Nature Magic Ointments

Amanita muscaria oil for the genius loci salve

I’ve been busy in the forest and the witch’s kitchen harvesting ingredients and cooking up magic salves.  I crafted a new recipe to see and commune with wild forest and plant spirits called Forest Spirit Ointment. Genius loci means “spirit of place” and refers to the essence of an area of land and the spirits who dwell within it. First I made an infusion of dried Siberian amanita muscaria mushroom caps in olive oil and let it sit for a few weeks. Then I added plants I wildcrafted from the forest – leaves of Oak, Ash, Hawthorn, & Rowan, Cedar tips, Moss, Fern spores, and Herb-Robert.

Wild plant and oil infusion for Genius Loci SalveWild plant and oil infusion for genius loci salve

The mushrooms, Oak, Ash, Hawthorn, and Fern all have old folkloric associations with the good folk – for seeing them and interacting with them.  Rowan is traditionally used to enhance psychic ability and also to protect from spirits as you talk to them or travel through their territory. This is essentially a “fairy ointment” – not for the sweet tiny tinkling fairies of English gardens – but the more real and scary ones who dwell in the wild wood where human feet may never travel. It’s hard to gain their trust, but well worth it as they have many secrets to share about the wilds and the art of magic.

I also made more of my recipe for Toadman’s Ointment which has a habit of selling out.  More wildcrafting and digging up roots ensued. The large dandelion root pictured above just too perfectly ressembled a woman that I couldn’t bring myself to cut it up, so I carved it and buried it again to turn it into an alraun. I hope it works! The other root went into the oil infusion for the salve along with more amanita muscaria skin and bits of a dried toad.

I let the oils sit and infuse with all the herbs for days to weeks and let them soak up at least one day of sunlight and a night of moonlight. These ones sat under the full moon. Then I place the glass jars in the oven on its lowest setting (not hot enough to cook the herbs) to better infuse the properties and natural oils of the plants into the carrier oil. Then I strain the heated oils and then add preserving essential oils and shaved pure beeswax and pour the mixture into jars to cool.

Toadman's Salve

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  1. Miaerowyn says:

    I always love the pictures you take of your kaleidoscope looking oils :)
    I just went and bought one of your toadman salves :) Excited to get it in the mail! Woot!

  2. Vivienne Grainger says:

    Enlighten my ignorance, please – what is an alraun? I haven’t run across that term before.

    Your products look luscious.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Vivienne! :)

      Alraun is a root carved into a poppet. Mandrake was/is the favourite, but other roots were used too. The poppet was either kept wrapped in a cloth or put away in a small box and kept hidden from everyone but the owner or it would lose its power. The owner would pull it out to ask it advice, prophecies of the future, or aid in spells. Sometimes they were passed down from family member to family member for generations. The doll in the Russian folk tale Vasilisa the Beautiful is more than likely an alraun.

  3. Jae says:

    This may sound odd but there are woods and glades I spend a lot of time in and recently, the developers are illegally clearing them and intentionally killing the creek and springs that are there. Even before that, I often felt very “watched” when I was down there or on top of a certain ridge. In the years I’ve lived here, I have found out that this ridge was a site of an Indian victory against settlers, used for camps during the Revolution of 1776, the Civil War, bootlegging, and a local group of conjure folks. If one was to open themselves totally up to the spirits of this place and the spring was very sacred to the natives long long ago AND all that has happened there and all the people that have died there, would there be some risk at what may show up or show themselves?

    Every time I wander off down there, something incredible happens: A family of eight or so crows flutter down and “watch” me, a big ol’ Granddaddy Coon appears and will take food from my hands, wild turkeys and deer get very close and watch me in a curiously friendly fashion…but the caves I can see all over the ridges and hills for some reason, scare me to pieces. Even in daylight. So, on one hand I would love to be abit more open and yet, I am very very new and unlearned in all this. And there are coyotes or sometimes I think wolves back there.

    Still, I just know there is lots to learn and discover. Since I am very much alone in this, should I not be inviting any more communion, since the glade was bull-dozed, I sense a lot of fury. I try to help the creek as much as I can.

    You do such wonderous lovely work. And thank you for sharing.
    Jae

    • Sarah says:

      If you wanted to speak to them and ask how you can help them (besides killing the developers because they’ll probably ask it) then due to you good history with that bit of land they would not harm you as long as you told them what you were doing and also asked them to reveal themselves to you instead of sneaking up on them. Offerings for propitiation are also a must – find out what they like. In general one doesn’t burn food offerings for nature spirits as they like their meats raw, but burning pleasant smelling resins and herbs is accepted – especially tobacco.

      I would stay away from the caves though, not only are they fragile ecosystems, but if they terrify you it’s for a reason – keep away.

      Also I would help by going through legal channels and documenting and reporting the illegal activity by the developers to a local government body. Documentation is important for them to take you seriously. Something similar happened here a few years ago. A gas company switched hands to an American corporation and they didn’t check with local laws and clearcut an area of the forest illegally as its protected in my area. There was an uproar from the locals, and the damage was pretty obvious as it was by a roadside, so the gas company got in lots of trouble and had to replant the whole area… They replanted it with short manageable shrubs though instead of the 60-100 year old trees they cut down. But the locals will have the last laugh once the poplar seeds sprout – 5 years to 10 foot trees…

      Slainte,
      Sarah