Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cold and A Cold

It's chilly this morning, first time in months it's been really, truly nippy. It didn't rain here, but it did pour in Fresno, soaking the parched earth for about 15 minutes before clearing up and blowing away. I got that news second-hand from friends over there.

I think I'm getting a cold. I can never tell anymore if my runny nose, watery eyes, and chest congestion are from an actual virus, or by the bug spray or flying pollen or dust whipped up by the wind. But this time, I'm thinking cold. The kid had a cold last week, just as I was beginning to feel well again after a summer-long lung problem. Figures. I'm getting on it, though, not letting it settle in and take over another hunk of my time. My nose is my tool, and I can't afford for my tool to be out of commission this long. So it's garlic and turmeric and menthol steams and whatever else I can use to keep things open. I think I'm going to make up a batch of fire cider because it's not yet winter and I'm already getting slugged by the bugs.


Scented herbal sugar scrub ~ jasmine, cocoa, vanilla, herbs, raw sugar, jojoba

I've begun blending sugar scrubs again after a years'-long hiatus. I don't know why I don't make them all the time, they're amazing and I use them when I've got them to use, and they work. The same oil blends that create younger looking soft skin are used in the sugar scrubs I make, and again, they work! I've been using an herb blend made fresh by Shannon at Wilwand Tea, Co., in Atascadero as the herbal portion of the scrub -- things like organic cocoa powder, organic fenugreek, kava kava, organic orange peel, organic rose petals, uva ursi, and wild cherry bark -- these things love us and our skin -- and then mixing all that with non-gmo raw sugar, a few drops of select aromatics (jasmine, cocoa, vanilla, ???), and a drizzle of organic jojoba. The scrubs coming this fall are going to be stellar. I prefer the scrubs over butters because there are fewer problems with melting and leaking with scrubs, and the scents can be just as astounding, and as moisturizing as compared to a butter. But that doesn't mean butters are off the menu this season ~ ha! Small jars might be available from time to time throughout the cooler months. So more sugar scrubs with fabulous herbal potion blends and great oil combinations are on the way.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ah-ha!


I finally figured out what's the matter with me -- why I feel woozy and unwell most of the time, why my sinuses have been acting up since July, why my possible bronchitis hung on for so long -- bug spray. Eco bug spray, to be specific, because, gosh, I don't want to poison my plants or pets. But this stuff. It's poisoning me. What is the safe threshold for clove and mint oils? How about a little menthol? How about whatever the hell else is in there that I don't know about? Because I have to leave the backdoor open for the puppy to piddle and poo, and there is no screen door, the flies have been nearly pouring in the small opening, hence the eco bug spray. I usually don't subscribe to such things as I'm pretty handy in the apothecary and can whip up a batch of peppermint spray to rid myself of the flies and whatnot that manage to squeeze in here and there, but other people in this house think my efforts are lame. The thing is, there are no fewer flies buzzing around now that they're air bombing the house with eco bug spray than there was when I was judiciously squirting a shot of homemade bug spray here and there. Victims of slick marketing, those people. I have no problem, however, shooting that stuff in the back strip to get rid of the hovering masses of flies that alight on a single scrap of puppy poo. The whole city is suffering from an abundance of flies this year, I'm thinking perhaps because of the drought. Everywhere you go where there's an outdoor trash receptacle, there's a black mass of buzzing flies. It's crazy. The upside is that the weather is set to cool soon and the flies will be a thing of the past -- and so will that ineffective eco spray.



So, yeah, that was my 'ah-ha' moment.

I'm out of olive oil and want to make soap, so perhaps on my way home from the costume store in San Luis Obispo this evening, I will stop and pick up a liter. There's a sweet bottle of sandalwood oil sitting here just screaming to be put into some soap.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Off Topic

This is way off topic for me here, but it's something that's been eating at me since I experienced it and I just want to let off some steam. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about rape and rape culture and all that entails (too much for me to go into here) when the person I was talking to said, "Yeah, well, women aren't the only ones who are raped," with this look in his eye like, sure, he's experienced it and, yeah, it ain't all the guy's fault, y'know, we can be victims too. I felt a brief moment of empathy, and then I remembered a conversation we had two days earlier wherein this same person said to me, after I explained to him about a young man who had oral sex forced on him, "Bullshit. No man has ever had oral sex FORCED on him. Hahahahahahahaha!"

This, men, is exactly the problem.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kyphi ~ Of Spirit and Art

The other day I posted about Kyphi making and all its controversial parts. That post has received hundreds of hits. That can only mean one thing -- people are deeply interested in this artform, as they should be. I think when one embarks upon walking the Kyphi path (thank you, Dabney Rose), they learn things about themselves, about nature, and especially about their spiritual focus, and their capacity for spirituality in general. When we focus on what we're actually doing during the process of creating Kyphi, and that it's not about mixing together of various 'correct' resins and herbs with wine and honey and voila! It is about the truth of what Kyphi represents. As I mentioned in the last Kyphi post, the process of creating Kyphi, particularly based on the Edfu Temple formulation, is a process of resurrection. You become a humble and undeserving creator of something that represents all the wonder that the Universe has to teach -- you create life where there was none. Dramatic, yes, but this is the mind-set one must have when creating Kyphi. Must have, or you may as well be making cake from a box mix.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Facebook is a Mind Numbing, Soul Crushing, Dead End Activity

I've discovered a pattern in my life. Used to be, back before Facebook was an entity, and even before Yahoo Groups dominated the scene, the morning routine included a little light reading with the coffee -- some daily news in the form of paper -- you remember that stuff, right? Newspaper? Well, it was a mind numbing, soul crushing, and dead end activity too, unless you were looking for movie times or employment. But Facebook -- Facebook. I mean, what? What's it for? I started on Facebook as a way to promote my business, and because everyone was bailing from the groups to join FB. People realized that they couldn't sell their perfumes to other perfumers, and FB offered free advertising.  Everybody was doing it. Everybody was getting the word out there. Everybody was happy! Today, Facebook is no longer helping the small businesses that relied upon its free advertising venue. Today when I post on my business page, I'm lucky if two people see what I've posted in their feed. Two. I don't have a regular website. I use Etsy as my selling platform because, a) it works, and b) it's cost effective, and c) I despise web designing that sells itself as easy and ends up needing a computer programmer to help figure out. I have excellent stats pages at Etsy as well -- it keeps track of sales, trends, customers' point of origin. For a fact, less than 3% of my sales come from Facebook. Less. Than. 3%. Chew on that a while you consider I spend hours on Facebook writing and perusing and shoving my business up people's noses there -- this is the pattern I spoke of earlier. I get up, make tea, plop down in front of the computer, check emails, check book sales, check Etsy sales, check blogs (sometimes), then it's on to Facebook, the meat of the meat and potatoes routine here, wherein I spend a good deal of the remainder of the morning, and sometimes the afternoon, doing . . . what? Snooping. Get caught up in other people's business, people for whom I have only a passing acquaintance. I check on the complainers and what their complaint of the day entails, then I check on the never-seen-a-rainy-day people, perpetually optimistic, even when the shit hits the fan, and I wonder at those people. I wonder how they do it. I wonder how they face the day with so much enthusiasm and love and happiness and good heartedness -- I wonder at them with equal parts envy and concern for their mental stability. I wonder, and I get way off track. I was there to promote my business, right? How'd I end up reading about the bog mummies in England?

The memes are great though, aren't they?

Have you not noticed, though, how Facebook has joined so many people who might never have 'met', yet the connections seem much more superficial than those made in Yahoo Groups? There was a sort of intimacy in those groups. More sharing and caring and helping one another up, while Facebook just seems to be the place to brag on one's accomplishments and push people toward their newest, greatest product? I think I'm done with Facebook for a while. I'll check for messages, treat the forum like email, and all those posts as spam. If you need to get in touch, email me at thescenteddjin@yahoo.com. Simple enough.

I have work to do, and Facebook is like the Enquirer -- beyond belief but interesting enough to read page after ridiculous page, and I'm getting nothing done.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kyphi Perfume Formulation

The Kyphi perfume formulation I began working on in September is nearing the point at which it can be added to the menstruum, either jojoba, fractionated coconut, alcohol, or a balm base of beeswax and shea. The formulation possesses some unexpected characteristics. It's bright, for one. Bright and clean and deeply resinous with high lemony notes and warm honeyed tones, and the richness of dried fruit and low lying spices hover along the edges. Once the concentrate is formulated with the menstruum (whatever it is), it will continue to mature and evolve, just as whole botanical and honey based Kyphi does. The more well tended and mature Kyphi becomes, the better the scent profile.

A couple of years ago when the Kyphi Project began at the Natural Perfume Academy, I was hell bent on creating straight Kyphi; not Kyphi oil, not Kyphi perfume, but real (or as real as I could get it) Kyphi incense. A couple of the participants of the Kyphi Project did formulate oils and perfumes, and one in particular, one created by a graduated student, really sticks in my mind. It was intensely sweet, like honey, and had mad masculine tones to it -- like a lovely bay laurel soap with shadows of frankincense and the barest hint of rose. Much subtler than the formulation I'm working on, but no less intense and, if I do say so, beautiful.

At this stage in time, the ingredients in true Egyptian Kyphi is anyone's game. I have seen references online and in books about Kyphi that state copal was an ingredient. My understanding is (was) that copal is a New World resin, grown in parts of Mexico, as in black, golden, and white copal. But after some research, I found that 'copal' has been used as a term to simply mean incense, or resin. These references to copal being used in 'authentic Egyptian Kyphi' are mainly coming from sellers of incense who have, understandably, substituted a resin or ingredient in place of those which no one really knows the true identity. Like peker, and camel grass -- though camel grass today is identified as cymbopogon schoenanthus -- we don't have any way of knowing if this is the camel grass the Egyptians used. And cyperus grass -- if cyperus grass is correctly identified as the cyperus grass of today, I had that stuff growing out by my pond in Fresno! However -- you knew that was coming -- cyperus is a sedge, and there are over 600 species of sedges, which include cyperus grass, papyrus, umbrella sedges, and -- well, over 597 more. See? Narrowing down what goes into authentic Egyptian Kyphi isn't an easy process, as over 2000 years of speculation has proven.

Most folks out there making and selling Kyphi are selling the recipe from the Edfu Temple writings. This included raisins, wine, honey, frankincense, myrrh, mastic, pine resin, sweet flag, aspalathos, camel grass, mint, cyperus (grass or...?), juniper berries, pine kernels (?), peker (?), and cinnamon. The problem here is with the cyperus grass, as previously discussed, peker, and aspalathos. According to the blog Root and Rock, aspalathos might have been misinterprested as 'asphalt', though later explains that it might be something like rooibos (red bush) as it is a member of the aspalathos plant group, peker is an unknown entity, and cyperus may be nutgrass, which not coincidentally is a member of the sedges I talked about here. So we're all kind of spiraling around the truth here. Now, I know referencing a blog isn't research per se, but it is a way for a researcher to discover who's done what thus far. Not everyone is a scientist.

Here are the common Kyphi recipes which are found online and in various books:

Papyrus Ebers ~ honey, frankincense, mastic, sweet flag, pine kernels, cyperus grass, came grass, inektun, cinnamon

Edfu Temple ~ raisins, wine, honey, frankincense, myrrh, mastic, pine resin, sweet flat, aspalathos, camel grass, mint, cyperus, juniper berries, pine kernels, peker, cinnamon

Manetho ~ raisins, wine, honey, myrrh, resin, mastic, bitumen of Judea, cyperus, aspalathos, seseli, rush, lanathos, sweet flat, cardamom

Harris ~ raisins, wine, honey, mastic, pine resin, camel grass, mint, sweet flag, cinnamon

See the similarities?

Then there is Kupar, also Kyphi, of which there are three common recipes:

Syriac-Kupar ~ raisins, wine, honey, frankincense, myrrh, spikenard, saffron, mastic, aspalathos, cinnamon, cassia

Rufus of Ephesus ~ raisins, wine, honey, 'burnt resin' (?), bdellium (guggal, false myrrh), sweet flag, camel grass, cyperus grass, saffron, spikenard, aspalathos, cardamom, cassia

Dioscorides ~ 'sun raisins', 'old wine', honey, myrrh, 'pure resin' (frankincense?), juniper berries, sweet flag, camel grass, aspalathos, cyperus grass

Some ingredients' lists are shorter than others, but they all resemble each other very closely. I've read (somewhere, can't find my notes) that there were Kyphi recipes that used upwards of 50 ingredients!

But, as important as the ingredients are, the process by which Kyphi is made is just as important. Kyphi making isn't a paint-by-numbers gig if you're doing it right. Sure, you can whip up a batch in a day with a good herb grinder and a lot of impatience for the process -- like waiting for the wine to soak into the herbs, boiling the honey and frankincense and pine resins, soaking the raisins sufficiently. You might even make a nice Kyphi.

The Edfu Temple recipe -- and remember, this was literally written in stone -- was made up of 16 ingredients, beginning to end, but not including your reverence. Those 16 ingredients represented the pieces of Osiris, who was murdered and chopped to bits by his brother, Set. The 12 days taken to create a traditional Egyptian Kyphi represent the 12 days Isis spent locating those pieces and putting her husband/brother back together. The making of Kyphi is a recreation of that process -- this is why the reverence is necessary! Through the creation and building of Kyphi, you are resurrecting a god.

Sources: Karl Vermillion, Ancient Egypt online, Root and Rock blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Egyptian Kyphi Doctoring

Added sandalwood powder and whole saffron to the mix. Smells divine.

Monday, September 15, 2014

On Creating

Twenty or so years ago I took my first official writing class, a night class at the local high school taught by an esteemed artist and published poet, Don Parkey. He wrote beautiful poetry, and his art was stunning -- it was what he called dream art, and he'd literally wake in the middle of the night and begin to draw with pen and ink what he dreamed. The imagery was intricate, delicate, stunning and otherworldly. This clip below is the only one I've found of his work, but the artwork he shared with us in class was much more fine and dreamlike with lots of Asian influences (think flowing kimonos and flagrant peacocks in black and white, 3-D imagery, busy landscapes). Anyway, he was a different sort of person than what I'd been exposed to before, eccentric one might say, but oh, so very, very talented.



The first assignment we were given in class was to write a paper on why we wanted to write, what was our purpose being in the class, what did we hope to discover. I wrote, "I want to know if I can cut the mustard." Just that. He returned my assignment with a note attached that read, "It doesn't matter. And of course you can."  He later explained in class what it meant to be an 'artist', or creative, in my case, since my fingers were, and still are, in many different creative pies at once, as someone who simply did. They wrote. They painted. They drew. They threw clay. They cooked. They made something new out of different things (ideas, pigments, energy, dreams, etc.) that they could share with others because it was a compulsion, a calling, a niggling itch that wouldn't stop, despite whether or not it was deemed 'good' by the artist or by their critics.

The first story I ever wrote in that class was what some might deem a graphic novel. I hadn't put the artwork to the story when I turned it in for a grade, because, well, I can't draw, but it was all there, in my head, like a movie reel from the 1930's, black and white and stuttering away on the projector, and it was just stunning. Mr. Parkey made me read the story aloud in class. I'm not an aloud reader. I mumble, shuffle, turn shades of red, sweat, tend toward monotones, and this story was long. Thirty pages of single spaced type, 500 words per page, imperfect paragraphing (for which I was not adversely graded) about gangster spiders. Yes. Gangster spiders circa 1932. Big Daddy Long Legs had been found murdered by his lovely black widow wife, Evangeline. And so the story goes.

This was written on a word processing machine. Remember those? Not a typewriter, not a computer, but a machine that could crank out perfect page after perfect page once the return button was hit, and just as quickly as I could type, which back then was about 95 words a minute. I wrote that story in a weekend because I was inspired. The story just came to me and I too would wake up in the middle of the night, ideas bursting to get out, to finish the piece. It was epic. I did it with a houseful of kids, too, all wanting this or that or crying or needing a diaper change. I did it with an angry husband who demanded to know what had happened to the TV remote with the same level of emotional upset as was applied to real issues, like a huge medical bill, or a broken down car that there was no money to repair. I wrote in the midst of a madhouse.

The story was a big hit in class. The other students wanted to know when I would be writing more 'episodes', offering advice on how the story should go, asking me where I got my ideas. You'd think I'd be basking in the glow of their approval, but I wasn't. I was terrified. I was afraid because they now expected something of me. Now they, and more importantly, I, knew what I was capable of. I'd felt the agony and the sacrifice of living as a creative (writer), the shutting off, the shutting out, the long days and sleepless nights of having one foot in the world of domestic goddessness, and the other foot in the world of artistry. And I've been doing that ever since, though not to that degree. So what I'm saying is, if I can do it, with all the turmoil and bullshit that I live with on a day-to-day basis, so can anyone. And I think sometimes we are at our best when we are being tested by the Universe. When the car isn't running and the kids have gone wild and the husband is having a mental breakdown over burnt toast and the dog's torn its stitches and the cat needs neutering and the door's been torn off its hinge and the -- you get what I'm sayin'? If you've got the itch, scratch it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Egyptian Style Kyphi ~ The Trinity Batch

Weird title. All it means is that this post is about that Kyphi that was made during the workshop on August 30, 2014. The trinity represents the three people who worked the Kyphi (though technically there were four as one of the participants was pregnant).

My personal opinion is that group Kyphi following the Egyptian Style formulation I worked out is better than the Kyphi I've made alone, and even those that I've enhanced with essential oils. There is something about the multitude of hands and positive energy that make that Kyphi vibrate with scent and spiritual intensity.

The Kyphi is now 12 days old, and this is how it appears today:

If you look closely, you can pick out different materials -- a piece of orris root here, a wisp of rose petal there, the skin of a raisin.





As you can see, this is a rough grind batch. We simply did not have the time to spend on each raw material, getting them ground down to powder, so we did what we could in the time allotted. It looks a bit like pasture plunk. I assure you, it's wonderfully aromatic in a good way. Rich and sweet and resinous (think myrrh). It's got some really lovely characteristics. What you see rolled in a hunk up there is my third of the Kyphi, and it weighs in at 19 ounces, give or take a gram, so the full batch would come in at around three-and-a-half pounds. That's how I broke down the mother formulation from a recipe of either 10 times or 100 times less than what I figured out from the research I conducted into making Kyphi. So the original batches were either 35 pounds each, or 350 pounds each (right?) -- math is not my first language. The amount would be easier to determine if I knew how often Kyphi was made, or if it was a continuous process, one batch after another being created, then sitting and fermenting and ageing in rotation. More research is necessary here.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Friday, September 05, 2014

Lindenblossom

Today was an early day for me -- still kind'a is. I was sufficiently turned off of Facebook for the day ~ some days I get good vibes, some days it's a festival of depression, most of which I can do nothing about. Today was a festival.

I tried to 'fix' the soap problem I had, specifically rebatching the Drunken Lout & Nettles Soap, not by melting it down, but by chopping it up and cutting it back into a fresh batch of soap. But again, the soap seized on me, then it dawned on me -- and you'd think an experienced soaper would have a better grip on these things -- I was using a seizing essential oil, pimento berry, aka allspice. As soon as that pimento berry essential oil hit the soupy yet traced raw soap, it immediately heated and seized. So, long story short, I'm keeping this batch as the house soap. Again, it's a cosmetic issue.

Now I'm going to disappoint some of you, especially some of my long-time natural enthusiast clientele when I admit that I'm making a partially synthetically scented soap this season to fulfill a familial holiday request. The synthetic in question is a perfumery grade aromachemical that mimics the scent of freshly blooming lindenblossom. This lindenblossom synth smells exactly like (and probably is) the so-called natural lindenblossom that was circulating around about -- gosh, ten years ago?! At any rate, this stuff smells really nice. Subtle and not chemical-like at all. I won't be selling these soaps at the Etsy apothecary. Which reminds me, back 'in the day' when I was making 20 pound batches of soap daily, I made one with a sunflower fragrance oil that I couldn't keep on the shelf. The one and only non-naturally scented soap I actually put up in my shop and it sold like it was made of fulfilled dreams and unbroken promises. And I got many return requests. For a soap scented with a completely made up flower scent. Trust me. Go smell a sunflower and tell me what you get. Maybe sunshine and green grass, but nothing floral, and certainly nothing strong enough to scent soap with.

By the way, real lindenblossom smells nothing like the synth I'm using. Real lindenblossom smells dark and pruney, slightly juicy, with fruit notes (think prunes and figs). Not blossomy at all. Even diluted, it's kind of dark fruity, slightly rotty smelling. Not what you'd expect after actually smelling a live lindenblossom. There is a sweet honey note in real linden -- pink clouds and bees and dandelion fluff. Epic.





Thursday, September 04, 2014

Makin' Soap

So. I was excited last night, getting prepared to make a coupl'a big batches of soap. It was late, kind of quiet, so I scrubbed down the work station (kitchen counter), re-washed the tools (pot and blender and spoons), actually decided to use a mask and gloves this time. Then once the work station was in place, I went to the cupboard to pull out the oils and whatnot, and that's when I realized that I'd stocked up on everything except the lye. I had enough sodium hydroxide to make three bars of soap. Meh. Today I'm heading out to the post office to ship a few orders, and I will just so happen to pass the hardware store that sells the lye I like. But I hate when that happens! It's like the Universe is saying, "Naw. Wait a while. You haven't been feeling well, you've been running yourself ragged. You need a rest." But I'm like, "Nooooo! It's almost autumn! I need to make something! I'm programmed to do this. Right. Now!" And the Universe says, "I'm thinkin' no." And I'm like, "Stupid Universe."  I ended up making a peach cobbler with organic peaches I picked at my friend Shannon's ranch in Sanger. 

Green Clay & Clary Sage Soap circa 2010

Life's too short to be unhappy. And by that, I don't mean that a person should be ecstatic all the time and nothing bad ever happens in their life. To be happy is to be content, fulfilled. I think most people would agree that if they were those things, they could go to their grave with satisfaction in their hearts. Satisfaction. That's an interesting word. To be sated. To have your fill. This is how I feel when I work with aromatics, whether it's working through a perfume formulation, a soap blend, or something to do with creating perfumed food, or writing. I feel sated. Nothing enters the bubble I cast around me when I'm doing these things. Angst has no place, nor do tears or hatred or pain. Although there have been times when someone who isn't capable of controlling themselves, or didn't want to, blasted their hate-horn in my face while I was trying to work. I will get a little jolt of panic, then I settle myself down and wait for my hands to stop shaking -- because what I'd really like to do to people who do this is either punch them hard in the nose -- multiple times, or run as fast and as far as I can from them -- before I continue the work, re-creating the bubble which they've just temporarily popped. What I actually do is self-soothe. Mostly because I'm not a gorilla working on pure instinct, which is how I mentally picture them as they're ranting and raving over a bug in their french fries. It's a mess, man. It's what happens to us empaths who can feel your emotions before you even walk into the room. It's like a built-in (fill in the emotion) barometer right in my chest. As an added bonus, I get to live with a couple of these people and I'm finding my response to their fits is becoming less harmful. It's difficult to feel any serious concern when a person throws the same exact ridiculous tantrum when spending too much at the auto shop to fix the car as they do when they spill a soda. The level of importance of ALL the issues they grapple with drops -- and drops, and drops, and drops with each progressive fit. Or perhaps my bubble is becoming stronger. The older I get, the more I learn that things and people -- hell, everything -- cannot be controlled, and worry is a word and emotion best left to itself because to engage in it is to do nothing but hurt oneself. Suicide by stress. I'm not into it.

Djinn Mini circa 2010


The two perfume oils I'm working on -- Yasmina and Kyphi -- are nearing their maturity. Nearing, but not quite there. The Kyphi may need a bit more work, and the Yasmina is just settling in. I may once again begin working on the Chon perfume I started a few months back. I kind of sat that one on the back burner a while as I waited for the dilutions created for it to settle. After deciding to sell of those perfumery items I'm not using or have too much of, the 'studio' has been an even bigger mess than it was before. I had temporarily buried the Chon dilutions, so, out of sight, out of mind. I really need a better system. Ha!


Monday, September 01, 2014

Kyphi Class


The Kyphi class on Saturday was successful, and we made some super fabulous Kyphi. It was based on a traditional Egyptian-style Kyphi (with some substitutions), and then 'sealed' with rose petals at the end. Since the raw materials didn't get the traditional day-long grinding treatment, this Kyphi is chunky. Someone told me it looks like farm animal something-or-other, which, in all honesty, it does. Cow plop comes to mind. But rest assured, it smells nothing like farm animal something-or-other. It's very intensely and beautifully sweet and resinous and reminiscent of the last batch of class made Kyphi. It still has to be massaged to fully incorporate the ingredients since it was a one-day event and not a month-long, as it usually takes to make a batch, but the energy from the multitude of hands that went into the batch really shines. This Kyphi hums.

We are considering doing a Kyphi gathering once a month, or once every other month, to pull as much energy into the final product as possible, because I swear, that's what makes Kyphi fabulously fabulous. Also, making Kyphi with no power tools (aka coffee grinders) always makes for a better end product. Kyphi deserves this by-hand treatment beginning to end. I believe we've tentatively set the date for the next Kyphi event for the 20th of September, wherein we will wild-harvest as many of the ingredients that we can that we will be using for the new Kyphi (a Native American themed Kyphi), drying them, then beginning the process of grinding, mixing, praying, singing, and more grinding. We won't be using frankincense and myrrh in this blend, but will be using lots of pine, fir, and pinon resins, plus cedar wood and leaf, white sage, sweet grass, juniper berries, maybe a bit of manzanita, and the fruit portion will be played by wild-harvested elderberries. I am also seriously considering making some of my own wine for these Kyphi projects (and I have used homemade spirits in a previous Kyphi project). I've made wine before and they've run the gamut from okay to meh in the drinking department, but I think they would work nicely in Kyphi. Perhaps some day I'll make a mead-based Kyphi. The possibilities -- I'm telling you -- are as limitless as the natural raw materials one can gather. The more I learn about Kyphi and it's possibilities, the more I see how many people have walked this path and found a calling with Kyphi.

The administrator at The Natural Perfume Academy and I are considering opening a Kyphi course soon. If anyone is interested, please let me know. The course will be done entirely online and can be self-paced if you need the extra time. I think we may set it up as a two-month course. Our courses are constantly being updated, and once you're a student, as long as you remain engaged, you are welcome to check in on future courses without having to pay all over again. The Kyphi course will include additional information that isn't in the booklet. The Kyphi booklet was written to be included in a class, workshop, or course setting, however, it can be used as the first stepping stone toward creating awesome Kyphi incense on its own.


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