Infusions : An infusion is something steeped in a liquid. Either water, oil, juice or wine. Generally used for drinking or bathing yourself or other objects.
Potion : A potion is basically an enchanted infusion, used for the same things infusions are used for. An object can be put into this during brewing to add to it and then removed before drinking. E.g crystals and stones (obviously make sure they are non-toxic and clean before adding them.
Brew : A brew is a potion that is solely meant for consumption.
Elixir : An elixir is meant to give health and vitality. Different from an infusion as with elixirs powders and extracts are dissolved into and alcohol or water base and sweetened with honey or mashed fruits. As with everything these can be enchanted
Oil : An oil is made by extracting natural oils from plants. Essential oils are the pure extraction with nothing added to dilute it. An oil infusion is when you steep herbs in the oils and when you blend the oils and add a base oil it is known as an oil blend.
Powder : A powder (this one is very obvious) is when herbs, spices and minerals are ground together and enchanted.
Sachet : A sachet is a small fabric bag filled with herbs and fragrant objects.
Bath : this specific bath requires an infusion or sachet to be added. For magical or meditative purposes.
Ointment : An ointment is a salve made with enchanted herbs and others, rubbed on for effect.
Substitutions in magick and spellwork is where you replace an ingredient for a spell with another due to lack of the listed ingredient. This is often done when a witch does not have specific plants, herbs or crystals on hand for when working a spell. This is a very common practice especially when individuals are on a budget or are still “in the forest” so unable to get specific ingredients. This is also done when a spell calls for an obscure or hard to find or even endangered herb/plant such as white sage, mugwort, nightshade, wormwood, wolfsbane and other harder to come by plants that one could not normally find in a store or local gardens.
White Candles for any candle color
Rosemary for any herb/plant
Table Salt for any salt
Tap Water for any water
Clear Quartz for any crystal
Black Tea for any tea
Rose for any flower
Tobacco for any toxic herb/plant
Sage Incense for any incense
Olive Oil for any oil/carrier oil
Frankincense for any gum resin
Lemon for any citrus
Apple for any fruit
There are things in each “category” of ingredients for spells that are used for general over all substitution. Though these ingredients below can substitute for anything in their given category it does not mean that they are the best items to use for substitution in every spell. Why is that? Simply because each ingredient has different correspondences and though these items are “general” they have their own correspondences which can very much be different from what the spell is corresponding to.
An Example: Rosemary corresponds with protection, love, lust, mental powers, exorcism, purification, healing, sleep, youth. If you are using it in a spell for money it may not work as well as it would to substitute the missing herb with another herb that corresponds with money, wealth and prosperity. This is why the list above is simply for if you are in a pinch and you have absolutely nothing else to substitute in for it.
This is why it is better to go with intent based substitutions, for they tend to correspond better with the spell and are more likely to be successful. It is very easy to figure out other ingredients that work with a spell by seeing if the ingredient corresponds with the intent, such as does this crystal correspond with love in anyway? If so it is a good substitute for a love spell, if it doesn’t then it is a poor choice. This part is where you need to research yourself to ensure you are substituting things properly. Research the correspondences of what you have and see if they match with the spell you wish to find a substitute for.
Reworking is the process of changing the actions, procedures and steps of a spell to cater to either one’s own situation or to work with ingredients that have been substituted or are missing. Reworking works hand and hand with substitution. The reason this is, is because sometimes when we substitute ingredients we can no longer use the same processes done in the spell. This is common when we substitute something such as a water safe crystal with a non-water safe crystal for a potion or substituting an edible plant with a toxic one in an edible spell.
Here is an example scenario that will show us both the process of standard substitution and reworking.
A Spell for Protection requires you to have a bowl of water and some aloe. The process of the spell is soaking the aloe in the water for a short time then rubbing the herb on your wrists and forehead. You wish to do this spell but you have come across the problem of having no aloe. Below are some examples of how to substitute with this spell and how to rework it when necessary.
Solution Example: You happen to have mint which also corresponds with protection. Mint is a non-toxic plant and it is good for your skin as well as smells quite nicely. So you easily replace the aloe leaves with mint leaves instead and go about the spell as the steps instructs. This is an example of substitution that does not require any sort of reworking.
Solution Example: You have blueberries which correspond with protection that you can use though you would rather not rub blueberries onto your skin leaving a sticky stained mess. This is where reworking is required. Blueberries are edible so instead you soak the blueberries in the water and instead eat the blueberries and then use the water to anoint yourself.
Solution Example: You have wolfsbane but it’s highly toxic and should definitely not be soaked in water, rubbed on your skin or ingested. This is a prime example of absolutely having to rework the spell for safety reasons. In this case it would perhaps be best to have the wolfsbane in a bowl and use its energy to mentally anoint yourself. This requires most likely reworking most if not all of the spell.
Reworking actions in witchcraft without substituting ingredients. This is most common due to a person’s situation or location making certain spells difficult to do. A very common example of this type of reworking would be reworking a spell to not have a burning process due to the witch being unable to use fire or burn objects due to their situation such as apartment or dorm living, lung sensitivity to smoke or having their own doubts about being able to work safely with fire due to one reason or another. Below are some suggested reworking actions for common things that some people are unable to do for one reason or another.
Substitutes for Burning: tearing/shredding, soaking in water (if safe), burying (if safe), pouring ink onto, scribbling out, erasing, crumpling or crushing, painting over, pouring wax over, cutting up via scissors, taping up
Substitutes for Ingestion: water soaking, meditation with item nearby, energy work via harnessing the item’s energy, burning (if safe), touch/holding (if safe)
Substitutes for Speaking/Chanting: thought/mental chanting, written word, gesture/sign language, listening to music with lyrics that correspond with spell/intent, air writing with finger
Reworking for Spoonies
Often spells can be too draining for those with “limited spoons” to use. In these cases, reworking a spell may often become necessary to make it easier on the witch casting it. In cases of this, certain gestures or steps may be too draining or difficult for the witch to perform due to physical or mental health. First off, this is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s okay if some things make you too uncomfortable or are just too difficult for you to do. There’s no reason to feel like you can’t do spellwork because of it. You can still do the spell by reworking the areas that you have difficulty in.
An example of this could be that a spell requires a lot of movement, gestures and chanting to do. As someone with limited energy you may not be able to exhaust so much of it by moving around like that. Instead you could examine the spell and see why that part may be required, if it is a spell to bring energy or motivation it may be added as a step to help encourage and invigorate the caster but making it difficult for you. Instead you can in this case find something that you find gives you a bit of a “pep in your step” that won’t exhaust you as much. An example may be music, listening to exhilarating and upbeat music can get the energy flowing instead so removing the chanting and dancing with loud energy filled music playing as you cast the spell is an excellent solution.
Another example may be that a witch has some lung and breathing difficulties making it very difficult for them to burn things or use incense due to it affecting their airways. In this case, the witch can examine what the spell is having them burn such as a spell for money having them burn basil and chamomile. Instead this witch can choose to soak the herbs into water or place them in a bowl near an open window to let the breeze spread their energy. Or even simply turning the spell into a sachet or jar spell instead of a burning one.
Personalization of Spells
To personalize a spell is to put your own personal touch onto it. This may include adding an additional step, adding ingredients or substituting ingredients not out of necessity but out of personal preference.
Examples of personalizing spells:
Adding the extra ingredient of rice to a money spell because you see rice as very closely related to money in your own personal practice
Adding a chant to a silent spell because you prefer chanting to get into the “witchy spirit” of the spell
Changing the spell’s written language because it is not your native one/you prefer using a different language for witchcraft
Changing the sigil in the spell to one of your personal sigils that you have a better association to the intent with
Replacing clear quartz with citrine for an energy spell because you prefer the energy of citrine over clear quartz
There are many ways to customize and personalize a spell to make it so it works better for you on a personal level. It is something that you will find easier to do with time once you have discovered the ingredients and methods of witchcraft that you prefer doing.
*note: reworking/personalizing a spell does not make it fully yours. If you wish to post this reworked/personalized spell please link it to the original or source the original seeing it was someone else’s work that you modified here and there for your own needs. It’s just polite to credit people for their work.
One of the many ways for us artsy witches to use the natural world in our practice is by making our own inks. The act of collecting ingredients, creating the ink, filling it with your energy and intent, and using it in your craft is truly magical! You can add some special touches to your Grimoire, draw sigils, add to potions, create fabulous works of art, or just replace your chemical filled paint with a non-toxic, eco-friendly alternative that is safe for your kids!
Here are some base materials you can use to make inks and the color they generally make. Obviously there’s some variation with the final color depending on the material itself (more or less ripe and the inherent color variation between selections for example) but this will give you a general idea. Also note that the color of some materials can change over a period of time.
Red Cherry- Red or Light Pink
Pokeberry- Hot Pink
Red Rasberry- Medium Pink
Black Cherry- Pink/Purple
Black Rasberry- Light Purple
Huckleberry- Denim Blue
Buckthorn- Hunter Green
Black Walnut- Rich Brown
Avacado Pits- Red/Pink
Peach Pit- Black
Almond Shells- Black
Experiment! This list is no where near exhaustive and there’s tons of combinations to explore. I will be posting about my process for making inks and providing some examples soon so stay tuned!