What if humans are not terrifying and hideous because of our appearance or some weird habits we have, but because of a way more surprising thing we’ve never expected: Water. It is everywhere, and it’s normal, even essential for life on earth. Our body consists to a high percentage out of it, as well as the most of earth’s surface is covered in it. But let’s take a closer look on a scientific angle. Water is a good polar solvent, that dissolves many salines as well as organic molecules such as sugars and simple alcohols such as ethanol. Water also dissolves many gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. Its combination of oxygen and hydrogen is able to corrode even metals within the span of only a few decades. And not only most acids dissolve in water to yield the corresponding anions, it‘s amphoteric,too, meaning itself can react both as an acid as well as a base. Water is scary as shit. We’ve never been contacted by another species nor will find another species because we search for planets with one of the most dangerous substances on it, and they ignore that deadly blue ball of pure hyper reactive elements with oxygen in its atmosphere and water on its surface because there will definitely no life on it. Until we accidently stumble upon each other anyway.
*This probably only applies to those of you entering college, as high school lab work seems to be much more chill. Also, this is just my experience and may very well vary from place to place.*
Sleep a decent amount of hours (if you can, have a nap right before) and EAT BEFORE YOU GO THERE - lab work is physically exhausting, you’re usually there for several hours and you can count the times you get to sit down on one hand.
Read whatever information you are given about your lab work beforehand. You don’t want to get there and not know what’s going on.
Be active! There’s nothing worse than a lab partner than needs to be told to do things. If you’ve read whatever info you were given, you’ll have an idea of what to do so take the initiative. Offer to do stuff. Don’t just stand around waiting for orders.
Wear layers. Labs are freezing cold 10% of the time and scorching hot 90% of the time (especially once you put on your lab coat). The heat is specially bad because you may even get dizzy so please wear layers (the lightest one should be a short-sleeve or tank fop).
Water bottle - heat = dehydration
Hair tie - tie your hair up. Just do it.
WEAR COMFY SHOES - you may think those boots are soo comfy and chic but I guarantee you’ll change your mind after there hours of standing. Sneakers are the way to go
Yes you can just have one lab coat. But you still need to wash it. Volatile solvents don’t mask B.O.
Things break. Try your best not to break them but know that it’s not that big of a deal so don’t worry too much if you do.
‘Water’ always means deionized water. Always. Unless stated otherwise. Seriously, it can ruin your whole experiment. Also when you’re washing any equipment, you should always give them one last rinse with deionized water.
If you need to take away from something you’re weighting or a liquid you’re transfering with a pippete, that never goes back into the ‘original tub’. It’s a residue.
Painted nails + organic solvents equal ruined nails. Gloves don’t help. Beware. But, gloves are great and v recommended if you’re dealing with oh idk rat pee.
Once you get home, you’re probably just going to want to pass out. Don’t. Do whatever you have to do (have coffee ready?) to write as much as you remember about what you’ve done. It makes writing the lab write-up. So. Much. Easier.
On the same note, if you know you have something due the day after a lab, get it done beforehand because you probably won’t have the energy to do it afterwards. If you have lab work all week long (like I do), get as much done on the weekend as possible
Listen, if you know an upper classman who’s taken that class, ask to borrow their write-ups. Beg for them if you must. They will save your life.
Have a lab write-up template. You can look for one online or model It after your professor’s directions or an upper-classman’s write-up. Having something that you can just ‘fill in’ is super convenient.
Not much to say here, other than… don’t load huge bowls. As by loading more you’re more likely to not spread it around enough and end up with a fat puddle boiling and burning up your drugs. Load a moderately small bowl, spread it around good, and smoke that shit son. If you get to the end of the bowl and don’t think you’re high enough, load another one.
Anyways, first things first. “Cutting,” or at least that’s what I’ve always heard it refered to, and learned it that way. The act of melting down and allowing your meth to recrystalize all over in the bowl of the pipe. (While it is recrystalizing, roll that puddle around and spread it out. Do this inbetween hits also.) Supposedly ment to burn off cuts and impurities, however this is bullshit. Most cuts and practically all impurities melt right down and recrystalize in with the meth. Burning off while you smoke, and going into your lungs. Don’t worry, this stuff is good for you. It’ll grow some hair on your chest. Although “cutting” doesn’t burn off any impurities or cuts, it does allow you to make the bowl last longer. By spreading it around while it recrystalizes, you will in turn not heat it all at once and have more control over it. You’re less likely to burn up and destroy a bunch of meth smoking a thin puddle. Whereas trying to smoke a fat puddle will waste meth. Longer lasting bowls equal more smoke and more high.
There is one exception to this that I’ve found so far, which is… MSM. If you know what you’re doing, you CAN burn off most of it and be left with cleaner dope to smoke. You know sometimes when you take that first hit, and exhale barely any smoke? That was mostly MSM. Sadly though I have no clue how to explain the process through which you burn it off. But don’t loose hope now, because you CAN burn it off.
Don’t use one of those fancy shmancy torch lighters unless you know what you’re doing. They burn too hot, and will destroy your drugs if you’re not careful. This is not good, you want to just vaporize them and suck them into your lungs. Not burn them up into nothing. A regular Bic lighter works best, with Crickets coming in second. But be forwarned, lighters get really fucking hot when you keep them lit for those long hits so common with meth. They will burn you and hurt you, possibly making you jerk or twitch… only to end up throwing a frail glass pipe accross the room. Be careful with lighters kids.
Needle Lighters The point of the needle lighters is to force the gas(which has been turned way down) through the smaller hole of the needle, and lighting it up on top. Makes for a tinny tiny not so hot flame which is good for smokin’ dope. And having the needle somewhat long prevents the crappy plastic lighter(which most adjustable ones are) from melting itself and dying.
Heating and smoking
The flame of your lighter should never be touching the glass. If it’s close, it’s probably too close. Getting too close means you’re heating it too much, this destroys drugs. Not good. And it blackens up the pipe, which is a pain in the ass to clean and hard to see through.
Don’t apply constant heat, as this will also get it too hot and destroy drugs. Again, not a good thing. Heat it until it’s smoking good and pull flame away. When the smoke starts thinning, reapply flame until it’s smoking good again.
Roll it side to side slightly while heating to help prevent overheating one spot and destroying product. You just want a nice smoking puddle, not a boiling one.
When coming to the end of your hit, after you’ve stopped heating it and the smoke is again starting to thin. But you don’t have that much breath left to warrent reheating and getting it smoking good again. Carb it, or put your finger over the carb(hole on top of the bowl) to stop the airflow and allow more vapor to condense inside. Then once a little has condensed, release the carb and continue with the inhale. Not too fast, not too slow though. A slow tapping kind of action works best. Carb for a second, uncarb and inhale, carb for a second, uncarb and inhale, etc…
Before smoking the stem, remelt that shit down and let it recrystalize. Or if you have enough residue, melt it down and let it drip down into the bowl to recrystalize. While melting, plug the end of the stem with your finger to prevent vapor from escaping.
Hold the pipe with the end of the tube BEHIND your teeth. Although not the sole cause of tooth decay/loss, it sure as hell doesn’t help anything to be sucking those water hungry meth vapors past your chompers. Holding the pipe on your lips will most likely result in some cute little dried out dead spots, which will also show up on your tongue if you get that in the way. So don’t use your tongue as a valve to restrict airflow by plugging part of the tube. Yes it does slow down the hit, and allow for a bigger hit. But it fucks your tongue up pretty bad for a day or two.
Nice slow inhalation with micropuffing action seems to work best. Don’t pause and hold your hit whiling searching for another spot to smoke because you have a little breath left. Don’t hold your hit period. By the time you’re done taking those long ass hits, most of what you’re going to get out of the smoke has already been absorbed. Holding it longer may get you a little more out of it, but it’s doing way more damage to your lungs in the process.
Getting the most out of it
If you’re worried about wasting smoke, share it with a boyfriend/girlfriend via mouth to mouth action. It doesn’t have to take forever like a hit off the pipe. Quick and smooth works fine. Or, if you have no one to share with you could exhale into a ballon. And take a few more hits off it, inhaling and exhaling into the ballon. With breaths of fresh air inbetween hits of course.
Then if you’re a real stickler, you can save that balloon. Since it has all them little water droplets from your breath that have absorbed a little vapor. Or if you have nice dry breath, the balloon may have a coating of residue. Just like the stem of your pipe. Get that stuff wet, and put it in with your Kool Aid/Juice/Water, or just lick it if you’d like. Or I suppose you could try to scrape it and load another bowl…
Cleaning the pipe
So you’ve not been listening to me and burnt up some of your drugs smoking, and in the process blackened the fuck out of the bottom of your pipe. Good job dumby. Now you have a few options, you can either just not care and wipe it off your your shirt or pants. Or, you can have a semi-damp rag handy. Preferably warm or room temperature water. If you use cold water you run the risk of busting the pipe. Or you can learn how to smoke correctly and never deal with soot again.
Now for cleaning that brown/black residue left inside after you’ve gone through a sizable amount of meth. Again you have a few options. You can either;
a) Throw your pipe away and make a new one. Now if you know how to blow your own pipes option a is pretty damn easy, just blow a new one and sell the old one to another tweaker for $5.
b) Bust out the propane torch and burn it out. If you have a propane torch, no acetone, and no knowledge on blowing pipes then option b is your best bet. But be forwarned, don’t heat your pipe too much because it will get soft and start to deform if you heat it too long. And don’t do this outside on a cool night, hot glass needs to be cooled slowly. Exposing it to the cold night air while it’s glowing hot will break it. Inside, preferably warm room.
c) Use a solvent like acetone and let it soak for a while, then rinse. Just fill the bowl with a little acetone, let it soak for a while, empty and rinse. Repeat if neccessary. Do in a well ventilated area, not in the closet with the doors shut
Been browsing GreenRush menus and getting confused by all the talk about hash, BHO, crumble, tinctures and waxes? In this post we take a detailed look at the different kinds of marijuana extracts currently available on the market and what makes them unique.
So whether you’re already a fan of cannabis concentrates or you’re a newbie looking to find out what all the hype is about, read on to find out all you need to know. And remember, sign up to GreenRush today and get cannabis delivered from the best dispensaries in your area in minutes.
•What are Marijuana Extracts?
The term “marijuana extracts” basically refers to any product that is made by extracting desirable compounds (such as cannabinoids and terpenes) from the cannabis plant and combining them in a concentrated form.
In cannabis, the compounds manufacturers are looking to extract are cannabinoids (such as THC, CBD, CBN, etc) and terpenes (such as pinene, limonene, etc). Cannabinoids are unique compounds that give cannabis its medicinal properties, while terpenes are mainly known for giving cannabis the aromas and tastes that we all treasure, although they also have medicinal properties of their own.
By extracting and concentrating these compounds, manufacturers are all striving towards one common goal; to create a pure product with high concentrations of the chemicals that give cannabis its distinct effects.
The process of extracting and concentrating these compounds, however, isn’t easy. The purity and quality of the end product is governed by countless variables, including everything from the chemical profile of the strain and the particular extraction method being used.
•It’s All About The Trichomes
All marijuana extracts are made by separating the trichomes (those sticky, hair-like crystals on your buds) from the plant matter. These trichomes contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant, meaning they also harness the plant’s maximum medicinal potential.
Many plants have trichomes, such as The Venus Fly Trap, which uses them to sense prey on the inside of it’s leaves, or the tomato plant, which uses them to sense predators, such as caterpillars.
Scientists hypothesize that the trichomes found on cannabis work similarly, as a defense mechanism.
•Different Forms of Cannabis Extraction
There are a variety of ways to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. The various methods are usually categorized by whether or not they use a solvent to separate the trichomes from the plant matter:
-Solventless Extraction Methods:
Different Forms of Cannabis Extraction
There are a variety of ways to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. The various methods are usually categorized by whether or not they use a solvent to separate the trichomes from the plant matter:
Solventless Extraction Methods:
Although the term “solventless” technically refers to a concentrate that is made using an extraction method that doesn’t rely on any kind of solvent, the term is generally used by the industry to refer to products that are made without the use of chemical solvents such as butane or alcohol.
The most common solventless extraction methods include:
Dry sifting: Literally sifting cannabis flowers through various sieves to separate the trichomes from the flower. Dry ice is often used to produce kief or hash.
Cold water extraction: Cannabis plant matter is combined with ice and water and then agitated to separate the trichomes from the plant. The mixture is then filtered to remove the water and leave behind a relatively pure concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes. This method is used to produce ice-water hash.
Heat and pressure extraction: Most commonly used to make rosin, this method uses heat and pressure to press cannabis flowers and extract a thick, golden oil that contains high concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. This method is used to create rosin.
CO2 extraction: A complex extraction method that works by turning CO2 gas into a supercritical liquid and using that liquid as a solvent to extract the desired compounds from cannabis plant material. This method is used to create CO2 Oil.
•Solvent-based Extraction Methods
Technically, the term “solvent-based extract/extraction” refers to any product which is made using a solvent, in which case any marijuana extracts made using CO2 or water extraction methods would fall under this heading.
However, the cannabis industry generally uses this term to refer to cannabis extracts made using chemical solvents such as butane and ethanol. The most common solvent-based extraction methods include:
Butane extraction: As the name implies, this method uses butane as a solvent to extract the key cannabinoids and terpenes from plant material. This is usually done by packing cannabis plant matter into a container with a small opening and ‘blasting’ or pouring liquid butane over the flower to extract the good stuff from the plant. The resulting mixture is then heated to remove as much of the solvent as possible, resulting in a concentrate that is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. This method is used to create a type of hash oil known as BHO (Butane Hash/Honey Oil) which is often referred to by names like Shatter, Crumble or Wax, depending on the consistency and appearance of the final product.
Alcohol extraction: This method is similar to butane extraction, but uses alcohol (most commonly isopropyl alcohol or ethanol) as the solvent to extract the key compounds from the plant. Most commonly, plant material is soaked in alcohol for short amounts of time, before the mixture is filtered and occasionally heated in order to remove as much of the solvent as possible. This method is used to create tinctures and hash oil, the latter of which may be sold under a variety of names describing the texture of the oil or the alcohol it was made with.
•Types of Marijuana Extracts
There are a variety of cannabis concentrates currently available on the market. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand the differences between them:
-Kief and Hash
Kief is the oldest form of cannabis extract and is the main ingredient used to make hash. Using a dry sifting technique, frozen flower is sifted through fine mesh screens to separate the trichomes from the plant matter. The end product is a fine powder with a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Regular flower, for example, tends to reach a maximum THC concentration of 25-30%, while good quality kief can reach up to 60%.
Kief is often heated and compressed into big blocks, popularly known as hash. The color of the kief or hash will often speak for its purity; a high-quality concentrate is usually golden, while lower quality products will have a greenish tinge, which indicates that it is contaminated with more plant matter.
-Ice Water Hash
Ice water hash is, you guessed it, a type of hash. The term refers to hash that is made using a ice-water extraction method.
Frozen cannabis trimmings are combined with cold water and ice and agitated (either shaken or stirred) in order to separate the brittle trichomes from the plant matter. The mixture is then sifted through various fine sieves and dried to form a granular concentrated that can be pressed or molded by hand.
Rosin is a cannabis concentrate made using a heat and pressure extraction method which can be easily done at home. Cannabis flower is placed inside parchment paper and pressed between two hot sheets of metal (such as the panels of a hair straightener) to release a sticky, golden oil that’s very similar to shatter.
CO2 oil is the end product of CO2 extraction, or supercritical fluid extraction. This method, relying on complex and very expensive equipment allows for one of the purest extractions of cannabis compounds currently available on the market. CO2 oil is a beautiful amber/gold color and is jam-packed full of cannabinoids and terpenes.
The oil is mixed with food grade propylene glycol or glycerin to keep it liquid at room temperature and is most commonly vaporized in vape pens, although it can also be frozen and dabbed using a regular dab rig.
Hash oil is arguably the most popular marijuana extract currently on the market and is most commonly made using the butane extraction method we described earlier.
Hash oil is available in various consistencies which are determined by minute factors in how the cannabinoids and terpenes were extracted from the plant.
Here are some of the most common types of hash oil and how they differ from one another:
Shatter refers to hash oil that has a similar texture to glass and commonly shatters when it is dropped or manipulated. It is clear and usually amber or golden in color and can have a potency of up to 80% THC. Due to its transparency, many mistake shatter as being the purest type of cannabis concentrates.
However, shatter simply owes its transparency to the fact that it’s molecules have been left undisturbed and not agitated like the molecules in wax, crumble, or bubble hash.
During the manufacturing process, shatter is purged of butane by heating it (often under a vacuum) until the butane evaporates. Because the product isn’t agitated, it’s molecules are undisturbed, making for a transparent concentrate.
The consistency of hash oil is governed by factors such as the heat it was exposed to during manufacturing, whether it has been decarboxylated, and it’s terpene contents. Here are some different names applied to concentrates like shatter but with different consistencies:
Pull-and-snap: A concentrate similar to shatter but with a more taffy-like consistency which can be pulled, manipulated, and snapped apart, unlike glass-like shatter.
Sap: A runnier, sticky concentrate that resembles tree sap or honey. This stuff usually can’t be manipulated by hand and you’ll need some kind of tool to load it into a dab rig without making a mess.
Cannabis wax has a sticky texture which, much like shatter, can differ in consistency. The most obvious difference between shatter and wax is that wax isn’t transparent. Instead, it can have a creamy white color, similar to honey when it solidifies.
Wax is opaque because, unlike shatter, its molecules have been agitated. While shatter is just heated during the purging process, waxes are usually whipped. The agitation from the whipping is what creates this non-transparent concentrate.
Like shatter, wax is available in a variety of consistencies which are referred to by various names. These include:
Crumble: A concentrate with a slightly granular texture that can be pressed or molded by hand. As it’s name suggests, it has a similar texture to the topping on an apple crumble dessert.
Honeycomb: Honeycomb waxes are usually hard and very brittle, much like the honeycomb centres in some snack bars.
Budder: Budder has a very rich, creamy, and soft texture similar to peanut butter.
Tinctures are marijuana extracts made by soaking cannabis trimmings in alcohol. The finished product is a potent extract which is usually applied in drops and administered orally. According to Leafly, tinctures were the most common form of medical cannabis prior to prohibition in 1937.
I’m leading a tincturing workshop this Sunday, so I thought it might be nice to share the packet I’m going to be handing out. It includes some tips on alcohol and vinegar tincturing, as well as recipes and some local Ozark yarbs to work into your herbal preparations. Enjoy!
Good for fresh high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots.
The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.
85% – 95% (190 proof grain alcohol)
Good for gums and resins.
Extracts aromatics and essential oils that are bound in the plant and do not dissipate easily.
The alcohol strength can produce a tincture that is not quite pleasant to take.
Often used for drop dosage medicines.
Will totally dehydrate herbs.
*information comes from the Mountain Rose Herbs blog
Maceration is the process by which the active chemical compounds are leached into the solvent solution. This is usually done by shaking the jar that contains the alcohol or vinegar and the herbal plant matter.
Alcohol tinctures need to be left to macerate for at least 2-3 weeks depending upon the ABV. The higher the ABV the less maceration time is needed.
Vinegar tinctures need to be left to macerate for at least a month before straining and bottling.
Easy Alcohol Tincture Recipes
Sarsaparilla Tincture: Anti-Inflammatory, Tonic (do not take if you have kidney problems)
Measurements and instructions are the same as with the alcohol tinctures at the beginning of the packet. Remember: vinegar tinctures need to be left longer to macerate, at least a month.
Easy Vinegar Tincture Recipes
Fire Tonic: Colds, flu, chills, general tonic
1 32 oz. bottle apple cider vinegar. I like to use unfiltered, it seems to taste better and it’s easier on the stomach.
5-10 cloves of garlic, crushed
3-5 hot peppers, as hot as you can stand
1 3 inch knob of ginger, crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
¼ c. chopped mullein
¼ c. chopped rosemary
¼ c. chopped thyme
¼ c. crushed star anise or green sweetgum balls (sources for shikimic acid which helps fight the flu virus)
Take all of this and combine it in large mason jar, all the herbs and vegetables are going to take up a lot of room. Let this stand in a dark place for about two months. Shake everyday. After it’s finished macerating strain off the liquid, add about a half cup honey, bottle.
Alternate Ozark yarbs to use: Dittany, Self-heal, Plantain, Horsemint
Also called “sipping vinegars” these mixtures are basic vinegar tinctures sweetened and thickened with honey to make them more palatable.
1 part herb : 3 parts honey and apple cider vinegar
Quart mason jars: fill up ¼ jar with herb, ¼ with honey, then the rest with vinegar. Macerate for a few weeks.
Easy Oxymel Recipes
Colds and Immune System Oxymel:
1 part elderberries
1 part ginger root (dried)
Another for Colds with Cough Oxymel:
1 part Mullein
1 part Horehound
Stomach Complaints Oxymel:
2 parts ginger
1 part peppermint
1 part fennel seed
Sinus Congestion Oxymel:
2 parts garlic
1 part cayenne pepper
1 part thyme
1 part rosemary
Beginners Ozark Medicinal Plants
Caution should always be taken when looking for medicinal plants out in the wild. Do not consume or use any plant that you are unsure about. The internet is a wonderful resource for plant identification. Look up photos and identification information for plants from reputable sources before collecting any plant out in the wild. NOTE also that many Ozark medicinal plants are endangered and should not be harvested out in the wild.
When wild-harvesting take only what you need at that time. DO NOT STOCKPILE! Chances are the plants will go bad before you can use them. A good rule of thumb for any plant is to count three plants then take one, that way there are plants left behind to go to seed. Leave the roots intact unless the root is being harvested, then try and leave a piece of the root or any seeds/berries behind in the soil.
Responsible harvesting means these medicinal plants will be around for many more generations.
I’m not including photos of plants on purpose! I want folks to go look up the plants and find as many identifying photos and identifying information as they can. Do the work! Google is an amazing resource for plant identification.
+ means the plant is not native but is common in the Ozarks
Root infusion used for dermatological needs. Used to wash snakebites. Decoction of whole plant taken to aid with heart disease. Decoction of root taken for colds and chills. Cold infusion of flowers taken for headache and as a febrifuge. Similar properties to other coneflowers (Purple coneflower, Missouri coneflower, etc.) Some say the active compounds are not water soluble. Better used as a tincture or extract.
*** Cautions: Asteraceae family ***
Cinquefoil, Five Finger Grass, Potentilla simplex: Leaves, root:
Leaves taken for colds and as a febrifuge. Root astringent, infusion taken for dysentery, diarrhea, and as a mouthwash for sores and thrush.
+Cleavers, Galium aparine: Leaves:
Strong infusion as laxative. Externally as a dermatological aid. Has been linked to aiding with lowering blood pressure.
*** Cautions: Laxative ***
Common Dittany, Cunila origanoides: Leaves, stems, flowers:
Related to Oregano and Marjoram and can be used in similar ways. As an infusion it’s good for colds and to help open up the sinuses. Boiled strong it helps the body sweat and can aid in lowering fevers. Infusion used to help aid a painful birth. Used as a stimulant and tonic. Contains trace amounts of thujone, an active chemical also found in wormwood, mugwort, and yarrow, and may cause drowsiness or headaches. Use only in small amounts and with caution.
*** Cautions: Contains trace amounts of thujone ***
Elderberry, Sambucus nigra or Sambucus canadensis: Berries, flowers, leaves, bark:
Berries used in formulas against chills and cold. Helps support the immune system. Infusion of berry used internally for rheumatism. Flower infusion used as a febrifuge and to sweat out a cold. Leaf infusion used to wash sores and prevent infection. Bark poultice used on sores, wounds, rashes, and other dermatological needs.
*** Cautions: Berries mildly toxic when unripe, foliage toxic in large quantities ***
Goldenrod, Solidago: Leaves, Flowers:
There are many different varieties of goldenrods, all of which have very similar medicinal uses. Topically the plant has traditionally been used in salves to help with sore muscles and arthritis. Internally it has traditionally been used as a diuretic to help bladder and kidney issues and to help break up “stones”. It is also a good diaphoretic that can help reduce a fever, and an astringent that can aid in remedying diarrhea. The flowers also make a wonderful yellow dye.
*** Cautions: Asteraceae family, may cause skin irritation ***
Horsemint, Monarda bradburiana: Leaves, flowers:
Infusion used for colds, chills, as a febrifuge, and for bowel complaints. Can be used externally in oils and salves for dermatological needs. Used in many of the same ways as Monarda fistulosa.
Sap produced by the leaves and stems used for poison ivy, rashes, burns, and other dermatological needs. Cold infusion of leaves as a febrifuge. Infusion whole plant taken internally for stomach cramps.
Leaves and flowers can be used to clear chest congestion (smoked or as an infusion), as an analgesic for rashes, aches and pains. Leaves can be wilted and used in poultices for swollen glands. Roots can be used in decoctions for gynecological issues.
+Plantain, Plantago major “Broadleaf Plantain” or Plantago lanceolata “Ribwort Plantain”: Leaves, roots, flowers:
Leaves used in poultices for bug bites, inflammations, rashes, cuts, bruises, stings, and other skin complaints. Whole plant infusions for colds, fever, upper respiratory complaints, rheumatism, hypertension, regulating blood sugar, bladder problems, kidney problems. Root used as a gentle expectorant and in helping sinus issues. “Snake Weed” because of the belief that the plant can help draw venom out of a snakebite. It was also thought that a person could carry the plant to help ward off snakes.
Self-Heal, All Heal, Prunella vulgaris: Leaves, flowers:
Infusion is an analgesic used to wash sores, wounds, and used in salves for many dermatological needs. Used to flavor other medicines. Infusion used as a febrifuge and against colds. Used for sore throats. Mild sedative. Helps with stomach and bowel complaints. Antidiarrheal. Respiratory aid.
Spicebush, Lindera benzoin: Leaves, Bark:
The red berries of the spicebush have long been used as a substitute for cinnamon or allspice in mountain recipes. The leaves can be made into a pleasant infusion for colds and headaches while the bark can be brewed strong for fevers and chills. The leaves can also be used topically for skin irritations, rashes, and bites.
The berries are used in a tasty beverage I’ve heard called “sumacade”. It’s lemony taste is quite pleasant, and the drink is high in vitamin C. The berries and bark are astringent and can be used as an effective gargle for a cough or mouth sores. A decoction of the bark can also be taken internally for diarrhea. In the Fall the red leaves can be dried and smoked to induce dreaming.
Decoction whole plant used as a sedative and to aid sleeping. Analgesic for sores, pains, aches, wounds, and many other dermatological needs. Antirheumatic (internal). Decoction for colds and chills. Smoked and used in infusions to clear chest congestion. Chewed for sore mouth and throat. Used in sweat baths against many illnesses. NOTE harvest leaves in the Fall when they start to turn brown.
Leaves can be used in poultices for several dermatological issues, cuts, and bruises. Gum and inner bark used for diarrhea and flux. Infusion of bark taken for “flooding” (gynecological). Infusion of bark given as a sedative. Sweetgum balls, when green in the Spring before seeds have formed can be soaked in alcohol then given for colds and the flu (antiviral, antibacterial due to contained shikimic acid).
Infusion used for coughs, colds, and sore throats. Carminative for stomach complaints. Diaphoretic, febrifuge, and diuretic. Mild sedative. Abortifacient, so caution should be taken. Externally an analgesic used in poultices for pains, aches, cuts, and rashes.
Witch Hazel, Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark Witch Hazel) and American Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana: Leaves, bark:
Leaves and bark astringent used externally as a skin toner and for many dermatological issues. Infusion taken for colds and as a febrifuge. Antirheumatic. Decoction of bark taken as an emetic.
*** Cautions: Bark emetic***
+Yarrow, Achillea millefolium: Flowers, leaves:
Leaves astringent, used in bowel complaints and with dermatological needs. Foliage infusion used for colds, as a febrifuge, upset stomach, and as a mild sedative. Leaves can be smoked to loosen phlegm and clear chest congestion.
Facebook gets a bad rap, but there’s a lot of serious shit going down there these days. Via a friend’s reposting:
From Scott Mednick, when a Facebook friend told him, “We suffered for 8 years. Now it’s your turn.”
"I am surprised you would wish suffering upon me. That of course is
your right, I suppose. I do not wish harm on anyone. Your statement
seems to continue an ‘US v THEM’ mentality. The election is over. It is
important to get past campaigning and campaign rhetoric and get down to
what is uniting not dividing and what is best for ALL Americans.
There will never be a President who does everything to everyone’s
liking. There are things President Obama (and President Clinton) did
that I do not like and conversely there are things I can point to that
the Presidents Bush did that I agree with. So I am not 100% in lock step
with the outgoing President but have supported him and the overall job
And, if you recall, during the Presidential Campaign back
in 2008 the campaign was halted because of the "historic crisis in our
financial system.” Wall Street bailout negotiations intervened in the
election process. The very sobering reality was that there likely could
be a Depression and the world financial markets could collapse. The
United States was losing 800,000 jobs a month and was poised to lose at
least 10 million jobs the first year once the new President took office.
We were in an economic freefall. So let us recall that ALL of America
was suffering terribly at the beginning of Obama’s Presidency.
But I wanted to look back over the last 8 years and ask you a few
questions. Since much of the rhetoric before Obama was elected was that
he would impose Sharia Law, Take Away Your Guns, Create Death Panels,
Destroy the Economy, Impose Socialism and, since you will agree that
NONE of this came to pass,
I was wondering: Why have you suffered so?
So let me ask: Gays and Lesbians can now marry and enjoy the benefits they had been deprived of. Has this caused your suffering?
When Obama took office, the Dow was 6,626. Now it is 19,875. Has this caused your suffering?
We had 82 straight months of private sector job growth - the longest
streak in the history of the United States. Has this caused your
Especially considering where he the economy was when
he took over, an amazing 11.3 million new jobs were created under
President Obama (far more than President Bush). Has this caused your
Obama has taken Unemployment from 10% down to 4.7%. Has this caused your suffering?
Homelessness among US Veterans has dropped by half. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama shut down the US secret overseas prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama has created a policy for the families of fallen
soldiers to have their travel paid for to be there when remains are
flown home. Has this caused your suffering?
We landed a rover on Mars. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Has this caused your suffering?
Uninsured adults has decreased to below 10%: 90% of adults are insured -
an increase of 20 Million Adults. Has this caused your suffering?
People are now covered for pre-existing conditions. Has this caused your suffering?
Insurance Premiums increased an average of $4,677 from 2002-2008, an increase of 58% under Bush. The growth of these insurance premiums has gone up $4,145 – a slower rate of increase. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama added Billions of dollars to mental health care for our Veterans. Has this caused your suffering?
Consumer confidence has gone from 37.7 to 98.1 during Obama’s tenure. Has this caused your suffering?
He passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Has this caused your suffering?
His bi-annual Nuclear Summit convinced 16 countries to give up and
destroy all their loose nuclear material so it could not be stolen. Has
this caused your suffering?
He saved the US Auto industry.
American cars sold at the beginning of his term were 10.4M and upon his
exit 17.5M. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit as a percentage of the GDP has gone from 9.8% to 3.2%. Has this caused your suffering?
The deficit itself was cut by $800 Billion Dollars. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama preserved the middle class tax cuts. Has this caused your suffering?
Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. Has this caused your suffering?
He signed Credit Card reform so that rates could not be raised without you being notified. Has this caused your suffering?
He outlawed Government contractors from discriminating against LGBT persons. Has this caused your suffering?
He doubled Pell Grants. Has this caused your suffering?
Abortion is down. Has this caused your suffering?
Violent crime is down. Has this caused your suffering?
He overturned the scientific ban on stem cell research. Has this caused your suffering?
He protected Net Neutrality. Has this caused your suffering?
Obamacare has extended the life of the Medicare insurance trust fund
(will be solvent until 2030). Has this caused your suffering?
President Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Has this caused your suffering?
He banned torture. Has this caused your suffering?
He negotiated with Syria to give up its chemical weapons and they were destroyed. Has this caused your suffering?
Solar and Wind Power are at an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
High School Graduation rates hit 83% - an all time high. Has this caused your suffering?
Corporate profits are up by 144%. Has this caused your suffering?
He normalized relations with Cuba. Has this caused your suffering?
Reliance on foreign oil is at a 40 year low. Has this caused your suffering?
US Exports are up 28%. Has this caused your suffering?
He appointed the most diverse cabinet ever. Has this caused your suffering?
He reduced the number of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Has this caused your suffering?
Yes, he killed Osama Bin Laden and retrieved all the documents in his
possession for analysis. Perhaps THIS caused your suffering?
an objective standpoint it would appear that the last 8 years have seen
some great progress and we were saved from a financial collapse. Things
are not perfect. Things can always be better. We are on much better
footing now than we were in 2008.
I look forward to understanding what caused you to suffer so much under Obama these last 8 years.“
Hello, why is it wrong to laminate those documents?
This was asked in response to this post, methinks.
Just in case anyone is confused, lamination is NOT the same as encapsulation. Encapsulation seals the document in a sandwich of stable plastic sheets, but only the edges of the plastic are sealed and nothing is directly attached to the document during the process. Lamination adheres the plastic TO the object itself, via heat.
Lamination is a terrible thing to do to historical or important documents because….
lamination is what we call an irreversible treatment because it is fundamentally impossible to remove without causing great risk to the item that was laminated (the plastic actually melts *into* the structure of the paper fibers themselves). Removing it often requires the use of solvents or other chemicals that can also damage the inks, the paper, or the conservator during treatment.
lamination restricts further scientific analysis of the document by preventing immediate access to the document’s actual surface and inks
the plastics used in lamination are themselves inherently unstable (cellulose acetate was a very popular choice when lamination was first considered an acceptable “preservation” method for documents) and over time can deteriorate and cause more damage to the documents within. As the lamination plastic breaks down, it can also produce harmful chemicals that will damage nearby, non-laminated, items stored next to the laminated item.
the process of lamination itself can cause damage to the item, by solubilizing inks and causing them to become blurry, melting wax seals or other heat-sensitive attachments to the document, or even burning the paper itself
it looks bad and has a negative effect on the aesthetic of the document- it gives a shiny surface to the document that is always there (unlike with encapsulation, where you can easily slip a document in and out of the plastic sleeve) and also makes it hard to get a good image during digitization
Here are some links to more examples of why lamination is no longer considered an acceptable preservation method for archival documents or anything else that we would like to keep around long-term in our collections.
There honestly isn’t much to be said about the D&D 5e barbarian. It’s a class that’s even more about fighting than the fighter. That said, there is always some depth into the mentality and mechanics of this class. I’m going to talk about how the DM, the player, and their allies should be using the barbarian in their game.
If you have a barbarian in your playgroup, there are some things you should know. For one thing, the barbarian doesn’t do much other than fight and get hit. So delve into the narration of combat. Make every attack dramatic, whether a hit or a miss, and make every attack against them just as dramatic. Combat is the whole reason they chose to play a barbarian. They want to hit hard and often, so you should let them be the hero that they want to be.
It might be difficult if the barbarian doesn’t want to play along with roleplaying encounters. They might screw up diplomatic relations, try to kill a friendly NPC, etc. You could remind them of the consequences of their actions, but it’s much easier to use positive reinforcement. Show them the reward for playing along, like treasure, land, revenge, crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, hearing the lamentation of their women, etc.
Be aware of their strengths. Primarily, their STR score and CON score. Fill your adventures with opportunities to test their STR modifier with Athletics checks. Give them pits to jump, underwater encounters, boulders to throw, stone gates to hold open, etc. They will be able to resist most poisons, disease, exhaustion, nausea, indigestion, and transmutation/necromancy spells thanks to their CON. Give them creatures and traps to face that offer a CON saving throw to make them feel strong by how easily they can resist it.
The barbarian runs the most risk of being overpowered. They are built for it. A berserker barbarian can get up to three attacks (at level 5) with advantage just for raging, and with their added damage that’s easily a deadly turn for any victim with less than 40 HP. Remind them that they are not invulnerable, despite their resistance to “bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing” damage. Be mindful that they do have weaknesses.
If you want to challenge a barbarian, you need to give them insurmountable odds. Many, many creatures will have enough attacks to get consistent hits on a barbarian. One or two high-CR creatures will force them to use up lots of healing resources. Even so, these “insurmountable odds” can be swept up by the right adventuring party if spellcasters are present. If you hold up the spellcasters for a turn or two, the barbarian will start to feel those odds stacked against them, which may be enough to remind them of their vulnerability. That is, before the magic-user charms the high CR creature or fireballs the mob of enemies to make things more manageable.
Another easy way to challenge the barbarian is to target its biggest weakpoint: it’s mental ability scores. If a barbarian has to make a WIS, INT, or CHA saving throw, there is a good chance they will fail. Protip: if the adventuring party starts to rely too much on their barbarian, a Dominate Person spell on the berserker is easily the best way to turn the tide and put the fear of God in them.
As a Player:
As someone playing a barbarian, you will be tempted to just roll attacks every round. This is not a bad thing, but remember you have another strength: your Strength! Replace one or two of your attacks with Shove or Grapple attempts to help your allies get the edge they need. You may have advantage while recklessly raging, but your allies could use the help!
You shine brightest as the tank, absorbing damage for your team. You might not have as high of an AC as the fighter, but the halved damage is a huge plus. If you can get items or buffs from your friends or from shops to boost your HP, you will be able to withstand even greater threats. Stay away from seas of enemies unless you can get a surprise round in, since your AC being on the low-end will make those ten or so attacks much more likely to hit. You will have to trust in your allies to defend you. The healer will give you aid when you are low, the bard will boost your damage, the wizard will grant you False Life.
Kill the wizard and healer first. They have the lowest HP/AC and are the biggest threat to you since you have a low WIS score (don’t take it too personally, but I mean, you can’t even read or write).
Remember that you have Danger Sense! It works on “things you can see” so take Perception as a skill so you don’t miss anything.
Get plenty of gadgets. Batman uses them because he doesn’t have magic or superpowers, so you should too! Buy nets, grappling hooks, manacles, Dust of Disappearance, Universal Solvents, anything that you think might help a walking beefcake with no powers.
When all else fails, remember that “death” is the best crowd control.
As a Team:
The barbarian in your group is the only thing standing between you and certain death. Use them to absorb all that damage that would normally be directed at your tender frame. They are glad to do so. Well, “angry” to do so. It’s the rage, you see.
If you’re a healer or support, keep them healed and buffed. Crowd control some of the enemies so the barbarian doesn’t get too claustrophobic. You don’t want them getting too many attacks made against them what with D&D 5e’s concept of bounded accuracy. However, you also want to make sure that multiple enemies are reachable by the barbarian. Thankfully they have increased movement for this, but just keep it in mind that the barbarian’s rage will end if they don’t attack for a round. Stick to the back lines as you do so.
If you’re a melee-type, use the barbarian for a flanking bonus and give them yours, as well. Shove enemies away from the barbarian if they are getting crowded. If you have a higher AC, draw the fire of the weaker enemies and let the barbarian take the big guys’ damage.
Well that’s it for today. Now that we are aware of how to use barbarians in your game, tomorrow I will delve into some homebrew Primal Paths for the barbarian! I’ve been spending time coming up with some homebrew magic items as well, which I will unveil later in the week. Happy Barbarian Week, everyone!
What does the "perixides kill chemists" mean? I've only taken highschool chemistry and I'm curious.
Peroxides are highly reactive unless kept very cold, which in chemistry speak means “Blows the fuck up spontaneously when they get to room temperature”. They also react with oxygen, solvents, and a fuckload of other stuff.
That chemical plant in the Houston area that was on fire was a peroxide plant.
They will also poison your ass, even in very low concentrations, if taken internally.
More chemists are injured and die from lab accidents with peroxides than just about any other chemical.
Here’s one of the best essays I’ve read concerning the Azoëtia which I found online couple of years ago. For those who haven’t read it, enjoy
THE AZOETIA, Thoughts on the Grimoire, by Andrew Logan Montgomery.
The Modern Necronomicon
If you are a serious occultist, you’ve probably heard of the Azoetia already. For the more casual reader, let me give you some background. In May, 1992, British “cunning man” Andrew Chumbley self-published a new occult work in limited edition. By 2002, Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft, was ready for re-release in another, slightly more deluxe edition (the Sethos edition, named for the book’s “guardian daemon”). It was already by that time a sensation. In today’s esoteric market, everyone seems to want to imitate the late Anton LaVey, whose 1969 Satanic Bible was a mass market grimoire written for the Everyman. Aleister Crowley had attempted such a thing decades earlier, but his work proved too dense for the non-specialist. The Satanic Bible, by contrast, was a little paperback anyone could purchase, read, and then completely apprehend all the “secrets” of magic with. When LaVey published this book, it was a landmark. Since then, however, everyone under the sun has tried to do the same thing, flooding the world with mass market self-help mumbo jumbo. Most of these modern New Age books are to the medieval grimoires, or Crowley’s Equinox, what the Big Mac is to filet mignon; cheap, filling, but utterly lacking in substance.
Chumbley decided to go against the current. It is the oldest magical formula in the book: do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Thus, the Azoetia was neither mass market nor for the Everyman. Chumbley’s esoteric group, the Cultus Sabbati, released the volume in a very limited number through a publisher (“Xoanon,”) specifically created for the purpose. The book was exceedingly rare, and possession of it suddenly put you in an elite club.
By 2004, it seemed as if everyone in the occult community had heard of the book, but few had every actually seen it. Like Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, it seemed quasi-legendary, an urban legend for modern Magicians. And then, the unthinkable happened. On his 37th birthday, Andrew Chumbley died of a sudden, severe asthma attack.
Another thing Magicians share in common with Artists is that death makes their work even more valuable. In Chumbley’s case, this was triply so. Not only had he died young, suddenly, and unexpectedly, the very date of his death had eerie occult significance. There is something weird—in the classic sense of the word—about dying on your birthday, particularly given Chumbley’s profession. Add to this the fact that the number 37 has tremendous qabbalistic significance; 37 is the number of the “Perfected Man,” the three divine Sephiroth of the Tree of Life balanced above the 7 manifest Sephiroth below the Abyss. In addition, 37 is the seed of all triple numbers. 37 x 3 = 111, 37 x 6 = 222, 37 x 9 = 333, and 37 x 18 = 666. These coincidences all coalesced, turning tragedy into a kind of frenzy. On the internet, people started to compare Chumbley to Lovecraft’s Abdul Alhazred, who penned the infamous Necronomicon before himself dying a mysterious death. The Azoetia was lifted from legend to myth. The result was a kind or viral marketing campaign. Copies of the Azoetia couldn’t be obtained for love or money.
Well…not exactly. People were willing to part with their precious Azoetias for absurd amounts of money…usually in the range of $1500 to $2500 US. Worse still, one was expected to shell out the cash sight unseen. If you went on Amazon to read “reviews” of the book, for example, no one seemed willing to talk about what it actually said. All you got was a bunch of scary hoodoo about the book being a “True Grimoire,” “not for the weak-hearted,” “a text only for the most serious student,” etc, etc. As I started to research the book, it became clear to me that most owners weren’t willing to divulge its contents mainly because it’s very mystery ensured its value. I began to wonder if anyone actually used it.
More fuel was added to the fire by the Cultus Sabbati themselves. In an age where every “secret,” “occult” order has a website and runs around constantly blabbing about it’s teachings and trying to recruit new members, the Cultus was truly closed. Few knew what they stood for, what they did, or how to get in. Possession of the Azoetia seemed to be the only glimpse inside a secret order that really was secret.
I had gotten my hands on Qutub, Chumbley’s second work, some time before and found it astounding. This made me only more determined to read the Azoetia. Reasoning there is no point calling yourself a magician if you can’t even conjure up a book, I sent out a sigil for it, Austin Spare style, and went about my business. About three months later a friend put me in touch with a young woman who had found religion and wanted to get rid of her “devil books” as quickly as possible. It turned out she had an Azoetia, and I picked it up for little over it’s original price. That was back in 2007. I’ve had to re-read and digest this extraordinary book for five years before feeling like I could start to discuss it.
But not all in one post. So here is the first of an eventual series of essays on the work.
A Book By Its Cover
The Sethos edition is indeed a handsome book. Hardbound with the very highest quality binding, the spine is stamped with the title, the publisher’s imprint, and a sigil that resembled the god Set crossed with a Spare-type sigil. This would be the mark of Sethos, no doubt. The cover bears a mandala-like magic circle, an eight-spoked wheel bearing 22 mystical letters, around the circumference of which are words of power in the same characters.
The title is itself provocative. “Azoth” was the Universal Solvent or Medicine of alchemy, the “quintessence” from which everything else was made. Lovecraft might have been inspired by this term when he created “Azathoth,” the mindless, nuclear chaos from which the universe emerged. In any case, Azoth plays a key role in the book, as we shall later see. “Goetia” (perhaps the source of the second half of the title) is the fabled medieval Lesser Key of Solomon, the grimoire of grimoires concerned with the evocation of fallen angels.The title Azoetia is suggestive of both the original essence of creation and the calling up of spirits. One might wish to translate it as “the calling of daemons from primal quintessence,” which given the contents of the book is not so radical an interpretation.
The first thing readers will wish to know is to what tradition does the Azoetia belong. Is it Wiccan? Satanic? Hermetic? Thelemic? Voodoo? Sufi? Chaotic? The answer, it seems, is “all of the above.”
“…it has been my endeavor,” the author writes in his introduction to the first edition, “to define those Principles underlying the many different paths of Magick and to unify them within the single body of a working grimoire…” It would seem, therefore, that the author is working from a Perennialist viewpoint, the assumption that there exists a universal truth or set of truths in all schools of magic and philosophy. He confirms this a few paragraphs later;“…all currents of Magick flow from a single fountain, and I, in drawing this Grimoire from my dreams, have hopefully filled a cup from a pure source…” For Chumbley, the dogmatic differences of occult traditions are veils, masks concealing a single, hidden source. The Azoetia is an attempt to tap directly into that source.
The skeptic might say that Chumbley is not so much as tapping into the primordial source of occult traditions as synthesizing a new one from diverse schools of thought. Either viewpoint is valid with regards to this text. The final point is that virtually any Magician, working from any tradition, could find in the pages ofAzoetia some portion of teachings or practices mirroring his or her own.
For example, despite consciously distancing himself from the modern schools of Wicca, Chumbley’s “Sabbatic Craft” shares a great deal in common with them (at least on the surface). This text is very much concerned with a God and a Goddess (the former embodying Death and the latter coming in triple forms). The working tools mirror those of Gardenarian or Alexandrian Wicca; the wand, a black handled Arthame (Athame), a white handled working knife, a Pentacle, a Cup, a Cord, a Circle, an Altar, etc. The opening ritual closely resembles Wiccan Circle Casting, and there is even a wheel of the year. However, elements from other traditions are clearly woven in here. A magical quill is included, which recalls the Peacock Angel Melek Taus (a key figure in Qutub). The altar is a double cube (more Hermetic than Wiccan). The temple includes a central pole, or “fetish-tree” which is nearly identical in function to those in voodoo honfours.
But all of this, the author asserts, is just set dressing, with little bearing on the truth of the text. A constant theme throughout the Azoetia is the reminder that all the tools, rituals, incantations, and even the text itself are just outward expressions of inner truths. Without getting too far ahead of myself, the last page of the Azoetia reads; HERE ENDETH THE GRIMOIRE AZOETIA…MISTAKE NOT THIS BOOK FOR THE WORDS UPON ITS PAGES. Chumbley earnestly wants us to understand that the grimoire, and all the tools, are physical representations of something else, something without form. For him, Magick is tool of working backwards from the trappings towards that inner source.
Again, back to the introduction; “…the Quintessence of Magick is not to be found by the combination of externals, but solely by the direct realisation of innate source. It is not to be discovered by system with system, belief with belief, or practice with practice; it is not found by uniting the “elements” in their temporally manifest forms. For beyond the Outer, beyond the dualistic and substantive manifestations of element with element, the Quintessence is already attained…when this Mystery is understood, the secret of the Azoth is revealed in truth…”
Like the Chaos Magicians, or to an extent Anton LaVey, Chumbley is telling us that the dogmatic elements of Magick are all mechanisms to tap into its noumenal source. Writing from this standpoint allows Chumbley to imbue his grimoire with a quality which transcends divisions of tradition. A Hermetic is going to read the Azoetia and say “Chumbley was really one of us.” But the Wiccan, the Satanist, and the Thelemite might all come to the same conclusion. Whether you feel that this is evidence of Chumbley’s “Quintessence,” or just a skilled job at integrating diverse forms and practices, is up to you.
The second edition of the Azoetia bears the name of the entity watching over it, and opens with a dedication to him. Chumbley explains “Sethos” as…“the Daimon of the Grimoire Azoetia; a noetic emanation of the Magical Quintessence; a mediator between Abel, Cain, and Seth, that is, between the Sacrificed Man of Clay (the Uninitiate Self), the Transformative Man of Fire (the Initiating and Becoming Self), and the Self-Transformed Man of Light (the Initiatic Self-existent One)…” p. 361
Chumbley is drawing on a bit of Gnosticism here. For the Gnostics, ideological rivals of the early Christian Church, the Hebrew God described in the Old Testament wasn’t the Good Guy at all, but rather the Villain. He and his angels were merely lesser emanations of the True Deity. The Gnostics called the false god Ialdabaoth, and explained that he had fashioned the world of matter as a prison to hold captive human souls (which were, in fact, tiny sparks of the True God). Ineffable, invisible, and intangible, the True Deity was far removed from the material world. He did not act directly, but only sent forth emanations. For some Gnostics, Jesus was just such an emanation, sent by the True God to liberate people from the captivity of false one.
While this may seem odd to the modern reader, it does explain a great deal of the Bible’s inconsistencies. Any objective reading of the text leads the reader to wonder how the jealous, vindictive, and murderous God of the Old Testament could possibly be the beneficent and compassionate one spoken of by Jesus. In addition, it explains the problem of suffering and evil a lot more efficiently than the more standard “blame-it-on-Lucifer” line. Regardless, this is what various Gnostic groups believed and taught down through the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries, until the Christian Church got organized and started putting them out of business.
Now, if you reread the Bible with Gnosticism in mind, several things change. For example, in Eden, Ialbadaoth and his angelic cronies suddenly appear to be keeping Adam and Eve naked and stupid, like apes. Then along comes the serpent, who actually helps the couple by persuading them to rebel. He talks them into eating the fruit of knowledge and becoming self-aware. They stop being animals and start being human. For this reason, there was an entire Gnostic sect known as the Ophites (snake-worshippers).
But there was another Gnostic sect known as the Cainites. To understand why, we must consider the next biblical drama; Cain and Abel. Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, is the first farmer and blacksmith. Abel is a herdsman. God (ie Ialbadoath) commands the two to make a sacrifice to Him. Cain sacrifices the finest fruits of the harvest. Abel slaughters an animal. As a result, God favors Abel’s sacrifice and scorns Cain’s. Message? This God wants blood. As a result, Cain murders his brother and as a result undergoes a mysterious transformation. Though sent into exile, he is somehow “marked” with a sign of God’s protection. If anyone tries to punish or murder Cain for his crime, they themselves will be punished by God. This is completely bizarre, given Yahweh’s “eye for an eye” mentality. Even more odd, in the wake of losing two sons, Eve conceives a new son, Seth.
Seth is a very curious figure in both Gnosticism and mystical Judaism. Many sects regarded Seth as an emanation of the True God. The line of Seth was called the “sons of God,” and believed to be holy. Adam is said to have given them the secrets of the Kabbalah, and many Gnostics belived that Seth—not Jesus—was the savior who would return at the end of time.
For Gnostics, Seth’s incarnation was made possible by Cain’s sacrifice. Abel was the first human being to die, and by killing him Cain had opened a path into the otherworld, a path along which the True God could send part of Itself into Ialbadaoth’s creation. Perhaps Yahweh couldn’t punish Cain because he somehow enjoyed the protection of the higher, true God.
With all this in mind, we are ready to tackle the dedication opening the Sethos edition of the Azoetia;
O Sethos! Rise up and remember!
Recall the Promise once stain’d in red upon the primal dust of the earth!
By baying dog and moon-beam, by lantern, stave, and upright stone,
Come fathom the starlit heights of Heaven in the Old Dew-pool of Cain.
Come ring the blood round with the Serpent, Come turn the skin of time,
Come pace about the corpse of Abel, here break the Fate of Mortal Man!
Here cast forth the Visions from Yesterday, from Tomorrow, unto Today.
Here open the way for the Crooked Path, for the Pathway forever to be!
O Sethos! Rise up and remember,
‘Til thy Namesake, the Man of Light, is born!
The Crooked Path is the one opened by the sacrifice of Abel, and it leads directly to the Azoth. And Cain—the first Magician—is held as the psychopomp, the opener of the way.
Now on one level, Abel is the Uninitiated Self, the normal, everyday mortal held captive by the system, subject to all the laws of nature and time. Cain is the Initiate who rebels against this, sacrificing his old life up in an effort to tear free from the bounds of time and space. And Seth is the Divine Self, the perfected being born from Cain’s sacrifice, the magician who completes his quest. We are seeing the old alchemical formula, solve et coagula, again.
In purely psychological terms, this myth reflects the fact that our lives and identities are hollow constructs, forced upon us by heredity, society, and experience. It urges us to murder these identities and to replace them with entirely self-created ones, to transform ourselves into who we want to be rather than who we’ve been told to be.
But on another level, Abel represents what Chumbley calls Zoa—the life force present in all human beings, analogous to the alchemical mercury. Cain is his darker twin, Azoa, the force of death equally present within us, analogous to salt. And Seth/os would be Azothos, the magical force that unites and transcends both, the divine fire analogous to sulfur. The work of the magician is to liberate himself from both the forces of life (with its pains, cravings, and instability) and death (with its limitation and finality). He must murder Abel and exile Cain, so that Seth (transcendence) might be born.
Aleister Crowley touched on all of this in his Book of Thoth, particularly with regards to the Trumps “Lovers” and “Art.” Another excellent source for further reading would be the writings of Julius Evola (the best being The Hermetic Tradtion).