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).
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?
The autumn equinox marks the second annual harvest celebration. At the same time it is the last of the eight “wheel of the year” festivals. In modern witchcraft the feast day is called Mabon. As one of the four quarter days, it marks a time, when servants were hired, school terms started, and rents were due. The fruits of the season include grains, aromatic herbs, berries, grapes, apples, nuts, acorns, chestnuts and so on. Nature’s cornocupeia is filled to the rim. It is also rut and hunting time.
Though the equinox marks the point when the night wins over the day time, September days are still warm, due to a weather phenomenon known as “Indian Summer” and German “Altweibersommer”. Indeed, we are experiencing the third week in a row with day temperatures above 30°C. Only the lengthening shadows and the dew on the meadow give away that summer is coming to an end. And it is spider season! Sheet weavers aka money spiders, ride upon their silken threads and seem to be flying through the air. As their threads reflect the autumn sun, it was thought they resemble the hair of old women, which might have been the origin of the name “Altweibersommer”. But also, the art of weaving was once known as “weiben”. This time of the year is indeed also sacred to the goddesses of spinning and weaving. The end of the harvest season marks the beginning of the time spent indoors, with processing the harvest, crafting, spinning and weaving.
Now blooms the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), or meadow saffron, as it is also called. In German the plant is known as Herbstzeitlose, either because the plant has ‘lost’ its time (pertaining to its unsual time of flowering), or because it foretells (from Old German lose, meaning to divine) autumn and is thus the messenger of autumn. Another name for it is Michelsblume, since it flowers around Michaelmas.
Michaelmas is celebrated in most Western countries on the 29th of September. St. Michael is the patron saint of many holy places formerly sacred to the Germanic Donar/Thor. The archangel is believed to have defeated the dragon (Satan/Belial) during the war in heaven. The vision of Michael riding through the sky in the company of other angels is perhaps a reinterpretation of Wotan’s Wild Hunt and evokes similar associations of heavenly flight and the descent of demons. A British Michaelmas tradition is the preparation of the stubble-goose. Eating the goose was thought to guarantee money in the purse during the coming year. In some parts of Germany the Michaelsbrot is being baked. On this day is also sown the Michaelskorn (grain), from which the next bread will be made. Contracts would be made on this day and accounts closed.
Germanic tribes celebrated September as the blot month, associated with the blood of those animals, which had to be slain before the winter, either because they were too weak or too many in number in order to be fed through the cold season. They were sacrificed to the gods and their blood was used to bless the people attending the blot rituals. The German word blodsian means to ‘make holy with blood’ and is possibly the root of the English words blessing and to bless. According to Wolf Dieter Storl, the blot rituals were considered necessary for sustaining the natural order and ensured the return of the sun.
In September, the color red also becomes present in nature. The leaves of the trees take on an autumn coloring, as the sun light wanes and chlorophyll decreases. Some plants invest extra energy into the production of red pigments, which cause for example the fiery red fall coloring in some maple tree species and on cherry trees. The red pigment is not visible to herbivores, and so, while occuring as a vibrant martial signal to the human eye, is in fact a camouflage for the tree, making its foliage invisible to aphids. In addition, herbivores presented on a red leave are better visible to birds, which now have to eat and gain reserves, either for migrating or overwintering.
Besides, if you ever wonder, as to why there is no or little bird singing during this time; the birds are now resting, as they no longer have to defend their territory.
The connection between the beginning of fall and the Celtic myth about Mabon is relatively new. It was introduced during the 1970ies. The name Mabon may be a reference to Maponos, the Celtic god of the hunt.
Mabon is a figure in Celtic myth and features in the Arthurian legends. Apparently, a son of divine origin, he was separated from his mother only three days after conception. Mabon could only be found again with the aid of Arthur and another hero who was able to communicate with animals, namely a blackbird, a stag, an owl, an eagle, and finally a salmon, which ultimately carries the men to Mabon, who is incarcerated in a fortress. Finally, Arthur and his friends manage to free Mabon, who proves himself by winning the battle against a giant wild boar with the aid of some supernatural dogs. Mabon’s incarceration is sometimes interpreted as a form of initiation into the underworld and an apprenticeship in witchcraft.
Suggestion for a fiery Mabon incense:
Turning to the trees once more, this is also a good time to contemplate the world tree Yggdrasil: nowadays thought to be an ash tree, more likely a mountain ash or rowan, to Germanic tribes an oak or linden tree. Its branches hold the firmament, its fruits form the stars, its stem shapes the milky way, its roots hold the earth and reach down to the world of the dead. The squirrel Ratatosk runs up and down its stem, delivering messages between the realms. Four deer gnaw on its branches (probably they were Germanic star signs) and a giant eagle sits in its crown.
The star sign of September is Virgo. But the stars of Virgo also form the figire of a deer. The star signs of Auriga and Perseus together form the sign of the big deer named Durathor.
The September full moon is also called harvest moon and corn moon.
As I am typing this, the candle has already extinguished and there are nearly as many tiny air bubbles in the glass of water as dots on the ink drawing in the background.
My little fall equinox altar is made of tokens gathered during the past days. It also features a small glass of self-made hawthorn liqueur. The hawthorn goddess was addressed for empowerment at a time when I am down with flu and need to recharge both physically as well as spiritually.
The drawing is one of three drawings I did last week. It is the second in the small series and titled “Pathfinder”, since the shape reminded me of a creature equipped with plenty of sensors, which seems to be pushing forward against an icy storm. The third drawing is now in the possession of The Witching Veil, together with the autumn mandrake root depicted on it.
The incense burnt was the Black sacra from Luban Frankincense Supplier. It has a deeper, somewhat richer aroma than the green and white frankincense from Oman, and fits just perfectly for the season.
With the passing of the Fall Equinox, Samhain is just around the corner. I will hence begin preparing my presentation for this year’s Samhain Celebration in Gotha, which I am attending for the second time in a row.
The latest addition to the shop will be new autumn mandrake roots, which will go up for sale in the evening. Please also take a look at the new listings in the Sigilla Magica category.
Last but not least I thank all of you, who ordered my Dog Days incense. I have but one jar each left. The coming days I will work on new batches of Samhain incense, as well as restocking incense for Qayin and Lilith.
The seeds have been gathered and new wooden seed boxes are nearing completion. With joy I offer again this treat for the tenders of sorcerous gardens, just in time for the autumnal equinox. Below is a preview of the boxes:
Available are boxes #23-26. They will contain again a fertile mix of seeds from various benific and venific herbs. Four boxes are available, three of which are already reserved. For those that will not receive one this time, I plan to craft a few more until Samhain. If you want to make sure to get your hands on one, then I recommend placing a reservation now.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tonight I finished another two Sigil Card Sets to be shipped this week and spent the rest of the night with some red wine and a herbal contemplation, celebrating the end of summer and welcoming autumn. The equinox is not yet here but the air already smells like autumn and I am heavily working towards completing the next edition of my card sets as well as harvesting and preparing all sorts of herbs from our garden. E.g. yesterday I collected most of the Black Henbane and plenty of ripe Belladonna. Earlier this week I have been gathering Yew and Bittersweet Nightshade, with which I sat down tonight. These are noisy times, a lot of heated up thoughts are floating around and so I felt the need to oppose all that with the help of these herbs, which are simultaneously marking the start of a new circle… summer passed too fast, but I had some interesting experiences and crossed ways with a wonderful person (a huntress and taxidermist), who sent me some really amazing frankincense of the finest quality I’ve used up to this point… burning this heavenly stuff rounded up the night. Now the altar candle is still burning and the libation slowly drying/being consumed…