Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oil-extraction of aromatic terpinoids

A friend asked how I make my herb butter.  This is how:

These are general instructions for making an infused oil or butter.  They are good for any kind of herbal potion where you want to isolate the oil-soluble components from the water-soluble ones.  It is especially good for extracting aromatic terpenoids.

The first step is "potentiate" and awaken the herb in question however seems best to you.  Call to its spirit, and ask it to awaken this part of itself.  For some plant spirits, you will want to slowly warm the herb in the oven, but DO NOT brown it.

These instructions assume about 1/4 of an ounce of dried herb to 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, but you can change the proportions depending on what the butter is for.  You can also use any other kind of edible oil, solid or liquid.  I usually make 2 sticks at a time.

Next, you want to grind the herb very fine, powdered is best.  I use a Mr. Coffee grinder, which I am very happy with.

You will now need a smallish (1-2 quart) ceramic or pyrex bowl or casserole dish and a crock pot.  Put about an inch of water in the bottom of your crock pot.   Fill the dish halfway up with water, then add the butter and the ground herb.

Put the bowl in the crock pot, cover, and set on low.

Wait at least 4 hours, but no more than 12.  Your whole house is going to smell like the herb in question.  Check on your mixture, and stir it.  The water should be green (because chlorophyll is water soluble).  Take the dish out of the crock pot, and transfer it to the fridge until the butter re-hardens.

Pop the butter of the water.  Throw out the water (or reserve it for the garden or for spellwork).  Pour new water, and put the butter back in.  Put the dish back in the crockpot, set it on low, and wait 4-12 hours again.

This time, the water should be much less green.  If it is still very green, repeat one more time.

After you have popped your cold butter off, dry it on a paper towel.  Put it in a pot or bowl with no water, and melt it.  DO NOT LET IT BUBBLE.  Pour the melted butter slowly through cheesecloth or a strainer to remove the herb particles.  Store in the fridge indefinitely.  Can be used anywhere normal butter is, including for baking brownies or making grilled cheese or garlic bread (my favorite uses).  It's also an excellent spell component, can be burned in a oil lamp, or used an an anointing salve Many oil-soluble chemicals can cross into the bloodstream in low doses this way, but it is a MUCH smaller dose than eating the same amount.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How To: Scrying. Part Three

You should have already read and experimented with the techniques in part 1 and part 2.  I'm going to teach two different methods for magical scrying. One is intended more for seeing the future, and one for communicating with spirits.  However, you can use either method for any kind of scrying.

Predictive Scrying

This method was taught to me by Arbatel, angel of the East, angel of Revelation.  You can do it on any kind of surface, but it's traditionally done in a glass of wine on shabbas eve (ie, Friday night).  This predictive method is about looking for "paths of possibility", trying to figure out what happens as a result of our choices.  At each "pivot point" the paths spread out, but they tend to "clump together" as you move out.  Our goal is to survey the branches, and find those which seem "best", and then try and figure out how to get there.  Do whatever you like to enter trance and get in "the zone" and then sink.  This should be a real physical feeling of going down (ie, with gravity).  If you're not accustomed to underworld journeying, that's ok; this is a very easy place to learn, we won't be going very far down.  Just center yourself, breathe deeply, and pretend you are a tree, with roots winding down, down, down into the center of the earth.  

Once you have sunk, begin reading aloud.  You may want to record yourself while you do this.  When you are first learning, it is hard to remember what you saw/said while entranced once you are "back up".

"A single river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. The name of one is Pishon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; there is the crystal and the onyx stone. The name of the second river is Gichon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Cush. The name of the third river is Chidekel-Tigris; that is the one that flows to the east of Ashur. And the fourth river, that is Perat-Euphrades." (Gen 2:10-14)

Of the four rivers, two are known, familiar rivers in the world-as-it-is.  The Tigris and Euphrates, the cradle of civilization, the rivers at the center of the world.  The other two rivers are unknown.  I have heard the Nile, the Ganges, and the Indus all floated as suggestions for the Pishon and also the Gichon.  However, I think these attempts to identify them are misguided.  Better, at least for this, to think of the Single Source river as splitting first into two world, this one and the Other Place, and then each of those splitting into two options.  Try, if you can, to follow the paths of all four rivers, in both worlds, while remaining in the Single Source headwater.  If you must, do it as two sets of two, but it's better if you can split into four all at once.  But, if not, that's ok.  Just pretend that you can; it only takes practice.

Look at the candlelight flickering on the surface of the wine (or whatever surface you've chosen to scry on).  Call out to the river Pishon, touch your finger to the surface of the water, and bring it to your lips.  Focus on the leftmost path.  Watch the surface of the wine until an image appears.  Name the image aloud (a cat wearing a crown)  It is possible that, instead of an image appearing, a word will form in your head.  If so, speak the word or phrase aloud.  This is the keyword of what is coming on the deepest spiritual level, the world of Atzilut.

Call out to the river Gichon, and once again bring a drop of wine to your lips.  Focus on the inner left path.  Again, wait for a word or an image.  Name it aloud.  This is the keyword of Beriah, of things that take form in the spirit world but manifest in the physical.

Next is Chidekel-Tirgris.  Here we emerge into the world of physical things which impact the spirit world.  The world of Yetzirah.

Finally, call to the river Perat-Euphrates.  Here is the world of Assiah, the world of the material.

Take a moment to consider your keywords.  These are the forcs that are swirling about now and in the immediate future.  It speaks of tonight's shabbas dinner.  Of the conversation that evening.  Of the day tomorrow, and the dawn of the week.  Here you are talking about things that are already set in motion.

You'll probably need to recenter yourself in the Single Source of the Waters of Paradise.  Here the river of life burble and sing around you.  Smell it's coolness and wetness; feel the way it sparkles and reflects on your skin.  When you are ready, call out to the Pishon again, and go further down the river.  It splits into four streams; follow them all at once.  Call out the images or words that come to you.

Continue with the other three rivers, for a total of 20 (the 4 original, and 16 new ones at this level).

If you feel you can, move on again, this time you will need to find 64 keywords.  I often find that, at this level, I just begin to speak.  DO NOT try to interpret while you scry.  Interpreting comes later and involves a whole other part of your brain.

Tomorrow, I'll teach another scrying method, this one involved channeling the Titaness Phoebe, the Great Illuminator.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How To: Dark Mirror Scrying, part two

Part One of this post.

Sorry it took so long to write part two.  I forgot about it.  If there's ever a post that you want me to write more about PLEASE tell me in the comments.

So, in the last lesson, we learned the right state for one's eyes to be in while scrying.  Next, we'll learn where to find the visions.  Finally, we'll learn the magic for making the visions be the right ones, and not just random gibberish.

The next thing to do is to learn how to see things that aren't there.  Step one is to read the wikipedia article on pareidolia.

Next, you need to pick a surface to watch on.  When beginning, I believe that, by far, the easiest thing to start with is clouds.  Choose a sunny, pleasant day when their are clouds in the sky, and lie down somewhere with an unobstructed view of the clouds.  Because the clouds are far away, it should be easy to focus on them while keeping your eyes "open".  Try to look through the clouds, the very edges of the universe.  Watch for figures that appear and dissipate in the clouds.  For right now, don't try to interpret them, just call them out as you see them.  You might see animals, faces, or even whole scenes.  Do this for at least an hour.  It is best to practice this exercise whenever you can, even if only for a minute or two.  (you don't have to lie down for short sessions)  Again, there is no magic to this, it's an inherent skill all humans have, but some adults have forgotten.

Once you have re-taught yourself this skill you surely had in childhood of seeing visions in the clouds, move on to a slightly harder version: seeing visions on the ceiling.  The ideal ceilings for this are the kind with a texture to the plaster.  If you don't have that kind, that's ok too.
The ceiling in my new (temporary) ceiling has an excellent pattern for scrying.  The fractal-ish branch/splotches mean I get a lot of tree roots and mountains and antlers and blood vessels in my visions here.
Lie back on your bed or sofa, and let your eyes drift open.  Stare up at the ceiling and let your mind wander.  Don't try to empty your mind, or quiet it, just let it chatter on in the background, while you mostly don't pay attention to it, like a bore at a cocktail party, thinking your own thoughts, dreaming your own daydreams.  Put some trippy music on if you want.  Watch the ceiling, and look into and through the texture with your open eyes.  Slowly, images will begin to appear and move, crawling, and slithering, shifting and morphing.  Just watch, mellow and open, and call out the images as you see them, as if describing shapes in the clouds to an invisible lover.  (this makes it easier to remember what you have seen, and it helps settle the images, by naming them)  For now, don't try to interpret them, or ask any questions. This should be fun!  Don't concentrate on trying to make images appear, or they will flee.  Just chill out, watch with the mindset of a stones hippy, laying on a hillside, watching shapes in the clouds.  If you're really having trouble, the Great Green Goddess of the Hippies will teach you, but you need to learn to do it without her assistance eventually.

Part three, with the actual magic, later tonight.