Sunday, February 23, 2014

Seasonal Natural Incense Recipes

Creating Natural Incenses

For those who have requested some incense recipes, I have included the below from various sources that should work out well for you.

Instructions For Burning Natural Incenses:
When the incense is prepared, light a charcoal (special charcoal rounds for burning incense are sold at most metaphysical supply stores locally as well as online and can be obtained from suppliers.

Once the charcoal is burning sufficiently (glowing, not flaming), place a pinch of incense onto it and allow to smolder.

An alternative, if you are able to, light a fire outside and wait until the wood is to the glowing coal stage, then place some incense onto the coals.

Fall Sabbat Incense:

From Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: a Guide for the Sole Practitioner" (Llewellyn, 1988).

3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Myrrh
1 part Rosemary
1 part Cedar
1 part Juniper

All ingredients should be individually ground to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle (or electric grinder, in a pinch) and then mixed together.

Samhain (Halloween) Incense Recipe:

From Wylundt's Book of Incense (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1989). It can be used in loose form, or formed into cones (directions follow).

1/2 part Frankincense
1/4 part Myrrh
1/2 part Bay
1/4 part Vervain
1/4 part Wormwood
1/4 part Patchouli
1/2 part Cinnamon
1/2 part Sandalwood

This recipe is measured in teaspoons or fractions thereof. To make cone incense, you will need to add a bonding agent or gum. The easiest to find (in my experience) is gum arabic. It comes in powdered form and you can get it from most metaphysical supply stores and the stores listed elsewhere on this forum.

To this mixture, I would add about a teaspoon of the gum. Then you will need to make a solution of saltpeter and water--about 1/4 cup of saltpeter mixed into 1/2 cup of water. Add 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of this solution to your mixture of herbs and gum. Work into a dough that is easily workable but not too wet. If the dough is too wet, the cone will sag.

Once you have worked the dough to desired consistency (which may require adding more gum--it's kind of trial and error), break off pieces of dough and shape them into cones. The cones will not come out looking like commercial incense cones, no matter how hard you try, so don't spend a lot of time trying to make them pretty.

When you have it in the basic shape, press the base onto a flat surface. The ideal surface would be a wood plank or cutting board, as this will absorb excess moisture without sapping too much moisture from the cone. Do not place the cones on paper.

As the water in the cone evaporates, the cone will shrink. This is normal. The cones will need to be stored in a cool dry place and left to dry. You may wish, once the cones have set into their shape, to rotate them onto their sides and roll them over during drying so that they will dry evenly.

Once dry, light them as you would any commercial cone incense. It usually takes a couple of attempts to make a cone that will burn evenly and continually. Don't get discouraged if the first try doesn't work out as well as you planned.

Further Reading: The Use Of Incense: Ancient Practice and Modern Practice - Custom Incense Recipes



Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Celtic Tale From The Wood

Celtic History

Since the first arrival of Indo European Celts to Britain (or Albion as it was called),from Scythia and Egypt, many folklore tales have arisen within the rural countryside of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

Many such tales were possibly originally invented in order to frighten visitors away or to conceal the truth about particular aspects of Celtic culture from others or possibly based on truth.

The King and The Witch

A little under 2,000 years ago a king set out with his army to conquer Albion (The British Isles -before the creation of England). At Rollright Hill, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, he met a witch who told him that if he could see Long Compton after taking seven strides, he would be King of England.

Knowing Long Compton to be just over the brow of the hill, the King strode forward confidently. But a mound rose up in front of him and the witch exclaimed:-

"Rise up stick, and stand alone,
For King of England thou shalt be none;
As Long Compton thou ne'er didst see,
Thou and thy men hoax stones shalt be."

Stones they instantly became - and stones they remain. The mound (much reduced by ploughing) can still be seen in front of the "King" stone. There are said to be 72 stones in the circle, but legend maintains that no one shall live who counts the stones three times and finds the number the same.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

A New Moon Ritual - A Guide For Others To Follow

How To Perform A New Moon Ritual: Example

Many times person have asked me for a "sample" of our coven rites. For those unfamiliar with our coven and such, we have an online coven that meets approximately every two weeks in our private chat. The way that our rites are done is the text is sent out to all coven members via email with a link to the chat. When the time arrives for the rite, coven members are asked to pick one of the four elements. There usually are two postings for each element that the member will have to do. The rest of the text is done by our High Priestess (my wife) or myself, the High Priest.
Below you will find the rite that we used for the New Moon in late November of 2011. I offer this as an outline and sample to others who have asked for guidance of what to put in a rite and a general layout of what it would contain.

Actual Text Used In A New Moon Ritual

Chill the wind blows
As Autumn shows
The leafs dance in the night
Tonight we dance with them
Neath the waning light
Wind blows cold
On this Fall night
Stay a moment in your flight
Protect us now, we ask it

Fire blooms high
On this Fall night
Give a moment of your might
Protect us now, we ask it

Water flows cold
On this Fall Night
Stay a moment in your rush
Protect us now, we ask it

Earth dressed in frost
On this Fall night
Give a moment of your might
Protect us now, we ask it

Trees nearly clatter
In their leafless grace
We hear the song of life
Sing only softly
As Winter comes to light

We fear not, this coming of dark days
As the Earth Mother must rest
To bring forth life again
In her springtime to come

Pay heed and be reminded
That even the Dead seed
Holds new life
With proper care and nurture

So too do we grown
Even from a standstill
And become a new thing
Nodding in the wind

Gather the last bounty of Earth
Set store by for the morrow
To come forth in life yet again
When the time is ripe

So sing a song of sweet rest
To the Earth our Mother
And thank her for her care
That we will be there when she wakes

Wind blows cold
On this Fall night
You Stayed a moment in your flight
Protected us and we thank you

Fire blooms high
On this Fall night
You Gave a moment of your might
Protected us and we thank you

Water flows cold
On this Fall Night
You Stayed a moment in your rush
Protected us and we thank you

Earth dressed in frost
On this Fall night
You Gave a moment of your might
Protected us and we thank you.

I do hope that this helps and blesses others out there! Goddess love and blessings!

Cyber Ritual

Artwork provided with permission by my wife, Esta Weiss.

A Sharing of a recent New Moon Ritual


Friday, February 7, 2014

Radium One Rip Offs - Beware!


Radium One Is A Rip-Off

Many of you may be familiar with the option to "earn" points, gold, credits, etc., on various sites you may be a member of by completing various offers supported by a rip-off group called Radium One.

These offers could include viewing videos, signing up to take surveys, getting auto insurance quotes, purchasing merchandise, signing up for newsletters, getting free samples, etc.

What I have learned, over the years of working with this type of earnings is that perhaps, on a very good day, one out of ten offers will actually pay off.

When you contact support, Radium One, about not receiving your credits you are told to submit ridiculous amounts of documentation that sometimes is truly elusive.  Then, even if you manage to supply Radium One with the documentation, you are denied.

Radium One is the same as eWallet.  eWallet handled these accounts prior to Radium One.  In my mind, it is all one in the same company, just a name change to protect itself from the fraudulent claims of the past against eWallet.

Radium One is a phishing program and company.  They simply want your information to sell and trade to others.  They are after your email, Facebook and Google info and receive it when you participate in their offers.

You will find your inbox spammed for days and have to apply spam filters to all the trash you will receive from such offers that flow through these Radium One offers, which ever site that you may participate on.

My advice, steer free of anything that has the name "Radium One" associated with it.  It is not worth your time nor the invasion on your online privacy.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Full Moons, Seasons, and Pagan Feasts for 2014

How To Calculate The Time For Your Time Zone: 

Times shown are US Central Time. For Mountain Time, subtract 1 hour; for Pacific Time, subtract 2 hours; for Eastern Time, add 1 hour.

Note: If adding pushes the time to midnight (12:00AM) or past add 1 to the date shown. If subtracting moves the time to before midnight, subtract 1 from the date shown.

Example: Suppose you live in California in the Pacific Time zone; and, the time for a full moon on January 9th is shown as 1:30AM CST. Subtracting 2 hours gives you 11:30PM Pacific Time. Since the time moved from after midnight to before, you subtract 1 from the date. So, for you, the full moon happens on January 8th at 11:30PM PST.

Moon names shown are ones which are fairly popular for full moons falling within the fixed calendar months. There are several traditions which use other names, especially when months are set by lunar cycles.

Seasons, moons, and feasts shown are for the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere seasons are shifted about six months and so, usually, are feasts as well as full moon names.

Calendar:

January 15th - Wolf Moon (10:52PM CST)
also Old Moon, Ice Moon, After-Yule Moon

IMBOLC (CANDLEMAS) February 2nd

February 14th - Storm Moon (5:53PM CST)
also Hunger Moon, Snow Moon
March 16th - Chaste Moon (12:08PM CDT)
also Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon

OSTARA March 20th - Vernal Equinox - Spring begins (11:57AM CDT)

April 15th - Seed Moon (2:42AM CDT)
also Pink Moon, Spring Moon, Egg Moon, Grass Moon, Fish Moon

BELTANE April 30th (beginning at sunset) ... May 1st (before sunrise)

May 14th - Hare Moon (2:16PM CDT)
also Flower Moon, Milk Moon, Corn Planting Moon

June 12th - Strawberry Moon (11:12PM CDT)
also Dyan Moon, Rose Moon, Hot Moon

LITHA ("Midsummer" on the old calendar) June 21st - Summer Solstice - Summer begins (5:51AM CDT)

July 12th - Mead Moon (6:26AM CDT)
also Buck Moon, Hay Moon, Thunder Moon

LAMMAS August 1st

August 10th - Red Moon (1:10PM CDT)
also Grain Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Wyrt Moon

September 8th - Harvest Moon (8:38PM CDT)
also Corn Moon, Barley Moon

MABON September 22nd - Autumnal Equinox - Fall begins (9:29PM CDT)

October 8th - Hunter's Moon (5:51AM CDT)
also Blood Moon, Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon

SAMHAIN (HALLOWEEN) October 31st

November 6th - Frost Moon (4:23PM CST)
also Beaver Moon, Snow Moon

December 6th - Oak Moon (6:27AM CST) also Cold Moon, Before-Yule Moon, Long Nights Moon

YULE December 21st - Winter Solstice - Winter begins (5:03PM CST)

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons