Incense Making Basics

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Most of the time when we think of incense or oils what comes to mind is the packaged stick stuff or the thick purple perfume knock off at the gas station or the dollar store or where ever. But real incenses are more complex, but many aren't hard to make at all! They are spirit lifting and the best ones are NOT mass produced. Surprising to most, they are so very easy to make! So, before I go off babbling about my favorite subject, let us dive into the tools that you should have on hand, shall we?

For Incense you will need:
    mortar & pestle (to finely powder herbs)
    coffee grinder ( is optional, most purists dont use them, but for me, they help with the rougher woods)
    a bowel or 2 (to hold ingredients)
    spoons/measuring cup/scale (so you can properly measure out how much of what went in where)
    incense burner (a non metal or plastic bowl to place ash or sand in)
    sand or ash (to place the bamboo coal on once lit)
    tweezers (to hold the coal so it can be lit and placed on the ash or sand)
    incense ingredients (woods, resins, flowers, essential oils, etc.)
    bamboo charcoal (contains non of the stinky or harmful salt peter (sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate)
    a notebook ( to record your recipes, amounts, successes and failures)


This is the way that you would make a 'non-combustible' incense. That means that it does not light on its own, therefor it does not contain harmful additions such as sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate. The very first incense that you should undertake should be a simple one. Maybe you have a favorite woodsy smell, maybe pine or sandalwood. Or maybe you favor more spicy scents such as cumin or cardamon. Either way there are more incense recipes in books and on the web than you can shake a stick at! So, here is the one secret to creating a no fail incense...every incense should have at least one resin or wood in each recipe.

If you are just starting out making incense mixtures then you should keep the number of ingredients down to three to begin with, perhaps one wood and two herbs, or one resin, one wood and one herb, etc. As you get used to making incense you can slowly expand the number of ingredients you use. Resins, often, will make a mess of your mortar and pestle and its best freeze them to get them powdered. I save them for grinding last, because you can grind and powder everything before you have to clean the mortar and pestle. You can weigh or measure each ingredient in our recipe after grinding, then keep one bowl for all our dry ingredients and another for all our resins.
Mix all your dry ingredients together first (herbs & woods), separately mix all your resins together then add your resins mixture to your dry mixture and mix together thoroughly. We like to throw the completed mixture into our mortar and pestle again and grind it all together one last time to help blend the aroma of each ingredient into the others. At this time, if you were planning on using any essential oils, now's the time.

You did it! See, I told you it wasn't all that hard, pretty easy right!?

~Gypsy


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May Give-Away!!!

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I just love give-aways! They make me happy to supply one lucky winner with a surpise! I think when the winner is anounced, that often, Im more excited than the winner is! I cant help but love to share what I do with others. So, this time the give-away will be a surprise! the items will be of my choosing and they will be all items that I myself would wish that I could win! So, items could be anything from hand crafted oils, loaded candles, gemstone jewelry, meditation beads, hand crafted incense or so much more!

Ok, so here we go...I want to put together an all around gift (at least a $25.00 value)! The product/s can range from anything about or something not yet seen on my Etsy site! There's just something about a big surprise, isn't it!?
The drawing will be held on May 20th. Winner decided by random.com

Visit My Facebook Page to Enter. 'Like' the page and comment 'giveaway' to enter. https://www.facebook.com/GypsyMagiQ

Visit my Blog to Enter. Find the post for 'May Give-Away' and comment 'giveaway' to enter. http://www.gypsy-magiq.blogspot.com
If you are visiting my blog for the first time, you may comment, but I will need an email address to contact you!

***AND FOR EXTRA SUPER DUPER CREDIT, EVERYONE WHO SIGNS UP FOR MY NEWS LETTER FROM TODAY UNTIL MAY 20TH, 2012 WILL RECEIVE A COUPON CODE WORTH 20% OFF AN ORDER AT MY ETSY SHOP!!
*Coupon Codes are valid for 2 months and are only valid in my shop.*
So Comment, Like, & Sign Up!!

Good Luck!!

~Gypsy!

Hoodoo and The Bible

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Lord, I wonder what's has got the matter
Wit' time, you know, wit' time
It seems like the hours
Oh, everything done changed

But I hold up my hand
I'm just tryin' t'make her understand
Lord, you know, everybody tells Little Junior
That somebody done hoodooed the hoodoo man

Now, I'm goin' down to Louisiana
An' get me a mojo hand
My little woman
She done quit me for some other man

Junior Wells — Hoodoo Man Blues lyrics


Hoodoo has always been close to my heart. I too practice this form of magic. Hoodoo is often confused with Voodoo, and the two are very different, like apples and oranges. Often people dont think of Hoodoo as a magical practice at all, some think of it as pure nonsense. Thinking its practitioners superstitious, and the practice not worthy. That can be further from the truth. I would like to share some information on the subject, hopefully this will enlighten someone to the practice. This is going to be one of many I hope to post on a subject that I love!

Some History...Hoodoo and the Bible

Hoodoo is often called Conjure or Root Working, a form of African American 'folk magic' melded with Native American and European practices. Hoodoo began with slaves in the deep south. Now Hoodoo has spread in all directions. The practice is often handed down from family member to family member. Myself, I wish that I could afford a copy of Hyatt's books. Hyatt wanted to document the practice from not only practitioners, but from former slaves themselves. Which to me is an invaluable resource. To me, you can get no further to the source.
Hoodoo has a close relationship to the Bible. Yes, thats right the Bible. Often using and Psalms and passages from the Old Testament. Many think that the greatest Hoodoo manual is the Bible its self. Many would think that as blasphemy, but it isnt so. Which Psalms and verses were used where, varied from practitioner to practitioner. These words were faithfully recited over candles and sickbeds, remedies and mojos, as well as other charms. Certainly, some were used in connection with roots, herbs, and other medicinal and special items. It is said that many cures are brought about by trees, roots, and herbs, but powerful cures are brought about by Word of God. Sometimes more than one of the Psalms or verses would be used with others.

A wonderful reference on this can be found at This great site..
Many such as Zora Neale Hurston, who wrote in her book,"Moses: man Of The Mountain", that Moses was 'the finest Hoodoo man in the world'. Obviously Moses and magic appear in the Bible, with Moses and the Pharaoh where Moses preformed miracles, freed the slaves from oppression, and many other things that would make one believe in the power of Moses. Which led to the use of "The Sixth and Seventh Seals of Moses" being a staple in a practitioner's belongings.

Above all oils, potions, barks or roots, stands The Bible and all of the magic it beholds.

I got my mojo working, but it just don't work on you
I got my mojo working, but it just don't work on you
I want to love you so bad, 'till I just don't know what to do

I'm going down to Louisiana, to get me a mojo hand
I'm going down to Louisiana, to get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna have all you women, get you under my command


Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Workin'

Many Blessings!
~Gypsy Come Join The Fun At The Pagan Blog Project!

Herkimer Quartz "Diamond"

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Herkimer 'Diamonds' are extremely useful in a healing environment, where their clarity and brilliance and high vibration help in the removal of energy blocks and introduce a clear, high frequency to the aura. Herkimers can assist in meditation by opening one's higher chakras and help one remain focused on the meditative state. They are highly stimulating to the third eye, crown and etheric chakras and tend to increase psychic sensitivity.

Herkimer Quartz 'Diamonds are a variety of Quartz crystal found in and around Herkimer, New York,USA. Herkimer Diamonds are beautiful double-terminated quartz crystals. Incredibly, these phenomenal gemstones are believed to be close to five hundred million years old. The crystals are magnificent works of nature found in the rock, appearing to have been precision cut by man and having a diamond-like geometrical shape thus, the name “Herkimer Diamonds” Many collectors believe the Herkimer Diamond should rival a true diamond. Their reasoning for this is a true diamond found in the “rough” is exactly that, a rough appearing glass-like stone. A real diamond must be cut by man to give it smooth faces and a geometrical shape.

Herkimer Diamonds are not diamonds. A true diamond is one of the hardest elements known to man, scoring a ten on a one to ten hardness scale. Herkimer Diamonds are harder than all quartz crystals. They fall at about 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, giving the real diamond a close race.

The majority of the Herkimer Diamonds have eighteen faces. Six triangular faces form the termination points on each end of the crystal. These are separated by a group of six square or rectangular faces. This conglomeration often results in a diamond shape. Variance in the plane of a face surface on a Herkimer Diamond has been measured at less than two thousandths of an inch. Even with today’s technology, man has a tough time duplicating the precision nature has performed on the Herkimer Diamond.

Herkimers can be clear or included. Inclusions are often black carbon deposits. Some Herkimers are smokey rather than colorless, and larger crystals frequently exhibit skeletal Quartz formations. Inclusions of water are found in a small percentage of these crystals. Water included Herkimers are special healers of the emotional body. They assist one in looking at one's deepest self and in bringing the light of Spirit into dark places. In clear Herkimers, water inclusions channel the stone's effect on the heart center, creating an illuminating and uplifting energy that causes experiences of rapture. In foggier Herkimers, the water inclusion helps one to see what one fears most within one's self, while making one open to receive a clear, self-loving feeling.

The Mohawk Indians who lived in this area were known as 'The People of the Flint' but today it is believed that the original translation was in error and the correct translation of their language describes them as 'The People of the Crystals'. The Mohawk River and it's tributaries drain the central portion of New York and have eroded the bedrock for eons. This weathering released Herkimer Diamonds into the stream beds for collection by the native people. Both the Iroquois and Mohawk Indians who first roamed Herkimer County, found diamonds laying loose in the soil. There is evidence of the crystals being used for tools and weapons. At some Indian burial grounds, arrowheads carved from Herkimer Diamonds have been excavated. There is no evidence so far that the Indians used these crystals for adornment. However it is thought that the indians believed the quartz crystals to be "spirit stones".

Why You Should Own A Herkimer Quartz Diamond

~ Herkimers are believed to be the most powerful of all the quartz crystals.
~ They are also called the attunement stone.
~ They assist in telepathic communication.
~ Help to attune one to their higher self.
~ Herkimers are believed to be the most powerful of all the quartz crystals.
~ They are also called the attunement stone, allowing the one using it to attune themselves to other people, environments or groups.
~ They are believed to carry the energy of healing and of love to facilitate healing of others. and of the planet.
~ They stimlate clairvoyant ability.
~ They assist in telepathic communication.
~ Helps one to open to their inner visions.
~ Herkimers are believed to be the most powerful of all the quartz crystals.
~ They are also called the attunement stone, allowing the one using it to attune themselves to other people, environments or groups.
~ They are believed to carry the energy of healing and of love to facilitate healing of others. and of the planet.
~ They stimlate clairvoyant ability.
~ They assist in telepathic communication.
~ Help to attune one to their higher self.
~ Herkimers are believed to be the most powerful of all the quartz crystals.
~ They are also called the attunement stone, allowing the one using it to attune themselves to other people, environments or groups.
~ They are believed to carry the energy of healing and of love to facilitate healing of others. and of the planet.
~ They stimlate clairvoyant ability.
~ They assist in telepathic communication.
~ They help to clear and open the chakras.
~ Relieves tension and promotes peace of mind.
~ Helps to bring you compassion for others.
~ Also known as a dream stone, it is excellent for vivid dreaming and remembering dreams (put one under your pillow).
~ Helps to recall past lives.


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Many Blessings!
~Gypsy

The Evil Eye: What is it? History, Meaning & Lore

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Chances are you have seen this famous symbol many times. You've probably even worn one, and you've definitely seen someone wearing an evil eye amulet. You may have witnessed a person give the evil eye look (and you may have even given it yourself). But do you know the deep and meaningful history of the evil eye symbol, and do you know how popular and prevalent the evil eye is throughout a plethora of different cultures? Below is the need-to-know information on the symbol that is so popular, it is currently one of the most trendy pieces of jewelry.
History and Meaning of The Evil Eye
The symbol and superstition of the evil eye is one of the strongest symbolic images in the world. Yet, despite the differences in the cultures which hold the evil eye myth, it retains largely the same meaning no matter where the story is told. In its most basic form, the evil eye is thought of as a look given to inflict harm, suffering, or some form of bad luck on those that it is cast upon. It is a look which clearly states that one intends for something bad to happen to the object of one's focus, either out of jealousy or pure malice. The superstition of the evil eye holds that the malicious look is powerful enough to bring about actual disaster for the unfortunate person that is the receiver of the glare.
The earliest known evidence for belief in the evil eye goes back to ancient Greece and Rome. There, it was believed that the evil eye was the largest threat to anyone who had been praised too much, or received admiration beyond what they truly deserved. The praised person would become so swollen with pride that he or she would bring about his or her own doom via the evil eye, which was believed to be able to cause physical and mental illness. In fact, any disease which did not have an immediate, obvious cause was thought to be caused by the evil eye. It was thought that the gods and goddesses were punishing those who had become too proud of their achievements, and destroyed them with the power of the evil eye to restore them to the level of mere mortals. A belief in the evil eye is widespread on every continent.
The Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Central America all fear the evil eye. In Shahih Muslim Book 26, the prophet Muhammad warns about the dangers of the evil eye and says that one must take a bath in order to counteract the effects of the evil eye's power. Much as in Classic Greece and Ancient Rome, Islamic culture holds that excessive praise will bring about the ill effects of the evil eye. Thus, instead of praising an adorable child, one is supposed to say that God has willed the child's good lucks, or risk endangering the youth. Ashkenazi Jews also believe that excessive praise causes a vulnerability to the evil eye, and will repeat a Yiddish phrase, "Keyn aynhoreh!" meaning no evil eye in order to protect against it.
The evil eye is a powerful superstition in India. Hinduism preaches that the eye is the most powerful point at which the body can give off energy. Thus, a strong fear of an evil look from the eye makes sense; the evil eye holds enormous powers. The Hindus fear that even an admirable eye can bring about ill luck, resulting in the supply of milk from cows drying up (again, this idea dates back to the fear of undue praise, first warned against in Greece). In fact, the Hindus will offer the admiring glancer a bowl of milk to counteract the threat of the evil eye. The Hindus believe that jealousy is at the root of the power of the evil eye, whether in the form of a malicious or admirable look. Interestingly, the Hindus teach that the times of change in life--as in during puberty, marriage, or childbirth-- one is most vulnerable to the threat of the evil eye. What is more, Hindus believe that even animals such as the snake are capable of giving one the evil eye. The Hindus believe that, even though men are capable of casting the evil eye, women are the most common sources of the glance. For this reason, in South India women will paint their eyelids black to protect themselves from the evil eye, and to prevent themselves from eyeing another with the look.
In South America, Brazil holds a superstition equivalent to the evil eye known as the fat eye. Compliments which are sincere are not feared to cause the evil eye to attack as in other countries, but insincere compliments are thought to put one at stake. In Europe, the myth of the evil eye also originated with the idea that envious or malicious looks had the power to bring about bad luck. The largest source of the evil eye was believed to be witches. Yet those with eye colors which were rare were also seen as powerful possessors of the evil eye look. For instance, Germans feared those with red eyes. In Ireland, those with squinty eyes were feared to be evil eye sorcerers. In Italy, the unibrow was another sign that one would cast an evil eye.
The fear of the evil eye did not carry over to America, except in the form of a metaphor. While the superstition is not intense enough to take precaution, the evil eye is seen as impolite, and a warning that the source of the evil eye has bad intentions.
In different Languages The Evil Eye is Known As:
Hebrew Evil Eye- Ayin Hara
Turkish Evil Eye- Nazar Boncugu
Italian Evil Eye- Mal Occhio
Farsi- Bla Band
Arabic- Ayin Harsha
Scotland- Droch Shuil
Spanish- Mal Ojo or El Oja
France- Mauvais Oeil
Germany- Busen Blick
Romans- Oculus Malus

Methods of Protection From The Evil Eye
In addition to the use of evil eye amulets, the Greeks would carry incense or the cross as protection against the evil eye. New mothers would keep objects as protection under their pillows or on their heads, and these included red, black, or white strings, a nail, gunpowder, bread, salt, garlic, a ring, indigo blue, or a pair of silver buckles. Each of these objects held a meaning which made it a good defense against the evil eye. For instance, gunpowder symbolized an ability to fight back against the evil eye. The nail symbolized strength. The indigo held its power in its blue coloring. Salt was a symbol of preservation and strength.
Evil Eye Remedies
If these preventative steps failed, however, the Greeks had many more remedies against the evil eye. In some villages, the fur of a bear would be burned to cure the curse. In others, a gypsy would massage the forehead to get rid of the ill effects of the evil eye. In many countries, including Greece, Armenia, and Assyria, it is thought that a pinch on the rear will remedy the curse of the evil eye. In Europe, some Christians have the tradition of creating the sign of the cross with their hands, while at the same time pointing the index and pinky finger toward the source of the evil eye. In Bangladesh, a black dot is drawn on the forehead of children to ward off the evil eye curse. Pretty young women have a secret dot drawn in kohl behind their ears to protect against the evil eye.
Evil Eye Talismans and Amulets
Phrases and rituals are not the only way to protect against the power of the evil eye. The most popular method of escaping the evil eye's effects in many cultures is by the use of evil eye talismans, evil eye symbols, and evil eye jewelry. These are meant to reflect the power of the evil look. The evil eye amulet originated in Greece, where it was known as an apotropaic amulet, meaning that it reflected harm. The most basic design of the evil eye, prevalent in the Middle East, is a talisman designed with concentric blue and white circles made to symbolize the evil eye, known as the nazar. It is often used on houses, vehicles, or jewelry. One of the most powerful examples of the evil eye amulet in the Middle East and
Africa is the Hamsa, also known as the Hand of Fatima. The hamsa is a hand-shaped symbol with the evil eye on the palm. The hamsa can be used in wallpaper or jewelry to ward off the evil eye. The hamsa is also found in Jewish culture, where it is known as the "Hand of God" or the "Hand of Miriam". The popularity of Kabbalah has revived the hamsa and influenced its presence in jewelry and design.
The Evil Eye in Modern Life
The evil eye still has powerful influence in modern life, pop culture, and even jewelry and design. Who is not familiar with the phrase the evil eye, or thought to have caught someone casting it their way at least once or twice before? In Turkey, the Evil Eye is ingrained in every day life and has deep symbolism throughout the culture. The Evil Eye pendant is affixed to anything that is perceived to attract greed, envy, or ill-will. In Turkey, you will find the Evil Eye symbol on currency, in homes and offices, hanging from the necks of newborn children and farm animals, and in the foundations of buildings.
Evil Eye Jewelry
The evil eye is an extremely popular piece in jewelry design at the moment. In recent years many celebrities, ranging from Madonna, Britney Spears, The Olsen Twins, Mick Jagger, and Nicole Richie (just to name a few) have been photographed wearing red Kabbalah bracelets, which are thought to be another method of protection against the evil eye. When Lindsay Lohan appeared in court recently, she went wearing an evil eye necklace. The evil eye amulet has been worn in public by celebrities such as as Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, Lauren Conrad, and Rhianna. Clearly, this iconic and stylish image has only increased in popularity. Interestingly, the evil eye seems to make a lot of sense in our current world. The idea that too much fame, fortune, success, or praise can bring about one's downfall makes, especially in celebrity culture, might reinforce the notion of the evil eye. Millions of believers would probably tell you just that. Whatever the case, those most often in the spotlight, such as celebrities, or those with success or reasons to be proud, should probably carry with them the protection of an evil eye amulet or evil eye talisman -- just to be safe! http://www.jewishgi ftplace.com/ What-is-the- Evil-Eye. html
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