- Ruler: Sun
- Magickal form: Incense, fresh sprigs, berries, essential oil
- Basic Powers: Protection, Love, Healing, Cleansing
- Cautions: Do not drink the tea if you are pregnant, wish to become pregnant, or if you have kidney disease.
In the past, Juniper was regarded as a magick shrub to use against devils, evil spirits, and wild animals. It is mentioned in the Bible as a symbol of protection. Its aromatic scent made it a popular strewing herb, and shoots were burned to disinfect the air in a room.
Brew the berries into a tea and drink it to increase sexual stamina. Crush dried berries to release their scent and add to love potions to attract a man. String the matured berries for an attractive charm designed to attract lovers.
Juniper berries can be used in love spells, particularly to enhance male interest and potency. Steep in wine and drink a few sips daily to increase male virility. Steep in vinegar and add it to your bath to make yourself more attractive to men or apply it directly to the genitals (diluted with water) to increase male interest in them. Or add it to a bath you’re sharing. Juniper berries and their essential oils make for a nice “masculine” scent for men’s cosmetics (aftershave, beard oil, etc.). Use with due caution.
Hang a sprig of fresh Juniper in the home to drive away evil. A sprig of Juniper will protect the wearer from accidents. Sometimes used in anti-theft sachets, as it guards against thieves. Grow Juniper at your doorstep for protection. Gin (which is made from Juniper) can be sprinkled across a threshold to guard against theft.
Juniper is a thief catcher. If you bend a young Juniper branch down to the ground and hold it where you place it with two weights, one a big stone, the other the skull of a murderer, and say, “Juniper, I bend and squeeze you till the thief (name him) returns what he has taken to its place,” the culprit will feel an unaccountable impulse to return the property.’
Brush down the body with a bundle of sprigs to remove illness and place drops of oil in a bowl of water to promote healing in a sick room. Burn Juniper for purification and good health. One of the earliest incenses used by Witches was made from a combination of the leaves and the dried crushed berries.
Though burning Juniper wood gives off only minimal visible smoke, this smoke is highly aromatic, and in ancient times it was used for the ritual purification of temples. The smoke was said to aid clairvoyance, and continued to be burned for purification and to stimulate contact with the Otherworld at the autumn Samhain fire festival at the beginning of the Celtic year.
In central Europe Juniper smoke played a part in the spring-time cleansing and casting out of witchcraft. Juniper was also burned during outbreaks of the Plague, and in Scotland the disease could be dispelled by fumigating the house with Juniper smoke while its occupants were inside, after which the house was aired and the occupants revived with whisky!
Juniper was burned to goddesses and gods in ancient Sumer and Babylon, and was widely used in Egyptian incense formulas. It was sacred to Inanna and her later counterpart Ishtar. Many centuries later in Europe, branches of Juniper were smoldered and carried around fields and farms to release protective energies and guard livestock and crops.
It is a common ritual incense ingredient in Tibet and was much used by various Native American groups.
It is said that a Juniper shrub or tree is a particularly effective and magical hiding place. Perhaps Juniper can be added to hiding and invisibility charms as well.
Juniper essential oil is currently used in traditional aromatherapy to detoxify the body, as a parasite destroyer and antiseptic. This seems in keeping with the “magickal” use of purifying homes and fields mentioned above, for protective rituals are designed to ward off negativity as well as to purge such energies from a person or place.
Inhale Juniper essential oil while visualizing its energies guarding you from negativity and danger. Or, for an internal purification, smell Juniper and visualize.
You can also make Juniper a part of health-maintaining rituals. Regularly smell the scent while seeing yourself eating correctly, exercising, and thinking positively.
Because it is a variety of Juniper, and the magickal uses are quite similar, Eastern Red Cedar can be used as a substitute, and vice versa. More about Red Cedar can be found here.
A Healing Ritual
There was a folk medicine custom in some parts of the South West of England of burning the wood and needles close to a sick person. This practice is closely allied to the above New Year customs and presumably recognizes that the vaporized oil released into the air had some beneficial purifying effect to dispel infection.
Like many plants, there was a definite ritual which had to be followed when pulling or collecting Juniper so that the power and essence of the plant was not lost. In the case of Juniper, it had to be pulled up by the roots, the branches made into four bundles and held between the five fingers while intoning the appropriate incantation. Unfortunately the version which has been passed down to us has been heavily Christianised:
“I will pull the bounteous yew,
Through the five bent ribs of Christ,
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost
Against drowning, danger and confusion.”
Juniper Mythology and Lore
Juniper was a symbol of the Canaanites’ fertility goddess Ashera or Astarte in Syria. In the Bible’s Old Testament, a Juniper with an angelic presence sheltered the prophet Elijah from Queen Jezebel’s pursuit. Similarly a later apocryphal biblical tale tells of how the infant Jesus and his parents were hidden from King Herod’s soldiers by a Juniper during their flight into Egypt.
Juniper plants are associated with protection in many different Native American tribes. The Interior Salish and Northwest Coast tribes used Juniper to banish evil spirits and protect themselves from witchcraft.
Among the southwestern Pueblos, junipers were believed to counteract ‘ghost sickness,’ a malady which afflicted bereaved relatives or people who handle the bodies of the dead.
Plains Indian tribes, such as the Dakota, Cheyenne, and Pawnee, often hung Juniper boughs on their tepees or burned them in the camp fire to keep their homes safe from storms.
And in many tribes people, especially hunters, would carry a spring of Juniper as a protective charm or rub Juniper branches on their bodies before embarking on a dangerous journey to protect themselves from grizzly bears, monsters, or general bad luck.
Juniper is one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles and amulets. Juniper berries were also eaten by people in some Southwestern and Southern California tribes, and Juniper leaves were frequently used as medicinal herbs.
Folk tradition records a divinatory significance to the appearance of Juniper in dreams, for:
- It is unlucky to dream of the tree itself, especially if the person is sick.
- To dream of gathering the berries, if it be in winter, denotes prosperity.
- To dream of the actual berries signifies that the dreamer will shortly arrive at great honors and become an important person.
- To the married it foretells the birth of a male child.
The largest body of folklore concerning Juniper comes from Iceland where it was traditionally believed that Juniper and rowan could not grow together because each creates so much heat that one or other of the trees would be burn up. For the same reason it was considered not a good idea to bring sprigs of both woods into the house together unless you particularly wanted your house to burn down.
Another Icelandic belief has it that if you are building a boat, you must either use both Juniper and rowan wood or use neither of them in the boat, otherwise it will sink.
In Wales it was said that anyone who cut down a Juniper tree would be dead within a year, while in Newfoundland it was believed that wolves and bears are repelled by Juniper wood and for this reason people who kept stock would ensure that Juniper wood was used in building enclosures or stockades in which livestock would be kept.
Also in Newfoundland it is believed that you will always find water under a Juniper tree, though this seems to contradict the natural history of Juniper which, as mentioned above, generally grows best on limestone or chalk soils which are usually well-drained.
The Story entitled Red Riding Hood in the book The Hero of Esthonia tells of a mother laying down Juniper branches and making the sign of the cross over them to protect her sleeping children from devils. In the story The Compassionate Shoemaker in the same book, the devil is defeated by being struck by a staff of Juniper.
In the Argonautica, Medea uses a freshly cut spray of Juniper to sprinkle her sleeping potion into the eyes of the serpent guarding the Golden Fleece.
- Meaning and history of the name Juniper:
From the Latin, juniperus which means “youth producing” or “evergreen.” During the Renaissance era, Junipers were used symbolically in art to represent chastity. Juniper has historically been used as both a boys and girls name, in fact Saint Juniper and Thornton Wilder’s character Brother Juniper are both male.
The Juniper Tree – A Story
“The Juniper Tree” is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. The text in the Grimm collection is in Low German and was originally written down by the painter Philipp Otto Runge. The complete story as originally written can be found over at Widdershins.
Here is a synopsis:
A wealthy and pious couple pray every day for God to grant them a child. One winter, under the Juniper tree in the courtyard, the wife peels an apple. She cuts her finger and drops of blood fall onto the snow. This leads her to wish for a child to be as white as snow and as red as blood. Six months later, the wife becomes gravely ill from eating Juniper berries and asks her husband to bury her beneath the Juniper tree if she dies.
A month later, she gives birth to a baby boy as white as snow and as red as blood. She dies of happiness. Keeping his promise, the husband buries her beneath the Juniper tree. He eventually marries again and he and his new wife have a daughter named Marlinchen (in some versions Marlene, Marjory or Ann Marie).
The new wife loves Marlinchen but despises her stepson. She abuses him every day, claiming that she wishes Marlinchen to inherit her father’s wealth instead of her stepson. One afternoon after school, the stepmother plans to lure her stepson into an empty room containing a chest of apples. Marlinchen sees the chest and asks for an apple, which the stepmother gracefully offers. However, when the boy enters the room and reaches down the chest for an apple, the stepmother slams the lid onto his neck, decapitating him.
The stepmother binds his head with the rest of his body with a bandage and props his body onto a chair outside, with an apple on his lap. Marlinchen, unaware of the situation, asks her stepbrother for an apple. Hearing no response, she is forced by her mother to box him in the ear, causing his head to roll onto the ground.
Marlinchen profusely cries throughout the day whilst the stepmother dismembers the stepson’s body and cooks him into a “blood-soup” for dinner. She later deceives her husband by telling him that his son stayed at the mother’s great uncle’s house. The husband unwittingly eats the “blood-soup” during dinner and proclaims it to be delicious. Marlinchen gathers the bones from the dinner and buries them beneath the Juniper tree with a handkerchief.
Suddenly, a mist emerges from the Juniper tree and a beautiful bird flies out. The bird visits the local townspeople and sings about its brutal murder at the hands of its stepmother. Captivated by its lullaby, a goldsmith, a shoemaker and a miller offer the bird a gold chain, a pair of red shoes and a millstone in return for the bird singing its song again. The bird returns home to give the gold chain to the husband while giving Marlinchen the red shoes.
Meanwhile, the stepmother complains about the “raging fires within her arteries”, revealed to be the real cause of her anger and hatred towards her stepson. She goes outside for relief but the bird drops the millstone onto her head, killing her instantly. Surrounded by smoke and flames, the son, revealed to be the bird, emerges and reunites with his family. They celebrate and head inside for lunch, and live happily ever after.
- Latin Name: Thuja occidentalis
- Alternative names: Thuja, White Cedar
- Ruler: Sun, Venus
- Type: Evergreen Tree
- Magickal Form: Bark chips, Twigs and Branch tips, Essential Oil
One of the holiest of woods, cedar is considered feminine and receptive in nature. White Cedar (Arborvitae) denotes great beauty, majesty, and strength. It is highly protective when worn and draws money, good health, and well-being when burned. White Cedar (Arborvitae) wood and bark appear in spells where benevolent power is needed.
Add to love potions when strength is needed to overcome hardships. White Cedar (Arborvitae) opens up intuitive channels and brings forth compassion and humility. It is a true symbol of prosperity.
To move a person out without hurting him, cut three White Cedar branches, one three feet long and the others one foot long. Carry them to the person’s house and lay the long branch on the pathway, touching the front door and pointing to the street. Place the two short branches crosswise to this, at equal distances from each other to make a “double cross” shape. As you lay down the branches say: Now you will move by Faith (first branch). Hope (second branch). and Charity (third branch). Then walk away.
To rent a room put Arborvitae or White Cedar oil on the doorknob. People who come to see the room, will touch the doorknob and they will be more inclined to rent it.
To make the one you love follow you, wrap a fresh fig leaf tightly around a strip of White Cedar bark and wrap a leaf torn fro the Bible tightly around them both. Carry this on you, and your lover will follow you if you move.
History and Lore
White Cedar (Arborvitae) is a tree with important uses in traditional Ojibwe culture. Honored with the name Nookomis Giizhik (“Grandmother Cedar”), the tree is the subject of sacred legends and is considered a gift to humanity for its myriad uses, among them crafts, construction, and medicine.
A nice native American story about the Cedar can be found here: The Story Of Cedar.
It is one of the four plants of the Ojibwe medicine wheel, associated with the north. White-cedar foliage is rich in Vitamin C and is believed to be the annedda which cured the scurvy of Jacques Cartier and his party in the winter of 1535–1536. There are some reports that the Ojibwa made a soup from the inner bark of the soft twigs.
Turn Arborvitae oil into a household spray with this easy do-it-yourself. Add a few drops of Arborvitae essential oil into a spray bottle and add water. Use this spray on surfaces or on hands. Arborvitae oil is a powerful cleansing and purifying agent. By incorporating this spray into your home, you can protect yourself and your family against seasonal and environmental threats while keeping your house fresh and clean.
Arborvitae essential oil has the ability to inspire feelings of peace and calm. If you are looking for a great way to unwind after a long day, place a few drops of Arborvitae oil into a diffuser or rub a drop of Arborvitae oil onto your wrists to produce a sense of peace and calm. Additionally, using Arborvitae essential oil during yoga or Pilates can increase the effectivity of your experience by inducing feelings of soothing relaxation. Diffusing Arborvitae essential oil can also help purify the air and provide a grounding aroma.
Bring your furniture back to life with this DIY Wood Polish with essential oils. If you want to keep wood looking fresh and clean, it is important to invest in proper cleaning supplies and a good routine. One of the most effective ways to clean wood is by using a wood polish that is natural and free of any harmful chemicals. Many commercial wood polishes contain chemicals and artificial fragrances that can cause irritation or health problems when not applied with proper safety precautions. Follow the instructions to this homemade solution to create a natural wood polish that is free of harmful toxins.
Wood furniture should only be polished every couple of months, but make sure to maintain the look and quality of your wood furniture by frequently dusting it or wiping it with a damp microfiber cloth. This will help to keep dust and damaging substances away from the wood and will help keep the wood from looking aged.
Create your own musky outdoor cologne with Arborvitae essential oil. Arborvitae oil’s aroma is woody and warm and when combined with Cedarwood and Frankincense, provides an invigorating aroma, perfect for a fresh cologne scent. Using these oils together will create a great cologne for any occasion and will also produce a fragrance that uplifts and relaxes the senses.
Arborvitae essential oil blends well with Birch, Cedarwood, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, and Eucalyptus essential oils for diffusion.
- Latin Name: Juniperus virginiana
- Planet: Sun
- Element: Fire
- Part Used: Dried wood, essential oil
- Magickal Influences: Spirituality, Self-control
- Warning: Cedarwood oil should not be used by pregnant women.
Cedar has an important place in many cultures as a strong spiritual agent with a cleansing presence, a protective plant in rituals and as medicine. It is commonly ascribed similar properties as Sage; the needles, bark, or sap is burnt as an incense, the smoke it emits protecting and cleansing against spiritual “residue.” Cedar can be “smudged” like sage, to purify a space, home, or person.
In the ancient world, cedar from Lebanon was highly prized – so much so that only a few trees remain standing in that country. The name Lebanon is derived from the Akkadian word lubbunu, incense.
This was one of the most widely used incenses in the general Mesopotamian region and by the pre-contact Native American tribes.
There are few among us who aren’t familiar with the rich scent of cedar. Shavings of the wood are sold in pet supply stores. The characteristic smell of pencils stems from the red cedarwood used to produce them. And many of us have at least smelled a cedarwood chest. These are ideal for storing magickal supplies (everything, that is, except herbs and essential oils).
The fragrant, calming smoke when the wood burns is believed to allay nightmares, night terrors, hauntings, malevolent influences/thought forms, evil spirits, and ill-meaning wild animals. Many native peoples in North America use the smoke to cleanse a home; in the Native-Hispanic traditions, home-cleansings are called “limpias,” and Cedar wood being favored in this way. Again, the smoke of Cedar is used to purify the body, not just the home.
Two main cedarwood essential oils are available. Because the essential oils share similar constituents, Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) or Red Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) can be used with equal effectiveness in magickal aromatherapy.
The scent of the wood and the essential oil promotes spirituality. Inhale this sweetly antiseptic, calming fragrance before religious rituals to deepen your connection with Deity.
It’s spiritual qualities make the fragrance of cedar ideal for bringing ourselves into balance. Smell the aroma and visualize yourself as poised, calm, and in control of your own life.
Many Cherokee descendants carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck for protection. In a legend of the cedar tree told by the Cherokee Indians, the trees literally hold spirits of their ancestors, and they believe the wood carries powerful protective spirits. It is told that the Creator placed the spirits of their people in a newly created tree which makes it a very special tree indeed.
In another old Indian legend, a young hunter has a vision of a redheaded woodpecker that teaches him how to make the flute from a red cedarwood tree; the young hunter uses his flute as a love charm to win his wife, who was the daughter of a big and powerful chief of the village.
It made its way into folklore; bringing good luck and good fortune, health and healing, cedar was burned to invite positive energy, happiness, harmony and peace. Cedar chips or shavings were burned to purify the vibrations of your sacred area and house, driving out all negative entities. Fresh cedar boughs are used as brooms for purification, exorcisms and to cleanse temples.
Superstitions and Lore
The Eastern Red Cedar is a slow growing tree and lives to be very old. It gets its name, grave yard tree, because of an old superstition that says, when a red cedar you planted grows tall enough to shade your grave, it will be time for you to die.
Never transplant a Cedar tree, it is bad luck. If you do transplant a Cedar tree and it dies, you will die soon thereafter.
In the Medieval Christian tradition, a cedar trees (along with elder trees) were thought to possibly have been used to make the cross that Jesus was crucified on, for this reason it was considered bad luck to burn cedar. It was also believed that Cedar brought poverty, so it was not a good idea to put one in your yard.
On the other hand, if a Cedar tree comes up on your land, don’t cut it down. As long as that tree flourishes, your family will have good health.
The Arabs referred to the older Cedars of Lebanon as “saints” and believed that he who injured one would be overtaken by evil.
Some Thoughts About Red Cedar
From the Iowa Herbalist here are some interesting thoughts about the Eastern Red Cedar:
I always find it interesting and thought-provoking when the spiritual and emotional effects of plants reflect their physical ones. Just as Cedar seeks to purge our bodies of spiritual impurities, or to protect a home from negative influences, the hard reality is seen at work when Cedar is taken as medicine: whether it is expelling mucus from our lungs as a stimulating expectorant, clearing them of bacterial or viral infection; or opening up our pores in a cleansing fever to clear toxins, as invoked and adopted by sweat ceremonies. Whether you believe in esoteric herbalism, or not, Cedar does one thing: it cleans us, in mind and body.
Now, when I take that mind-transporting whiff of Cedar smoke, I realize why I felt that way. This beautiful tree’s magic is powerful. If you ever need a friend in the midst of illness, or during a hard emotional time, or if you just need to get some bugs out of your system– Cedar is your herb.
If you wish for simpler times, are feeling nostalgic or just want to reminisce, no plant can summon that feeling better; taking you far up into a cabin in the mountains, surrounded by pines and firs, and blankets. Enjoy it in a tea, your favorite elixir, a tasty syrup or perhaps in a calming incense blend. I remember such effects when I’m winding in between the rust-colored Eastern Red Cedars, peppered across Iowa’s tawny grasslands in winter, harvesting their little blue cones. Each time I bring in a jar or two, I spread some of the berries in places where Cedars don’t grow– to make sure there are more trees there for us to enjoy in the future. It’s my way of saying: “Thank you.”
Because Red Cedar is a Juniper plant, the following also holds true.
Juniper, particularly through her wood and berries, is an absolutely wonderful tree with a wide range of uses. In terms of overall meanings in a North American context, we might summarize with the following:
Juniper is about warmth and fire. Juniper helps warm people up and is a strong fire-dominant tree, suggesting many associations with fire: passion, energy, warmth, and the sun.
Juniper offers hope in dark times. Juniper’s berries have long been a staple through the darkest of winters, and I see this both physically and metaphorically. Culturally, we are in a period of darkness, and trees like Juniper can help see us through.
Juniper offers regeneration and bringing things back. Juniper’s ability to grow in places few other trees can demonstrate that this tree is a true land healer, offering us hope in these dark times and sharing the critical message of the healing power of nature. I also think this is tied to its sympathetic magick uses in the American magickal traditions–Juniper helps bring things back.
- Basic Powers: To attract goodwill and new social contacts.
- Pronunciation: “mawn-nawz”
Mann helps in knowing oneself. It can therefore be used in mediation, to increase dreaming, or to enhance the truth of dreams. It can be used in conjunction with other runes to personalize matters or magick for (or on) a particular individual. It is also useful for cleansing oneself, a ritual which makes the afterlife more pleasant.
In Odin’s poem of runes, the second is one that must be learned by anyone who hopes to be a healer. Without knowing the patient, no healing is possible.
Mannaz is the symbol of mankind as a whole and is often used when assistance from others is needed. It also symbolizes the powers of the rational mind. To gain the assistance of others. Increase in memory and mental powers.
Realization of the divine structure in mankind. Increase in intelligence, memory, and mental powers generally. Balancing the “poles of personality”. Unlocking the mind’s eye.
mannaz mannaz mannaz
m m m a a a a a a n n n
mu ma mi me mo
mun man min men mon
um am im em om
mon men min man mun
m m m a a a a a a n n n
m m m m m m m m m
It can be used in conjunction with the symbol, or chanted while visualizing the symbol. The symbol can be etched into a candle while intoning the chant, and then, as the candle burns, the spell is released and sent.
The Statement of Intent:
Be happy in life.
Bring happiness to your friends
Yet be aware that death is always waiting.
This is a modern version of the “Rune Poem” that defines this particular rune. It can be used in combination with the chant, and while creating a talisman or spell that uses the power of this rune.
- Howard, Understanding Runes
- Thorsson, Futhark
- Peschel, A Practical Guide to the Runes
- Cooper, Esoteric Rune Magic
- Image from Deep Earth Arts
- Ruler: Sun, Solar Deities
- Type: Tree resin
- Magickal Form: Beads, Tears
- Magical properties: Inspiration, Attraction, Invocation, Happiness, Celebration, Contact with astral planes and Exorcism.
- Burn for: Protection, Cleansing, Purification, To promote spirituality, To purify quartz crystals and other stones before use in magic.
Copal is a resin from a tree that is indigenous to Mexico, Guatamala and elsewhere in Central America. It is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense.
Copal is burned on a charcoal tablet, to enhance consecration, spell craft, exorcisms and banishings. It can also be powdered and added to other herbs to focus their energies and lend power. You can also get Copal incense, which is powdered copal in stick form.
Copal is still used by a number of indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America as an incense and during sweat lodge ceremonies.
Copal is a natural tree resin that is between two states—it is neither a hardened resin nor sap. Copal resin comes from trees in the Buresa family, which is considered a medicinal tree to the Mayas in southern Mexico.
Several species of Central American trees produce resins known as Copal. In Mexico, a species of pitchy pine, Pinus pseudostrobus, is sometimes called Copal, but in Guatemala today (and historically among the ancient Maya) Copal is a resin from plants in the same Burseraceae family as Middle-Eastern Frankincense and Myrrh. These medicinal trees are traditionally used for clearing the body of diseases and also to keep mosquitos away.
Since ancient times, Copal incense has been considered sacred to the people of Mexico, as well as South and Central America. It goes as far back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Mass amounts of Copal resin were burned atop the Aztec and Mayan pyramids as offerings to the gods and deities. In the Mayan ruins, Copal was discovered in the burial grounds, proving its spiritual significance.
Copal Varieties and Variations:
Several varieties of Copal are recognized in historic and modern markets in Central and North America, partly based on what plant the resin came from, but also on the harvesting and processing method used.
- Golden Copal resembles Frankincense, being pale-colored, granular, and lightly fragranced.
- Black Copal is dark, heavily-scented and similar to Myrrh.
- White Copal is the more expensive version, also known as Moon Copal.
Wild Copal, also called gum or stone Copal, exudes naturally as a result of invasive insect attacks through the bark of the tree, as greyish drops which serve to plug the holes. Harvesters use a curved knife to cut or scrape the fresh drops off the bark, which are combined into a soft round glob. Other layers of gum are added on until the desired shape and size is achieved. The external layer is then smoothed or polished and subjected to heat to enhance the adhesive properties and consolidate the mass.
The favored type of Copal is white Copal (Copal blanco or “the saint”, “penca” or agave leaf Copal), and it is obtained by making diagonal cuts through the bark into the trunk or branches of a tree. The milky sap flows along the channel of the cuts down the tree to a container (an agave or aloe leaf or a gourd) placed at the foot. The sap hardens in the shape of its container and brought to market without further processing.
According to Hispanic records, this form of the resin was used as an Aztec tribute, and pochteca traders transported from the outlying subject provinces to Tenochtitlan. Every 80 days, so it was said, 8,000 packages of wild Copal wrapped in maize leaves and 400 baskets of white Copal in bars were brought into Tenochtitlan as part of a tribute payment.
Copal oro (gold Copal) is resin which is obtained by the complete removal of the bark of a tree; and Copal negro (black Copal) is said to be obtained from beating the bark.
Black Copal is favored by rural people for their worship services and is usually sold in the form of substantial disks or balls which are burned on a bed of charcoal.
Copal often has inclusions and is sometimes sold as “young amber.” Sometimes insects will become trapped within the resin, just as they sometimes are found in amber. Copal is easily distinguished from genuine amber by its lighter citrine color, and its surface will become tacky with the application of a drop of acetone.
Copal is popular in magical, healing and spiritual uses. It makes a great meditation incense and increases psychic insight. Inhaling its aroma is said to enhance the powers of clairvoyance. It is also used to provide systematic oracles.
- Divination spells that use Copal can be found here: Divination
Copal is added to many love, exorcism and purification incenses. It’s an important ingredient in many rituals. A piece of Copal can represent the heart in poppets. Many churches use this incense before their ceremonies.
Copal, is a “holy incense,” and can be can used for consecration and anointing of pentacles, athames, wands, etc. by passing these objects through its smoke. It can be burned when one is seeking “divine favors”. Like most resins, Copal is burned or smoldered as an incense during spellwork and/or rituals and needs to be burned on charcoal tablets or discs.
Copal makes for an excellent smudge and is commonly used in sweat lodge ceremonial gatherings. This is a wonderful resin to work with and for creating a mellow, magickal atmosphere to work in.
- A recipe for a Copal Ritual Wash can be found here: Magickal Apothecary
Burn this incense for purification and to contact the spirits of the dead. Mexican churches burn Copal on the Day of the Dead to help the souls of the deceased reconnect with their loved ones on the earth plane.
In its native Guatemala, Copal is a holy incense burned when seeking divine favor. Saint statues and other sacred items are blessed by smoking them in Copal. Passing seed corn through the smoke from Copal that was dressed in sacrificial blood before being burned is said to increase its viability and productivity.
Copal is used by the Maya to induce trances and in rites of divination, such as one where fourteen grains of corn are passed through the smoke, then cast on the ground, and the patterns they make are read to foretell the future.
In the US, Christians recite the 23rd Psalm while burning Copal or speak aloud their gratitude for blessings received.
Copal may also be used to draw attention from the opposite sex.
- Carry a piece of Copal in your pocket or in a charm bag especially when the opportunity to meet someone arises.
- Make a “path of seduction” by sprinkling Copal powder to create an aura of romance.
Grind a lump of Copal into powder using a mortar and pestle, visualizing your desires coming true while you’re grinding. Then either burn the powder, or carry the powder with you inside a locket worn around your neck.
It can be used to ward off negative energy by placing small pieces of Copal in with your crystals and then kept in a special place of your choice or wearing around your neck as a magickal sachet. A “sachet of protection” can be made with a combination of Copal, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
It is said that the familiar scent of White Copal helps the souls find their way back during their annual visit home, which is why this resin often burned during spirit workings and Beltane and Samhain rituals. For purification, spirit and ancestral workings, White Copal also is used to induce concentration and mental clarity. A beautiful resin to bring about peace and happiness.
Copal incense is a wonderful energy tool to use during your meditations. It is linked with the crown chakra, deepening your awareness and encouraging pure thoughts during meditation. Copal also helps to strengthen the auric body, removing all energy blockages. It is particularly useful in times of stress or even for alleviating feelings of depression, because it helps you to shift your mindset.
The burning of Copal is believed to call upon the God Tlaloc and the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue. Both of these dieties were associated with fertility and creation. You can light Copal incense as an offering to this God and Goddess, if you feel connected to their energy. Lighting the incense in their honor will invite them into your space and allow you to tap into the power of creation.
The Metaphysical Properties of Copal:
“Real” amber is millions of years old; but there is also another form of amber, young amber. Copal is a very young form of amber. Real amber is wonderful, but it does have that huge age behind it, experience and wisdom which makes it a little difficult to deal with for beginners, and a lot more expensive on your pocket.
Copal, on the other hand, is YOUNG, and that is the operative word and importance of using Copal in magic charms and potions.
It is still far more alive in many ways, far closer to our own states of being as it is on its road into the many millions of years that are its future. Copal offers a bridge between us now, and the infinity of time where our souls reside.
The young Copal is friendlier, lighter and brighter; and together with the absolute healing/protection of all resin and amber, this YOUTH is what reacts with the energy system of a human being and brings re-charging as well as that expectation of eternal life at the same time.
Copal unites the energizing force of the sun with the grounding, transmutive properties of earth. A powerful yet gentle healer and cleanser, Copal draws out and transmutes negative energy of all kinds on all levels. Copal aids in physical self-healing, emotional healing of depression, and environmental clearing.
Created out of tree blood, its very life force, the material trees use to heal themselves, Copal is a healing treasure. It heals physically, emotionally, and environmentally, clearing and cleansing all negativity and illness that exists around it. It is a powerful yet gentle healer, drawing out negative energy and bringing positivity. This gem dispels disease, revitalizing tissue and encouraging physical regeneration.
Copal opens and cleanses all of the chakras. Highly protective, Copal also aids in the manifestation of ideas to reality. The life force trapped within Copal promotes fertility, and its protective and environmental clearing properties make it a good stone to use to prepare a healing or birthing room.
Copal strengthens the Meridians, and helps to keep us grounded so that we can speak from the heart. It also strengthens our control over our minds. Use Copal with the Solar Plexus Chakra to increase confidence, mental clarity, and creative self expression. A chunk of Copal is perfect for your pocket or for selected energy work.
With the life force of eras long past, Copal links the everyday self to the higher spiritual reality. It aids in manifestation, its electromagnetic properties attracting what it is you focus on. Use pieces of Copal in your manifestation grids or rituals.
Copal for Purification:
Copal incense is completely natural incense that is used to purify the energy of spaces, places and objects. It has a clean, light, woody scent that could be compared to pine or turpentine. One of the best Copal uses is burning it to clear away all the negative energy and make positive changes. It brings a very positive and loving energy that will fill your home with peaceful energies.
Try one of these cleansing methods:
- To cleanse your healing crystal jewelry
Hold the piece and allow it to fully submerge in the smoke. You may notice the jewelry moving in a circle or back and forth. Keep it in the smoke until all movement stops.
- For cleaning crystals:
If you’re using Copal incense for cleaning crystals, hold the crystal in the smoke for a few seconds, rotating it so the smoke bathes all sides of the crystal.
- For clearing spaces:
To cleanse a space, allow the Copal incense to fill the room. If you have a feather fan, encourage the smoke to rise into the corners of the room.
A ghost apple is a very rare phenomenon that happens when freezing rain coats old and rotting apples and creates a solid icy shell around them. Because apples have a lower freezing point than water, the apples that are inside the thick icy shell melt before their icy shell. When gently shaken, these mushy apples slip out of their icy shell and leave the “ghost.”
For this to happen, it requires extreme changes in temperature, freezing rain, an abrupt warm up. All of which have to happen in just the right amounts and for the optimum amounts of time.
Because they are so rare, and so interesting, it follows that a Ghost Apple would make for a very effective magickal ingredient. If you happen to be lucky enough to find a ghost apple, or if you are able to figure out how to make one, here are some ideas for ways to use them in magick.
- Because apples are representative of love, a rotten apple represents a toxic relationship, or individual.
- The icy shell around the apple speaks of the walls you build to protect yourself.
Sometimes, that icy shell might represent an attempt to protect and shield a relationship that is unhealthy and unhappy. The icy shell might also represent walls that you have created around inner hurts and trauma. Walls that keep the world out, and may indicate a feeling of being frozen.
- The empty shell of ice shows that the relationship is ended, the toxic person is gone, but the trauma remains.
Often when a difficult or toxic relationship is ended, it leaves you with an inability to open up, or allow yourself to feel vulnerable again.
A spell for using a Ghost Apple to open your heart to love again can be found in the Book of Shadows. If you would like to try your hand at making your own Ghost Apples, I would suggest the following method:
You will need the following:
- An apple
- A plastic container that is larger than your apple
To speed up the process, bake the apple until it is soft. Allow the apple to cool to room temperature. Fill the container about halfway with water, and then place the cooled apple into the container upside down. The bottom of the apple should be just slightly above the level of the water.
Now, freeze your container.
When the water is frozen solid, remove it from the container and suspend it, upside down until the apple is thawed enough to slip out of the icy casing. You now have a home made version of a Ghost Apple.
For best results, put the power of intention into the process. Visualize the apple as the person or relationship slowly going bad while it is baking. The water in the container represents what it is that feels frozen. As the apple slips out of the ice, see it as the toxic person or situation slipping away.
You are now ready to do some magick to release yourself from the icy residue, which can be as simple as allowing it to melt away.
- Ruler: Moon, Buddha
- Type: Extract from tree
- Magickal Form: Oil, whole chunks
Note: Camphor is the resin of an Asiatic tree. It is a natural moth repellent and should not be confused with toxic naphthalene moth balls, which are merely scented with Camphor. When it comes to the essential oils, only essential oil of white camphor is safe for use.
Camphor is a substance frequently taken for granted. It’s used in many lotions and cosmetics because of the cooling sensation it provides. Camphor, botanically related to cinnamon, is considered a sacred lunar plant. In Marco Polo’s time it was bartered for with gold. It is one of the seven substances most sacred to Buddha and meditation upon it, or in its presence, will bring enlightenment.
Obtained from the evergreen tree, this fragrant white compound holds many spiritual properties. In voodoo rituals, it is burned for love and attraction. It is one of the most sacred substances to offer to the moon goddess on a new moon to thank her for her abundant blessings.
Camphor is also used in cleansing and purification rituals. White camphor oil added to the bath also clears the thoughts and soothes the soul.
Camphor allegedly reduces sexual desire. Use it to get rid of unwanted passions or unwanted admirers. Burn camphor or add one or two drops of essential oil of white camphor (other forms are toxic) to your bath when you need to cool off. Endeavor a would-be lover to smell camphor if he or she is forcing their attentions on you and you are not interested. It will instantly turn him or her off.
Burned on charcoal, Camphor is said to cleanse the home. It may be blended with other incenses for this purpose. The scent of burning camphor purifies a space and brings self-discipline, aiding in controlling and transforming bad habits. Long used in the Eastern Hemisphere for temple purification and protection, camphor is excellent for deep meditation and gaining insight. A little goes a long way, so if you burn camphor on charcoal, use only a small pinch.
Camphor resin is sold in small squares, four to a pack. Those who do not wish to burn incense place one square in each corner of a room, or crumble a single square into a bottle, cover it with Florida Water, and leave the bottle open to spiritually cleanse the room.
During the days of the polio epidemics, mothers hung camphor balls around children’s necks to ward away illness. This spell works under the same premises, except that what you’re warding off is the metaphysical virus of an unwanted romantic attention, or to ward off illness, negativity, or whatever you would like to repel.
Dip a cotton ball in essential oil of white camphor and keep it in your pocket or tucked into a bra. Alternatively, you could hang it around your neck.
NOTE: Be sure not to use any other variety of camphor. Only essential oil of white camphor is safe for use.
Camphor is under the dominion of the moon. The lunar palace of Lady Chang’O is allegedly crafted from cinnamon wood, however both true cinnamon and camphor derive from trees of the Cinnamonium family. Maybe the Moon Lady’s palace was actually built from camphor wood.
Because of this connection, camphor can transmit some of the moon’s protective and luck drawing powers. Here’s how:
Charge spring water with lunar energies by filling a white, blue, or silver container with clear spring water and then leaving it in a windowsill or outdoors on a full moon night. The next day, dissolve a camphor square into the lunar-charged spring water.
Use this water to cleanse appropriate magical tools so that they may be used to fulfill your wishes and be imbued with the power of the moon.
NOTE: Be careful, camphor can also be toxic.
Witches know that ultimate Magick comes from the heart of nature. Forging a strong bond with nature by nurturing house plants is very empowering and can sort out your health too!
The top five plants all remove chemical vapors that build up in the home from paints, cleaners, solvents and other unhealthy things – and they have magickal abilities too as listed below:
- GERBERA DAISY Great to encourage happiness.
- PEACE LILY Encourages harmonious energies and good communication.
- BOSTON FERN Encourages psychic ability and intuition.
- ENGLISH IVY For protection and luck – especially good for newly weds.
- ARECA PALM (or Butterfly or Yellow Palm) For peace and creativity.
When you feel surrounded by negativity or weighed down by bad habits, use essential oils as follows:
- Lemon or sage for cleansing
- All citrus oils are especially good for stimulating creativity and giving your mind a fresh, clean slate to fill with positive thoughts.
- Thyme oil is also effective for an energy reboot.
- The calming, reassuring properties of lavender will help you stay on track with new, positive habits.
Floorwashes are an integral component of the Hoodoo and Conjure magical traditions. They combine actual physical house cleaning with spiritual and magical work, effectively killing two birds with one stone. They are potent yet discreet and perhaps the single most effective use of multi-tasking within magic.
Although the liquid is called floorwash, technically it refers to the final rinse used to clean a floor or other interior surfaces. It should not be removed but allowed to air-dry, so that its power radiates into the surrounding atmosphere. In other words, the floor should be clean before applying the floor wash.
The radiant power of the botanicals is what is crucial: floorwashes are a component of many spells for a variety of purposes, including protection and romance, in addition to their obvious value as a space cleansing device.
A floor wash is made by adding specifically chosen herbs, oils, crystals, and other ingredients to water and then using the solution to wash a surface. The reasoning behind this practice is to infuse the surface with the vibrations of the wash, so that it will then attract or dispel the corresponding energies. For example, if you were owed payment for services and the check was late, you might want to wash your mail box with a money-drawing wash.
There are two standard methods of making a floorwash. Choose which suits you:
- Fill a bucket with warm water. Add the magical infusion together with some white vinegar.
- Create the infusion and pour it into an empty bucket. Pour enough boiling salted water over it to fill the bucket. Add some white vinegar.
More recipes for magickal waters and washes can be found at the Magickal Apothecary.
Traditional methods call for you to scrub the floor on your hands and knees. The repetitive motion and low concentration level needed allow for a shift in consciousness to take place. Incorporating a chant as you wash will boost the powers of the wash and help your goal to manifest even faster. Remember to be as specific as possible in the wording of your chant.