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Balsam PodsBalsam
One often reads of "balsam" (or "balm") as an ingredient in incense--such as in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, where he identifies "balsome" as an ingredient in Solar suffumigations and in Liber Juratus, where it is an ingredient in the suffumigation used for Tuesday. Exactly which balsam is not specified. This balsam was traditionally harvested by the Aztecs and Incas. When Spain invaded Mexico, Spanish priests quickly recognized the usefulness of this balsam in ritual situations and included it in their sacred aromatics. They brought it back to Europe with them, and the Church adopted it and forbid the destruction of the trees that produce it. The Bull of Pope Pius V (1571) accepted this balsam as a substitution for Balm or Balsam of Mecca, which was an ingredient in the Holy Chrism, a combination of olive oil and balsam used for anointing in baptism, confirmation, and ordination. The Bull states that this balsam (called "of Peru" because it was shipped to Spain from Peru, not harvested there) has all the effects of Balm of Mecca/Balm of Gilead.* I began using this balsam in incense because it produces a beautiful white smoke and it is balsamic in the classic sense--it smells of vanilla or almonds, having a smooth sweetness, not flowery, but quite rich. I find that balsam of Peru is much nicer than tolu balsam. It is a very thick, sticky liquid and comes in a jar. It is easier to work with if you warm it slightly before using it, whereupon it will become runny.

*Hanbury, Daniel. Science Papers (London: Macmillan, 1876), p. 293 et seq.

Balsam
20g jar $10.00



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Purification & Consecration

2008, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission