Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Nihil SIgil

Speaking of paper talismans, here is one that has been particularly useful for me these days. Well, techically it's not a sigil but heck, the name's got a nice ring to it.

I also call it the Triangle of Negation, or the "pigil" sigil ("pigil" being Tagalog for the word "prevent"). It's based on the classic ABRACADABRA charm. Unlike my other talismans, the words written on it are pretty obvious and straightforward. It's three sides nicely accentuates its correspondence to Saturn, whose number is three. In classical Western magic, Saturn is the planetary sphere to work with for purposes of banishment and destruction.

I admit, this was originally designed for 'evil' purposes, but actually it's doing me more good than harm.

Want to control your diet? Place it on the fridge.
Prevent yourself from impulsive spending? Put it on your wallet.
Fight your addiction to Facebook? Stick it onto the computer monitor.

The paper was stained in a potion of black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, rust, bone dust and god knows what else (I forgot the rest). To make the most of Saturnian energies, it is to be made and charged on a Saturday, during the hours of Saturn, and preferably when the moon is in Scorpio.

Basbasan Nawa!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Three Other Things a Witch Can Do with Herbs

As a modern (and lazy) witch, I just buy my magical herbs from the magical grocery store. The problem I get with this is that I end up buying about a cupful of herbs, use a teaspoonful or two for oils, tinctures, and gris-gris bags, and then the remaining herbs would be left on stock for seemingly eternity.

It's probably just me being O.C. but I couldn't stand seeing jars of spices and herbs sitting around doing nothing, so I had to think of other stuff to use them for.

1. Herb-Powered Paper talismans.

While I don't make herbal oils and charms that often, I do make talismans a lot.

To prepare the paper to be used in making talismans, I simply make an infusion or tea of the appropriate herb(s) and soak the paper in it for some time. The color of herb infusions take a while to get into the paper so I usually let the paper soak into the infusion overnight. Sometimes I would mix the remaining infusion with acrylic paint to make magical ink for writing the symbols with.

I'm happier using tea-stained papers for making talisman than cardboard and metal. That aged parchment color just make them look especially arcane.

A Mercurian-Jupiterian talisman on tea-stained paper being prepared for consecration.

2. Let Them Simmer.

Herbs and spices are often used to make raw incenses, but I honestly don't like making my own. It's fairly easy to do, but it's tough to use. For some reason, I couldn't keep a charcoal burning long enough, and putting incense periodically into the censer sometimes ruin the ritual mood for me.

I find that simmering the herbs on water in an aromatherapy oil diffuser is a useful alternative. I don't have to tend to the candle flame and it doesn't suffocate me with smoke. However, compared to incenses, the smell is very subtle so I find it more useful for meditation than magical rituals.

Actually I don't use an oil diffuser anymore. I use a glass bowl on a metal tripod, which I received as a birthday gift from a friend. I find it so fun mixing herbs on hot water that sometimes I get carried away and forget the meditation entirely.

Though I haven't tried it yet, I figure this sort of thing can be used for divination too. I might give it a go sometime. I've always wanted to feel like one of those evil witches in Disney cartoons skrying into the boiling liquid of a sinister-looking cauldron.

Cinnamon. Smells like Christmas.

3. Protect Your Altar from Vermin.

I once offered a bowlful of rice grains to Ganesh and noticed thereafter that it was dwindling day by day. I have almost come into believing that the Lord Ganesh had been miraculously consuming my offerings. But to my utter shock (and regret) I woke up one night to find a pair of mice having dinner on my offering bowl! It's as if my altar have become a romantic Asian restaurant, with candles and flowers and all.

Eventually I learned that spice repels mice - especially the strong-smelling ones. So on my altar I placed a small woven box filled with bay leaves, cloves, ginger root and some pepper, and thankfully there has no longer been any dinner-dating mice on my altar ever since.

Herbs and spices apparently also repel other types of vermin - like moth and silverfish, which tend to make a snack of our beloved books. Making a sachet of strong-smelling herbs and putting it somewhere within the bookshelves would help keeping these little demons out of the way.

Basbasan Nawa!

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