Phyllis Curott (Witchcrafting) writes:
While an herb, potion, oil, or crystal has inherent power, it does not contain the magic you are seeking. It contains the potential for the magic. In other words, it's not the magical or quantum energy of the herb called damiana that will make your love spell work. The herb itself has no power to affect the outcome of your love life until you interact with it. It is your intent, your desire, and most of all, your appreciation and respect for the assistance given you by the herb or other aid, your reverence for it as an embodiment of diety, and your actions that activate its power.
From this, we can understand that the potential magic within herbs or other magical aids is not like the potential for fire which exists in a coal. Rather, the potential for magic within the witch's aids is more like the potential for fire which exists in a flint. The witch must activate and draw out the magic through her own intent, desire and action. The magic is not drawn out by the merely burning incense, for example. The magical potential in magical aids is a heyuli potential - and this heyuli is drawn out and extends into reality in response to the witch's interaction with the magical aid.