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Incense altar in the TempleKetoret [Qetoret]* Incense
After much research and work in locating both a historically accurate formula and working out the correct ingredients, I have compounded ketoret incense as it was used in the  Tabernacle and subsequently in the Temple in Jerusalem. The formula is longer than the one mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and is considered to be complete. It comes from the Talmud, the oral tradition that began while the Temple still stood and that was committed to writing during the Dark Ages, centuries later. The ingredients consist of balsam (sometimes referred to as stacte in these descriptions), onycha, galbanum, frankincense, myrrh, cassia, spikenard, saffron, costus root, "aromatic bark" (I used cedar, given its historical connection to the Temple), and cinnamon. Wine and other items are used in treating some of the ingredients, which are combined in specified proportions. The saffron and the galbanum make this a very expensive incense today. In the Temple, ketoret was considered a completely acceptable substitute for blood sacrifice. The incense sacrifice was made twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, and as you can see, most of the ingredients are solar and/or of Fire, so cosider it for all sorts of Sun or Fire magic. It is also very fine as an aid to meditation, prayer, or various sorts of Western "white" magic. The one prohibition the Hebrew Bible mentions is that it not be burned just for pleasure. This has concerned some people, who as a result fear buying it or using it. Here are the verses concerning the issue: Exodus 30:37-38: You are not to make for your own use any incense like it, with the same composition of ingredients; you are to treat it as holy for Adonai. Whoever makes up any like it to use as a perfume is to be cut off from his people." To me, this is clearly stating that: this incense is not to be used for the sake of its smell (as a perfume), as an air freshener, or to worship other gods. It's to be used to honor YHVH. That might be through using it for spiritual meditation, for angel magic, for prayer and study of sacred texts, and so forth. In short, it does not say it should not be made and/or used. It says neither the actual recipe nor imitations should be made/used for mundane purposes; doing that would detract from the honor due to YHVH that it symbolizes and result in the individual involved in using it that way being cut off from his/her people (although it seems to me that anyone who did use it as an air freshener would already be indicating that s/he did not care about being part of his/her people). At any rate, it seems straightforward to me. This incense is sticky and will become more so over time. It needs charcoal to burn. You will see fibers in this incense; these are bits of saffron and cedar after it is pounded in my granite mortar and pestle. I want to thank everyone who repeatedly asked me about this incense over the years. *Neither "ketoret" nor "qetoret" is more correct. They represent different transliteration systems. The spelling with the "k" is more modern. The "q" spelling tends to be Victorian. Same with Kabbalah and Qabalah.

Ketoret / Qetoret Incense
1 oz. in tin $25.00


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Mage Work
Meditation
Prayer
Substitute for Blood Sacrifice

2010, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission