Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dragon's Blood Ink

I lately had the opportunity to work, for the first time, with dragon's blood ink. Now, I typically practice in the hoodoo tradition, where fancy magickal inks aren't really used (being told to use red, blue or black ink is traditionally as complicated as it gets.) But, on this occasion I was doing a spell from The Black Pullet and while it didn't specify to use any particular kind of ink, it seemed like the appropriate place to try one out. I mixed the ink by myself and laid it down Chinese style (that is, with a brush instead of a pen.) I was surprised that the ink came out a rather brownish color, rather than the red tone dragon's blood appears to have when pulverized, and that fake dragon's blood talismans are usually printed in (I had always assumed they at least were attempting to match the hue of the real thing.)

Here is the recipe for dragon's blood ink which I used:
2 parts dragon's blood resin
1 part gum arabic
17 parts alcohol (pure -- use Everclear or 100% rubbing alcohol)

Finely powder the resins and combine thoroughly with the alcohol. You may need to let the mixture sit a while for the resins to properly blend into the alcohol, before it is ready.

This stuff dries out fairly fast, or at least it did when I made a tiny batch like I did. I think most commercial Dragon's Blood formulas have some water mixed in to keep down the evaporation, and I suppose you could do that here (though you'd probably want to do it AFTER it's blended into the alcohol.)

Alternately, you can just let the mixture dry out like I did, and save the leftover resin powder for a batch of Agrippa's Sun incense.

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