Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:42

Magickally Potent Potables

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At this time of year, I love warm beverages. In addition to being delicious, they're good on the throat and warm in the belly. They're full of healthy stuff to enjoy on a chilly night. One of those classic images from witchcraft is of the witch, leaning over her cauldron, stirring the brew inside. Given what she's usually wearing – warm weather clothes – I guess that perhaps she's making something warm to drink on this chilly evening.

One by one, she's gathered the fruits from her kitchen herbs from her cabinet, measuring and preparing them. She blesses each, each its own unique spirit, grown from the body of Mother Earth, nurtured in the soil from seed to leaf to fruit. She describes to each component its purpose, then adds it to the pot.

She's whispering her intent over the herbs and roots she added to the pot. Over and over she chants a short, hypnotic-sounding rhyme, stirring deosil or widdershins, depending on her intent. On the surface of the swirling fluid, she watches her dream manifest. As it solidifies in the potion she brews, she knows that she will soon take that vision into herself, and make it a part of her reality.

Heart of the Hearth mulled apple cider potion:

These ingredients blend together to make a warm, savory and sweet beverage that is a perfect firelight indulgence. I love to drink this on chilly nights as a way to bring in some of that fire and sunlight energy into these long, dark nights. I have a tendency to want to hibernate in the wintertime, but snuggling under covers with a book doesn't get much done, though. So, this potion brings a little warmth, a spark of the hearth fire into my being, to give me a bit of energy and enthusiasm during the dark days.


½ gallon unfiltered apple cider
10 cloves
pinch ginger, or fresh sliced if possible
one orange (sliced)
1 tsp nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks

Magickal symbolism:

Apple: (Venus) (Water) – Love, immortality, sacred to the Isle of Avalon.
Clove: (Jupiter) (Fire) – Draws money, removes negative vibrations, purifies
Ginger: (Mars) (Fire) – Power, good health, success
Orange: (Sun) (Fire) – Good fortune and luck
Nutmeg: (Jupiter) (Fire) – Good luck, prosperity, draws money
Cinnamon: (Sun) (Fire) – Protection, stimulating, good health and energy

This recipe is heavy on the fire symbolism, but all of that powerful, active energy is balanced out by the base of this recipe – the cooling and sweet waters of the Goddess, present in the apple cider itself. Thus, there is a nice balance of yin and yang in this recipe, blending together the active and the receptive into the mix.

The process:

1. Make sure your stove top is clean and free from clutter. Put a few candles on the stove top and around the kitchen. Light the candles and turn out the rest of the lights. Put on some music if desired.

2. Ground and center. If you desire, ritually purify the area with salt water and/or incense.

3. Light the burner, saying, “Creature of Fire, shape my desire!” Take a moment to recognize that this heat source has the power needed to transform your mix of ingredients into a powerful potion. Start out on medium, and reduce the setting to simmer after a few minutes.

4. Put a saucepan on the stove and pour the apple cider in. As you do, speak a few words from your heart, thanking the spirit of the apple and extolling its virtues in your potion. I say something along the lines of: “Thank you, spirit of Apple, for bringing your loving and magical presence into my potion. May you nourish my soul and body.”

5. Add each other ingredients, likewise thanking the spirit of the plant and describing its virtues.

6. Stir the potion. The potion should warm for a good ten or fifteen minutes. As it warms, stir it periodically slowly and deliberately.

7. All of the ingredients besides the apple cider are based in the element of fire. So, as you are stirring, imagine seeing warm, lapping flames in the pot, feel the warmth of the sun around it. I see in the surface these warm embers of energy stirring into the cider, making the perfect potion to refresh and recharge. You may chant something rhythmic and let that rhythmic chanting help charge the potion with the powers of elemental fire, or you may wish to ad-lib your specific intent, speaking the power into the potion as you stir, stir, stir the cauldron.

8. When the cider is sufficiently warm, tap the stirring spoon three times on the edge of the pot and say, “So mote it be.”

9. Pour through a strainer and serve warm.

10. Thank the spirits that be, and blow out the candles.

But the magick is not over yet. It's not just in brewing the potion that we're making magick – it's in drinking it, too. Sit down in a comfortable spot – in front of your altar, perhaps – and light some candles. (Do not burn incense, though, as the scent will possibly distract from the flavor of the potion.) Get into a receptive frame of mind. Be ready to imbibe the magick you poured into the potion. First, smell the potion. Open your nostrils wide and take a deep breath of the aroma. Feel the warmth of the steam in your nose. Let the scent fill you, through your nose, down to your lungs, and from there, permeating to every cell in your body.

Take a sip. Let the taste linger on your tongue. Enjoy every nuance. Feel the warmth, the textures, the flavor landscape. Swallow it, and feel the warm liquid roll down your throat, your esophagus, and into your belly. Let that warmth fill your being, starting in your belly, and radiating outward into every cell in your body. Feel the warmth and the power of the potion infusing into your very energy pattern, giving it that energizing fire that you stirred into the potion.

Take each sip with this level of mindfulness and sensory awareness, making sure to finish the potion before it gets cold. When you are finished, say, “So mote it be,” give thanks to the spirits that be, and blow out the candles.