Potion making is an essential skill for young and novice witches. It is basically learning to cook and mix cocktails. The difference is that, as witches, we must be mindful of the medicinal and magickal properties of ingredients, and boost their effectiveness with ceremonial and ritual practices.
Not all potions are meant to be imbibed. Some are magickal liquids that are made so because for some reasons a liquid would be the best transmitter for the energy. First though, let’s talk about the drinkable ones.
Potions come in a few types:
- alcohol based
- vinegar based
- whey or milk based
- sugar/syrup based
- water based
- dissolving powders and capsules
Alcohol based potions are basically prepared alcoholic beverages or tinctures that are meant to be added to beverages. The alcohol increases their shelf life, or may be a magickal ingredient itself. Many deities as well as the Ancestors have their favorite liquor, so adding a specific kind may speak to different energies in the drinker.
Vinegar based potions are usually for healing and/or strengthening. They are taken as a medicine by the teaspoon, or added to another beverage. Its magickal properties depend on what it is made of. Regardless of what it is made of though, one of the universal properties of all vinegars is transformation. So it is good to bring change or to guide someone through a change. Much like alcohol, vinegar has a long shelf life, which is one reason there are so many vinegar based potions.
Whey based potions are mainly used for strengthening and things that have to do with rebuilding and repairing. Whey is the byproduct of cheese making. It’s the liquid that is left once you curdle the milk and take out the curds. It’s full of protein, and some find it tasty as a drink. Opinions vary on this. Whey has a sort of nurturing property, like milk, but it has more transformative energy since it is made by fermentation.
Whey and milk give a somewhat obvious mothering, caring vibration to potions, which is one reason it is best to get it from well treated animals. Many spiritually sensitive people can taste when the cruelty line has been crossed in milk products. Tainted milk has a dog-spit like aftertaste. Overly industrial farming may be one reason that whey potions are less popular these days.
The good news is that there is a vegan alternative, the byproduct of vegan nut “cheese” making. You make a sort of acidic solution by fermenting wheat, rye, or other sprouted grains in water, take the spouts out, mix this with nut puree, and strain out the liquid through cheesecloth. You can see an example of this on Rawmazing.
To get a similar nurturing vibration in vegan milks and wheys as you do with the animal based ones, you will need to add the step of consecrating the ingredient to your Gate Keeper and Motherhood/Breastfeeding deities.
Sugar and syrup based potions are generally used for love, prosperity, and other joy bringing purposes. They are also an alternative to alcohol based potions for those who have problems with alcohol. Different syrups have different magical properties. So don’t always go for simple syrup or honey. Look around at the benefits of molasses, silan (date syrup), agave, and others. Syrups also have a pretty long shelf life so long as you make sure to use proper canning proportions and procedures.
Water based potions are basically teas or vibrationally infused waters. Water itself is a life sustaining substance. Consider it something like the breast milk of the Earth.
Dissolving powders and capsules are solid bases for potions. “Just add water”. These are often easier to store, or when necessary, to conceal. It is a good idea to have a stock of certain powder mixes ready when needed. Cold and flu herbal mixes and teas spring to mind, as well as preparations to help people get through recurring problems like PMS/PMT and the “male period” or ebbs and surges in testosterone.
How to Make Drinkable Potions
The recipes vary, but there are a few standard rules. These are very similar to the rules for canning or cooking for others.
1. Have the right equipment.
There is a reason the witches’ cauldron is an old standard. Nowadays people treat them like glorified incense burners, but their original purpose is cooking and making concoctions. You don’t necessarily have to have the famous iron cauldron, but you should have pots and cooking equipment suitable for the things you want to make.
To get started, you will need:
- cauldrons or pots
- heating elements, this could be a rack for tealights, a hot plate, or your stove
- a strainer
- a mortar and pestle or other means of grinding, that is strictly for food and potions, never use the same one that you’d use for making incense and such
- spoons and other utensils
- a food scale
- bottles, jars, containers, etc.
- appropriate storage areas
- an altar or sacred space