I am preparing my stall at the Samhain Celebration in Gotha (Germany) on November 4. All orders placed until October 15 will ship in time for Halloween. All orders placed after October 15 will be shipped by the 2nd week of November. Shipping times on my etsy listings have been updated accordingly. Thanks for your understanding!
More updates on the event, my stall and exhibition to follow this week…
This incense blend is dedicated to the rituals surrounding the summer solstice, when the sun reaches it’s annual zenith. The ophidian seal adorning the vessels that contain the solstice incense, is inspired by the viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare) herb.
The ingredients for this blend are the herbs and flowers traditionally associated with the summer solstice. The incense blend evokes in particular a vision of a summer meadow at dusk: bushes of blue flowering viper’s bugloss cover the ground and transform into nests of serpents. Plantain, thistle and St. John’s wort grow at its side. Nearby, the fragrant yellow flowers of the evening primrose glow in the evening light and emit their sweet scent into the sweltry air, attracting the most wondrous kind of fairy folks…
Use this incense blend for cleansing, purification and letting go of the old, for protection, renewal, celebrating the night, inspired dreaming and creativity. The blend can also aid in decision making: cast out the serpent as a symbol of “evil” or embrace it as a symbol of wisdom and become a serpent yourself.
A commission I have been working on for a few weeks and which happened to be completed on the seventh of this month, was the creation of an incense blend for Qayin and his twin-sister/bride Qalmana. The ingredients for these blends are mainly inspired from the workings outlined in Liber Falxifer I and II.
Both blends were completed at the stroke of midnight from August 6 to August 7. At this time Venus was retrograde and at the edge of “plunging” into the underworld. Dark astrology says, “Particularly matters connected with ‘poison’ are accentuated badly”.
I took inspiration from this dark venus aspect and enhanced my Qayin blend with some venific herbs, such as aconite, henbane and mandrake root, which are added in moderate amounts. These address the poisoner aspect and at the same time all have links to necromancy and the underworld. Further ingredients, that count among the more traditional are myrrh, patchouli, blackthorn, sandalwood, wormwood and yew. Cloves are added for fragrance as well as palo santo wood. Tobacco, long pepper and red chili pepper spice up and enhance the blend’s effectiveness. Some rare additions are ebony dust and ironwood shavings, the latter which have been granted to me by a long-time customer. Beside myrrh resin I added also black copal (one of my all time favorites) and opoponax as well as asafoetida. These all possess to links to the dead and necromancy as well as underline the darker aspects of the Qayin. Red carnation flower petals, black and yellow mustard seeds and some more ingredients refine this incense blend, which is suited for special occasions and feast days but also as part of regular offerings.
Scent: earthy, spicy, hot, but at the same time fresh, resembling the smell of a cold grave or crypt, dominant notes of clove, cypress and opoponax
The incense blend for Qalmana in turn, has an overall flowery sweet scent and emphasizes benific aspects of Venus, such as beauty, lovingness and splendor but at the same time also has protective qualities. It contains among others flowers of apple, cherry, elder, lilac and rose. Precious benzoe siam resin, labdanum, vanilla bean etc. combined with spicy ingredients such as coriander and clove yield an exceptional, sweet, floral mystical fragrance. Besides these the blend contains also rosewood as well as whitethorn. The latter is added also to underline the twin/dual aspect of Qalmana towards her spouse, whose incense blend contains blackthorn. A small amount of blue Papaver somniferum seeds reveres the queen of magical plants and adds a dark touch.
Characteristic for both incense blends are woods and resins, as well as fruits, leafs and flowers from thorny trees, such as myrrh, rose, whitethorn and blackthorn respectively, in harmony with the esoteric doctrine pertaining to the path of thorns, upon which Qayin and Qalmana guide their disciples. Protective and baneful, benific and venific elements balance out each other. The blends come along strong and may be mixed in equal amounts with myrrh and frankincense or copal.
Both blends happened to amount to 182 ml each. I am currently not able to sell them on a larger scale. But I consider offering simplified versions better suited for daily usage soon.
On the side, I do not know of any other book dealing as exhaustively with the female counterpart of Qayin as LF II. And it is with some excitement that I see Ixaxaar announce a 3rd and even 4th volume in the series. Looking beyond the controversy surrounding these books they still remain as works of love and devotion to the spirits. They also continue delivering interesting details and pieces in the puzzle to those, who continue searching…
In my part of the world the past new moon occured close to the midnight hour and when the moon was just entering into the sign of Scorpio. In addition friends and followers in Eastern Asia and most of North America could simultaneously witness a beautiful partial solar eclipse. An astrologically and magically interesting time, some would already hold their Samhain celebrations on this night, closing another circle, saying farewell to the old and inaugurating a new year. It is the beginning of a liminal time, when the veil between the world of the living and the other side thinnens. It is believed the souls of the deceased – both beloved or malign, familiar or nameless – come to visit and contact the living, in dream or even physically. Temperatures are dropping, you see your breath in the cold air. The trees are yet aflame in autumn colors but will soon turn barren. Winter is just around the corner.
I felt it sooner this year than usual, perhaps owed to the early arrival of summer, autumn and winter are coming earlier as well. And it feels like its going to be a cold one. I experienced some dark days and nights, where I turned inside and contemplated, what has been done and what can and will be done. I got inspired and wrote these lines:
I feel the change of season
this autumn fire
the nights getting longer
the impending darkness
this cold breath down my neck.
But I am aflame and
burning with passsion
to a degree that it
almost consumes me.
Memories and dreams
the future and the past
they are merging
in a round-dance of autumn leaves
in the yellow light of street lamps
or in the dim grayness of
one drizzly September day.
I am day dreaming
and the world around me becomes
like the surface of a pond
into which I dip my finger
and suddenly the whole picture
starts to ripple and disperse
and the voices of people talking to me are muted
and I hear something else.
The veil is thinning.
I am dreaming of reconciliation.
I hear from a lot of people this year has been their worst by far. Some say they felt a strong negative Saturn influence in their life. Things being stolen or lost, relationships breaking apart, unexpected changes for the worse and in some instances also suicide attempts. There was a lot happening around me and for all I know there is little in life to rely on. Believes and faith, relationships and worldly values are questioned and challenged. And the idea that from loss and pain still something good or even better arises, may infact not always hold true. Yet the quality of conversations improves, deepens. Superficialties don’t suffice any longer. And I still feel lucky. I do have my self, my work, and spirits and friends to turn to. Even if they may be struggeling themsselves; as long as there is a shared will to continue and work towards better times – not sit and wait – there is reason for hope.
What really helps me during times, when there is apparently nothing positive at all, is the feedback I receive from you, my customers and followers. It does indeed mean a great deal to me. It is one reason why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I continue this project. Feedback such as this:
Having received one of your plant sigil card sets, I wanted to thank you for your work and express my gratitude in having received one. It is a beautifully crafted work, with an obvious spine of honesty, experience and exploration. A profound expression of the green, from the veils of the divine. – JR/O.
Thank you and all who write me messages, comment, like and fave! Thanks to over 2000 followers on facebook and 500 on tumblr, thanks to my watchers on deviantArt and elsewhere! Thanks to the loud and silent supporters and the imps and gnomes and wizzards doing ‘magic’ in the background and spreading the word! You know who you are.
And though it is true that this is often a lonely path we do take inspiration from another, consciously or unconsciously. I like to think that the same spirits contact us individually and sometimes they whisper the same and other times different things into our ears. Tuesday I thought about harvesting Belladonna under the waning moon. But the night was cold and rainy and there was no sharp shining crescent sickle to be seen that would have called for harvest. Thursday I read of Harold Roth‘s plan to harvest Belladonna under the new moon. I first thought no, lets leave them for another month or wait for next year’s Walpurgis. But then I gave it a second thought, went outside short before midnight and the conditions were just right.
The midnight hour was the hour of Venus and the dark moon had just entered Scorpio. A fitting constellation for working with the poisonous (scorpio) green (venus), and the darker aspects of the goddess (black moon), of whom the Belladonna is evocative. The Deadly Nightshade also has connections to the Germanic myths of the Wild Hunt, especially the Valkyries, daughters of heaven and earth (Wotan and Erda), who accompany the souls of the warriors that died in battle, to their final destination in Valhalla, which is reflected in the German name “Walkerbeere”. The Wild Hunt is said to begin with Samhain and culminates during the Winter Solstice and following nights. My first abstract vision of the plant’s essence shows her infront of a dark stormy sky with flashes of lightning and blood is raining from black clouds.
I took two roots, grown in pots, and both about 3 years old. The plants have flowered ready and the lasts berries are also ripe. In fact the stems are already slowly dying back and new green sprouts come from the root base. So it was indeed good timing. Especially since the following nights were even colder and the green parts don’t survive freezing. It makes sense that the time around Samhain is traditionally the time for the last harvest, which is then put up in the home for drying.
I also encountered a surprise when digging up the second plant as it had grown a long tap-root. It wouldn’t take an end and I actually could not unearth it wholly. I had to dig much deeper to get to the end of the part still stuck in the ground and it turned out that entire thing was indeed over 40 cm long!
I removed the soil manually, then cleaned them in rainwater and put them on the harvest altar, together with previously harvested roots. I lit beeswax candles and offered libation. I noticed a spicy smell and, though I used gloves, felt actually a bit benumbed from the fumes. I learned that the alkaloids concentrate in the root during autumn and winter. It may well be possible these two roots have a higher potency. They are now drying slowly and I plan to later make fetishes with them that tie together visullay the mentioned astrological and magical aspects. Below are a few pictures to show you their raw beauty:
In September I had already gathered leaves and sprigs, which I put between newspaper pages for drying. What do you read in there? It’s been a Belladonna year for sure!
Yet there are plenty of other herbs (and for that matter also seeds!) and so I find myself again running around the house and garden, collecting, sorting and processing all sorts of green harvest. It will still be a giant task to take photos of everything and make it available for ordering. I am also working on a larger herbal commissions, which includes labeling and filling custom bottles for a client.
At least I am ready now with rearranging our front garden (more about this later) and next is the raised bed. So lots to do this week until the official Samhain date. And I still have a very special interview in the making, as well as news concerning my contributions to the third Pillars Periodical Journal! But all in good time. 🙂
So long, after so much deadly nightshade here is now another plant, which embodies the month of October: the Chinese Aconite (Aconitum carmichaelii), or Herbst-Eisenhut, as it is called in German, is the last of the aconites to flower and brightens up the October month with its lush blue-violett inflorescences. It’s poisonous as hell too and another name for aconite was in fact Scorpio. The aconite, as the ‘king of poisons’ is in different ways to be seen as a counterpart to the belladonna or ‘queen of poisons’, who’s atropine is the physiological antidote in aconite poisoning. Now I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing the test. However I do like to grow them besides each other, for higher inspiration and guidance. In fact, I do have quite a few aconite and belladonna seedlings to plant out yet… Yep, lots do! 🙂
Finally done! Here are the latest sets of cards with my plant-inspired sigils. Wrapped in autumn-colored peacock marble paper, fitting for the autumnal equinox.
As you know I am dedicating sigils to each herb I work with and keep posting these sigils here and elsewhere. In March this year I made a first print set of these abstract sigilic emanations, which I brought with me for the London Magical Arte event. The cards were passed around, single motifs were discussed and became the basis for inspired conversation. At the time I had only printed the cards but not yet made a nice packaging for them. Later I made a slipcase with paper bought from my local bookbinder. Thus far two smaller editions have been done for the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, now followed by a 3rd for the Autumn Equinox of 15 sets, the content being:
45 cards with plant sigils printed black on heavy paper vergé
4 colored cards with my ‘soul-paintings’
numbered edition specific title card
list with names of corresponding herbs
introduction to the cards
All cards are hand-numbered on the back. With the help of a list you find the name of the corresponding herb for each card. There is no prescribed method of laying the cards. Possible ways of interpreting and laying them are outlined in the introduction that comes with each set.
Price: 31 Euro for one set + shipping – SOLD
Update: as of September 28 these are all sold. I hope to be doing a larger edition in the future with the help of the funds gathered through the sale of these first editions. If you wish to receive one of the next please message me at email@example.com
What took months in the making is now finally completed. With relief and some excitement we introduce the first set of Official Teufelskunst Pentacles as well as a new edition of our precious Teufelskunst Wooden Seed Boxes. Please read on for details and descriptions of each…
The pentacle, or pentagram disc, represents the earth element upon the altar and acts as a focal point for manifesting the magician’s will and secondly it protects the magician and the work. In our previous post we have already discussed the meaning of the pentagram and hinted at various ways of using it in ritual. In our first collection we offer now three different types. The first version carries, plain and simple, a bold black pentagram enclosed within a circle and fits for any ritual work. The second version is more delicate and alchemical symbols of the four elements and spirit have been added to the disc, which makes this Black Alchemy pentacle also suited for higher ritual work. Both versions are pyrographed in massive Beech, a neutral wood traditionally used in letterpress printing. Several layers of blood-red varnish stain have been applied to the surface, whereby the bottom and side of the first discs is varnished black. At the back of each is pyrographed the Teufelskunst Sigilum Major (which you find on all our work).
Price: 50 Euro for 1 regular Pentacle / 66 Euro for 1 ‘Black Alchemy’ Pentacle
Besides these puristic versions done in Beech wood we crafted a series of dainty and intricately ornamented pentacles pyrographed in heavy Oak wood. These one of a kind Oaken pentacles possess a rougher surface and have a rustic look and feel to them. They are painted with a thin layer of Golden Oak varnish stain and like the beech pentacles are sealed with an additional layer of transparent varnish. Beneath follow descriptions and pictures of each.
Decorated with ornamental motifs of Oak leaves and acorns hiding two crescent moons. Crowned by thorn and trident, in reference to the path of thorns and the holy trinity, flanked by two devil’s representing the witches father and mother and the dualism in all nature. The symbols inside the pentagram are the same as those in the Pentagram of Solomon and are meant to protect the magician from danger as well as command the spirits. The very first in our series of Oak Pentacles it channels the overall beneficent aspects of its wood and the four elements.
Price: 99 Euro – available
EYE OF G’D
Combining elements from classic black magical ritual grimoires this Oak Pentacle represents wrathful aspects of the divine. Starting with the ‘All Seeing Eye’, which upon closer examination occurs no longer human but demonic, from which flashes of lightning emerge, tearing the skies apart and sending forth the Wrath of G’d towards the earth, where men and beast have transformed into the evil dead roaming the earthly plane. The night has turned into day and the day into night; the dogs are loose, the trees are alive and reaching out for the lonesome wayfarer, whilst the devils in the sky are triumphing. Possible uses: workings of wrath, casting the evil eye, evoking mischief during the time of the Wild Hunt or Rauhnächte.
This unique Pentacle has been inspired by the mysteries of the Deep Sea and men’s Fear of the Unknown. There is the mask of the Green Man lurking behind the five-pointed star, but the foliage emerging from his face is made of seaweed and his beard becomes the tentacles of a monstrous Octopus. To the left and right are his devil companions occuring in the shape of winged and horned seahorses. He is the ruler over the watery element. Behind and around him the sea gives birth to a mighty, all-encompassing whirlwind. His trident is supreme. Once evoked he will not know good or bad. Possible uses: protection, weather magic, dream work, calling the old gods, invisibility.
The Wooden Seed Boxes
Upon request we have crafted a few more of our original seed boxes, which are pyrographed with our Sigilum Major (also called the Greater Sowing Seal) and twin devils – the overseers of our work. The lid and inside are varnished in bloodred, the sides are varnished black and coated with a thin layer of transparent varnish. Each box is numbered at the bottom, this set being #9-14. The boxes contain seeds from over 50 different Witch Herbs. Sowing instructions for all herbs will be provided online in the form of a pdf.
Price: 99 Euro – All Reserved
All customers who have reserved and pre-ordered will be notified during the coming days. If you wish to purchase one of the remaining pentacles or reserve one of the next row of seed boxes write to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the details concerning shipping etc.
On another note, we are currently teaming up again with Occvlta who will do a new jewelry collection with our specially preserved flowers, herbs and mushrooms. With this small teaser we wish all our customers and followers a blessed Season of Light!
Devil thy name, Trickster at the Crossroads of Midnight Come forth, Corpse-pale Eidolon of the Osseous Field Ever-poised in thy Goat-black Cowl that shrouds Mortality, Master of the Passage ‘twixt Wax & Wane do I seek. Thirteen times Widders around the Tree do I turn Here, sheltered ‘neath the boughs of your Faithful Kin: The Cypress and the Yew, I do lay the Furrow of Mortality Wherein the Maw of Void makes sweet the promise of Annihilation And sundry veils rent so rouse the Blessing of Certain Death.
Saviour thy name, Leveller at the Cross of Midday Convoke here, Golden-toned Christ of the Paradise Found Ever-steady in meagre Lamb-white Fleece that cloths Eternity, King of the Pathway of Virture & Vice do I hunt. Thrice times halved ‘til the 3rd day the loaf do I break Here, knelt ‘neath the married beams of the Rood: Transference & Transcendence, I do raise the Ridge of Eternity Wherein the Gates of Heaven make bitter the dreams of Man And all sinful debts settled so pay the Boon of Life Eternal.
13 Wands, harvested from 13 old Yew trees on the Midnight leading into Good Friday, under the light of the waning moon. Due payments of libation, bread and blood have been served to the guardian of the ghoulish yet immensely beautiful trees. For three days and nights the bread is being broken to them and their wood prepared. Each wand is then cleansed in the waters of the sacred Heathen Spring of Avalon. Finally braids taken from the red cloth of the crucifix put out on the Good Friday and the white cloth draped over the cross to symbolise the resurrection on Sunday are bound around them.
The wands are not carved or varnished and can be crafted and shaped further by those who do not have access to this special type of Olde Yew wood from trees, which have been guarding the graves and crossroads of life and death for centuries. There are alltogether 10 wands available for sale:
5 wands with a braid of 2 red 1 white – the Wands of Harrowing
5 wands with a braid of 2 white 1 red – the Wands of Hallowing
Attached to the end of each wand is also one tail-feather of a Raven, the Prophet of Man and the Oracle of Hades, gathered through a beautiful specimen found during a sojourn in the Forest, a gift from the Sylvan Realm. A satchel of Yew needles and bark will accompany each wand, with a hand-numbered label.
The Yew is the Man in Black at the Crossroads, the Patron of the Souls kept in She’ol and also of the Ancestors. It is also the tree of Dark Resurrection and thus sometimes the Man in Black is viewed crucified to a Yew arbor.
The wands are a kind offer by woodwose, wanderer, sorcerer, word cunner and friend Ash Nostro Morg.
Info, pictures and prices will follow after Easter. Only one wand per customer.
Find updated the Herbs & Seeds section with info on Sowing & Growing and lists of herbal and wooden ingredients relevant to our path. Under Art is added a new section Featured Artists. Next the focus is all on the Statues and Fetishes (what we actually specialize in). We will now be offline for the coming 2 weeks. New commission work and orders will be accepted again from 15 January 2012 on.
The Vision Tree, 2009-2011, by X.A.
Fine Art, Photo- and Canvas Prints available on request
Akelarrenlezea, 2011, by Akherra Phasmatanás
The setting of “Akelarrenlezea” shows the Cave of Zugarramurdi located in País Basque, where the infamous “akelarres” were widely celebrated – available for saleSOLD