Introduction to Potion Making
Samhain might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put your cauldrons away. In fact, with the cold winter months approaching, this is the perfect time for potion-making.
The idea of potions suggests magic, but you really experience the power of ‘potions’ every day, when you sip on an herbal tea for relaxation or drink a nutrient-rich smoothie for your health. Potions are a result of combining natural ingredients together into a brew or blend to reap the physical and spiritual properties they contain.
Potion making is a big part of Wiccan and other spiritual practices. Potions can have physical health benefits, but they can also be used to attract metaphysical energies into our lives, such as love, wealth, or protection.
Read on to find out more about potion making, including common potion ingredients and their properties.
Potions should always be made mindfully. You might have specific rituals attached to how you make potions, such as specific vessels to use, places to brew, or times of the day/moon cycle/season you prefer.
Be clear about the intention of your potion and what you want it to achieve throughout the process. You might include a verbal incantation or mantra as you brew your potion to imbue it with your intention.
Remember that, as with most magic, potions can’t necessarily influence other people’s actions. A love potion can’t make someone fall in love with you, but it can help you to get in touch with your own emotions and improve your relationship with others. A wealth potion can’t help you win the lottery, but it can help you to harness the talents you already have that might lead you to a windfall.
Types of Potions
- A ‘potion’ is traditionally a mixed brew of different ingredients that can be drank directly
- An ‘infusion’ is like a tea or tisane, whereby ingredients are steeped in a liquid - can also be drank directly
- An ‘ointment’ is a topical potion that is intended for external rather than internal use
Tools for Potion Making
Potions can be made with regular kitchen tools, but you might have ritual tools you use instead.
These might include:
- Ritual vessels, such as cast iron cauldrons for brewing or ceremonial chalices for serving
- Wooden spoons or utensils, to harness the earthy elemental qualities of wood
- A boline (ceremonial Wiccan knife) for cutting up herbs or other ingredients
- A mortar and pestle for crushing or grinding ingredients
There are also ways to bless and charge the water you use in your potions. You might decide to only use fresh rainwater, to charge your water with specific crystals, or to bless a bowl of water with moon energy by leaving it outside under a full moon.
Water is a common base for your potion, but isn’t the only one. Here are a few common potion bases and what they’re good for:
- Water - for cleansing and healing
- Syrup (e.g. honey, agave, molasses) - for happiness and joy
- Alcohol - for virility and longevity
- Vinegar - for change and transformation
- Milk (or whey) - for love and nurture
Common Potion Ingredients
Learning what ingredients to use in your potion-making can be an infinite study. Nature gives us so many edible gifts with powerful physical and spiritual properties, it’s hard to know where to begin! To help you start, here are some more common ingredients used in popular potion types:
Rosemary - for protection against mental ills
Blackberry leaf - for warding off evil spirits
Black pepper - for protection against disease
Garlic - for intense cleansing
Apple - for sensuality and romance
Vanilla - for pure love
Cinnamon - for heat and spice
Rose - for self-love
Orange - for youth and zest
Jasmine - for attracting beauty into your life
Eggs - for fertility
Honey - for sweetness
For good fortune:
Pine - for resilience
Ginger - for good luck
Allspice - for attracting money
Peach - for abundance
Mint - for cleansing and digestion
Cayenne Pepper - for clearing ill energies
Salt - for purification
Lemon balm - for healing
Lavender - for calming
Hibiscus - for divination and intuition
Chamomile - for relaxation
Licorice root - for easing bodily pains and tensions
Potion making is a wonderful way of harnessing the magic of the natural world. From herbs to fruits, spices to flowers, earth gives us an abundance of natural cures and gifts! Remember to brew your potions with mindfulness and intention, and enjoy reaping the benefits all winter long.
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