4. Casting your own candles a. Most of todays candles are made from paraffin wax. (1) Para

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

4. Casting your own candles a. Most of todays candles are made from paraffin wax. (1) Paraffin wax is sold in blocks in grocery stores for sealing the tops of homemade preserves. b. Coloring for the candles can be bought at an arts and crafts store or if you are not going to make a lot at one time, you can melt a colored crayon in the hot paraffin. c. Molds for your candles should have smooth sides and should not break your heart if they have to be broken or cut off your candle with tin snips. d. Lengths of wick can be bought or you can make your own by soaking cotton thread or string (not nylon) in a boric solution (the crystals may be obtained at your pharmacy) and then leaving it to dry. e. When you are ready to make your candles, knock a small hole in the bottom of your mold and run your wick through it. Tie a knot in the wick at the outside bottom of the mold and apply some patching plaster to the inside of the mold to close the hole. (1) Tie the other end of the wick to a nail or stick which is long enough to rest across the sides of the mold. (a) Make sure the wick is taut so it is not wasted. f. To safely melt the paraffin, place cut up lumps of it into the top of a cheap double boiler which is sitting in a water bath and heat the water bath slowly until the clumps of wax melt thoroughly. (1) DO NOT place the wax into a pan which is resting directly on the heat source. (a) Wax is flammable and very hard to extinguish if you start a fire in the pan with it. (2) Once the paraffin is melted, add your coloring. (a) If you wish to scent your candle, this is the time to add your essential oils. (b) Herb oils and essences may be purchased in most pharmacies, herb stores, arts and crafts stores or occult supply stores. (c) REMEMBER--the oils should be used with restraint or else your candle will stink like a cheap bar of soap. g. The wax is poured into the mold a little at a time, say one fourth, and then allowed to cool and form a depression, then another fourth, and so on until the candle is entirely formed. (1) Once the candle is poured, place it in a jug of cold water so that the candle may cool, but no water may enter the mold. (a) When thoroughly cold, tip out the candle, trim the wick, and burnish the candles with a piece of cotton dipped in vegetable oil. 5. It is customary not to blow out magic candles. a. Candle snuffers are preferred to the use of wet fingertips or a plate smashed down on the wick. (1) IT IS NOT A SAFE PRACTICE to leave a candle burning unattended in a closed up house. (a) Even the seemingly safest candle can be knocked over by a stray animal or a gust of wind and start a fire in your home. B. Preparation of Incense and Charcoal 1. Types of Incense a. Oils (1) Sprinkled on a fire or a glowing coal. b. Powdered (1) Warmed in tiny braziers (a) Require a glowing coal to ignite c. Small cones (1) Also burned in a brazier (a) Does not need to sit on a charcoal. d. Joss Sticks (1) Burned by placing sand in a bowl and lodging the stick in the sand in an upright position. e. Ribbons (1) Made of inch-wide woven cotton ribbons. (a) Burned in an ashtray. f. Papers (1) Specially treated papers which when lit are gently blown out and allowed to smolder in ashtrays. 2. Colors of Incenses a. The color is provided by the base and corresponds to the color assigned to the planets in the Table of Correspondences. (1) Of course, it is up to you, after experimentation, to determine if the assigned colors work for you. 3. Bases and Recipes for each type of incense a. Most bases are made from the sawdust, or raspings, of wood. (1) Ground cascarilla bark is used in most of the finer incenses because it gives off a weak musk smell when burned. (a) It would not be unusual to find that the wood base of an incense was made from raspings of the tree that is sacred to the Intelligence of the planet for which the incense is prepared. b. The basic recipe for a wood base is as follows. (1) 50% of the total volume of the incense in the form of raspings. (a) Normally one ounce mixed with 2 ounces of powdered Benzoin and one ounce of Storax. (2) 50% of the total volume of the incense in the form of finely ground spices, herbs, or coarsely ground resins. (a) Normally about one ounce. c. Before mixing the base you would want to dye the raspings in a pot of clothing dye and allow them to dry fully in the sun. (1) As the raspings start to dry you should spread them out on a drying board to ensure that they do not dry in clumps. (a) Being careful to wear rubber gloves when you are handling the raspings during the dying process, and afterwards when you are spreading them out to dry, this will keep you from dying your hands as well. d. The base for making cones is as follows. 6 oz finely powdered charcoal 1 oz powdered Benzoin 1/2 oz Saltpeter 1/4 oz Tolu 1/4 oz of raspings. Enough mucilage of tragacanth or gum arabic to make a stiff paste. (1) The solid ingredients are ground to a fine powder and mixed into the tragacanth. (a) Gum tragacanth and gum arabic or acacia gum are the two principle glues used to hold powdered ingredients together. (b) Mucilage of tragacanth is prepared by placing a tablespoon of powdered tragacanth into a container with 10 oz of water. If necessary, correct the consistency - you want a heavy paste that can be molded with your hands. (c) Keep the mucilage well covered, so that it will remain soft. (d) If the tragacanth or gum of arabic pastes become hard before you have a change to mold them they can be softened in a double boiler with gentle heat and constant stirring. (2) When the oils and other powdered ingredients are added the mixture should form a manageable dough. (a) After the addition of the scented oils, the mixture is divided and rolled into small cones. (3) A cone shaped mold is handy to use as it is hard to get the exact shape just with your fingers - but not impossible. (a) You have to work quite fast and keep the unused portion in a bowl covered with a damp cloth. (b) Set these little shapes aside to dry - which takes a day - and they are ready to ignite. e. Joss sticks are difficult to make without a special press. (1) You can usually obtain one in areas where there is a large oriental population. (2) The idea is to make coils from the paste mixture prepared in the recipe for cones. (a) You might roll slim snakes of the paste, place them on waxed paper and stick tiny twigs into one end so they will stand in an incense holder. (b) You might also try rolling paste around a thick broom straw. f. Sweet Ribbons are made with inch wide woven cotton ribbons like the ones used in upholstery repair. (1) To ensure an even and slow burn in the ribbons, you should prepare a solution of 12 ozs of boiling water and 1 oz of saltpeter. (a) Pull the ribbons through the solution until they are thoroughly saturated and set them aside in the sun to dry. (b) Saltpeter (sodium nitrate) is obtainable from your druggist. (2) After the ribbon is dried, it is pulled through a shallow tray of the perfume or oil you are using and dried again. (a) To use, you cut off a length of ribbon and light one end. (b) Blow out the fire and set the smoldering ribbon in an ashtray. g. Armenian Incense Papers are prepared by cutting a large sheet of white blotting paper into about eight pieces. (1) Pull each paper through the saltpeter solution prepared for the Sweet Ribbons, until each piece is thoroughly saturated. Hang the strips to dry. (a) Macerate or soak a crushed vanilla bean in 8 ozs of vodka for a week, filter the solids. out. (b) Add a few drops, to preference, of your favorite essence oils to the alcohol and mix this with 1 1/2 ozs of powdered benzoin and 1 oz of crushed sandalwood. (c) Again, draw the papers through the resulting liquid and hang them to dry. (2) When dry, cut them into inch wide strips and store them in waxed paper or foil. (a) To perfume a room light the corner of one of the papers and immediately blow it out. (b) It should smolder and give off it's scent. (c) Leave the smoldering paper in an ashtray, until it has burned itself out. 4. Most incenses will burn by themselves, but oils and resinous incenses, like Frankincense and Myrrh, as well as most powdered incenses, require a glowing charcoal to provide heat for ignition. a. Most religious supply stores sell self-igniting charcoal in little round cakes which can be used whole or broken into smaller pieces. (1) If you have a mind to, you can make your own charcoal and then treat it so that it will catch fire easily. (2) To make your own charcoal, build a small fire, in a container which is airtight when it is closed, using wood chips purchased at the supermarket or pieces of bark from a nursery. (a) Once the wood is glowing red-hot, close the lid, and let the fire smother. (b) After the coals have cooled, from several hours to a few days, remove them and grind them up into a fine powder using the grating side of a kitchen grater. (3) To treat your charcoal for easy lighting and shaping into usable shapes you will need to prepare a solution of 30 ozs of water in which 1/2 oz of saltpeter has been dissolved. (a) Add 30 ozs of the ground up charcoal to the previou solution and add just enough gum tragacanth or gum arabic to make a heavy paste. (b) Form the paste into small squares or circles and make an indentation in the top of them with your thumb. This will form a cup to hold a pinch of incense. (4) To light your charcoal, hold a flame to the corner or edge of your square or circle. (a) Lay the charcoal in an incense burner, which is filled at least 1/3 full with sand or ashes to prevent burning the table that it sits on. (b) Wait until all the charcoal is glowing and then place a pinch of powdered incense or a small piece of resin on the coal. (c) Be careful not to smother it with too much incense. C. Formularies for the Planetary Incenses 1. Moon Incense a. Wood base is made of Willow raspings, colored white or silver for use on the new moon, red or green on the full moon and black on the dark or waning moon. (1) Mix equal parts of wormwood and camphor raspings to the wood base. (a) Form into whichever form of incense you prefer. Don't forget you can shape it into the symbols that hold special meaning to you. Example: making small crescent moons using the recipe for cones would be appropriate. 2. Sun Incense a. Wood base is made of acacia, bay laurel, ash, birch or broom raspings and colored gold or yellow. (1) Mix equal parts of coarsely ground Frankincense and Myrrh. (a) It is best to form these into cones so that they burn more evenly. 3. Mercury Incense a. Wood base is made of hazel, ash, or almond raspings and colored violet. (1) Mix equal parts of gum mastic and cinnamon. (a) Powder or cones will work just as well. 4. Venus Incense a. Wood base is made of apple or quince raspings and colored green, indigo, or rose red. (1) Mixing equal parts of finely ground lavender, chamomile, cinnamon, orris root, and rose petals. add musk and patchouli oil to your liking. Best prepared as a powdered incense. 5. Mars Incense a. Wood base is made of holly or kerm-oak raspings and colored blood red. (1) Mix 4 parts coarse ground Dragons Blood resin with 4 parts ground Rue, 1 part Ginger, 1 part coarse ground peppercorns, and a pinch of sulfur. (a) Best prepared as a powdered incense. 6. Jupiter Incense a. Wood base is made of oak, olive, or terebinth raspings and colored a deep, or royal blue. (1) Mix equal parts of finely ground anise, mint, hyssop, chervil, liverwort, and juniper. (a) Makes an excellent powdered incense. 7. Saturn Incense a. Wood base is made of alder or pomegranite raspings and colored black or blue. (1) Mix 4 parts of coarse ground myrrh, 1 part elderberry, 1 part cypress, 1 part yew, and 1 part patchouli raspings. (a) Burns best as a powder, if it is finely mixed. Cones are better if you cannot mix them well enough. D. Using Spices as Incense 1. Once it was very common to use spices to perfume a room or house. a. Popular spices such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, or rosemary leave a room smelling very pleasant. (1) Heat up about 1/4 of a teaspoonful of a good vegetable cooking oil and stir in your spices. (a) As soon as the mixture starts to smoke, remove it from the heat and walk about the room with the pan of hot spices. E. Preparation of Essence Oils 1. Methods of Extraction a. The three most used methods of extracting essence oils from plants are: distillation, enfleurage and maceration. b. Distillation is the most common method of extraction and works well on leaves, bark, roots, seeds, and tough flowers such as roses and lavender. This method is not, however, suitable for the more delicate flowers. (1) The basic apparatus for distillation consists of a still or retort, in which the materials are heated over a boiling liquid, a condenser to cool and condense the resulting vapor carrying the oils, and a receiver to collect the distilled liquid. (a) Gather and cut up about 60-80 grams of plant material as best you can and place it in the retort, where the contents are steamed by boiling water. (b) As the steam passes over the plant material it causes the moisture in the plants to escape, carrying the essential oils along with it. (c) The vapor enters into the condenser where it cools and condenses into tiny droplets which slide down the collector into a vial. (d) Generally, the first ounce is pure oil and the rest is suitable for toilet water. c. Enfluerage is an extraction which uses no heat and is best applied to the removal of essence oils from delicate flowers like violets, lily of the valley, and mignonette. (1) Enfluerage is based on the principle that essential oils are absorbed by other fats and oils. (a) Shallow trays are greased on both sides with purifies fat and fresh blossoms are spread thickly between them. (b) Every few days the spent flowers are removed and replaced with fresh ones until, in about 4 weeks, the fat is saturated with the flower oil. You now have Pomade. (2) The oil is then extracted from the fat by mixing it with unscented vodka, surgical alcohol or brandy. (a) The oil will dissolve in the alcohol and can be removed by placing the container of fat, essence oil and alcohol in a cold water bath. (b) This is prepared by taking a container full of ice water, which is larger than you oil container, and placing the oil container in it. (c) The fat will congeal and the alcohol, with the essence oil, can be poured into a suitable container. (3) Sometimes cloths soaked in olive oil are used instead of trays, the blossoms being replaced as necessary until the olive oil is fully charged with the perfume. (a) Then the oil is squeezed from the cloths and the essential oils separated with alcohol as in the earlier procedure. d. Maceration is a similar and quicker method of extraction used for less fragile flowers. (1) Successive batches of fresh flowers are left to soak in warm fat for several days, until the fat is strongly impregnated. (a) As before, the oils are washed out of the fat by the alcohol. 2. Mixing Essence Oils a. When mixing essence oils for use as scents on the body, you will want to dilute the pure essence oil with 50% olive oil or light mineral oil. (1) This extends your essence oils and prevents the body oil from being too overpowering. (a) When applying body oils you should place a small drop over those places where the blood vessels run close to the surface of the skin so that as your blood runs hot the scent radiates from you. b. In working specific spells, it might be necessary to use five or more oils to cover all the bases. F. Formula for an Annointing Oil 1. This oil is generally utilized to bless candles before they are used in a ceremony, and is said to magnetize the candles or to give them more occult strength. b. This oil can also be used to wipe down an altar or a worship room. (1) Determine the total volume of oil you wish to make, mix 50% of the total in a good quality olive oil or light mineral oil with a 50% blend of the following oils: (a) Patchouli Oil (b) Cinnamon oil (c) Verbena oil (2) Try to obtain as pure an oil as possible for each ingredient. (a) Mix the patchouli, cinnamon, and verbena in equal amounts, so that the total is 50% of the total volume. G. A Word of Caution 1. Some people have allergic reactions to essence oils. a. Never use oils or blends of oils in large amounts until you have tried a small amount on your skin to be sure you are not allergic to them. END OF LESSON 7

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank