As early as 1662, and perhaps long before that, herbs were deliberately simmered to produce pleasant fragrances in the home. This custom has continued to the present day in the form of the use of simmering potpourri.
Scent has an undeniable effect on humans. It can cheer us, calm us, promote hunger and thoughts of bygone days. Unexpectedly smelling a perfume or cologne may make us recall memories of loved ones.
Magicians have always known that scents can produce magical changes as well. Incense has long been smoldered to release energy during magical rites. Fragrant oils are still rubbed onto the body as part and parcel of a thousand-and-one spells. Aromatic herbs are also strewn, carried, brewed, or used in innumerable other magical ways.
Simmering potpourri are currently available in a wide variety of formulas. Fancy porcelain pots are also being marketed to be used with these mixtures. Unfortunately, nearly all potpourri mixtures offered for sale today receive little or no scent from true herbs, roots, seeds, and flowers. Many are composed of wood chips heavily doused with synthetic oils. A few dried flowers or spices may be added to improve the potpourri’s visual appeal.
The ingredients of “strawberry” potpourri never grew in a field. Even such simple mixtures as lavender and rose usually have their origins far from the sun-drenched fields of France and Bulgaria. These potpourri have no magical effects, and often emit plasticky, vulgar scents.
It’s possible, however, to use simmering potpourri in your home to effect magical changes. How? Simply make them yourself. The ingredients are generally inexpensive and readily available. (Those that can’t be found at your local market can be ordered through the mail; see appendix.) The rituals used with these mixtures may seem simple, but the powers that waft through the house on the wings of scent are potent and cause both immediate and more long-lasting magical changes.
This section, then, is a guide to creating magical simmering potpourri. All that’s needed is one pot (preferably nonmetallic), a stove, and the herbs themselves. While these mixtures can be used in commercially made “simmerers,” these aren’t necessary We would, however, designate one pot for this purpose alone so that it’s always available for use.
These mixtures make fine gifts if packed in canning jars, labeled, and tied with a ribbon of the appropriate color).
The following recipes yield approximately enough for one use. These may be doubled or tripled and the magical potpourri kept in tight containers for later use.
To use these mixtures, fill a pot with at least two cups water. Add the mixture. Simmer over low heat for one-half hour or longer. If you’ll be simmering for longer than a half hour, add more water. If you wish, use a potholder to carry the simmering pan around your house to further spread its energies. (A simmering potpourri pot can also be used.) As the scent rises, the power that you’ve placed into the potpourri is automatically released.
Never simmer such mixtures simply for fun, or to deodorize your home. To do so wastes their energies. Reserve your simmering potpourri for magical purposes and create general mixtures for deodorizing purposes.
Here’s some of the magic of scent:
Purification Simmering Potpourri [coming soon]
Psychic Simmering Potpourri [coming soon]
Take a look at your hands. See them as wondrous vehicles of power. Feel the energy that flows through everything you do. Tap into that power! Carve a symbol, dip a candle, mix fragrant herbs, sculpt clay, and make your life all that you want it to be. When crafts are used to create objects intended for ritual or to symbolize the divine, the connection between the craftsperson and divinity grows more intense.
This second edition of Spell Crafts, the much-loved and oft-read guide to magical handwork, features new illustrations and a new preface by David Harrington. Learn how to create and use all of the following: