places in my home region where this practice was passed on in some manner.
After history you had the terms. This section was about how different regions had different names for the practice of Trolldom and the practitioners of Trolldom. Here we also got into the discussion about how one learned Trolldom and how you could become a professional in the art of Trolldom. In this culture Trolldom was not just a practice it was an honored profession that many people would take advantage of. You had your specialists and a few generalists each with unique skills and practices as well as a unique term for their practice.
The next section was on divination on the two different terms and styles mentioned. For me the importance divination plays in Trolldom shows me a relationship with Hoodoo. Trolldom has infact been called the Norse Hoodoo, so I would say that the use of divination in magical practices and how they dictate the works to be done is a key component in folk magic. It seems today more and more people are just doing what ever type of working seems to be the best for them and their situation without taking the time to check the source of the problem or situation.
Finally we get into the workings or the methods. These spells are called Formulas. The book has many different sections from Health and healing, to hunting, protection, curses, and even a group of miscellaneous spells. What I liked best about this section of the book was the fact that there was the English spoken components translated but you could also see the original language as well. For me this shows just the amount of work that went into this tome.
I will say there are several spells and workings that are basically included only for historical accuracy. Some items listed in spells like animal parts or human bones are not as easy to get a hold of as they may have been at one point in time. There are some spells that mention digging up and harvesting things like bones of dead men or going to hanging sites. Many of these practices are not readily acceptable in the world we live in today. However if you wish to understand a tradition that has been around for centuries you really need to understand these historical spells. There is enough material that you can find spells and formulas that are suitable for today’s society.
I hope that the author will continue the work and write a book just on the herbal charms and herbal uses in this book. While you can find several herbs mentioned in the folk name as well as botanical and a common name, only a small selection of the possible herbal charms are even shown in this work. For many people who practice folk magic Herbal magic is a huge part of the practice. So I would encourage the author to work on an herbal trolldom book.
One of the things that I love to do for other businesses is to review their products and services. I get to try new things and they get exposure out there. Its a great win for everyone. I thought for once instead\ of reviewing a single or set of products from a company I would try something different this time around. This time I asked if I could review one of these monthly themed boxes from Lady Chandra. So I am.
One of the things I like about this subscription box is that the owner gives the profits back to charities that benefit children in need and families dealing with abuse and other situations. There are many charities out there that help children and families dealing with all sorts of abuse. This subscription box puts the profits from the box towards the charities. Sometimes its a direct donation and other times they buy items from the charity to put into the box for information. Either way I am impressed with the fact that the creator of these unique boxes is not out to get money for themselves but to help charities and organizations in need of help.
The Charity of the Month of August was the Mama Bear Effect: Mama Bear Effect . One of the reasons I appreciate the effort to support charities like the Mama Bear effect comes from my own personal history as a survivor of child sexual abuse. So for this reason I am proud to be a vendor that has for the month of August sent some products to Lady Chandra and I will be sending in things again for future boxes.
This box was full of awesome goodies from shell candles and a charm to carry with you to oils and incense. This box had a bit of everything. I even got some soap and body wash to try and work with! As someone who loves to get samples or full sized products to try and work with this box is perfect for me. There are all sorts of samples and goodies to work with. many of the businesses will get some sort of review from me about their product they sent into the box.
As a business owner I am happy to see that these boxes are full of a large variety of products from many different types of businesses. I am also happy to see that the owner puts in effort to make sure that there is something for everyone in the boxes. My favorite item from this box is either the small broom (which needs a home now) or the Essence sent my Charissa’s Cauldron.
The last thing I would like to say about these boxes is that there are now three sizes. You have your Mega Box which has several different items and is more expensive, your regular box which is the regular themed box, and you have the mini box which has an assortment of goodies but not necessarily a theme.
If you want to get your own box: Lady Chandra’s Subscription Boxes All of the September Boxes are sold so keep looking for October, November, and December
Starting to work with Magical Incense and Powders
An introduction to Powdered Incense and Magical Powders
Who I am and Why I do this
My name is Loona Wynds. I have been a practicing with for many years. I started as a teenager. At the time the only incense that was available to me for my spell work was the commercial large brands I could find at the local music store. Which for me at the time was great. Once and a while I was get a chance to go to a Hippy shop where I could buy Frankincense sticks, Myrrh, and my favorite Dragons Blood. These worked fine for a 13 year old who was just starting out on her journey in witchcraft but after working with them for 5 years things changed.
Most of the commercial incense (not Nag Champa) use synthetic scents. These are chemicals whose scents mimic natural scents from herbs and resins, and for some people these are fine. However my fiance can not breathe with those types of scents burning. Not wanting to stop my ritual work and my spell work I started to get supplies to craft and make my own powdered natural incense.
This was 10 years ago. I would only make some incense as I needed it now. I would store the rest for future use. This for me just meant more trips to the Leapin Lizards, the local metaphysical store for new herbs and resins for different blends. Making incense for me made me feel at my witchiest.
I was in control of all the energy in the blend. I was the one who was able to blend, mix, and shape the energetic forces of the incense to do as I willed. I got into a trance and I could really feel that the incense was in fact a spell in the making. The grinding of the resins and flowers or roots together put the physical energy of my desire into the work which lead to manifestation. This was how I started to understand the real essence of herbal magic.
I’m going to be honest right here and right now. I never once used a recipe for my incenses. I never once had a book top guide me in the steps. My only resources were the herbal packets themselves which had properties and uses on the back and Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Herbs. I was purely using my intuition, my inner knowing as the old conjureers call it. So all of my blends were unique. They were never the same twice, and at the time I didn’t bother to record what I was doing as they were all experiments of the spiritual science of magical herbalism and spiritual aromatherapy.
3 years ago My fiance noticed that though I was trying really hard I was simply not able to find a job. I applied everywhere and I even had a few interviews. Nothing was working. One of my dreams has always been to have my own Metaphysical shop where I could sell supplies to people on their spiritual journeys and help them grow as a witch or pagan or what ever they identified as.
We had been told that because of me history I may be able to get a grant through the Small Business Development center. I talked to my worker helping me find work and we decided to try to go this route. After doing a test market of my tinctures, incenses, and some basic herbs I was able to prove that this was a dream that would work. And now with their help I have come to be able to make and sell the incenses and powders that I do.
Why work with powdered incense?
The most original form of incense is pure herbal incense. The witches, priests, shamans, and magic workers would dry plants and herbs and throw them on the fire for an effect during ritual. Over time they created different herbal combinations for different rituals and workings. From there they developed working with small batches for an individual working rather than a full community ritual. These small batches are how witches continue to work.
By working with the loose herbal and resin form of incense you can control the power of the essence more effectively. You are also able to communicate with the spirits of the plants. While they have been dried and harvested the dried plants are like the bone of a person. They still contain aspects of the plants spirit and essence. When we make powdered incenses for spell and ritual work it is this essence that we are tapping into. It is this part of the plants spirit we are working with.
While most incense stick may have some traces of essential oils in the blends you are not dealing with a pure plant essence. You are simply dealing with the chemical concoctions. To get a connection with the natural essence of the plant you want to work with dried plants that you either gather yourself (the best option) or buy from a reputable supplier. Otherwise you may not even be talking to or working with the plant spirit.
In essence witches work with the spirits of the plants they work with. Using powdered incense that you make yourself is one of the best ways that you can start working with the plant spirits. You can feel them, speak to them, and get a sense for their energetic properties. Over time the more you work with the plants the more they will teach you about them and working with them. I worked with marigold for years in spell work and incense before it revealed its uses in money,finance, and succsess work. Prior to that most of my work had been with the healing attributes and the psychic development attributes and its still one of my main go to for those works.
What are Magical Powders?
Magical powders are not as common in witchcraft as they are in Hoodoo and other folklore and folk magic tradition. Powders are a very effective way to work magic without being seen or known. Powders are effective because they work in silence and in the shadows without much fuss or muss. You are simply sprinkling a mixture around an area or on an object and letting the powder do the work.
In magical powders it really is the spirit of the plants that are doing the work. While incense send the words and prayers up to Gods and spirits other than the plant spirits, powders are direct to the earth. Its just the plants, your intent, and mother earth that makes things work. In magical powders you are really relying on the inner conjure power of the plants and of their spirits. They will work for you if you are respectful to them.
Not all magical powders are plant matter though. Several powders like Red brick dust, and grave yard dirt are not based on plant matter but on the organic matter of them. They are still full of power because of the spirits in them. The spirit of the place is an important aspect of gathering these powders.
Grave yard dirt is gathered at the cemetery and used in rituals depending on the grave it came from. This dirt can contain plant matter but in essence instead of the plants you are working with the spirit from the grave where you took the dirt from while. This is why it s important to do research on the grave you take the dirt from and give them an offering. It is also for this reason that most people will gather graveyard dirt from the cemeteries of their ancestors or beloved dead.
Powders like Hotfoot and black salt are often made with herbs as well as other items. In these powders it is still the plant spirits that are working for you, but it is also your intention in the work. Your desire and knowing that the work will be done that makes it work. The herbs are what boost the intent for the powder and it is sprinkling them onto the earth or object that makes it work.
Why you should make your own
Making your own incense and powders is one of the best things you can do in magic and witchcraft. I say this because it allows you to really control the power and the intent in the product. No one else but you really knows what type of healing you need done or what your money issues are. By making your own you can really be the magic and be the power behind the working.
It is important to remember that intent is everything in magic and witchcraft. When you start to make your own blends you get to put your emotional state and your intent into the product from the very beginning. You are asking the spirits of the plants to aid you in this work and lend their power to your working. By stating this while you blend and grind the power gets transferred and the energy mixes very well.
While you can use products that have been pre-charged and made by others you will not have as much control over the energy in the product. They will not have your emotional connection to the spell or working you are trying to do. The creator of the incense or powder can ask the spirits of the plants to charge the creation for a specific purpose and it will work, just not as effective. They will put their own emotional charge into the work as their blessing but without your own inner emotional force it is missing and aspect to be as effective as it can be.
You are the magic. It is your will that directs magic. This is why even when buying stuff from a store you will need to spend your own emotional energy as you do the work. You will have to make sure that all of your energy gets into the working so that the spirits know your desire and can work for your intent. This is why in the end I prefer to make all my own products. It has my partnership with the plant spirits starting from the moment I choose the herbs.
Tools of the Trade
There are several different tools involved in making incense and powders. You have the Mortar and Pestle, the scale, a mixing bowl, wand, yourself, bags and or containers, and of course the herbs,resins, and essential oils that you wish to work with. Each of these tools plays a central part in creating your own unique blends of incenses and powders.
The most important tool is the Mortar and Pestal. Right now I do not have any in stock but my friend does at his shop: Mortar and Pestle. The mortar and Pestle is how you actually grind and blend the herbs in the incense and powder making. You choose the herbs, weigh the amounts out and grind them. Some people grind them one at a time and then place everything in a mixing bowl for a final blending with hands or a wand. Other people will blend and grind them all within the Mortar and Pestle. My advice is to start with one herb at a time. Once you get a feel for the power it takes to grind the herbs in this fashion you can add more herbs to the blend at a time.
The next tool you need are baggies or some sort of storage container. Once you have made your incense any that you do not burn in a spell or ritual (and a little of homemade magic goes along ways) you will want to be able to store it. This is the reason I keep most pickle, salsa, and jelly jars. I can us it for storage of incense, powders, and other blends. You never know when you will want to do a particular ritual again so it is important to know you can use the same blend again.
You also want to have some sort of paper to record what you did. This way you will know what you made and be able to make it again if it work perfectly. If something did not work well (and not every blend works out perfectly the first time) you want to look at what you did so you can try and tweak the recipe and make changes. This is also a good way to track any manifestations from the work.
A mixing bowl is great if you only have a small mortar and pestle and need more space to blend your herbal mixture. In this you can fold and mix and blend the herbs ground or not to your hearts content. I typically do a mixture of using a wand or using my hands. The wands are great at blasting a direct force of energy into the mixture while my hands do a subtle constant exchange through my personal touch.
One of the reasons I like to use my hands is that I get a direct personal connection with the herbs that I am working with. As I dig into the herbs I can feel them mix and I can feel the energy as they blend. I can feel the plants talking together about the purpose and mingling to the best of their abilities. It also lets me connect with the first witch, the earth mother as all plants are small representatives of the Earth mother.
Unless you are following a specific recipe you really dont need a scale or measuring devices. If you are following your intuition you can just work with what feels right. In Mystic Echoes because of the large amount of product I create in a single sitting I weigh the ingredients out by the ounce. For your own personal use if you want to keep accurate records tablespoons or teaspoons are all you are going to need.
Finally you need to have the herbs. Your herbs, resins, and essential oils are the most important part of the process. With out the herbs, essential oils, and resins you will not have any sort of incense and powder. These are what make your blend your own. There are hundreds of herbs out there many with similar properties. It is your personal choice of the herbs you work with and in what amounts that will make your incense blends really your own.
Choosing the Herbs and essences
The herbs are what make up your powder and your incense.So it is important to choose the right herbs for the right blend. In two follow up posts I am going to give recipes for a protect your love powder and a love incense. For now we will cover resources and how to choose the herb to work with for your unique products.
There are many uses for many different herbs on the market. One of my favorites Dragonsblood (which is a resin) can be used for protection, but also love, lust, money, exorcism, and power. Its also an offering specific to Dragon spirits. Another herb Angelica root has Angelic Work, Protection, Hex Removal,Exorcisms, Health, Meditation, and Divination as associations. Every herb on the market has properties that make them versatile in spell work and in ritual work.
So how do you choose? One of the things I do is I look up a few recipes in the various book resources I have. I then write down the recipies that appeal to me. After having 3 or 4 different recipes I see what is common in them and what is different. I write down all the herbs that are mentioned and go from there. This is where my intuition and working with the spirit comes into play. This is where I let the spirit of the plants guide me.
Once I have a few guides to look at I see what the herbs themselves have to tell me. More often than not the blend I end up with is different than the one that I had intended to use. I can see a lust recipe and start working with the herbs I thought might be good and half way through the creation I get a message from an herb “hey your supposed to use me” or a sensation that another plant would work better in the blend. So I put aside the herb I was going to use and grab the one that told me to work with it.
For those who are new to working with incenses and powders my advice is to actually follow a recipe unless something tells you very strongly to use something else. In this case many of the books that have recipes and associations with herbs and oils will have replacements or herbs that can be used interchangeably.
This is where many people can start to panic. They might not have the exotic herbs like Dragons Blood or Angelica root. But they have something like Basil and black pepper in their kitchen cabinet. Often times I get asked can I use the same herbs I use in cooking for magic? And my response is very much yes! Cinnamon is a good example here. Cinnamon has properties of money, luck, love, lust, protection, and prosperity. Black pepper has protection, removal, and magical offense properties. Your kitchen cabinet has many magical options for you.
This is my point here. Use what you have on hand. In the ancient times the witches and priests only had what they could gather locally in the woods or that they could grow in their gardens. If its something you have in your home I guarantee you can use it in incense or powders. By doing this you are also well on your way to learning about kitchen witchcraft as well. I will cover kitchen witchcraft herbs and kitchen witchcraft spells in another post but for now I’ll make the point clear again. Use what you have on hand.
Working with powders and Loose Herbal Incense
Working with loose herbal incense does require a few additional tools. You need to have charcoal discs and a censor to burn the charcoal disc in.
The reason I suggest you use those longer lighters is that the charcoal discs spark when they are being lit. It is these sparks across the disc that actually start it burning. Once it has been sparking you will see a red ring around the charcoal. Using tongs place it in the censor and sprinkle the incense on the disc as needed for the spell or ritual. Now your incense is being used in a spell or formal ritual work.
Powdered incense or loose herbal incense can be used in more than just formal rituals. You can use them as powders sprinkling them in packets, satchets, or around properties. They can also be used as incense by being burned for offerings to spirits and the Gods. In rituals they provide atmosphere and make the place feel and seem sacred.
The best way I have found to work with powdered and loose herbal incsnes is both as a powder and as an incense. When yuo burn the incense your intent is carried by the smoke to the spirits of the air and to the universe via your prayer and charge into the incense when you light it. Adding it to packets or rubbing the powder on candles will continue the effect and allow another way for the energy of the incense to work.
All of the powdered incenses found at Mystic Echoes:Loose herbal incense & magical Powders by Mystic Echoes can be used as a powder or as an incense. They are very versatile.
Powdered incense has one final beneficial use. There are some incense blends like the Happiness Blend and the Stress Relief blends which can be used as aromatherapy. By buring certain scents a person can heal and change their emotional state. This is one of the benefits of powdered and herbal incense. Variations of the Healing Incense would be burned during many healing ritual baths and they would be one of the best aspects of the bath-the soothing scent and caress of the spirits of the plants aiding me in my healing work.
Powders are best used in spells. You can use them to bless a work place by making a blessing powder. The only way they can really effectivly be used in rituals is when they are made in the rituals. For example at Maine Pagan Unity Day after making a love and protect my love incense and powder in my workshop I had some left that I went outside and sprinkled on the ground as a thank you. It was part of the ritual of friendship in the making of the blends and sprinkling it was a thank you and a spreading of the blessings.
You can use them in many different types of spells. In candle magic you roll a candle in the powder as part of dressing the candles. In packets you feed the packets with the powder to keep them going and you can also add them to the packets in the process of making the packet. You can sprinkle them around the house for protection or removal depending on the powder. There are some who even use them in freezing spells and jar spells. In essence you could use them in any spell work you can imagine. With all magic the only limit to their use is your imagination.
Today I am going to end this blog post with a few books and resources on herbal magic and associations. These are books that I go to every time for my workings.
Papa Jim’s Herbal Magic workbook by Papa Jim
Herb Magic for Beginners By Ellen Dugan
Mama D’s Herbal by Dru Ann Welch
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Backwoods Shamanism by Ray Hess (small but valuable correspondences section)
Magical Herbalism by Scott Cuningham
Kitchen Witchery by Marilyn F. Daniel
Magical Aromatherapy By Scott Cunningham
The complete book of Incense Oils and Brews by Scott Cunningham
Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode
So here is something interesting I thought of recently. I started making my own incense for different workings 10 years ago. At the time I had no recipes. I had no books to guide me other than Cunningham’s herbal encyclopedia and magical herbalism.
I had a mortar and pestal and I had some herbs on hand for different workings (but I was mostly clueless at the time). I realize now that really the ones who taught me how to make incense were not the books. They were in fact the spirits of the plants. Which is why my recipes and practices are as effective and as powerful as they are.
I mention this now because there have been times I have mentioned that the spirits really haven’t taught me all that much. I look back and realize now that the lessons were much more subtle. They actually were more my partners than anything else.
Just like how I’ve always listened to the spirits of the land when it comes to my practice on the sabbats. I’ve always worked and done them really when it felt more energetically appropriate for me and the land that I live on.
The apartment I currently live in was gifted by the spirits of this land. After we left our viewing I said a simple prayer to those spirits asking them that the apartment go to the ones who need it the most, and the right people for the land. The next morning I get a call saying we have the apartment. If that is not spirits working for me and with me, guiding me I dont know what is.