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Herbal Magic - Powders

Scattering herbs and powders is a common way of invoking the influence of the herbs to achieve your magical intent. They are dusted around places of business to improve sales, scattered in bedrooms to light the spark of love and sprinkled over people to bless or protect them. Powders are particularly common in traditional American folk magic and hoodoo where there are hundreds of them in common use. They are a relatively easy product, scattering herbs are single herbs or blends that are spread around a home, store, property or other sort of place to produce a magical intent. Powders are finely ground dried herbs, mixtures of herbs or oils added to a base of talcum powder. A coffee grinder is useful in grinding the herbs finely to make powders although you may use a mortar and pestle. You want the herbs truly powdered, a very fine mixture without large bits scattered through it.

Any recipe for oil may be made into a powder by adding the oil blend to a small quantity of unscented talcum powder. Most sachet blends may be made into powders by finely grinding them. I would avoid grinding those that have resins in them however since they gum up your coffee grinder. It is easier to purchase finely ground resins for use in powders than to grind them yourself. Consider also that some things will tend to stain items they are dusted on such as tumeric, saffron, dragon's blood resin, and avoid them or use them only outside or on objects which won't be damaged. Also, some resins leave a sticky residue when sprinkled such as pine. With most powders a light touch is preferred when sprinkling. If you can see a green path through your livingroom, you may have been a bit heavy handed.

Powders may be dusted onto your altar to enhance your magical workings, sprinkled onto ritual objects to strengthen the connection to your magical intent or blown into the air to spread their magical influence through a room or place. You may add a protection powder to the casting of the circle ritual, sprinkling it around the sacred space. Using powders is something you will need to use your imagination for. If you plan to dust the powder on yourself it would be a good idea to test a bit of it on a small patch of skin to see if you may be allergic to any of it's ingredients first. That love powder won't work as well if you have hives!

Below there is a table that gives some traditional uses of scattering herbs. They all must be dedicated to the magical intent through ritual to bring out their power. You should invoke their power via ritual and visualization with a proper consecration to your magical purpose, utilizing the appropriate day and time correspondences. This is important if you want them to work properly.

Herbs Traditionally Scattered for Various Magical Purposes

Magical Intent Herbs
Exorcism Avens, Bay, Black Pepper with Salt, Chili Pepper, Cumin, Garlic, Horehound, Horseradish, Hydrangea Bark, Lilac, Nettle, Pine Needles, Sandalwood, Tamarisk, Yarrow
Love Basil, Orris, Rose Petals, Vetivert, Witch Grass
Lust Deerstongue, Galangal, Periwinkle
Peaceful Home Dragon's Blood, Dulse, Eryngo, Gardenia Blossoms, Lavender, Loosestrife, Meadowsweet, Olive Leaves, Passion Flower, Purslane, Rose Petals
Prosperity Alfalfa Ashes, Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange Peel, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Sarsaparilla
Protection Ague Root, Angelica, Ash Leaves, Barley, Basil, Betony, Buckwheat Flour, Burdock, Chamomile, Chili Pepper, Dragon's Blood, Grain, Ivy, Mustard Seed, Tumeric
Purification Bay, Betony, Basil, Chili Pepper, Cumin, Dragon's Blood, Horseradish, Loosestrife, Mint, Nettle, Sandalwood, Wintergreen

Herbal Usage Infromation

1). Attunement/Enchantment---psychically infusing the herbal mixture with a mental picture of your need.

2). Bath (Spiritual/Herbal)---used to cleanse body, mind and spirit by empowering the properties of the herbs and placing in the bath water through means of a sachet or infusion.

3). Blessing---connecting the power of the herbs to the power of deity.

4). Chaplet---flowers and leaves woven to create a crown for handfastings and High Holy Days.

5). Conjuration---cleansing and consecration that involves removing all negativity from the herb and then attuning that herb to the service of the divine.

6). Decoction---much like an infusion except that it is made from roots and barks. Boil for up to 20 minutes to activate the chemical, rather than steep.

7). Incense---a combination of plant materials (and sometimes essential oils) and a base material that is mixed, then burned or smoldered on a charcoal briquette designed specifically for incense.

8). Infusion---the process of soaking herbs in hot water. Use 1 teaspoon dried herb to every cup of water. Heat water until just boiling. Pour over herb, and cover. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes, strain and cool before using. Infusions, considered to be the original Witch's potion, are drunk as teas, added to baths, rubbed into furniture and floors or used to anoint the body. WARNING: short shelf life.

9). Ointment---herbs mixed with a lard or beeswax base. More modern practices use 1 teaspoon of an herbal tincture with 1 ounce of commercial skin lotion; however, some Witches and Wiccan will stick with the more traditional way of using the beeswax and/or lard.

10). Powders---herbs ground to a fine powder and added to colored talc or fine colored sand. Used to place under carpets, around doorsteps, in gris-gris bags, stuffed in poppets, loaded in candles, etc.

11). Sachet---attuned herbs placed in a small bag or piece of cloth that is tied or sewn shut. Sachets can be worn or placed under pillows or other areas of the house for all manner of
magical workings. Sometimes called mojo bags, gris-gris bags, or charm bags.

12). Tincture---extract made with alcohol rather than a water base. More concentrated in form and a longer shelf life. Standard formula for a tincture is 5 ounces of Vodka, Brandy, or apple cider vinegar, and 1 ounce of the herb left to sit for 6 weeks in a sealable container. Shake the mixture every few days, as with all herbals, keep out of direct sunlight. WARNING: For EXTERNAL use ONLY.