Search

Moth ✨

Creative Pagan Wiccan and soon to be world explorer.

Month

August 2016

Eight Forms of Creating Potions

Infusions

An infusion is a form of water based potion, similar to a tea, and best suited for immediate ingestion of delicate ingredients such leaves or petals. To make a magical infusion: pour boiling water over your ingredients in goblet and leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Strain before drinking if necessary. The leaves in an infusion need to steep longer than your average herbal tea, to allow enough time to release their phytochemicals, which are the active ingredients of the potion.

Decoctions

A decoction is another water based potion designed for immediate ingestion. However, it is a more concentrated brew than an infusion and is usually reserved for tougher ingredients such as roots or bark – where prolonged stewing is needed to release the phytochemicals. A decoction can also be reduced, which is to say, it can be made more concentrated by prolonged simmering which evaporates the water. To make a decoction: simmer your ingredients in water in a cauldron over low heat for 10-30 minutes; then strain. Reduce if necessary with further simmering over a low heat.

Tinctures

A tincture is an alcohol based potion. It fulfills the same function as an infusion or decoction but with the added advantage that it will keep for up to a year. A tincture is suitable for both delicate leaves and tougher materials such as bark as the alcohol releases the chemicals very effectively and in a similar way to the prolonged simmering of a decoction. To make a tincture: steep your ingredients in vodka or another spirit for a week. This allows time for the alcohol to release the active elements in your plant materials. After a week, strain off the liquid into a vial and store for up to a year. Administer sparingly, a tablespoon at a time.

Vinegars

A vinegar fulfils the same purpose as a tincture except that vinegar is used instead of alcohol. Prepare your vinegar in the same manner as a tincture and store for up to a year. A vinegar is useful in the case of alcohol intolerance or where the herb used is particularly bitter as the vinegar will mask it to a great extent.

Syrups

A syrup is the most palatable form of potion. Here magical ingredients are preserved in a sugar solution. A syrup is another potion that will keep for up to a year. It is best suited for occasional use at it is very sweet and could cause tooth decay if taken regularly. A syrup can be taken by the spoonful or alternatively diluter in water in a similar manner to a fruit squash. To make a syrup: first make an infusion or decoction of your ingredients and reduce if necessary. Strain and add sugar to the potion, stirring frequently, until the brew won’t dissolve any more sugar and resembles a syrup. Store in an airtight bottle in a cool, dark place.

Poultices

A poultice is a wad of chopped plant material that is held in place directly over a wound by a bandage. To prepare a poultice: chop your fresh herb and apply directly to a wound or infection. Hold in place over the wound with a bandage. If using chopped dried herbs rehydrate them with some water first. If the herb is tough and hard to handle, try adding some vinegar diluter in water to your poultice.

Fomentations

Fomentations or compresses are cloths that have been dipped in an herbal solution – such as an infusion, decoction, or a tincture – and then are applied to a wound. To prepare a fomentation: first create the required infusion, decoction, or tincture. Then dip your cloth into the liquid, quite liberally, and apply. It is important to use a very clean cloth to prevent the spread of infection.

Salves

A salve is very similar to a lotion or a cream. Magical ingredients are mixed in base of oils or fats for external application to the skin.

Wicca encompasses your whole worldview and way of life, and is always there in the way you look at and interact with the world. Wicca is an experiential spiritual system of magick and ceremony that works with the divine as both Goddess and God, and emphasises growth through balance and discipline. This balance, be it of light and dark, feminine and masculine, or active and passive, acts as a dynamic tension to create harmony and enable the individual to progress in their development through understanding their relationship with themselves and the world around them. The celebration of the Goddess and God is at the heart of Wicca. The patron Goddess of Wicca is usually associated with the Moon, although she is also often seen as having stellar, terrestrial and chthonian forms. The patron God of Wicca is usually associated with forests, plants and animals; he is also sometimes seen as having solar and chthonian forms.

 [Extract from CIRCLE OF FIRE by Sorita D’Este & David Rankine] 

In dim abysses pulse the shapes of night,Hungry and hideous, with strange miters crowned;Black pinions beating in fantastic flightFrom orb to orb through soulless voids profound.None dares to name the cosmos whence they course,Or guess the look on each amorphous face,Or speak the words that with resistless forceWould draw them from the halls of outer space.Yet here upon a page our frightened glanceFinds monstrous forms no human eye should see;Hints of those blasphemies whose countenanceSpreads death and madness through infinity.What limnner he who braves black gulfs aloneAnd lives to wake their alien horrors known?

– H.P. Lovecraft 

Imbolc 🌺

Hello all ye Southern Hemisphere witches, happy belated Imbolc. 🌼

With school and my busy schedule it’s a miracle that I got to enjoy it at all, only had time for a small ritual and being in favour of ceremonial rituals I wasn’t too happy but it sufficed.

I held the tea candle between my pointer finger and thumb, striking the lighter as slowly as possible to keep it from waking my grandmother and little brother. The scraping of the flint bounced off the walls and echoed around my room. I held my breath and listened carefully ; the house creaked but no one stirred.

I brushed the hair from my face and put the flame to the candle wick, the wax melted off of the cotton and the candle burnt. The protective incense burnt in the corner of my room and a cold wind drifted around my room. Thus the ritual has begun.

Hope to have plenty more Sabbats to celebrate with fellow wiccans in future. 💖

Blessed be. 🔮

Witchy stuff 🔮

Encountering the Lord and Lady 👣

Start by meditating to clear your mind. Make sure your arms and legs are not crossed, and take slow, deep breaths. Continue to breathe deeply, as your journey begins. See before you a pair of pillars, with a midnight blue curtain suspended between them. You part the curtains and see a grey mist beyond, but right in the centre of your vision is a silver star, floating without support. You examine the star, noticing how clear and “present” it is, but suddenly, without warning, the star disappears. You find yourself pulled into the space where it was, passing through the pillars and into the mist. Everything goes grey as you feel yourself lifted up, floating up and away, eventually drifting down, to find your feet landing on a grassy hill, as the mist clears. You find yourself on a hilltop, looking down onto woodland in the valley below, a narrow dirt path leads down the hillside to the edge of the forest, and you begin to follow it, feeling a breeze in the air as you descend. Entering the forest, the path continues along, winding between the trees, and you follow it in the dappled green light that filters through the leaves. You hear the rustling of creatures in the undergrowth, but do not see any of the animals as you follow the crooked path deeper and deeper into the forest. Ahead you notice that there is a fork in the path, and you pause, pondering which fork to take. Suddenly you see a flash of white further along one of the paths, and this is the path you choose, walking rapidly along, trying to see what the white flash was. Turning a bend in the path, you see a white stag a short way ahead, looking back as if to check that you are following, before it heads off down the path again. You follow, unable to catch up, but avoiding being left behind, as the path continues to twist and turn between the trees. Deep in the heart of the forest now, the canopy is thick and the dim green filtered sunlight serves only to accentuate the shadows, so it is with some surprise that you turn a bend in the path to find yourself breaking out into a clearing at the heart of the forest. In the centre of the clearing is a fountain, encircled by rocks about the right side to sit on, and the tranquil atmosphere along with the gentle tinkling of the water draws you to go and sit by the fountain. Sitting in contemplation, you hear a sound like a church bell ringing in the distance, and you look up in the direction it came from, to see a beautiful woman entering the clearing. Naked and tanned, with long flowing hair, she is the most beautiful woman you have ever seen, and you watch, captivated, as she walks across the clearing to come and sit by the fountain across from you. Her eyes are filled with joy, and a smile forms on her face as she regards you. Then another sound breaks the silence — a hunting horn. Looking up in the direction this new sound came from, you see another form enter the clearing. This time it is a handsome man, muscular, tanned and equally as naked as the Lady who now sits with you. As he walks towards you, there is a grin on his face and mischief in his eyes, but you hardly notice because you cannot take your eyes off the magnificent antlers growing out of his head. He too comes and sits beside the fountain, next to the Lady, and beckons you to speak with them. (Pause) Once your conversation is at an end, thank the Lord and Lady, and ask them if you might return again. Then say your farewells and turn to cross the clearing to the path that brought you here. As you turn, you see that while you were talking, the animals from the forest have come into the clearing, and are waiting patiently for the Lord and Lady. With one last look over your shoulder at the pair, you re-enter the forest, and follow the twisting path back to the fork, where you pick up the original trail that leads to the hilltop. You quickly make your way to the edge of the forest, returning to the hilltop, where the mist once more envelops you and you feel yourself lifted up and back, until your feet come to rest once again at the two pillars. You walk back between the pillars, as the curtain closes behind you. Contemplating your journey for a moment, you then turn your attention to your physical surroundings as you open your eyes, and the journey is over.

(Extract from “A Grimoire of Modern Cunningfolk” by Peter Paddon)

Also known as the Horned Master, this is the archetypical God of the Witches, and can be embodied by the AllFather, Odin, Herne, Cernunnos, Gwynn, and other similar deities. He is often portrayed as the Master Magician, a Trickster who teaches us by putting us through experiences. There are strong influences of the Underworld, as well as the Wild Man of the Forest, and He almost seems to be using His human visage as a mask for something older, deeper and darker. In Scottish Witchcraft, he would be unashamedly referred to as “the De’il”, and he certainly plays the role of the Devil in the pre-Christian sense — the adversary who provides the momentum and motivation to move through the experience and achieve the goal. In this way, he is the Devil wrestled in the churchyard for the Toad Bone, the Black Man at the Crossroads who grants us our greatest desire, the Trickster who fools us into thinking the Path of Fate we walk is one we “chose”.

Peter Paddon (on The Horned One in his book “A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk”)

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑