Sep 28, 2014

Incense in spiritual work

Incense is a form of aromatic biotic material burnt for its aromatic fragrance.  The very word comes from Latin : “incendere” ( verb, infinitive, lit. “to burn” ), and humans have been known to use it for at least 4500 years, according to written records. It’s widely believed that the Ancient Egyptians were the first to use the incense , in form of combustible “bouquets”[1]
Incense is used by all sort of people from spiritual people to atheists, for range of reasons, from deeply spiritual to profanely pragmatic. Some people burn incense for plain sensory enjoyment, that is because they love the fragrance of it, or to mask bad smalls, like tobacco smoke etc. There are incenses that are burnt as insect repellents, or for health purposes, for the smoke of some incenses is bactericidal, and even antiviral, and can treat psychosomatic conditions.
In this article, however, we will deal with the uses of incense in religion and spiritual work.
Incense burning plays an important part in Hinduism, Taoism,  Buddhism, Christianity,  Judaism,  and Neo- paganism . Eastern religions ( Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism ) use incense as a sort of praying tool and  an offering at the same time, and You can see people in Taoist and Buddhist temples waving with incenses,  that is with lit joss sticks ,  and later placing them in a censers which  often stand  in front of specific deity images. Also, oftentimes coiled incenses hang from the ceiling. This incense is used to cleanse the area, and as an offering to their  deities.
In Judaism, the Ketoret ( also Quetoret ) incense was burnt  daily ( twice a day ) in the Temple, during the Tabernacle time, and the time of the First and Second temple. It was compounded according to  Divine instructions given to Moses, and only by specially appointed people for this task. Recreating the incense in home, or by non-appointed was considered heavily sacrilegious , more so If used for profane purposes. The Good Book  ( Bible says )  says:
Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to theLord. 38 Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”   [2]
However, this can also be understood as prohibition to use the incense in mundane life, and for profane uses such as air freshener. The Bible lists 4 ingredients, but the Talmund adds more.
The incense, as its name implies, it served as burnt offering, considered equal to the Blood sacrifice in the Temple.
In the Christianity, the smoke of incense symbolizes the prayers of the faithful rising to the Heaven. It’s also burnt in temples both to purify area, as an offering,  and to bestow blessings on the   faithful.  The most frequently used ones are Frankincense and Myrrh, though oftentimes Benzoin is also used in Christian temples.  These are burnt in special censers, called thuribles  ( or braziers ), which hang on chains and are swung towards the   faithful in series of  three swings.
Native American had always held smudging rituals to be sacred and beneficial. They believed that the smoke, contains concentrated wishes and desires of the faithful being carried to the Great  Spirit. The incense smoke was also used as a healing medium, taking away bad and bringing in the good to replace it.  But the ritual was to be done in specific way.  The herbs  were burnt  in some container, most commonly a seashell, and the botanicals most commonly used ( often combined for this purpose ) were
·         Sage
·         Sweetgrass ( Hierochloe odorata )
·         Cedar, and
·         Tobacco
The smoke was wafted towards oneself or towards the “client”, starting from their feet over their head and back to their feet again. When the person who censed them would reach the top of their head ( crown chakra ) they would make a  widdershins ( counterclockwise ) circle around it. This was repeated 6 times total, symbolizing the four cardinal directions ( N, S, E, W ) and the “above” and “below” dimensions. If using smudge sticks, one can use a banishing one  ( let’s say Sage ) to make a widdershins circle around a person, and around their head, and then follow up with smudging using a drawing one ( let’s say Sweetgrass, or Cedar ) in a deosil ( clockwise ) direction. This would be done 3 times with each smudge stick.   [3]
Compounding incense
Incense comes in few forms. I myself would differentiate three types:
1)      Natural resins and woods – The incense which is not self-ignitable, nor man-made ( least harvested and packed etc. ) and which occurs naturally in the same form in which is burnt.  These are the commonly found resins, saps, or wood chips, which are often burnt  alone, such as: Frankincense, Myrrh, Benzoin, Copal, Dragon’s blood, Camphor, Pine resin, Sandalwood, Cedarwood etc. These type of incenses were burnt in ancient temples, and continue to be burnt during modern magick rituals and spells. They have a variety of purposes, but each can be used for  blessing , purification, consecration, and raising spiritual vibrations. Some can also be used for drawing positive things, like Myrrh, a strong drawing incense or exorcism, like the Frankincense or Dragon’s Blood. Obviously, these type of incenses, must be burnt on charcoal discs, as they are sticky and will not burn on their own. They are very fragrant and aromatic, and produce a lot of smoke.
2)      Compounded, self-ignitable, or  self-lighting , commercial, or combustible incense -  The incense composed/made by humans, with addition of minerals, such as saltpeter, and wood charcoal which enable it to light and burn,  on its own, with a more-less equal tempo throughout. These types of incense often use Tragacanth or gum Arabic glue ( solution in water ) as binder, and resinous + wood incense as a base.    Compounded incense comes in forms of cones, joss sticks, or coiled spirals,    which can be easily lit  .This type of incense, can be used in spiritual work, as long as it does not contain synthetic fragrances and unnecessary additives, which while they may have their uses in mundane life, have no place, role or need in spiritual work. In fact, use of such substances would be sacrilegious and probably insult the spirits. Therefore, If You are not certain of the composition of Your joss sticks, rather resort to non combustible incense.
3)      Non- combustible, or as also called “loose” incense, which is plainly and basically hand blended mixture of botanicals which are burnt on glowing charcoal discs. The scent is less predictable, more variable, the incense cannot be lit or burn on its own,  like in the case of combustible incense, but contains far more energy and  is far more appropriate in use in magick. The practice of burning herbs to release their energies and cause spiritual effects  is at very least as old as Egyptian culture, but the archeological findings suggest that the practice may as well trace back to Paleolithic times.
Additionally we could, arguably, claim there are also  mineral incenses, compounded of minerals  alone such as sulphur, saltpeter or alum, or powdered crystals (  Jet for example ).  Finally some people ( although  quite rarely ) burn organic compounds such as sugar or honey alone .
For the sake of illustration, here are  two examples of instructions given for making self-ignitable or combustible incense, one meant for creation of incense cones, and one can be used for both cones and sticks
The following is a recipe for self-lighting incense, as given by Sir  Scott Cunningham in his “The complete Book of incense, oils, and brews” :
·         6 parts ground charcoal
·         1 part Benzoin
·         2 parts ground Sandalwood
·         1 part ground Orris root*
·         6 drops essential oil**
·         2-4 parts of mixed, “empowered” incense*** [4]
To this one must also add 10% of saltpeter  ( for example on 50grams of incense,  5grams of saltpeter ). Finally the resulting mixture is mixed with Tragacanth glue, which can be substituted with Gum Arabic glue, and both are solutions of approximately teaspoon of proprietary   gum material in a glass of warm water. Of course, the solutions must “sit” until You get a rather thick, gooey, mucilage, which is then used in small amounts to bound      the incense  ingredients.
Another formula, which is used to make “incense cones” is given by Judika Illes in her amazing book “5000 of spells” :
1.      Dissolve gum Arabica in water, approximately one parts powder to two parts water
2.      Allow the material to soak for approximately three hours
3.      In the meantime, pulverize the herbal material to be used,  until it’s finely powdered ( using mortar or pestle or other grinding tool )
4.      Mix the powder into the liquid until it can be shaped into small cones.
5.      Allow it to dry completely in a warm area. [5]
This formula however, does not contain saltpeter, nor charcoal and without it cannot be lit on itself.  It’s meant to be lit on charcoal blocks, so it’s really a cross between self lighting and loose incense.
Some occult  suppliers offer basic , self-lighting incense powder, to which You  then add occult oils ( for example a specific  condition oil )  and botanicals,  according to intention, and shape it into cones, using paper cones or molds, like candle tappers and then when they are well , dry burn them as specialized incense . This is often case with the Hoodoo incenses .
Magick of the incense
In magick incenses are used to  cause change, such as bring money, chase away or dispel evil, honor spirits,   or make them appear etc.
Burning incense in magick is a sort of act of transformation. Botanicals and material used, when burnt release the   energy naturally contained within ingredients,   combine it with practitioners energy, thoughts and prayers, and with energy of sprits and entities which are drawn by incense, or correspondent to  them.  Burning the material releases those subtitle vibrations, aligning the energy of the ritual with correspondent plains and deities , which really is  likewise any  magick spell and ritual   basic mechanism.
Incense in magick, does not have to smell fine, or even be harmless. History of magick records all sort of dangerous and noxious incenses ,  which were used for example to invoke  evil   spirits,  cross or even cause rain to  fall. So regardless of what wonky-brain newagers say, the power of incense does not lay in plain fragrance, although the smell does have its role, and is not useless. But the effect of the smell alone is psychological. Using synthetic fragrance may induce psychological effect, to some point, but will not really create spiritual effect, least  it’s annoying  moody spirits ( like some of the Loa lol ) .
Incense is correspondent  to the element of  Air,   or rather the smoke is  , for the very incense contains herbs and/or minerals, which correspond to the element of Earth and were nourished by Water, it’s burnt  with the help of fire,  and turned into fragrant  smoke. 
So in a nutshell, incense is burnt in magick to induce following  type of basic effects:
·         Raise spiritual vibrations and prepare for ritual
·         As an offering or honor to spirit or deity
·         Magickaly draw, or conjure something
·         Banish , cleanse or remove something
Incense burnt in magickal work can range from a herb alone to the intricately complex combinations having many ingredients, some  of which are extremely rare or exotic. Like the Sage or, often neglected yet traditional Fumitory, Frankincense , Sandalwood and so on.
Each herb, as we know is correspondent to  an element , and planet which  helps define its use.
According to Agrippa **** to each of the Seven planet there is corresponding incense, either with addition of gruesome  contents like animal organs, or  specific plants and resins.
And here are some botanicals  appropriate for Planetary incenses according to Agrippa:
·         SATURN ( odoriferous roots ) : Pepperwort root,  Frankincense tree
·         JUPITER ( odoriferous fruits ): like Nutmeg and Cloves
·         MARS ( odoriferous woods ): Lignum Aloes, Lignum Balsam, Sanders, Cypress
·         SUN ( all gums ) : Frankincense, Mastic, Benjamin, Storax, Ladanum, Ambergris and Musk
·         VENUS ( sweet flowers ) : Roses, Violets, Saffron
·         MERCURY ( all peels of woods and fruits ) :  Cinnamon, Cassia, Mace, Citron or Lemon peel, bayberries and all odoriferous seeds ( like Parsley, Celery, Dill for example )
·         MOON  ( leafs of all vegetables ) : leaf indium, leafs of myrtle,  and bay tree [6]
These are of course, just a few of the many suggestions, he used in composing planetary incense formulas. Agrippa’s  planetary formulas, however, are not limited to a type of botanicals ea. Root, peel, flower etc. they often contain those mixed, with some, rather unsavory formulas, for example:
For Jupiter, take the seed of ash, lignum aloes, storax, the gum benjamin or benzoin, the lazuli stone, and the tops of the feathers of a peacock; and incorporate them with the blood of a stork, or a swallow, or the brain of a hart.
For Mars, take euphorbium, bedellium, gum ammoniac, the roots of both hellebores, the loadstones, and a little sulphur; and incorporate them all with the brain of a hart, the blood of a man and the blood of a black cat.”  [7]

However, most modern practitioners simply  reproduce his planetary incenses, sans the animal parts, combining few of the botanicals from the original formula.
In essence, any herb correspondent to a planet, could be burnt as a planetary incense.
Finally, there are some classic, traditional mixtures,  imported from religious practices uses in  magick, such as the famed Egyptian Kyphi, or Hebrew Ketoret.

Following are some examples and suggestions for incense formulas, both traditional, well known and formulas composed by myself that I wrote intending to use, or actually use in my works

Incense to expose liars ( Copal )

Copal. Fumigate the area where they might be or speak. Liars or  manipulators will give themselves out . [8]
You could optionally  add  some Deerstongue, for the extra “oomph” although this is not necessary.

Incense to break curses ( Galangal root )

Powdered Galangal is  traditionally burnt to break curses. 

Incense to exorcise spirits ( Fumitory )

Burn dry Fumitory to exorcize evil spirits. This is a very traditional and powerful incense ( at least in Europe ) , which is rarely mentioned in occult literature and it was used as commonly as Sage.
EXTRA TIP : The infusion of the plant is also a potent  money  drawing floorwash.

Evil Eye dispelling incense

Fumigate people who are under the influence of the Evil eye to dispel it and cleanse them of any adverse effects it may have causes.
·         Rue
·         Basil
·         Benzoin
Fumigate whole body, feet included J By lil old me

Spirit guide incense

This one   I have  used to call forth helpful spirits in rituals, to draw benevolent spirits, and for guidance:
·         Anise
·         Bay Laurel leafs
·         Mugwort
·         Mimosa
·         Gardenia

Crossing incense

Combine and burn
·         Sulphur
·         Asafoetida
·         Cayenne
NOTE: It should go without saying that this is not safe to be inhaled, and should be burnt either outside or in a highly ventilated area, with the practitioners face protected

Reveal thief’s identity incense

This ancient Egyptian incense is said to reveal You the identity of person who stole something from You, either in vision or in dreams
·         Alum
·         Saffron [9]

Double help  incense

·         Camphor
·         Frankincense
·         Mint
Use this as an exorcism incense, or to strengthen Your psychic powers. By lil old me.

Fern Incense

Burn Fern indoors to exorcize evil spirits and demons, and outside to cause rain to fall. It can be combined with Heather and Henbane, for the latter.   [10]

Hope You’ve found this article  interesting and helpful. Many Blessings , Shadow J

NOTES: This  article was written and composed by myself, so If You wish to use it elsewhere online feel free but add credits, Shadow of the Shadows magick place, or a direct link to this post
* Orris root is commonly used in perfumery ( or at least it used to be, today they use all sort of aggressive, unnecessary, and often skin-irritating chemical, because they are cheaper, and more easy to use  ) as a fixative, to bind the scents and  make them  more stable.
** Essential oil, while listed as one of “basic ingredients” in Sir Cuningham’s formula, is in fact entirely optional ingredients,  that, truth be told does intensify or modify the very scent, as needed
*** This “mixed “empowered incense” is plainly combine herbal material, as described in this article, under types of incense, type 2. For this type of formula, it’s better to be finely grinded,  or  best yet finely powdered. This is the part that makes combustible   incense do it’s magickal work , the “heart” of the incense
**** Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Netteshiem  -

[3] According to/ as suggested by Cassandra Eason in her  “Encyclopedia of Magic and Ancient Wisdom: The Essential Guide to Myth, Magic and the Supernatural” , paraphrased and  adapted for use here

[4] Retrieved from “The complete book of Incenses, oils and brews” , by Scot Cunningham   , used here for educational, explanatory and illustrative purposes without any ill will

[5] Retrieved from: “The encyclopedia of 5000 spells” , page 31st , by Judika Illes, used here for educational, explanatory and illustrative purposes without any ill will

[6] According to “The philosophy of Natural magick” by Agrippa

[7] Retrieved from , used here for educational, illustrative purposes without   any ill will

[8] According to Judika Illes, as stated in “The encyclopedia of 5000 spells”

[9] According to the source listed under  [4]

[10] According to the source listed under [4]

IMAGE CREDITS:  Image is from ;  edited for use here by myself, for illustrative purposes  without any ill will

Sep 20, 2014

Verbena, the Herb of Pure magick

Verbena is  the common name for any of the plants from Verbena genus, in  the Verbenaceae family. This article, however deals with Verbena or Vervain, which is used in magick and will therefore deal with Verbena officinalis, frequent  common name also being Common Verbena. Other names include:  Herba Sancta, Holy Herb, Devil’s bane ( Welsh ), Enchanter’s plant, Tears of Isis, Tears of Juno, Herba Veneris, Altar plant and more.
Verbena officinalis ,
botanical illustration

It’s native in Europe, though it has been naturalized in States, and is found abundantly both in Europe and Americas, particularly on lime soils, and in urbanized areas.
It’s a herbaceous, perennial plant with an upright habitus, and  deeply lobed leaves, oppositely arranged, with toothed edges, and spike inflorescence bearing   many small flowers, with five petals,  ranging in color from pale blue to purple. While inconspicuous, regardless of being rather tall and growing up to a meter high, it’s  quite easy to memorize, and usually when people see it once, they are able to recognize it easily.
It has been used enough in folk herbal medicine to know that’s safe to ingest even in larger doses,  and there are some evidences to support its use as anthireumathic, diaphoretic, and galactogogue, and anti-inflamatory agent .[1]  A teacup on 150ml of boiling water is standard dose for tea/infusion, which is taken 2-3 times ( cups ) per day. It is however, highly contraindicated for use during pregnancy as it may cause miscarriage!  Folk herbal medicine use it for a wider range  of condition, including respiratory infections, and wounds that heal too slow, or skin ulcers topically.

Verbena in magick

Verbena is one of the most profusely used herbs in magick, and it’s uses range from purification and protection, to  transfiguration, the last at least mythically, with all the plethora of uses in-between.
It corresponds to planet Venus and the Element of Earth [2] It’s allegedly* a treasured Druid plant, used by Druid bards for inspiration, in initiation rituals. It is however, a speculated ingredient in Celtic goddess Kerdiwen’s Cauldron of Knowledge.

Verbena is ( again, according to Druidic teachings ) collected when the Dog star ( Sirius ) is on the rise, that is during the “dark of the Moon” when neither Sun nor Moon can be seen on sky. Either then, or on Midsummer.  Folk would dry Verbena over Midsummer fires and then spread them over the fields to ensure fruitful crops, and healthy plants, and even nowadays, it’s scattered throughout the gardens to ensure that the plants in it thrive. However, it can more than likely be equally efficient, If /when collected any other time really, though one should always approach such powerful plant with respect.

It’s a herb associated with knowledge, even in modern magick, particularly magickal knowledge or studious success. In Hoodoo, children are often bathed with Verbena infusion, or Verbena is placed bellow their pillows to help them memorize lessons better and be more  proficient in their studies ( kind of like Smartweed ), however the adults can use it the same way.

It’s juice, which is used often in magick, is sometimes smeared on palms and/or forehead prior to magick spells and rituals  for extra strength. Smeared on the body, the juice is said to make people soften towards You, and be more prone to agree with You and do You favors.  Smeared on the body, the juice of Verbena is also reputed to:  cures diseases, entices precognition,  turns enemies into friends, attracts lovers, and guards from enchantments.  Drunk, in a specific ritual, the juice is reputed to induce chastity;

To remain chaste for long periods of time, rise before the sun on the first day  of the New Moon. Gather Vervain ( still before Sunrise ), press out it’s juice and drink it down.  According to ancient instructions, it will cause You to lose all desire for s*x for seven years” [3]

A tea is drunk to induce prophetic dreams, inspire to write ,   strengthen magickal powers and bring magickal knowledge, or halt nightmares and dreams. In fact some say that verbena infusion, drunk prior to bed ensures sleep “without” dreams.

Verbena is widely held to be magickaly curative,  and to holds the power to seal the wounds and stop bleeding, much akin to Lemon Balm. In Hoodoo, it’s believed to be able to cure “unnatural diseases”   that manifest as fever or poisoning.

A packet of Verbena worn on the body is said to help those suffering from fever, or poisoning as a result  of  a curse” [4]

It’s also the herb in some Christian myths, that was used  to staunch Lord Christ’s wounds upon removal from the Cross.
But it’s greatest  spiritual value perhaps lies within its  splendid apotropaic powers, that enable one to defy the most powerful of evil spirits, and enchantments.  A crown of Verbena may be worn on head to protect the Conjurer that invokes spirits to come.  A infusion of the plant sprinkled in home, or dwelling will clear negative vibrations and  evil from it, including evil spirits, it’s a proper demonifuge. A nineherb blend  , including Verbena is said to uncross and protect from baneful witchcraft. In fact,  when combined with Trefoil, Clover and St John’s wort   in a charm bag it’s believed to make witches utterly powerless against one, and there is an old proverb about it ( see post about St John’s wort on here, to learn more about it ).  It can turn bad luck into good one, and help in times of dire need, if only carried on person, for the latter.  You can use it in a ritual to Turn the tables on bad luck  , where a double action candle is rolled in Verbena for this purpose.

With Eclampane, and Mistletoe leafs, it was believed to form a true love Middleage powder formulae. [5] It’s a powerful love herb even today, and is ingredient in lust and infatuation inducing infusions ( cooking a teaspoon in a glass of wine, for example ). It’s often mixed with 8 other Venus plants,and used in a love charm bag 

It’s also said to re-kindle a lost love, repel vampires if drunk, protect the home from bad weather if placed in it, and bring money when leafs are burnt as incense [6]
Following are some practical advices and tips

Bath to sweeten Your enemies up

The following bath is said to induce affection for You in Your enemies.
Pour infusion made with Verbena and Orissroot, in a basin ( tub ) with water, and add some essential oil of Myrrh and Sandalwood to it. [7]

Charm to find something lost, or to find direction

In a charm bag ( like mojo bag ) combine:
·         A piece of lodestone, or a magnet
·         Blue Tourmaline

If You have lost a specific item, You can write something about it, or better yet, draw it,  on a piece of paper, place the paper on the saucer, or in some bowl, place lodestone on it, and then sprinkle it all abundantly with Verbena.  Place it on some elevated place in home until You find the item.

Sachet to hinder evil dreams

Whether they are plainly anxiety-induced nightmares that deplete You of quality sleep, or spiritual shrapnel of a curse or hex sent to torment You ( or any form of “attack while sleeping” psychic and occult attacks ), the following combo, placed in a sachet under Your pillow will do  with them terrifying nightmares away:

·         Verbena
·         Wood Betony
·         Chrisoprase crystal

Potion to restore magickal powers 

If someone has caused blocked condition in You, bound or blocked Your spiritual prowess, replenish Your skills with the following potion:

·         A teaspoon of Verbena, dry
·         A teaspoon of Alder leaves, dry
·         A small chunk of Ginger rhizome

Put all in 300-500ml  boiling water,  stir few times, remove from heat,  cover, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, that strain and drink every day  ( for few days, or week, until You notice the results ) a cup or two. You can sweeten with honey If You wish .

NOTES: This  article  was written and composed by myself,   so If You wish to use it elswhere  online, feel free, but add credits ; Shadow of the Shadows magick place, ,  or a direct link to this post .

* Being that Druidism is tradition which is spread orally ( and very discriminatively ), the little we know about it must  always be taken with a grain of  salt, more so if it comes from Roman scribes, who had been prone to misunderstanding or  intentionally twisting  the information they had been gathering  and writing down about Druids
[2] According to Scott Cunningham, as stated in his “Cunningham’s encyclopedia of magickal herbs” 252nd page
[3] Retrieved from same source as listed under [2], quoted here for  educational purposes, as a brief quotation, with no ill will
[4] Quotation from “Hoodoo Herbs and Root magic;  a material magica of African American conjure” by Catherine Yronwode, quoted here for educational purpose, without any ill will
[7] According to Judika Illes, as stated In her   “Encyclopedia of 5000 spells”, paraphrased here


The image is from  :  , used here for    illustrative and explanatory purposes, without any ill will

Jul 28, 2014

Magick of the Moon

"I am the Moon with no light of my own,
You are the Sun guarding Your throne..."
Madonna, "Messiah"
Moon is the only Earth’s natural satellite, rotating  synchronously  with the Earth, and being the second most luminous object on our sky.  The Moon’s gravitational force  produces ocean/sea tides , as well as slight lengthening of the day. [1]

The Moon has no luminescence of it’s own, it reflects the Solar light actually, and it’s reflectance is assessed to be slightly higher than that of worn out asphalt.  It’s  400 000 km  ( or  nearly so, 378 000 km from Equator* )  away from Earth , and it takes proximately 28 days ( 27 days, 7 hours and some minutes ) for one revolution period, effects of which , we perceive as  Moon phases.

The Moon’s diameter is 1738.10 km [2] , and most of it’s surface is made of silica ( SiO2 , around 45% ), which is what Quartz and some other crystals are  made of.

Spiritual symbolism of the Moon
While the scientific data about the Moon is inarguably useful, and quite stunning,  this article is to deal with its more “subtle” or not-so-tangible qualities.  What  the Moon symbolizes, what is Moon’s energy useful for in magick and how does it affect  other  planes of existence.  

As a Cancerian ( Zodiac ) I have always been deeply connected and in-tune with the Moon, and would stare in it for hours sometimes, ever since I can remember.  It affects me in many different ways, from causing me to act like a lunatic, to bringing me serenity and clarity of mind in midst of overwhelming turmoil,  that life has a habit of serving me, occasionally.  I find it so comforting and grin-inducing to watch it’s pale, ghostly glow at night sometimes.  My life  energy oftentimes decreases and rises, with the Moon’s image on the nightly sky. And, from what I hear, most of us crabs ( again, zodiac lol ) are like that XD

While researching the information on Moon’s spiritual relevance for this article I’ve came across with such opulence of folkloric and religious information, that It would literarily take me pages of a book to fit them all. I tried to be as concise  and comprehensive as possible, and focus on really crucial or really interesting information. For the Moon “lore”, and symbolism,  appear to form part of all the cultures, traditions and belief systems of the world, more or less.

Moon is largely seen a feminine symbol, though not always. It symbolizes  unconscious, receptive mind, intuition, illusion, fantasy, and is often interpreted as ominous of such when it appears in dreams.  But it’s also in general a symbol of spirituality, lunacy, irrationality, imagination, impulsiveness, dreams, psychic powers, feminine, fertility , childbirth and renewal.  It’s these associations that act as leads and clues about the Moon magick, which is, among other , tied to fertility, psychicism and incubated dreaming.

Moon in religions

Moon holds an extremely important role in pagan ( polytheistic ) religions, but surprisingly also does in monotheistic religions.

In fact, in Ancient times, some pagans even identified Moon as deity itself, or equated lunar deities and the Moon , much like was the case with The Sun in Ancient Egypt.

In Hinduism, Moon is symbolically connected to rabbit. The moon deity, understood to inhabit the Moon itself, Chandra, is  often depicted holding a rabbit. Even the Hindu phrase for the Moon, “candrama”, can be understood/translated as “rabbit-like” , or “that resembles a rabbit/bunny” . Hindu culture and tradition also perceive Moon as place where the souls which have not been illuminated, and thus have not broken loose of the   reincarnation cycle, reside, waiting for their  next incarnation. [3] New Moon, and it’s semi lunar, arch shape , is also a symbol of Shiva and his transformation nature and powers  [4]

In a lot of old European polytheistic religions and cults, as well as in Neo Paganism , Moon is seen as “mother of all” , spawning all sort of life forms and feeding them  with  the multitude of its/her  breasts [5], a symbolism that had been often employed to depict the images of pagan lunar deities.

And so the Greek Artemis, or her Roman counterpart Diana, are  often shown with a lot of breasts, with animals emerging from their heads, limbs and chest.  Another Graeco-Roman Moon goddess would be Selena/Luna, which seen as a, sort of Moon embodiment, or kind of avatar.

Another Greek goddess, Sophia , is a lunar deity, and “embodiment” of wisdom. In Chinese mythology Chang’e, shares the similar qualities.  In Wicca , the goddess  is often reffered to as Lunar goddess, as  opposed to Solar or Horned god, and is associated with the feminine, mysteries, childbirth and other lunar concepts.

Greek Hecate, reflects the darker aspects of the Moon, and is sometimes even said to drive people lunatic/insane if provoked, or to mislead them, misguide with illusions etc.

And Moon indeed is not purely, and only, a feminine symbol. Many male pagan deities are associated with the Moon as well, like the Japanese Tsukuyomi ( lol Naruto, anyone ? J ) , Egyptian Iah and Toth, or Irish Eleatha,  and Latvian Menes. [6] They are all belived to originate, at least in the archetypical and conceptual sense, from the Sumerian deity Nanna.

We can, however notice, that Pagan deities associated with Moon, are also associated with the concepts of fertility, hunt, secret knowledge, wisdom and magick, among other things.


In monotheistic religions ( Judaism, Christianity, Islam ) , the Moon is not as much associated with the feminine,  as much it’s  representative of the Divine presence, virginity, chastity, purity and novelty and renewal, resurrection. 

We can see Crescent Moon and a star on the Turkish flag.  Originally , it  symbolically represented meeting  of the Turkish Solar female ( ! ) deity Gun Ana ( or “Mother Sun” ) and male ( ! )   Ay Ata ( Father Moon ). [7] With the arrival of Islam, the monotheistic religion , the Moon and the star gained  different symbolism, representing paradise and resurrection.  The Crescent Moon itself,  is important Islamic symbol of openness and concentration.  The letter “n” in Arabic  writing resembles Crescent Moon, with a dot above it, it’s a symbol of resurrection, and plays specific , important role in  the funerary rites   and prayers for the deceased. [8] Also it’s wise to note here,  that some consider the world “Allah” to come from the Al-Illah , a Moon god of the pre-Mohamedian Mecca’s Kabba [9] Indeed, in all sort of dictionaries, particularly occult dictionaries one of the explanations for  the word “Allah” is “Arabic Moon god”.

Christianity shares many concepts  and beliefs  about the Moon with  Judaism. The Bible speaks ( Genesis ) of G-d’s creation of Sun, Moon and Stars , and while not being specific  in describing how exactly had G-d created them, it does go into details to explain why. Which is more important anyhow, for the human mind is way too feeble  to comprehend G-d’s power  and nature of his acts. The Moon is there to rule over night, much like Sun is there to rule over day, to give signs,  to reflect the light of the Sun on the earth and so on;

14And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” [10]


Bible also clearly notes that the Moon has no light of its own, much in a way like Church reflects the light of Christ, not emitting it’s own .

Also, Christians perceive Moon to be dangerous in its own right.  Bible speaks of lunacy, which is often understood to be a result of worshiping of the Moon in one or another way, consciously, with a specific aim or doing so, or even due to ignorance. And while the lunacy is clearly understood  to be a spiritual condition, it’s also believed to create a powerful physical consequences . Which are violence, aggression and irrationality mostly.  [11]  Today the world is oftentimes used  interchangeably with lunacy :


insanity; also : intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon “[12]


   News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures*, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. “ ( Mathew 4:24 NIV ) [13]


15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water” ( Mathew 17:15 KJV ) [14]

Finally,  Moon is set to mark the seasons and give prophetic omens, according to the Good  Book. While perhaps not readily evident, Moon indeed marks the seasons,  which we can attest  researching folklore or plainly reading  a farmer’s almanac.  The prefix words used with “Moon”, such as “Harvest” ( Harvest Moon ) indicate specific  full Moon in given  season. The July’s full Moon is called “Hay Moon” or Thunder Moon”.  The “Harvest Moon” for example, is  full Moon that occurs in September, understood to mark the end of the Summer, and  reminding people to harvest the fruits and vegetable they grew and nourished throughout the  year, before the frosts begin.  The most joyful Christian holiday, Easter or Resurrection , is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, marking also ( symbolically, not chronologically, nor astronomically ) the beginning of the spring.

Auspicious changes of the Moon’s appearance are treated as ominous or prophetic signs, foretelling  often impeding danger, and in the Bible and Christianity in general, are seen as predominantly bad signs


And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring ( Luke 21:25 KJV ) [15]


The Blood Moon, or the Moon which appears red, as If it was  stained with blood, is understood as
Red  moon during eclipse in
April 2014th
omen of war , famine or disease.  In Revelations  prophecy, Moon get’s gradually darker and darker, as the  Angelic horns/trumpets are sounded,   foretelling the second advent.


“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red” ( Revelation 6:12 NIV  ) [16]


The apocalyptic vision of the women with  New ( Crescent )  Moon under her feet and 12 stars encircling her head, as found in Revelations, is by some seen as  representing the literal women; like Virgin Mary in case of the Catholics, hence the common depiction of Virgin Mary standing on a Crescent Moon ; representing the Church ( Protestants ) ; or the Israel ( Bible scholars, most likely to be true ) :


"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth."   ( Revelation 12:1-2  NIV ) [17]


Some think that the Moon under the Virgin Mary’s feet in some artwork   ties her  with the Isis  ( Ancient Egypt goddess ) symbolism , however, using such broad spectrum  archetypical ideas , as  the Moon, to propose how the two concepts that embody them are one and the same,  is, to a serious person, either ridiculous or plainly moronic. I shall rather leave  such for paranoid conspiracy theorists , or for misinformed, fluffy Neo-Pagans,  those who give paganism a bad name.


Being how Judaism and Christianity share the Old Testament,  the basic “lore” and symbolism of the Moon, is identical in the two  religions. Hence I shall rather speak of concepts which are strictly Judaic in origin here.


Such as association of the Moon with Esther, the Purim ( Jewish holiday ) heroine, whose name comes from the Aramaic word “sihara” which means Moon.  Esther was alleged to be beautiful like the Moon.  But more than just name and physical appearance, Esther and Moon and connected symbolically. The series of event that she had to undergo on her journey  of becoming  heroine of the Hebrew people, are like the Moon’s changes ( phases ) a system of novelty events, which, is opposed to Sun’s ever-present, static, appearance. And like the Moon, the Divine providence in the aforementioned events remains  hidden,  and while seemingly unrelated, this series  of events are steps to a mutual, higher  goal. [18]


The first commandment to appear in Torah  is basically a commandment for the Hebrew people to  establish the Lunar calendar, which they still use, and it says : “hachodesh hazeh lachem," which  literally  translates  to “this month is yours”  ( Exodus 12:2 )


The Hebrew/Jewish people have more deep connection to the Moon on personal level  in comparison  to the Christian people,  at least in general. Which probably has a lot to do with the ritualistic practices associated with the Moon,  the lunar calendar, and more “positive” symbolism of Moon.  For most of Jewish people, the Moon is symbolic of Divine presence, and such idea takes central part in rituals like Kiddush Levana(h) .  The Kiddush Levana(h), or “The sanctification of the Moon ritual”, is a Jewish outdoor ritual, or rather a ceremony since the more people participates, the better, consisting of series of prayers recited to bless the New Moon.  Hence it’s done monthly, from 3 to 14 days after the New Moon ( depending on the weather, and Moon’s  visibility on the sky ). The rite reminds the Hebrew people of G-d’s  magnificent and miraculous  wonders of G-d’s creation, and His omnipresence. [19]

Moon phases and Moon in magick

Moon cycle and phases

Timing magick in accordance with the Moon phases is European magick concept, but it was adopted into many systems. Even some Hoodoo workers, my minority included, observe Moon phases and do spiritual work accordingly  when possible.

Here is  a general guideline with the Moon phases and correspondent type of magickal work

New Moon – New begging, growth, candle magick, money gain, traveler’s safety particularly of the sailors

Waxing Moon ( from New to Full, duration around 14 days  ) – conjuring, invocation, success in career, luck, healing ( gaining health ) , steady money increase, prophetic dreams, divination, glamour magick

Full Moon – Passion, Lust, Fertility, Prophetic dreams, Power gaining, Power boosting, Illusion casting, glamour magick, Necromancy, abundance, Astral projection, Uncrossing magick

Pale Moon or Wanning Moon ( from Full to New, duaration around 11**-14 days ) – Banishment and exorcism magick, Uncrossing magick, Cleansing magick, Wasting something off ,  decreasing it ( for example someone’s many, or warts ) , Healing ( removing sickness ) ,  removing pain and tension, removing inhibitions and blockages

Dark of the Moon” – sometimes, in magick the last three days of the waning part of the Moon cycle, when the Moon cannot be seen on the sky,  are considered the time  when no magick should be done, or  cursing and hexing magick should be done, depending on the schools of thought.

So in  a nutshell, the waxing part of the Moon cycle,  is beneficial for any kind of drawing magick, Full Moon is empowering, almost universally, and the waning part of the Moon cycle is used for banishing magick.

Moon folklore and superstitions


The text in brackets  represents my own comments and notes, the text written in italic are quotes. At the end of the quote/paragraph, the source is provided, least ( the last few cases ) I learned about it as a part of indigenous oral tradition


·         (Not only the silver, which is a Moon’s metal has amuletic  powers,  but the very shape is amuletic too.) “Hebrews wore crescent moons to  ward off the evil eye… and attached bells to  their clothing to ward off evil Spirits” ;  Rosemary Ellen Guiley , “Encyclopedia of Witches, witchcraft and Wicca” 

·         (Drawing down the Moon - The Wiccan ritual, preformed by the Wiccan high priestess, sometimes assisted with the high priest, is  a ritual of channeling, or voluntary possession by Wiccan goddess, akin to the Vodoun possession.) “The origins of Drawing Down the Moon can be found in classical times. Ancient Thessalian witches were believed to control the moon, according to an old tract: “If I command the moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, night will linger over my head; andagain, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if I wish to fly through the air, I am free from my weight.” Same as previous, 108th page

·         (Throughout human history , kings loved to identify themselves with the Sun, like Pharaoh in Egypt, or king Louise XIV of the France, but  they also identified with the Moon.) “The Moon also was believed to incarnate on Earth as a king; some lines of kings claimed to be the representatives of the Moon and wore horned headdresses. Eventually, the Man in the

Moon was replaced by the deity of the Moon, who was first a god, then a goddess.  same source,   234th page

·         (Moon is subject of many weather-related divinations. Here are some as found in “Folklore in Adam’s county Illinois”) : “If in the spring a crescent moon hangs like a cradle (rests on its back), the summer will be dry.”  Folklore in Adam’s county Illinois ,  Hyatt

·         "Circle/Ring around the moon,

Brings a storm soon." Same source

·         “Watch for cold weather when the moon is in the north, warm weather when the moon is in the south”.  Same source

·         (I have been told, ever since kid, by many people that hair grows longer  and faster if and when cut on the New Moon day/night, and thicker when during the Full Moon. It’s been recorded in folkloric writings too, like “Folklore in Adam’s county Illinois” ). Here are some of them: “The first morning of a new moon get up and trim your hair before eating or doing anything and it will grow faster.” Same source

·         Hair clipped anytime during the new moon: grows in twice as heavily, makes it longer, or prevents splitting.” Same source

·         Hair can be kept or made thick by trimming it when the moon is full.” Same source

·          The decrease of the moon is a bad time for clipping hair; you will become bald.” Same source

·         Whoever sees a woman combing her hair in the light of a full moon may expect trouble.” Same source

·         Full Moon causes lycanthropy and transformation into werewolves.  Silver, a lunar metal is therefore an anathema to the werewolves. [Widespread European folk belief, also Internationally spread belief ]

·         Full Moon causes lunacy, aggression and hazy mind. Sensitive people wearing Moonstone during Full Moon   may experience hallucinations. [ Widespread beliefs, Internationally ] 

·         Sleeping outside on a Full Moon night can/will drive one crazy. [European ]

·         Drinking from the same spring from which wolves had been drinking, on the Full Moon’s eve will turn a man into werewolf [ Eastern European belief ]

·         Sleeping outside on the night of the Full Moon, or eating Wolf’s meat on the night of the Full Moon can turn men into werewolf [ Eastern European belief ]

·         Sleeping with a Mirror under pillow on the night of the Full Moon will entice dreams in which one sees their future spouse/loved one. [ Widely spread European belief ]
Some commonly  encountered names for Full Moon, in each month according to Native American and Celtic heritage. If some month happens to have more than one Full Moon, the first one  is the one  that bears the folk name, while the second one is plainly referred to as "Blue Moon". This occurs   rarely ( every year and a half or so ) hence the expression "Once in a blue moon" :)
Moon correspondences and magick

According to the Clavicula Solomonis  ( Book I, Chapter 2nd ) “day and hour of Luna”  are proficient for following magickal operations/ types of work:

For embassies; voyages; envoys; messages; navigation; reconciliation; love; and the acquisition of merchandise by water. For making experiments relating to recovery of stolen property,  for obtaining nocturnal visions, for  summoning Spirits in sleep, and for preparing anything related to water.” [20]

Following are some basic Moon’s planetary correspondences:

·         Numbers: 9, 81, 369, 3321

·         Element: Water

·         Archangel: Gabriel

·         Plants: Camphor, Moonwort, Moonflower ( Datura inoxia ), Adder’s tongue,  Angel’s trumpet, Hyssop, Lemon, Evening Primrose, Myrrh, Willow, Jasmine, Oleander, Aloe, Cucumber, Cotton, Gardenia, Poppies, Water lettuce, Water Lilly, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Speedwell, Sweet flag, Irish Moss and  others too

·         Crystals: Aquamarine, Beryl, Chalcedony Crystal, Quartz , Moonstone, Mother-of-Pearl
Pearl, Sapphire, Selenite [21]

·         Kabalistic Tree of life sphere: Yesod 
Fourth Pentacle of the Moon, from Clavicula Solomonis,
said to protect wearer's body and  soul from injuries. It's Angel
Sophiel is also said to bestow knowledge on plants and
minerals to those who carry this pentacle and invoke him.

·         Metal: silver

·         Olympic spirit ( ruler ): Phul

·         Intelligence : Malcha betharsithim

·         Colors(s) : White, Blue, Silver

Consult these  correspondences  when writing spells that  focus on Moon’s planetary power, or when making Moon talismans.

Spells and  Formulae

Lunar Slime

Lunar slime is basically Moonlight infused water, and is used in magickal practice for any spells of Lunar nature, or whenever spell calls for consecrated water.  Variations  may exists, but essentially all one needs is:

·         Jar or glass container

·         Spring water

·         Light of the Full Moon

Fill the jar or the container to the rim with the spring  water, and set it so that it reflects the Full Moon on the sky. Keep it in this position as long as possible, You can move it around If You wish, or leave overnight on some elevated  place that should get enough Moonlight  until the morning.

Origins of the lunar slime lay in Thessalian witchcraft, where the witches were once believed to control the Moon.

However, according to Judika Illes, similar ritual exists in Mediterranean regions, and Morocco for example, where the Moon’s power is even manifested in form of so called “Moon foam”.  To obtain this spectacular, mysterious and enchanting  substance,  practitioner must, however perform a somewhat complex  ritual, which included running naked 7 times around a graveyard,  at night, with a Oleander branch, speaking incantations. As a result Moon’s guardian spirit should appear, and after some negotiation  give practitioner the Moon foam, which will from the drippings falling from the Moon itself.

Waxing Moon money spell

The following is a spell by Lady Sabrina, author of “The Witches MasterGrimoire , a fine little reference book :

“Items needed:
·         One silver candle,
·         1 tsp. ground allspice,
·         almond oil.

On the night of the waxing moon, inscribe the silver candle with the exact amount of money you need. Rub the candle with the almond oil as you chant the following:

As the moon doth wax and grow
So to me doth money flow.

Once you feel the candle is thoroughly charged with your wish, roll it in the allspice and light. Allow the candle to burn for one hour and then extinguish. Repeat this spell each night, at the same time, until the moon is full. On the night of the full moon allow the candle to burn out.” [22]

Charm to understand dream symbolism and for prophetic dreams

In a pale blue conjure bag, or hex bag combine:
·         Aquamarine or Chalcedony
·         Hebrew charm inscription ( from right to left ) Hey-Lamed-Aleph-Vau-Hey-Hey-Lamed-Aleph-Kaf-Hey-Hey-Caf-Ayin-Yod-Kaf-Vau

·           Some Mugwort or Bay Laurel leaf

Combine and make under the light of Full Moon, and place bellow pillow when going to sleep.                       

Basic Moon oil

Versatile, use for any kind of Moon related magick

·         Myrrh resin
·         Lemon essential oil
·         Willow leafs

In a base of Olive oil  

Lunar inspiration oil

For spiritual work, healing, inspiration and drawing benevolent spirits
·         Myrrh resin
·         Sandalwood powder or essential oil
·         Gardenia petals ( or essential oil )
·         OPTIONAL: Jasmine flower or  few drops Jasmine absolute oil

In base of Olive oil.

Moon purification oil

For purification and cutting ties with unwanted, or harmful people. For getting rid of leftover energy and energy imprints from nasty people. For casting off evil influences.

·         Eucalyptus essential oil
·         Lemon essential oil
·         Camphor resin ( small chunk ) or few drops of essential oil
·         OPTIONAL: pinch of Blessed

In a base of Olive oil.

Hope You enjoyed this and hope You find it useful and/or informative
LUV Shadow :)

NOTES: This article was written/composed by myself, hence should  You wish to use any part  of it elsewhere online, feel free, but add credits: "Shadow of Shadows magick place, or a direct link to this post.


* “ those having seizures”;  in the old Greek Bible versions it clearly says: “seleniazomai” which means, plainly and simply: “lunatic” , or “moon-struck” ,  not someone with seizures

**While the waning Moon phase/cycle is equal in duration like the waxing, in Magick, the last three days of waning part of the Moon cycle are often treated separately and referred to as the “dark of the Moon”
[1] According to :
[2] According to NASA sheet data :
[3] According to Cassandra Eason’s “Encyclopedia of magick and ancient wisdom”  , page 185th
[4] “Illustrated Encyclopedia of  signs and symbols” by Mark O’Connell and Raje Airey, page 121st
[5] As under [4] page 120th
[6] More comprehensive list of lunar deities, including many male ones,  can be found here:
[7] According to
[8] As under [4] page 121st
[9] Read more:
[10] Retrieved from :  for educational and explanatory purposes, without any ill will
[11] According to the source given under [9]
[12]  Retrieved from,  online, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary:
[13]Retrieved from
[14] Retrieved from
[15] Retrieved from for educational, and informative purposes, without  ill will
[16] Retrieved from:
[17] Retrieved from:
[18] Read more :
[19] According to
[20] Retrieved from: “Secrets of the magickal grimoires;  The Classical Texts of Magick Deciphered” by  Aaron Leitch , page 165, Llewellyn publications,
[21] List of the crystals  correspondent to the Moon according to:  
[22]  Retrieved from “The witches master grimoire; an Encyclopaedia of Charms, Spells, Formulas and Magical Rites ” by Lady Sabrina,  136th and 137th page,  Career press, 2008th

The first image is from used here for illustrative purposes only, without any ill will.
The second image, one showing Lunar eclipse is from: also used here for illustrative purposes, without any ill will.
The third image is from used here for explanatory purposes without any ill will
The fourth image / chart is made by myself. The fifth image is from the "The Great Key of Solomon the King" and is edited digitally  by myself, for it's posting and use here
The image of the Hebrew charm, or the sixth image is by myself