Midsummer Incense#2

Midsummer Incense#2

Recipes by Scott Cunningham

3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Benzoin
1 part Dragon’s Blood
1 part Thyme
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch Vervain
a few drops Red Wine

(The above recipe for “Midsummer Incense” is quoted directly from Scott Cunningham’s book “The Complete Book of Incenses, Oils & Brews”, page 80, Llewellyn Publications, 1989/1992.)

Midsummer Incense #1

Midsummer Incense

Recipes by Scott Cunningham

Midsummer Incense #1:


2 parts Sandalwood
1 part Mugwort
1 part Chamomile
1 part Gardenia petals
a few drops Rose oil
a few drops Lavender oil
a few drops Yarrow oil

Burn at Wiccan rituals at the Summer Solstice (circa June 21st) or at that time to attune with the seasons and the Sun.

In the Witch’s Tool Chest: “Incense Incidentals”

beautiful Spring Day Fairy
In the Witch’s Tool Chest: “Incense Incidentals”

When choosing incense for a ritual, try picking one that matches your magickal goal. For instance, if you are doing magick for healing, you may wish to use an incense that contains eucalyptus, sandalwood or lavender. On the other hand, if you are doing magick for peace, you may want bergamot or jasmine.

Many of us love incense but have problems with allergies or sensitivity to strong spells. Luckily, there are many incense these days that are made with completely natural ingredients (essential oils instead of perfume oils) which are less likely to irritate the sensitive. Just read labels and descriptions carefully. And if you are doing a ritual inside, remember that less is more. Whatever your personal perferences, if you are doing rituals with others, it is good etiquette to go with something mild and natural, just in case.
 

Source

Everyday Witch A to Z
Deborah Blake

Herbal Spirituality: Homegrown Smudge Sticks

If you like incorporating nature into your spiritual practices, growing your own herbs for creating smudge sticks may be up your cobblestone path.

Here is a nifty instructional from YouGrowGirl.com that gives step-by-step advice on how to put these together.

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Smudge sticks are tightly bound bundles of dried woody, resinous herbs, that are slowly burned as a way to purify and cleanse the air. While the roots of burning a smudge stick, or smudging, is in North American Native purification rites and ceremony, they can be used by anyone to bring the woody smell of the outdoors inside.

If you have a garden, chances are good that you have enough ingredients to make at least one smudge stick. The traditional and most popular herbs used in smudging ceremonies are white sage (Salvia apiana), Cedar (Thuja), Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), sagebrush (Artemisia californica), and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). However, in my travels I have noticed that the smudging sticks available vary by region and there seems to be a lot of opportunity to branch out (so to speak) with other woody, resinous herbs including, but not limited to:

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), lavender, yarrow, juniper, pine, mullein (Verbascum thapsus), rosemary, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), mint (Mentha), Bee Balm (Monarda), and catnip (Nepeta cataria) to name a few.

Make Your Own Homegrown Smudge Sticks

From Left to Right: white sage; cedar and white sage; cedar, white sage, and lavender; white sage; lavender and white sage; white sage bound with two different threads; cedar, white sage, and a very woody and resinous, heady orange-scented thyme (Thymus vulgaris ‘Orange Balsam’); pine and ‘Orange Balsam’ thyme. Top: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’). I used two varieties of lavender here, but I can’t recall the name of the other.

On Growing White Sage in a Cold Climate: The other day I harvested a large white sage (Salvia apiana) plant that I have been growing in my garden’s sandy, dry bed. This plant is on the cusp of hardy in my area (I am in zone 5-5bish and its hardiness begins at zone 6), but this year I decided to free it from life in a pot to see how it did in the ground. Unlike the specimens I saw growing wild in Northern Mexico, my plant grew gigantic leaves, most likely the result of the wet season we’ve had. Still, it has a very strong, medicinal odour typical of the plant. I’ve left enough in that soil that should we have a mild winter, it just might live through to the next season.

When Choosing and Harvesting Herbs: Please be careful as some herbs — even the culinary types — don’t lend themselves well to burning and can be toxic or set off dangerous allergic or asthmatic reactions in some people. I have often seen common garden sage (Salvia officinalis) used to make smudges. Years ago I tried to burn some and did not like the smell. I have since read that this is not a safe herb to burn despite its safety in a host of other applications. When in doubt, burn a very small amount outdoors, in order to test the smell and indicate whether you might have a problem with a particular herb. I also have a dangerously strong negative reaction toyarrow, so again, please use caution with this herb.

Harvest herbs on a sunny and dry day. Moist herbs will grow mouldy inside the bundle where there is very little air. Pick herbs on the day you plan to use them; resinous herbs tend to dry very quickly and are nearly impossible to wrap tightly once dry. A final note that when harvesting from the wild please leave enough plant behind that it may live on happily and healthfully. Use a sharp knife or clippers to cut stems and never dig up the root.

Choosing String: Remember that anything you use to bind the bundle will eventually burn so it is advisable to stick with natural materials that will not give off a toxic fume or compete with the smudge smells. I try to use as little string as possible to avoid creating a strong burning string smell. I suggest using thin, organic cotton string when you can. Embroidery floss separated into 4 threads (they typically come as 6 threads) is strong enough. Use a single color of string or experiment by mixing colors. I like using a simple color to bind and a subtle colour that compliments the foliage to make the handle. Red is a common colour for ceremonial usage, which is why you will see many commercially sold bundles bound with it.

How to Bind an Herbal Smudge Stick

Make Your Own Homegrown Smudge Sticks

The key to making a successful smudge stick is in binding tightly. I liken it to cigar making in that a tight bundle of leaves burns more slowly. I also find that the plant materials shrink as they dry and a loosely tied bundle is more likely to lose bits and pieces along the way or fall apart completely. With that in mind, grasp plants firmly and give the string a tight yank each time you turn or tie.

  • Step 1. Clip herbs into similarly sized lengths. Don’t skimp out — thick bundles smoulder slowly and are better looking. Pluck off any diseased or ugly leaves. Arrange the stems into a bundle and tie a tight knot around the stem end to secure. Wrap the string around the stems a few more times and then tie another knot to secure.
  • Step 2. Grasp the bundle with one hand and begin winding the string on an angle up to the tip of the bundle. Try to use as little string as possible and pull tightly as you go. I find that large-leaved herbs don’t need much binding, while very thin leaved herbs, especially conifers require more winding to prevent the leaves from falling out. You can leave the foliage loose at the end or fold under to keep everything tight.
  • Step 3. Turn the bundle around and begin winding down back to the start, creating a criss cross pattern overtop the first strings.
  • Step 4. You can choose now to either go back up and down again, retracing the path you took with another layer of string, or you can bind off and complete. I find that the pass tends to create a tighter bundle and is a good way to pull in and secure any pieces that got away the first time around. Wind plenty of string around the base of the bundle to create a handle. You can use as much string as you want here since this part will not burn. Tie off and clip any loose strings to create a neat and finished look.
  • Step 5. Set the bundles aside somewhere dry and dark where there is good air circulation. You can hang them using thin wires or Holiday tree ornament hooks wedged underneath the handles. You can also lay them out flat to dry, but here I suggest setting them on top of a screen or very loosely woven basket that is raised up off of any solid surfaces so that air can flow underneath and around the bundles.

Wait until your bundles are completely dry (this usually takes a few weeks at least) before burning them.

How to Use a Smudge Stick

Holding the “handle” of your smudge stick, light the end (a candle works best), being careful to avoid flyaway ends and falling embers or particularly combustable herbs. Hold the burning end over a clay bowl, ashtray, or other non-flammable container at all times. Allow the stick to burn for a few seconds and when it seems like it is going, carefully, gently blow or wave it to put out the flame. Allow the stick to smoulder for a few minutes; never leave its attendance. To extinguish, smother or crush the smouldering end until it goes out. Try to avoid using water as this can ruin the stick for further use.

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Do you have a favorite smudge you like to make?  Share with us!

For the original article, check out Gifts from the Garden: Homegrown Smudge Sticks.

For dried herbs and smudge kits, pay a visit to Eupterra’s Store and subscribe for special coupons.

 

50 Essential Oil Diffuser Blend Recipes For Mind, Body & Soul

Antique gold necklace

Love diffusing essential oils? Wish you knew more recipes? Here are 50 Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes for you to try out!

For more ideas, check out Eupterra Foundation’s The Essential Series.

Why I wrote this:

I love to diffuse essential oils.

They have the ability to clean the air from free radicals, help relieve seasonal discomfort, and increase your focus or decrease your stress. Plus, they smell amazing.

But it can be tricky to know which oils to use together…pick the right ones and you have a home run. Pick the wrong ones and you are dumping your concoction down the drain.

 

So here are 50 essential oil blends that are tried and true winners.  Try them out, let me know what you think!

 

50 Essential Oil Diffuser Blend Recipes for Mind, Body & Spirit

 

Here are a couple of things to note before you start diffusing.

  1. You need a cool-air diffuser. These diffusers usually require a small amount of distilled water to be added along with essential oils. Note: Cold air diffusers ranges vary, with most around 250 feet. So if you are trying to diffuse your bedroom and living room, most likely you will need two diffusers.
  2. You will need essential oils.
  3. Diffuser recipes use between 8 – 12 drops of oil.
  4. Some recipes have several variations. It’s not that one recipe is better or worse than another, it’s that each person’s body chemistry is different and each oil can affect it differently. Feel free to experiment to find the one that works for you.

 

Essential oil diffuser blend recipes – attitude blends

 

  1. smarty pants blend 1

4 drops peppermint

4 drops cinnamon

2 drop rosemary

 

  1. smarty pants blend 2

3 drops rosemary

3 drops frankincense

3 drops peppermint

 

  1. focus blend 1

2 drops frankincense

2 drop vetiver

4 drops balance

 

  1. focus blend 2

1 drop basil

1 drop rosemary

2 drops lemon

2 drops peppermint

2 drops grapefruit

2 drops lavender

 

  1. stress away blend 1

4 drops lavender

3 drops clary sage

2 drops ylang ylang

1 drop marjoram

 

  1. stress away blend 2

4 drops frankincense

4 drops balance

 

  1. stress away blend 3

3 drops lavender

2 drops roman chamomile

2 drops ylang ylang

 

  1. calming blend 1

3 drops lavender

3 drops geranium

2 drops roman chamomile

2 drops clary sage

2 drops ylang ylang

 

  1. calming blend 2

3 drops lavender

3 drops lime

3 drops mandarin

 

  1. energy blend 1

3 drops rosemary

3 drops peppermint

3 drops lemon

 

  1. energy blend 2

2 drops grapefruit

3 drops peppermint

3 drops rosemary

 

  1. energy blend 3

3 drops wild orange

3 drops frankincense

2 drops cinnamon

 

  1. wake up blend

4 drops wild orange

4 drops peppermint

 

  1. happy blend 1

3 drops bergamot

2 drops geranium

3 drops lavender

 

  1. happy blend 2

2 drops frankincense

2 drops peppermint

2 drops wild orange

2 drops lime

 

Essential oil diffuser blend recipes – general ailment blends

 

  1. immune booster blend 1

2 drops rosemary

2 drops clove

2 drop eucalyptus

2 drops cinnamon

2 drops wild orange

 

  1. immune booster blend 2

4 drops on guard

3 drops lemon

2 drop oregano

 

  1. immune booster blend 3

5 drops on guard

2 drops lemon

1 drop melaleuca

 

  1. immune booster blend 4

2 drops lemon

1 drop lime

2 drops peppermint

1 drop rosemary

2 drops eucalyptus

1 drop clove

 

  1. immune booster blend 5

2 drop rosemary

2 drop clove

2 drop eucalyptus

2 drop cinnamon

2 drop wild orange

 

  1. sleepy time blend 1

3 drops juniper berry

3 drops roman chamomile

3 drops lavender

 

  1. sleepy time blend 2

4 drops cedarwood

3 drops lavender

 

  1. sleepy time blend 3

3 drops vetiver

3 drops lavender

2 drops frankincense

 

  1. sleepy time blend 4

3 drops balance

2 drops lavender

2 drops roman chamomile

2 drops vetiver

 

  1. sleepy time blend 5

3 drops lavender

2 drops marjoram

1 drop orange

1 drop roman chamomile

 

  1. seasonal discomfort blend

3 drops lemon

3 drops lavender

3 drops peppermint

 

  1. headache blend 1

2 drops marjoram

2 drops thyme

2 drops rosemary

2 drops peppermint

2 drops lavender

 

  1. headache blend 2

6 drops peppermint

4 drops eucalyptus

2 drops myrrh

 

  1. headache blend 3

9 drops rosemary

5 drops melaleuca

4 drops geranium

3 drops peppermint

2 drops eucalyptus

2 drops lavender

 

  1. common cold relief blend

5 drops rosemary

4 drops eucalyptus

4 drops peppermint

3 drops cypress

2 drops lemon

 

  1. breathe blend

4 drops eucalyptus

4 drops peppermint

 

  1. bye-bye insect blend 1

4 drops spearmint

4 drops peppermint

4 drops citronella

1 drop lemongrass

 

  1. bye-bye insect blend 2

2 drop lemongrass

2 drop thyme

2 drop eucalyptus

2 drop basil

 

  1. bye-bye insect blend 3

1 drop lemongrass

1 drop melaleuca

1 drop thyme

1 drop eucalyptus

1 drop rosemary

 

Essential oil diffuser blend recipes – good smelling blends

 

  1. welcoming blend

3 drops lavender

3 drops lemon

3 drops rosemary

 

  1. bliss blend

3 drops wild orange

3 drops grapefruit

2 drops lemon

2 drop bergamot

 

  1. fresh air blend 1

3 drops melaleuca

3 drops lemon

3 drops lime

 

  1. fresh air blend 2

4 drops purify

4 drops lemon

 

  1. man cave blend 1

3 drops bergamot

3 drops cypress

3 drops arborvitae

 

  1. man cave blend 2

2 drops white fir

2 drops cypress

2 drops wintergreen

 

  1. fall blend

4 drops wild orange

3 drops cinnamon

3 drops ginger

 

  1. summertime blend

3 drops grapefruit

3 drops lavender

2 drops lemon

2 drops spearmint

 

  1. spring blend

2 drop geranium

3 drops lavender

3 drops roman chamomile

 

  1. winter blend

3 drops white fir

3 drops wild orange

2 drop wintergreen

 

  1. christmas blend

4 drops patchouli

4 drops cinnamon

3 drops orange

2 drops clove

1 drop ylang ylang

 

  1. spiced chai blend

3 drops cardamom

2 drops cassia

2 drops clove

1 drop ginger

 

  1. spiced citrus blend

4 drops wild orange

3 drops cinnamon

2 drop clove

 

  1. candy store blend

4 drops wild orange

4 drop wintergreen

 

  1. woodsy blend

4 drops frankincense

3 drops white fir

2 drop cedarwood

 

  1. citrus forest blend

2 drops lime

2 drops lemon

1 drop orange

1 drop bergamot

1 drop white fir

Incense of the Day for April 20 is Crystal Purification Incense

Incense of the Day

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Crystal Purification Incense

2 parts Frankincense
2 parts Copal
1 part Sandalwood
1 part Rosemary
1 pinch finely powdered Salt
1 sm. purified Quartz Crystal point

To use, pour a bit of the incense (leaving the crystal in the jar) onto charcoal. Smolder, and pass the crystals to be purified through the smoke, visualizing the smoke wafting away the stone’s impurities. This incense can be used in conjunction with other recommended purifying rituals, or in place of them. To cleanse the crystal, leave it in sunlight for a few days, place it in running water overnight, or bury it in the Earth for a week.