Here’s a nice little tutorial on how to clean bones you may have collected to use for making runes, dice, divination tools or for other magickal purposes.
Use a very sharp boning knife to remove the bones you need from the limb. Be sure to remove any excess cartilage or shreds of flesh. Always practice basic knife and kitchen safety.
The bones can be cleaned a number of different ways:
- Boil in water for between 15 minutes and half an hour.
- Soak overnight in bleach (bones will smell like bleach for some time afterwards).
- Pour hydrogen peroxide over the bones and watch it foam. Continue to pour until foaming ceases.
- The natural method:
Place in a safe area outside (safe from wandering domestic and wild animals) where ants or other carrion-eating insects can reach the bones. A glass jar with large holes in the lid is recommended. Let the insects clean the bones for you. This is a time-consuming yet very effective method.
- A modification of the above (natural) method:
You might be able to find information on ordering special beetles to clean the bones. I don’t really know anything about them, but, there are supposed to be beetles that eat flesh off any sort of skeleton that are used within the medical/taxidermy professions. Supposedly, that’s how anatomical human and animal skeletons are cleaned.
A butcher/taxidermy worker suggested boiling the bones in something called “sal soda”.Apparently, that is what they use in his taxidermy shop in order to clean skeletons for hunters. It is supposed to dissolve tissue and cartiliage into a gel that can be rinsed off. He gave me a large bag for free, and it worked quite well on the first batch of bones I used it on.
After doing any of these methods, you may have to remove extra “shreds” of flesh. I tried a combination of the above methods, and found that bleaching the bones overnight, then boiling them in sal soda for about twenty minutes was the best method to get clean, white bones. If you overboil the bones, they will dry out, and the outer calcium covering will flake away. They are still usuable if this occurs.
What is sal soda?
Sal soda is sodium carbonate, the same chemical as washing soda. Sodium carbonate typically comes in three forms – washing soda is the decahydrate, which is usually in the form of colorless crystals that look a bit like crushed ice. If left in the open air, these lose water and become the powdery white monohydrate (the sal soda mentioned above). Soda ash is the anhydrous (waterless) compound.
Sodium carbonate an alkali, so it will be good for stripping away greasy substances such as fat and marrow. Don’t use it with aluminium vessels or cutlery, and try to keep it off your hands, though it’s not as nasty as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) which is often used for unblocking drains.
Be careful when using caustic substances – be sure you read and follow the safety instructions that come with them.
- Other Names: Blood Palm, Sangre de Dragon
- Element: Fire
- Planet: Mars
- Parts Used: Resin – powdered or in chunks
- Basic Powers: Energy, Purification, Protection
Dragon’s blood is not the blood of some luckless lizard, but the resin of the palm calimus draco. Truly as red as the blood of dragons, this resin is a powerful herb of protection. Burned by itself on charcoal or added to other incense ingredients, it quickly banishes any negative energy or entity. Dragon’s blood also adds power and potency to any working.
- Use sparingly in an oil blend or in the bath – it will stain enamel scarlet and leave a stain on the skin.
Magically it is used for spells of protection, exorcism and sexual potency. On its own Dragon’s blood can be burnt at an open window to secure a lover’s return, and a piece of the resin placed under the mattress is said to cure impotence. In the past Dragon’s Blood was used medicinally to cure diarrhea, dysentery and even syphilis. Like many other resins it is also used to stop bleeding wounds.
Gravel-sized chunks and powdered Dragon’s Blood may be burned on charcoal. Folks claim that this cleanses the home and rids the premises of evil. It is said to be particularly good when moving into a new home, and may be mixed with Camphor resin for this purpose.
Add a pinch of the ground herb to incenses to increase their potency and effectiveness. Add to love incenses and sachets.
You can create your own pure dragon’s blood oil by crushing the resin into a powder and mixing in a light oil, such as safflower. Heat gently to melt the resin into the oil while stirring. Do not ingest.
Varieties and Variations:
A great degree of confusion existed for the ancients in regard to the source and identity of dragon’s blood. Some medieval encyclopedias claimed its source as the literal blood of elephants and dragons who had perished in mortal combat.
The resin of Dracaena species, “true” dragon’s blood, and the very poisonous mineral cinnabar (mercury sulfide) were often confused by the ancient Romans. In ancient China, little or no distinction was made among the types of dragon’s blood from the different species.
Both Dracaena and Daemonorops resins are still often marketed today as dragon’s blood, with little or no distinction being made between the plant sources; however, the resin obtained from Daemonorops has become the most commonly sold type in modern times, often in the form of large balls of resin.
Voyagers to the Canary Islands in the 15th century obtained dragon’s blood as dried garnet-red drops from Dracaena draco, a tree native to the Canary Islands and Morocco. The resin is exuded from its wounded trunk or branches. Dragon’s blood is also obtained by the same method from Dracaena cinnabari, which is endemic to the island of Socotra. This resin was traded to ancient Europe via the Incense Road.
Dragon’s blood resin is also produced from the rattan palms of the genus Daemonorops of the Indonesian islands and known there as jerang or djerang. It is gathered by breaking off the layer of red resin encasing the unripe fruit of the rattan. The collected resin is then rolled into solid balls before being sold.
Sangre de Dragon, more commonly know as Dragon’s Blood, is a wild crafted resin that comes from the Croton Uechleri trees found in the Amazon Rainforest of South America. The heart shaped leaves and the blood-like red sap speak to the abilities of this beautiful tree to heal wounds and cleanse the blood. The Flowers found high in the branches resemble the dragon’s head, thus the interesting name, as well as a symbol of its fierce healing ability.
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- Ruler: Mars
- Element: Fire
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Fresh or dried, Essential oil
- Deities: Vishnu, Lakshmi, Erzuli
- Basic Powers: Purification, Protection, Exorcism, Love
A versatile herb, basil leaves can be used for love, protection, or to attract wealth. Burned in an incense with rose petals, basil helps to restore peace in a relationship. Add to exorcism and protection incenses. Strew your floor with the leaves to dispel discord. Use it in the bath or ingest it in a Philter to restore the vitality of your aura.
Put some basil in your wallet and you will attract money, success and prosperity. Added to an Herbal Amulet it is carried to overcome obstacles to prosperity.
When it was first introduced to England, it was not eaten, but used to provide peace of mind and freedom from pain.
Dried Basil can be lightly sprinkled about the floor and swept out the back door as a purifying floor sweep, because “evil can’t stay where Basil has been.”
To attract love and money, bring the magick of Basil into your home.
- Grow basil in your garden and around the house.
- Place pots of fresh basil by your front entrance and around the perimeter of your home.
- Cook with it, and incorporate it into spell work by placing it in a vase on your altar.
- Place fresh basil in a vase in a prominent spot in your kitchen, replacing it weekly or as soon as it starts to spoil.
In certain central regions of Mexico, basil is used to draw fortune by hanging the plant in the door or window of the shop. The plant’s growth reflects the wealth of the business, showing how dutifully the owner cares for his shop and the herb.
For happiness and peace in the family, soak dried Basil in water for three days. Strain and sprinkle the water at your doorstep to bring money and success, drive away evil, and have a happy family.
A lust herb, basil’s powerful aroma calls forth the sexual energy; eat it to invigorate the sexual appetite. Basil can also be burned to increase sensual pleasures. Place the dried leaves under a bed to reawaken the sex drive in a relationship. In Romania if a young lady offers a young man a sprig of basil, and he accepts, they are officially engaged. In Italy, basil is thought of as a sign of love.
- Eat basil on a Tuesday to summon physical strength or to prepare for battle.
- Consume on a Wednesday to open channels of communication.
Basil belongs to Maitresse Ezili Freda Dahomey, Vodou spirit of luxury, and features in many of her rituals. Holy basil, also called tulsi, is highly revered in Hinduism. It figures in the worship of the god Vishnu, is also associated with Lakshmi, the popular Hindu goddess of good fortune. In Haiti, it is associated with the loa Erzuli.
The ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed it would open the gates of heaven for a person passing on. In Europe, basil is placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey. In India, they place it in the mouth of the dying to ensure they reach God.
Basil has religious significance in the Greek Orthodox Church, where it is used to sprinkle holy water. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Macedonian Orthodox Church and Romanian Orthodox Church use basil to prepare holy water and pots of basil are often placed below church altars
However, basil represented hatred in ancient Greece, and European lore sometimes claims that basil is a symbol of Satan. African legend claims that basil protects against scorpions, while the English botanist Culpeper cites one “Hilarius, a French physician” as affirming it as common knowledge that smelling basil too much would breed scorpions in the brain.
The botanical name for Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is derived from the Greek “to be fragrant.” Despite that meaning, many Greeks disliked basil and believed that scorpions would breed under pots of basil.
In ancient Rome, the name for Basil was Basilescus. This name was in reference to Basilisk, the fire breathing dragon. They thought that ingesting basil would protect them against Basilisk.
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Many assume that the term “Holy Water” indicates church-based water only. This is an oversimplification of a complex concept. The Roman Catholic Church did not invent the concept of Holy Water but adopted it from earlier Pagan use. Various Pagan shrines possessed virtually identical Holy Water fonts. Holy Water is a crucial component of many magical, religious and spiritual traditions, although what constitutes Holy Water and how it’s made varies greatly.
Water collected from the Jordan River, and water blessed by the church is considered Holy.
According to British folk tradition, rain falling on Holy Thursday – Ascension Day – may be gathered and used as Holy Water. Any other day held sacred to the spell caster may be substituted: Summer Solstice, May Eve, New Year’s, Samhain, your birthday, a saint’s day, etc.
Holy Water may also be made via astrological correspondences. Some believe that waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are holy and charged with extra magickal power.
Balinese tradition uses a variety of Holy Waters. These may include the water found within unripe coconuts or young bamboo. Ocean water is sometimes used as well.
Modern Wicca has evolved the notion of Holy Water. Various formulas exist. At it’s simplest, Witch’s Holy water is spring water with salt added. Different covens may have personal recipes, including infused herbs (rosemary, thyme, and vervain are particularly popular), or crystals.
Pow-Wow also features various recipes but the mainstay is water with salt and vervain added. Christian Pow-Wow may choose church-blessed waters instead.
Balinese Holy Water, Church-blessed Holy Water and Wiccan Holy Water (among others) are consecrated via sacred ritual: the ritual activates the water. Other magical traditions consider that the sacred, magical power of Holy Water is such that no further ritual or consecration is needed and may in fact be interference. Obtaining Holy Water may thus be as simple a gathering rainwater or adding sea salt to spring water. Complex rituals may also be designed.
Holy Water is most commonly used for:
- Cleansing and purification, both for individual bathing and for space-cleansing (sprinkle in corners).
- Altar cleansing and blessing.
- Healing spells.
- Holy Water is also believed capable of magically transmitting physical relief especially for headaches and tension. Use in compresses and massage.
- Cleansing and empowering materials and tools by either anointing them, or soaking them in the Holy Water.
- Exorcism and banishing spells.
A variety of recipes and rituals for making Holy Water can be found here:
The name is said to be derived either from the fact that its whitish, blue-green color gives it the appearance of smoke rising from the ground, or, according to Pliny, because the juice of the plant brings on such a flow of tears that the sight becomes dim as with smoke, and hence its reputed use in afflictions of the eye.
According to the ancient exorcists, when the plant is burned, its smoke has the power of expelling evil spirits, it having been used for this purpose in the famous geometrical gardens of St. Gall.
Earth Smoke is also known as Fumitory. There is a legend that the plant was produced, not from seed, but from vapors arising out of the earth.
While this herb is most often used in money drawing incense formulas, it is also carried (in it’s dry form) in the shoes by salesmen for luck in making quick sales. It can also be brewed in water and the liquid sprinkled around the business premises to bring in quick money.
Formulas using Earth Smoke can be found here:
Each month the moon waxes and wanes through its cycle, touching each star sign for a few days. As it changes rapidly, so can the emotional states of those people who have strong lunar alliances in their natal charts, hence the moons name, lunar, came from the word lunatic!
When the moon is waning, it’s on the cycle of diminishing; therefore, it’s a good time to end anything that isn’t working, which allows something new to enter your life. It’s also a prime time for clearing and cleaning.
When the moon is waxing, it’s on the cycle of becoming fuller, and thought to be a more prosperous time. This is the time for gathering up, for bringing in, for growing and adding to.
The strongest period for the full moon is the period either side of the full moon, 1-3 days. However, the period just before the full moon, keep in mind that the moon is still in its waxing cycle still becoming fuller, and directly after the full moon it then begins its waning diminishing cycle.
The new moon period is known to be a magic wish time, with its strongest time 1 to 3 days after the new moon and also just before the full moon. The time just before the full moon begins to diminish is a very powerful time to cast your dreams, goals and wishes to the universe for creation. This is one of the intense energy times to do spells, rituals, prayers and re-in force your positive thoughts.
An Eclipse signifies an intense time of energy, which can spark the beginning or end of relationships and situations, and can have an effect before and for months after the eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs on the new moon and a lunar eclipse occurs on the full moon.
Read more: NY Daily News Horoscopes
- Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants
- Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard
- Colors: light blue, violet
- Flowers: primrose
- Scents: wisteria, heliotrope
- Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal
- Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar
- Animals: otter, unicorn
- Birds: eagle, chickadee
- Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite
Energy working toward the surface; A good time for spell work on purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans.
- Ruler: Fairies, Venus
- Element: Air
- Planet: Mercury
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Leaf – fresh or dried, Essential Oil
Thyme was called thymos by the Greeks, which meant “fumigate”. They associated thyme with valor in battle, and the restoration of physical power. Roman soldiers were known to bathe in a decoction of thyme before going into combat, to boost strength and courage. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic, and in Egypt, thyme was one of the herbs which was used in the mummification process.
Thyme cleanses and renews the spirit and calls angelic forces to one’s aid. Long utilized in the energy cleansing and clearing of temples in Greece, thyme can be burned or strewn to disperse stagnant vibrations and invite the new. Bathe in the oil for serious purification after you have come in contact with death.
Thyme can be used in healing rituals, or to bring about restful sleep. Women who wear thyme on their person are irresistible to men, and carrying sprigs in your pocket aids in developing your psychic abilities. Burn some thyme to help boost your courage before confrontations. Add this herb to foods to increase your awareness, sight, and memory.
It is also used in love spells to invoke more gentleness and understanding into a relationship.
Attractive to the fairy folk, thyme can be grown in the garden to entice their plant blessings, and a little thyme under the tongue allows one to see them more clearly.
An herb that helps connect with psychic consciousness, thyme in a divination formula aids the mind in understanding and deciphering psychic visions and impressions.
Burn as incense or wear to attract good health. Place a sprig beneath your pillow to ensure dream-free sleep. It is frequently burned before ritual to cleanse the area. Burn when asking advice of loved ones who have passed on.
Compiled from various sources.
- Ruler: Jupiter, Hecate
- Element: Air
- Planet: Sun
- Type: Herb
- Parts Used: Fresh sprigs, Dried power, Leaf, Essential Oil
A favorite herb of witches, rosemary also has a long history of being used to counteract bad spells and block their powers. Hang fresh or dried sprigs of rosemary in your home to dispel witchcraft and evil plots. Carry the leaves in a red cloth bag for protection.
The reviving scent of rosemary stimulates the memory and thought processes. Rub the oil into yellow candles and light on a Thursday to improve your study habits and grades. Season food with dried ground rosemary to improve your memory and increase your clarity.
Its scent when burned or added to any herbal preparation adds an energy of protection and purification to a space. The oil applied directly to rashes and skin blemishes clears the area, and when inhaled, its aroma aids the memory and brain functions.
Sprinkling rosemary leaves over a grave brings comfort to the dead and memories for the ones left behind. Rosemary placed in a bath before bedtime wards away nightmares, and when carried in an Herbal Amulet, it gives confidence and courage.
As for Rosmarine, I lett it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore, to friendship…
~Sir Thomas More
- Ruler: Sun, Mercury, all Gods and Goddesses of victory
- Element: Fire
- Type: Spice
- Magickal Form: Powder, Sticks, Essential Oil
Cinnamon is one of the herbs used throughout the Far and Middle East for purification and temple cleansing. In addition, cinnamon’s energy promotes success, healing, the raising of spiritual intent, and clear psychic vision. It is an excellent addition to almost any magickal herbal formula.
Very energizing to the human nervous system, cinnamon awakens the mind to clear and quick thought.
A favorite of many gods and goddesses, cinnamon powder is sprinkled on offerings to attract attention and win the favor of the gods. Add the oil or powder to any money or success blend to bring swift results. Before getting out of bed in the morning, rub a dab of pure essential oil onto the soles of your feet and you will be led to money during the course of your day.
Chew cinnamon sticks to summon winged Mercury for luck in creative endeavors. For victory and to increase your chances of winning, dust your hands with cinnamon powder or add a few drops of cinnamon oil to the bathwater on a Sunday or any day at sunrise.
Note: Be careful when using in oils and baths. Many people are very physically sensitive to the potency of this bark and its essential oil. Its application to the skin can cause burns.
Collected from various sources