Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making Herbal Ointments And Salves

כ"ט אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 30

To make an herbal ointment or salve, you will need:

  • Selected herbs. Use 1-2 ounces dried or 2-4 ounces fresh herbs.
  • Base fatty substance such as purified liquid anhydrous lanolin, almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, safflower oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ, vitamin E, or pork lard. Use approximately 1 pint oil base or 8 ounces solid base. Use oils singly or in combination with one another.
  • Thickener such as lanolin, shea butter, cocoa butter, glycerin, honey, liguis lecithin, powdered gum or resin (agar-agar or Irish moss), acid fruit pectin (from green apples, for example) as desired.
  • Hardener such as beeswax (use approximately 2-4 tablespoons or 1-2 ounces) alone or beeswax in combination with paraffin.


  1. Heat herbs and base together until the normal color of the plant is lost (the healing essence having been absorbed by the base at this point).
  2. Strain the plant material out of the base with a filter cloth or strainer, transferring the heated/melted ointment into a storage container in the process.
  3. Add (melted, if necessary) thickener. Mix well.
  4. Add (melted, if necessary) hardener. Mix well.
  5. Allow to set.
  6. Store herbal ointment in tightly closed labeled container.

Making Herbal Tinctures

כ"ט אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 30

To make an herbal tincture:

  1. Grind selected herbs with mortar and pestle.
  2. Cover completely ground plant material with high quality vodka, grain alcohol or whiskey.
  3. Let mixture stand loosely covered for 3 weeks.
  4. Add glycerin (optional preservative) in the ratio: 2 tablespoons for every pint of mixture.
  5. Dilute with distilled or spring water in the ratio: 90% water, 10% herb-alcohol-glycerin mixture.
  6. Strain with filter paper or filter cloth (cheesecloth) into seal-able amber or cobalt blue bottle.

For a stronger tincture, ground herbs may be placed in a cone-shaped piece of parchment paper. Pass the alcohol repeatedly through the herbs in the parchment, catching the slow drippings in a jar. The greater the number of passes, the stronger the tincture.

To dilute or make a water tincture, evaporate the alcohol and add 20-40 drops of the remaining tincture to 1 cup of distilled or spring water.

Making Herb Infused Oils

כ"ט אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 30

Helpful Tips

  1. Use dried herbs and botanicals. The water in fresh plants may allow bacteria to grow and spoil the oil.
  2. The longer the shelf life of the carrier oil, the longer the shelf life of the herb infused oil.
  3. Refrigerate finished oil infusion to retard oxidation, slow rancidity and prolong shelf life.
  4. Infused oils may be re-infused to make double and triple strength brews.

Hot Infusion Method

Hot Method #1. Fill a jar with selected dried herbs. Cover herbs with carrier oil. Place the jar in a saucepan of water up to the neck of the jar. Simmer for up to 3 hours on low-medium temperature (no higher than 120-130 degrees F, frequently monitor the water level in the saucepan).

Hot Method #2. Alternatively, place herbs in a crock pot, covering herbs with carrier oil. Stir gently. Simmer for up to 12 hours on the lowest setting (no higher than 120-130 degrees F), monitoring and gently stirring frequently so that the herbs do not scorch on the bottom of the pot. If the temperature control of the crock pot is not reliable, let simmer for an hour, then let cool, then simmer again, and repeat until desired infusion strength is complete.

When simmering is complete, cool a bit but not completely before straining. Strain cooled brew through a filter paper or filter cloth (cheesecloth) into a seal-able amber or cobalt blue glass bottle. Use a rubber band to secure the filter over the opening of the jar.

Note - Hot methods lose some of the natural perfume fragrance and if overheated during the infusion process, some of the volatile medicinal properties of the herbs are lost.

Cold Infusion Method

Place dried herbs in a jar. Cover herbs to approximately 1-2 inches above the plant material with a lightly warmed carrier oil. Cover jar tightly with lid and place in a sunny spot for 24-48 hours (up to a week). After the infusion time is complete, strain sun brew through a filter paper or filter cloth (cheesecloth) into a seal-able amber or cobalt blue glass bottle. Use a rubber band to secure the filter over the opening of the jar.

Note - When using the cold method, make sure the herbs are covered completely with carrier oil and that there is as little air space as possible in the top of the jar to prevent the plant material from molding.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Walking With Benevolence

כ"ב אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 23
Gevurah sheb'Yesod

My newest creation for WITCHCRAFTS by Liorah Lleucu - Sacred Altar Oil.

Purify, consecrate, bless, call companion spirits to your ritual altar, and open and close candle rituals with Sacred Altar Oil, handcrafted during the sacred seventh day during the planetary hour of Mars. In magic kabbalistic tradition, Mars represents the action of bringing benevolence forth into the physical world through the strength of understanding. Through the magical Hebrew letter gimel corresponding to Mars comes the blessing of 'walking with benevolence.'

Sacred Altar Oil is a potent blend of frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and bergamot in a certified organic safflower base oil, charged with a purple amethyst gemstone. Look closely (second photo) and see the thick concentration of myrrh (protection, spirituality, healing) which walks with the amethyst (happiness, peace, prophetic wisdom) in the bottom of the bottle.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Midsummer Balefire Liquid Light

י"ח אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 19

This exquisite ritual oil for Midsummer Litha Sabbat celebrations is a blend of Damask Rose and Sandalwood essential oils in a certified organic Safflower base oil. Handcrafted during the planetary hour of Saturn, Midsummer Balefire Liquid Light is charged with the energies of a dark blue Lapis Lazuli gemstone, Red Rose petals and Chamomile flowers (both flowers are certified organic botanicals). You can easily see the Lapis Lazuli gemstone in the bottle in the third photo (at WITCHCRAFTS).

This unique blend (embraced by the arms of the Fae and by the awesome spirit of this tree-bush) brilliantly comes together to form liquid light, revealed like a splendid rainbow weave of crystal colors in the bottle. Truly beautiful!

The two oils (Damask Rose and Sandalwood) and the two flowers (Red Rose and Chamomile) each magically correspond to elemental water, while the Sun is the planetary correspondence of the Chamomile flowers. In Midsummer Balefire Liquid Light Ritual Oil, fire (understanding) in the form of liquid light (conscious awareness) is born through water (wisdom) with the power of the Sun waxing toward the summer solstice.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

About Ten

ט' אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 10

My newest treasure handcrafted for WITCHCRAFTS by Liorah Lleucu - Woodland Wytch Bath Salts.

An extraordinary, sensually relaxing delight for body and soul. Handcrafted during the planetary hour of the Sun, Woodland Wytch Bath Salts are made with premium quality Sea Salt harvested from the Mediterranean Sea on Spain's Costa Blanca, therapeutic grade Epsom Salt and over 20 drops! of pure essential oils, including sandalwood, patchouli, clary sage and amber.

Soothing, deep earth, woodsy aroma. Very grounding, soft and gentle, naturally exotic. Transform your bath into a magical experience.

Good for about 10 baths. Salts are blended in a half-half ratio.

Sage Witch Wand

ט' אייר תשס"ט
Annwn 10

I've acquired a new wand. In addition to my wand of the epiphany (made from wood of the lilac bush right outside my childhood bedroom window), I now possess this sage witch wand made from the wood of an Elder tree in the UK.

The Elder tree is known as the witch's tree. A home for the Elder Mother, wise and powerful matriarch of hedgerows, woods and semi-wild places, the Elder tree corresponds to the Ogham letter Ruis and to the mystery of the Unhewn Dolmen (the secret doorway to the mysteries). Elder is a highly charged and magical threshold tree, guarding and guiding through portals to the hidden realms.

This stunning knobby knotted wand is perfect for my initiation into mystical maturity. Its patterns and colors are simply wonderful, whispering of spectacular depths and inner glory. It called my name as soon as I saw it, and I answered its call. This is real magic.