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Burning Incense on Smoldering Charcoal


  1. Fill a heat proof incense bowl or censer with at least 2” of sand, or natural ash (do not use salt, this is not safe). This will provided some much needed insulation for your burner. Charcoal can burn at up to 1500 degrees F. 

  2. Form a cone shape with whatever medium you filled your burner and place the charcoal tablet at the peak. This will allow air to flow around the charcoal. This is more important when using sand, since ash is “breathable.” 

  3. Place a charcoal tablet on the ash/sand and light the edge. If it’s self-igniting charcoal (contains potassium nitrate) you will see tiny sparks as you light it and it will ignite quickly so never hold it in your hand! If you need to hold the charcoal over an open flame to ignite it, use tweezers or tongs to hold it. 

  4. If your charcoal tablet has a concave indentation on one side place it in your burner with the hollow facing up. Use the “bowl” to hold your incense ingredients. 

  5. Wait until the charcoal is glowing red hot and is covered with grayish-white ash. This could take about 5 minutes or so. If you like you can fan or blow on the charcoal to help get the whole tablet started. 

  6. When ready sprinkle a pinch or two (about 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon) of incense (e.g. resin, dried herbs, etc.) directly on top of the hot charcoal. The incense will begin to smolder. Be careful not to place too much incense on the charcoal or you may smother it and you’ll have to start over. 

  7. When the smoke begins to thin out, add more incense. The charcoal will stay hot enough to burn incense for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Burning Tips: 

  • For a longer lasting burn that yields a subtler yet full bodied aroma you may also want to try “heating” incense over charcoal. This is a great incense burning method for wood chips (see below)
  • To maintain freshness (quick lighting and long burn time), charcoal tablets should be stored in a cool place in an airtight package. 
  • If you’ve purchased an incense mix that’s labeled “match light” that means it can be burned without charcoal. Follow the instructions on the label.

Click the “read more” for info about heating incense over smoldering charcoal.

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So a few months ago, I wrote a piece entitled “On Forget-Me-Nots, and Creating Your Own Meaning”. Its purpose was to outline how correspondences can shift from one practitioner to the next, and how you can use your personal experiences to create stronger bonds in the way you do witchcraft. I’d…


Peach & Rosemary Blossom Lemonade

6 cups water
1 cup honey
4 ripe peaches, cut into 8ths 1 and 1/4 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup rosemary blossoms, plus a few rosemary sprigs for garnish
Simmer the water and honey with the peach slices over medium low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rosemary blossoms. Set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the lemon juice and pour into the serving vessel. Garnish with the rosemary sprigs and refrigerate until serving time.
Mama Bear’s magic pasta sauce (non-vegitarian)


Today is sauce day, so I wanted to share my recipe with you guys. I have two of them, one I call Devil’s Sauce, which is a very spicy vegetarian, and I have my classic sauce, which is basically the recipe that has been passed down through the women in my family. Each of us alter it to our own ways of cooking, and this is my own version.

My way of cooking is a little hodgpodge, and mostly based off of taste and intuition, so the written recipe is not very exact; however, this is a great kitchenwitch recipe for love, comfort, plenty, positive family connections, happiness, and even fertility or wealth.

Ingredients list:

  • Fresh tomatoes- roma, on the vine, beefsteak, whatever you can get fresh and ripe
  • half a yellow onion
  • some garlic, maybe a big clove
  • Spices- you’ll need at least oregano, rosemary, sea salt, a bay leaf, basil, pepper, and chili flakes. In a pinch (aka college) italian seasoning plus salt and pepper will do
  • Canned tomatoes- basically any kind as long as they’re not flavored. You can use paste (but not a lot- use as more of an additive, this will make for a much sweeter sauce), crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce- each one will give you a slightly different texture and taste
  • Ground meat. This could be turkey, beef, bison, ect
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta! (I swear to the gods, do not use egg noodles, use actual pasta)

So first thing’s first, dice your onions and garlic. You want nice small pieces, and you’re gonna need a big pot. Turn on the heat to medium high, pour in a little bit of olive oil and wait for it to get hot. Now put in your garlic and onions and that shit should start sizzling right away. Stir it like you’re sauteing, and cook until the onions start to become translucent. Fantastic, now add your ground meat and saute that shit some more. You want all of those garlicy wonderful flavors to go into the meat. Add the rest of your herbs and spices too.

Once your meat is mostly cooked, you’re going to add your fresh tomatoes. Today I included a tomato that I’d sacrificed to Aphrodite and had been sitting in her offering bowl- so there’s going to be some love in this one. Ok, so wash those suckers, but don’t chop them, crush them in your hands one at a time.

Fresh tomatoes will pop and spurt everywhere, so here’s my trick to not getting covered in juice and seeds. Lower your tomato into the pot and press your thumb gently through the skin and then through the chambers of the tomato. Once this has been accomplished, then you can clench your fist and proceed to crush it without getting it everywhere. Do this for all of them, and cook it for a while. You want those tomatoes to get nice and sweet from all that direct heat. After a while you can add your canned tomatoes and turn down the heat to a simmer. The longer you cook this sauce, the better it will be- all day is good.

Now don’t forget to stir often while cooking. Not constantly, but every ten minutes or so give it a stir and make sure nothing’s sticking. It’s a rule at our house that if you’re in the kitchen, or you pass the sauce, or if you know it hasn’t been stirred in a bit, you stir it. Everyone stirs it, which to think about it really has good magical connotations with connection and family.

Now, we’re going to make pasta. “But why so soon, I thought it was going to cook all day?” you ask. Yes, it is, but we’re not going to eat this pasta just yet. We just want the water. Why? You’ll see. So cook your pasta, and once it’s done you’ll be left with some nice starchy water. Instead of draining it all out into the sink, make sure you get at least a nice big ladleful into the sauce. This thickens it and makes sure it doesn’t separate on your plate, leaving you with watery juice leaking from the sauce all over your plate. If it doesn’t thicken, you can toss the pasta itself in there!

Keep simmering it, keep stirring it, and taste it every once in a while. Add more spices if needed. Do not cover it, you want it to cook down. After a few hours it should be a nice cohesive sauce. Enjoy!

Iris’ List on Types of Water and Their Uses


I use a fuck ton of water in my craft and almost every spell that I cast has got some sort of water involved in it. Here’s just a few of the kinds I use.

  1. Sea Water - I use it for literally everything, cleansing, banishing etc.
  2. Rain Water - This kind of depends on what you associate with rain. I use this mostly for creativity/inspiration sort of things.
  3. Storm Water - Strength or when used in curses is good for chaos and ‘stormy’ times.
  4. Puddle Water - I personally use this in curses when I want the target to feel stagnate, trapped at a certain point in their life.
  5. Water from a Storm Drain - For curses, I use this when I want my target to feel self-loathing, low and disgusted with themselves.
  6. Water from a Flower Vase - I usually only use this when the flowers in the vase are in full bloom (or as much as they can be) for ‘nourishing’ a situation and helping it grow.
  7. Tears - Very strong, they can be used for a lot of things. Even positive.
  8. River Water- Can help stimulate change.
  9. Lake Water - Even though I have a lake very close to my house, admittedly, I don’t use it too often. But it can be used as a substitute for sea water.
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