Sometimes people encounter situations in which they are completely out of their range of experience and they simply do not know what to do or to whom they should turn. I often work with people who have found themselves having very strange bad luck or disturbances in their homes and I do my best to help them get it sorted out. I am very pleased to say that it’s always fixable, provided the client is willing to follow directions, to the letter.
There are a few basic reasons why someone might be suffering from “crossed conditions”. Crossed Conditions (or CC, for short) means paranormal problems, or at least some really nasty bad luck. The person suffering from CC seems to have the reverse Midas touch; everything they touch turns to shit.
Everybody has bad luck and I don’t think I have ever met anyone who didn’t have a bizarre string of unfortunate coincidences at some point.
These things happen; there’s not too much you can do to prevent the occasional bad luck.
Astrology has a lot to do with it and so does chance. Some say there is no such thing as a coincidence. I say that’s ridiculous. The Universe is HUGE. It’s big enough to contain enough random chance for you, me and the rest of the world.
At the same time, I am a magician and I firmly believe in some things being ordered and precisely geared for us to learn lessons and grow. So, when things go consistently wrong, unexplainably and persistently, I pay attention and I begin to look for “supernatural” causes (despite what a lame word that is, supernatural).
When people tell me of bad luck that started fairly suddenly and lasts for months or years, or they tell me of things moving, disembodied voices, chilling presences, etc, I look for the typical signs of mental illness first. If those seem to be absent and the client seems sincere, then I begin to look at CC as a probable cause.
The term crossed conditions is a very wide net that covers all the possible causes of the problems. Crossed conditions refers to the set of possible symptoms, rather than the source(s) of said symptoms.
The first step is diagnosis, so you need to see which category you fit into. Sometimes, it will be more than 1 of these.
1) Self-Imposed Jinx
This is probably the most common reason that people suffer from abnormal bad luck. A person gets into a bad habit of thinking negatively and expecting the worst. It sooner or later becomes a sort of dark version of The Secret. You know… the whole “law of attraction” thing.
You expect the worst and so that is precisely what you get. This can actually spiral out of control, to the point that it gets quite ridiculous.
People are capable of jinxing themselves so strongly that they seem cursed. It can go way beyond things like locking the keys in the car, which can be easily chalked up to self-sabotage.
A severely jinxed person can have luck that seems totally independent of their actions. For example, they might get a flat tire when they did not drive anyplace unusual. Then, in the same day, the car gets egged by kids who are total strangers.
Next, the mobile phone dies, despite being only 4 months old and has never been dropped. Then, they get mugged, while walking to work in an area usually deemed safe, in broad daylight.
And this seems to be the usual state of affairs, it just goes on and on, with no end in sight. The heater breaks, the toilet breaks, the stove breaks, the TV breaks.
Any of these, taken by itself, is perfectly explainable. However, it makes no sense that so many things would happen all at the same time, to the same person. A single week of such luck is dismissible. Shit happens… get over it, right? Sure. but when this goes on indefinitely, a truly intelligent person doesn’t continue to abide that “There must be a logical explanation” garbage. You can only carry that logic so far before it becomes too cumbersome to bear.
What is needed to resolve such a case is an uncrossing ritual, a house cleansing and some blessing work. The uncrossing procedure and the house cleansing neutralize the problem, while the blessing work sets the energy in the opposite direction, creating a positive trend where before there was a very negative tendency.
2) Occult Practice
Some people get into the occult and simply do not realize the dangers. Don’t get me wrong, I am an occultist and I endorse the practice of the arcane arts. However, I also drive a car every day and I would tell you that there are serious dangers to that, as well.
The occult can be safely practiced, just as driving a car can be safe. But driving education is usually mandatory, while many so-called occultists have only read a few things on the internet or read a couple of mediocre books on the subject.
A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing.
Even a simple candle spell can an array cause unforeseen backfires for the novice who does not have a skilled teacher. The other extreme is the foolhardy soul who jumps straight into serious spirit evocation without a proper education in the basics.
If you have accidentally summoned up something that you don’t know how to get rid of and it’s causing you problems, you will need the same set of operations… uncrossing, house cleansing and blessing work.
You probably need to learn a proper banishing ritual as well, such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. If you are already practicing such a rite, then you may be doing it poorly, or perhaps you have something that requires a much stronger approach. This is rare, but it does occur.
Spirit offerings are also a good way to make things better. But this is not to be jumped into, without instruction.
I teach these skills in my magick course (along with most of the other things we discuss here in this article) but unless you get instruction from me on this, do not attempt it casually. There is a definite method involved and unless you follow the general guidelines, you can make the situation worse.
3) A Curse
Far too many people leap straight to this conclusion. “I’m cursed!”, they cry. However, they don’t know a single person who actually practices any form of magick. They also can’t manage to name anyone who hates them enough (and has the money) to hire a black magician to do the job.
Still, this does happen and it happens all too often.
Some people are even told directly by an enemy “I put a curse on you”. Some enemies want you to know, to make you afraid. Others believe their curse will only be effective if you realize the curse has been cast.
Sometimes it is a matter of deductive reasoning. The client is suffering from CC. They never had such a problem before. They recently went through a very painful breakup with someone who was rather open about their practice of black magick.
It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure it out.
The occult shops that sell supplies for curses will tell you that lots of people are buying this stuff. So it stands to reason that if each month, thousands of people, the world over, purchase curse services from magicians for hire and many thousands more buy supplies to do it themselves, at least a small percentage of people out there are actually being attacked with real curses.
Surely, some of those hired-gun practitioners are legitimate magicians, rather than con artists. Probably most of the internet magicians you can find are scam-working matchstick men. Still, a small slice of the pie almost statistically has to be made up of people who do real black magick.
The other population is composed of people who don’t generally work on the dark side but they have an enemy and they have gathered enough steam and hatred that they now will act on it. A few of these would-be black magicians are working up the nerve to actually use those black candles, Goofer Dust, Voodoo dolls, Destruction Oil and other curse kit supplies they bought. It stands to reason as well that some of those who use such things will happen on to success, even if it surprises the hell out of them!
Many times, people view magick, most likely due to our current social view of psychology and science, as a sort of therapy. In other words, they believe that nothing will really happen, but it will be good for them to get their anger out by cursing the person they are embittered toward. It’s a kind of spiritual vomiting up of the anger they have been dealing with.
Other times, the person knows exactly what will happen. They know how to do it and they are bitter enough to actually carry it out, knowing full well that it may cause very serious harm to the target. These are the truly dangerous people and they DO exist. Some people out there will rape you, steal from you, murder you, cut you off in traffic or key your car… just out of spite.
So, if there are hundreds of thousands of totally sociopathic people out there in the world (and there are), then I personally assume that at least a few of them dabble in the occult and will curse you if they take a notion to do so. The number of people working the black arts is alarmingly high.
Some people will curse you, just because they know how to.
In cases of actual curses, the first thing that has to happen to get rid of the problem is a counter spell. It’s unfortunate that this must be done but I have found no other effective way to handle it. A reversal spell must be cast. This can be a light, mild spell that serves to mainly deflect the evil away from the target (the client).
It can also be a medium strength spell that reverses the dark energy right back to its sender and gives them a taste of their own medicine. Unless they are very used to this and have heavy defenses in place, it will most likely knock them on their ass.
Then, you can go so far as to cast a reversal that is designed to actually kill your enemy. This is not recommended, generally. It’s a very dark place to go and it’s to be avoided, if at all possible. After a reversal has been performed, the usual uncrossing, cleansing and blessings must occur to set things to right with the client’s world.
4) Picking up a spirit attachment
You may have visited a place that is “haunted” or where there is an unruly spiritual presence and something just sort of “latched on to you” and began following you and pester you mercilessly, perhaps even violently. It happens… not very often, but it does happen.
You may have a friend, relative or acquaintance with a spiritual problem. You go to their house and the spirit attaches to you because you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not the other person’s fault, necessarily. You just got unlucky, as did they. Maybe you didn’t even go to their home. Maybe the spirit followed them to yours, or to where you met for coffee, who knows?
Maybe you went to a graveyard for a funeral and you picked something up.
There are a multitude of reasons. It doesn’t matter how you picked up the spirit(s). What matters is that you either make peace with them, or make them leave. The choice is and should always be… YOURS… not theirs.
To rid yourself of a spirit attachment, you go through the same steps as the other methods, minus a reversal. You need an uncrossing, house cleansing and blessing.
What You Will Need From Me:
The common thread through all 4 causes of CC is a formal Uncrossing Ritual. This is a ceremony that severs unhealthy ties to spirits who mean you harm and it ends cycles of bad luck. The uncrossing blocks the abnormal flow of bad luck. Notice I said abnormal. You will still have bad luck sometimes. That’s life, kids. But uncrossing should end that strange series of events that has some sort of eerie thread running through it.
Uncrossing is something you can either do for yourself or you can have me do it for you. It's listed (among other things) on my services page:
After the uncrossing,I would strongly recommend a Blessing Ritual, which would fall under the Option 3-A category on the same page. Think of a set of scales that is tipped in the negative direction. On the current side, there is bad luck and suffering. Uncrossing levels the scales back to “zero” and restores balance.
A Blessing Ritual tips the scale back in the direction you would prefer, where there is a general state of happiness and good luck. This doesn’t mean that 20 dollar bills and chocolate bars begin to fall from the sky, but you should notice a general peace of mind and getting more of the things you need, if not a few things you want.
You will need a house cleansing. This is two-fold. First, an extremely thorough physical cleaning, as if the Queen herself were coming over for dinner.
You may already be a very neat and clean person. Perhaps you are even a compulsive cleaner or neat freak. Nonetheless, the first step is physical cleaning. So, even if your house is usually spotless, you clean again anyway.
Do all the stuff you usually avoid doing. Clean the garage, the attic or basement. Do all the usual vacuuming, dusting, dishes, laundry, etc. But don’t stop until you literally can’t find anything else to clean.
The next bit is the spiritual cleansing. For this, you need some things you can get (or already have) at your grocery store. You will also need some items from me. The links for these things are here:
Among the many actions I prescribe for clients, in the course of treating various conditions or needs, is the spiritual bath. I first started doing ritual baths while working through the book Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig. Later, I did more (similar) baths as stipulated by my studies in Ceremonial Magick.
I enjoyed these baths quite a bit and found them useful. After a while however, the practice became a bit stale for me. There was nothing wrong at all, only that the formula was always the same and the purpose was spiritual cleansing (in preparation for ritual) and spiritual cleansing alone.
It wasn’t until I came to Hoodoo practice that I realized you can take spiritual baths for an endless variety of reasons.
Hoodoo is a conglomeration of magickal practices that came together in the southern USA. It was born out of Voodoo and Santeria and mixed with Catholicism to make it more acceptable socially to the powers that stood in the way at that period of history. Hoodoo has a rich, colorful history that we won’t attempt to cover here. It is a magickal practice, not a religion, and it’s rife with spells galore, enough to keep anybody busy for a lifetime.
There are spells for anything you can imagine. Hoodoo workers fall along a very wide spectrum of ethical standards. The spells range from the most pure and honorable purposes down to the vilest curses.
Many practitioners (such as myself) stay far from the dark work and some specialize in it. Many run the gamut, doing all of it. The details of all this are better left to another day’s discussion. Right now, we are only going to talk about baths and of those, only the sort designed to help, heal, attract good things and strengthen.
A very common bath I prescribe is Uncrossing. I already posted an article about why a person might need such work, entitled Uncrossing, Protection & Blessing. Have a look at that for the what, why and how.
Some of the other bath mixes that I make myself are POWER! and Venus Love Drawing and Protection.
There are many simple, 3 herb ingredient bath mixes. The combinations are virtually endless. How do you determine these recipes? Well, either see me and I will prescribe something for you, or refer to any of the plethora of reputable spell books available. I give a good number of recipes in Lesson 1 of my magick course
These are among the top standard reference books that magicians look to for the selection and use of herbs. Each of these will give you a comprehensive take on what an herb can be used for and will help you select a few herbs for your personal bath mix. Both of these books label any herbs that are poisonous and Greer’s book in particular explains if an herb is safe to bathe in or not. The Cunningham book has its own particular advantage, in that it covers a much wider range of herbal entries. So, each book is important as a cross-reference.
Once you have settled upon what to use in your bath, You will mix up the ingredients. You will need a cotton bag to put them into for the tub. Make sure to scrub your tub out. Get it nice and clean. If you are taking a series of baths, as in 1 each day for a week, then you don’t need to do this every day. But definitely do it the first day and then again about halfway through the week. Of course, you can do it daily if you so desire.
The herb mixture is placed into the bag. You can then throw the bag straight into the tub, if you want. It’s recommended however that you put a pot of water on the stove. Once the water is boiling, take it off the heat and turn off the burner. Put the cotton bag of herbs into the pot and let it steep like tea for about 10 minutes.
While the tea is steeping, you can run your bath water.
Set the mood in the bathroom by lighting a candle or several of them. You can burn some stick incense too, if that idea appeals. If you use music, it should be sacred music or instrumental music and the volume should be very low.
Take 3 handfuls of Epsom Salt or even better, Blessed Sea Salt and throw this into the tub, 1 handful at a time. Do this with intention. I would advise saying something like “Creature of Water, I purify thee!” or “I exorcise thee, o thou Creature of Water!” as you do this. You can say it once or with each throw. I personally say it with each throw.
I then make the sign of the equal-armed cross over the water and announce that I am removing all evil and malady from the water.
For those of you who are familiar, I also charge the water with the Sign of the Enterer and a Divine Name. The name I choose to use is EHEIEH, the Divine Name pertaining to the West and elemental Water. It’s pronounced “ay-hay-yay” and it’s usually vibrated, like a Tibetan Monk chant. This is a great thing to really charge up your bath but for those who feel a bit awkward about it, you can skip this step.
Once your candles and incense are going (if you are going to use them) and your water is the perfect, cozy temperature and you have charged the water and cast the salt into it, you can now add the herb mix that has been steeping. Pour the whole thing in… except the pot, of course!
Slip into your bath and for the first 5-10 minutes, you need do nothing but chill out and enjoy the nice, warm bath.
When you are ready, you can start to address the issue of why you are taking this particular ritual bath. The standard fare is to recite an appropriate Psalm from the Bible, such as Psalm 37 and/or 51 for uncrossing work. If you are uncomfortable with biblical prayer, then compose your own.
To attract things into your life, it is said that it’s best to start at your feet and work your way up to your head. For example, if you were taking a wealth-drawing bath of Sassafras, Agrimony and Thyme, you would wash foot to head, to attract.
There is no soap used in a spiritual bath. A regular bath or shower should precede any spiritual work.
If you were doing a bath to rid yourself of nightmares, let’s say Hops, Rosemary and Coltsfoot, you would wash head to toe, downward, to remove unfavorable conditions. Audible prayer is utilized the entire time for best effect.
You can have a prayer memorized, compose a spontaneous prayer or you can print up a Psalm (or other prayer) and laminate it to take into the bath with you.
When you feel you are finished, pull the plug and remain in the tub while the water runs out. Visualize any negative energy going down the drain.
Step out of the bath and allow yourself to air dry, so you are not wiping off all the stuff you just put on.
If you are cold, you can turn up the heat. You might choose to put on a set of clean, fresh clothes, clothes that you will be wearing for the next 24 hours. That way, the clothes might soak up the infused water from your body, but the clothes are right next to your skin. What you don’t want is to wipe it all into a towel and then throw that towel in the hamper. That does little good for you.
That’s basically all there is to taking a ritual bath. You might also choose to observe timing. For example, a Venus Love Drawing Bath would be best performed on a Friday, the day that Venus rules.
Unless you know how to calculate planetary hours (something I teach in The Nascent Magician), then you should ideally take your bath at dawn, to be in the hour ruled by the planet of that day.
But for beginner’s, don’t worry about any of that. It’s always better to take a bath and not worry about the timing than it is to not take a bath because you stressed out about the timing.
Some say you should throw your bath water (at least a cupful) toward the rising Sun, as an offering to the Sun. I personally don’t get why old Sol would want your used bath water :-/ so I skip that step, myself and have never had a problem. I’ve never taken a ritual bath and later thought “Wow, that did no good. Maybe I should have thrown some water toward the rising Sun”. But you do what you want to and share your results with me.
Numbers are important in magick. So with the number of ingredients, or the number of total baths you take for a specific purpose, keep the numbers PRIME. Also, stay away from 5 (unless you are specifically dealing with Mars), 11 and anything over 13.
That should be more than enough to get you started.
Now that you have gathered all the materials you need to cleanse yourself and your home, here are the instructions you need to use the items. Use things in the order they are presented.
There is a reason for the order! Don’t skip ahead to the easiest thing!
Heed this warning…
Exorcism Bath - Run a hot bath in a clean tub. Add to it the following:
1 cup Salt (Epsom Salt or Sea salt)
½ cup Vinegar (Red Wine or Apple)
1 tablespoon Ammonia
Add no more than a tablespoon of Ammonia. This amount is perfectly safe. Add too much and it will burn the skin. At the level of a tablespoon, you will not even notice it.
This bath is to strip all influences from you, both positive and negative. For this reason, you should not do it very often, only when you are under immediate spiritual attack. It is a short term solution to help you stay strong while you perform the other cleansing measures.
Emergency Kit - This kit already contains very specific instructions. All you need to is open it up and follow the instruction guide inside.
Uncrossing Bath Mix - Run a hot bath in a clean tub. Add to it the Uncrossing Bath Mix. You put the entire ounce of bath mix into the cloth bag and tie it up. Boil some water and take the pot off the heat. Add the cloth bag and steep it like tea for 10 minutes. Add this to the tub. Make sure the tub is clean.
While in the tub, recite Psalms and ask for spiritual cleansing. When you get out of the tub, DO NOT towel dry yourself. Air dry.
Read the article called HOW TO TAKE A RITUAL BATH.
Use this bath whenever you feel you are slipping back into a negative cycle of bad luck, scary thoughts or if you sense anything evil in the house.
Uncrossing Oil - Dab some of this on your thumb and make the sign of the cross (either an equal-armed cross, or a Calvary cross) over every door and window in the home. Also anoint yourself, your entire family and even your pets with this, by making the sign of the cross on the forehead and the backs of the hands.
Pray out loud, while you do this. Use the 23rd, 37th or 51st Psalms. Do this once a day for 9 days straight.
Exorcism Floor Wash - Take a mop bucket and fill it with hot water, as hot as you can make it. Add to the water the following:
Take a mop and mop your entire house. If you have more than 1 floor, start at the top floor and work your way down. The ground floor of the home should be last. You are driving evil energy OUT of the house. So, work back to front, ending at the front door. You are pushing the mess out into the street.
Throw the remaining water out the front door, as far as you can. If you live in an apartment, it’s OK to compromise here. Take it outside the building and throw it.
For carpets, mix up the recipe in a spray bottle and spray the carpets. It will stink for a few hours and then it will go away completely. I have done it at my house more than once, so don’t worry. It’s not going to stink forever. You can always steam clean the carpets next week, if it makes you feel better.
Chinese Wash - This is something you use to wipe down everything in the home. It’s a base of Murphy’s Oil Soap but it has Van Van Oil added to it, which is a Hoodoo oil of various lemon and grass oils. The recipe varies from practitioner to practitioner.
You dilute Chinese Wash with water. Use about a tablespoon of it to a quart (or even a half-gallon) of hot water. Take a rag and thoroughly wet it with the mixture. Wring it out lightly and wipe down every surface in your home that will not be damaged by water. Your rag should not be soaking wet, anyway… just damp. Keep rewetting and wringing out the rag, periodically.
After you have wiped everything down, throw the left over water out the front door.
Protection Bath - Run a hot bath in a clean tub. Add to it the Protection Bath Mix. You put the entire ounce of bath mix into the cloth bag and tie it up. Boil some water and take the pot off the heat. Add the cloth bag and steep it like tea for 10 minutes. Add this to the tub.
Make sure the tub is clean.
While in the tub, recite Psalms and ask for protection. If you have a known enemy, then read my Prayer of War while in the bath. When you get out of the tub, DO NOT towel dry yourself. Air dry.
Read the article called HOW TO TAKE A RITUAL BATH.
Use this bath whenever you feel you are being threatened or you need to be around a known enemy.
Blessed Salt - Take this and spread a thin line of it across the doorways and the windows of the house, praying while you do so. This is a line of defense, to keep things out. Evil spirits and negative energy must be gotten out of the house first.
Frankincense Resin - Light charcoal and cense your whole house with the Frankincense, reciting The Lord’s Prayer, 23rd Psalm or some other invocation of blessings.
Blessing Oil - use this in the same way as you did the Uncrossing Oil. Use the Uncrossing Oil for 9 days, then follow that with the Blessing Oil for 7 days.
Witch Bottle - This spell kit already contains very specific instructions. All you need to is open it up carefully (it contains sharp instruments) and follow the instruction guide inside.
This will keep any future attacks from harming you. It will, at very least minimize any possible damage.
The Witch Bottle is the 1 thing that I believe everyone should have, whether you regularly practice magick or not.
Glass encased "novena" candles are usually about 8" tall and over 2" wide. Most of the time, they are clear glass that is either plain and unadorned, or they have some sort of image(s) and/or words printed directly on the glass or on a label which is affixed to the glass.
The wax can be of any color or multiple, layered colors. The color chosen is very important and should be relevant for the nature of the work at hand. Novena is a word that means work. The choices are many, but a few examples are Pink for love, Red for sex, Green for money or issues of fertility, Purple for power, White for blessing, and the list goes on and on.
You should consult an experienced practitioner who is in regular practice to see what color is right for you and your needs.
A plain candle can be used, but it's better if it's "dressed". Dressing a 7 Day Candle is simple to do, the difficulty lies in knowing what to choose. Again, consult a qualified practitioner for which oils, herbs and the number of each to use. The general rule is to use prime numbers, always 13 or less.
With novenas, it's best to keep that number small, 3 and 7 being the best. For severing or binding works, 3, 5 and 9 are good numbers. While 11 is prime, avoid it. It is a sacred number but set apart, not for general use, and thus unlucky. 11 is lucky in certain games of chance but otherwise, stay away from it. 13, while a great fear surrounds this number for many, is a perfectly useful number that has just gained a bad reputation.
A sample formula:
White Candle, 7 or 13 drops of Blessing Oil, Angelica, Frankincense (powder) and Benzoin (powder).
Use a piece of white paper ( 3-4" square) to write your petition on. Always use clean paper that has never been used for anything else. You can also use a piece of brown paper, torn from a grocery sack. If so, I would choose a bag that had no other printing on it.
To dress the candle, you simply sprinkle in a tiny bit of the oils and herbs that you have chosen for the desired effect.
You can take something thin, like a small screwdriver or a letter opener and make holes in the wax to let the oil and herbs seep down in, providing a steadier burn. This is recommended but not essential.
The steps to burning a 7 Day Candle are:
1) Write your name and what you want on the Petition Paper. Fold it in half, toward you for drawing in, or away for banishing things.
2) Tape the Petition Paper to the side of the candle. Place the candle over a picture of yourself or the person it's designed to affect.
3) Place your power (writing) hand over the candle (closing it off) and hold the candle with your non-dominant hand.
4) Say a pertinent Psalm or prayer (if you so desire).
5) Speak to God (however you conceive of God) and state your need in terms of what you want, not what you don't want.
6) Knock the candle on the altar 3 times.
7) Light the candle.
That's it. Let it burn itself completely out. Should you need to put it out for any reason, DO NOT blow it out. Blowing a candle out ends a working. Use a candle snuffer or pinch out the flame. But it's best with a 7 Day Candle to just let it burn.
Always observe fire safety. Keep away from children and pets. Put the candle on a surface where it is isolated, meaning away from anything flammable. Avoid curtains and other combustible items. If you need to leave the candle unattended, then put it in a bathtub or a sink, where it will not be bothered by anyone.
Be aware that sometimes the glass will crack and (worse case scenario), the glass may even explode. So, a sink or a tub or maybe in a fireplace with the screen pulled shut, these are some of the only "safe" places to leave a candle burning unattended. If you prefer, then simply pinch it out or snuff it (do not blow it out) and when you return, simply relight it, with intention. You can redo the prayers and knocking, or you may choose to skip it. But pick a method and stick with it. Consistency is the key.
Make note of how the candle burns. Does it burn clean and complete? Glass cracked? Soot anywhere? Did it explode? Did it go out and any point? (if so, relight it and pray over it). Herbs and resins stuck to the side? Anything the candle does can be interpreted as a sign. It's important to make note of how your candle burns and contact me for an interpretation.
Once the candle has finished its burn, either bury the petition paper or store it somewhere safe. If you get what you asked for, you may destroy the paper via burning or burial. Recycle the glass jar.
It should be noted that while they are usually called “7 Day Candles”, they rarely if ever last that long. A short burn is about 4 days, a typical burn length is 5 days and a long burn is 6 days. How long the candle burns matters as well. Short is usually good but can also mean that more work is needed than just that candle. It might be more spiritual work, it might be a sign that you are overlooking some aspect of the mundane world that you need to pay more attention to.
A long burn might indicate that the outcome will not be quick. The possible meanings depend on the various circumstance on a case by case basis. Consult an experienced practitioner, rather than assuming the candle divination by some cookie cutter rules.
That should be enough to get you started and you can check with us here at the shop for which books would be good to read next, to further your studies. And obviously, you should strongly consider taking my Nascent Magician magickal correspondence course.
If you have never burned charcoal incense, you may be a little intimidated by the idea but it’s quite simple.
To burn a piece of stick incense, you need only a holder/burner to place the incense in and a match or a lighter. For charcoal incense, you’ll need a few things, but nothing complicated. The first thing you will need is a censer. That’s what you call the incense holder.
There is a dizzying array of them available but they are all basically just containers that you can put the incense in, while it burns. Here are a few of the censers we currently carry at Thaumaturgy 777:
Notice that the last item was actually a cauldron, which is not an incense burner, per se. But it goes to show that any bowl will do, so long as you are certain it can stand, intense, prolonged heat. You don’t have to have a snazzy burner, unless you want to be in the cool kids’ club. Most wooden or metal bowls will do nicely. They will get quite hot, so have an oven mitt handy to handle it with.
Next, you will fill your new censer with sand. Any sand will do, except craft sand. Do not buy sand from an arts and crafts store. That stuff has chemicals in it. The charcoal heats it and it release a toxic odor. This is not good for you to breathe and it mucks up the smell of your incense.
You can raid the local playground for a cupful of sand, or you can get a nice, clean bag of pretty, white sand right here:
Now, you have a censer and it’s full of sand. You will now put some charcoal in it. It is the same kind of charcoal people use in a hookah for smoking tobacco.
The best brand around, bar none, is Three Kings. It has a high concentration of potassium nitrate, also known as Saltpeter. This is the incendiary stuff that makes it “self-lighting”. Other brands will sometimes not light easily… or at all. Don’t settle for the cheap stuff. Get this:
That’s all the tools you will need, censer, sand, tongs, charcoal.
Now, once you have put that together, you are all set and the only thing you will need to do for maintenance is very occasionally change out the sand and restock your charcoal.
To burn any loose charcoal, you will take your censer full of sand outside. Take up a charcoal (using the tongs) and light it with a lighter. The longer lighters are best, if you have the type used to light fireplaces. If not, any disposable lighter will do fine.
You want to do the lighting outside, because the charcoal will smoke when it’s first lit. Once it stops smoking, you can bring it back inside. It should be glowing red. If you are standing in direct sunlight, you may not be able to tell. But in normal lighting, or if you switch the light off for just a second, you should be able to see the red glow.
Now you have carefully carried your censer back inside and it has a freshly lit charcoal sitting on top of the sand. At this point you can place your loose incense on top of the charcoal to let it smoulder.
There are primarily 2 types you will use, resins and plant material. You can burn oils, but it’s recommended that you use an oil diffuser lamp for that. A diffuser is a small (usually soapstone) lamp with a bowl at the top and inside of it, a tealight is placed. It heats the oil in the bowl and it circulates the scent throughout the room. Here is an example of such an oil burner:
An example of a resin is Copal, used for blessings and purification. The typical, go-to incenses are Frankincense and Myrrh, or a combination of them... Frankincense & Myrrh. These are the resins that have been burned in the church for centuries.
Most religions have some sort of resin incense that is burned (at least during their Holy Festivals) from Mosques, to Judaic Temples, to Buddhist Temples and the list goes on. The Shinto of Japan take their incense very seriously and they are known for making some of the finest (and often most expensive) in the world.
* Burning Resins:
If you are using granulated resin like this, you can light the charcoal and drop a very small piece of the resin on top of the charcoal. It will begin to melt and smoke and fill the room with a pleasant aroma.
*** Be aware that with resins, a little bit goes a long way!***
Resins produce more smoke than stick or oil incense, and for much longer periods of time! So, use the smallest piece you can break off.
To break it, use a
You can make this even easier by placing both the resin incense and the mortar & pestle in your freezer for 5-10 minutes. This will make the resin break up more easily. If you don’t have a mortar & pestle, you can just hit the resin very lightly with a hammer and little pieces will break off. Don’t hit it hard, or it will go flying in every direction.
You can put it in a plastic bag and then double or even triple bag it, then whack it with a hammer. However, a mortar & pestle is far preferable. It makes the job far easier. Also, the act of grinding the resin helps you get in touch with the spirit of the operation at hand, whereas smashing with a hammer is... well, just smashing with a hammer. It just doesn't feel quite as magickal as grinding.
If you are burning plant material, be aware that some, like Rose and Lavender, smell great when burned. Others make a foul stench when burned. For instance, Jasmine does not have the nice fragrance you are looking for, when you burn the flowers by themselves. If you want to add Jasmine flowers to your incense blend, then use it in small quantity. An example incense recipe, for say... drawing in romatic love... would be
Incidentally, for the Roses, you would use Red Roses for more of a sexual flair, Pink Roses for romance, or use 2 parts of each color, to balance it out.
Jasmine makes a great tea and a great perfume, it falls short as an incense, unless you use Jasmine oil or pad it out with something more pleasant.
So, research a little to see which plant materials make good incense. Here are a few great books that will tell you just such information:
At Thaumaturgy 777, We offer a wide variety of both resin and herb incenses. We also craft our own, original, Thaumaturgy 777 brand incense blends from combinations of herbs and resins.
The T-777 line of spiritual products is ever expanding, so you would do well to be on our mailing list, so you can be notified when something new pops up.
Here are the Incense Blends we currently carry:
And our Herbs, most of which are either organic or wildharvested.
Store your incense in a ziplock bag or a glass jar to preserve its freshness. The very best thing is to use brown glass, as it filters sunlight, which can sometimes damage plant materials over time. You don't have to worry as much about pure resins, like Benzoin, because they don't lose their potency and will keep for many years.
That’s everything you need to get started. Have a good time :-)