TEUFELSKUNST Occult Art Blog
TEUFELSKUNST
Occult Art Blog

Frau Holle, Old Mother Frost…

Beginning of this year I started a journey with a goddess I had always known from legend and fairy tales but never actually approached ritually. A simple request, whether my Rauhnächte incense could also be used for honoring her, lead me to change my perspective. Eventually I spent the whole year researching and gathering herbs that connect to her essence and bring out her different light and dark aspects to finally compose an incense which evokes the obscure deity in her wholeness.

Lacking any image representing her I also designed a new sigil for her, who…

  • resides on a white mountain top, at the depth of a well, in the clouds or in hell
  • is the goddess of spinning and weaving, winter and death, childbirth and vegetation
  • contains the souls of the unborn and stillborn in her well, grants fertility and receives the souls of the dying
  • governs legions of elves and gnomes, presides over witchcraft and the sending of nightmares
  • sends snow and hail, rain and frost over the land and leads the wild hunt
  • visits earth during the twelve coldest nights, blesses the diligent and punishes the indolent
  • appears as a beautiful virgin of the dawn, fertile mother of man at day, devil’s sorcerous grandmother at night
  • is the companion of the green-man during spring and summer and the spouse of Wode, the hunter, during the dark half of the year

She is known as Percht(a), Berchta and Bertha in upper Germany (who may have Celtic roots), Holle or Holda, holde Frau, Frau Venus in Middle Germany, Frau Herke/Harke or Gercke, Frau Gode/Gaude, in lower Germany, Murawa (a night demon in Saxony) and Spillaholle in Silesia. All these names are present throughout different parts of Germany and are expressions of an older omnipotent goddess.

In Bohemia she is also simply known as Frau Holle, a small and ugly old woman, who carries a batch of stinging nettles. During the twelve cold nights of winter (twelve yule nights) she visits earth and looks into the homes, to see, if the spinners have finished their work or are still spinning. The latter she punishes by beating them with the nettles. But those who have finished their spinning are blessed with a single nettle twig left in the home that protects the house from misfortune for the whole coming year.

A Silesian rhyme about the Spillaholle goes:

Spinnt, Kinderlein, spinnt,
Die Spillalutsche kommt;
Sie guckt zu allen Löchlein rein,
Ob das Strähnlein wird bald fertig sein.

Spin, little children, spin,
The Spillalutsche comes;
She peeks through all the little gaps,
If the little strand will be finished soon.

Spillaholle occurs as an especially cruel and mean version of Frau Holle, since she kills the children, that she has caught spinning at night. She also scares people to death. She is accompanied by wood sprites, a tomcat and a goat.

Holle Incense 2023

November 26, 2023

Posted In: Art, Ritual

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Mabon / Autumn Blessing Incense

Mabon / Autumn Equinox 2023

New sigil and new incense for the season!

This incense blend is dedicated to seasonal feast day of Mabon, September feast days and the Autumn equinox in particular. It is part of the Teufelskunst “wheel of the year” incense series and is dedicated to the second of the harvest festivals (the first being Lughnasadh and the third being Samhain). It is all about the rituals of autumn, for example the celebration of the Autumn Equinox and blot rituals / harvest blessing and sacrificial rituals. It smells earthy, warm and sweet, but also resinous. It unifies dark and light aspects. It contains aromatic and warming ingredients, such as cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, precious saffron, storax bark and vetiver root. The resins in this fiery blend are powerful protective agents, such as dragon’s blood, dark copal and pine resin. Sweet myrrh, oakmoss and sticky labdanum in turn revere the scents of autumn and bind the herbs. Fragrant herbs such as mugwort and mullein complete this special composition. Lastly, freshly gathered nettle is included as a reference to the goddesses of spinning and weaving, but also enhances the protective qualities of this magical Mabon blend.

The sigil adorning the blend has been desgined especially for Mabon (read more in my next post).

The incense comes in 30 ml paper bags and is now available in the shop!

In other news, I’ve been switching to paper bags!

I made new designs for them, especially for the qliphotic blends. Step by step I am also re-doing the feast day sigils. It’s a pile of work, but ultimately it will be easier to simply print and fill these than cleansing, labeling and packing up glass jars, which also always meant more packing waste. Also, the production of the silver foil labels wasn’t particularly environmental friendly either. So…

These are meant to be smelled and burnt.

I may still do special editions in glass jars every once in a blue moon. I have in fact been gifted a big pile of small miron violet glass jars…

But for now, it’s paper bags! How do you like them?

September 16, 2023

Posted In: News & Site Updates, Incense, Feast Days, Ritual

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Dried Mandrake Roots

Upon request, I am offering here some dried mandrake roots, which I have grown and harvested over the past years. For reference, the leave is ca 12 cm long. These roots are talismans. They are not meant to be made into incense. They can be oiled and/or fed with traditional offerings, such as red wine, milk and honey, herbal essences, bread, incense or tobacco smoke, coins, stones etc. If you purchase one, you agree to stay in touch about your work with the root. I am happy to give you guidance and set up a ritual practice with you based on your personal magical background.

Pricing from top left to bottom right:

93 € top left – sold
prices for the 2 small roots are negotiable (they are suitable to wear in a glass amulet with other herbs – a custom amulet can be made for you) – sold
83 € top second from right
111 € top right – sold
88 € bottom left – sold
center – sold
108 € bottom second from right – sold
131 € bottom right – reserved

Handdrawn mandrake root phytographs can be purchased along with the roots and start at 100 € per phytograph. If you commission a phytograph together with the root I will give 10% discount.

August 23, 2023

Posted In: Mandrake Project, Herbs & Seeds, Ritual

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“Dead Astronaut” is aLive

It’s wonderful to be receiving such feedback! Remember last year`s mandrake post about “Alien Monstress” and “Crippled Astronaut”? Well, who would have guessed that! First photo shows a recent post by obviously blessed and knowledgable David ‘Mr. Mandrake’ Simmons. Second photo is of the same root about a year ago and third is of my ink portrait, now framed and adorning D. Simmon’s wall. Thanks David!

In memoriam H.H. Ewers

July 17, 2023

Posted In: Pflanzenkunst, Mandrake Project, Herbs & Seeds, Art, Ritual, Garden

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Viridis Genii Symposium VII, Follow-Up

For those who missed out on the virtual event, you can still order the VGS publication featuring my essay on Phytography (introducing the term) and my encounter with the guardian of the witch hazel, as well as two illustrations by me: https://viridisgenii.com/product/viridis-genii-series-7-vol-2/

My gratitude goes to the organizers Catamara and Marcus as well as the team of people that made it all possible, especially Kim, Katrink and Prof. Porterfield. Huge thanks also to the people that attended and took part in the workshops, especially David. We made it work, despite catching Covid, despite hurricanes and despite all the other obstacles. I am looking forward to the next point in time when the portals open for communing with the genii of the plant kingdom. Below is a summary of my presentation and workshop.

1 hour live presentation with Q&A

Creating Magical Images of Plants – Combining Phytography and Ritual Magic

1 hour lecture + 3 hour workshop included the following topics:

  • methods of ritual magic, sympathetic magic and planetary magic
  • indepth information on plant pigments
  • short history of nature printing
  • alternative photography processes feat. work by Malin Fabbri and Kristina Feldhammer
  • Datura wrightii flower at Pinwheel Cave California
  • examples of phytographs created with coffee and plants
  • workshop guides through the ritual creation of your own magical plant paper talismans
  • question & answer on anything plant/ritual related

Workshop materials provided to attendents included:

  • ritually harvested, pressed flowers and plants
  • absorbent paper
  • signed print of the witch hazel seal

Phytographs created during the 3 hour workshop:

  1. Magnolia, hour of Venus
  2. Fennel, hour of Mercury
  3. California Poppy, hour of Mercury + Moon
  4. Blue Lotus, hour of Moon
  5. Witch Hazel, hour of Saturn

October 17, 2022

Posted In: Art, Ritual, News & Site Updates, Events

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Plants and Planets

New: postcards with my occult/nature inspired “Plants and Planets” series from 2018!

The postcards are available in two formats, small 10 x 15 cm and large 13 x 18 cm. They have round edges and the sizes comply with common post standards.

In the past botanists such as Nicholas Culpeper associated plants with the planets, fixed stars and zodiac signs. The attributions were based on an intense study of a plant’s features, which included treats such as a thorny or prickly appearance, the scent emitted by the flowers or the entire plant, the plant’s life cycle, colors, metals contained in a plant, medicinal and other uses and of course plenty of folklore. Today plants are classified scientifically based on their genome, but their planetary lore is preserved and continues to evolve in the books of authors such as Stephen Skinner, Paul Huson, Scott Cunningham, Harold Roth and so on.

I find it inspiring to continue this tradition and to explore its own inner logic. Hence I created these planet themed still life photographs of herbs, that I gathered from our garden and surroundings, many of which are also part of my seed boxes. They are ordered according to the Chaldean sequence. With this series I yet delve deeper into the language of plants and the symbolism and magical properties attributed to them.

Please leave a note with your order, if you wish for the postcard to be signed on the back (no extra cost).

October 1, 2018

Posted In: Ritual, Pflanzenkunst, Prints

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Dog Days 2018

Cleansing and blessing a dog skull with "Dog Days" incense, August 7th 2018

This week we had another “hottest day of the year”. Since June, most of Europe experiences a near ceaseless heat and drought period.

The hottest days of summer have been known for centuries as “dog days” (Hundstage), but this year they truly live up to their name.

The Greek called them kynádes hēmérai, Romans adopted it, calling them dies caniculares. Historically the period began with the heliacal rising of the dog star Sirius in the Northern Hemisphere, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck, while to the Polynesians in the Southern Hemisphere the star marked winter and was an important reference for their navigation around the Pacific Ocean.

For my “Dog Days” incense I took inspiration from the paralyzing and deadly weather phenomenon.

The formula has been updated, with field eryngo (Eryngium campestre) being added to the baneful blend. In German language this type of thistle is also referred to as “Unruh” and “Elend” and the occurrence of clusters of broken off stems, similar to spiky tumbleweed carried forth by the wind, are named “Steppenhexen”. This stingy plant is almost impossible to touch or harvest without hurting yourself. Yet, and despite the heat and drought, it is frequented by dozens of bumblebees and other pollinators.

Beside obvious herbal references to the the dog/wolf totem, such as wolfsbane and mandrake, the incense contains also black and white henbane, which have been used in prophecy, baneful spells but also for rain magic. I burnt a good amount of it on this day, both to cleanse and bless a dog skull I found at the flea market, as well as to call for rain and cooling. It may have been simply good timing, but rain came the following morning.

I am often asked about side effects and dangers of burning venific incense blends – I can only speak for myself, I did not notice anything, apart from feeling more focused and empowered. I also sensed a relaxing effect on myself. A slight dizziness I attest to the burning sun and heat, not to the herbs.

Luckily, the worst heat seems to be over now and I look forward to enjoying the end of summer and working on art. In other news, new batches of “Qayin” and “Naamah” incense are now back in stock!

"Rain Spell" ritual with dog skull and "Dog Days" incense, August 7th 2018

August 9, 2018

Posted In: Incense, Herbs & Seeds, Ritual

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All Souls 2017

All Souls: offerings included bread of the dead, self made liqueurs, cempasuchil flowers

All Saints: Burning the Incense of the Dead and Samhain Protection Incense

Cold November full moon night at the cemetery…

 

November 5, 2017

Posted In: Feast Days, Ritual

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