Happy March! Warmer weather doesn’t mean to stop drinking hot tea - light-bodied teas with floral and citrus notes are perfect for the season’s transition, and will carry you through the rainiest spring day.
Here are some of my favourites:
*Please be mindful of individual allergies and ensure all ingredients are food-grade and organic.
• green tea base (sweeter greens like Dragonwell will work best)
• dehydrated hibiscus flower
• dehydrated rosehip
• orange and lemon peel (substitute with dried raspberry every now and then to switch up the recipe)
• heat water to 160° and steep for 5 minutes
• stir in honey as a sweetener, to taste
See similar: Chinese Flower, Harney and Sons
• black tea base
• ginger, peeled and sliced
• dehydrated peaches (if making this into an iced tea in the summer, use frozen peaches and add them as ice cubes instead)
• a pinch of cinnamon
• boil water to 200° and steep for 6 minutes
See similar: Ginger Peach Chocolate Dessert Tea, Republic of Tea
🥥 Coconut Green:
• green tea base
• dried, shredded coconut OR stir coconut oil into heated tea
• heat water to 175° and steep for 5 minutes
See similar: Bangkok, Harney and Sons
🌹 Rose-Milk Tea:
• black tea base
• dried rose petals
• organic soy milk (my favourite, but you can substitute with any milk, sweetened or unsweetened)
• I prefer to steep the tea and flowers directly in the milk, in a pot on the stove, however you can also steep in boiling water and add the milk to taste after
“So shall the hop have homage from the vine”. por Marcus Rodriguez Por Flickr: September — the first golden days of Autumn where the early morning air turns crisp, fruits are ripening in the hedgerows and the fragrant hop flowers hang in giant cascades in the hop gardens of England.
Beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world. For centuries, beer-making fell into the realm of women and taking care of the home. The decline of female brewers in the 17th century is related to witch hunting (alewives wore distinctive point tall hats and brewed large amounts of beer in large vessels).
Here are some facts about beer in the Middle Ages, by a beer expert and a medieval curator
1) Beer-making was part of life in the Middle Ages. Calendars center on making of bread and making of beer in the Labors of the Month.
2) This detail from a prayer book shows a man making a barrel. In the Middle Ages, “your prayers begin and end with the thought of drink.”
3) MYTH: People in the Middle Ages drank beer and wine because of lack of access to water. It was more complicated than that—the relationship to consuming fluids was related to health and your body’s fluid.
4) Humoral theory was a system of medicine developed in antiquity that taught that the human body contained a mix of four humors: black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phelgm. In medieval times, you’d go to the alchemist and based on your zodiac sign and your ailment, you might be told a certain fluid is off balance.
5) It was also thought that the position of the planets and the moon could affect the body.
6) Cups, goblets, and drinking horns were trendy in the Middle Ages.
7) Many contained messages or encouraged drinking. One in the Getty Museum collection reads, “Welcome to my house. Put me to your lips and drink me dry. Don’t take contentment away.”
He’s sometimes known as the Indiana Jones of his area of research – ancient ales, wines and extreme beverages. Others call him Dr. Pat.
Patrick McGovern has spent decades searching for and analyzing the residues of fermented drinks that can be hundreds or thousands of years old – and then re-creating them.
His latest book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created, delves into the early history of fermentation. He takes us all the way back to supposedly drunken monkeys feasting on fermented fruit juice or honey they found, long before any human had figured out how to brew beer.
Brought to you by amazing artist MioMio and russian Ezarel’s fan club, we proudly present this small Eldarya-based visual novel to you, which is devoted to April Fool’s. It might seem late, but as you know, Ezarel’s got April Fool’s each days of the year~
Description: Weeks of private lectures on potions with Ezarel came to an end, and it’s time to move on to practice. The head of Absinthe wants to make sure that you have appropriately mastered the acquired knowledge and did not waste his time. Can you brew the potion perfectly? Or maybe surprise the elf with an unexpected improvisation? You decide!
P.S. This game is a fangame based on Eldarya. It is small and has an exceptionally entertaining purpose, since it is timed to the April Fool’s. Please do not look for a deep meaning - it swam away with Blobby and does not want to return.
A great many things have been happening at a wonderfully quick pace lately, and while that’s all fantastic in its own way, it’s left me no time to actually make this post, despite my interest in doing so. However, now that everything is slowing down and I’m finding the time to catch up on things, and after receiving an ask related to this process, I can finally share one of the most important parts of my practice: Potion Brewing. I’ve made a few small posts here and there about it, and how one might use certain ingredients, but I’ve never really gotten into the process. With that said, here are my thoughts on potions, and why they’re an incredible part of any witch’s skillset.
When approaching potion brewing in witchcraft, there are several things one has to keep in mind. First and foremost, there is very little historical evidence to say that practitioners of either witchcraft or cunning craft ever actually brewed potions. Most of the time, the concoctions were herbal tonics, simples, or other forms of herbal infusions used in medicine (queue the major importance of witches also taking up and learning about herbalism). I have seen posts floating around which indicate that the image of the witch and the cauldron comes from medieval beer brewsters which, while I haven’t done enough research on to confirm or deny, would not surprise me in the slightest. Now while their may not have been much actual historical creation of potions in the way we think of today, the lore has always been there. Even if witches never did brew potions in the past, we do now, even if it is an underrepresented subject. To my knowledge, there are only two titles which cover the subject of potions, one of which is so expensive that very few people will be able to purchase it. This means that potion brewing becomes something that each witch must develop on their own, if at all. Some never will, and that’s perfectly fine. But for those that want to, the road can be quite harrowing.
The second things to remember is that Verdant Ones used in the creation of the potion are not just tools. Lavender is not good for love, basil is not good for money, and so on and so forth. Just as you have your own spirit, so do the Verdant Ones, and they are far from simple tools to be used and disposed of when the creation of the work is complete. In truth, the creation never will be complete if the botanicals are treated poorly and never addressed. Many may disagree with this, but how then may any botanical be “good for” something or another if not by the agency of the spirit within? Is it the chemical makeup? It is the atomic structure? However you view it, you are tapping into something more than the phsyical body, and must give that aspect the necessary attention. Otherwise all you have done is created a tea with no real magic at all save for whatever power you may have given yourself. This brings me perfectly to my next point.
A potion is not just a tea. I have seen several posts which have perpetuated this idea, and it’s something which I vehemently oppose. Posts encouraging the creation of luck and success potions, love potions, and the like which have ingredients seemingly pulled at random from a table of correspondence, all thrown together hastily in a tea-pot or simply set to steep in a cup. Looking at the creation of these, there is little to no respect for the agency of the botanical, and even less towards the actual process. The creation of a potion is not as simple pouring hot-water over an herb or two you got from the store, then drinking it. Potion brewing is an involved process wherein the practitioner must return life to the botanical if they purchased it, or whisper to the living Verdant One from which they wish to take. Potion brewing is the coalescing of spirit into matter, blending power and fragility in a dance that combines the embodiment of the kingdoms of Land, Sea, and Sky. Potions are liquid magic, and their creation is an involved process. With all that said, let’s get on the actual process.
1) Know Your Goal
This may sound simple, but it is truly the most difficult part
of the brewing process. What is it you seek to accomplish through the creation
of this potion? This will tell you how it will be used, as well as the medium
by which it will be create. Are you seeking out luck? Probably best to stick
with a water-base take it internally. Do you seek love and, if you do, are
looking to attract a new lover and enfold a specific person in your grasp? If
the former, you may elect to go with a potion applied topically, crafted of an
oil which will hold the scent well. The latter, they’ll need to take it
internally, meaning you could perhaps craft an oil in which to cook their food,
or an additive to a drink (bearing in mind that while this may be viewed as an
older method, it isillegal in many places to add something to someone’s drink without
their knowledge). This will also tell you what you can and cannot use
to create the potion. If taken internally, it’s probably best to avoid
botanicals that are known to be offensive to the body. My exceptions to this
rule are mandrake and henbane, both being poisonous creatures. However, in my
use of them, I have found that they rather enjoy working with people, and not
always in negative ways. There is a reason henbane has been reputed be work
well in love potions for centuries. Mandrake is glorious when seeking the
creation of lust. Mind your experimentation, though. While these beloved ones
may enjoy working with people, they are strong and must be treated with
respect. When I include henbane or mandrake in a potion, its usually in the
amount of ¼ tsp per a five-cup potion. If the potion is to be used
externally, you’ll need to stay away from anything which may irritate the skin.
If you are using it to mark a space with protection, to lay a curse, or any
other goal, you may decide how best to employ it.
2) Create the Recipe
Perhaps the most frustrating part of the process, the creation
of the recipe for the potion itself. This process may take only a few minutes
if your goal is simple. However, I know that this is something that will take
me days to complete. As I sit and ponder over how to create something that will properly meet my needs, I look at several factors. How will it look? If ingesting, how will it taste? Is it going to be something you need to keep on the shelf for a while? If so, what’s the best way to keep it from rotting. Once you have all this information, you can begin formulating. Many people will begin with simple potions consisting of only a few herbs and spices, maybe a little chanting, and that will do. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, as it’s how I started. It’s when you move beyond this that things get interesting. Something I find often overlooked is the inclusion of tinctures in potions. These little alcohol-based extractions may be considered potions in their own right if crafted with care, but the use of them to expand what may be included in a potion will blow the doors of the potion-brewing process wide open to those who want to use them. Tinctures allow you to add in a more concentrated form of a botanical, as well as include botanicals which you may not otherwise be able to include. A good example here is myrrh. Myrrh resin is a wonderful, and quite oily substance, with many older herbals reporting it to be a wonderful antibiotic. However, rendering it into a potion through boiling in water is…not a good idea. The gum will melt to the bottom of the vessel, and begin to burn, making the whole thing near impossible to clean. But, through the tincturing process, the gum in the resin falls away, and you are left with pure myrrh extract in the alcohol. Now you are able to use it in potions. Formulating a potion is an incredibly fulfilling process, and easily the most rewarding. What you put in it is what you’ll get out of it.
3) Brewing the Potion
This is the fun part. Once you’ve got your potion formulated, it’s time to brew. But this comes with its own set of difficulties. For me, potion brewing is the perfect union of the kingdoms of Land, Sea, and Sky, all through the heat of the fire that renders all through other. This may also be viewed as the union of the four elements by some, though that’s not a particular concept to which I pay much mind. It is a delicate process, requiring the brewer to pay attention to the formula they have crafted, and the needs of the Verdant Ones therein. Are there roots or barks/spices in the potion? They will need to decoct for at least 20 minutes covered, and you’ll have to chop them beforehand. Flowers? They need to be added only after the potion has been removed from the heat. Any herbs will be best brewed with a low simmer, lest they be burned by the heat. But it can go further than that. Have you included animal parts? If so, what are they? The heart of a chicken will need a different brew time than the bones of a rat to infuse properly into the liquid. I don’t deal much with the inclusion of metals or stones, but each of these will also need to be considered as their own bodies which need infusion time. But this has only focused on half the equation so far. Certainly, potions should have the physical attributes of the included bodies. But what of the spirit? This is where the true finesse of the work comes into play. When you are brewing, you are not just crafting a tea, as stated before. You are coaxing the spirit virtue of each material included therein to release itself from the body it has known, and comingle with those other bodies and spirit virtues to create something new. You are not just brewing. You are, through the power of the fire within, creating a new spirit virtue from all those blended together. Those spirit virtues are transformed by the act of brewing, and through the witch’s will, something new is born. This also begs the question of how you will brew. Will you brew over an open flame (my preferred method)? Will you infuse for a full lunar cycle in the windowsill? If so, you will need alcohol to prevent rot. Are you going to be taking any particular ritual actions while brewing, such as stirring certain ways or numbers of times? Are you going to encant a spell while you stir? Will you be able to keep your will and fire focused on the goal if such actions are taken? Are you waiting for a certain moon phase to brew the potion properly? What about after? Will you be working further potency in it by placing it upon the hearth to cool and “cook” further? Or will you be gathering in the spirits of the home to assist as it is brewed? So very many ways of brewing exist, and it’s up the practitioner to decide how they will best go about the process. All that really matters through the process itself, though, is that the witch bring those spirit virtues out of their bodies, and into the brew. I oftentimes see the cauldron spoken about in books as a tool to “symbolically” stir in virtue. There is no symbolism here. You are literally stirring the virtue together in the womb/tomb that is the cauldron. Quite an experience when you really get going. This leads to the last part of the process…
4) Employing the Potion
After all that work, it’s time to employ the potion however you have elected. It’s here where you want to begin paying close attention. If your potion was supposed to excite lust, how did you feel after drinking it? Are the effects strong or weak? If you are trying to induce good luck, how was the day/night that followed the drinking of the potion? How did it taste? How did it smell? What did it look like? And most importantly, did it actually accomplish your goal. Don’t try to fool yourself here. Potion brewing can be incredible if you are honest with yourself. If it didn’t work, what might you be able to do to rectify that? What can you change? Do you think it was something wrong with the formula, or the brewing process? Was your will not focused? Was your mind wandering to places unrelated. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with thinking of past lovers when working a love potion, but if you’re head was occupied with your late car payment, you’ll hardly get the love you want. Conversely, such a thing may work well to help attain money through means of a potion.
The art of potion brewing is certainly not an easy one, but it is one that is so greatly rewarding. A witch who can brew a potent potion is a witch who is closer to the the Verdant realms. The spirit interaction teaches the practitioner the respect of each and every body used in the creation of each brew, and help them to foster a closer connection with those spirits in the future. In my own opinion, every witch should have the experience of creating a proper potion, if only for the ability to see if it’s something that fits in with their craft.
If you want to know more, I highly recommend Daniel Shulke’s books “Ars Philtron” (a book that’s literally dedicated to the art of potion brewing, and doesn’t skimp on the use of things like mandrake) and “Viridarium Umbris” (a book about the path of the Verdant Ones, and how a practitioner may comes to know the spirits within the bodies themselves). They’re expensive, but both are on the site “Scribd,” which has a number of fantastic books on witchcraft. If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an ask.
If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.
“If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer,” McCulla says.
Since taking the job earlier this year, she has combed through the Smithsonian’s archives and pulled out treasures that show beer’s part in American history — whether that has to do with advertising, technology, gender roles or even popular entertainment.
Pointing to some sheet music in the collection for a song called “Budweiser Is a Friend of Mine,” she explains that the tune premiered on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Follies in 1907.
“The lyrics of the song tell the story of a man who goes out drinking in a bar and sings about how he prefers his Budweiser to his wife, because his beer does not talk back to him,” McCulla says. “But the song concludes with his wife pouring him a schooner of Budweiser at home so he does not need to drink elsewhere.”