Tag Archives: witchcraft

Yule – Incense, Oil and Soap Recipes

Incense, Oil and Soap Recipes

Yule Incense 1
2 tsp. Frankincense
2 tsp. Pine needles or resin
1 tsp. Cedar
1 tsp. Juniper berries

Yule Incense 2
3 tsp. Frankincense
2 tsp. Sandalwood
2 tsp. Chamomile
1 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Sage
A few drops of Cinnamon oil

Yule Incense 3
3 tsp. Pine needles or resin
3 tsp. Cedar
1 tsp. Bayberry
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Yule Incense 4
3 tsp. frankincense
A few drops orange oil
A few drops juniper oil
1 tsp. crushed juniper berries
½ tsp. mistletoe

Blend together and burn on charcoal.

Yule Incense 5
2 tsp. frankincense
2 tsp. pine needles
1 tsp. cedar
1 tsp. juniper berries
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. orange peel

Yule Oil
2 drops Cinnamon oil
2 drops Clove oil
1 drop Mandarin oil
1 drop Pine oil
2 drops Frankincense
2 drops Myrrh oil.

Yule Soap
1 cup grated unscented soap
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tbsp. chamomile
1/2 tbsp. rosemary
1/2 tbsp. ginger
6 drops frankincense oil
6 drops myrrh oil
3 drops cinnamon oil

Place grated soap in a heat-proof non-metallic container and add the hot water and apricot oil. Leave until it is cool enough to handle, and then mix together with your hands. If the soap is floating on the water, add more soap. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the soap is soft and mushy. Once the soap, water, and oil are blended completely, add the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, then add the essential oils (essential oils evaporate quickly in heat). Enough essential oils should be added to overcome the original scent of the soap. Blend thoroughly and then divide the soap mixture into four to six pieces. Squeeze the soaps, removing as much excess water as possible into the shape you desire, and tie in a cheesecloth. Hang in a warm, dry place until the soap is completely hard and dry.

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All Hallow’s Eve by Mike Nichols

All Hallow’s Eve

by Mike Nichols

Halloween.

Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaws. Slide and creep.“You don’t know, do you?” asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out of the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. “You don’t really know!”

But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin?
—Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree

Samhain. All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve. Hallow E’en. Halloween. The most magical night of the year. Exactly opposite Beltane on the wheel of the year, Halloween is Beltane’s dark twin. A night of glowing jack-o’-lanterns, bobbing for apples, tricks or treats, and dressing in costume. A night of ghost stories and séances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest. A “spirit night”, as they say in Wales.

All Hallow’s Eve is the eve of All Hallow’s Day (November 1). And for once, even popular tradition remembers that the eve is more important than the day itself, the traditional celebration focusing on October 31, beginning at sundown. And this seems only fitting for the great Celtic New Year’s festival. Not that the holiday was Celtic only. In fact, it is startling how many ancient and unconnected cultures (the Egyptians and pre-Spanish Mexicans, for example) celebrated this as a festival of the dead. But the majority of our modern traditions can be traced to the British Isles.

The Celts called it Samhain, which means “summer’s end”, according to their ancient twofold division of the year, when summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. (Some modern covens echo this structure by letting the high priest “rule” the coven beginning on Samhain, with rulership returned to the high priestess at Beltane.) According to the later fourfold division of the year, Samhain is seen as “autumn’s end” and the beginning of winter. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you’re from) as “sow-in” (in Ireland), or “sow-een” (in Wales), or “sav-en” (in Scotland), or (inevitably) “sam-hane” (in the U.S., where we don’t speak Gaelic).

Not only is Samhain the end of autumn; it is also, more importantly, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. Celtic New Year’s Eve, when the new year begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year, just as the new day begins at sundown. There are many representations of Celtic Gods with two faces, and it surely must have been one of them who held sway over Samhain. Like his Roman counterpart Janus, he would straddle the threshold, one face turned toward the past, in commemoration of those who died during the last year, and one face gazing hopefully toward the future, mystic eyes attempting to pierce the veil and divine what the coming year holds. These two themes, celebrating the dead and divining the future, are inexorably intertwined in Samhain, as they are likely to be in any New Year’s celebration.

As a feast of the dead, this was the one night when the dead could, if they wished, return to the land of the living, to celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. And so the great burial mounds of Ireland (sidhe mounds) were opened up, with lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. And there are many stories that tell of Irish heroes making raids on the Underworld while the gates of faery stood open, though all must return to their appointed places by cockcrow.

As a feast of divination, this was the night par excellence for peering into the future. The reason for this has to do with the Celtic view of time. In a culture that uses a linear concept of time, like our modern one, New Year’s Eve is simply a milestone on a very long road that stretches in a straight line from birth to death. Thus, the New Year’s festival is a part of time. The ancient Celtic view of time, however, is cyclical. And in this framework, New Year’s Eve represents a point outside of time, when the natural order of the universe dissolves back into primordial chaos, preparatory to reestablishing itself in a new order. Thus, Samhain is a night that exists outside of time and, hence, it may be used to view any other point in time. At no other holiday is a tarot card reading, crystal reading, or tealeaf reading so likely to succeed.

The Christian religion, with its emphasis on the “historical” Christ and his act of Redemption 2000 years ago, is forced into a linear view of time, where seeing the future is an illogical proposition. In fact, from the Christian perspective, any attempt to do so is seen as inherently evil. This did not keep the medieval church from co-opting Samhain’s other motif, commemoration of the dead. To the church, however, it could never be a feast for all the dead, but only the blessed dead, all those hallowed (made holy) by obedience to God—thus, All Hallow’s, or Hallowmas, later All Saints and All Souls.

There are so many types of divination that are traditional to Hallowstide, it is possible to mention only a few. Girls were told to place hazelnuts along the front of the firegrate, each one to symbolize one of her suitors. She could then divine her future husband by chanting, “If you love me, pop and fly; if you hate me, burn and die.” Several methods used the apple, that most popular of Halloween fruits. You should slice an apple through the equator (to reveal the five-pointed star within) and then eat it by candlelight before a mirror. Your future spouse will then appear over your shoulder. Or, peel an apple, making sure the peeling comes off in one long strand, reciting, “I pare this apple round and round again; / My sweetheart’s name to flourish on the plain: / I fling the unbroken paring o’er my head, / My sweetheart’s letter on the ground to read.” Or, you might set a snail to crawl through the ashes of your hearth. The considerate little creature will then spell out the initial letter as it moves.

Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o’- lantern. Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin. However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray. Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household. (The American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European gourd as the jack-o’- lantern of choice.) Bobbing for apples may well represent the remnants of a Pagan “baptism” rite called a seining, according to some writers. The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice’s head is immersed. The fact that the participant in this folk game was usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony.

The custom of dressing in costume and “trick-or-treating” is of Celtic origin, with survivals particularly strong in Scotland. However, there are some important differences from the modern version. In the first place, the custom was not relegated to children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. Also, the “treat” that was required was often one of spirits (the liquid variety). This has recently been revived by college students who go ‘trick-or-drinking’. And in ancient times, the roving bands would sing seasonal carols from house-to-house, making the tradition very similar to Yuletide wassailing. In fact, the custom known as caroling, now connected exclusively with Midwinter, was once practiced at all the major holidays. Finally, in Scotland at least, the tradition of dressing in costume consisted almost exclusively of cross-dressing (i.e., men dressing as women, and women as men). It seems as though ancient societies provided an opportunity for people to “try on” the role of the opposite gender for one night of the year. (Although in Scotland, this is admittedly less dramatic—but more confusing—since men were in the habit of wearing skirtlike kilts anyway. Oh well…)

To Witches, Halloween is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats, or cross-quarter days. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called “The Great Sabbat”. It is an ironic fact that the newer, self-created covens tend to use the older name of the holiday, Samhain, which they have discovered through modern research. While the older hereditary and traditional covens often use the newer name, Halloween, which has been handed down through oral tradition within their coven. (This often holds true for the names of the other holidays, as well. One may often get an indication of a coven’s antiquity by noting what names it uses for the holidays.)

With such an important holiday, Witches often hold two distinct celebrations. First, a large Halloween party for non- Craft friends, often held on the previous weekend. And second, a coven ritual held on Halloween night itself, late enough so as not to be interrupted by trick-or-treaters. If the rituals are performed properly, there is often the feeling of invisible friends taking part in the rites. Another date that may be utilized in planning celebrations is the actual cross-quarter day, or Old Halloween, or Halloween O.S. (Old Style). This occurs when the sun has reached fifteen degrees Scorpio, an astrological “power point” symbolized by the Eagle. The celebration would begin at sunset. Interestingly, this date (Old Halloween) was also appropriated by the church as the holiday of Martinmas.

Of all the Witchcraft holidays, Halloween is the only one that still boasts anything near to popular celebration. Even though it is typically relegated to children (and the young-atheart) and observed as an evening affair only, many of its traditions are firmly rooted in Paganism. Incidentally, some schools have recently attempted to abolish Halloween parties on the grounds that it violates the separation of state and religion. Speaking as a Pagan, I would be saddened by the success of this move, but as a supporter of the concept of religion-free public education, I fear I must concede the point. Nonetheless, it seems only right that there should be one night of the year when our minds are turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld and its inhabitants. And if you are one of them, may all your jack-o’-lanterns burn bright on this All Hallow’s Eve.

Most Recent Text Revision: Monday, May 2, 2005 c.e.

Text editing courtesy of Acorn Guild Press. Document Copyright © 1986, 1995, 2005 by Mike Nichols.

Samhain – Incense, Oils & Soap

Incense, Oil and Soap Recipes

Samhain Incense 1
1 tsp. crushed Mugwort Leaves
1 tsp. Frankincense Tears (small resin chunks)
1 tsp. Myrrh Resin (small chunks)
2 tsp. crushed Rosemary Leaves

Samhain Incense 2
2 tsp. frankincense
2 tsp. sandalwood
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. gum arabic
1 tsp. myrrh
½ tsp. bay
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. jasmine flowers
¼ tsp. rose petals

Samhain Incense 3
3 tsp. Rosemary
3 tsp. Pine
3 tsp. Bay
3 tsp. Apple
2 tsp. Patchouli Oil

Samhain Incense 4
1 tsp. rowan berries
1 tsp. blackthorn wood
½ tsp. galangal
½ tsp. chervil
½ tsp. vervain
½ tsp. parsley
3 tsp. myrrh

Blend together and burn on charcoal

Samhain Incense 5
3 tsp. frankincense
2 tsp. sandalwood
2 tsp. mugwort
1 tsp. sage
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. lavender

Samhain Oil

1/2 dram Pine Oil
1/4 dram Frankincense oil
1/4 dram Patchouli oil
a/4 dram Lavendar oil
Mix well and bottle.

Samhain Oil 2
3 drops Rosemary oil
3 drops Pine oil
3 drops Bay oil
3 drops Apple oil
2 drops Patchouli oil
Use almond oil as the base

Samhain Soap
1 cup grated unscented soap
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. apricot oil
1 tbsp. mugwort
1/2 tbsp. nutmeg
6 drops frankincense oil
6 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops lavender

Place grated soap in a heat-proof non-metallic container and add the hot water and apricot oil. Leave until it is cool enough to handle, and then mix together with your hands. If the soap is floating on the water, add more soap. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until the soap is soft and mushy. Once the soap, water, and oil are blended completely, add the dry ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, then add the essential oils (essential oils evaporate quickly in heat). Enough essential oils should be added to overcome the original scent of the soap. Blend thoroughly and then divide the soap mixture into four to six pieces. Squeeze the soaps, removing as much excess water as
possible into the shape you desire, and tie in a cheesecloth. Hang in a warm, dry place until the soap is completely hard and dry.

SAMHAIN INCENSE

2 granules frankincense – protection, spirituality
2 parts chrysanthemum petal – protection from malevolent forces
2 parts cedar – protection, purification, healing, money
1 part myrrh – protection, healing, spirituality, purifies and creates peaceful space
1 part lavender – purification, happiness, love, peace, harmony, healing
1 part sandalwood – protection, healing, spirituality
1 part cinnamon – success, healing, psychic powers
1/2 part clove – prosperity, drawing of money, protection, purification
1 sprig rosemary – purifying, cleansing, protection, healing, mental power, knowledge
3 white sage leaves – Immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection, wishes
3 drops orange oil – love, luck, divination

Choosing, Cleansing and Charging Stones/Crystals

CHOOSING and CLEANSING YOUR CRYSTAL

Most people will choose the crystal which will best assist them in the situation they need it for; Clearing your mind, helping with a physical problem, meditation, charms for protection for yourself or your home, for healing, for chakra work, for stone elixirs, or for anything that seems suitable. Select the crystal which has the properties to help you. Or… simply pick the stone that “calls” to you!

First decide why you are doing the crystal work. Is it for you or someone else? What is the problem? Do you need to give or receive energy? What does it require? In all crystal work, select the stone which has the properties to help you.

For a little energy, carry the stones with you, either in a little pouch around your neck or in a pocket. In a full-scale crystal working, ask the stone for its energies and utilize them. At the end of the process, the stone is probably completely exhausted and it is best to thank it and cleanse it in the ground.

For meditation, carry the stone with you. For healing, place the stone on the afflicted area and feel it’s energies work as it draws the sickness or pain out. Remember, some stones will retain these negative energies. Or, you can hold the stone in your receptive hand to absorb the healing energies.

For elixir: place the stone in a bottle and fill the bottle with salt water, as salt cleanses and purifies. Place it in the sun for a day, then use it. In healing, place the crystal on the part of the body where you need it. For chakra work, choose crystals of the appropriate color and properties. Most crystal’s properties are linked to the chakras. There are many wonderful healing properties that can be utilized from these wonderful treasures. I hope you explore the possibilities.

CLEANSING STONES

There are a number of methods of stone purification. The simplest is to place the stone in full sunlight for a day, three days, or even a week. The Sun’s rays do the work here, burning away the unnecessary energies.

Place the stone in direct sunlight. An inside window ledge isn’t as good as an outdoor location because window glass blocks some of the Sun’s rays. Remove the stone each day at dusk. Some stones will ‘clear’ after a day’s soaking up the rays. Others will need longer periods of time. Check the stone daily and sense the energies within them by placing them in your receptive hand. If the vibrations are regular, healthy, the cleansing has been successful.

A second method is somewhat more difficult. In this case, running water is the tool. Place the stones in moving water and leave there for a day or two. If you happen to have a river or stream running near your property, this is ideal. Place the stones in a net or bag or devise some other method to ensure that they don’t wash away in the water. Leave them overnight in the water, which gently washes away the impurities.

The third main technique is governed by the powers of the Earth. Bury the stone in the ground for a week or so, then check to see if it has been purified. If it has, wash or wipe it off and your magic can begin.

CHARGING STONES

Before using them in magic, stones should be ‘charged’ or ‘programmed’ with energy. This is done simply by holding the stone in your projective hand (usually the right, but the left for lefties}, visualize your magickal need, and pouring energy out from your body into the stone.

This energy is personal power. it resides within all of us. We can move the energy from our bodies out into stones, candles, metals and other objects to help us achieve our magickal goals. the movement of this or other forms of natural energy is at the heart of magic. See the power flowing out from your body, through your projective hand and into the stone. Charge it with the energy of your magickal need. when you know that the stone is vibrating with your personal power, the charging is complete. This simple process, performed before each ritual, will greatly enhance the effects of your stone magic.

CUNNINGHAM’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CRYSTAL, GEM AND METAL MAGIC – by Scott Cunningham

Equinox and Solstice Dates and Times 2013

Equinoxes and Solstices of 2013:

SPRING EQUINOX March 20, 7:02 A.M. EDT
SUMMER SOLSTICE June 21, 1:04 A.M. EDT
FALL EQUINOX September 22, 4:44 P.M. EDT
WINTER SOLSTICE December 21, 12:11 P.M. EST