Friday, November 20, 2009

Potions and Philtres

As much as I love the romantic idea of them, I'm just not a witch who makes a lot of potions or brews. I'm not a particularly adventurous eater and so it's only natural that I'd be hesitant to drink something full of consumable herbs and oils, even if I made it myself and knew full well every last ingredient in it and that it was perfectly safe. As a result, I tend to not make them at all, even ones that would never be consumed by anyone. I am, however, rather enamored of the idea of philtres, which are just a little bit different than your run-of-the-mill potion.

A philtre is basically an unbrewed potion and who can complain about that? After all, it's a bit less work in the spell-making department, eh? They can be used as talismans or in protective charms although a philtre's original purpose was always as a very potent, infallible love potion (the name comes from the Greek word philos meaning beloved or loving) and meant to be drunk only by the object of your affection. It has through the ages transformed into something much broader in terms of use.

There are countless recipes out there for philtres for all occasions and needs, and of course you can always whip up your own tailor-made recipe too, but the one below (courtesy of Laurie Cabot) intrigues me to no end. She says she has used this protective philtre for years and no harm has ever come to her family while it has been in use, and well, let's be honest, how can anything that contains wolf's hair not be fascinating?

Protection Philtre

6 parts sandalwood powder
1 part wolf's hair
2 parts cinquefoil leaves
4 parts powdered myrrh
5 drops patchouli oil
3 drops frankincense oil

Mix the dry ingredients together and bind them with the oils. Place in a small black muslin bag. Hang it on or above the front door (well out of the reach of children and pets!).

Note: In a pinch clover can be substituted for the cinquefoil leaves as both are protective herbs, though cinquefoil is a bit more powerful and has additional useful properties. As to the wolf's hair, there aren't a lot of places where you'll find this, but it can be purchased through Hex which is an edgy witch's shop in Salem. You can visit them at and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the hair goes to a wolf refuge, so you'll also be saving lives in addition to protecting your loved ones and home. Or, if you're the sort of person who likes to make things considerably more difficult for yourself and potentially appear utterly mad in the eyes of strangers, you could always ask a zookeeper for a small clump of wolf's hair. Keep in mind, however, that the hair used in this philtre must be from a live animal that is shedding naturally (no cutting allowed!) so this venture would require some delicate timing, provided you aren't escorted from the premises immediately to begin with. Personally, I'd go with the Salem shop myself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love... readding.., ....................and ..thanks.. for.. your.. artical.