Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Sun-Kissed Charm

I made these fragrant, fruity, fortune-bringers during the first new moon of the year which was luckily also the time of a partial Solar eclipse. Orange pomanders, as these are called, have been around since medieval times and was primarily used in Europe to freshen the air and to ward off disease. These days they are mainly used as holiday ornaments [1].

The basic herbs used in making orange pomander - orange, cloves, cinnamon - are associated with the Sun and the element of fire, and for that it can be also be used as a charm to bring about general good fortune. The new moon was in Capricorn, which was perfect for spell work involving career, business affairs, or anything that has to do with "getting to the top".

I'm taking advantage of the dry season since herb crafts are a bitch to do during the rainy days because of molds caused by the moisture in the air. By Imbolc, these little luck charms should be perfectly brown and firm.

The basic stuff that you need: oranges, packs of clove, and a jar of cinnamon powder.

More stuff to bring more oomph to the orange.

A mug of brewed coffee not only perks me up, but also helps to neutralize the strong smell given off by the oranges and herbs. Playing some music not only helps me get into the mood, but keeps me entertained as well while I am making these [2].

A mixture of powdered herbs: cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and bay leaf.
I poured in some Castor oil as well as a fixative.

I added a few drops of Sandalwood oil to lemon juice, which I soak the oranges into for a few seconds before rolling them into the herb mixture. Lemon juice is traditionally used to wash amulets due to its purifying nature. Sandalwood is for purification as well, and is also a fixative. Both are associated with the Moon. By soaking the orange in lemon juice I'm kind of recreating the conjunction of the sun and moon during an eclipse.

This is the hardest (and most painful) part: poking the cloves into the orange. I could have used a thimble so my fingers won't hurt much but I was lazy to find one.

Just like any talisman, these pomanders should be charged in ritual otherwise they're just fancy ornaments. But I'll be waiting for them to dry first before the actual charging, which usually takes about two weeks.

I place the finished products by the window to dry so the rays of the sun can reach them, and placed some packs of Silica gel to help absorb the moisture during these cold January nights. I'm only keeping one of these, and give the rest to some lucky folks.

Basbasan Nawa!

[1] A very useful info about pomanders:
[2] I was actually listening to the podcast "Chasing Hermes".


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