11 Mar What is Conjure Powder, and What Do I Do With It? A Tutorial By The Madame
Recently I announced the addition of my Arcana Artis Conjure Powders to the line-up of herbal products that I create in-house (meaning in my house, usually in comfy pajamas). I’ve received some great feedback on the packaging and scents, but I see the shifty-eyed perplexed faces that say “What’s Conjure Powder?” (without actually saying it).
SO WHAT IS CONJURE POWDER?
Arcana Artis (“the mysterious art”) Conjure Powders are multi-purpose herbal powders for magickal and ritual use, such as loose incense (to be burned on charcoal), candle dressing, floor sweep, sprinkled in the area of ritual, or used in anointing oil. The uses are only limited by your imagination…except culinary. I know, you’re thinking “But you said they’re herbs! Herbs are natural! Natural is good! Therefore I should consume this!”
Do. Not. Eat. Them.
Not all herbs are edible. Some can make you sick. Some can kill you. I love herbs. I love you. Don’t eat my Conjure Powder.
1. to affect or influence by or as if by invocation or spell.
2. to effect, produce, bring, etc., by or as by magic:
3. to call upon or command (a devil or spirit) by invocation or spell.
4. to call or bring into existence by or as if by magic
Each Conjure Powder is made of an amalgamation of either 7 (sacred number of truth and wisdom) or 13 (did you expect anything different from me?) herbs, depending on the formula. Each herb was chosen according to its folkloric or historic magickal use, and the intuitively recognized synergistic qualities of the herbs combined. Once the formula is created, I powder the already dried herbs, blend (and blend, and blend some more), add a compatible fragrance (and some more blending), imbue the lot on my altar with my own type of “Madame Mojo”, and then they get bottled and wax sealed. Not only do you get a multi-purpose “tool” when you buy my Conjure Powder, but you get a reusable black glass skull bottle to boot! Bonus!
I chose to create the Arcana Artis Conjure Powder “maiden voyage” line-up with the purposes and intentions I get the most requests for (and questions about) here at the shop: Some are looking for Love (Amor). Everybody needs Money (Fortuna). Some need to get rid of something (or someone) from their home (Exilium). Some are looking to Conjure beneficial spirits or energy (Elicio). Most want Protection (Praesidium). And many want to strengthen their Intuition (Praescientia).
SO WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
My favorite use for Conjure Powder is as a loose incense burned on charcoal. I realize this method can be difficult for a first timer (or those of us spoiled by stick incense…but its so convenient!), so I’ve made a little pictorial (pictured tutorial?) for your amusement.
You’ll need a fireproof vessel (Cast iron cauldrons are perfect for this, and I conveniently sell a variety of sizes!) and charcoal tablets (yes, I sell this as well). It’s the same charcoal used in Hookahs. Do not use the charcoal from your grill. You may also want to have some sand or salt in the bottom of your vessel/cauldron. You’ll see why later. Patience, my precious.
Step One (The first step is always the hardest): Light The Charcoal
This sounds easy. In theory, it is. I mean, you’re setting fire to something that’s meant to burn, right? In reality, it can be a bit difficult. My first suggestion is to invest in a pair of metal tongs for this (and it just so happens that I sell these too!). It will save your fingertips. Just splurge (it’s $4 – you deserve it!). Or use a pair of flat nose pliers. Or a roach clip. Whatever. Sometimes it takes a bit to get the charcoal to light – especially if its even the least bit humid (I’m looking at you, Florida!) *Store your charcoal in a ziploc bag or air tight container. You’ll thank me later.
While holding the charcoal disc in your (purchased from the shop) tongs, hold a match or lighter to it (those long candle lighters are handy for this. I do not sell these) until it starts to sparkle light a Twilight vampire. You may hear a little crack and sizzle. This is normal. Do not panic. It may not look lit just yet. Do not panic.
Set your lit charcoal on the sand/salt in the bottom of your cauldron/vessel. And wait. Don’t just start dumping Conjure Powder on that charcoal all willy-nilly like! Patience, my precious.
Step Two: Get Your Smoke On
Your charcoal may be all aglow by now, red hot and just begging for some Conjure Powder. Don’t do it! It’s a trick! It will just burn your precious Conjure Powder in mere seconds and smell like, well, something’s burning. You don’t want this. You want to wait a few minutes until the charcoal starts ashing over. Patience, my precious.
Ah, your patience has paid off and your charcoal looks like it’s seen better days. Now’s the time to get down to business. With a spoon (or something besides your easily burnable fingers) “bank” the sand up around the charcoal, and cover the charcoal in a light layer of sand. Yes, cover it. You’re not trying to suffocate it, you just want to insulate it. It’s for it’s own good.
It’s charcoal’s moment in the spotlight! Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of Conjure Powder on top of the sand covered charcoal. You want the Conjure Powder to smolder, not burn. This is why the sand is important. You can use salt or dirt or even small pebbles. The idea is to have something that won’t burn to keep the Conjure Powder from direct contact with the charcoal. You want the Conjure Powder to smolder, not burn. This will release the scent better, make the Conjure Powder last longer, and will create less smoke.
You can see here how much more smoke is created and how quickly the Conjure Powder can burn up if placed directly on the charcoal. It will burn the scent off very quickly and just smell like you left something in the oven. This is why the sand is important.
Once the Conjure Powder has smoldered to it’s death, take a spoon and scrape off the bits of ash, leaving a layer of sand over top of the still hot charcoal. How long the Conjure Powder burns or the charcoal stays hot varies, but 1/2 teaspoon should last 15 minutes or so. Charcoal tablets usually stay hot for 20 – 30 minutes. You can add more or less Conjure Powder to your charcoal depending on how long you want it to burn, just remember putting too much Conjure Powder on at a time can make it difficult to smolder.
Add another 1/2 teaspoon or so of Conjure Powder over the already hot charcoal to continue on your Conjure Powder journey if you choose, or smother that mother with some more sand if you’re finished.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WITH CONJURE POWDER?
Why I thought you’d never ask! My favorite use #2 is as a Candle Dressing. What is Candle Dressing? Well, it’s like preparing your candle for a hot date. Your candle is just naked and staring in to her closet, wondering what to wear. So you choose a Conjure Powder to match the mood of the date (beer or champagne? boots or stilettos?), and you dress that candle to the nines!
Candle Dressing: Lingerie
First, you want to choose a candle color that matches your intention (like red for love, green for money, etc), or a white candle can be used for all purposes – a candle panacea, if you will. Then you want to choose an oil that matches your intention. This is optional (as is lingerie), but it will add more oomph to your spell and help the Conjure Powder stick to your candle. You could also dip your candle (not the wick) in really hot water for a few seconds to make the outside tacky (like polyester lingerie) to get the Conjure Powder to stick. I prefer the oil method because I like oomph.
There are a few trains of thought on the method of dressing a candle. You will find all kinds of ways on the internet, as well as people telling you that you’re doing it wrong if you don’t do it their way (the only way!). Some start in the middle and work up, back to the middle, and then down. Some start at the top and work to the middle, then from the bottom and work to the middle.
My preferred method is simple: if I’m trying to attract something to me, I start at the top and work my way down. If I’m trying to send something away from me, I work from the bottom up.
Once I’ve dressed my candle in her oil lingerie, it’s time to put her dress on (it’s a black dress, I’m sure). I use the same method with the Conjure Powder as I do with the oil (top down to attract, bottom up to banish). You could just as easily roll your candle in the Conjure Powder. This is stated on the Conjure Powder packaging because to say all of this that is in this post would have taken up too much space. You may also inscribe names or sigils in your candle pertaining to your intention before dressing it for more oomph. I like oomph.
Let me take a moment here to emphasize intent. Lighting a candle and walking away will just give you light. If you want magick, you need to have intent. Be mindful of what and why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing. Hold these thoughts in mind as you prepare your candle. It doesn’t have to be a 5 hour meditation preceded by a 3-day fast and a hike to the top of a mountain while wearing a hair shirt and flagellating yourself. But it does take mindfulness and strong intention, fortitude, knowing, and follow through (the works not over once the candle goes out) to exact an energetic change – and isn’t that what magick is all about?
If you’re using a jar candle (like a Novena or 7 Day Candle), you can wait until the wax pools and then added a pinch of Conjure Powder to the wax for a similar effect.
A FEW OTHER USES FOR ARCANA ARTIS CONJURE POWDER (that don’t require pictures)
Floor Sweep: Sprinkle over floors before ritual, and sweep up afterwards – a great alternative if you are sensitive to smoke.
Anointing Oil: Add a pinch of Conjure Powder to a base oil (like Almond or Olive) and anoint sacred objects or yourself before ritual.
Put some Conjure Powder in an amulet that you will wear.
Add Conjure Powder to clay when making a talisman for that added oomph I keep mentioning.
Just don’t eat it. Don’t sprinkle it on your food. I can’t believe I have to state that, but you know someone will and I’ll get an angry email about how they didn’t know they couldn’t eat it. “It’s natural! Natural is good! I didn’t know I couldn’t eat it! You never told me I couldn’t eat it!”
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