The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Eden Phillpotts
Anyone can pick up a premade concoction. Many stores now carry lotions, potions and essential oil blends poured into pretty little bottles, all labeled for an ideal magickal use. Sure they are tempting, but before you buy that convenient potion, stop and consider what is actually contained in that tiny bottle. How was it made? Was it manufactured in a giant industrial plant or was it created with intent? And how many miles did it travel to reach you? Through how many hands did it pass? What energy was it subjected to?
Real magick is part of Earth based systems that honor nature. Rather than purchasing your supplies, think of how meaningful, how sustainable, it would be to create your own. There is real magick in making your own potion, infusing it with your own energy and intent as you take the time to study the energy of each component. Learning how energies complement and work together is how an apprentice becomes a magi. And how better to weld the ancient arts, than with your own applied knowledge, intent and energy signature?
And it begins in Nature. Paganism, Witchcraft, Natural Magick, Druidism are all nature based systems. Books are great but the real knowledge begins outside with the fellowship of the plants, flowers, herbs and trees. Energy abounds in nature. Don't believe me? Just go hug a tree. Open to its gentle grounding energy. Sit with your back to its trunk and meditate. Your practise will become sacred as you cultivate relationships with the trees and plants around you. Starhawk wrote in The Earth Path, "A Witch must not only be familiar with the mystic planes of existence beyond the physical realm; she should also be familiar with the trees and plants and birds and animals of her own backyard, be able to name them, know their uses and habits and what part each plays in the whole."
The intention and the energy that goes into making your potions is just as important, if not more, than the ingredients themselves. You want to come to the craft, clean and clear and free of negativity. You want to consider the energies present: the day and time and aspect of the moon.
Here are some easy ways to start.
Infusions A standard infusion is prepared by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb (or 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh herb) to a cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes before straining. If the herb is left too long, the infusion will become bitter. It's best to use a ceramic pot with a lid.
Decoctions This is usually the method of choice for bark and seeds. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of cold water. Bring the mixture gently to a boil. Keeping covered, simmer for about 10 minutes. . Tincture A tincture is an alcoholic extraction of herb. Alcohol dissolves the active constituents out of the plant matter and acts as a preservative, allowing the tincture to retain its effectiveness for up to 2 years. Any part of the plant may be used. Place 4 ounces of dried herb in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and add 2 cups vodka. Leave for two weeks, shaking occasionally, then strain through a cloth into a brown glass bottle. Keep tightly closed.
Herbal Wine Use a sweet red wine with an alcohol content of at least 12%. Cover four ounces of herb with three cups of wine. Leave for a week before straining. Herbal wine is best used within a month.
Oil Infusion Oil infusions are for external use only. They can be prepared by hot or cold methods. For the hot method, fill a jar with fresh herb and cover with olive, sunflower or almond oil. Place the jar up to the neck in a saucepan of water and bring to a medium temperature. Simmer for up to three hours. Strain through filter paper or cloth into a brown glass bottle. Follow the same instructions for the cold method, except that the oil should be placed on a sunny windowsill instead of heated. The process can be repeated with the strained oil infusion and a fresh supply of herbs to make a stronger oil.
Cream A cream is a blend of oil, beeswax and water. You can make your own, or purchase an unscented, water based cream. After adding herb to purchased cream, simmer in the top of a double boiler for 30 minutes. Strain before it cools. Melt two ounces beeswax in a double boiler. Add one cup of sweet almond oil and blend. Add two ounces herb. For lighter cream, add a little water, mixing well. Simmer 20 minutes, mixing well. Add a drop of tincture of benzoin as a preservative. Strain thorough a cloth in to sterilized jars.
Carrier Oils Essential oils are concentrated and may cause skin irritations. Only a few drops added to a carrier oil will
There are many kinds of oils out there. Some have very strong scents and some have long shelf life. Others, like polyunsaturated oils: Carola, corn, safflower, and sunflower, contain long-chain fatty acids, which are extremely fragile and unstable. Avoid these oils as they turn rancid quickly. Almond oil is a good choice. It is a thin and light oil pressed from the dried kernel of the sweet almond tree. It is high in omega 9 with some omega 6 fatty acids and is great for hair and skin. Almonds are associated with Thoth, Hermes, and Mercury. Communication, Connection to Spirit, Money, Riches, Wisdom. Grape seed oil is another good choice. It has almost neutral scent and a long shelf life. Grapes are associated with: Dionysus, Pan and Zeus, Abundance, Dreams, Fertility, Garden Magic, Mental Powers, and Money.
Other Oils that can be used as carriers: Coconut oil, the saturated oil from the seed of the coconut palm, has a soft, sweet scent and a high heat index so it is very stable. It is associated with: Moon magick, Clear thinking, Healing, Protection, and Purification. Jojoba oil, a natural saturated fluid wax extracted from the Jojoba seed. It is associated with Beauty and Healing. Olive oil, a mono unsaturated oil (high in omega 9 fatty acids) that it can be found in almost every kitchen. It has a pleasant scent and it is good for the hair and skin. The Olive is associated with: Fertility, Healing, Love, Lust, Peace, Potency, and Protection. Coconut oil, the saturated oil from the coconut which is the seed of the coconut palm)
For a list of Herbs and their correspondences see our Herbal Page
The moon influences potion-making just like it influences other areas of witchcraft. Here are the basic lunar rules:
The waxing moon is a good time for potions aimed at increasing or strengthening something. Potions to improve health, to attract love, or to increase wealth are stronger when brewed during that time.
The full moon is an excellent time to brew almost any kind of potion.
The waning moon is best for potions that decrease or weaken something. Potions to ward off bad influences, to get rid of illness or worries, and to banish a person or spirit are more effective under a waning moon.
The new moon is a good time for both banishing and renewing. It empowers potions to banish problems once and for all.
Indeed to get the best results the aspect of the moon, the day and the time of day are taken into consideration as well as the items employed (Candles, herbs and oils...) Check out our Spell Correspondence page to get the best results.
Here are a few easy recipes to try:
Spirit Summoning Oil The following essential oils in combination invoke beneficial spirits: Lavender Essential Oil Sandalwood Essential Oil There are two methods of use, which can also be used together.
You will need a small glass container with a lid. Lavender Essential Oil Sandalwood Essential Oil and almond oil as a carriers oil.
Fill the glass container 1/2 way with almond oil. Add three drops of Lavender Essential Oil and three drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil.
Use to anoint behind the ears, behind the neck or over the Third Eye area and/or place the blend in an oil-burner and diffuse the scent through an area
Anointing Oil Great for anointing candles.
1 cup Rose Petals 1 cup Violets 1 cup Water 1 Cup Olive Oil 1 tbsp Clove Oil 2 tsps powdered Cinnamon 1 tbsp powdered Myrrh 1/4 cup Fennel Seeds
Add all ingredients to a jar and seal tightly, place in a warm dark place for 4 weeks - shake the jar twice a day. Strain the oil through muslin or cheesecloth and store in a dark colored bottle.
Need to break a Hex? Use this oil. Uncrossing Oil Essential oil of Hyssop Essential oil of Angelica (phototoxic do not wear in sunlight) Essential oil of Frankincense A pinch of Sea Salt A pinch of Black Pepper A pinch of Cayenne Pepper A sprig or Rue (phototoxic - do not collect in sunlight) A sliver of Fresh Garlic A section of broken chain
Add the ingredients to a bottle filled with blended castor and jojoba oil. The crucial ingredients are the hyssop and chain. Add the other ingredients as desired.
Flying Ointments are used to stimulate psychic visions and aid astral travel Flying Ointment 2 drops of Sandalwood Oil 1 drop Jasmine Oil 1 drop Benzoin Oil 1 drop Mace Oil Add the oils to a blend of almond oil and melted beeswax . . Aphrodisiac: A Passion Potion 1 pinch Rosemary 2 pinches Thyme 2 tsp. Black Tea 1 pinch Coriander 3 fresh Mint leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried) 5 fresh Rosebud petals (or 1 tsp. dried) 5 fresh Lemon tree leaves (1 tsp. dried lemon peel) 3 pinches Nutmeg 3 pieces Orange peel Place all ingredients into teapot. Boil three cups or so of water and add to the pot. Sweeten with honey, if desired. Serve hot. ~Scott Cunningham
Moon Goddess Incense: 2 parts Frankincense 1 part Sandalwood drop Eucalyptus Oil drop Jasmine Oil drop Camphor Oil
Moon Goddess Oil: 1 drop Jasmine 1 drop Sandalwood Wear to attune with the vibrations of the Full Moon.
Moon Goddess Ointment: 5 drops Sandalwood 3 drops Lemon 1 drop Rose Blend into a base of beeswax and anoint yourself to attune with the Goddess.
If you don't have time to make your own, we have them available for purchase on the Spell Kit page
**The FDA has not approved these statements. The information given is not meant to act as a prescription, medical advice or therapeutic advice. Consult your healthcare professional prior to using any natural remedy.