Archive for the ‘incense’ Tag

Making Goetia of Solomon Skrying Incense   Leave a comment

Greetings fellow Summoners!

00-seal of solomon

Today I would like to share something rare and precious: the making of the incense prescribed by the Goetia of Solomon – found in the Lemegeton.

I’ll explain exactly why it is both rare and precious in a moment, but let me first quote the relevant portion of the grimiore.  It is found after the long list of 72 spirits, under the ‘Maigical Requisites”, where the Secret Seal of Solomon (pictured above) is described:

This secret seal is to be made by one that is clean both inward and outward, […] It is to be made on a Tuesday or Saturday night at 12 of the Clock, […] When it is so made, fume it with alum, raisins of the Sun, dates, cedar and lignum aloes…

The list of ingredients, with its raisins and dates, might remind one of Egyptian Kyphi incense, as its base is made from raisins soaked in wine.  (It is certainly possible the Goetia is attempting to mimic that recipe, though there is no evidence beyond the shared ingredient.)  However, what truly makes this incense precious is the inclusion of lignum aloes.  Also known as agarwood, lignum aloes can only be obtained from the heart of an increasingly rare far-Easterm tree (aquilaria malaccensis). Furthermore, the aloes can only be obtained after the tree has been infected with a specific species of mold.  According to its Wikipedia entry, agarwood is one of the most expensive natural resources in the world – and frankly that was likely true even when the Lemgeton was written.  Today, some sellers of incenses have even ceased carrying it in the hopes of preserving the dwindling trees.

I was able to acquire several ounces of lignum aloes – though I had to import it from Indonesia.  In the bag, it looked much like any ground wood incense – like cedar, only slightly darker.  We immediately lit a censer, and places the tiniest pinch of the material onto the coal.  It has a woody smell (no surprise there) with perhaps a small hint of musk.  I would describe it as smelling like fresh dirt after a rain, because it does, but I don’t want to give the impression it smells anything like patchouli.  It’s not nearly as sweet as that.

As you see above, the perfume is instructed for use in the making of the Seal of Solomon (used to bind the spirits to the Brass Vessel).  However, once I had a small whiff of pure lignum aloes, I began to suspect it was intended for much more.  It made my head tingle as if a head-rush was about to begin, and gave me a somewhat stoned (“buzzed”) feeling – almost as if the world had shifted slightly and left me with a touch of vertigo.  The affects didn’t last long after the incense was gone.  I knew right then, lignum aloes (or agarwood) is a powerful skrying incense!  It could very well be intended for use during the evocations.

After that experience, I couldn’t wait to get the complete recipe put together and see what the result smelled – and felt – like.  So I went out and bought packages of raisins and dates – making sure they had no added sugar, sulfur, or other preservatives.  As it turned out the packages contained 7oz (rasins) and 10oz (dates) for a total of 13oz of fruit:

01-Raw Fruit

About 2/3 of the fruit shown here.

 

You might have noticed the Goetia includes a rather odd ingredient in the incense: alum. This is generally used as a preservative, and has the effect of slightly hardening fruits and vegetables that are soaked in it.  Its has an extremely sour taste, and was therefore popular in the making of pickles.  It was originally alum that gave pickles their snap when you bit into them.  (Due to health concerns, most pickles today do not use alum.)

It seems unlikely that alum would make a good ingredient in an incense – for both reasons of health and scent.  However, it seems quite likely the alum would have been included to preserve the raisins and dates.  And the proper way of doing that is to soak the fruits for several hours in water that has been enriched with alum.  The result can then be dried out and powdered, with the preservative already infused.

I didn’t use all the fruit in the first attempt, as it gets pretty bulky and I had to eventually fit everything onto a cookie sheet.  So I did it in two batches.  In order to maximize the contact between the fruit and the water, I gave it a good chopping beforehand:

02-chopped fruit

 

Then it was into a bowl of fresh spring water (NO tap water!) into which I had dissolved as much alum as it could hold:

03-Alum Water

04-fruit in water

Probably didn’t need this much water.  On the second batch, I just covered the fruit with water, plus a bit more.

 

I let them soak for about 8 hours the first time, but I found 6 hours to be more than sufficient for the second batch.  In both cases, it resulted in what looked like a bowl full of mushy sliced olives:

05-after soaking

Not actually olives…

 

These were then strained and placed outside on a cookie sheet to dry in the hot sun next to the “desert plants” section of my herb garden:

06-dry in sun

 

As it turns out, I did lose a few pieces of the above to birds and/or squirrels – but not much.  Next time, I’ll try to fashion a proper drying bed out of two screens: one on the top and one on the bottom, so air can get to all sides of the fruit (or herbs, etc) but animals can’t.

I made sure both batches had a couple of days out in the sun, to make sure they soaked up plenty of solar energy.  But it quickly got too rainy and humid (late spring in Florida!) to continue drying them outside, so I opted to complete the drying process in the oven inside.  It took a couple of days at the absolute lowest oven temperature setting.  Then the dried fruit went into the incense grinder:

07-grinder

The resulting powder was actually still a bit damp, so I spread it out on the cookie sheet and returned it to the oven for a few more hours.  In the end, 13 oz of fruit resulted in about 6 oz of powder, consisting of raisins, dates, and alum:

08-powdered fruit

 

After some testing of the different ingredients (I already had powdered cedar on hand), I decided it was best to use the following mixture:

1 pt Raisins & Dates infused with Alum

1/2 pt Cedar

1/2 pt Lignum Aloes (Agarwood)

The above is measured by weight.  It may seem odd that the fruit should be the greater ingredient, but remember it is denser and heavier than the powdered woods.  A single ounce of raisins and dates by volume is very little compared to the same weight of cedar or aloes.  For my first batch of Goetia Skrying Incnese, I used two ounces of the fruits and an ounce each of the cedar and lignum aloes.

09-finished product

 

The final result gives me the same “buzzed” feeling as the lignum aloes alone, plus it adds something between a musky and a fruity smell.  My wife at one point said it smelled like walking through a forest after the rain, and at another time said it reminded her of fruit cake!  In either case, it is definitely a musky and almost-heavy scent – doubtlessly quite suitable for chthonic evocations.  (My own familiars have already requested some!)

I will be consecrating this new incense on May 31st – the first Wednesday of the waxing Moon.    I don’t have a lot of this, and it will have to cost more than my standard incenses, but I will be offering it on Doc Sol’s site – so stay tuned either there or on the Doc Sols Facebook Page!

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Doc Solomon’s Occult Curios – Open For Business!   3 comments

Greetings Solomonic Conjurors!

I am thrilled to announce the Grand Opening of our new online store:

Doc_Solomons_Label

Doc Solomon’s Occult Curios

We specialize in the creation of obscure and unique ritual tools and ingredients for traditional Solomonic and grimoire workings.  We carry holy water, maiden-spun thread, hazel and oak wands, aspergillums, ritual knives, herbal-infused blood substitutes, talismans, parchment, beeswax and beeswax candles, holy oil, incense, and much more.

Everything we sell is made according to the exacting instructions required by the grimoires (Key of Solomon the King, the Book of Abramelin, etc) – all materials, timing, consecrations, ritual protocols and proscriptions are meticulously observed in the creation of our ritual items.

AaronAspergillum-2Hand-Crafted Ritual Tools and Items

The grimoires are infamous for requiring rare, obscure and hard to obtain items:  such as thread hand-spun by a young maiden, ritual tools blessed by a priest, rare herbs and incenses, objects made from specific metals and other materials, rare virgin woods etc.  They also require meticulous rituals and consecrations during the time of their making – extending from exactly how and when the materials are gathered to exactly how and when the tools are constructed.  Some tools can only be made at certain times of the year, and others require rituals extending over several days or even weeks.  We follow all of these requirements to the letter, and we provide a certificate of authenticity with every ritual tool.

Please Note:  Some grimoiric tools require specific timing, rare materials, or lengthy rituals in their creation.  In these cases, we do not carry a large stock of pre-made items.  Instead, we make your ritual tool upon order.  And, depending on your requirements and our resources, we will consider special orders upon request.  Please be aware that there may be a waiting period while we do our work, though we will stay in touch with you throughout the process.  Also, some especially rare items may result in limited availability of some tools.

All of our items are made, blessed and/or consecrated by Fr. Aaron Leitch, an ordained Gnostic priest of the Ecclesia Beatae Mariae Angelorum.  Most of the fine art-work is done by Carrie Leitch, a Deacon of the same Church.  Wood and metal-working done by Jon Zuilkowski

Father Aaron Leitch and Deacon Carrie Leitch

Father Aaron Leitch and Deacon Carrie Leitch

What is a Grimoire?

Grimoire is a French word meaning “grammar” or “basic instruction book.”  It refers especially to a genre of occult texts and spellbooks from medieval and renaissance Europe that combined Church liturgy and ritual with exorcism, witchcraft and folk magick.  A great number of them focus specifically upon the evocation of spiritual entities through whom spells can be cast and from whom magickal secrets can be learned.  These books represent the culmination of the Western Occult Tradition up to that time, preserving the last remnants of the Old Magick before the rise of the quasi-Masonic Magickal Lodges of the nineteenth century.

What is Solomonic Magick?

Most of the old grimoires are attributed to Biblical heroes such as Moses, Noah, Enoch and King Solomon.  (Though this is merely legend, as the grimoires were written thousands of years after these Biblical figures lived.)  Without question, it is the Solomonic grimoires that have had the greatest impact on the Western Tradition. Today, even grimoires attributed to other figures are considered part of the overall “Solomonic” tradition.  Books like the Key of Solomon the King, The Lemegeton (including The Goetia, Pauline Arts, The Almadel of Solomon and more), The Heptameron, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Liber Juratis, John Dee’s Enochian Diaries, The Magus, The Grand Grimoire and Grimoirum Verum (to name only a few of hundreds of such texts) are all considered sub-sets of the Solomonic tradition.

Click here to learn more about grimoires and Solomonic mysticism.

Click here to read any of the grimoires for yourself.

Doc Solomon’s Occult Curios

Aaron and Carrie performing Solomonic Invocation

Carrie At Work

A.J. Spinning Thread

A.J. Spinning Thread

Doc Solomon’s Occult Curios

Planetary Suffumigations (Incenses)   14 comments

Censer Burning

Greetings, faithful followers!

I thought it might be useful – for me as well as my readers – to post my favorite recipes for planetary incenses here.

In a best case scenario, you would want each incense to include the planet’s sacred number of ingredients.  Thus, Saturn incense should include three ingredients, Jupiter incense should contain four, etc.  The down side to this is when you reach the higher-numbered planets:  six ingredients for Sol and seven for Venus isn’t so much, but by the time you reach Luna’s nine ingredients the recipies begin to get unwieldy.  Another option is to have all the recipies include the same sacred number of ingrendients.  Three and seven are always “standard” sacred numbers for nearly any purpose.

I generally choose three ingredients for mine – representing each of the three worlds described by Agrippa (physical, mental and spiritual), or the three shamanic worlds (celestial, terrestrial and the underworld).  I have found that simpler is better when it comes to mixing aromatic powders together.  Quite often, substances that you think would smell wonderful when burned together, instead create acrid and unpleasant burning smells.  Whatever number you choose, it will take some trial and error before you find the exact mixture that works best for you.

Incense of Saturn/Saturday:

1 part Myrrh

1 part Asafoetida

1/4 part Sulphur

Incense of Jupiter/Thursday:

1 part cedar

1/4 part clove

1/8th part apple pectin

A few drops of pine oil

NOTE: This is a rare case where I use more than three ingredients, and four is sacred to Jupiter.  I find that apple pectin tends to have an acrid burning smell – so I add very little and then offset it with the pine oil.

Incense of Mars/Tuesday:

1 part Pipe Tobacco (or, my favorite, “Black and Mild”)

1/2 part Cinnamon

1/8th part Crushed Red Pepper

WARNING!: Martian incense is one of the most dangerous substances I’ve worked with!  It is, quite simply, tear gas.  If you make this, do not add too much red pepper.  And when you burn it, do it in small quantities. Never, for any reason, lean over the censor and inhale or draw in breath!  Too much pepper or direct inhalation can burn your throat and lungs.

Incense of Sol/Sunday:

1 part Frankincense

1 part Copal

1/2 part Benzoin.

NOTE: You may also use standard “Church” incense, which can be found in most botanicas or christian supply stores.

Incense of Venus/Friday:

1 part Sanalwood

1 part Benzoin

1/2 part Red Rose Petals

Incense of Mercury/Wednesday:

1 part Benzoin

1/4 part Frankencense

1/8 part Lavender Blossoms

Incense of Luna/Monday:

1 part Calamus

1/2 part Juniper Berries

1/4 part Gardenia Flower

As a note, I generally find that the various flowers used in the above incenses tend to produce a burnt smell when placed on hot coals.  A good solution is to replace the flowers with a drop or two of essential oil instead.  Just be careful, as too much flower essence will quickly overpower the other ingredients in the recipe.

You should, of course, test these recipes and tweak them according to your tastes and intuition.  Or, if you feel inspired to do so, try making scents with the planetary number of ingredients.  A wonderful resource for this work is Scott Cunningham’s Incenses Oils and Brews.

Also, you can use these for Elemental incenses as well:

Fire: Martian Incense

Water: Lunar Incense

Air: Mercury Incense

Earth: Saturn incense*

(* – Personally, I find Saturn incense too noxious for Earth. My favorite Earthy scent is Patchouli.)

May you find these suffumigations useful and powerful in your magick.

 

ADDENDUM:  One thing Agrippa mentions, and I’ve been meaning to experiment with it, is the inclusion of a lodestone.  (That is a natural magnet made from magnetite.)  It certainly wouldn’t add anything to the scent of the incense – so I’ve always assumed it was included for its attractive properties.  That is, since a magnet can be used to magnetize other metals, then perhaps it is added to the incense to “magnetize” it to attract forces in sympathy with it.

However, I do note that Agrippa only lists the lodestone as an ingredient for Saturn and Martian incenses.  So this may hint at a more chthonic attribution for the lodestone, having something to do with commanding spirits…

Posted March 7, 2012 by kheph777 in magick, solomonic

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