Infusion

The process by which one medium is encouraged to permeate another, usually herbs in water or oil. The most famous infusion of all is your basic cup of tea and if you can make a cup of tea with leaves rather than a tea bag, then you already know a good deal about making an infusion. Infusions allow you to insert true botanical powers into your magick potions, enchanted bath or floor wash.

The standard recipe for a water infusion is one teaspoon of dried herb or one-and-one-half teaspoons of fresh herb to every cup of boiling water. Maintain that same proportion even if using a combination of herbs, unless otherwise advised. Put the herbs into a nonreactive pot or container, pour the water over the botanical material and leave it to brew for a period of time, usually between five to fifteen minutes. Following the brewing period, the herbs are usually strained from the water.
The process of creating infused oils is slightly more complicated but still easily adaptable to your kitchen. The standard proportion suggests that for every cup of oil, you will need one ounce fresh herbs or one-half ounce of dried. Unless otherwise advised, do not exceed that proportion, even if using a combination of herbs, as a balance needs to be maintained.
1. Pour the oil over the herbs into a stainless steel bowl.
2. Heat over simmering water, either in a true double boiler or an improvised water bath, a saucepan one-quarter filled with water. The bowl with the herbs must not sit on the bottom of the pot but float in the water. The process needs constant supervision for safety. Keep the oil covered. Stir once in a while and simmer gently for thirty minutes. Make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot because if it smokes, bubbles or burns, an acrid fragrance can develop, spoiling your infusion.
3. Allow the oil to cool and then strain out the herbal material through four layers of cheesecloth or another fine nonmetal strainer. Strain twice if necessary: all herbal material must be removed to prevent the oil from turning rancid.
4. If an infusion-spell includes essential oils or flower essences for enchantment, they should be added at the end, when the oil has been strained and is cool.
* A crockpot can be used instead of the water bath. Maintain the same proportions and leave on low heat for two hours. Strain as above.
* If you can depend upon some consistently warm, sunny weather, you can go real low-tech but high power and create an infusion through solar power. Place the herbs in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and pour the oil over them. The herbs must be completely covered. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Leave the jar to sit in the warm sun all day and in a warm cupboard at night for two weeks. Strain as above.

Psychic Shield Infused Oil*

Rub this oil on your body or add it to your bath, to bestow psychic protection before embarking on any magickal work and also to replenish psychic energy or to repair a damaged aura.
1/4 ounce dried St. John’s Wort
1/4 ounce dried yarrow
{if using fresh herbs, increase proportion to 1/2 ounce of each herb}
1 cup sunflower oil
6 drops essential oil of rosemary
4 drops angelica flower essence {FES, Green Hope, Pegasus}
Use any of the three methods above {water bath, crockpot or solar} to create an infused oil. Strain the botanicals well. If St. John’s Wort blossoms {rather than just the dried leaves} have been used, your oil may display a pretty, red hue. Pour the infused oil into a bottle. Add up to six drops of essential oil of rosemary as well as the flower essence. Close the bottle and roll gently to blend.
* Not recommended for pregnant and nursing women or those who are actively trying to conceive.
If you are making large quantities of infused oils that you wish to store, it’s best to add a natural preservative. One-quarter teaspoon simple tincture of benzoin, available from many pharmacies, can be added per cup of infused oil. Benzoin is prepared from the gum of the styrax, an Indonesian tree, considered to have sacred properties and often burnt as cleansing incense. {Make sure that you have simple tincture of benzoin, not compound tincture, also known as Friar’s Balsam.}
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