||The Big Book of Magical Incense|
Sara L. Mastros
Red Wheel Weiser, Weiser Books
7 x 9
30 line drawings, a few charts
December 1, 2021
“The Big Book of Magical Incense is a masterwork of botanical lore. It combines personal anecdotes with translations of the Greek Magical Papyri and the rich histories of over fifty plants—all combined in ways that stir the soul, while facing issues like overharvested plants, colonization and ethical practices on stolen land. Beautifully arranged to lead the curious and encourage the adept, Sara Mastros has brought scholarly research as well as a clear voice to the intersection of plant spirits and magic. A must own.”
—Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic and owner of Blackthorn’s Botanicals
"Sara Mastros is a modern master. I first encountered her on a jaunt to Pittsburgh and she continues to impress me with her knowledge and skill. Her new book, The Big Book of Magical Incense, is written with Mastros' signature attention to detail. She is an excellent teacher and has created a smart book that is also easy to follow. A wise addition to any bookshelf. Well done, Sara." —H. Byron Ballard, witch, author Seasons of a Magical Life
“The Big Book of Magical Incense is written in a clear and conversational style and provides a plethora of fun and interesting nuggets of history, intriguing lore and rituals. The author's focus is on empowering the reader to experiment with and potentially customize many of the rituals and recipes. The author tends to primarily use resins as a scent foundation for the incense recipes—but she encourages readers to customize many of the recipes to their olfactory preference by incorporating essential oils. This book contains a wonderfully wide bibliography so you can do some more exploring if one of the subjects she introduces whets your imagination for more information.” —Karen Harrison, author of The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook
“Scents have always had a profound effect on one’s mood and state of mind. Incense is a vital tool in spiritual work because the message it carries bypasses mental blocks and is perceived deep within the soul. There are many books of incense recipes but Sara Mastro’s The Big Book of Magical Incense is so much more. Sara’s personal experiences, scholarship, insights, and observations make this book a guide to deepening your understanding of the many uses for incense. There are also many wonderful recipes, but more importantly, the rationales for the recipes are explained and ritual practices for their use are shared. The Big Book of Magical Incense is more than a reference book, it is an enjoyable read as well that you will return to many times.” —Ivo Dominguez Jr., author of The Four Elements of the Wise
“Sara Mastros has written the guide to magical incense I wish I’d had forty years ago when I was a baby Witch. Her Big Book of Magical Incense is exceptionally well-organized and well-written, and there is an extensive bibliography. Experienced practitioners will find this book useful in many types of magical operations, while beginners will discover a wealth of information on every page.” —Caroline Kenner, former owner of The Fool's Dog e-Tarot, emerita organizer of Sacred Space, and Washington Witchdoctor
“A masterwork of botanical lore. --Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic
The Big Book of Magical Incense
is an invaluable hands-on guide to the vast world of magical incense. It provides tried-and-true recipes, advice on how to create your own formulas, and instructions on how to use incense in all sorts of magical practice.
While the book requires no prerequisite knowledge, it is also appropriate for experienced magicians and learned pagans. The chapters are scaffolded, teaching about basic ingredients and skills, both practical and magical, in early chapters, and gently leading the reader to develop their own recipes, spells, and ritual practices as they move through the book.
Presented in a paradigm-agnostic way, the book should appeal to people on numerous paths.
- Ceremonial magicians and sorcerers will appreciate the planetary incense recipes and translations from the Greek magical papyri and other classical magic texts.
- Folk magicians will appreciate the many magical incense formulas, such as Go Away! and Money Magnet.
- Animists will love the focus on ingredients native to the United States, and the instructions for working with the dead and the spirits of the land.
- Devotional pagans will find recipes for a variety of gods, particularly those of the Eastern Mediterranean traditions, some of whose chapters include original translations of the Orphic hymns and other devotional poetry.
- Chaos magicians will be excited about the flexibility to mix and match practices and recipes throughout the book.
|Sara L. Mastros holds a master’s degree in theoretical mathematics and has been a high school and college teacher for nearly a decade. She is the co-owner of Mastros & Zealot, where she offers courses on practical magic and divination, and has been making and selling magical incense online and at pagan and occult festivals all over the East Coast for several years. She has been a contributor to Witches & Pagans, Cartomancer, and other magazines.|
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