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What is Cascarilla Powder: Using and Making it

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Cascarilla powder is a ritual powder made from crushed hens’ eggs used primarily for protection and banishing.

The word cascarilla means “husk” or “covering” in Spanish and is correctly pronounced, cas ka REE yah but is quite often pronounced kas ka RILL uh in the North with no confusion. There is a cascarilla plant of note that is also used for metaphysical purposes, but the two substances are not energetically equivalent.

Cascarilla powder is a white or off-white powder made of finely crushed eggshells from a chicken hen, preferably a black hen. The protective nature of the eggshell, which protects an embryo as it develops is embodied in the powder when it is used for protective magick.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Cascarilla powder is a spiritual substance made from finely powdered eggshells, often derived from the cascarilla tree.

It is used primarily for purification and protection in various magical and spiritual traditions.

This white or benevolent magical tool is employed to cleanse spaces, individuals, and objects from negativity and to ward off evil influences.

It can be applied to the body, drawn in protective symbols, or incorporated into spells and rituals.

Cascarilla powder holds cultural and spiritual significance, particularly in Afro-Caribbean traditions, and is respected for its cleansing and protective properties.

But the protective nature of cascarilla seems to come primarily from its banishing qualities. It seems that negative energy cannot exist in the presence of enough cascarilla and spirit beings find it repulsive. Thus, a line of cascarilla acts as a barrier to the entrance of spirits and harmful or destructive energies.

Cascarilla powder is popular in Latin American (ex Santeria) and African diaspora (ex Hoodoo) traditions and can usually be purchased in shops catering to these markets. It is often packaged in a little white paper cup, resembling a disposable catsup cup. The powder is usually tightly packed and, if stored for any time, will have begun to solidify and may come out as a solid chunk of chalk (indeed, it’s very similar chemically to chalk). This can be used as-is for drawing and writing with your cascarilla or it can easily be crushed into powder.

Making Cascarilla

You will need-

  • Several empty eggshells. 1 shell is not even 1/2 tsp of cascarilla, so collect a bunch.
  • A mortar and pestle (You can also use a coffee grinder)
  • A small, handheld sieve, sifter or something of the sort.
  • A container.
  1. Wash several empty eggshells and remove the inner membrane, it tends to peel off best when they are good and wet, then allow them to dry thoroughly. Drying them in the oven will speed this up and make them more brittle.
  2. Place the shells one or two at a time into your mortar and crush them thoroughly with the pestle. Remember to think about your intention for the powder. A song, chant or psalm will help with this. The 23rd Psalm is what I was taught for general protective magick.
  3. Once you’ve got some shells good and crushed, pour the contents of your mortar into the sieve and sift out the fine powder into your container. Then return the bits that didn’t make it to the sieve to the mortar and grind some more. Repeat. Make it as fine as you like. If you are going to be putting it on your body or mixing it with liquid, you will want it very fine, but if you’re sprinkling it around your property or adding it to a container spell, you can leave it a little chunkier.
  4. If you wish to make cascarilla chalk, the very fine powder will need to be pressed into a form and left for some time. Three weeks will do it, if it’s packed tight enough. Some humidity will help it all stick together. You can speed up the process by adding a bit of flour and water, which will act like glue. You’re not going to get a very tight solidification from this stuff, you can’t really give it the kind of pressure and time it would need for that, so, for stability, you will want to choose a shorter, fatter shape for your chalk, rather than a long thin shape. Thus, the catsup cups.

Using Cascarilla

Cascarilla powder may be used in several ways, including the following.

  • Cascarilla powder may be pressed into chalk and used to draw a magical line or circle of protection or to draw protective symbols.
  • Add cascarilla powder to a ritual bath to wash away negative energy.
  • Add cascarilla powder to a floor wash to cleanse your house of negative energy and prevent negative energy and unfriendly spirits from entering.
  • Dust cascarilla powder onto your body to protect you from negative energy as you go about your day.
  • If you are shaking hands with people all day, dust your hands to protect yourself from whatever junk they’re carrying around with them.
  • Cascarilla powder can also be incorporated into candles, incense and soap to help spread around the protection as they are used.
  • If you find a trick or spell object and wish to dispose of it, dust your hands well with cascarilla powder before picking it up to protect you from being energetically harmed by the item.
UseDescription
Ritual CleansingSprinkling Cascarilla powder during rituals or ceremonies to cleanse and purify the energy of a space.
Personal ProtectionApplying a thin layer of Cascarilla powder on the body or creating protective sigils for spiritual protection.
Symbolic MarkingsDrawing symbols, runes, or protective patterns with Cascarilla powder on objects or surfaces.
Spell WorkUsing Cascarilla powder as a component in spell work for intentions such as protection, purification, etc.
Ancestral OfferingsIncorporating Cascarilla powder in ancestral altars or offerings to honor and connect with ancestors.
Table 1: Uses of Cascarilla Powder
About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

5 thoughts on “What is Cascarilla Powder: Using and Making it”

    • Personally, I would put it in the compost. You can bury it or sprinkle into moving water, at a crossroads at the base of a mature tree or bury it. It is completely safe and biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about it hurting the natural plants or wildlife in normal amounts.

      Reply
  1. I used it for the first time and sprinkled it over my windows and doorways.. and the same night I had a dream that when I looked into the powder I had made there were white worms. What could that possibly mean?

    Reply
    • Dream interpretation has a lot to do with your personal experiences and your attitudes toward things. To me, white worms generally mean filth and rot. Here on the farm, when we see white worms it means things got left too long without turning, clearing, moving out. What was your attitude toward what you were doing? Are you sure you were locking bad stuff out instead of locking it in?

      Reply
  2. Using cascarilla powder only might not be enough. Consider creating and using sigils for protection, chanting prayers and cleansing your place to cultivate positive energies and banishing negative ones. You can also send me an email and we can talk about your situation!

    Reply

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