Recently, I attempted to make a black-hilted knife according to Paul Huson's instructions in Mastering Witchcraft. Paul Huson's instructions are based in part on the Greater Key of Solomon, with some modifications.
Reviewing the original instructions in the Greater Key of Solomon, we are required to put the knife in fire until it is red hot. Paul Huson's instructions say "as hot as possible". He does not prescribe any special procedure, except to stick the knife into charcoal and stoke well.
I am not sure whether making the knife "red hot" is an essential requirement of the procedure, e.g. the procedure fails, unless the knife is "red hot".
If we want to make the knife "red hot", then we need special equipment, such as a forge.
1. What are your experiences with making a black-hilted knife (whether according to the Greater Key of Solomon or some other instructions)?
2. Do you believe that making the knife "red hot" is an essential requirement of the procedure?
3. What kind of procedure did you use for heating the knife? (E.g. Did you use a forge? Did you use some other equipment?)
You must embark upon the journey of hot metal! It is not going to be easy or cheap.
And you will also have to make very clean hands and clean everything spotless and use the finest inks and silks, you start out looking like an altar boy and end up looking like a championship boxer on fight night.
So, here is how you make a forge.
Get yourself a piece of a wheel, the metal inner part of a regular automotive wheel, without the tires and so on. Plant that at least six inches deep in rocks or sand, surrounded by bricks.
Dig a trench into the pit, over the planted steel tire, and in that trench lay a long steel pipe, then cover it. Fill the pit with charcoal. You can just use regular charcoal from the store. You can use wood from the coffins of the sacred martyrs. It really doesn't matter. You need a fire.
When the fire is going and it had come to the point where it is coal and not flame, then you need you need to have enough mass of coal to heat your metal.
When you want to heat your blade, first make sure it is stripped of all but the steel. Place it into the fire with tongs, and use a hair dryer to radically increase the oxygen supply to your fire and thereby heat the metal to glowing.
Six or seven men puffing into the horns of extinct cattle around a pit of coals in a rock bedding were the first to extract raw molten metal, to see the progression of various ores through the liquefaction process. The color of the metal indicates the excitation of the molecules, they begin to dance in wider circles and so their electrons cast off light, and the metal glows. It was magic then, it is a part of magic even now. The knowledge of metal is a special privilege, and there are applications from giant bridges to intricate treasures. But you begin by making a huge flaming mess in a burning hole somewhere, which we can maybe think of as a ritual pantomime of the first people making their forays into the world of metal.
You can heat - to red hot - alomost any blade in a number of cheap and simple ways. One is to use a Ye Blowtorche of Arte. Another is to use a disposable small barbecue grill and a steel bellows rod attached to a pump. Fire has been an essential element of magic since before humankind, even the pre-human hominids had fire. How you handle it says something about you. Maybe you don't want to be the flaming hole in the sand out back kind of guy, so don't be, but learn the principles of it all and apply them as you see fitting and respective of your personal character, which the items are to represent for the spirits.