Expense and Availability
What if you can’t afford to buy some of the ingredients in a magical powder formula? Learn to substitute. It won’t hurt you, and it won’t mess up your powder. Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (Llewllyn, 1985) is a tried and true must-have volume for any magical person, In this book, Scott provides hundreds of substitutions.
What if you can’t get your hands on tonka beans and you need them RIGHT NOW? Get to know your supermarket and health food store well. Sometimes, when I want to work a spell but haven’t the faintest idea what ingredients to use, I’ll browse through the supermarket aisles and purchase what feels right. You’ll find yourself amazed at what you can come up with.
If you are really in a pinch, you can take standard boxed cone incense, grind it up, and use this powder along with your natural ingredients. I know, the purists are shuddering, but it works.
Many supermarkets contain floral areas, too. If you wish to make magical powders from fresh items, you’ll have to cut very small pieces and let them dry. Work with a hand grater for many fruits and vegetables. Lay the pieces on paper towels and allow to dry. Change the towels as necessary. Tie items such as coriander, parsley and other leafy plants together in small bunches and hang on a dowel rod attached to a kitchen wall with inexpensive cup holders. I did this for years. My father hangs his herbs from his rafters in the attic. Although some magical individuals use a microwave to dry their herbs, I can’t quite bring myself to do that, because I’m not sure if the waving process destroys the magical properties of the herbs. I have used the microwave to banish the effects of an incident I did not create. I put the situation on a piece of paper, sprinkled herbs in the centre, rolled the paper, and nuked it for 57 seconds (the number 57= 5+7=12=1+2=3). Poof! No more problems.
I’m sure you will find other substances that you may wish to combine with oils and powders or use separately. I can think of four, including salt, brown sugar, refined sugar, and honey, as well as the famous Florida Waters. In Pow-Wow magic, one pours salt in the path of an enemy, in their footprints, or better yet, on their underwear (No kidding). Honey, brown and refined sugar make excellent ingredients for sweetening a situation. You can also mould brown sugar and various herbs together for a healing poppet.