Making natron ??

Okay, natron is a naturally occurring substance found in Wadi Al Natrun. Mostly used in ancient Egypt for embalming (it’s a powerful desiccant – i.e. it dries), cleansing, ritual purity and various magical purposes. It’s a salt with a unique composition: sodium chloride (your average table salt), sodium carbonate decahydrate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulfate.

I’ve recently found on a few sites  guidelines for making natron. Some even shared such ‘recipes and guidelines’ on Facebook.  Most of them recommend blending regular table salt and baking soda and perhaps baking the mix for a few minute. What I’m trying to understand is how is that even remotely close to natron? How?

First of all, it doesn’t have the same chemical composition. I suppose you could re-create the chemical mix flawlessly in a lab, but in your kitchen? I don’t think so. Not to mention the whole natural process through which natron is naturally made cannot possibly be reproduced. Nature makes the stuff, not man.

Now the problem gets bigger as last I read, Egypt halted natron exports (something to do with preserving the Wadi Al Natrun area, which is admirable of them).

So buying it is obviously out of the question.

Magically, one can use natron either dissolved in water for ritual ablution or cleansing formulas, or various spiritual herbal bath mixes, etc.

Since we can’t get the genuine stuff, should we mix baking soda and salt and ‘make our own’? I want to hear from those who tried, I haven’t experimented with this at all, I use sea salt, rock salt, Himalayan pink salt, Hawaiian black salt and Persian blue salt for my magical endeavours (in heka workings I’ve used sea salt – either Cornish sea salt or Cyprus sea salt and I haven’t had one problem or setback).

So how do you personally make it? And how do you find it’s energetic resonance and uses in rituals and such?

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9 Responses to Making natron ??

  1. von186 says:

    I personally think you’ve overthinking it. I’ve made natron, and never had a problem with using it (when I do use it, mind you). Salt has been purifying in many many cultures, Egyptian included. So I don’t see why it would be such a big deal if your salt came from a container, or was naturally occuring on some rocks in the desert. I personally use nicer salt (I use “real salt”) when I create mine. I mix it with baking soda and some water. Boil it, and place it onto a cookie sheet where I will bake it until it’s dry. It comes out the most pristine white. I love the look of it, if nothing more.

    Some people swear by natron, and how it purifies things. I personally don’t use it very often, but I’ve never had adverse reactions when I have. I’m sure the gods understand that there are limits to what we have available to us. I doubt they will smite you for using home made natron, or not even using it at all. YMMV, of course.

  2. You’re right, I totally overthink things. That usually happens when I don’t get my hands dirty to experiment things and I read or hear others have and I don’t know all that’s involved. It’s a habit of mine, not sure how healthy but eh XD
    And I doubt the Gods would smite anyone for that, in this particular case the effort of re-creating something would be quite the admirable endeavour. To be honest, I’m a bit used to strict requirements when it comes to magical workings, and I have very very rarely used substitutions. So I guess that’s what adds to my overthinking things. Thanks for the pointers, only one question: how does it crystallize? Does it finish off in block or individual loose crystals?

    • von186 says:

      I think it depends on how thick your mix is. Ours turned out somewhere in btwn a block and loose. It breaks apart really easily, in my experience. And it’s cool feeling when it hits water- because it practically dissolves instantly. Natron is kinda like cooking- it’s kinda loosey goosey, and sometimes you have to modify the recipe a bit to get what you need. Where I live is very very very dry, so it’s forgiving here. If you live somewhere humid, it might be a different story.

      • I wonder if adding still mineral water would add up to its effects. All those goodie minerals mixed in hmmm…
        I live in London and it gets quite humid (for example it’s been raining for over a week until yesterday, which prevented me from making my offering stones until now) – all the stereotypes about English weather are totally true!
        You know what? I think I’m giving this a go today or tomorrow when I have time and see what I come up with. Thank you SO much!

      • von186 says:

        No problem :) Be sure to let us all know how it turns out!

  3. Aubs Tea says:

    I haven’t tried to make it. I’ve debated it a lot in the last few years, but I never could bring myself to make it. Maybe the reason was so deep-seated that I wasn’t aware: it’s not the real stuff, so why bother?

    In regards to not having natron, but needing it, why can’t we just use naturally occurring salt? Not all of us are lucky enough to have a wadi of natron in our backyard. (Okay, clearly, most of us are not that lucky.) In regards to not having what was used back in the day, why can’t we use something akin to it in modern times? Just because we’re trying to reconstruct the faith, doesn’t mean that we will be able or should be able to have follow down to the letter.

    • ‘ In regards to not having what was used back in the day, why can’t we use something akin to it in modern times? Just because we’re trying to reconstruct the faith, doesn’t mean that we will be able or should be able to have follow down to the letter.’

      Heh… came to realize and accept that while researching and experimenting with different herbs that the Egyptians used. Some are not even identified yet xD
      So even though I make some unguents with similar formulas, some I will never be able to reproduce so the next best thing will have to do. Works with kyphi though, thankfully :D

  4. sazeraus says:

    As you said natron is not commercially available, although I have read that some early classifications of natron included borate products, which are widely available – I’ve not used borax in any magical context but as an embalmer I can tell you it is commonly used today as a neutralizer, buffer, bactericide and fungicide. I’m curious (as an amateur) how is borax regarded magically, and would you ever consider its properties in lieu of genuine natron?

    • I haven’t used borax magically, however I know it has also been used to solve flea infestation problems around homes – and my mind clicked at the thought of the ancient Egyptians using a mix of fleabane and charcoal for the same purpose. Since I haven’t used it myself, I can only make an educated guess – perhaps as a cleansing/protective ingredient. I’m not sure what a safe dose of it would be on topical ointments or oils – all I know is that it can be a skin irritant (which has also been a deterrent of any experimentations: I have very sensitive skin). I will ask friends though, now I’m curious too if anyone has used it!

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