Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Addition To My Bookshelf

The Black Goddess And The Unseen Real, Peter Redgrove

"The forces of weather affect us profoundly. This is not so much esoteric as unknown knowledge. Our electrical body is influenced by magnetic resonances in earth and sky. Clouds, which exert such a visual impact, are also movers of unseen forces or "invisibles" which affect body and mind. As writer Peter Redgrove points out in The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real, his study of the non-visual senses, we move through our days ignorant of such resonances; we have been divorced from the timbre of weather's cycles and the intuitions they contain." review from here

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Making Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles

General instructions for making hand-dipped beeswax candles.

by D. Sammataro, Making Candles With Beeswax

The Wick

When selecting wicking, make sure you purchase wicks for beeswax candles, not paraffin candles. Usually a square wick works best. In general, double the thickness of wick used for paraffin candles, but experiment or buy your wicking from bee supply stores. Make a test candle before preparing a larger batch. If your candles smoke, drip or form cauliflowers, change the wick.

Wicks for dipped, poured or rolled candles must be pre-waxed. Make a loop in the wicking and immerse it in 160 F (70C) beeswax until the air bubbles cease to rise. Hang the wicks by the loop until dry.

Dipped Candles

This is a very old way of making beeswax candles. You will need a tall, narrow double boiler of wax, heated at 140 F (60C). You can purchase special candle dipping containers at candle supply or beekeeping supply stores. The pre-waxed wick is dipped into this wax, pulled out, then allowed to cool. Each dipping leaves a thin layer of wax on the wick. If you are doing this in large numbers, there are wicking jigs you can purchase that makes 10 or more candles at a time. Dip, walk around the room, and dip again.

Occasionally, you may need to roll the warm candles on a glass or formica counter to straighten them. Keep the base trimmed so the entire candle can be immersed, and keep filling the can with hot wax. When finished, trim the base flat with a knife. You can make several dozen dipped candles in relays, so you will never have to wait for one candle to dry.


Heat the wax to no more than 185F (85C). Start at 140 F (60C) and work your way up; the hotter temperatures will discolor the wax.

Slow cooling is best for beeswax, as it will not crack or distort as with rapid cooling.

Allow candles to air dry for 24 hours then wrap each candle in tissue to keep it safe.

Don't worry about the whitish "bloom" that will eventually coat the wax . This is a natural part of all waxes, (including chocolate) and is easily removed with a cloth.

Witch's Brew - "Goblet Of Peace"

ה' בניסן תשס"ז

The following incense recipe brings together into the world of action a link to the supernal Goblet Of Fire (Eliyahu's Cup) as discussed in a previous post on my other blog, Walking On Fire.

The Goblet of Fire corresponds to the "place" on the Tree of Life where Keter of Beriyah (water) and Tiferet of Atzilut (fire) are One. In other words, in Keter of Beriyah (which is Tiferet of Atzilut) peace is made between fire and water. Thus, the goblet of fire is exactly this place where peace is made in the heavens [1]. Importantly, we can also understand from this information that the Goblet of Fire is also the Goblet of Peace.

גבעי = 85 = 8 + 5 = 13 = "my goblet"

Brew ingredients by gender and elemental correspondences:

Masculine & Feminine Ingredient (1):

2 parts benzoin (m & f)* - air (avir)

Feminine Ingredients (4)

1 part vanilla (f) - water
1 part white sandalwood (f) - water
1 part myrrh (f) - water
1 part barley (f) - earth

Masculine Ingredients (4):

1 part pomegranate juice (m) - fire
1 part cinnamon (m) - fire
1 part nutmeg (m) - fire
1 part mugwort (m) - earth

Essential Oils (4):

1 drop hyssop - fire (m)
1 drop spikenard - water (f)
1 drop myrrh - water (f)
1 cinnamon bark - fire (m)

In this blend there are 9 (a vessel for peace ט) primary ingredients and 4 (Malchut ד) essential oils, for a total of 13 ingredients.

Benzoin is the ingredient where both fire (atzilut, feminine pillar) and water (beriyah, masculine pillar) combine in peace, resulting in elemental "air" (yetzirah and avir kadmon, the middle pillar as above, so below). The entire formula, written out and performed through actually making the incense is the "earth" (assiyah) where One Peacefully Dwells. Just like in the conclusion of the Amida.


[1] He who makes peace in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. (Oseh Shalom, Conclusion of the Amida)

* Benzoin is a "masculine botanical" by virtue of its hexagonal aromatic ring and is a "feminine botanical" by virtue of its vanilla-like scent, where the hexagonal aromatic ring corresponds to the masculine partzuf zer anpin and where vanilla is etymologically derived from a Latin word meaning "vagina".

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Witch's Brew - "Feminine Clarity"

ד' בניסן תשס"ז

I've revised the rituals and substances I will use for the ritual bath and other purification procedures prior to shabbat and performing spellwork.

First, for the general cleansing bath or shower, dedicated handmade lavender soap will be used to cleanse and purify the body in accordance with the general purifying properties of lavender.

Second, while I will still use the salt water preparation (prepared with salt crystals from the Dead Sea) to "cleanse" the ritual space, the ritual bath for the body will not be performed with this water. Instead, a ritually prepared and dedicated purification oil based upon a biblical purification recipe will be used. My recipe uses essential oils blended into a jajoba [1] carrier oil, and is as follows:

15 mls (1/2 oz. or 1/16 cup) jojoba oil
3 drops myrrh
2 drops frankincense
2 drops spikenard
1 drop cinnamon bark
1 drop hyssop
1 drop benzoin
1 drop vanilla

My recipe uses vanilla and benzoin (vanilla-like) instead of calamus. Calamus represents masculinity, while vanilla represents femininity (as does vanilla-like benzoin, with a benjaminic aromatic chemical group). Thus, my blend Feminine Clarity uses vanilla and benzoin in contradistinction to the biblical blend which uses calamus.

After preparation, Feminine Clarity will be stored in the witch's bottle shown above.


[1] Jajoba oil is more like a liquid form of wax with an indefinite shelf life, and thus won't turn rancid as can olive oil (which has a non-refrigerated shelf life of approximately one year).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Chalice, The Silver Goblet

ואת-גביעי גביע הכסף ... Bereshit 44:2

The phrase "and put my chalice, the silver goblet" (in Hebrew above) has a total gematria of 752, the same gematria as the Hebrew word for the phase "in the cleft" (בנקרת) in Shemot 33:22.

Shemot 33:22 - And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand until I have passed by.

Chalice (goblet) is derived from the shoresh גבע, meaning to "elevate".

Witch's Brew - "Satisfaction" II

ג' בניסן תשס"ז

I've amended the recipe for my witch's brew Satisfaction. This afternoon I tested the blend on my "fresh" nose and then decided to add two additional parts of myrrh. Following addition of the new myrrh, my "fresh" nose was again "satisfied" with the result.

The two additional parts of myrrh were added under the influence of a waxing crescent moon, 12% full, during the planetary hour of Venus (favor, fruitfulness, love).

This evening, I tested the scent on an impartial person, who really liked the smell.

So, the waxing moon base recipe for Satisfaction now stands as:

3 parts myrrh (commiphora myrrha)
1 part frankincense (olibanum)
1 part dragon's blood (daemonorops draco)
1 part benzoin (styrax benzoin)
1 patchouli cone (powdered)
1 sandalwood cone (powdered)
32 parts mugwort (the witch's herb, artemisia vulgaris)

Note: original post amended to reflect this change from 1 to 3 parts myrrh.

Witch's Brew - "Satisfaction"

ב' בניסן תשס"ז

My newest witch's brew incense recipe is called "Satisfaction". I blended ingredients until my nose was "satisfied". It's a loose blend for burning on charcoal or bamboo. The "parts" I used are small: 1/4 tsp. increments.

3 parts myrrh
1 part frankincense
1 part dragon's blood
1 part benzoin
1 patchouli cone (powdered)
1 sandalwood cone (powdered)
32 parts mugwort (the witch's herb)

Tonight's first batch was prepared during the planetary hour of Mercury, with the waxing crescent moon 7% full. Mercury influences wisdom, skill, writing and language. The waxing moon brings increasing creative energy into the mix.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pitom HaKetoret

Parchment with incense portion shown above sold here. Larger graphic here.

The incense offering portion - Pitom HaKetoret - of the Torah will be written in Hebrew with my own hand using my own blend of magickal ink onto parchment pages within my new Book of Shadows. It will be written (using the one above as a guide) preceding the introduction of incense recipes into the BOS.

The Zohar Shemot, Vayakhel Pg 218b

It is a ruling of the Holy One, blessed be He, that whoever looks and reads the incense-offering portion … will not be damaged that whole day.

Rabbi Shimon said: If men only knew how exalted the section dealing [with] the incense-offering was in the eyes of the Holy One, blessed be He, they would take each single word and make it an ornament for their heads, like a crown of gold. And whoever, wishes to study it should examine it in every detail. And if he concentrates upon it every day, he will have a share both in this world and the world to come. Pestilence will disappear from him and from the world, and he will be delivered from all the [evil] judgments of this world, from evil powers, from the judgment of Gehinnom and from Judgment of the alien kingdom.

New Additions To My Bookshelf

Evolutionary Witchraft, T. Thorn Coyle

"We need to connect, to find the sacred in our lives right now, rather than on some future day of transcendence and redemption. In a time of global and environmental crises, a religion that firmly connects us to the earth is not only appealing, but crucial. In Evolutionary Witchcraft (Tarcher - Penguin softcover/October 1, 2004), Coyle invites us to uncover the dignity of our souls, to connect with both the natural world and realms unseen to wholly embrace ourselves and see what emerges from that crucible of contradictions: strength, compassion, generosity, joy, darkness, and light. It calls us to our wild, magical core-the source to transform our selves and the world."

Wonder Of Witchcraft, Sage Weston

"The study and practice of witchcraft or 'wise-craft' goes back to the dawn of time. The wisewomen - and men - of days gone by understood the four elements that made up the world - those of earth, air, fire and water - and respected their powers. They learnt a little about the movement of the stars, the effects of solar and lunar tides, prompting tides of group thought - the impulse that ran through the mass subconscious. Sage Weston traces the origins of the Old Religion and its importance and relevance to life in today’s fast-moving, noisy, crowded society. The importance of finding one’s own quiet space is discussed, as are the seasonal and cosmic rhythms - the natural time and tides so vital to the modern witches and their ancestors alike. The uses of meditation and dreams, the Hidden Path, magical names, linking with the elements and linking witchcraft with everyday life - really living it - are all covered here."

Witchcrafting, Phyllis Curott

"Far from being just another mechanical spell book, Witch Crafting is the first book to offer readers not only the how-to of Witchcraft, but also the why-to, explaining the profound spiritual tenets behind Wiccan techniques. Filled with both traditional and innovative shamanic practices, Phyllis also provides an empowering new definition of magic and reexamines the ethics under which Witchcraft is practiced, offering a groundbreaking alternative to the Threefold Law."

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Book Of Shadows

א' בניסן תשס"ז

This is my custom made Book Of Shadows, except that the leather of my sefer is black. The leather is deeply and exquisitely wrinkled. The spine has five corded sashes with a pentacle set into the spine at the third cord. Brass appliques adorn the classic raised corners of the cover. The end papers are marbled black. The inner aged parchment pages are huge - 11 by 14 inches! The edges of the 500 pages are hand-burned, like the book has been plucked from a fire. This book is a gorgeous piece of handcrafted artwork! My Torah-kabbalistic-shamanic witchcraft is going into it as an heirloom for my children.

I'm in heaven!

With the Rosh Chodesh Nissan purchase of this book, I hereby mark a new chapter in my life.

Although a huge expense for me at a time when cash is not plentiful, the purchase itself - to me - is sacred and invested with my hopes and dreams for the future. The purchase is a personal segulah for healing.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reversal Candle #2

כ"ח באדר תשס"ז

For the second cycle of the 3-month reversal ritual, I have amended Dark Moon preparation of the reversal candle for the second cycle. The candle was not inscribed with verses from Tehilim (Psalms), but with the first and last verse (1 and 28) of Ezekiel 37 instead. The verses for each cycle I am deciding on the day the candle is actually prepared; the decision based upon the inspiration of the particular moment and need.

Ezekiel 37:1 was inscribed in the prescribed manner, with the word atzmaut the only word on line 2.

Ezekiel 37:28 was inscribed in the presribed manner, with the exception that it was inscribed entirely on 1 line.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Herb Garden Ostara Ritual

Initial Preparations:

Ritual bath.
Anoint with sabbat oil [1].
Don ritual clothes and pentacle.
Collect supplies for ritual in park or wooded area.


Container for herb garden.
Potting soil.
Seeds or starter plants - lavender, cilantro (coriander), rosemary, cinnamon, thyme, other.
Container of water.
Garden tools.
Blanket for ground.
Altar supplies (athame, chalice, stone, incense stick & holder, bowl, tea candle, outdoor lighter).
Cauldron to hold tea candle (breeze resistant).
BOS and witch cord.
Wine and sweet bread.

Park Ritual.

Spread blanket on earth.

Set up altar area on blanket [2].

Place BOS and witch cord on western side.

Set up herb garden supplies in center of blanket.

Invite watchtowers.
N-fire, thank Goddess for all healing and necessary destruction.
Light tea candle.
E-air, thank God for all mental and intuitive abilities.
Light incense stick.
S-water, thank God for emotional balance.
Pour a bit of water into small bowl.
W-earth, thank Goddess for growth and nourishment.
Place stone and sweet bread upon blanket.

Cast circle.

Face west.

Pour wine into chalice, saying:
Blessed are You, Goddess of all life, who guides me to wise understanding, proper compassion and right action.
Take a sip. Pour a drop onto the earth.

Pick up sweet bread, saying:
Blessed are You, Goddess of all life, who nourishes me with all goodness.
Take a bite. Break off a piece and drop onto the earth.

Plant herb garden in container.
When planting is completed, draw pentagram over it in the air (invoking earth), saying:
Grow in goodness and health. Renew and bless us with your beauty.

Banish the Imbolg season and invoke the Ostara season, with (earth) banishing and invoking pentagrams, respectively. Conclude by saying:
So mote it be.

Release watchtowers and open circle.


[1] Sabbat Oil: 1 tsp. frankincense (powdered), 1 tsp. myrrh (powdered), 1 tsp. benzoin (powdered) added to 1/4 cup pure virgin olive oil and heated together slowly until gums have melted. Cool and store.

[2] N-fire, E-air, S-water, W-earth (Zohar, Sefer Yetzirah)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Flax & The Matron Of Witches

Flax (in Hebrew pishtah, פשתה) is associated with the planet Mercury, the element fire, and the archetype Hulda.

Hulda is the name of the matron of witches, the matron of spinning and weaving flax to make linen, a protectress of souls both leaving and entering the world, a Biblical prophetess, and an Icelandic manuscript among The King's Sagas.

Hulda means "sacred spirit" (witchcraft), "weasel" (hebrew), "lovable" (old norse) and "hidden manuscript" (icelandic).

Pishtah פשתה has a total gematria of 785, a digit sum of 20, and a final digit sum of 2.

As a nutritional supplement, organic flax seeds deliver some of the highest concentrations of alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) and linolenic acid (omega-6) available in food. These two fatty-acids are important for cellular, heart and metabolic health.

Magickal uses of flax include spell"weaving", healing and protection against sorcery.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ritual Bath

Ritual Bath Materials.

consecrated black bowl with warm tap water
salt from the Dea Sea

Ritual bath procedure.

Add small chunk of Dead Sea salt from Israel to black ritual bowl containing warm water.

Stand facing north (Gevurah, fire), holding bowl with left hand and athame with right hand.

Take deep cleansing breath.

Purify and consecrate the salt water, placing tip of athame into the water, saying:

Out from you I cast all that is impure and unclean. Blessed are you, with the heart of the Shechinah. You are Holy. So mote it be.

Lay athame upon northern corner of altar.

Face north holding bowl with both hands. Raise bowl of salt water upward, saying:

Shechinah, fierce and intense, gentle and mild, blessed are You, and I am Your beloved child.

Dip finger of choice [1] in bath, close eyes.

Anoint eyelids by drawing a small pentagram (invoking air [2]) on each with your finger, saying:

Open my eyes to see, my mind to understand and my perception to clarity.

Open your eyes.

Dip finger of choice in bath, anointing your ears in same fashion, saying:

Open my ears to hear the truth.

Similarly, anoint your mouth, saying:

Open my lips to speak the truth.

Similarly, anoint your breast, saying:

Open my heart to beat with compassion.

Similarly, anoint the palms of your hands, saying:

Open the strength of my hands to do rightly.

Similarly, anoint your loins, saying:

Open my lifeforce to flow with the Source of Peace.

Similarly, anoint your knees, saying:

Open me to be a revealed blessing.

Similarly, anoint the tops of both feet, saying:

Open the path to all good and guard my way upon it.


[1] One may use Ari's chiromancy correspondences or Ogham correspondences or even whichever finger "moves you" to use it.


Dead Sea Salt Ritual Water

Before doing any spellwork, I perform a ritual bath. My altar is always "set up" even when not in use, with a candlestick at the northern corner, a censer at the eastern corner, a bowl of salt water at the southern corner and several earth items at the western corner.

Importantly, the completely black bowl at the southern corner always contains salt water. The salt I use comes from Israel's Dead Sea. I only use one small chunk of salt per filling and change the water prior to shabbat or spellwork.

Liorah's Abramelin Blend

ט"ז באדר תשס"ז

The following unique blend is my modified version of both the biblical Holy anointing oil (Shemot 30:22-25) and an incense oil described by Abramelin the mage.

Liorah-Lleucu's experimental Abramelin recipe:

2 parts myrrh
1 part cinnamon
1 part clove
2 parts labdanum
7 parts olive oil

Cinnamon, clove and myrrh all function to augment, raise (in terms of making energy available) and lift spiritual vibrations.

In contradistinction to the typical Abramelin/anointing recipes, I am substituting labdanum for cassia and clove for calamus.

Clove, like cassia, is cinnamon-like. Clove also functions to drive away hostile and negative vibrations.

Labdanum penetrates the deep mind to bring out subconscious and superconscious memory.

Taken together, the blend may function in general to "bring out" the power of the deep mind, thereby promoting attainment of magickal and mystical states of consciousness.

I'm currently working on a ritual to accompany using this incense. Likely, I will precede any use of my "Abramelin" incense by banishing negativity using the incense described in the previous entry.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Incense Named "The Delight"

ט"ו באדר תשס"ז

My newest incense recipe to banish negativity is called "The Delight" השעשע.

2 parts frankincense (olibanum) שש
2 parts organic rosemary עע
1 part dragon's blood ה

The kabbalistic Hebrew letter correspondence for each ingredient is listed above and was abstracted from a standard table of correspondences, with the exception of rosemary. The Hebrew letter correspondence for rosemary was derived as follows:

Rosemary = כליל-הר
total gematria = 90 + 205 = 295
digit sum = 16

The 16th letter of the aleph-beit is ayin ע.

Shashua is the first level of revelation of the Essence of the Divine Aur Ein Sof. From the Inner Dimension:
The twice repeated syllable sha (shin ayin) represents in Kabbalah the number (370) of lights that radiate from the countenance of God. When they shine out of and then back into the consciousness of the Divine countenance a sha'ashuah, delight, is born.

I prepared my first batch of השעשע this evening, 15 Adar 5757, during the 6th night hour, under the "planetary" influence of the moon, which holds the keys to heaven and earth [1].


[1] Sefer Yetzirah, R' Aryeh Kaplan (p. 180)