The witches apothecary is an intriguing concept. It conjures images of ancient wooden chests full of herbs and shelves of dusty glass bottles with weird labels. The reality, although less atmospheric, is just as exciting, due to the myriad of possibilities at your fingertips.
To date, my witches apothecary contains around 105 different botanicals, but I can’t seem to stop adding to it! I use the word ‘Botanicals’ to refer to herbs, spices, flowers, roots, barks, resins, essential oils and items I come across on my travels that I think will be useful.
Building Your Witches Apothecary
At first, building your own witches apothecary can seem like a daunting task. How on earth are you supposed to remember what everything does? Which herbs should you start with and how can you stock up without spending a fortune? The good news is, that you can create a perfectly workable tool kit out of many items you already have in your kitchen and garden.
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When it comes to creating your witches apothecary, I recommend starting with a few items and working your way up. There are countless lists of magickal correspondences online to get you started, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to get everything. The majority of items can be substituted, unless it’s for a very specific formula like Goofer Dust.
If you’re in doubt, look to your ancestors. They didn’t have the internet to order herbs from far flung destinations – they worked with what they had. This is when knowing a bit about botanical signatures comes in handy. If you think about exactly what you need that specific item to achieve, then apply a little imagination, a substitution can usually be found.
Have a read of this post about magickal substitutions to find out how to work with what you have.
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My Witches Apothecary
My witches apothecary has grown exponentially as I’ve expanded my knowledge. My herbal grimoire is absolutely rammed with different botanicals, what they do and how they worked for me. That is the most important consideration when stocking your apothecary. You could follow someone else’s formula to the letter, but making successful magick is about using what works for you.
So much of mine is items I find when out and about. Bird’s shell in the woods? That’ll work nicely in an astral travel or flying formula. A handful of black sheep’s wool? That’ll come in handy the next time I’m doing some work concerning the black sheep of the family. It’s all about thinking outside the box!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be expanding on my personal witches apothecary, and how everything works. For now, I’ll just post my master list of correspondences HERE. Keep checking back for more indepth herbal knowledge.
Which are your go-to botanicals for spell work? Drop me a comment and let me know!