Day 121: Beltane Incense and Oil

As with the other Sabbat studies, Roderick rounds out his Beltane activities with crafting an incense and oil appropriate to the occasion.

Beltane Incense

A handful of powdered sandalwood or hawthorn wood
1 teaspoon dry, crushed almonds
2 teaspoons frankincense tears
1 teaspoon dry meadowsweet
Vegetable glycerin
10 drops rose essential oil

Place your powdered sandalwood in a medium-sized bowl.  Stir in about 2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin.  Add the tablespoons one at a time and then mix with a metal whisk or fork.  You simply want to create a soft, fluffy compound.  Do not add the second tablespoon of glycerin if it feels like it would be too much, causing the incense to be too wet.

Now add your essential oil and whisk.  Add your other dried herbs and mix thoroughly.  Wait for at least a day for the compound to settle before you sprinkle it on hot coals.

Beltane Oil

Vegetable glycerin (or a carrier oil such as grape seed oil)
4 drops rose essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil
Pinch of frankincense

Find a one-ounce bottle. Fill the bottle halfway with vegetable glycerin. Add plain water until the bottle is three-quarters full. Add your essential oils. Add dry ingredients, close the lid, and shake the bottle. You can use this magical oil immediately.

Beltane Incense and Oil

Now that I’ve got that coffee grinder, incenses don’t look so intimidating to make.  This one came together in just a few minutes. 

After powering the sandalwood and meadowsweet together, I emptied them into a bowl and ground five almonds up in the coffee mill.  I was a little scared to do this, thinking I might make almond butter and ruin the machine, but it was a piece of cake.  I added the almond to the sandalwood and meadowsweet, then broke out my mortal and pestle to dust the frankincense.  I sifted all the ‘dry’ ingredients together until they formed a homogeneous mixture before adding the oil and glycerin.  I learned last time that 1 tablespoon of glycerin would be plenty, so that was all I added.  I guess we’ll see later what it smells like.

Having invested in a handful of 1-ounce dropper bottles at the Herb Shop and having invested in a nice, large bottle of sweet almond oil, I thought I’d give the Beltane oil a try, too.  I have to admit, I spaced and used 10 drops of rose oil, so I upped the rosemary by a drop to try to compensate.  I also had frankincense oil, so I used that instead of a pinch of the powder.  I’m a little amazed at how much the rosemary and frankincense cut the rose smell.  The final oil reminds me strongly of going to church on May Day.  Between the rose and the frankincense, I can’t help but think of the Virgin Mary!

UPDATE:  The incense smells like woodsmoke.  Maybe a touch of frankincense, but woodsmoke is predominant.  At any rate, it’s not really something you’d burn for the sake of ambiance.

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