How to burn?

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Wiccita
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How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Hi all. The very first time I tried a spell, which was supposed to be completed by burning an object with some sandalwood, I could not get the sandalwood to burn. (I have chips). I’m not sure how best to get the fire going, and I don’t know how much it would dilute or alter the fire to mix anything in with the chips. I did a practice run with some chips that I had mixed in a few drops of olive oil into and a couple strips of tissue, and it worked, but is this advisable?

Also, if the olive oil is “neutral” enough, I’m not sure if the chips would be still be usable if they’ve been stored AFTER having the oil mixed in, or would the oil need to be applied just prior to starting the burn?

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firebirdflys
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Re: How to burn?

Post by firebirdflys »

Hi there,
do you have a fire safe vessel like a little iron cauldron? or brass or ceramic? You'll need some sand to put in the bottom, and a hookah type charcoal. Lite the charcoal put on sand in vessel, when it is red hot, sprinkle some incense on it. Do not put the oiled chips on, it will smell terrible like burning oil. good luck. :fairy:
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Wiccita
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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Thank you! I don’t know what hookah charcoal is or where to find it (i’m VERY new to this!) I used a large metal bowl with sand in the bottom, and inside it, a glass jar w/the sandalwood and a tiny bit of oil and the paper. So you are saying that if you start by lighting the hookah charcoal, placed on sand, then the charcoal will start to burn and THEN you add the chips? Thank you! I’ll look up where to find that charcoal and do a practice run first.

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SpiritTalker
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Re: How to burn?

Post by SpiritTalker »

Most new age shops will sell the charcoal discs in tubes of 10 discs. Each disc is about the diameter of a 25-cent piece & 1/4 inch thick. Also church supply stores use the same discs for burning resin incense. Popular resins are frankincense, myrrh, dragons blood, copal, & amber. Resins make a lot of smoke.

Line the bottom of a metal dish, small pan or thick ceramic bowl with at least 1/2 inch deep sand to absorb the heat that the coal gives off. Ordinary glass can crack from the heat. When you lite the coal it will spark a bit because it is mixed with salte Petre. Light it, set it on the sand & wait about 10 minutes after lighting a coal for the heat to spread across it before adding incense. A coal will burn up to 3 hours & still be hot.. Do not toss the used coals into the trash until they are absolutely cooled or wetted. A cauldron can still get too hot to handle after the coal seems dead.

Sweet smelling woods like apple, pine, cedar, sandalwood or Palo Santos can be burned on the coals as chips or powdered like saw dust. Cinnamon bark, all-spice, clove, coffee beans & coriander seeds are also aromatic. They can be coarsely or finely ground in a blender or coffee bean grinder in just a few quick pulses. Fragrant dried herbs & flowers are also burned.

Incense can be bought ready made in stick & cone shape that don't need to be burned on coals. You just need something to catch the hot ash & the bowl of sand still serves. Incense blends like Nag Champa & Blue Pearl are the world's most popular blended scents & come in sticks. The cones are harder to find. Indian incense brands like Hem give off more smoke than a Japanese brand like Nippon Kodo. So if you're smoke sensitive use the Japanese brand or switch to aerosols.

Hope that wasn't too much info.

Check out Mirth & Reverence, “This witch's way“ youtube channel episode “incense on a budget p.1&2”

Wiccita
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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Thank you! This is all excellent and very helpful info!

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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Actually, one more question: does it matter whether red sandalwood or white is burned?

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firebirdflys
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Re: How to burn?

Post by firebirdflys »

Red sandalwood is generally less expensive and in my opinion has a very different smell than white. I usually only use red to add color to blends because is doesn't smell much at all.
White is superior if you are going for fragrance.
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Wiccita
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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

I was able to find the hookah charcoal at my local “smoke shop”. Interesting stuff! Another question: I did a practice run and there were no actual flames. Are there supposed to be? I forgot to bring my practice chips home from work so I only had a tiny pinch to work with and it burned, just not with actual flames. Or maybe I didn't wait long enough before adding the chips with the charcoal?

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Re: How to burn?

Post by corvidus »

It most likely didn’t burn and just smoked because the wood didn’t get hot enough to combust. This can be solved by gently blowing on it. In my experience, the more water content in the wood, the more difficult it is to get lit.

As for whether or not it matters, that depends on the spell. If you’re burning a paper image, then you’ll need the flames. But if you’re purifying a stone or other item, the smoke will do just fine.

Wiccita
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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Thank you. I suspect I didn’t let the charcoal get hot enough and I saw in a YouTube video that you shoukdcwait about 10 minutes before adding chips. I also really didn’t have enough chips to work with properly so I’ll try it again. Burning a bit of string so shouldn’t take much flame to burn it.

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Re: How to burn?

Post by SpiritTalker »

Just an FYI, sweet scented wood chips burn better in thin layers on coals. Their purpose is to release their aromatic Offering of smoke as they slowly smolder to a blackened lump of ash. They never flame unless you set a match to them like kindling. Some charred matter always remains even using powdered plant material. Scrape off old ash before adding the next thin layer of material for more smoke.

A Kitchen witch observation as comparison - on a backyard BBQ the hot coals are used for a slow cooking process, not for searing, but we can still burn food to the bottom of a pan. It just takes longer. Burning doesn't need flame, just heat. I know from burning just about anything I cook :D . The coal discs work the same.

Girl Scouts 101 Re: flame - to make a flame from a coal it needs loose kindling on top & fanned air. Re: burning string - a loosely twisted strand burns better than a tightly braided one. You can lightly UN-twist string to loosen the fibers to aid burning.

In magical parlance, burning any spell-item usually carries the intent of transforming the item from "this-to-that" ; transform in effigy from the physical plane to the ethereal plane where it will then conform to our will. It matters only that the item is transformed, ie destroyed beyond re-use; being reduced to ash is obviously visually & emotionally satisfying so that we let go of our ties to the item &'what it stood for more quickly, & that can have some impact (by association) on the spell's swift completion. Whether the kindling we'd used is fully consumed usually isn't part of a spell (unless you specifically made it a condition). Last - practically speaking, ash is easier to dispose of or scatter than charred chunks.
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Re: How to burn?

Post by Wiccita »

Thank you very much! Everyone here is so knowledgable and has been so helpful, I really appreciate it!

That makes perfect sense, and I think when I re-do the “practice burn”, i’ll also add a small bit of similar string to see how it transforms. I suspect the wood is just as a scent offering since the spell says to burn the string *with* some sandalwood, which I believe is commonly offered as a sweet scent.

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Re: How to burn?

Post by SpiritTalker »

Mmhmm. Yup.

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