A Witch’s Dozen – 365 day 192

Thank you to everyone who braved the autumnal weather and joined me this evening for the Witch’s Dozen herb walk through the woods of Park Frankendael and the gathering afterwards in Merkelbach. Ten weatherproof women and two mini foragers, joined me for a seasonal walk through the woods as day turned to dusk then night. Merkelbach was a lovely place to end the full moon day.

Here’s my photo of the day, a little shaky and wet after the Witch’s dozen walk. I hope it gives the idea anyway.

image

Flying ointment recipes were mentioned. I found many different recipes whilst researching for the walk but the one written here, seemed the best without being full of plants which we all know are highly toxic. Traditional recipes seem to have included herbs such as belladonna, datura, mandrake, opium poppy, water hemlock, monkshood, foxglove, Balm of Giliad (balsam of poplar trees), calamus root, cannabis, clary sage, dittany of Crete, mugwort, tansy, wormwood, and yarrow.

If you’d like to seriously look into the magical tradition of flying then perhaps take a look at this blog entry by The Witch of Forest Grove. It is nicely detailed.

I’m not one for the seriously toxic ingredients so kept hunting until I found the following recipe. It was posted on the wisewomanforum by a woman called Lady Belladonna in 2004 and she seemed to have had fun with it. All the ingredients grow locally although vervain probably resides indoors at this time of year in Amsterdam. I can’t recall where she said that she got the recipe from or if she concocted it herself, so I’m calling it…

Lady Belladonna’s Flying Ointment

1/4 cup grated beeswax
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. of each of the following herbs, dried:
cinquefoil
vervain
mugwort
thistle
1 tsp ash (recipe called for chimney soot – LB used her own mix of ash from a marijuana joint mixed with a dried leaf of Diviner’s Sage – “more fun getting this together than cleaning out a chimney!”)
1/2 tsp of benzoin powder
1/2 tsp of clove oil

Combine the beeswax and olive oil in a double boiler and melt over low heat. Finely powder the herbs in your mortar and pestle. When beeswax and oil is melted, add in the herbs, benzoin and clove oil. Stir clockwise, empowering with your intent or saying whatever charm or spell you wish. LB also added a couple drops of sandalwood oil for the fragrance. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, strain through cheesecloth into a heatproof jar, and let cool.
Apply and Fly!

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