Whether you love arts and crafts – or spellwork – or both, we’ll show you how to make your own crafty inks and oils. If you wish, we’ll also show you how to imbue them with magical properties for spell crafting and prayer books.
How To Create and Use Magical Inks
Anything can be used as a tool in rites and rituals, so long as you have sufficiently cleansed, consecrated and empowered it. Making your own ink for use in your Book of Shadows, any journals, logs, prayer books you plan to add to throughout your lifetime as a practitioner of magic will enhance the quality of the energy that you imbue into the pages and the affect of your work.
Of course, you may not be fussed about making your own inks as there are plenty of good inks available to purchase from occult shops and online. If you are not "crafty" by nature then that's completely fine, but if you are the kind of Witch who prefers to imbue their magical tools with their essence, then why not make a selection of beautiful inks to add to your tool collection?
Get Crafty: Ways to use your home-made inks
Your inks can be used for recording spells and their results in your Book of Shadows, writing up prayers and correspondence charts, inscribing talismans, making magical sigils, writing on specially prepared paper for petition prayers and spells, and as a scrying implement. If you have enough ink, you can even use them to record dream interpretations in your dream diary.
1. Boil a couple of beetroots then either juice them using a juicer or mash then up and strain through muslin or a fine sieve ( if using a sieve you may have to strain more than once to get any fibres out).
2. While the juice is warm (if it's cooled just reheat in a microwave or on a stove) add in a little gum arabic powder, stirring until this juice has thickened slightly.
1. Pick your blackberries locally when they're in season
2. Mash the berries and strain through muslin or sieve as in the method for beetroot ink.
3. Pour in sterilised bottles or jars.
The process required for making lampblack is simple, but time consuming. To begin collect up the following:
A taper candle and holder (use a white candle for any purpose but if you are creating the ink for a specific spell, use a corresponding colour of candle)s
A metal spoon (preferably a new spoon set aside for this purpose)
A piece of firm white card
Distilled or spring water
Gum Arabic powder
A cloth that can get dirty
A little patience!
1. Cover the surface you are working on with the cloth
2. Place the candle in the holder and light the candle; place the bowl beside it atop the cloth
3. Hold the back spoon just above the flame, so it is almost touching but not quite, for 30-60 seconds. You will notice a black coating has covered the back of the spoon – this is the treasure!
4. With the card, very carefully scrape the sooty substance off of the spoon and into the bowl. Do this slowly and deep into the bowl as it has a tendency to flutter away.
5. Now, this is where your patience is needed! Repeat steps 1-4 for about an hour, until you have a wealth of sooty goodness in the bowl. If the spoon begins to get too hot to handle, either have a break to let it cool or put on a glove.
6. You've acquired the treasure, now it's time to make the riches. Warm the distilled water and add drop-by-drop to the bowl of lampblack. After every 2 or 3 drops, mix the ink with a clean finger or the spoon. Stop adding water when the ink is black as obsidian. If it too watery just make some more soot and add it in.
7. Add in a small amount of gum Arabic at a time, stirring, until the mixture resembles the kind of ink you can buy in art and stationary shops.
8. Pour your Lampblack Ink into a sterilised glass jar or bottle (to sterilise; wash glass in a dishwasher or place in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes.)
9. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and children!
Useless Fact: Gum Arabic binds the pigment of the lampblack into paper when you write or draw with our ink. It is also used on postage stamps, envelopes, shoe polish, watercolour paints, and various sweets.
1 part dragon's blood
1 part gum Arabic powder
10 parts alcohol
2 drops cinnamon oil
2 drops bay oil
2 drops rose oil
Mix the ingredients and add the Arabic powder last, a little at a time, until you get the consistency you require.
The quantities of the following ingredients will depend on how much ink you intend to produce.
Red carnation petals
1. Grind the frankincense resin, cardamom pod(s), carnation petals and dried marjoram in a pestle and mortar
2. Stir in the red talc
3. Add enough vanilla essence to create an inky consistency
4. If you need to thicken the ink, add in a little gum arabic powder
1 part dragon's blood
15 parts alcohol
1 part gum Arabic
And there you have it. It doesn’t matter what, if any, faith you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re of a pagan/magic persuasion, or looking for new arts and crafts ideas. Making homemade inks and oils is satisfying work in itself… and can leader to even greater work further down the line.
There aren't many activities better than making a batch of incense to get my witchy vibe humming… Basic directions are to pulverize herbs and resins with the mortar and pestle, then mix them to make the perfect balance of scent. It's a great way to kick off the dark half of the year.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
The fresher the ingredient, the better quality the incense.
If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a manual coffee grinder. Electric coffee grinders are not recommended. They produce too much heat, allowing for the loss of vital chemicals from our ingredients. Also, most resins will break the blades of electric coffee grinders, and besides, it's cheating ! :)
If you freeze your resins for about 15 minutes, they will be more solid and therefore much easier to pulverize.
Woods are very difficult to powder with a mortar and pestle and really require the use of a hand crank coffee grinder of some sort or simply begin with powdered woods.
Start with the powdered woods, then crush the herbs thoroughly. Save the resins until last, because they will make the most mess. Once every thing has been powdered, all ingredients should be combined and crushed together to merge the scents into one unique fragrance.
The new incense should be be stored in an airtight container (preferable dark glass), and "aged" in a cool dark place for a few weeks before using.
Once you have mastered the basics, try this:
Add some dried fruit or honey to the mixture. This will allow you to mold the incense into 'cakes' or 'pellets' that are even more versatile.