Charged waters are charged with magical power and intentions.
Not all charged waters are really waters. Some are actually alcohol-based formulas, recalling that the roots of perfumery and liqueurs lie entangled in magic potions, brews, and philters. (Philters are drinks; although some potions are consumed, many formulas are for external use only.) “Water” must be understood in the context of perfume designations, such as eau de Cologne (“water of Cologne”) or of alcoholic beverages like aquavit or whiskey (whose name derives from the Gaelic for “water of life”).
The alcohol typically recommended as a base is vodka, not because it may be consumed but because of its minimal scent. Avoid what is commonly called “ rubbing alcohol’; the typically strong, unpleasant aroma will interfere with that of the formula.
Angel’s Water or Angel Water
The term “Angel Water” may refer either to Jordan River Water, or to an eighteenth-century love potion. This, the most popular version of Angel Water and the one indicated in this book, began as a sixteenth-century complexion remedy before evolving into a love potion and a popular aphrodisiac 200 years later. Its name may derive from those angels who seduced the “daughters of man” with magic lessons in the Book of Genesis.
The crucial ingredient, the one that cannot be replaced if this is to be considered true Angel Water, is myrtle, a small tree native to North Africa and the Mediterranean coast, considered sacred to Aphrodite, whose name inspired the term “aphrodisiac.”
In legend, when Aphrodite first emerges naked from the sea, she is clothed in myrtle leaves.
The basic formula consists of:
Orange blossoms (Neroli)
Myrtle is the predominate material. It is substantially less expensive than the other ingredients. Many versions of Angel’s Water contain only myrtle. The term Myrtle Water or Water of Venus is sometimes used synonymously for Angel’s Water.
The simplest method of creation is via hydrosols. This may be best if Angel’s Water is to serve as a philter. Homemade floral waters may also be used, as well as infusions of fresh and dried leaves and flowers. Homegrown roses may be preferable to those of florists because of the massive amounts of pesticides used on commercially grown roses. All the basic ingredients are available in the form of essential oils
Angel’s Water is typically used externally:
Add to a bath: allegedly the greater the quantities of Angel’s Water, the greater the erotic impact
Blend with alcohol to create a liniment for purposes of massage: administered this way, (and presumably if it’s a good massage) Angel’s Water reputedly inspires erotic thoughts in even the coldest woman
Angel’s Water may also be used as a love potion, in which case make sure that all materials are safe for consumption
Myrtle-based Angel’s Water was used throughout Europe and the British Isles. There is also a Spanish formula, used for romantic and cleansing spells. This version’s basic formula consists of angelica, lavender, rose, and trefoil.
Technically the “bay” in Bay Rum does not refer to familiar bay laurel leaves, a staple of so many magic spells, but to the berries of the Caribbean tree, Jamaica bayberry, also known as black or wild cinnamon.
If you purchase bay rum manufactured in Bermuda or the Caribbean, you may receive the original formula. If manufactured elsewhere, you will most likely be purchasing a formula based on bay laurel. Jamaica bayberry does not grow outside the Caribbean and Bermuda; people outside the region are not familiar with the botanical and so assume that any reference to bay must indicate bay laurel. Bay laurel is a plant with profound magic powers and the formula based upon it is potent, although not necessarily for the same purposes:
The original Bay Rum formula (bayberry) is used for luck, gambling, healing, and cleansing spells
The bay laurel-derived formula may be used for healing and cleansing, and to enhance divination
The true substitute for Jamaica bayberry is not bay laurel leaves but allspice berries, a close relative with similar magic properties. However, Jamaica bayberry is available as an essential oil, and a true Bay Rum is easily created from essential oils.
True Bay Rum
Essential oil of Jamaica bayberry
Essential oil of petitgrain
Essential oil of allspice
Essential oil of cardamom
Essential oil of cloves
· Dilute the essential oils in fine dark rum and distilled water.
· Although scent-free alcohol is usually recommended, bay rum is the exception to the rule. Rum, a liquor used in many spells, enhances bay rum’s magical properties. Its scent is considered integral to the formula: select the most fragrant rum possible.
· Jamaica bayberry is the predominate ingredient. Its presence and fragrance should dominate the blend.
· If you have access to Jamaica bayberries, dried botanicals may be substituted for essential oils. Substitute orange zest for petitgrain.
Bay Leaf-Based Bay Rum
Crushed bay laurel leaves
Ground allspice berries
· Add the dry ingredients to one pint (half a liter) of fine dark Caribbean rum.
· Shake it and let it sit for a week.
· Strain out the solid ingredients.
· Place some new allspice berries or a whole bay leaf in the bottle.
See Marie Laveau Water.
This formula was first created for King Charles V of France in 1379 by the Carmelite Sisters. Its key ingredient, the herb melissa, also known as lemon balm, is another plant closely identified with Aphrodite. Melissa means “bee.” Aphrodite’s priestesses of love were known as bees and according to legend, living honeybees, female worker bees supremely devoted to their queen, are the returning souls of Aphrodite’s no less devoted servants. Melissa is a common garden plant; if you grow it, the connection to bees becomes very clear: bees love it and flock to its blossoms.
Melissa is the crucial ingredient in Carmelite Water; its presence, fragrance and lemony flavor should predominate. Historically, Carmelite Water was a distilled liquor and should you have access to distilling equipment, it may be reproduced as such.
Basic Carmelite Water
Three tablespoons of chopped melissa (lemon balm)
Three tablespoons of chopped angelica root
One tablespoon of cloves
One-half teaspoon of coriander seeds
One whole nutmeg
One stick of cinnamon
· Add the above to four ounces (125 ml) of vodka, along with the juice from one lemon.
· Allow it to steep for at least seven days, shaking the bottle once daily.
· Strain and enjoy.
Simpler, quicker, albeit even less authentic versions exist:
Add tincture of melissa to a glass of vodka
Blend melissa hydrosol with white wine
For those who eschew alcohol:
· Roughly chop fresh melissa/lemon balm.
· Place a small handful into a mug and add a cinnamon stick, five cloves and one-quarter teaspoon of coriander seeds.
· Make a strong infusion by pouring boiling water over the botanicals.
· Let it steep for at least five minutes, strain and drink.
Carmelite water was originally intended for healing purposes and may be taken internally. Make sure all ingredients are safe for consumption. A typical dose is the size of a wine glass, consumed with or after dinner. The pioneering physician Paracelsus vouched for its beneficial cardiac claims.
Bathe in Carmelite Water to facilitate the dream process. It allegedly stimulates fun, happy dreams. Carmelite Water is a favorite Pow-Wow potion to cure headaches, protect against poison, break hexes, and as an elixir of longevity.
The word has become familiar as a category of perfume, however chypre originally referred to a specific magical formula, allegedly brought back to Europe in the twelfth century by returning Crusaders and named for Aphrodite’s island, Cyprus. Once a very popular men’s cologne, it was especially favored by gamblers and “men-about-town,” developing something of a disreputable air—hence its use as Joel Cairo’s signature scent in Dashiell Hammett’s novel, The Maltese Falcon.
Until the eighteenth century it was typically used as a dry perfume, as were many fragrances. Only after that period did the present liquid form become standard. The dry version retains many magical advantages, not least that it is easily carried in a mojo hand.
Today many products marketed under the name Chypre have little resemblance to the original formula and cannot substitute for magical use. The key ingredient needed to achieve its magical purposes is rock rose, a plant that bears strong associations with the island of Cypress. Labdanum is the resin derived from rock rose. Many formulas also include oakmoss, believed to magically enhance financial success.
Chypre magically draws:
Success in games of love and chance
Luck in financial transactions
Calm in the face of jealousy and mistrust
Basic Dry Chypre
Sweet flag/calamus root
Grind all ingredients into a fine powder, using mortar and pestle, spice grinder and sifter as needed.
Carry the powder in a conjure bag. Blend it with arrowroot powder or cornstarch (for gambling luck) or rice powder (for lover’s luck) and use it as dusting powder. Or, line a magic box with dry Chypre and use it to store and empower gambling charms.
Essential oil of bergaptene-free bergamot
Essential oil of labdanum (rock rose)
Essential oil of oakmoss
Essential oil of patchouli
Essential oil of sandalwood
Essential oil of vetiver
Add the above essential oils to a blend of alcohol and distilled water. Adjust the proportions of the essential oils to suit your nose. This is a traditional earthy Chypre. If you prefer a sweeter, more floral fragrance, add jasmine and rose attar.
Wear as this as a lucky lover’s cologne. It also serves as a gambler’s handwash.
The antithesis of Holy Water, Damnation Water is frequently used for malevolent purposes, but sometimes also for protective spells.
Grind asafetida, sulfur and the ashes of palm leaves blessed on Palm Sunday into a powder. Add this to a base of whichever Holy Water formula you prefer.
Elijah the Prophet Water
Although this is known as Elijah the Prophet Water, it has little to do with the biblical prophet.
In Russian tradition, Elijah is syncretized to the thunder spirit, Perun. His feast days are July 20th and July 30th, known as “thunder days.” Rain falling on these days is believed to have tremendous therapeutic and magical value. Bottle it, refrigerate it and reserve for magical emergency. Elijah the Prophet Water protects against the Evil Eye, general serious illness, and malevolent magic.
Florida Water was originally marketed as the American version of the original eau de Cologne and should have an attractive, refreshing, light, citrus-rosemary fragrance. Florida Water, however, has also developed into something of a metaphysical staple amongst the Vodou/Santeria communities, as well as the many influenced by them. It is an intensely powerful spiritual cleanser and protective agent.
Florida Water may be the only charged water whose name is copyrighted. It is officially manufactured and sold by the Murray and Lanman Company, and theirs is an excellent, inexpensive product, easily available in markets that cater to a Caribbean clientele. However, there are thousands of versions of homemade Florida Water, and many practitioners pride themselves on their home recipes. Here are two, slightly different versions.
Florida Water (1)
Two cups of vodka or other alcohol
Two tablespoons rose hydrosol
Sixteen drops essential oil of bergamot
Twelve drops essential oil of lavender
Six drops essential oil of may chang
Three drops essential oil of rosemary
Two drops essential oil of jasmine
Two drops rose attar
Florida Water (2)
Two cups vodka or other alcohol
Two tablespoons orange flower water or hydrosol
One tablespoon turmeric powder
One-quarter teaspoon finely ground orrisroot
Twelve drops essential oil of bergamot
Twelve drops essential oil of lavender
Six drops essential oil of may chang
Three drops essential oil of rosemary
Two drops rose attar
Two drops neroli
Shake this second formula vigorously to distribute the powder.
Florida Water may be added to virtually any cleansing bath or floorwash formula as an added enhancement. It is for external use only.
Various flower waters are used in a variety of spells, most especially rose water. Although certain spells specifically demand flower water, these waters may also be substituted for regular water in many other spells and formulas, particularly those for romantic or healing purposes, and in magical ink or incense formulas, or for spells that involve dissolving gum resins such as gum acacia.
Rose water and orange blossom water are frequent additions to Indian, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisine and are very easily, and often inexpensively, purchased from specialist vendors. The quality of pre-packaged flower waters is erratic, however; some are excellent, others bear little if any trace of the flower. Fine hydrosols, once rare but becoming more popular by the day, may be the finest source of true flower waters. They may easily be made for oneself, providing one has fresh flowers. In general, depending upon what one wishes to do with the flower water, it’s wise to avoid florists’ flowers because they tend to be heavily laden with pesticides, which may then be concentrated in the flower water.
Rose/Flower Water: Method 1
· Remove the petals from a few fresh roses, place them in a small pot and cover with approximately a quarter of an inch of spring water.
· Simmer gently until a visual change is observed: the petals will become limp and pallid. (If in doubt, a minute longer may be preferable to a minute less.)
· Strain and allow the liquid to cool. If not used immediately, refrigerate any left over.
This formula may also be used to create any type of fresh flower water—orange blossom or jasmine, for instance—providing the flowers are not poisonous or toxic.
Flower Water: Method 2
This method is substantially longer, although it is also easier than the method suggested above. No vigilant observation is required. It is suitable for creating lavender water as well as any other flower water.
· Place petals or blossoms within a mason jar.
· Cover with boiling water and allow to sit overnight.
· Strain out the botanical material; if not used immediately, the remainder should be refrigerated.
The term lavender water frequently indicates not a fresh flower water but, rather, steam-distilled lavender blossoms, as first created by Hildegard of Bingen in the twelfth century, hence hydrosols, themselves the product of distillation, are truly the appropriate choice. However a semblance of a distilled water may also be created easily in one’s kitchen.
Despite lavender water’s associations with the saintly Hildegard, it earned its magical reputation as a potion favored by prostitutes. Lavender water, worn on the body, allegedly attracts sexual interest from either gender while simultaneously sharpening the wits of the wearer.
Two cups of distilled water
Two ounces (100 ml) of vodka or other minimally scented alcohol
Approximately 12—20 drops of essential oil of lavender
Lavender water is for external use only.
Four Thieves Vinegar
The origins of this legendary formula lie in plague-ridden Europe. Many variations on the legend exist: the scene of the crime alternately takes place in London, Marseilles or somewhere in Italy. The situation may have taken place as far back as the time of the Crusades or as recently as the eighteenth century. The basic tale, however, remains the same. Infectious epidemic wracked the land. People were dying, horribly, in great numbers. Quarantine was brutally enforced. In the face of this hardship and tragedy, a gang of four thieves ran rampant, breaking into quarantined houses, even robbing the dead. People were outraged but also intrigued: how did these thieves survive exposure to infection to steal and steal again?
A price was placed on the thieves’ heads and eventually they were caught and sentenced to death. They negotiated a trade: their secret formula for a reprieve and one-way ticket out of town. Ever since, Four Thieves Vinegar has been touted for its ability to drive away danger and rescue its user from sure disaster.
Four Thieves Vinegar arrived in New Orleans, transported by either French or Italian immigrants, or perhaps by the wandering thieves themselves. In New Orleans, it was adopted by the Voodoo and Hoodoo communities, who put Four Thieves’ illness-banishing powers to other use: it is a crucial component of many banishing and commanding spells.
Four Thieves Vinegar
· Obtain the best possible red wine or apple cider vinegar.
· Peel and crush garlic cloves and add them to the vinegar. You cannot have too much garlic, especially if you plan to use Four Thieves for its healing and immunity-boosting properties.
· Traditionally, each thief contributed one ingredient. Choose one of the following to represent each thief, for a total of four additional ingredients: black pepper, whole cayenne or other chili pepper, coriander, lavender, mint, rosemary, rue, sage, thyme, or wormwood.
· Allow this to sit for four days, shaking once daily, before using.
If you are using fresh herbs, there is a tendency for the garlic to take on their green color. This isn’t harmful but many consider it “unsightly.” To prevent this, boil the garlic in the vinegar and allow it to cool before adding the other ingredients.
Used for hexing and necromancy.
Place a bottle of spring water on a grave before midnight, during a full moon. Whose grave is not important; what is crucial is that the water be exposed to full moonlight. Remove the bottle sometime after midnight and before daybreak.
Glory Water is intended to provide you with glory. It’s used in spells cast for success and good fortune. Its key ingredient, the one without which it is no longer Glory Water, is orange blossom water.
Orange blossom water or neroli hydrosol
Frankincense resin or essential oil of frankincense
Essential oil of Bergamot
Although many assume that the term “Holy Water” indicates church-blessed water only, but 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.
As used in this book “Holy Water” indicates any water that is held sacred or has special significance for the spell-caster. This may be water from a shrine dedicated to a deity or water from a sacred spring. It may be water from the tap of your favorite restaurant. If this concept holds no meaning for you, if all water is the same, then simply substitute pure spring water wherever a spell indicates Holy Water.
Holy Water may refer to any one of a variety of products:
Jordan River Water
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 Tear’s, Samhain, your birthday, a saint’s day
Holy Water may also be made via astrological correspondence. Some believe that waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are holy and charged with extra magic 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 its simplest, Witch’s Holy Water is spring water with salt added. Other covens have personal recipes, including infused herbs (rosemary, thyme, and vervain are particularly popular) or crystals. Designate your own
Pow-Wow also features various recipes but the mainstay is water with salt and vervain added. Christian Pow-Wows may choose church-blessed waters instead
Holy Water is 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: anoint roots and crystals or let roots and minerals soak in Holy Water
Exorcism and banishing spells
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 as gathering rainwater or adding sea salt to spring water. Complex rituals may also be designed; choose from among the following ritual elements or adapt and embellish as desired:
Charging Holy Water
· Collect rainwater, ideally within a stone vessel.
· Prepare yourself prior to preparing the water: bathe in Fiery Wall of Protection, Dragon’s Blood or at least with lots of salt, while reciting psalms and/or sacred verses.
· Prepare the water sky-clad (nude) or in clean ritual clothing. Where ritual clothing is not used, fresh, clean clothing, preferably white and made from natural fabrics is favored.
· Ladle water into a glass or crystal bowl.
· Place it between two white candles.
· Light incense first (frankincense, copal, benzoin, and/or white sage) and then the candles.
· Pass the bowl of water through the incense smoke.
· Visualize why you’re preparing this water. Visualize the results this water will bring.
· Return the bowl to its place between the candles and leave everything in place until the candles burn out.
· Bottle the water.
Hundred Grass Lotion
This can only be created on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese month, the only day that ordinary grass allegedly possesses special magic properties. The instructions must be followed exactly.
· Rise early on that morning.
· Walk exactly one hundred paces into a field without turning your head.
· Pluck exactly one hundred blades of grass.
· Take these home and place them in a pot of spring water. Bring it to a boil.
· Strain, reserving the liquid and discarding the grass.
· Boil the liquid once more, let it cool and bottle.
Hundred Grass Lotion is used as a remedy for aura repair, nervous disorders and headaches that resist other cures. It is not to be confused with Hindu Grass Oil, which is a Hoodoo formula similar to Van Van.
Until the advent of synthetic dyes in the nineteenth century, indigo was a precious commodity, the botanical source of a beautiful, vivid blue dye. Blue is the color that repels the Evil Eye and confers spiritual protection. With the possible exception of the color red, no color is more strongly identified with protective magic than blue. Hence indigo had powerful magical as well as aesthetic value.
Originally native to India, indigo migrated to ancient Egypt, Greece and the Yoruba kingdoms of what is now modern Nigeria, where it was strongly identified with the powerful female orishas Yemaya and, especially, Oshun.
In modern Africa, indigo is especially identified with the Tuareg, the traditionally nomadic people of the Sahara Desert. The Tuareg are known as the “blue people” because the indigo used to dye their robes its characteristic shade, bleeds onto their skin, dying it. This is not perceived as merely an accidental hazard but as a welcome effect, because the protective qualities of the indigo are now transferred to the skin.
Brought to American and West Indian plantations in the seventeenth century, the dye was produced for export. Extracted via a lengthy, complicated, tedious, and malodorous process, indigo was only made profitable by the existence of slave labor. The slaves, many of whom came from Yorubaland and its vicinity, also introduced indigo’s magical uses. Indigo Water is used:
To empower charms, tools and talismans
To enhance and empower the aura, through bathing
For spiritual protection, to ward off evil
For cleansing spells
The end of slavery in the nineteenth century, coinciding with the development of synthetic dyes, made true indigo rare. Although there are substitutes, none of them possess the magic power of true indigo.
True indigo water is merely a blend of indigo and water. The most accessible source may be anil, a West Indian and South American variation. Mexican anil is sometimes marketed in the form of small vivid blue balls. Dissolve in water to create Indigo Water or keep the ball whole for use as a protective amulet. Used this way, anil balls are a popular ingredient in Mexican Santeria mojo bags.
Laundry bluing or blue food coloring may substitute in any spell that calls for Indigo Water, with the understanding that the power is much reduced. However, do not substitute bluestone, also known as blue vitriol or Roman vitriol. Bluestone is copper sulfate, a naturally occurring substance which is truly a lovely shade of blue but, like those colorful Amazonian tree-frogs, is also very toxic. It has been used as a pesticide, now banned in many places, but was once easily obtainable, especially for rural, agricultural people. Because it is blue and was available, it’s frequently cited in folk magic spells but is dangerous and should not be used.
Marie Laveau Water
This formula is attributed to Marie Laveau, the renowned Queen of New Orleans Voodoo. Born in 1792, Marie Laveau transformed Voodoo from a surreptitious and persecuted cult into an organized, respected (or feared) established tradition. Following her death, she has achieved unofficial saint status and continues to perform miracles from her grave at New Orleans’ St Louis Cemetery Number One.
This formula is sometimes marketed as Holy Water or as Blessing Water. It may substitute in any spell that calls for either one:
One cup rain water
One cup spring water
One cup rose water or hydrosol
One cup Holy Water
One cup lavender water, lavender hydrosol or twenty drops of essential oil of lavender
Marie Laveau Water is used for:
May Wine is acknowledged as the ritual potion for Walpurgis Night or May Eve.
Woodruff, also known as Queen or Master of the Woods, is the required ingredient.
Although there are complex methods of creating May Wine, at its simplest steep sprigs of sweet woodruff in white wine for several hours. Bruised strawberries and/or sugar may also be added. Serve and enjoy.
Notre Dame Water
Although this is the name of a specific formula, blessed water from the Cathedral of Notre Dame may be substituted. The predominant ingredient in Notre Dame Water, without which it cannot be considered true Notre Dame formula water, is white roses.
The basic formula is:
White rose hydrosol
It may be necessary to substitute violet absolute for violet hydrosol, or to obtain your own violet fragrance via the infusion or enfleurage process. Violet is a notoriously difficult and expensive scent to extract. Most of what is available commercially is synthetic.
A simpler version of Notre Dame Water may be made by adding essential oil of white roses or white rose hydrosol to spring water.
Notre Dame Water is used for:
Happy home spells, to promote peace, calm and serenity
Spells to summon spirits
Uncrossing baths and spells
This formula is designed to bring serenity to a troubled household. As peace is so elusive, it
should come as no surprise that Peace Water is much more difficult to create than, say, War Water. It takes a skilled blender to concoct true Peace Water and it may be the one formula you are better off purchasing than making by hand. However, you need to understand the product in order to obtain or create the real thing.
True Peace Water is visibly identifiable. There should be three distinct layers: two light blue liquids with a clear layer in between. (Some versions only use two layers: one blue, one clear.)
The theory behind Peace Water stems from the biblical phrase regarding spreading oil over troubled waters. The natural propensity for oil and water to separate creates the layers. At its best, Peace Water is aesthetically a very beautiful product, with the light blue color evoking a sense of serenity. The mere visual presence of fine Peace Water is believed magically able to maintain a peaceful, tranquil atmosphere.
Blue layers may be made with Indigo Water or with any of the blue components used to create Indigo Water
The clear layer may be made with Holy Water, Rose of Jericho Water or Notre Dame Water
The tricky part is layering the oil and water so that the three layers remain distinct
Peace Water is used in a variety of house blessing, cleansing and healing spells. To use it, shake the bottle, so that the layers disperse. They should return to their positions once the bottle is at rest.
This Korean formula is used to remove sources of pollution. Use it in cleansing spells and for banishing.
· Grind ashes, salt and red pepper to a fine powder.
· Add the resulting powder to spring water.
The product is intensified if the ashes are the remains of protective spells or holy verses.
In Korea, water with ash is a traditional soap base. Salt and red pepper are used to effect exorcisms.
Rose of Jericho Water
Rose of Jericho is not a rose at all, but a Mexican desert plant with unusual properties. When its environment becomes too parched to support its existence, the plant hits the road to find a better home: it retracts its roots and allows the wind to carry it until it reaches a place where it may continue to grow. It is a choosy plant; it may not take root in the first place it alights.
The plant itself has evolved into a popular lucky charm, shared by many traditions from Mexican Santeria to Southern Conjure to mainstream Wicca. Its miraculous re-hydrating powers have made it a prized component of expensive anti-aging skin creams.
Water used to re-hydrate the plant simultaneously captures the essence of the plant. Water that has successfully resurrected a Rose of Jericho is magically transformed into Rose of Jericho Water. Use pure spring water if possible.
· Place the rose in a saucer or dish with enough water to cover the bottom of the plant.
· Wait for it to unfold. Don’t be impatient; although some sources promise you that the transformation will occur overnight, realistically it may take three days or longer.
· Change the water weekly, reserving the old water for magical use.
Rose of Jericho Water is used for:
House blessing spells
Spell reversals and to repel malevolent magic
Rose of Jericho Water may substitute in any spell that calls for Holy Water.
Seven Sisters Water
Although there are also Seven Sisters from New Orleans—famed conjure women—this traditional Chinese formula water refers to some different sisters. The Seven Sisters are star maidens, the Pleiades. They are also the seven daughters of either the Jade Emperor or the Kitchen God, depending upon legend. The most famous of the sisters is “the Spider Princess,” “the Weaving Lady” who figures in a romantic Chinese myth and is much invoked in love spells.
Seven Sisters Water originally referred to water from a specific spring in Guangzhou, China, drawn during a specific religious ritual. The water developed a considerable reputation for healing and spell-work and eventually began to be produced in different areas and marketed as a product.
This is women’s magic; although the formula may benefit men, the water can only be made by women.
· The seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar is devoted to the Weaving Lady and her sisters.
· At midnight, following a day spent honoring the Weaving Lady, living water may be drawn from a well or stream. Invoke the Weaving Lady’s blessings as you gather the water.
· Fill a bottle and seal it shut with wax. Do not break the seal, unless you need to use the water.
· After the water has been drawn, conclude the day by burning gifts of elegant paper garments, combs, and ornaments for the Seven Sisters.
Seven Sisters Water is believed to have profound curative properties. It allegedly magically repels disease. It is also used in paper burning spells: once a spell paper has been burned, add the ashes to a glass of Seven Sisters Water; stir and consume.
A glass of pure spring water is typically maintained on an altar, to call in spirits and feed the ancestors. Many find Spirit Water a stronger substitute. This is a favorite of the Spiritualist community and may be used to summon your own ancestral spirits, or in séances or other necromantic spells.
· Add one tablespoon of anisette to a glass of spring water.
· Place it on the altar instead of, or in addition to, the standard glass of plain spring water.
This might be the messiest of the formulas. Wear old clothes while concocting it, not your finest robe. Some old formulas suggest using creosote, however this has since been implicated as a possible carcinogen and cannot be recommended. Wood tar is required; you cannot substitute roofing or coal tar, which are petroleum products. Basic formula:
· Approximately one quart (1 liter) of wood tar is required, the sticky stuff scraped from a wood burning fireplace chimney.
· Put the tar in a bucket. (The bucket will be ruined; you will never be able to use it for any other purpose.)
· Add about a gallon (4.5 liters) of water.
· Stir the tar and water with a stick for about fifteen minutes. The stick will be ruined; use something disposable, literally a “stick” rather than your good wand.
· Let the tar sit and settle for several hours.
· Strain the water into a clean container.
· Let the water settle again.
· Strain it through cheesecloth or similar into a bottle.
· Shake before using.
Tar Water is used for:
Space and personal cleansings
Removal of negative thought-forms and psychic manifestations
War Water, Iron Water or the Water of Mars
Once upon a time, this formula was a mainstay of folk healers, who used it to treat anemia. Although its medical uses are no longer popular, this remains a very important magical formula.
War Water is used:
To gain protection. This is an extremely aggressive, forceful spiritual cleanser
To reverse a curse and send it back where it came from
To place a curse. War Water is a traditional and allegedly potent weapon during psychic warfare and witch wars
Standard Protective War Water
· Place iron nails in a mason jar. Cut iron nails are recommended because they rust very easily, but any iron nails may be used.
· Add enough water to cover the nails. Leave this undisturbed until rust begins to form, typically within seven to ten days. Although the jar is usually kept shut, it should be opened periodically to encourage oxidation.
· Once the rusting process begins, more water may be added. Keep the jar in a refrigerator or other cool area.
· Strain the water and use as needed.
You may continue adding water to the original nails virtually indefinitely. Some people have a War Water starter lasting years, akin to a sour dough starter. However, should mold or bacteria ever form, discard everything, including the jar and start again from the beginning.
Standard Malevolent War Water
· Collect water from a fierce thunderstorm in a jar.
· Add rusty nails, sulfur, and some of your own urine.
· Store this in a cold, dry place until you need it.
This version is used to either place or reverse a hex. The rusted nails from the Protective Formula may be used to create the Malevolent version.
Condition Oils, Formula Oils
Magical oils are among the oldest forms of enchantment, dating back to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. However, their magical renaissance occurred among the New Orleans Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure traditions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most of the standard formulas derive from that time, although many are based on much older roots. This period coincided with the development of the mail-order book trade; occultists are always voracious readers and the Hoodoo doctors were no exception. Many were exceptionally well-versed in magical traditions from all over Earth. Hoodoo delights in word play: the genre of magic spell oils became known as “condition oils” as they will magically cure your condition.
Catchy, dramatic, evocative names became standardized as well. Although there are basic guidelines for making these oils, consider the formulas to be similar to recipes. “Chicken soup” or “lasagna” raise certain expectations; however every chef may prepare them slightly differently.
The standardization of these oils coincided with the mass marketing of occult products. Mass manufacture of condition oils meant that the people making and selling the product, some inspired by the realization that there might actually be some low-risk money to be made, might not have understood the product or in fact had contempt for the product and its users, their customers. Unscrupulous vendors began to market little more than colored water in bottles labeled with the names of famous condition oil formulas. This frequently remains the case. If your spell depends upon a condition formula, it is crucial for its success that you either purchase materials only from reputable manufacturers or that you mix the formula yourself.
Perfume formulas are marketed as perfume, cologne, dusting powder, soap and other forms as well. Likewise condition formulas may be available as oil, powder, incense, soap, floorwash or other forms. The botanical formula remains constant; hence Commanding Oil is merely Commanding Powder added to oil. Any of the formulas may be converted to other forms as you please.
Although condition oils derive from New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo, they have become a mainstay of many other traditions including Palo, Santeria and Wicca. New formulas consistently evolve to serve the needs of different practitioners and magical traditions.
Essential oil of cinnamon bark or leaf
Essential oil of galangal
Essential oil of myrrh
· Add the essential oils to an olive oil base.
· Add some sort of preservative to the blend, such as Vitamin E, jojoba oil, or simple tincture of benzoin.
The name of this oil refers to a prominent grimoire allegedly written by the magician Abraham ben Simeon in 1458. The book describes how Abraham spent years journeying through Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East in search of mystic wisdom before meeting his teacher, a Jewish magician in Egypt called Abrahamelim or Abra-Melin. This grimoire greatly influenced high ritual magic, however it also encapsulates some of the difficulties of grimoire literary genre. Three versions of the manuscript exist, in French, German and Hebrew respectively. Each is slightly different and it’s not clear which is the earliest. Various transcribers also seemed to have left their personal touches so that different parts of the book seem to have been written at different times by different people.
This formula oil derives from biblical records of the formula used in the Jerusalem Temple, and is traditionally used in high ceremonial magic, for conjuring and pacifying spirits. It also bears strong associations with the notorious magus, Aleister Crowley, and it is also sometimes used by fans of Crowley because of those associations.
With this oil, perhaps more than any other, it is crucial to vary the proportions and find a blend that suits you and your purposes. If you plan to apply the oil to your body, either directly or in the bath, you may wish to start with very diluted oil. Essential oil of cinnamon provides a “burn,” literally. It is a potent skin irritant. Small quantities can raise welts on even fairly insensitive skin, as this writer can testify. For whatever reason, this appeals to some practitioners. Essential oil of cinnamon leaf is slightly gentler than that of the bark, however its fragrance is less vividly intense.
Although it is rare, there is an essential oil of galangal. Unlike almost all other essential oils, it goes rancid extremely quickly. Distilled galangal may be substituted, although the fragrance is less vivid. Although ginger root is galangal’s botanical cousin, it cannot be used as a substitute.
All Saints Oil
This oil requires seven ingredients, similar to Seven African Powers Oil. The “saints” in this oil may be understood as the Seven African Powers, or as generic benevolent spirit powers, or however else you understand them. This oil evokes blessings of success.
Grind and powder cinnamon, tonka beans, patchouli, vetiver, lavender, gardenia, and mug-wort. Cover with sweet almond and jojoba oils.
Grated lemon zest
Essential oil of lemon petitgrain, melissa, may chang or lemon verbena
· Grind the first three ingredients together in a mortar and pestle.
· Place them in a bottle together with a lodestone chip
· Cover with sweet almond oil
· Add the essential oils, drop by drop, until you achieve a scent that pleases you.
Black Cat Oil
Essential oil of clary sage or dried crumbled sage or clary sage leaves
Essential oil of bay laurel or dried crushed bay leaves
Essential oil of myrrh or solid myrrh resin
A bit of steel wool
Fine iron shot
· If you have a black cat, pick a hair off the sofa and add it to the mix.
· Blend with sweet almond oil, unless using for hexes, in which case blend with castor or mineral oil.
Black Cat Oil is used to break bad spells and hexes, but also to attract positive attention from the opposite sex. If protection is your major desire, blend the ingredients into castor oil and jojoba oil. If romance is your motivating factor, substitute sweet almond oil for the castor oil.
Essential oil of cypress
Essential oil of frankincense
Essential oil of myrrh
Essential oil of petitgrain or neroli
Apricot kernel oil, to blend into
Come to Me Lover
Neroli or essential oil of petitgrain
Gardenia absolute (or fragrance oil)
Blend the above into apricot kernel or sweet almond oil.
This is the most deluxe love-drawing oil. The ingredients are extremely expensive. It is not required that all of them be used, although the first three are fairly standard. The substitution of petit-grain for neroli will keep costs down.
Command and Compel
Depending upon the manufacturer, this classic oil may be marketed as Commanding Oil, Compelling Oil, Commanding and Compelling Oil, Controlling Oil or Conquering Oil.
It is not analogous with High John the Conqueror Oil, which is a completely different condition formula used for completely different purposes. What is marketed as All High Conquering Oil may be either High John the Conqueror or Command and Compel, providing there are any real ingredients in it at all.
The basic commanding formula consists of a blend of sweet flag (calamus) and licorice. They have been used together as such since the days of ancient Egypt. Those two plants, blended together and reduced to a powder may be added to oil to create a potent Commanding Oil.
Other plants also have commanding properties and may be added. Vetiver is a typical addition, as is essential oil of bergamot, which is a strong component of financial commanding spells. Before you add bergamot, however, decide how you wish to use this formula. Essential oil of bergamot is highly photosensitizing. It was once the primary ingredient in European fast-tanning products. If applied to the skin, you must avoid exposure to the sun as odd and long-lasting pigmentation may occur. Bergamot provides the distinctive fragrance of Earl Grey tea. It’s very beautiful and tempting to apply to the body. Essential oils of bergamot are marketed with the photosensitizing component removed; these are known as bergaptene-free oils and are worth the trouble of finding.
Add commanding oils to a blend of castor oil and jojoba oil. Malevolent-intent spells would substitute a base of baby oil or mineral oil.
Used to confuse an adversary; a favorite of Courtcase Spells.
Black poppy seeds
Grind the above to a fine powder and add to a blend of castor and jojoba oils. For malevolent spells, substitute baby or mineral oil.
Cinquefoil (Five-finger grass)
· Grind the above ingredients into a fine powder.
· Add to a blend of jojoba and sunflower oils.
· You may also add a High John the Conqueror root or a piece of one.
Black mustard seeds
Blend and grind the botanicals together, and add to a base of jojoba and sunflower oils. Supplement with any other botanicals associated with legal spells.
Crown of Success Oil
Essential oil of bay laurel or dried crushed bay leaves
Essential oil of frankincense or the powdered resin
Essential oil of sandalwood or the powder
Essential oil of vetiver or dried, powdered vetiver roots
Add the above to a blend of sunflower, olive, and/or jojoba oil
Crucible of Courage Oil
Essential oil of bay laurel or dried, crumbled bay leaves
Essential oil of black pepper or ground black pepper
Essential oil of frankincense or the powdered resin
Essential oil of petitgrain
Essential oil of sandalwood or the dried powder
Essential oil of vetiver or dried powdered vetiver root
Add the above to a blend of sunflower and jojoba oils. Add a drop of borage flower remedy for added enhancement.
Essence of Bend Over or Bend Over Oil
This formula compels others to bend over and do your bidding. Create an extremely concentrated version of Command and Compel Oil.
Because there may be a sexual component to Essence of Bend Over, consider adding aphrodisiac botanicals to the basic blend, such as damiana, cubebs, or Grains of Paradise.
· Place dried apple blossoms and pomegranate seeds in a bottle and cover with blended sweet almond and jojoba oils.
· Add one of the snake roots.
Fiery Wall of Protection
· Blend powdered dragon’s blood and sea salt together with a mortar and pestle.
· Frankincense and myrrh are required. If you are using solid resins, grind them together with the ingredients in Step 1. If you prefer to use essential oils, then add them last, following Step 3.
· Add these to castor oil, which has protective capacities of its own but is a very thick oil. You may wish to add jojoba oil, as a preservative, but also so that the oil will flow nicely.
Some variations suggest adding ground ginger and/or cinnamon, too. Just be aware that these are skin irritants and may limit the uses of the oil. Without those ingredients, Fiery Wall can be added to the bath or worn as a protective perfume.
Flying Devil Oil
For the basic formula:
· Blend red pepper flakes and/or cayenne pepper into an olive oil base.
· When you shake the oil, you should see the red pepper fly around.
More complex versions also include some or all of the following: black pepper, dragon’s blood powder, ground cinnamon, dried patchouli or the essential oil, and dried vetiver or the essential oil.
Follow Me Boy! Oil
Typically, although not always, marketed with that exclamation mark in its name so as to emphasize that this is a command, not a request. Follow Me Boy! is the most erotic of the commanding oils. It may be used by either men or women but the target of the command is invariably male as exemplified by the legend that this condition oil was once a staple of New Orleans prostitutes of either gender, reputedly guaranteed to generate business. The basic formula:
Optional ingredients: Licorice, sweet flag’s traditional partner, strengthens the commanding aspect. Other botanicals and fragrances may be added as desired to strengthen erotic impact, particularly vetiver, bergamot, sweet orange, tuberose or any vividly red flowers.
· Grind and powder the dried botanicals.
· Cover with one or a combination of these oils: castor, sweet almond and apricot kernel. Castor emphasizes the commanding aspect, sweet almond and apricot kernel increase aphrodisiac appeal.
Has No Hanna Oil
Essential oil of jasmine
Essential oil of tangerine (mandarin orange)
Dried powdered oakmoss or the essential oil
Dried powdered vervain
High John the Conqueror Oil
High John the Conqueror can be a very elusive and mysterious botanical. It has very unique properties. There really is nothing that substitutes for it. If there is one condition oil that you should make for yourself, this is it, if only to be sure you are getting the proper ingredients.
High John the Conqueror provides luck and success in all areas of life. It is particularly beneficial for men in regards to romance, although many women swear by it too. High John is considered a completely benevolent botanical. It is used to achieve the highest success without mal intent towards others. Saint John’s Wort and tormentil are frequently substituted for High John. Although they are both plants packed with magic powers and used in many spells, their powers are different and cannot be used to provide High John’s unique effect.
High John the Conqueror is the root of a member of the Morning Glory family. It also goes by the name jalap and as such was once an important medical product in the United States, although it has fallen out of favor and perhaps for good reasons. Do not take High John internally: it is an extremely potent purgative and laxative. Reserve it for magical use.
It’s the root that’s used and it has a very characteristic appearance. Once you are familiar with it, it’s difficult to be confused. High John is large, solid and brown with a vaguely earthy aroma. Its shape ranges from perfectly circular to extremely phallic. This oil calls for High John chips, as do many other spells. Once a root is broken up, it is typically indistinguishable from any other. Grind your own High John so that you are not fooled.
· Break up a High John root. Use a mortar and pestle if you’re strong. This is a hard root; grinding may not be easy. Place it between a sheet of folded wax paper and smash it with a hammer, if necessary. Small chips are sufficient; the root doesn’t have to be powdered.
· Put the pieces in a dish and cover them with peanut, olive, sunflower, and/or jojoba oils.
· Expose the dish to sunlight for seven days.
· Strain out the root pieces or leave in the oil, as desired. Bottle the oil and use.
Home Protection Oil
Dried five-finger grass (cinquefoil)
Dried gardenia petals
Dried lavender blossoms or the essential oil
Sandalwood powder or the essential oil
Blend the above into a jojoba oil base. Add a pinch of salt.
· Hold a Jezebel Root in your left hand and charge it with your desires.
· Place it in a small jar and cover it with jojoba and sunflower oil. (If you intend to use this oil for stern commanding, add castor oil.)
· Add essential oils of myrrh, frankincense, bergamot, and amyris.
Lost and Away Oil
Dirt gathered from a crossroads
Cayenne and/or chili powder
Add the above to a combination of castor and jojoba oils.
Love Drawing Oil
Essential oil of lavender or the dried, ground blossoms
Essential oil of jasmine or dried flowers
Rose attar or dried rose petals
· If using dried botanicals, blend them and grind into a fine powder.
· Cover them with sweet almond oil.
· Essential oils should be added drop by drop to the sweet almond oil, until the desired intensity of fragrance is achieved.
· Add an orrisroot to the bottle.
Lucky Lodestone Oil
Add crushed, powdered lodestone to Van Van Oil.
Essential oil of citronella
Essential oil of pink grapefruit
Essential oil of lemongrass
Essential oil of mandarin orange (tangerine)
Blend the essential oils into a base of jojoba oil.
More Money Oil
Essential oil of chamomile
Essential oil of Texas cedarwood
Essential oil of vetiver
Add the above to jojoba oil.
Magnet or Lodestone Oil
Commercial preparations are sold under both of these names, however the term Magnet Oil is used throughout the text of this book to distinguish it from Lucky Lodestone Oil, which is a completely different formulation.
· Place either seven or nine lodestones in a mason jar.
· Sprinkle them with magnetic sand.
· Cover the lodestones with a blend of sweet almond and jojoba oils.
· Close the jar and let the lodestones rest for seven days, exposed to sunlight and moonbeams.
· Pick up the jar and swirl the contents around once a day.
· After seven days, the oil may be strained and used.
· Transfer the oil to different bottles. Feed the lodestones with magnetic sand and use them to make more oil.
Dried ground peppermint leaves
Dried ground vervain
Dried ground vetiver or the essential oil
Blend and powder the above ingredients. Add them to a base of sunflower, olive, and/or jojoba oil.
Queen of Sheba Oil
Makeda, Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon bearing gifts of precious resins and spices. She allegedly introduced the Balm of Gilead or balsam tree, a source of fragrant, precious resin (although not the same as the balm of Gilead buds currently so popular in magic). The finest balsam resin in the ancient world was allegedly produced in Judea from trees introduced by the Queen of Sheba. These balsam groves were completely eradicated by the Romans during their conquest of Judea. Essential oil of amyris is the closest modern substitute.
If you’d like to wear this as perfume, keep the quantity of cinnamon oil to a bare minimum to avoid skin irritation. The oil is made from essential oils of amyris, cinnamon bark, frankincense, myrrh, rose, and spikenard, added to grapeseed oil.
Saint Martha the Dominator Oil
· Grind spikenard root shavings, sweet flag, licorice root, and myrrh resin together.
· Cover with olive oil.
Saint Martha the Dominator Oil is used for happy home Spells, domination spells and protection spells.
San Cipriano Oil
There are two Saint Cyprians, both former master magi who converted to Christianity and were martyred. One was a Bishop of Carthage. One or both of them seems to have resumed his former profession after death. San Cipriano is the most influential figure in the magical traditions of the Iberian Peninsula. A prominent grimoire is attributed to him. San Cipriano is a miracle worker; the oil named in his honor allegedly casts miraculous spells.
Low John the Conqueror
Myrrh resin or the essential oil
Essential oil of cedarwood
Essential oil of cypress
· Blend and grind all solid materials together to form a powder.
· Cover them with olive, sunflower, and/or jojoba oils.
· Add the essential oils as the last step, drop by drop, until you’ve achieved the desired intensity of fragrance.
Low John the Conqueror, also known as bethroot, was not long ago a very common magical plant and is a traditional component of San Cipriano Oil. It is now highly endangered and it is very likely that you will not be able to obtain it. Even if you can, it should be verified whether it was ethically gathered, for the success of your spells as well as for the sake of the plant. There really is no adequate substitute for it. However, leave it out if necessary and compensate by strengthening other areas of spell work, visualization for instance. Perhaps the best alternative is to attempt to grow your own supply of bethroot.
Seven African Powers Oil
Add the following to palm oil: real coconut extract, black pepper, mugwort, cinnamon, seaweed (dulse, agar-agar or other), real almond extract, and either mimosa or jasmine for a total of seven ingredients.
Essential oil of hyssop
Essential oil of angelica
Essential oil of frankincense
A pinch of sea salt
A pinch of black pepper
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A sprig of rue
A sliver of fresh garlic
A section of broken chain, e.g., from a key-chain or necklace
Add the ingredients to a bottle filled with blended castor oil and jojoba oil. The crucial ingredients are the hyssop and the chain. Add the other ingredients as desired. Essential oil of angelica has photosensitizing properties: if worn on the body, avoid exposure to the sun.
Van Van Oil
The epitome of condition oils, Van Van may be the single most versatile oil, drawing luck, love, and prosperity and repelling malevolent magic directed toward you. Many confuse the name with “vanilla.” It may be added if you like, however true Van Van is a blend of five wild Asian grasses. Similar formulas may also be marketed as Hindu Grass Oil or Henry’s Grass Oil.
The five grasses are lemongrass, citronella, palmarosa, gingergrass, and vetiver. All of them are available as essential oils, although gingergrass is rare. Van Van may be made from essential oils, dried botanicals or a combination of the two. Add them to a base of jojoba, sunflower, and/or safflower oils. Patchouli, another Asian grass, may be added for some extra power.
For optimum power, all five grasses should be used, however any combination is acceptable. Lemongrass is the predominant ingredient, if only because its aroma is so potent. Many versions of Van Van contain only lemongrass.
Wall of Protection Oil
Fiery Wall of Protection Oil minus dragon’s blood.
Incense and Powders
Loose incense consists of nothing more than the dried, powdered ingredients. “Powders” may be identical to incense, the words are sometimes used interchangeably, or you may blend them with arrowroot powder, cornstarch or rice powder, to create a dusting powder.
Do not burn amber beads! The confusion lies between the solidified resin known as amber and ambergris, the fragrant substance derived from sperm whales, also often called ambra. This “Amber” formula somewhat replicates the fragrance of ambergris. Blend ground powdered labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla bean.
Although there is an actual black salt used in Indian cuisine, magical black salt is concocted by blending salt with the scrapings from cast iron cookware. Black salt is mainly used in protection spells and to cast hexes.
This is powdered eggshell: the only ingredient is eggshell. Eggshells once had profound associations with European witches. Witches were believed able to transform an emptied eggshell
into a vehicle for travel over water or through the air. To make sure they weren’t helping the witches have fun, many insisted on crumbling emptied eggshells before disposing of them. To leave them whole was to invite the witches’ use. Ironically, powdered eggshell is a magical ingredient in many spells, both benevolent and otherwise.
Cascarilla Powder can be either white or brown:
White Cascarilla Powder
· Clean the eggshells and let them dry out.
· Crumble the pieces and place them in a mortar and pestle.
· Grind these into a fine powder.
Brown Cascarilla Powder
· Clean the eggshells.
· Break up the shells so that the pieces lie flat.
· Toast these pieces in a low, slow oven until the shells brown.
· Grind these to a fine powder.
This is confectioner’s sugar.
Graveyard dust may be self-explanatory: dirt from the graveyard. It may also be various botanicals or a combination of the two.
Valerian, patchouli, and mullein all bear the nickname graveyard dust. Grind and powder the botanicals and use them where graveyard dust or dirt is indicated. Alternatively, collect dirt from the cemetery. Further details are available in Death Spells (page 251).
“Goofer” derives from the Kikongo word “kufwa” meaning “to die,” and 99.5 percent of Goofer Dust’s uses are malevolent. It is a usually a blend of graveyard dirt (real dirt, not botanicals) with other substances. Thousands of recipes exist, with practitioners boasting of the potency of their private blends.
Goofer Dust allegedly causes the target of the spell to become weak and confused. Powers of speech, concentration, and thought are allegedly affected; the target acts “goofy.” Some claim Goofer Dust leaves victims crawling on all four, barking like a dog. Particularly potent Goofer Dust, real “killing powder,” causes the victim to waste away, eventually dying if an antidote is not found.
The most common basic version is a blend of graveyard dust, salt, and sulfur (brimstone.) Other popular ingredients include gunpowder and church bell grease.
Goofer Dust’s most famous associations are with New Orleans-styled Voodoo and Hoodoo, from whence it derives its name. Although it may not be called Goofer Dust elsewhere, this is not an isolated formula. In his autobiography, Dr. John, the brilliant New Orleans musician, recalls scraping grease from church bells for the dust. Across the Atlantic Ocean, far from African influence, Slavic witches traditionally climbed into church steeples on Saint George’s Day to obtain grease from bell axles for similar purposes.
Henna Powder and Paste
Henna powder derives from the dried ground leaves of the henna plant. Henna paste is created from the powder. Although henna paste may be purchased, choose your vendor carefully: for optimum magic power and aesthetic beauty both powder and paste must be fresh, not aged. There are thousands of
methods of preparing henna paste: technique and intuition combine. Here is a suggestion:
· Henna powder should be green and fragrant.
· Even though a reputable vendor will sift their henna, further sifting may be required and will certainly be beneficial. Sieves are ancient magical tools: while sifting, concentrate on your desires for the henna design, whether aesthetic or enchanted.
· Boil approximately one half cup of loose black tea in roughly four cups of water until the water has been reduced by about one half.
· Add any additional ingredients: suggestions include rose petals, saffron, fenugreek, or cloves.
· Simmer this brew for approximately an hour.
· Strain and discard the solids, reserving only the liquid.
· Strain a lemon or lime and add only the juice, not pulp or seeds, to the brew.
· Warm the brew but do not allow it to boil.
· Begin to add approximately one half cup of henna powder. Add it slowly, spoonful by spoonful, keeping an eye on the texture. The goal is to achieve something that is similar in consistency to cake batter.
· Once the consistency has been achieved, add approximately one teaspoon of essential oil of eucalyptus.
· Test the paste by dabbing a little on your skin and leaving it there for fifteen minutes. Although the henna is not yet full strength, a faint orange tinge should still develop.
· Let the finished paste rest in a warm place, covered, for approximately six hours before using it to paint designs.
Grind and powder the following ingredients: Southern John (galangal root, Courtcase root, Little John to Chew), nasturtium seeds, and patchouli. Blend with arrowroot powder.
Sprinkle Jyoti Powder for cleansing spells, money spells, and reversing spells.
Kinnikinnik is the Algonquian name for various botanical blends used in ritual and as spiritual offerings. The name also refers specifically to bearberry, and the simplest kinnikinnik is bearberry alone. Complex kinnikinnik blends may contain as many as thirty botanicals.
Choose from the following: angelica, bayberry bearberry, blueberry, birch, bristly crowfoot, Canada hemlock, deer berry, dogwood, goldenrod, horseweed, mint, juniper, mullein, tobacco, willow, yarrow, or yerba santa. Prepare and dry each herb separately, then blend and store in leather pouches.
Kinnikinnik is used in various ways:
Carry in a charm bag for protection and luck
Store ritual tools in kinnikinnik powder to empower and activate them
Burn as cleansing incense
Use it as an offering when harvesting plants
Despite its name, Kyoto Powder is a Hoodoo formulation used to reverse bad luck, and has nothing to do with Japan. Grind and powder clove buds, orrisroot, lavender blossoms, and dried vanilla beans. Blend with arrowroot powder and sprinkle as needed.
Kyphi was an Egyptian temple incense formula so important that its formula was engraved onto temple walls. Various formulas existed. Kyphi is an oil- and fat-free formula, based on wine and raisins with added fragrant botanicals. It was used in sacred ritual but also to relieve insomnia and provide deep sleep. Ingredients might include:
Sweet flag/calamus root
The scent traveled through the ancient world: the Egyptians were scandalized when the Greeks began to use kyphi as an aphrodisiac. The Egyptian method of creating kyphi was complex. An example follows. The name kyphi is frequently used by manufacturers of spiritual products to indicate any incense possessing an ancient Egyptian “ambience.”
· Begin by blending equal parts dried ground acacia, henna, and juniper.
· Soak the resulting powder in wine.
· In a separate container soak golden raisins in wine.
· Allow this soaking process to continue for seven days.
· Take equal parts cardamom, sweet flag/calamus, cinnamon, peppermint, bay leaves, galangal, and orrisroot.
· Grind each one separately then blend and grind again into a fine powder.
· Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of myrrh resin to the spice mixture.
· Drain the herbs and raisins soaking in wine and add them to the honey/myrrh/spice mixture.
· Add sufficient wine to steep the combined materials, plus terebinth and raisins to form a thick paste.
· Use this as is (simmer it to release the fragrance) or dry it, cut into squares and burn as incense.
New Home Incense
Grind the above ingredients together and burn.
Many spells involve a written component. Once upon a time, magicians chose their ink carefully depending upon the purpose of the spell, in the manner that someone today might choose a candle or condition oil. Some magicians still do. The most popular magical inks used in Western magic tend to be named after the blood of various creatures. They are marketed commercially and are readily available through occult sources. However, in many cases what is purchased is nothing more than plain ink with a label bearing a catchy title.
A long history exists of using animal names as a code for various plant substances. Among the reasons for this practice was the desire to maintain secret formulas. Unfortunately, when the formulas are obtained without understanding or even knowing of the existence of the code, all sorts of misunderstanding and tragedy may follow. While some complain that modern manufactured “blood” inks no longer contain the botanical formulas, others claim that the formulas actually demand blood; the only way to produce “true” dove’s blood ink, for instance, being to slit the throat of a dove. This is untrue. Dove’s blood ink is frequently used to write love spells. Doves are sacred to Aphrodite, Genius of Love. Do you think that, having done very bad things to her bird, she will look kindly on your petition? The only blood typically called for in magic spells may be your own, and even that requires no more than a few drops from a finger.
Formulas are frequently very similar. The red color typically derives from the resin dragon’s blood, a powerful magical agent. Even if a formula doesn’t specifically call for it, it is extremely likely that adding gum arabica or gum tragacanth to the mix will be necessary in order to make the ink thick enough to be functional. Typically one-quarter to one-half teaspoon is needed.
If mixing inks from scratch is forbidding, a simple yet magically charged method of creating the various “Blood” inks is to add the appropriate essential oils and resins to plain red ink.
Bat’s Blood Ink
Scent with essential oils of cinnamon and myrrh
For commanding, domination, and hexing spells.
Butterfly’s Blood Ink
Add saffron so that the ink will be golden-yellow. Vervain may be added as well. Use this ink for love spells and spirit summoning spells. Unless you’re making a tremendous quantity of ink, a very few strands of saffron should be sufficient. Place the saffron strands in a glass and pour a little boiling water over them. Add this liquid to your ink formula.
Dove’s Blood Ink
Scent with essential oils of bay laurel, cinnamon and rose
For love spells.
Dragon’s Blood Ink
Optional: Essential oil of cinnamon
· Choose a candle color to coordinate with the purpose of your spell. (Green for money, for instance.)
· Carve and dress as desired, then burn the candle.
· Hold a spoon over the candle flame until black soot forms. (This takes a while; it’s a time-consuming process requiring patience.) This soot is lampblack.
· When sufficient lampblack has been produced, carefully tap it off the spoon and into a bowl.
· Add spring water, drop by drop, to dissolve the soot and then add gum arabica to thicken the ink.
Enhanced Lampblack Ink
This formula, which incorporates sacred resins, is specifically designed for Spirit Summoning Spells, especially for creating angel sigils, but may also be used for Protection Spells.
· Blend benzoin, frankincense, and myrrh resin and burn.
· Hold a spoon over the burning resin until lampblack soot forms. (Be patient.)
· Gently tap the soot into a bowl.
· Add rose hydrosol or water drop by drop until the lampblack is dissolved.
· Add gum arabica so that the ink is thick enough to use.
Raven’s Blood Ink
This ink uses the same formula as dragon’s blood ink, except that the red color is obtained from iron oxide powder, rather than powdered dragon’s blood. It is used for love spells.
Raven’s Feather Ink
· Burn one black feather, freely given.
· Add the ashes to ink.
For commanding spells.
Not every magical tradition associates ink with blood.
Chinese Magical Ink
Write spells with a peach-wood pen and cinnabar ink.
Moroccan Ritual Ink
For writing charms and talismans:
· Boil myrtle and bay laurel leaves and twigs in water.
· Strain out the solids.
· Mix the remaining liquid with ink.
For written love spells:
· Gently warm rosewater and pour it over a few saffron threads.
· Strain and add the liquid to existing ink or mix up your own with alcohol and gum arabica.
Rosewater Charm Ink
Rosewater was traditionally used as ink in the creation of Sufi charms.
Write the charm. Place the paper in water; the “ink” should dissolve. Drink the water.
Tibetan Ritual Inks
For writing charms: the challenging method is to blend soot or burned barley or rice with tree resin or grain pulp. The easier method is to use Chinese block ink!
Tips for Magic Ink and Written Spells
Wormwood allegedly possesses the magic power to provide protection for the written word from all sorts of dangers, spiritual and magical as well as the verminous kind with little teeth. Dioscorides recommended adding wormwood juice to ink, in order to keep mice away from papyrus. Add it to any of the above recipes, or to any other ink
The grimoire Grimorium Verum, allegedly published in Egypt in 1517, recommends that, regardless of what’s actually in the inkwell, a magician’s inkwell should be inscribed with the following, transliterated from the Hebrew:
YOD HE VAV HE
This serves to infuse divine power into the ink and to ward off evil influences.