Here is our month of October Oracular Reading by Memorie Ov Eden:

POTIONS WITH CIRCE: PART I

Original Witch

Sorceress Divine

Queen of Animals Plants and Minerals

Revealer of Truth,

Spirit Speaker

Opener of the Ways of the Witch

Circe is the original witch, the first of Hekate’s children. To her our witch mother gave the sacred art of pharmakeia, the use of the spirits of the natural world – plant, animal and mineral – to weave her magick.

CONNECTING WITH CIRCE:

You can to Circe to connect with your internal eternal witch and to petition her favor in all sorts of magic. 

Her ancient tools included: the wand, the chalice, the loom and the blade. Any or all of these items can be incorporated into your altar space. and imbued with the potions you create with her blessing.

Invite Circe with an offering of beautiful flowers, aromatic perfume, a selection of animal images, and your finest potions. Venture to her rocky, wooded island of Aeaea in visualization. Decide what you wish to ask her before you journey. Circe appears in the form of a beautiful woman or a circling hawk. 

Her home and one version of her parentage have her firmly associated with the sun, although her powers were chthonic (related to the underworld). She is thus both an Upper and Under World goddess, yet another way in which she represents opposites. Emotional and intellectual. Base and refined. Circe found her strength through weakness. She was skilled in change, in revealing things exactly as they were, and in accepting the inevitable. 

HEKATE AND HER CHILDREN:

Witchcraft flows from the Anima Mundi, represented by the powers of Hekate and her daughters, Circe and Medea. Together, they are the triformis of pharmakeia, the triple goddesses of plant spirit witchcraft. Circe is the original witch, the transmitter of the knowledge of Hekate as Witch Mother, the keeper of the keys of the mysteries. Medea is the original student, learning the secrets from Circe. The Mother, the eldest and the youngest. Through direct holistic connection to their spirits and through epithetical practice, we strengthen our magick. These triple goddesses of pharmakeia will guide us deep into their sacred garden. Like them, we have a true self and a shadow. The goal of the witch’s journey is to learn from the shadow and toward authenticity. Practicing pharmakeia is a spiritual path of enlightenment, a journey through darkness toward our truth. 

~ CONSULT THE ORACLE ~

Click here to access the Witch Vision Spread for the month of October:

~ POTION POWER ~

There are SO MANY directions we can go with potions. From Elixirs to ointments, Oils and brews… I decided to narrow it down by focusing on 3 primary benefics for a witch to have in their arsenal, and start of the season wisely. Sorry witches – no malefica here (malefics will be discussed in the Mystic Arts Practika when those classes are made available).

I decided to go with 3 recipes per month. You’re welcome to work with as few or as many as you like!

To start, we will lay our groundwork with banishing, protection and a Hallows Night / Samhain brew.

First things first…

BREW MAKING AND MAGICAL BASICS:

On the surface, brews sound easy enough to make, some herbs a little water a pot, heat until bubbling and cackle as desired… but there is a little more to it than that. First, all the herbs and other ingredients should be gathered beforehand and ideally be placed in individual cups or bowls so that each can be charged with intent before being added into the collective energy of the brew. When recipes are created, each her, flower and other ingredient is included for specific reasons, primarily to extract its unique essences. In magic such as brewing, the ingredients are chosen based on two criteria: correspondence and alignment. Though there are other meanings, correspondence in a magical contest can be defined as two or more things sharing a close similarity or connection, such as a seashell used as a way to draw in the influence of the oceans. Alignment can be defined as an arrangement of things in relation to each other in order to establish a connection, such as empowering a poppet doll to have a magi al effect on a specific person. Correspondences can be used to help from alignments. When ingredients have natural correspondences to a magical goal and a re combine3d together, their innate affinities can be enhanced by empowering them with a specific intent. This action charges them with the goals power and binds the ingredients together in alignment. 

THE PROCESS OF EMPOWERMENT:

From the simplest blessing to elaborate ritual spellwork, magic must rely on the process of empowerment. As it applies specifically to potion and brew making, the empowerment process usually consists of gathering each of the ingredients for the brew (ideally in separate containers) and holding each ingredient in your hand (or holding your hand over it if it is too large) while focusing on our magical goal. Mentally send the energy of your intention into the ingredient and visualize it mingling with the essence already present. Will that all the energies within the ingredient shall come into alignment with your goal. Once each of the ingredients is charged in this way, they can be combined into a single vessel to await transfer to the liquid or you can leave them in their containers so that they can be added to the brew one at a time which adds a lovely “eye of newt, toe of frog” witchyness to the process. 

The desired amount of liquid (usually water) us measured into the pot and can then be charged by holding your hands over it and willing your intention into the water with the added codition that any energy not in harmony with your goal will be neutralized. From there, unless otherwise instructed, the liquid is heated until it just begins to form bubbles on the bottom of the pot, just before boiling point. The other ingredients are added at tthis stage the pot is removed from the hea, thand the mixture is stirred. It is usually a good idea to have a special spoon solely reserved for magical use; wooden spoons work well though they absorb some of the essence from the herbs. You can hold your hands over the pot and send energy into the brew, further charging it and affirmin gonce more that the completed mixture shall manifest your intention. Finally, cover with the lid and let the herbs and liquid steep for then to fifteen minutes to allow everythign to infuse (and the brew to cool and herbs to settle to the bottom), then strain ito a cup or use as directed. 

This method is known as an infusion and is the primary process used for the majority of brews. The light plant materials are steeped in the heated liquid to extract their oils, vitamins, and other compounds into the liquid. A second method, known as a decoction is similar but is used for heavier plant materials such as bark, roots and thick seeds. These tougher materials usually need to be boiled for anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour or longer in order to fully extract their mineral salts and other properties into the liquid. So at times a two step process for lighter herbs and heavy roots/barks is necessary.

For the most part, the process of potion making is simple and enjoyable. If you wish to create a small ritual around the making and use of a potion, it can help to fcocus the magic. Taking care to enhance each step of the process withs\ your intention is a powerful magical boost, which I cannot over emphasize enough. To truly immerse yourself in the process, creating a short spell chant to seal in your specific intention for the finished potion or brew is strongly advised. It can be repeated as the ingredients are added to the cauldron, and if you can turn it into a little melody – even better! It adds a great deal of magic to each ingredient one at a time, stirring them into the liquid with each addition; adding, stirring and chanting. It all helps to build the energy of the finished potion. This type of procedure can be created for any of the potion recipes that are being shared here in the Coven to add energy, atmosphere and a more specific focus to the magical intention. This personalizes the process so that it becomes your own. After the potion or brew has been created, all that is left is to use it as directed. 

CAULDRONS, KETTLES & OTHER BREWING OPTIONS:

A cauldron is an object that both symbolizes and can contain great power. Though potion s and other brews can be created in vessels besides cauldrons, they are the tool most universally associated with these magical concoctions. Potion pot, offering receptacle, ritual hearth, caldrons have many uses. Many of the associated practices go back centuries in one form or another.

Once upon a time, at some point in the late Bronze/ early Iron Age, people began to create cauldrons. These creations were made of plates of copper, bronze, iron and sometimes silver, usually riveted together to forma  complete vessel. The cauldrons of old were apparently used for all sorts of practical purposes, from bathing children, to dyeing and washing fabrics, to cooking large amounts of food, to holding assorted items. They were also used ceremonially either to hold offerings to various deities or as the offerings themselves. Ancient cauldrons have been unearthed from bogs, rivers, wells and burial chambers that appear to have been used as part of ritual. Four notable discoveries are ethe Batersea Cauldron, The Chiseldon Cauldrons,
The Lisdrumturk Cauldron, and the Gundestrup Cauldron

Far from being merely a human invetion, since ancient times it has been believed that there ixists cauldrons of divine magical power owend by deities and capable of profound supernatual manifestations such as providing an inexhaustible supply of food or even reviving the deceased. in much of the the modern craft, it is customary to view the cauldron as symbolic of the Goddess. The typical round, pot-bellied shape is said to symbolize the womb and creation, while the three legs upon which the cauldron stands can serve as reminders of her 3-fold nature.

If you already have a preferred vessel or two for making potions and brews and it is properly seasoned and ready – wonderful! Feel free to skip to the spell recipes.

If, on the other hand you would lie some tips on how to find the best cauldron, proper care etc:

Here you go – 

If you intend to cook with a cauldron it must be designated as “food grade” in its construction. Unless it is specifically stated at the time of purchase that the cauldron is made of food-safe materials, it is unwise to use one to prepare anything injestible. Some cauldrons are coated with inedible oils and finishes, and others are painted with potentially leaded paint. 

Iron Cauldrons have to be seasoned in the same manner as cast-iron pans in order to give the matal a protective cooking surface. Without seasoning, anything cooked or brewed in cast iron will have a metallic taste to it and the vessel will be much more vulnerable to rust. 

Here is a fun little tutorial on cast iron cauldron seasoning:

 

Honestly, any food-grade simmer pot will do just as well. 

Now that we’ve got our cauldrons dialed in… 

Here are 3 recipes to get us started for the Season of the Witch:

BOUNDARY WARD BANISHING BREW:

This first brew addresses banishing as a method of warding away evil and harm. 

What you need:

2 cups water

1 tablespoon mullein

1 tablespoon chopped onion 

Charge each of the ingredients:

“Herbs of power, bring all harm to an end, magical brew, protect and defend!” This can be repeated as each ingredient is added. A longer , more complex chant could be created instead that addresses the individual powers of each of the ingredients similar to the Graeae witches of Macbeth or Clash of the Titans (with the 1 all seeing eye) such as:

“Guardian nettle, stinging briar, lend your power to me this hour

Mighty mullein, candlewick plant, protection from harmful beasts now grant

Magical onion, great strength do you wield, from evil forces our power will shield; into this water my Witch’s brew, merging your energy, magic imbued!”

Add the ingredients to the water and simmer in your pot, charging the brew with the desire that it “shall halt and repel all harmful energies, people, reatures, or forces.” 

Remove from heat.

Once cooled, strain the brew into a cup and use it to encircle the exterior of your home or property. It can also be used to recharge other wards such as amulets placed around your home by anointing them with the brew, provided they are able to withstand moisture.

CLOAK OF THE DARK GODDESS PROTECTION POTION:

Not only does this potion contain herbs that are highly protectie in nature, they are also aligbed with dark goddess energy. The mixture brings magical protection and can also e used to help connect with many dark goddesses, though the potion is still effective even without divine assistance. 

What you need:

2 cups water

1/2 cup blackberries

1 tablespoon dried dark red rose petals

1 tablespoon elder flowers

1 teaspoon mugwort

Pinch of wormwood

Garlic peeols (optional)

Empower the ingredienets and if you wish, call upon a dark goddess with whome you have an affinity with, asking that she bless and bestow protective power into the potion. 

Next, brew in the usual manner, muddling the blackberries into the water before adding the herbs. The garlic peeos are included to help align witgh the power of Hekate specifically withough imparting a heavy garlic flavor. If you are not calling upon her, they can be omitted. 

Once the potion has cooled, strain and sweeten it as desired and as you drink, focus on the chosen dark goddess and again ask for protection (if desired). 

Though it is better to call on deities only if you have a pre-existing relationship with them, some examples of goddesses considered dark include the Cailleach, the Morrigan, Hekate, Hel, Kali, Lilith and Sekhmet. 

SAMHAIN 

 HALLOWS NIGHT BREW

The ingredients in this brew are each aligned with Samhain and autumn and offer energies that create the perfect atmosphere for the magic and rituals which are conducted at this time. 

What you need:

2 cups water

2 tablespoons wormwood

2 tablespoons tarragon

2 tablespoons rosemary

2 tablespoons sage (ethically sourced)

1 teaspoon cloves

1 apple, chopped

1/4 orange sliced

3 sticks of cinnamon

1 personal item of yours and/or all in attendance (optional)

The personal item from each person attending the Samhain sabbat could be a single hair, a drop of blood, a s nail clipping or a tiny bit of saliva, offered reverently. These are used to connect the participants with the sabbat’s otherworldly energies but can be omitted if preferred. Either way, each of the ingredients must be empowered and then everything is added to the cauldron and the mixture is boiled, uncovered, to allow the steam to permeate the area. Remove from the heat and allow the cauldron to cool enough that it can be carried If you are working the ritual outdoors, the brew can be poured our in a circle around the ritual areal. If working indoors, the cauldron of brew can either be placed by the front door of the home to release its power or in the western quadrant of the ritual space. 

BLESSED SAMHAIN WITCHES!