I’m in the broom closet and I’m interested in potions, but can’t find anything on creating them! What can I do?

“I’ve slowly been practicing over the span of 5 years this coming August. I took time to study Gods and several higher beings, herbs, stones, spells, several different paths and ancient civilizations and their believes, and so much lore and myth it’s scarce to find anything in school I come across I haven’t read about yet. But here is my problem: no matter where I look I can find absolutely nothing on how to create potions. I know there are several things that fall into that category and I use the word potion as an umbrella for those. But I simply cannot find a place to help me get started or know where to start. The trickier thing is I’m the only practitioner in my household and still in the broom closet! What can I do?

-Shannon”

Studying and practicing while still in the broom closet can be difficult. The good news is that you know more about potions than you realize!

Potions vary in method, but they’re essentially teas and oil blends made with magical intent. Ingredients are chosen for their magical properties, mixed with a carrier such as water or oil, and then charged for their magical purpose. It’s really that simple!

From personal experience, I can say that a potion made from your spice cabinet at home is just as powerful as a potion made with fancy and exotic ingredients that cost you an arm and a leg. Simplicity is also best. When making a recipe, think of it as you would a tea; too many flavors can muddle the pot.

Researching aromatherapy or herbal tea remedies will help you find more detailed information on various methods and recipes, while appearing more normal than a collection of Pagan books on herbal magic.

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

Become a writer at Ask a Pagan!

Blessings all,

Ask a Pagan is looking for two or three writers to answer questions for the next few months while I take a leave-of-absence to work on research! I wish I had the time I did in the past, but I don’t and I’ve been slacking with replies to questions, and I apologize sincerely!

So instead of shutting Ask a Pagan down, I just need some talented, experienced practitioners to fill my spot until my return! I need two or three great people with a minimum of three years of practice (when I say practice, I mean the period after your initial learning and 101-training). Because I get a lot of questions for a myriad of topics like beginning the craft, spells, dreams, divination, empathy, spirits, and any other topic that has to do with the craft, I need more than one person who “specializes” in one or more of these areas.

So if you’re interested in becoming “Intrim-Ask a Pagan,” please fill out the form below and submit it!

NOTE: There are TWO types of questions that need answers: ASAP answers (for questions that need answers for upcoming events, days, etc.) and regular questions. ASAP answers are needed within two days of the question (or at least a day or two before the event or day of the question) and regular questions need to be answered within a week of the question answered. So please keep in mind that when I send you your questions, you will need to reply to them in a timely manner. You will get no more than three questions a week (depending on the type of questions and your specialties).

My husband and I would like to do a Wiccaning for our daughter. She will be turning one in March. I can’t find any information on Wiccanings. Should we write our own? Where do we start?

“My husband and I would like to do a Wiccaning for our daughter. She will be turning one in March. I can’t find any information on Wiccanings. Should we write our own? Where do we start?”

Blessings,

What a beautiful thing! Wiccanings, like Wicca, is still a fairly new concept. As far as I know, most Wiccanings are preformed within a coven. However, that doesn’t mean solitary practitioners can’t perform them! From what I can remember, I haven’t come across much about Wiccanings in my readings over the years very much – just a few references here and there.

With that said, I’d recommend you write your own ritual. Just like a Baptism or even wedding vows, you make and recite oaths, promises, and prayers to protect, heal, and comfort. I can’t imagine the ritual format would be any different from any normal ritual; casting the circle, calling the energies/deities, elements/directions, etc.

Be as creative as you want. Make something for your daughter to give or put on her during the ritual – this can be anything, a bracelet or a necklace, or even a sachet. Create a special spell or poem to recite to her every night. Maybe even make her a dolly.

Be simple. Unless you want to be elaborate about it. Either way, the outcome is still the same. Words from the heart are words she’ll remember!

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I’ve started researching the craft and I’d like some verification on a few points I’ve gathered, I don’t want to advance while learning the wrong principals.

“I’ve started researching the craft, and I’d like some verification on a few points I’ve gathered, I don’t want to advance while learning the wrong principals… Here are the points that I have so far:

-The main rule of witchcraft is the ‘Wiccan Rede’: “An it harm none, do what ye will” I believe that this means that we have the freedom to do what we want with our magic, and not only that, but our lives, as long as it doesn’t harm others in the process.
-Wiccan beliefs are different, and vary from person to person.
-Do not ask if the spells, ‘work’. Whether the spell ‘works’ or not is up to not only you for performing it correctly, but also the god(ess). If it is meant to be, then the god(ess) will grant you the power to successfully perform the spell.
-You do not have to use the exact same spell as someone else, have fun, and start your own book of shadows!
-Start for the right reasons.
-Don’t start because you want to be able to threaten people by saying you’ll curse them or something. Not only will you sound incredibly stupid for yelling death threats at people by saying you’ll use magic against them, but It’s also going against the Wiccan Rede.

Could you please tell me if they are all ‘fact’ and correct any of my mistakes before I continue my research?”

Blessings,

These are excellent points! My simple guide to beginning Wicca and Witchcraft could also be of use to you. A couple of other notes: Some Wiccans also believe in the Threefold Law: What you send out (positive or negative) will come back to you threefold. Some would also call the law Karma, it just depends on how you want to believe it. Also, your first point is slightly off – the main rule of Witchcraft is not the Wiccan Rede. Some people see the two as one, but in the bigger picture Wicca is the religion, whereas Witchcraft is simply the practice of magick (no religion associated with it).

Which brings me to your second point, Wiccan beliefs is very eclectic. Wicca has some set doctrine in place, but then you shape your own spirituality beyond those principals and rules.

Books 1 and 2 on my Wicca 101 book list is probably two of the very best beginner books that everyone should read!! Anything by Scott Cunningham is amazing, the Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft is just loaded with so much information, you can find anything you need in it!

You’re on the right track for a great spiritual life.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Today marks the one year death of my brother. I wanted to do a ritual or light a candle for him to bless him, but I don’t know of any. Any suggestions?

“So today 1-4-13 makes the 1 year death of my 16 yr old brother I wanted to do like a ritual maybe light a candle for him something to bless him on his travels but I don’t know any. I wanted to do it tonight for him any suggestions would be great… Blessed be”

Blessings,

Every year on my grandmother’s birthday, who is one of the most dearest people to me, I conduct a little birthday ritual in her honor. Because I have a small urn of her ashes, it makes the ritual much more powerful and get a quicker response from her. The ritual is more or less a spirit summoning ritual that I’ve written many, many years ago when I was experimenting with spirits and summoning. This is something you can do if you have your brother’s ashes or something else that is extremely close to your brother (hair or blood are next to best after ashes). But you can also use jewelry that he always wore and appreciated, his favorite shirt, or even his favorite shoes!

If you don’t wish to have a summoning ritual, instead you can use those items as part of a remembrance shrine (it doesn’t have to be an actual shrine and all decked out, just a shelf or a table will do). Place the items down, maybe with some flowers, herbs, crystals, other things that he may liked and enjoyed, and then simply light a candle and say a few personal words. Let the candle burn to its end in honor of your brother’s life (so you may want to have a small candle, or a candle you can watch all day while it burns so it doesn’t burn down the house!)

Creating a sachet, poppet, or something that you can use something personal of his, or maybe even a cut piece of his shirt or something, some protection herbs, flowers, and a small stone to be placed in his room or at a place he enjoyed going to often.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

Is there any danger in casting more than one spell for pain? Would using multiple spells make them ineffective or cause more pain?

“I’m a McFarland Dianic Wiccan and I don’t use spells often but I’m in a lot of pain nowadays and I really am looking for help from anywhere. I suffer from a subcutaneous nerve entrapment which causes hypersensitivity in my left knee and most of my left high. my question is, if I do use magick to help my pain is there any danger in casting more than one spell on it? by danger I mean will using multiple spells make them ineffective? or worse, cause me even more pain?”

Blessings,

Casting multiple spells for the same cause can sometimes result as if you just casted one spell. It’s like painting a wall the same color over and over – regardless of how many times you paint it, the color isn’t going to change or get darker. So instead of doing multiple spells, you can just focus and concentrate your whole energy into one big spell.

Other than spells, herbs, yoga, tai chi, Reiki, and other ancient forms of healing can also help. I’ve found Tai Chi to be completely liberating and enlightening. And Reiki is a great practice for relaxation and healing.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

For a few months my friend and I have been seeing and hearing things that are clearly trying to get our attention. Can these abilities be strengthened?

“A few months ago my best friend and I have been experiencing supernatural phenomena. She’s been seeing things and I’ve been hearing things that are clearly trying to capture our attention. Recently it’s been getting more frequent and we’re not sure if this is an ability that can be channeled or strengthened, but we’re completely lost as to where to begin. Any advice?”

Blessings,

Many spirits love to get your attention. Most of the time just for the fun of it, other times because they need help. If the things that are occurring are consistent (i.e. making the same noises in the same areas, the same feeling in certain areas, etc.) then that’s a sign of them just “having fun.” But if things are always different, then sometimes, but not always, that means they’re calling out to you for something specific – whether for help, to give a message, etc.

The ability to communicate with spirits, whether directly, through channeling, or any other means – can be developed through meditation and opening up your third (psychic) eye. To “see things that aren’t there” is one of the hardest psychic abilities to develop – it takes years to practice just to have something happen. Most people with this ability are born with it. An exercise to develop this ability is simple – to master it is difficult.

For the exercise, start small – light a candle. Get comfortable, stretch, relax your mind and body. Stare at the candle and at the flame. Stare at the way the candle is shaped, at the texture of wax dripping down, at the wick, and at the flame. See the way it moves and flickers. Stare at it for a good five to ten minutes. Now, close your eyes and visualize everything you just saw – see every details, texture, movement, and shape. Once you’ve got the candle down, move on to something bigger. After that, to something bigger and with more detail. Move on until you can do entire rooms. Soon you’ll be able to see what’s not there.

You can always banish ghosts and spirits as well. Sometimes  you can just tell it to go away and leave you alone. If that doesn’t work, a good ‘ol banishing ritual should do the trick.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I have been trying meditation and reading everything I can get my hands on, but I have never felt a connection to any of the pantheons. Besides reading and meditation do you have any recommendations on how to figure out where I should look? Or what I should try next?”

“For the past couple of years I have been feeling a pull to pagan religions. I have been trying meditation and reading everything I can get my hands on, but I have never felt a connection to any of the pantheons. Besides reading and meditation do you have any recommendations on how to figure out where I should look? Or what I should try next?”

Blessings,

The pace you move at and what you want to do next is always up to you. Being, or trying to connect to a pantheon is not vital to Paganism. Think of deities as tools (in a non-offensive way). They’re simply channels to help grow and expand the energy you put into a spell or ritual like a crystal or an object would do. What is everything on a Witch’s altar? The candles, herbs, incense, crystals, stones, wand, etc.? They’re tools. Why? To help you enhance, focus, and direct your energy and concentration. Deities serve the same purpose. They don’t give you the power, they simple help you with yours.

It’s easier to find a connection with a pantheon or deity if you call out for them instead of you trying to go out and find them. Through meditation you can do this, simply by releasing energy for a callback. Sometimes something will come up shortly after, sometimes it’ll take a couple of tries. But as I mentioned, it’s not always necessary to feel the need to have to have a connection to a pantheon or deity. Pagan practices are personal and for personal and spiritual growth, with or without the help of tools.

For the longest time I was extremely drawn to the Egyptian pantheon, Anubis specifically. I was obsessed with ancient Egyptian culture, religion, and practices – the Gods and Goddesses fascinated me. Anubis was my God. But then I got older and heavier, more logical knowledge came to me, and Anubis and I drifted apart. I can say I have a connection with at least one God/dess from every pantheon, but the worship of deities is a very Witchcraft/Wicca thing. The Universe is my God now. The Sun and Moon are the gatekeepers that keep the World, our Mother, alive.

It’ll come to you. One day it’ll hit you and you’ll answer your own question when you realize what you’re really seeking.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

How do you find your gods? I think it would be strange for me to get involved with deities of other cultures.

“Hey! How do you find your gods? I think it would be strange for me to get involved with deities of other cultures. I’m unsure about deities worshiped by my far- flung ancestors too because, again, different culture! I just have this need to belong I think.”

Blessings,

Finding a deity is a personal experience. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved with deities of other cultures? Are you from an American culture? Do you know any American deities? That’s right, there are none. If you were raised Christian, Jesus would been considered your deity and he wasn’t of your culture. There’s always SOMETHING in our everyday lives that isn’t from or apart of our culture; whether it be the place you live, school you go to, car you drive, food you eat – everything is from somewhere that isn’t from where you are.

Even if you did find a deity of your culture, if it isn’t American, what makes you think that’ll give you a sense of belonging? If you do find a deity of your culture, you might not be able to connect with them on a spiritual or emotional path. Just because two things are the same, doesn’t mean they’re compatible.

Many people that practice the Craft and worship a personal deity are almost always from different cultures and pantheons. Egyptian and Greek being the most popular. You can research several different pantheons and Gods/Goddesses and see if anyone sparks your interest. If so, start a circle and being ritual to call them to join you. This is your chance to “get to know them” and see what feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc. come up, and if they even like you. Often a sense of getting the chills occur when they “arrive” and sometimes when answering questions.

Another way to find your deity is through meditation. While meditating and going to your special place, you can send out an energy call for a deity to come to you. The same way you would call out for your spirit guide, but this time for a God. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get a visual or a name, or any other indication of who they are.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

It’s that time again when you have the chance to become a guest writer for Ask a Pagan!

If you’re interested in guest writing for Ask a Pagan – and maybe even a chance for a permanent “guest writer” position, answer some of these questions and email them back them to askapagan@gmail.com or use the form in the “Ask a Question” page:

1. What do you define yourself and how many years have you been practicing?

2. Why do you think you have what it takes to advice people on their spiritual path?

3. What are some experiences that really brought you closer to your Craft?

4. What are your “witchy specialities”? i.e. divination, spells, herbs, potions, etc.

 

Blessed be and happy applying!