Loose incense consists of nothing more than the dried, powdered ingredients. “Powders” may be identical to incense, the words are sometimes used interchangeably, or you may blend them with arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or rice powder, to create a dusting powder.

Amber

Do not burn amber beads! The confusion lies between the solidified resin known as amber and ambergris, the fragrant substance derived from sperm whales, also often called “ambra.” This “Amber” formula somewhat replicates the fragrance of ambergris. Blend ground powdered labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla bean.

Black Salt

Although there is an actual black salt used in Indian cuisine, magical black salt is concocted by blending salt with the scrapings from cast iron cookware. Black salt is mainly used in protection spells and to cast hexes.

Break-Up Powder

Sometimes a significant relationship may have ended for you. Now you’re waiting for the other person to come to the same understanding.

  1. Grind and powder the following dried botanicals: lemongrass, mullein, patchouli, valerian, and vetiver.
  2. Sprinkle the powder in the pockets and shoes of the one whom you’d like to send packing.

Warning: this is not a secret spell. The ingredients are derived from Van Van and (botanical) Graveyard Dust. The powder will have a strong aroma. Questions will be asked.

Cascarilla Powder

This is powdered eggshell: the only ingredient is eggshell. Eggshells once had profound associations with European witches. Witches were believed able to transform an emptied eggshell into a vehicle for travel over water or through the air. To make sure they weren’t helping the witches have fun, many insisted on crumbling emptied eggshells before disposing of them. To leave them whole was to invite the witches’ use. Ironically, powdered eggshell is a magical ingredient in many spells, both benevolent and otherwise.

Cascarilla Powder can be either white or brown:

White Cascarilla Powder

  1. Clean the eggshells and let them dry out.
  2. Crumble the pieces and place them in a mortar and pestle.
  3. Grind these into a fine powder.

Brown Cascarilla Powder

  1. Clean the eggshells.
  2. Break up the shells so that the pieces lie flat.
  3. Toast these pieces in a low, slow oven until the shells brown.
  4. Grind these to a fine powder.

Drawing Powder

This is confectioner’s sugar.

Graveyard Dust

Graveyard dust may be self-explanatory: dirt from the graveyard. It may also be various botanicals or a combination of the two.

Valerian, patchouli, and mullein all bear the nickname “graveyard dust.” Grind and powder the botanicals and use them where graveyard dust or dirt is indicated. Alternatively, collect dirt from the cemetery.

Goofer Dust

“Goofer” derives from the Kikongo word “kufwa,” meaning “to die,” and 99.5 percent of Goofer Dust’s uses are malevolent. It is a usually a blend of graveyard dirt (real dirt, not botanicals) with other substances. Thousands of recipes exist, with practitioners boasting of the potency of their private blends.

Goofer Dust allegedly causes the target of the spell to become weak and confused. Powers of speech, concentration, and thought are allegedly affected; the target acts “goofy.” Some claim Goofer Dust leaves victims crawling on all fours, barking like a dog. Particularly potent Goofer Dust, real “killing powder,” causes the victim to waste away, eventually dying if an antidote is not found.

The most common basic version is a blend of graveyard dust, salt, and sulfur (brimstone.) Other popular ingredients include gunpowder and church bell grease.

Goofer Dust’s most famous associations are with New Orleans-styled Voodoo and Hoodoo, from whence it derives its name. Although it may not be called Goofer Dust elsewhere, this is not an isolated for mula. In his autobiography, Dr. John, the brilliant New Orleans musician, recalls scraping grease from church bells for the dust. Across the Atlantic Ocean, far from African influence, Slavic witches traditionally climbed into church steeples on Saint George’s Day to obtain grease from bell axles for similar purposes.

Henna Powder and Paste

Henna powder derives from the dried ground leaves of the henna plant. Henna paste is created from the powder. Although henna paste may be purchased, choose your vendor carefully: for optimum magic power and aesthetic beauty both powder and paste must be fresh, not aged. There are thousands of methods of preparing henna paste: technique and intuition combine. Here is a suggestion:

  1. Henna powder should be green and fragrant.
  2. Even though a reputable vendor will sift their henna, further sifting may be required and will certainly be beneficial. Sieves are ancient magical tools: while sifting, concentrate on your desires for the henna design, whether aesthetic or enchanted.
  3. Boil approximately one half cup of loose black tea in roughly four cups of water until the water has been reduced by about one half.
  4. Add any additional ingredients: suggestions include rose petals, saffron, fenugreek, or cloves.
  5. Simmer this brew for approximately an hour.
  6. Strain and discard the solids, reserving only the liquid.
  7. Strain a lemon or lime and add only the juice, not pulp or seeds, to the brew.
  8. Warm the brew but do not allow it to boil.
  9. Begin to add approximately one half cup of henna powder. Add it slowly, spoonful by spoonful, keeping an eye on the texture. The goal is to achieve something that is similar in consistency to cake batter.
  10. Once the consistency has been achieved, add approximately one teaspoon of essential oil of eucalyptus.
  11. Test the paste by dabbing a little on your skin and leaving it there for fifteen minutes. Although the henna is not yet full strength, a faint orange tinge should still develop.
  12. Let the finished paste rest in a warm place, covered, for approximately six hours before using it to paint designs.

Kyphi

Kyphi was an Egyptian temple incense for mula so important that its formula was engraved onto temple walls. Various formulas existed. Kyphi is an oil-and fat-free formula, based on wine and raisins with added fragrant botanicals. It was used in sacred ritual but also to relieve insomnia and provide deep sleep. Ingredients might include:

Cardamom pods

Cinnamon

Coriander seeds

Frankincense

Golden raisins

Honey

Juniper berries

Mastic resin

Myrrh

Red wine

Rosebuds

Sweet flag/calamus root

The scent traveled through the ancient world: the Egyptians were scandalized when the Greeks began to use kyphi as an aphrodisiac. The Egyptian method of creating kyphi was complex. An example follows. The name “kyphi” is frequently used by manufacturers of spiritual products to indicate any incense possessing an ancient Egyptian “ambience.”

Egyptian Kyphi

  1. Begin by blending equal parts dried ground acacia, henna, and juniper.
  2. Soak the resulting powder in wine.
  3. In a separate container soak golden raisins in wine.
  4. Allow this soaking process to continue for seven days.
  5. Take equal parts cardamom, sweet flag/calamus, cinnamon, peppermint, bay leaves, galangal, and orrisroot.
  6. Grind each one separately then blend and grind again into a fine powder.
  7. Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of myrrh resin to the spice mixture.
  8. Drain the herbs and raisins soaking in wine and add them to the honey/myrrh/spice mixture.
  9. Add sufficient wine to steep the combined materials, plus terebinth and raisins to form a thick paste.
  10. Use this as is (simmer it to release the fragrance) or dry it, cut into squares, and burn as incense.

New Home Incense

Coriander seeds

Frankincense

Mastic pearls

Myrrh

Grind the above ingredients together and burn.