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Temple: Chthonic

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pronounced Ka-thon-ic, Thon-ic, or sometimes Ka-ton-ic (<--not so sure about that last one)

Of or relating to the underworld.

[From Greek khthonios, of the earth, from khthn, earth.]
-American Heritage Dictionary

ETA: I've been meaning to add this link to an article that does an excellent job of covering these concepts (much better than my rambling review). Look it over if you get a chance...it's pretty darn good. An excerpt from the opening:


The chthonic process is an occult "awakening" that includes the very lowest instinctual elements of the human psyche leading to the very highest elements. It is the base, primordial material that the psyche needs in order to evolve and grow. Chthonic is the soil, the fertilizer, and the dark, primitive unconscious material that can turn the beast into a god. Chthonic is depicted in all myths as the Underworld, Hell or Hades. Jungian author James Hillman considers this Underworld to be the residence of the soul, the place the hero must descend in order to find his essence.


Okay, two word review: It Works.

Wait...two more words: Be Careful.

All right, here's a whole lot more words:

I used this for dream and shadow work. I was somewhat obsessed with Pluto: The Planet, appropriately enough, and was still nursing an ongoing love/lust thing for Lord Shiva, and was looking to dig up a few mental/emotional blocks that I felt were holding me back. So what is that oft-quoted phrase? Oh, right: "The real problem with magick is not so much the question of whether it works, but the fact that it does." At the time, I considered myself to be doing psychological workings. But that's a mighty fine line there, I've discovered.

This blend will be very useful to anyone looking to get deep into the recesses of their psyche through meditation, ritual or dreamwork. I used it for a little over a week and had some of the biggest breakthroughs I've had in a long while. It started in my dreams and soon even bled into wakefullness, with revelations and other things that would sometimes hit me in the middle of day.

I mentioned caution in using this for two reasons, the first one being that this will dredge up your demons and shadows if you want, and maybe it goes without saying, but it's important to be prepared for that. There's a lot of transformative power in the underworld, but there are also nearly always repercussions. That's not to say it's bad, it may not even be scary, just...powerful.

Some people may want to use this to invoke some of the more chthonic deities or energies, and that's the second reason I would urge caution. At the risk of sounding repetitive--it freaking works. The week I was using this was also the week I got what--to me--felt an awful lot like a visit from Lilith. Of course, at the time I was also burning some incense named for her, just not with intent or anything (I got it on ebay fer chrissakes...I didn't actually think it would work). But for a few spooky moments that evening, it felt as if she were skulking around the periphery of my backyard and/or consciousness, wondering why this silly girl had summoned Her.

(picture me at this point snuffing the incense stick out on the ground with my shoe.)

So...yeah. And no, I'm not crazy, if anyone's wondering that now (pretty sure, anyway :P ). What I tell myself, is that She was probably just a product of my sometimes very overactive imagination. I sleep better that way.

So there you go. This stuff rocks. Use with caution.

oh yeah...and it smells kind of spicy :)

edited to add link: read it...it's good! Edited by LiberAmoris
Broken link has been removed, see update on history here http://www.bpal.org/topic/27066-temple-orisha-blends-general-discussion/?p=2626586

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Like all of my temple blend reviews, this is going to be pretty much just a comment on the way that it smells to me.


First on, this smells rather icy and earthy to me. Sort of like a chilly menthol/eucalyptus and some sort of aquatic note mixed with vetiver. It gives me the mental image of fallen leaves and mud around a pond, frozen under a sheet of ice.


After about an hour, the ice has thawed and this is a warm, sweet incense and vetiver sort of smell on me. This smells thick and a bit suffocating on me after a while. It's like being in a room where there's just too much incense burning, and the smoke becomes a bit sharp to the nose.

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I've been using Temple:Chthonic for about two weeks on and off to help work through some anxiety issues dealing with shadows and repressed fears. It seemed like a thematically appropriate ritual oil to work with that kind of mental space.


Yep; the stuff works. Fascinatingly enough, it had almost completely different effects used in a diffuser and as an annointing oil on myself.


Used in a diffuser during meditation, it definitely helped sublty but powerfully bring me into that space, but left me feeling drained and off-kilter. It was more or less the effect I was expecting, but not something I felt like I could use very easily if I wanted to go about my daily life afterwards.


But used on myself, it had an entirely different effect. In the bottle or diffuser the scent is a dark earthy resin with an unsettling musky menthol note; very evocative and an effective trigger for whatever metaphysical properties it may possess, but overall just kind of weird. On me it transformed into a myrrhy spicy resin with what had to be vetiver in there somewhere and was the absolute embodyment of EARTH. Deep, enveloping, safe earth. (If you want better scent description, my best comparison is that it's a combination of Ahathoor and the Root Chakra oil) The feeling it gave me I associated more with Persephone than anything else: "You've ended up in a scary unfamiliar place, but it's not going to just go away, and it's ok to be afraid, but quit panicking, 'kay? You've got help, so take a deep breath and deal with it." It felt like home. I felt sexy and strong and like I had a safe place to sit in and poke the shadows with a long pole.


This was so very much not what I was expecting, but was exactly what I needed. I take off my metaphorical hat to the Lab!



Oh, and if you're interested in working with that kind of energy, the article Inanna9 links to above is quite an excellent overview!

Edited by fiddledragon

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I mentioned briefly my experience with this oil in the TAL general chatter thread, but I wanted to go more in depth here.


I purchased Chthonic for a few reasons. The primary was that I needed some sort of catalyst to help me focus when I meditate and do ritual. I've found that sound and scent have been very effective means for me, and so I looked to the TAL temple blends to see what I could use. My intent was to dress a ritual candle in the blend of my choice, and let the candle set my 'space' for me.


I selected the Chthonic blend specifically because of the following:


1) I've always had an emotional connection with the underworld, though the magnitude of it has faded in the past few years.

2) I'm very earth-based and identify with the ground and dirt; my meditations often take me underground.

3) I tend to raise energy very easily. A little too much so, and it usually leaves me very dizzy. I have difficulties grounding, and I'd hoped that Temple: Chthonic would, by virtue of being ground-related, help to center me and keep me from getting overwhelmed.


I still believe my reasoning was sound, but in retrospect I should've guessed at the potential, opposite effect.


I dressed my candle with a couple dabs of the blend, turned off the lights, and settled in for a quiet bit of meditation.


What happened was anything but quiet. After just a few minutes of focused breathing, during which I felt as though I were only sitting half in my body, half to the left of my body, I was sucked down.


I'm not going to be able to put it into words, but I will say this: having a strong connection with the earth and underworld and having enough problems with grounding, I should not have been all that surprised when instead of being anchored, it was like every one of those things amplified into a really powerful experience.


I was scared not of the journey, but rather because I was completely unprepared for the mental equivalent of a total body slam. It was so warm and comforting and welcoming, but I panicked when I realized the experience was just not something I had prepared for emotionally. (Cowardly, I know. Believe me, I kept apologizing into the darkness for being a wuss, but I had gone in to just meditate, not have an earth-shattering experience.)


So in summation: This stuff works. Moreso than any TAL blend I've ever touched. I've yet to try a different temple blend, so I cannot judge whether all of the blends are that powerful or will be that powerful for me, or if this one isolated blend is just the right combination to set me off.

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I really ought to review this oil, which is one of my all-time favorites.


The first time I ever used it I got sick for about a week (I think influenza--high fever and severe cough). My associating this with the use of the oil could easily be a post hoc fallacy on my part...and yet...there's no doubt that this oil stirs up all sorts of stuff, and it could just as well have been that I was overwhelmed by what I dredged up the first time.


Since that first time, I am happy to report, I have not gotten sick any time I have used this oil, so clearly I'm not allergic to it. I am also somewhat more cautious about attending to the energy that is released when I use it.


I'm pretty non-ritualistic--all I do is use the oil with intent before I meditate--but let me just say that it is very useful for shadow work, and the results manifest both immediately and long after use of the oil. If you, like me, are a person who tends to live totally in your head, this oil is great as a facilitator for grounding. Among other things.


I have also gone from absolutely hating the smell of this stuff--although I would use it anyway--to liking it a great deal. It smells like I imagine Egyptian embalming herbs would smell, with perhaps a coriander note. One thing it doesn't seem to have is a dirt note, like Graveyard Dirt. I suppose that would have been too obvious.

Edited by Czarina

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I've only used this a little bit so far- Kind of getting to know it first -but it is one of the most beautiful scents I've encountered! It's earthy, warm, spicy, comforting and familiar. There's a little bit of something cold lurking down below, but it's more like soil-in-the-shade cool to me.


I wore it to bed one night (with intent), and I had a distinct feeling of lying on my back on thick, cool, spongy, dark, moist soil and slowly sinking into it. Part of me thought this should be scary, but I just didn't feel the fear I expected... I don't remember my dreams (unfortunately! That was really the whole point...), but when I woke up my first thought was of a vivid green sprout popping out of sun-warmed soil. I felt VERY well rested- almost like I'd hibernated.


I'll add more later on when I try it out again. Though, sometimes I just have to sniff it since it's so comforting and grounding.

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The scent is warm, spicy, and with the amber-resin residue that remains in my warmer, it kinda smells like my mother's oatmeal cookies and mint tea brewing. It's also the most spiritually uplifting thing that I've ever encountered. Not spiritually uplifting in a "white light" kind of way, but in a violent, dark sort of way.

I was meditating with this on the warmer... the images that kept occuring as I tried to focus on the exorcises that I do, were of me getting torn apart or shattered in some way. It wasn't the horrible experiance that one would imagine. It was wonderful and uplifting.

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I bought a half-decant of this from a forum user. It had leaked a little in the package, so as I was picking it up, I wondered what the wonderful smell was.


(Fair warning: this wasn't used in any workings, since I haven't done any, but I figured gardening could count as earthly meditation. Oil-use purists, you may faint now.)


I got some on my finger and felt suddenly very, very grounded. As if I had been given a big hug. My mind still raced and chattered, but I think this could help a lot with my meditation. There was the urge to slow down, not just to slop the dirt from one pot to another, but to do it carefully.


Thing is, I don't know how much personal scent association had to do with this. It smells exactly like a pagan shop surrounded by pine forests. I get amber, pine, patcholi, the faintest possibility of civet (no, the store didn't smell like civet), there could be some white sage or mugwort in here too- that could account for what other reviewers have called the "musky eucalyptus" smell.


Perhaps it wouldn't be good to operate heavy machinery while using this, because I'm getting very sleepy even after having a good night of sleep. I have a feeling I'll be refreshed later, though. Restful place, the underworld.


EDIT: The two times I tried this for dreamwork, I had a horrible time falling asleep and felt filled with energy. Maybe it says something about the oil, maybe it's just coincidence, but yeah.


No, this is not for everyday, but next time I want to induce ritual consciousness, I know where to turn.

Edited by patina

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This smells, like, I think, pepper and detergent? Think the pepper note from Bengal, warm and spicy, not the pink pepper note from, say, High-Strung Daisies that's bubblegummy. Anyway, warm and spicy laid over something cooler and kind of soapy. It sounds like an odd combo, but it's comforting and grounding, like being in your grandma's kitchen if your grandma were a witch high priestess. I used it tonight in a ritual to Hecate, and felt a kind of tingly energy after using it. I don't have a lot in the way of tangible results to report, but I will use it again, and will update if new insights result from it.


ETA: Later, when I went to bed, I had the same issues getting to sleep that someone else mentioned, and "saw" spooky images in the abstract patterns on my bedding? :wacko2: Odd...I'll make a note of that.

Edited by lady_pandora

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