What’s in a
name: The Court Jester Series Incenses
If you have ever burned any of our Luna Ignis Incenses, you know that they are one of our most popular items. They are made with our own herbs and resins from our apothecary, as well as other delights. Many also contain a spirit of some type, such as wine. In future blogs we will feature our other incenses and oils and powders and how we choose the names and why we name them as we do. But this first in a sequence of blogs, will focus on our Court Jester Series which is about to get the final incense type added to the group.
Currently we have Chalice from the Palace, Vessel with the Pestle and Flagon with the Dragon. Our next in the series is Brew that is True, a suggestion from a customer!
So, let me tell you how this wonderfully aromatic set of fine herb incenses got their names.
Actually, the names came first for Chalice and Vessel. These blends were based on the 50s movie, the Court Jester, starring Danny Kaye. I wanted to name a group of incenses after the riddle exchange between the characters that defines the movie.
It goes as follows:
I’ve got it! I’ve got it! The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the
pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true! Right?
Griselda: Right, but there’s been a change. They broke the chalice from the palace.
Hawkins: They broke the chalice from the palace?!
Griselda: And replaced it with a flagon.
Hawkins: A flagon?
Griselda: With the figure of a dragon.
Hawkins: Flagon with a dragon.
Hawkins: But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?
Griselda: No! The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon! The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!
Hawkins: The pellet with the poison’s in the flagon with the dragon; the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
Griselda: Just remember that.”
So, I dreamed up different purposes for these two incense blends. And then they were created using our know how of herbalism and Paul’s expertise on blending.
Chalice from the Palace is an herbal blend that contains specific herbs and resins that are light and airy. They bring harmony and positive vibes. It smells literally heavenly. You can almost hear angels singing as the stuff burns in your burner, a customer said to me. Now what you see or hear when you burn our incenses is not something we dwell on. But it’s great for family gatherings, Yule feasts, weddings, important negotiation meetings and the like. I often tell customers to use it when they are having a big get together where not everyone gets along…but they all must be there. I told Paul, it needed to have white wine in it. And so it was.
Here is the spell:
“Creature of Air and Fire, bring me my desire. Let the forces of the light be by me and in my sight. Let the glow of bright light day envelope me to show the way.”
Now we simply had to have Vessel with the Pestle to counterbalance the light and airy. So …again from our wonderous apothecary, we got to work choosing the right herbs and resins to bring forth a more seductive and darker blend since the poison as supposed to be in that goblet originally in the movie, or so the riddle says. But having a good feel for the dark and all its awesomeness, we decided this blend would be seductive, not poisonous. Red wine was added to this one. And it became a good incense for enjoying quiet introspective moments, or for plotting and planning a battle and also for getting into the mood, if you catch my drift. Here is the accompanying spell:
“Creature of Air and Fire, bring me my desire. Let the forces of the night be by me and in my sight. Let the darkness stir and go forth in power and might and let me be the victor in this fight.”
Both sold remarkably well. And people bought them together, so we created a gift kit with both blends and thus a new spell for using them together for balance was created:
“Creature of Air and Fire, bring me to an equal plane, that I may be the whole of me and let no forces be profane. I am of earth and of sky. This is the whole of I.”
So, a customer said to us, “What about Flagon with the Dragon?” Well I squeed with delight over this one, because being a Leo, I knew just what we could do with this blend!
It is meant to give you a spark to ignite your inner flame, your will, if you will. Its for fiery ambition and drive. Thus, we added some Fireball whiskey to it! I tell customers to use it when they are stuck with inertia or to prep with courage to leave a situation or to start a new endeavor. Here is the spell:
“Creature of Air and Fire, ignite and inspire with your sizzling blend. Let the forces of Ambition fill me with vigor. So, I can tackle tasks at hand and passion will be at my command.”
Actually, in all practicality you can blend Vessel with Flagon. I wrote no spell for that one because you probably would not need words when burning these two together, if you know what I mean. What you do in your own rooms with this concoction, is your business!
So now we sold the 3 together in a gift set.
And that customer that I mentioned at the beginning, inquired hintingly, “Are you making the brew that is true?”
And that’s the exciting thing I couldn’t wait to share with you. I already wrote the spell! You know our Confusion candles? The candles you use when you want others to forget about some misdeed you did? You know about deflection spells, right? The kind you use to hide from the law or have people focus on something other than what you may have said in the heat of the moment? How about revealing spells? Someone is concealing something from you that you just have to know about. Well this incense blend can be used for both purposes to conceal or to reveal. We are busily searching our apothecary for the right herbs….and it will soon be revealed to you in our next Incense Blending Class in June! Here is that spell:
“Creature of Air and Fire, bring me power to reveal or conceal as I desire. Discover your truth, I can. Discover my truth, only what I want you to see. This smoke will confuse you but not me.”
So that’s the story behind our very popular Luna Ignis Court Jester Series of incenses.
By Pat Camarena Rose Barbary
Lammas, also known as Lughnashad, is celebrated on August 1 in the Northern Hemisphere and February 2 in the Southern Hemisphere. Lammas is the Sabbat of the first harvest, at which time the first grains were harvested, breads were made and the bounty was seen in all the land. In my more youthful days in the Boston area, it signaled the happy time of the “Armageddon Games” for our festivals there included a sort of Olympiad where we could compete in anything ranging from best amateur high jump to best poetry. And while tongue and cheekly Greek in nature, we honored the tradition of Lammas/Lughnasad with rituals and harvest feasts.
And as Paul is a Winter Solstice baby, I am a Lammas baby. It seemed that every Lammas celebration weekend fell close to my birthday, so while it signaled the close to end of summer, it also brought the promise of a new year, so like any self-respecting Leo, I took this revelry personally. This energy is in a nutshell what Lammas is all about. You sow in Spring. You nourish your growth during summer and you reap your first harvest at Lammas. At the Autumnal Equinox, you feast on your final Harvest and get your stores of goods ready for the Winter. Yet, it is as much about the self as it is about the land.
Lammas is a time to ask for further abundance and to expand what you have already reaped into something even better and as there is always polarity in such actions, it is a time to cut the chafe out and get rid of or bury what is not wanted to make room for new growth.
To make an analogy to the land of this cutting away the chafe, think of the Wicker Man and the legend of John Barleycorn and also the novel of Harvest Home. In all three sacrifices are made. What is not needed is destroyed and the land prospers once again. (If you want to see a ritual devoted to the John Barleycorn legend, come to our Lammas event on Saturday, Aug. 5.)
The origin of Lughnasad is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and has pagan origins. The festival itself is named after the god Lugh. Lughnashad means "Games of Lugh", since sports and recreational competitions were realized in his honor, as a valiant warrior. It involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests (which is why we had Armageddon in Boston), feasting, matchmaking and trading. There were also visits to holy wells. Offering of the first fruits, a feast and the sacrifice of a bull and a ritual dance-play in which Lugh seizes the harvest for mankind and defeats the powers of blight.
Lammas is a word for bread dough. It literally was made with the first grains of the season and thus considered sacred because of the promise of more to come. This Harvest needed to last through the winter months. Think Lord of the Rings. “Lembas” is a special bread made by the Elves. It is very nutritious, stays fresh for months when kept unbroken in its original leaf-wrappings, and is used for sustenance on long journeys. Hmmm. And if you want a Lammas bread recipe and a spell, follow those links.
Ok, one last word on a bit of the headier side. The OTO has also
jumped on our witchy bandwagon following the logic of Aleister Crowley. Don’t freak, ceremonialists, for I am a
respectful member of the OTO but credit needs to be given where credit is
due. “The Sabbats are eight points (our
Wheel of the Year) at which we connect the inner and outer cycles: the
interstices where the seasonal, the celestial, the communal, the creative and
the personal all meet. As we enact each in its time, we transform ourselves. We
are not separate from each other, from the broader world around us: we are one
with the Gods.” So, they have created rituals to coincide
with our Sabbats. The Lammas one is the
Feast of the Lion-Serpent (very
apropos for us Leos) in which there is a bull and a virgin and an empress.
And there is bread. Towards the end, the ritualists partake of the “feast” and say, “Thus I sustain my hunger.” This ritual is performed during the second decan of Leo, from August 2 to August 12. Our coven performed this ritual adding only, “El pan es para la vida. No tires el pan! Ay,ay! Vida mia.” (from the kid’s book Bread Is for Eating by David and Phillis Gershator.
Happy Lammas/Lughnasad reaping and releasing to make way for more and happy birthday fellow Leos!