Friday, July 9, 2010

Making Bayou Potpourri

This outstanding Incense maker has given directions on making your own Potpourri. Follow the web address and find the very best of natural incense.  Bayou Witch Incense - Where Magick Makes Scents 
Tips on Blending Your Own Potpourri
There are many ways of creating personalized potpourri blends. Potpourri is essentially a combination of dry botanical materials, fixative to hold the scent and scented oils. While fixatives are less than inspiring, adding your own botanical materials and/or scented oil create
...s a distinctively personal touch.

Potpourri Fundamentals
This is the major component of all potpourri blends. Botanicals include any plant material or natural material you can think of. Some examples would be; flower petals, flower heads, pods, cones, seeds, moss, bark, berries, leaves or even shells. Choosing and mixing botanicals is probably the best part of making potpourri. With these materials you invent the color scheme, texture and feel of the blend. Mixes can be brightly colored and bold to soft, muted blends of monochromatic colors. Textures play a big role in developing the feel of the blend. Large, chunky botanicals with lots of texture look wonderful together for a dramatic and modern presentation. Lots of tiny botanicals give a delicate, more Victorian flavor to the blend.

Generally, a potpourri blend has at least three different types of botanicals, if not more. However, it makes a dramatic and stunning display to put out a container full of one type of botanical.

For example, at Christmas you could fill your favorite holiday bowl with mini pinecones and add a light touch of Christmas Pine oil for a festive touch. A silver or crystal bowl filled with red rose petals and a light touch of rose oil creates a romantic touch for Valentine's Day. Your only limitation is your imagination and the ingredients you have on hand when making potpourri.

Build on pre-mixed blends to create your own, unique blends. A quick and easy way to create a "signature blend" for your business is to begin with a pre-mixed one, then add in a few new botanicals or change the scent slightly.

Mixing in your own dried materials gives you a chance to create unique blends.

For some, collecting their own materials is the best part. Gathering leaves, flowers, pods, mosses, cones and berries can be fun and easy depending on your location. Look around as you go for a walk and see what you notice while thinking about potpourri potentials. If you have a flower shop, you may think about drying your leftovers and recycling them into potpourri. All you need to dry is the flower head, petals or leaves. You may wind up with more botanical materials than you can use!

If you are going to add some of your own dried botanicals into potpourri, there are a few precautions you need to follow.

-- Make sure the botanicals are completely dry. The best drying methods are using a food dehydrator or an oven. The principle here is that the faster something dries the more of its original color and shape it will retain. If drying in an oven, keep the temperature at 100° Fahrenheit and the oven door cracked open. Keep a very close eye while the oven is on. If the botanicals get too hot, they may ignite. While a microwave will work, it is very easy to scorch the botanicals or even blow them up.

-- Another factor you need to consider with your own dried material is bug infestation. Drying in an oven or dehydrator will usually take care of most bugs. Just keep an eye out, and recycle to the Mother any items that seem to be infested...or have mold...

Fixative is a generic term to describe the material that absorbs and holds the scent of fragrance oil, adding a stronger or new scent to your potpourri. The fixative is also what allows the fragrance of your potpourri to last and last. There are many types of fixatives available. Some traditional ones are orrisroot, wood shavings, bark, vermiculite and Fiberfix (google for it, it's worth it). Anything porous enough to absorb the oil and hold it will work. Fiberfix it seems to work best. It is inexpensive, compared to the others, 100% natural and non-toxic. Since it is not water soluble, the oils penetrate and stay. Moisture from the air will not dissipate the scent. Using Fiberfix is easy. Place a 1/2-cup of Fiberfix in an air tight container, preferably glass or metal. Drizzle the desired amount of oil over the fixative and stir it well. Usually less than 1/4 teaspoon of oil is more than enough to scent even 5 pounds of dry botanicals. Cover the container and allow 2 to 4 hours for the oil to absorb into the fixative. Once the oil has soaked in, the fixative is ready to blend into the potpourri.

Scented Oils
Even if you have a multitude of wonderfully scented botanicals, a touch of oil can tie your potpourri blend all together. It can enhance scents already naturally occurring and make them stronger or it can blend with the natural fragrances to create a perfume unique to the blend.

There are two types of scented oils, Essential Oils are natural oils extracted from the plant or Fragrance Oils which are synthetic versions of natural oils. Generally, essential oils are more expensive because it takes more time and requires more raw materials to create the pure oil. Many people will only use pure, essential oils for aromatherapy purposes or skin care. Others are not bothered by the synthetic versions for the same purposes. For potpourri, either type of oil will work equally well. You need only choose one according to your preference of "flavor".

Blending It All Together
You may be amazed how easy it is to make your own potpourri. To blend all your ingredients together and make up a batch of potpourri, just follow these three easy steps.

-- Choose all your botanicals first and mix them together until you create the perfect color and texture combination. If you choose some heavily scented botanicals, that will steer the direction of your blend and could influence the scent of the oil you choose.

-- Place some Fiberfix in a glass, ceramic or metal bowl and add the desired amount of scented oil. Stir the oil in well, cover the bowl (with a plate) and allow the oil to soak into the fixative for 2 to 4 hours.

-- Once the scented fixative is ready, stir it into the botanical blend. Mix everything well. Pour the entire batch of potpourri into a paper bag for "curing". This curing process allows all the smells to blend into each other. Seal the paper bag with tape, staples or paper clips and set it in a cool, dry location out of the direct sun. Shake the bag once daily to keep everything blending evenly. After 5 to 7 days, the botanicals and scented fixative will have blended and mellowed into the final scent of the potpourri and it is ready to put out or bag and sell.

You may also decide to start with a pre-mixed potpourri blend instead of just dry botanicals. Starting with a pre-mixed blend gives you a huge time advantage for blending and you will not have to cure it quite as long. Just a few days of curing will do. To create your own unique blend from a pre-mixed base, simply follow the same steps listed above. How many extra botanicals or how much extra scent you use is completely up to you.

If you plan to store your potpourri for a long period of time you will need to put it in an airtight container. Make sure there is not moisture in the container. Place a packet of silica gel in every pound of potpourri you are storing. Silica packets absorb the moisture, preventing mold and mildew during storage should there be any moisture still in the container or in the potpourri. You can make a pack by sealing about a tablespoon of silica gel (powder) in a small envelope. Silica Gel is available at most craft stores.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Test of Empath Capabilities

Cherie De Sues Scored as Healer
You are a Healer Empath. You take in the energy of others and transmute it. You trigger transformation in others and free trapped energy. You are capable of great healing abilities. You walk between the worlds and bring waves of healing energy with your presence. (from "The Book of Storms" by Jad Alexander at








Fallen Angel


Gypsy Witch Herb Collecting

Anyone can collect herbs or buy them shriveled up from a store and they will work in your potions. But truly, to get the very best results you must pick herbs at the right time from the right place in the correct manner to capture the essential spirit of the plant. Gypsies used fresh herbs for their concoctions, whether they were combining for elixirs, medicated salves or creating a love potion.

Plants absorb and are susceptible to good, bad and neutral energies...just like humans, insects, puppies and sea animals. Plants are organic and have cycles of strengths--the gypsies knew this and had a whole regimen for choosing herbs at certain times of the year under the best conditions. Here are some ideas about choosing the right plant for your magick.

1.  Don't use plants that may have been contaminated by street traffic, industry poisons, or near a place where the herbs may have been unnaturally sprayed.

2.  Too much wind, sun, rain or dust can pollute and destroy the virgorous health of a plant, making it sad with despair.

3.  Plants should be at their peak and free of moisture. Roots are best collected as the top of the plant begins to fade or die.

4.  Use a natural cotton string to bind the herbs and hang them upside down to dry in a light breeze with no sunshine.

When you've grown your own plant or chosen one from the right conditions, you can preserve the natural virtues of an herb. When the plants are dry, keep them hanging for later or use closed glass jars to bind the energies within. Gypsies believe the spirit of the plant is connected to Gaea/Gaia and she protects her bounties. The gypsies respect that connection and in fact, use that connection to heal, sway or project their own force into the world.

So many medicines were discovered by Wiccan's and gypsies over the centuries. Aspirin from the willow bark, the calming effects of Chamomile and even plant poisons when used properly can heal. There are many ways to use freshly dried herbs in Infusions, decoctions, syrups, oils and ointments. Look for the next article on how to prepare your potions, then how to use the potions coming soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pendulum Divination

Pendulum Divination has been called many things; radiesthesia, dowsing, rhabdomancy, and water witching. The pendulum allows you to focus your sensitivity to the subtle energies emitted by any source living or inert. Using a pendulum, wooden rod or staff can be traced back to the ancient orient 5,000 years ago. The practice became popular in the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century for finding water to dig wells. For many years now, most Pagans, Gypsies and Wiccans use this divination tool. 

A Wiccan or Pagan pendulum is used for answering questions and finding people or objects. The pendulum should be made of a natural mineral, then attached to a chain of gold, silver, brass or copper and approximately nine inches long. Don't use animal products like rawhide ties, the energy or aura won't flow correctly. Don't use Aluminum, this element is processed with electricity and not reliable when using a pendulum.

To become a dowser and use your sensitivity to divine or find lost people and objects, you must clear your mind of everything except the question, object or person you seek. A quartz crystal that you've chosen, can make a powerfully accurate pendulum and there are those with hollow interiors that may be filled with a witness. A witness is a scrap of clothing or something to bond the pendulum with what you search. and unscrew to give access to an inside cavity. Using the pendulum often will also bind you to the energy of the tool and you'll get more accurate with time.

If you seek an answer to a question, use a 6" X 6" piece of paper and make one line horizontal and another vertical like a plus sign.  Write YES and NO as shown below.


                                               YES       ______!_______    YES

Sit in a comfortable chair at a table and start with a simple question where the answer will be yes or no. Hold the pendulum between your hands to lock in your essence with that of the mineral. Now, concentrate on the question as you rest your elbow on the table and dangle the pendulum an inch off the center of your paper. Try to keep your hand still as the weighted end of the pendulum begins to move. Don't consciously try to make the pendulum swing, it should swing of it's own accord like the planchette of a Ouija board. If you are having any trouble discerning an answer, it may be that the question asked is too ambiguous and needs to be rephrased or you've asked a question that can't be answered with a simple yes or no. Maps, pictures and lists have been used instead of the paper template to find an object or person. Feel free to use your imagination.

Remember to cleanse your pendulum after every use to clear away previous influences. This can be accomplished by submersion in salt water for 2 hours, or by permeating it with the smoke of a cleansing botanical such as sage, hyssop, or sweetgrass.

Divining can be fun and some of the uses are determining the sex of a baby before it's born, locating lost objects, finding ghosts/spirits in your home and water witching for underground water to dig wells.