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Uncrossing, Protection & Blessing
* Note: special thanks to Jason Miller of Strategic Sorcery, as much of what is presented here comes from his excellent resource, Protection & Reversal Magick.
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
Sometimes, 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 ritual of protection 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 nebulous forms of sorcery.
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 the eerie thread running through it. Uncrossing is something you can either do for yourself or you can have me do it for you. After the uncrossing, I strongly recommend a Blessing Ritual.
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:
As far as the stuff you can get from your local grocer, you will need:
Garlic (powdered or minced)
Red Pepper (powdered or flakes)
Vinegar (preferably Apple or Red Wine)
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Once you gather all the above items, then read the article (also on this page) called Spiritual Cleansing.
How To Take A Ritual Bath
How To Take A Ritual Bath
Among the many actions I prescribe in the course of treating various spiritual conditions, 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.
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:
Get yourself a good book on herbs and put together your own recipes. Have a look at the ones I carry in the shop and recommend most often:
The Encyclopedia Of Natural Magic by John Michael Greer
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia Of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
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. There are many others I could recommend but they are harder to find.
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. Don't skip this part. 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. You would pronounce that as “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 Yellow Dock Root, 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 cast out the bad dreams.
Audible prayer is utilized the entire time for best effect. You can have a prayer memorized or compose a prayer spontaneously. See our selection of Bath Prayer Cards (special thanks to my friend, spiritual brother and author Aaron Leitch for the idea!) that you can take right into the bath with you. They're water-proof, since they're laminated.
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 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 course), then you would ideally take your bath at dawn, to be in the hour ruled by the planet of that day. But beginners need not 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 (with the exception of the number 9, which is special). Also, stay away from 5 (unless you are specifically dealing with Mars or "cutting" things out of your life), stay away from the number 11 and anything over 13. There are exceptions to this rule, such as the numbers of the Planets, as ascribed to the Qabalistic Sephiroth but that is more advanced. This should be more than enough to get you started.
Spiritual House Cleaning
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!
* To protect yourself from unwanted influences, you can take this simple bath:
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
(recipe from Jason Miller's Protection & Reversal Magick)
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 - Contains 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. Put the whole 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 on this page 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. Anoint yourself, your family and even your pets with this, by making the sign of the cross on the forehead and the backs of the hands. Be aware in advance that some people may have sensitive skin. Test a small area first.
Pray out loud, while you do this. Use the 23rd, 37th or 51st Psalms. Do this once a day for 9 days straight.
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:
¼ cup Garlic (powdered or minced)
1 tablespoon Red Pepper (powdered or flakes)
½ cup Vinegar (preferably Apple or Red Wine)
(recipe from Jason Miller's Protection & Reversal Magick)
Sweep 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 - See the article on this page called How To Take A Ritual Bath. Use this formula whenever you feel you are being threatened or you are required to be around a known enemy.
Blessed Salt - This is regular Sea Salt that I have taken into the Temple and consecrated. I do the work when it's appropriate, usually when Luna is in Taurus. It's not the quick saying of a prayer, but an involved ritual that takes around 20 minutes.
Spread a thin line of this across the doorways and the windows of your 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. This is a great, standard formula that you can use any time.
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.
How To Burn Incense On Charcoal
If you have never burned charcoal incense, you may be a little intimidated by the idea but it’s really 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 the name for 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 Conjure Work:
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:
While you are at it, get yourself a pair of tongs. You won’t want to try and hold the charcoal while you light it. It gets glowing, red hot, so you’ll need these:
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 tea light 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.
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 romantic love... would be
* 4 parts Rose
* 4 parts Lavender
* 1 part Patchouli Powder
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.
Here are a few great books that will teach you the ropes of incense making in general:
I offer a wide variety of both resin and herb incenses. The recipes for my Conjure Work brand incense blends are combinations of herbs and resins known to be traditionally correct, as well as information gained from the Spirits and plain old experience.
The Conjure Work 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.
Most of our herbs 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.
Have a good time making magick :-)
How To Use Magick Powders
I sell a variety of items that new practitioners are sometimes not familiar with. In this lesson we’ll look at one of them... magick powders. Here are some that I make here at Conjure Work:
In magickal practice, powders are typically a base of talcum powder, corn starch, flour or another such fine particulate. Then various herbs, resins, roots, essential oils, etc, are mixed in. Some people color their powders, others don’t.
The way that they are used varies from person to person and according to the need at hand. We’ll talk about some specific examples here, but this is not necessarily an exhaustive list. But first… “to charge, or not to charge?”
Some people charge their recipes and others don’t. All the powders that I make are charged already, in that while making them, I focus intention into them and cap that off with a prayer and I seal it in. Yet, I personally believe that a powder (or for that matter, an oil, incense, etc) should be charged at the moment you use it, as well.
This charging in the moment is accomplished by holding some of the powder in your hand and filling it with intent for the work you want it to do. You can speak words over it, breathe on it, pray over it, use your finger and draw a symbol in it, or whatever method you feel is most powerful.
Those who do not charge their powders first feel that it was already charged when it was created. That's valid, I suppose.
Still, if you sprinkle Blessing Powder on your front porch, you have to ask yourself... do want blessings to happen on your porch, or are you trying to draw blessings into your home for you, your family and your friends? I would imagine that you mean the latter. Likewise, if you put that same Blessing Powder on the porch of a friend's house (with their permission, of course), you would not be using it to draw blessings into your house! So, you would take a moment to breathe your intention into it.
While Attraction Powder is going to do what Attraction Powder does, because it was mixed with a specific intent, you still need to “program” it (charge it) for what you want this particular pinch of Attraction Powder to do for you, today, right now. Otherwise, it’s just going to just randomly attract things to yourself, which may or may not be a good thing.
You need to “speak” to the Spirit of the powder and tell it “Attract money to me” or “Attract a good romantic partner to me” or “Attract sex to me”, whatever you want it to do.
Methods of use
Sprinkling - you can take a small amount of a magickal powder (from a tiny pinch to a small handful) and sprinkle it on a place, such as across your doorway or under your desk. Clarity Powder is good for under your desk or to sprinkle in your workspace. If you work in an office that you don’t own, you will either need permission, or you’ll at least need to be discreet.
People also lay out geometric patterns, either on altars or where they know that people will be walking. For example, in cursing, the most common thing is an X pattern, as in “I cross you”. I don't advocate this practice. But in being aware of how it’s done, you can accomplish two things. One is that you can recognize it, should anyone ever do this to you. Another is that you can also vary this same idea and thereby use it in ways that are positive.
For instance, should you have a problematic person that keeps coming around and causing you trouble, you can sprinkle HotFoot Powder in an X pattern, across the path they have to walk to get near you. You name the powder and the X pattern for that person, saying a prayer that they go away and leave you alone. If named, it will not affect anyone else adversely.
In spell work, you can use a powder to create a circle, or other appropriate shape, on your altar. Most of the time, this is done to encircle (or conversely, to separate) certain candles in a ritual. For example, Fiery Wall of Protection Powder might be used to form a ring around a candle that represents you, your family, or someone you care about. On that same note, you can place a line of it in between your candle and another candle that represents danger or a specific, harmful person.
Powders can be used to draw triangles, hexagrams, heptagrams, the Infinity symbol, a name, a face, a word of power, squares, octagons, a dodekagram or anything you can imagine. The versatility is limited only by your imagination.
A very common technique is to sprinkle a bit of powder (such as Blessing Powder) across the threshold of a home, or to use the 5 spot pattern. The 5 spot is like the face of a die, used in common board games and gambling games; one pinch in each corner and one in the center of the room. You can do this in each room, or treat the whole building as one, big room.
Dusting - this is when you put powder (usually by brushing it on lightly with your hand) on a “target”, which is a person, place or thing. You might dust another person, but this is not ethical, unless you have their conscious consent. The only exception to this rule, in my way of thinking, is if this person is dangerous. But even then, it’s probably better not to get that close to someone who may be violent or obsessive.
It’s always simpler to just target yourself, by using positive powders. You can sprinkle them in your socks or shoes. If you need protection, you can use Fiery Wall of Protection on yourself. You can put Blessing Powder in the shoes of your children. Again, the ideas are multifarious.
A person might take a bit of powder and rub it directly on the skin or the clothes, to attract or repel certain energies. Be sure to take any necessary precautions if you have any allergies. Also know that powders will leave a chalky, white residue on clothing if applied too liberally.
Desks, doorknobs, windows, car seats, handrails, business cards… any or all of these can be dusted. Because of the potential here for abuse, we ask that you please be a decent person and take the high road in your work. It’s easy to be an ass. It takes real strength and courage to find an upright and honorable way to approach a situation.
Mojo Bags - Many people like to put a pinch of an appropriate powder into their mojo hands.
Dressing Candles - You can use a magickal oil to dress a spell candle, then lightly roll the candle in a powder. Incense can also be used in the same way. Always use caution with candles, especially since adding a powder or incense will make it more of a fire hazard. Fine particulates are highly combustible. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand and personally attend candles while they are burning. Use a candle snuffer to put them out and relight them later.
Blowing - this is my favorite way to use powders, because it just looks very impressive.
To blow a powder, you put a healthy pinch of it in your power hand (the hand you write with). Roughly ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon should be enough, but there is no exact measurement. You charge it, as discussed earlier.
Then you hold your hand up to your mouth and blow the powder toward the target. There are a few ways to do this, but what makes sense to me is to make a very loose fist, with the thumb being closer to the mouth than the little finger. With your breath, you simply blow the powder out of your hand, while thinking about your intention.
You don’t want to put your hand directly on your mouth, because you will get some of the powder on your lips and from there, into your mouth. Gross.
You don’t have to blow the powder out quickly, either. You can, if you want, but you can also just sort of “play” and watch the powder fan out, slowly breaking up in in the air and drifting slowly toward its goal. Very cool.
However you decide to use a powder, you will want to pay attention to the direction in which you apply it. You want it to move in the direction of your goal.
If you are using a “drawing” powder (designed to draw something to you), like King Solomon Wisdom or Blessing Powder, then you want to apply it to your body, your possessions, etc.
To draw into your home, I recommend you stand outside the front door and blow the powder across the threshold, to represent the wisdom or blessings “coming in” to the home.
If you can’t do that, then you dust something that belongs to them, or name the powder for them and lay it where they will walk. At very least… you would name it for them and blow it out your front door, being careful not to let the wind blow it back in your face.
Another alternative might be something like this. Take a picture of that person and dust the photo. Put it in an envelope and mail it to some far away place, with no return address.
Remember that this is for defense only. Only do such things if someone is threatening you with some sort of violence of mind or body. Always work with the local authorities and get a restraining order if someone might be dangerous. Magick is to be used in tandem with common sense, not as substitute. If there is someone who bothers you, first take every possible opportunity to work things out with them through polite discussion and a few simple boundary rules. If and only if diplomacy fails, you have this to fall back on.
I don't color my powders, because part of the idea is be discreet when using them. They will often have a slight tint, because of what herbs and other ingredients I use. For example, Hotfoot Powder is red, due to the Red Pepper in it. But nothing in any of my powders is added for color’s sake, alone.
I also don’t use oils in powders, for the same reason, but also oil makes them lumpy. You don’t want them to be too strongly scented and you want them to distribute nice and even. Any scent they have is from the natural ingredients.
The power in the Conjure Work powders comes from having the best recipes, the quality of herbs, resins and other ingredients we use, and the prayers said over them.
I use unscented talcum powder as a base for most of my powders. An example of an exception is the HotFoot Powder, which has corn starch or corn meal for, because nobody is going to be placing that on their skin to leave there.
The unscented talcum powder is USP, pure Talc, suitable for any use that you would use a store brand, like Gold Bond. So, unless you are allergic to one of the ingredients in the powder, you can rub a light coat of something like Clarity Powder, directly on your skin and/or sprinkle some in your socks. You’ll get the blessings and be keeping your body protected from excess moisture and chaffing, at the same time.
If you plan to put any powder directly on your skin, use only a small amount of it to test it first. Take a tiny pinch and put it on a sensitive area, like the inner thigh. If it doesn’t irritate you after 5-10 minutes, it should be fine to use over most of your body. Obviously avoid your eyes, ears, groin, etc.
How To Use 7 Day Candles
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. 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. The number 13, while greatly feared by many, is a perfectly useful number that has just gained a bad reputation.
A sample formula for blessing work:
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. Use only a few drops of oil, like 3 drops or 7 drops of each, at most.
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.
Isn't This Just As Good?
Quite frequently I am asked about the various, factory-made talismans and amulets that I offer. Sometimes people ask things like “What is this one for?” or “What can I wear to attract money?”, “Which one is for love?”, etc.
But the situation that I get most often and which never fails to surprise me, goes like this. The person holds up a few items that have captured their interest. Let’s say they are interested in an amulet for protection, something to keep them safe from the Evil Eye or curses, or violent people, etc.
They ask if the amulets in question have already been magickally charged. They also ask what the difference is between a talisman and an amulet, or the difference between a charged item and a non-charged item.
So, I give a very brief explanation of my take on that. I tell them that any object can be used as either a talisman, or an amulet. An amulet repels things and a talisman attracts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stone, a cloth, mojo bag of herbs and roots or if it’s a highly-detailed metal, planetary, Angelic talisman.
It doesn’t matter if you wear it on your neck, keep it in your pocket, or leave it in a special box at home. What matters is what it’s designed to do, it’s intended function.
I show them a few of the stock, off the shelf items and tell them how they might charge it for themselves. I also explain what types of talismans, amulets and mojo hands that I custom make for my clients. I talk about what types of ritual, astrological timing, symbolism and ingredients (herbs, resins, etc… if any) that I would incorporate.
I cite typical prices for making an item that the client will later charge on their own, or for something that I have charged at the first available date, versus something that I sat down and careful scoped out an astrological election for.
What comes next is the part that’s important. The customer then holds up the cheapest item and says something to the effect of “Can’t I just get this? Isn’t this just as good?”.
It’s not the customer’s fault. The fact is, we live in America, and Americans are by far the least magickally educated people on Earth. Most of us grew up in families where magick was never talked about, it just wasn’t discussed and so there is no frame of reference.
A huge part of my role here at the shop is to just teach, so I remind myself that this person is inexperienced in these matters and my job is to explain. One of the most beautiful things that we offer here, is not something we sell at all, but rather it’s a non-judgmental environment, in which people can come and ask questions and learn. So, I remind myself of that… and then go into my little, pat spiel about consecrating/charging amulets, versus using them, “as is”.
My personal penchant for teaching is to use the Socratic Method, which is to teach by asking questions and leading to an obvious conclusion, one that will hopefully serve the client as well as possible.
So, I ask something like “Are you a police officer?” or maybe “Are you a black belt in martial arts?”. Nine times out of ten, the answer is no, so it’s a safe example to use. Once they say “No”, I ask “If you had to walk through a really bad neighborhood, do you think that wearing a policeman’s uniform might provide you a little extra safety, even though you are not an actual police officer? What about if you wore a t-shirt that said you were a proud black belt at the local martial arts training academy?”.
This illustration always hits home right away and they say “Yeah, I guess that might keep you a bit safer” and they sometimes follow that with an understanding smile that lets me see the lightbulb has flicked on.
I follow up immediately with “Yes, it will most likely keep away the people who would beat you up, rape, mug or murder you. However… what’s better? Having the uniform or having the skills and the training to back up what that uniform advertises?”. Of course the response is “Well, having the training is better”.
I nod and go into “Yes! So, having one of these amulets for protection is better than nothing; it’s like having the uniform. It will probably be an effective enough rouse to frighten off the low-level thugs, the type that readily run from police, or people who they perceive as being more powerful than themselves. They may cross the street to avoid you”
“But what about the seriously deranged, dangerous sociopaths? The ones who are not afraid of police or martial artists? What about the type who carry guns and consider it a badge of honor to kill police?”.
We quickly reach an agreement that no police uniform or Karate gi (uniform) is going to substitute for actual skill, at least not against a determined attacker. So, just having the outfit… you’re screwed. Time to up your game.
“So let’s think of ritually charging our amulet as gaining some of that all-important skill, that police training or gettin’ yourself some badass, Kung Fu mojo. Now, you may run up against a psycho and you still have a real threat here, but now you have some actual weaponry, not just a Halloween costume that is all smoke and mirrors.
If your amulet is tied to a protective Deity and ritually consecrated to them, then you have some real firepower”.
I know that if it was me, walking through the mean streets at night, my first choice would be to have a gun, some heavy-duty fighting skills to draw on and a uniform that broadcasts “Don’t Tread On Me”. But if I don’t have that gun, I still want my skills and my uniform. And if I can’t have my skills, then I still want my uniform!
We can think of a stock, uncharged amulet as being the uniform. The charging/consecrating of that amulet is having some skill to make the outfit mean something and finally, choosing a great astrological election on which to consecrate the amulet and having all the right tools and magickal skills to do it up right… well, that my friends, is your handgun. Even no, you can hear Dirty Harry, asking if you feel lucky?
So, are these things equal? Is one just as good as another? Nope. Definitely not. However, that does not mean that just a stock amulet is totally useless. Many magicians will tell you that uncharged, a talisman or amulet is simply a dead, lifeless object, and nothing more. In fact, I used to say the same thing. I no longer feel that way.
Now, I look at it like this. A stop sign is a signal to the mind of a driver. Hell, it makes a definite statement to people who are just walking by! They may not care. They might speed past it in their car, or they might spit on it as they walk by. The sign is no guarantee that the command will be obeyed. Some folks just don’t listen to anybody.
But the point is, the stop sign sends a message to the brain that somewhere, there is an “authority figure”, who made a decree that everyone must stop and look both ways, yield the right of way, etc.
At this spot in the road, you gotta cease for a moment and obey the law. And the implication is that if you ignore this law, there will be a penalty. Whether that is a ticket, a warning or swift and painful death, it doesn’t matter. The law is the law. Do as you are told.
If there happens to be a Highway Patrolman, lurking in the bushes, nearby that stop sign, then that particular situation carries far more weight. Chances are, if you blow by at 60mph, he is going to bust you and bust you hard. Now, you might have a beefed up race car and some serious driving skills, but you will still have a situation to deal with. You won’t just waltz away, unscathed; you’re now involved in a high-speed pursuit. The law was guarding this little patch of the road.
Also, we could be dealing with the gun-toting, mafioso psychopath, who is more than happy to have a shoot out with the police. So, there is still no guarantee that justice will be served, here. There are no guarantees about anything in life. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling you something that you don’t need.
But in our rather delinquent example, if our bad guy decides to stop and get into a gun battle, at least the cop has a gun, too. If he’s not caught too off-guard, then he stands a fair chance at coming out on the winning end of things. So, we have a literal, fighting chance.
Another important point (in my opinion) is that most people are basically law-abiding… to some extent, anyway. Even if they know for a fact there is no cop, they will stop. They will usually stop, even if they otherwise rude, cantankerous and disagreeable blowhards.
So, if you have a house on a dangerous corner and the city hasn’t put up an official stop sign, is it going to help stop accidents if you take things into your own hands and put up a stop sign, yourself? Of course! Just don’t get caught!
The point is, that the symbol will do a lot of the work. Beyond that, you need law-enforcement to do the rest.
Respected occult author Lon Milo Duquette suggests in his writings that this plane, the plane that we humans live on, is made up of physical matter and symbols are merely ideas. They are just things in our heads. But on the astral plane, the place where Spirits, Angels, Demons, Gods and the dead live, their plane of existence is like a mirror, where symbols are solid and physical matter is of little to no importance. Symbols, to them, are everything.
This tells me that an amulet can have say, a symbol of the planet Mars and the names of various entities associated with that planet, Angels if you will, and the mere mention of this Mars… this God of War and His Angelic Host, will send lower-level spooks running. If it doesn’t, then it’s because they are either too stupid to know who Mars is, or they are like spiritual sociopaths, who just don’t care. That doesn’t mean that Mars is not strong. It means that the entities who don’t quiver in fear are simply shut-off, like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.
For people (or entities) like that, we call in the SWAT team. Even so, they are still too crazy to be truly afraid. But that doesn’t mean we just give up. It means we make sure we have access to the SWAT team! We invoke the Lord of War! Having a potent Mars amulet is like having the SWAT team on speed dial. It does not mean that you are totally safe from every possible misfortune, but it does mean you have some cards to play.
Most people will go blissfully unaware through life, never needing talismans or amulets. However, I've met a remarkable number of folks who were never even interested in magick and yet fell under someone's magickal attack or had direct problems from a Spirit.
The times they are a changin'. Books of spells are now carried at the most popular book stores, all over sites like Amazon and easily accessed for free on a million different websites and blogs.
Magick is making a very strong surge in popular consciousness these days and as such, it's becoming more and more something that the average person needs to be at least partially informed about. These days carrying some sort of apotropaic (protective) charm is almost common sense.
I say that because even on the psychological level alone, you want people to think you have an edge, that you have friends in high places. Even if you don't believe personally that such friends exist, you are plainly aware that many people do. If you can psyche them out by making them think you are too protected to mess with, it might act as a sort of rape whistle, buying you just enough breathing room to avoid their attention.
You may not believe in spells. If you don't, then you won't be worried about any real danger there. Still... you obviously don't want anyone obsessing over you, day and night, acting like Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy. It's just plain creepy. So, a well-placed amulet just might make them think twice.
It also might buy a bit of edge for even the most skeptical mind. A hardened atheist will usually agree that if you are in a moment of crisis and it feels appropriate to say a prayer, then there is certainly no harm in it. They'll be quick to state that it won't do any good... but it won't hurt anything.
Also, they usually know about the power of the unconscious mind and the placebo effect. So, they are often willing to join the others in saying the proverbial foxhole prayer, if only to buy a moment of comfort, a space in which to regroup and do the difficult work ahead. If it's good enough for the atheist (give the right circumstances) then why not you and me? Certainly as Pagans, sorcerers and ceremonialists, we can get behind the idea of a quality talisman or amulet, well-charged, well-placed and well-cared-for.