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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

Product Review: Nasal Decongestant By Sages Aromatherapy

Nasal DecongestantToday I am going to be talking to you about one of my favorite products.  This is a holistic and natural herbal remedy that works great.  I’ve tried many different products to help with my congestion and other issues.  None of them have worked as well as this one balm.  Sages Aromatherapy knew what they were doing when they started to create this blend.

This year has been terrible for allergies for everyone.  Its been worse for people like me who suffer from asthma as well.  So I’m always a bit wheezy and stuffy from my asthma and general environmental allergies.  My allergies and congestion are so bad at times that I end up feeling like I am going to puke in the morning in order to get rid of everything that slipped down in the night.
To be honest the only thing that ever actually helped me get rid of phlegm and congestion before was the max dose of Mucinex.  And I’d have to take it everyday when they even recommend not taking it more than 7 days without seeing doctors. I would mention it to my Doctors and nothing would help and they continued to say if the mucinex works just keep working with it.  Not only is the stuff expensive but it can also taste terrible if it gets stuck on the tongue while you try and swallow the large pills.  I grew really tiered of taking it twice a day to just be able to breathe and live without feeling physically ill every morning.

Hot shower before bed were one thing I tried but with post nasal drip it just seemed to give the nasal passages more phlem for the following morning.  In the middle of the winter I started to try working with Eucalyptus oil alone and that helped quite a bit but it still felt like there had to be something better out there that was natural like Eucalyptus oil that I could use and have it be more effective.  The Eucalyptus oil helped me be able to breathe at night but there was still phlem in the morning, breathable and non ill feeling phlem but it was still there.

Now a few months ago I was gathering raffle items for the Maine Pagan Unity Day in Portland Maine.  Many members of the Pagan Business Network sent items to be sold at the raffle for a fundraiser for Maine Pagan Unity Day.   As I was gathering several items together I personally snagged a few items from various providers that I personally was attracted to and wanted to give a chance.  This Nasal Decongestant was one of the few small items I grabbed for myself.  And I am so glad that I did.

I applied I little to my chest only at night for a week and the results were amazing.  Not only could I breathe but I didn’t feel like there was any phlem there.  I coughed a little in the morning but there was no phlem.  No sounds of gurgling and not sounds of hacking.  I actually felt healthy and like I was normal.  A week later I added the balm to my feet as the jar suggested and I couldn’t believe how much it helped me.  I felt like I was a different person.  It seemed as it there were no barriers to my breathing at all.

The more I used this item the less I seemed to need my controller inhaler and my rescue inhaler.  In fact most days now unless its extremely humid I really only seem to need my controller just in the morning.  Even my use of the rescue/exercise inhaler has dropped substantially.  Unless I am going to be doing a lot of physical work (exercise or vacuuming the CVS I work at) I really dont need either of them in my day to day life.  I am not advocating to stop using inhalers if you use them.  Far from it.  Mine are still essential to my life, I just relay on them maybe once a day instead of 4-5 times a day.

The last few weeks allergies have been dull and down so I have not used them as much as I have in the past.  However in the next few weeks fall allergies will be all over.  So I know I will be using this balm for myself again.  I don’t leave home without it.  Its in my daily meds and first aid I carry with me everywhere.  Just knowing that I can use the balm if and when I need it is an amazing relief.  And it feels relaxing when you put it on too!

If you would like to own your own decongestant balm you can order it here:Decongestant Salve

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.

Book Review: Mama D’s Practical Herbal Guidebook

Mama D's Practical Herbal Guide Book

My first impression of this book is that honestly its way to short. While there is all sorts of information in this book I honestly felt that it was way to short. There should have been more chapters. The author could have done so much more to not only give the book more information but also to help with those new to herbalism and herbal work in any form.

I do think that the author could have spent more time providing some resources for herbs. Places online and other resources. Some of the herbs mentioned are easy to find as they are in many culinary cabinets or they can be found in your backyard like dandelions. Knowing which herbs can be found in the wild and which herbs may need to be ordered would be very useful. There are many small and large businesses online that sell herbs.

As part of the resources I believe that some sort of image or representation of the plants in the book would have been very beneficial. Even if not every herb listed had an image but every two or three it would make things much easier. Not only would the book have had the information on the uses of the plants but it would also have information on how to identify some of the plants.

The author does list a few herbal resources. Unfortunately she also mentions quite clearly that one of the resources is no longer in business. It would have been better if a website that was still in business and still had useful information had been posted instead of one that the reader shouldn’t even bother to find as they are no longer in business.

The best thing the author does in this book is provide an excellent disclaimer. There are many herbal books on the market that cover medicinal aspects of herbs and provides home remedy instructions. However without a lot of personal study and knowledge a person can do more harm than good from trying alternatives to modern medicine. For this reason the authors disclaimer is perfect. It protects her information and explains that using these remedies is at your own discretion and risk.

One thing I really do like is how simple and direct the information is. The author organizes and presents the information provided to you by both type of ailment and herbal associations. For me this is a great way to present the information as you see the associations and uses in two different formats.

In the listings I find it a bit of a relief that the author makes note of a few of the herbs that could be problematic and explains what some of those issues are. This information is essential to anyone who has any sort of reaction to aspirin or who may use an herbal supplement longer than prescribed because its natural and not chemical. Just because its an herb doesn’t mean it wont have an effect on the body that could be negative.

I do wish that the author had provided more recipes and information on making your own. In the recipes section there are only a handful of teas and incenses covered. Incenses and teas are only one way you can work with these herbs for health and magic. I would have liked some information on adding to foods and tinctures or other workings with herbs. A few more specifics on step by step preparation would have also been useful.

In the end I am going to continue to use this small guide as a reference in my practice of magic and herbal wellness. I would like to see it expanded into a larger volume with more information on the herbs and more ways to work with them.

Book Review: Papa Jim’s Herbal Magic Workbook

Papa Jim's Herbal Magic Workbook

This is a very small book but full of wonderful information.  There are no chapters only a brief introduction to Herbal Magic and then alphabetical listings of all sorts of herbs with properties and a few spell suggestions with them.  The third section of the book is a selection of herbal recipes for many different solutions.

From Angelica Root to Valerian Root this book is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in herbal magic and folklore.  Not only are there spells with the various herbs and suggestions on how to work with the herbs.  There were several herbs and items listed in this book I had never heard of before now, and now I want to look for more information on them.

While I feel that this book could be much larger there is still a lot of useful information in this book.  Folklore and folk magic in the Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Rootwork traditions is easily accessible with this slim book.  Not only is the information very easy to read but its presented in simple language letting the true beauty of folk magic shine.

The author does include references to other products and items to be used in the various lore and spells.  The author does not provide recipes for the fast money oils or Hoyt’s cologne when referencing to these items.  It is assumed that the reader will have access to those materials.  The author does include a list of what he carries in his own personal Botanica.  So while the author did not provide recipes for the additional item in the spells and workings, he does provide a resource for obtaining those items.

The book ends with a list and translation from Spanish to English and English to Spanish of the various herbs covered in the book.  This is an important resource as there are many different common names for herbs based not only on location (geographically) but also with language and religious tradition and style.  This translation allows people to break the language barrier and know what herbs the other person is talking about.

The herbs in this book come from many different cultures and many different traditions.  While the author comes from a Hoodoo/Santeria/Voodoo background the variety of herbs covered in this book tells me that the author has experience with cross cultural herbal magic and workings.  For this reason I would highly recommended any magical herbalist add this book to their collection.

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

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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