The Balance of Enjoyable with Magically Correct

Seymour: Not The Best Incense Ingredient

Brrr… San Francisco just got it’s second wave of chilly, grey, rainy weather! Have no fear, though, the house is shut up tight…very cozy and warm inside. Both cats are enjoying their napping…one snoring, both dreaming!

I had a day yesterday that left me feeling frustrated. Allow me to further explain. I am currently working on three different condition oils. They are actually coming along very well, but I have been having trouble getting them to my level of satisfaction. Some smell great when first mixed, only to crap out completely after a week of sitting. Or vice/versa. Mugwort essential oil is divine…but not mixed with a few select other oils and allowed to marinate. Especially after sitting on the skin for even a minute. Phew, not good! So I am on the correct path with these, but have a lot of final ratio and level tweaking to do.

Ditto for the incenses I am working on. They will smell like a high-holy mystic cloud of bliss on Monday, only to take a dip in potency over-night and yield the dreaded “burning-things” smell that plagues a few of my trial runs. Are all the ingredients researched and single-burned? Yes, I make sure I do this of all of my works. However, the real learning curve comes from mixing and blending many different ingredients, effectively changing the scent/appearance/make-up of the incense or oil. It can be trying and really push the limits of my patience.

When Sara got home from work on Friday I was clearly not in a good mood. The natural high I had been riding for the earlier part of the day, during which I was all into cutting roots, breaking up brick dust, and working on the oils and incense, had dissipated with my works new-found failings. It was disheartening…but oddly enough I wasn’t discouraged.

I have realized lately that this is all I have ever wanted to do…to really do with my time. In this realization even the failures are victories…frustratingly so, but victories none-the-less. Every time I fail or have an oil turn to crap is a learning experience. It enriches the next step of my work…the physical non-magical steps of putting products together. This is why after 10 years of finally getting recipes perfected, most practitioners or spiritual  merchants will laugh in your face or start crying when you ask them for their “secret recipes”…unless you are a coven-mate, study partner, or very close friend. I am fighting tooth, nail, and wallet for the simple act of perfecting recipes and potions. I take this Very Seriously, and will not make junk that is technically correct, but leaves the user with a “Meh” or “Ew” reaction to the item or actual work they used the item for.

The balance of enjoyable and magically correct has always been a passion of mine. Have I made magically correct incenses, smudges, waters, oils, baths that smelled, smoked, burned, or washed just “alright?” Yes, yes I have. Did they work…did they do the job needed of them? To the best of my knowledge; yes they did. I have made an amazing incense that gives the room a SLAM-BANG aura of crazy high-enchantment, but smelled like I was burning resinous goop. It works for me, but if I can balance that out into a more pleasing experience by making minor adjustments…that would be the cake icing.

Table Inspiration

I am so excited and inspired by all of those great people around me who are making and doing such important and wonderful things. Concrete, magical works with bone, pen and ink, parchment, oils, and herbs. Paints, glass, feathers and skin. It keeps me going. Keeps me off the internet and back into my books, learning and studies. Keeps me going BACK TO THE FRIGGIN’ drawing board with recipes I have re-worked for the third and forth time. I thank all of you creative types that have come in contact with me…you all keep me going!

2012 feels like such a great year, full of possibilities and new beginnings. I just need to further understand how important it will be to actually make 2012 a great year…instead of just sitting back and watching what a great year it becomes. With that I’m off, back to the table to order some new oils and herbs, to try that oil one more time….and to get closer to that final recipe that I am happy with.

(…of course, with all of that said, I’m first going to finish my pint of Guinness while watching the sky rain down into our back yard, bending Rosemary and Lavender over….while listening to the new S4LEM e.p. one last time…THEN I’ll get back to it!)

-Joseph Magnuson

Rainy Backyard Trees

2 replies
  1. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    Even though we do different things, this is a great reminder that all artists, root workers, craftsmen, etc go through the same trials. Often the only ‘secret’ is to keep trying until you get it right. And that’s okay! Thanks for the lovely reminder.

    Reply
    • Joseph Magnuson
      Joseph Magnuson says:

      Thank you for the cool comment. It’s true…and it can suck sometimes, but pressing on is imperative. It’s my passion so I will always return to it…even after kicking the wall and yelling at the ceiling!

      Reply

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