Apart from the use of potent psychedelics psilocybe cubensis, banisteriopsis caapi, psychotria viridis, amanita muscaria and ipomoea tricolor for visionary purposes, I have had less experience with the gentler spiritual energies of other plants traditionally used in witchcraft and shamanic work. For this experiment an herbal infusion was made using the plant materials listed below, suspended in alcohol for the length of a waxing moon.
A blend of plants were prepared in a mortar and pestle. The plants and their main magical properties are listed below:
- Mugwort – (artemesia vulgaris – Luna) Dream herb, prophecy, used in flying ointments, divination, sacred to Artemis.
- Damiana – (turnera diffusa – Pluton) Clairvoyance, aphrodisiac. Sacred to Pan.
- Galangal – (alipinia galanga – Mars) Aphrodisiac, protection.
- Ginger – (zingiber officianle – Mars) Celerity, potency, passion, love
- Clove (syzygium aromaticum – Jupiter) Protection, banishing, purification, mental clarity.
- Peppermint (mentha piperita – Venus) Dream herb, protection, purification, sleep
- Nutmeg (myristica fragrans – Jupiter) Luck, fidelity.
- Dittany of Crete (origanum dictamnus – Venus) Spirit contact, spiritual vision, manifestation and astral projection.
On March 17th, 2018 – New Moon in Pisces – After performing the LBRP, the herbs were given an impromptu exorcism with blessings, holy water and incense of frankincense and myrrh. Each plant spirit was called by name in prayers and supplications for spiritual vision and safety. The New Moon was drawn down according to the triangular formula listed in Kraig.
The same day, the herbs were placed in a suspension of ethyl alcohol and agitated daily until the Full Moon. On March 31st at Full Moon in Libra, the herbs were strained from suspension and then buried. The resulting infusion was bottled and consecrated.
On April 7th, 2018 (Waning Moon in Capricorn), 2 ounces potion were consumed diluted with apple cider over ice. The potion was incredibly spicy and potent even despite its dilution. Almost immediately after finishing the cup, there was a sense of inebriation and euphoria. There was also a perceived increase in pulse and blood pressure, as well as nonsequential and disjointed thought patterns. The effects lasted approximately two hours at which point more potion was consumed throughout the length of the experience.
My experience in this vision potion was certainly unique. As the effects came on I was quickly buzzed, even drunk, which is a difficult thing for me to achieve. My body was very relaxed and I became giddy and excited. I felt a fire coursing through my body which gave me an excitement to create (possible influence of the many plants used which had fiery aspects?) Luckily we had prepared an art station outside for just this purpose. Closed eye visuals were present which may have been activated by several hits of cannabis, as sometimes happens with me on certain alkaloids. These shapes were shadowy splatters of faintest color which flickered purple and gold behind my eyelids. In painting, there was an unusual freedom of expression and a lack of restraint to forms. Unusual for me, since I am usually highly self-critical and regimented in artistic work. Eventually I even put the brush aside and used my bare hands to work the canvas. The more relaxed I became, the more this potion affected me and the more primitive my painting became. It was an interesting combination of relaxation mixed with tension, such as when you mix stimulants and depressants. This in fact was the case since I had combined damiana with alcohol in this experiment. Overall I found this experience very useful for creating new things, and will keep it shelved to wait for an appropriate ritual for its ceremonial use.
Alchemy Works. (2004). Alchemy Works herbs for magic. Retrieved from http://www.alchemy-works.com/bulk_herbs_index.html
Aneira, C. (n.d.) Herbal Riot. Retrieved from http://herbalriot.tumblr.com/
Coon, N. (1979). Using plants for healing: An American herbal. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.
Cunningham, S. (2002). The complete book of incense, oils & brews. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Kraig, D. M. (2011). Modern magick: Twelve lessons in the high magickal arts. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
The witches almanac. (2017). Providence, RI: Witches Almanac.