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Binah OilBinah Oil (Crone/Saturn), Hermetic Qabalah Style

A combination of myrrh, cypress, pomegranate, and davana, this magic oil helps us come to know the third sephira on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, a crone/mother emanation of the divine that is also connected to Saturn. Typical divine forms taken as symbols of this sephira are Hekate and Demeter, Juno and the Matriarch Leah. Binah exemplifies the image of the void not as an empty place but instead a location of great power. It can pull things into itself, knead and twist them, and produce something completely different. The Hebrew name itself comes from the root bn, which means "between" and points to the Binah skill of distinguishing between things. It's also incorporated in the word for meditation, hitbonenut - and of course, meditation is one of the primary ways to understand the Tree of Life. This connects Binah up nicely, I think, to its ruling planet, Saturn, which is very much concerned with borders and so with delimiting between things. Top

Thelema connects the scents myrrh and cypress with this sephira, so these fragrances can be used to better comprehend this aspect of the emanation of the divine. I think myrrh is an especially good fit, since one characteristic of Binah is severity, and to me, myrrh this quality; its name comes from the Hebrew word for "bitter," because the taste of myrrh is quite bitter, and it is often used a symbol of grief (which fits with Demeter and her grief for her lost daughter Persephone). Cypress is connected to the Underworld through its use across various cultures as a graveyard tree and incorporation into funerary objects. I think of both myrrh and cypress as crone-connected, but they didn't mix all that well in this oil. Their scents fought each other, and I thought that would distract the magical practicioner from making full use of the oil in understanding Binah. I chose to expand the oil by adding pomegranate because it is both associated with death, through the story of Persephone (daughter of Demeter) who ate 6 seeds of a pomegranate in the Underworld and so had to stay there for six months of the year, and is also associated with fertility on account of its very sexual, juicy fruit and its many seeds. Likewise, pomegranates are shown in the background of the Tarot card that is associated with Binah, The High Priestess. In this way, the pomegranate scent, which is very subtle and changes with time, bridges the crone and the mother aspects of this oil. Yet the addition of pomegranate was not sufficient to finish off this scent. I experimented and chose davana because of its apple-like fragrance in dilution. For me, apples are very much a mother fruit (as in Eve, our mother), and one of Demeter's names is Malophorus, or apple-bearer. Also apples contain the planetary metal for Saturn, the planet most closely associated with this sephirah. The givingness of pomegranate and davana balance out the severity of myrrh and cypress and draw all four elements closer. The connection between Demeter and Saturn is also interesting in elucidating Binah. Demeter is a goddess of agriculture, which seems antithetical to cold, dry Saturn. But Saturn is about delimiting and boundaries, and we can't have agriculture (or for that matter, understanding) without drawing some kind of boundary between wild and not-wild, distinguishing one from the other. That is in fact one of the things that sets agriculture apart from simply working with wild plants. But to take it a little farther, Saturn's name comes from Saturnus, the old Roman god who brought agriculture and viniculture to human beings and who is honored in the joyous celebration of harvest and winter rest that was known as Saturnalia, bringing us from the dry/cold barren field back to the bumper-crop mother again. Top


Binah Oil (Crone/Saturn)
Hermetic Qabalah Style
1/4 oz. (7.5 ml, 2 drams) $13.50

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Other Oils of the Hermetic Qabalah:
Kether, Chokmah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malkuth

Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Working the Tree of Life
Working with Void
Honoring Hekate & Demeter
Exploring the Underworld
Left-Brain Thinking
Saturn Oil

Using Magic Oils

2006, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission