Magical Missive: A Warming Potion

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles,

November gets chilly even for us in Texas so today I thought I would share with you a potion for warming and for cleansing that can also be used in cooking. (This entire month is dedicated to the magic of food and kitchen witchery in the Sacred Artists group so I thought giving you all an edible potion would be fun too)!

Some of you will recognize this as a twist on Fire Cider – an apple-cider based tonic that is made by many an herbalist during the cold months of the year and valued for its warming, cleansing, and immune-system building properties. Do take care though: Fire Cider is POTENT stuff and its taste is not what everyone would describe as good – although it is definitely pungent and effective.

Fire Cider is similar in nature to another very traditional magical potion: Four Thieves or simply Thieves Vinegar. Both are vinegar-based potions that have physical healing properties as well as magical properties of protection and warming. The connection between protection and warmth is quite ancient.

Fire has long been seen and utilized as an element that can confer protection on people, animals, and dwellings. Spicy ingredients like onions, ginger, and peppers are called for in protection rites world over and as you will see, we make use of them here as well. Using herb and spice filled vinegars to protect from both disease and evil-eye type conditions or, as my people say, bad ju-ju, dates back to at least the early Middle Ages and is no doubt even older than that. And, beyond all that this is an easy potion to make, relying on the magic that already lives in your kitchen.

Bri’s Fire Cider Recipe:

Ingredients
1 medium to large ginger root peeled
1 small yellow onion
1 small tumeric root
1 medium horseradish root
13 cloves of garlic
1 bunch fresh parsley or cilantro
3 springs of Rosemary
1 medium beet peeled
3 Chipotle peppers dried
1/2 a lemon

Instructions
Roughly chop all ingredients except for the dried peppers.
Fill a quart sized mason jar with the peppers and then all of the chopped ingredients.
Cover all ingredients with Apple Cider Vinegar.
Cover the jar with wax paper and the lid and allow to sit for at least 4 weeks.
After 4 weeks has passed strain the ingredients out of the liquid and add honey to the Fire Cide potion to taste.

How to use it:
Take a healthy sip of Fire Cider first thing in the morning either straight or diluted in warm water to keep all your innards running smoothly and to build up a healthy immune system.
If you start feeling sick, sip your Fire Cider throughout the day, little sips, all day long, until you start to feel better.
If working with Fire Cider straight up is too much for you, consider including it in condiments like ketchup or (my favorite) salad dressing.

To make a Fire Cider based salad dressing mix:
2 tablespoons of Fire cider
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients, add a bit of maple syrup or more honey if you like and use as a salad dressing.

My hope is that your Fire Cider potion making will keep you and yours warm, healthy, and safe throughout the season!

Love and Magic,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

When the Best Isn’t Good Enough + My Favorite Sacred Arts Practice

Learning and Community

D

So often I am asked what is the best ceremony or ritual to do for a specific situation, the best root, herb, or plant to use for X, the best person to go to for a card reading, the best astrologer, the best business coach, the best book on a specific subject…and the list goes on.

It makes sense to want the best. In fact, when I see my clients and students asking for what or who is best in their given field it makes me happy. I know that what is underneath the desire for the best is a yearning for what has the capacity to truly deepen knowledge, inspire and speak to the soul, satisfy and honor our precious bodies, and deepen our spiritual practices.

But then something happens. We stand in front of what everyone says is the best piece of art, or open the covers of the best book, or we talk to a person who is supposed to be the best in a given area.  And…we walk walk away feeling flat. Feeling nothing.

Why is this?  Why do we all have the experience that,  well, sometimes “the best” isn’t good enough, it doesn’t go far enough?

I think the reason why is this: What really counts – in life, in practice, in work, in everything we seek to do under the sun – is wrapped up in diverse relationships. The way we hold “the best” – as somehow detachable and separate, one-size fits all – can actually eclipse or weaken the growth of those relationships.

Take ritual or ceremonies for instance. In over eighty percent of the situations I encounter some combination of cleansing and blessing ceremony is the right approach. But as we all know, there are literally thousands of different ways to cleanse and bless ourselves, one another, and the situations we find ourselves in. To ask what the best method is in this example is to miss one of the most vital aspects of the sacred arts, for there is no one, silver-bullet, cleansing ritual that always works for every single person every single time.

Instead ask this: what is the best for my situation, with respect to where I am and who I am, right now?

To answer that question we have to be able to do one thing well: pay attention. We have to be vigilantly alive to the particulars of our life.  We have to pay attention to what actually makes sense to us and what does not, to what resonates naturally as opposed to what feels forced; and, most of all, we have to pay attention to what right relationship looks and feels like in this specific instance. That is the road that will take us to what is really and truly the best.

And while there are many ways of paying attention and fostering right relationship, my favorite is a little practice I call cultivating calmness. You can get it for free as part of the first lesson in the Miracle Tree Sessions. It is a practice I go back to again and again, on a daily basis, and one that has served me well. I know it will do the same for you. Download the lesson HERE and may you have all the best things.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

How to Make Homemade Florida Water

Alchemy and Magic

D

ear Miracles: Today a little kitchen magic DIY for your reading pleasures! Join me in my momma’s kitchen as we make Florida water and homemade rosewater.


Florida
comes from the Spanish word meaning flower “flore” so florida water basically means flower water. (The correct way to say flower water en Espanol is actually agua de flores, of which a lovely reader reminded me). The company Lanman and Murray has been making a commercial version of Florida Water since the 19th century. There are hundreds of recipes for florida water and it is used in all kinds of spiritual activities-from cleansing, blessing, and protecting, to offerings for the ancestors, to healing and removing negativity.

I make my own Florida Water and each batch is slightly different because I use whatever aromatic flowers and herbs are available at the time. Florida water is quite commonly made with alcohol-which adds to its cooling effect.

Below are two recipes that Momma Hen and I recently worked with to create our Spring/Summer batches of Florida Water:

Momma Hen’s Rose-a-licious Florida Water:

  • 3-4 bottles of a commercial Florida water of your choice
  • 3 cups roses (we prefer strongly scented antique roses and have over 200 varieties to choose from in our gardens)
  • 3 cups Jasmine flowers
  • 3 cups aromatic greens like mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, basil, Mexican mint marigold, thyme)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

You can use fresh flowers and plants for this recipe. Combine all ingredients together on the new moon and allow them to sit for a full lunation. Strain out plant material, add any essential oils you like,  then bottle, spritz, sprinkle, and go to town!

A recipe for Florida Water than involves cooking:

This is a recipe that I created and involved cooking the ingredients on low either at the stove or crockpot.

  • 5 cups of Vodka
  • 9 cinnamon sticks
  • 18 all-spice berries
  • one orange peel (preferably dried)
  • 3 cups rose petals (fresh or dried)
  • 3 cups Jasmine flowers (fresh to get the scent)
  • three bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried angelica root
  • 1 cup aromatic green herbs

Add dried ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes on low. Be careful inhaling the fumes–at this point it will be very Vodka-y. Then add fresh flowers and greens. Cook for 30-45 minutes on low/med-low or even longer. Stir occasionally and then sniff test. You want the botanicals to start outweighing the vodka in your sniff test.

Take off stove, cool, and add any essential oils you like! Bottle, spritz, and sprinkle away!

Rosewater 

And while we were at it we decided to make homemade rosewater! Usually, rosewater is clear and is actually rose hydrosol (the fragrant water created during the process of extracting essential oils from plants and flowers), but there are old recipes for making rosewater using roses (of course) and alcohol (we worked with vodka).

The result is a beautiful dusky rose liquid that smells HEAVENLY. Rosewater is used in blessing work and in love drawing rites.

Sacred Waters and Washes have been used throughout time and are especially loved in climates where its hot for much of the year-nothing cools you down like a quick spray-but if the spray smells good and it’s magical even better! It is my hope that with a few recipes you can now experiment making your own flower waters.

For those of you who love kitchen magic–have you ever made flower waters before, and if so, how do you work with them?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.