Like Galen's recipe, the ingredients in this first-century kyphi include raisins, wine, and honey, as well as sweet flag, aspalathos, camel grass, and cyperus tuber. The major difference is in the proportions and in the addition of myrrh and pure resin and the subtraction of asphaltum. This recipe also includes a period of steeping in the middle of the process that the Galen recipe does not. No fragrance oils or synthetics come anywhere near this kyphi. The ingredients are mixed in a high-fired ceramic bowl with a wooden spatula to preserve their potency. Following the ancient Egyptian custom, ingredients are added one at a time in a specific order to the base of chopped raisins.
The result is a much sweeter incense than is produced by the Galen recipe. At the start, the scent is almost candy-like. It provokes the appetite but is satisfying as well. As the scent develops, it blossoms into a spicy resinousness. The myrrh note is surprisingly strong, given the very small amount of myrrh actually called for. According to the Talmud, wine was added to myrrh to make it more fragrant, and this recipe bears that out. The impression is of an Oriental perfume. Gradually the scent matures into a heavily resinous and spicy aroma that seems to open the back of one's mouth. Users have described visions evoked of serpentine shapes (rivers, snakes, winding roads, canes, hooks, curved beams) and water-associated images (boats, docks). The smoke was easier to see with one's eyes shut, when it was revealed to be quite extensive and sinuous. At the last, the scent is majestic and expansive. The way this incense unfolded gave me the impression of watching an entity go from playful childhood to powerful maturity. It makes a wonderful contrast with Galen's kyphi and is good for developing the more visual aspects of the psychic.
Traditionally kyphi was rolled into pills, but I have left it in a loose crumble so that you can make whatever size pellets you want. This is nowhere near as smokey as one would expect, given the honey included. It must be burned on a piece of charcoal, as it contains only pure ingredients, not charcoal of its own. I also have Galen's kyphi and Edfu kyphi.
Get some chemical-free charcoal
Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:
© 2004, 2016 Harold A. Roth;
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