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146 of 153 found the following review helpful:
A must-have reference book!May 04, 2000
This is one of my favorite books by Scott Cunningham. He explores so many different methods of magickal creation that there is something for everyone and more. If you want to learn more about making your own incense, brews, potions, powders, inks, soaps, tinctures, oils, herbal baths,etc., YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. Each section is informative and full of recipies, explanations, suggestions, and warnings. The chapter on substitution is excellent and the charts and appendixes are helpful as well. The book's tone is more instructional rather than spiritual, especially compared to Cunningham's other books. If you are looking for in-depth information about magical herbs and oils, I highly recommend reading Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and The Magic of Aromatherapy in addition to The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews.
80 of 87 found the following review helpful:
Great Charts, Adequate RecipesOct 17, 2004
This book is designed for those with little experience with paganism, or at least with pagan herbalism. It does a great job at explaining the basics of pagan herbalism. It explains the uses of incense, oils, and brews in pagan life and ritual and the ways they are constructed and charged. Most importantly it desbribes the attributes of each common herb and provides complete and informative charts organized by element, by planetary influence, and by area (protection, love, healing, etc.).
It covers incenses, oils, soaps, tincintures, sachets, and brews. The major drawback of this broad coverage is that no one area is covered as fully as possible. The recipes in particular are barely adequate. Each chapter gives dozens of recipes, but most have only a sentence or two of explaination. And they merely rehash the information given by the the charts.
The information is useful, but not significantly different than that found in many other pagan herbalism books. If you do not own such books I recommend this book. It is as direct and useful a beginner text as exists. If you do, don't expect to learn much more from this. Happy Brewing!
59 of 64 found the following review helpful:
Fantastic resource!!Dec 09, 2002
If you are looking for a book on Incenses, oils, inks, soaps and more this is an absolute MUST HAVE!!! I couldn't say enough positive things about this book, an excelent addition to any witchcraft library, and FULL of benificial advise. Clear directions on how to make an entire book full of incense, oils ointments,inks, tinctures, herb baths, bath salts, brews, ritual soaps (solid & liquid), Sachets or herbal charms, powders, and there are chapters on substitutions and the considerations for making those substitutions. A chapter on empowering rites, on propotions, on creating your own recipes....
Just an all around wonderful reference book, and not a bad read either. All in all a real 10!! You finish reading a chapter and wish there was more, this book is an essential part of my library, and if you are a serious practitioner, I recomend it as an essential buy for yours...enjoy!! Blessed Be.
23 of 25 found the following review helpful:
Would of given it 5 stars, but...Dec 28, 2000
By Mark Chandler
The reason why I feel that this book doesn't deserve five stars is because some of the recipes are too weird. Some of the recipes are supposedly ancient, and I quote...
SPIRIT INCENSE # 2 (caution!)
root of the weedy herb Sagapen(?), juice of the Hemlock*, juice of the Henbane*, Tapsus barbatus(?), Red sandalwood, Black Poppy seed,
Fume to make spirits and strange shapes appear. To make them flee, add parsley to this mixture, as this chases away all spirits and destroys all visions (which seems to contradict Spirit Incense #1 above!) This 50O-year-old formula is virtually impossible to compound. I included this recipe as an example of an authentic, ancient herbal incense. Most of these are as difficult to make as this one. What is the "weedy herb Sagapen"? I haven't the slightest idea!
He puts stupid recipes such as this one in his book to make Wicca look 'mysterious' and 'ancient.' The practices in Wicca are natural and don't call for 'ancient' herbs such as the weedy herb Sagapen (which I am pretty sure never existed). Most of the tools in Wicca can be found in your backyard. Don't get me wrong here. This book is full of *terrific* recipes. But don't be fooled by some of the 'ancient' herbal recipes that he included in this book.
In Part 1, this book tells you the Basics...
* On Magick * On Proportions * Empowering Rites * Ingredients * Creating Your Own Recipes
In Part 2, it gets into the actual Recipes for...
* Incense * Oils * Ointments * Inks * Tinctures * Herb Baths * Bath Salts * Brews * Ritual Soaps * Sachets or Herbal Charms * Powders * A Miscellany of Recipes
In Part 3, they have Substitutions...
* Specific Substitutions * Magickal Goals * Planetary Substitutions * Elemental Substitutions * Astrological Substitutions
Buy this book! It's pretty good =)
44 of 51 found the following review helpful:
Packed with information.Sep 23, 2000
By W. Lambdin
Mr. Cunningham teaches you how to make your own incense, annointing oils, tinctures, bath salts, ritual soaps, and much more.
Mr. Cunningham places asterisks beside dangerous plants Beladonna, Foxglove, Henbane, mistletoe and others. and in almost every case gives alternate recipes so you can get similar results without using toxic materials.
Questions or comments? E-Mail me. Two Bears.
Wah doh Ogedoda
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