The Smart Witch

Magical Formulary

Charged Waters

Waters can be charged with magical power and intentions. Not all charged waters are really waters. Some are alcohol-based formulas, which recall that the roots of alchemy, perfumery and liqueur lie entangled in magic brews, philters (drinks) and potions. While some potions may be consumed, many formulas are for external or ceremonial use only.

Charged waters must be understood in the context of perfume designations, such as eau de Cologne (“water of Cologne”) or of alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey (Gaelic for “water of life”). Vodka is recommended as a base, not because it may be consumed, but due to its minimal scent. Avoid common rubbing alcohol, as the strong aroma will interfere with that of the formula.

Angel Water

Angel Water refers variously to Jordan River Water, or to a sixteenth century complexion remedy that had, by the eighteenth century, evolved into a love potion.

Its name may have come from those angels described In the Book of Genesis who seduced the “daughters of man” with lessons of magic. Another source may be found in the legend of Aphrodite, who was clothed in myrtle (the crucial ingredient of Angel Water) leaves when she first arose naked from the sea.

Myrtle is a small tree native to the Mediterranean coast; it was considered sacred to Aphrodite. The basic formula for Angel Water consists of myrtle, orange blossoms (neroli) and rose. All of the basic ingredients are available in the form of essential oils. Angel Water typically is used externally.

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • Add substantial quantities Angel Water to a bath to maintain romance (whether bathing solo or together) and to provoke erotic dreams. Purportedly, the greater the quantity of Angel Water, the greater the aphrodisiac effect.
  • Blend Angel Water with alcohol for an erotic massage potion.
  • If using Angel Water as a love potion, make sure that all materials are safe for human consumption.
  • Consider homemade floral waters or infusions of fresh and dried flowers and leaves instead of essential oils. Homegrown roses are preferred to those commercially grown due to pesticides.
  • Allegedly, angels love the scent of myrtle. So if you wish to summon an angel, fill glass or crystal bowls with Angel Water and verbally request the angel's presence.

Bay Rum

The “bay” in Bay Rum refers to the berries of a Caribbean tree, Jamaican bayberry, rather than to the bay laurel leaves that are a staple of many magic spells. Do not substitute bay laurel leaves for Jamaica bayberry. Instead, use allspice berries, which have similar magic properties.

Jamaica bayberry is available as an essential oil, and so a true Bay Rum easily can be created. For True Bay Rum, you will need essential oils of Jamaica bayberry, petitgrain, allspice, cardamom and cloves.

 The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • Dilute the essential oils in fine, fragrant dark rum and distilled water.
  • While The Smart Witch usually recommends scent-free alcohol, like vodka, Bay Rum is the exception. Rum enhances Bay Rum’s magical properties, and its scent is integral to the formula, so select the most fragrant rum possible.
  • The presence and fragrance of the Jamaica bayberry should dominate the blend. If you have access to Jamaica bayberries, dried botanicals may be substituted for essential oils, and orange zest may be substituted for petitgrain.
  • The original Bay Rum formula is used for gambling, healing and luck, as well as cleansing spells.

Florida Water

Florida Water, which has an attractive citrus-rosemary fragrance, once was marketed as an American version of the original eau de Cologne. It is the only charged water whose name is copyrighted. Florida Water has evolved into a metaphysical staple among Vodou/Santeria communities. A good and inexpensive product is readily available in markets that cater to the Caribbean clientèle. There literally are thousands of versions of homemade Florida Water. The Smart Witch's personal formula for Florida Water consists of a blend of vodka; rose hydrosol; essential oils of bergamot, lavender, may chang, rosemary and jasmine; and rose attar.

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • Proportions: two cups of vodka; two tablespoons of rose hydrosol, 18 drops of essential oil of bergamot, 12 drops of essential oil of lavender, six drops each of essential oils of may chang and rosemary, and three drops each of essential oil of jasmine and rose attar.
  • Add a cup of Florida Water and a handful of salt to a cleansing bath before working magic.
  • For protection while in the dream-state, add a pinch of agar-agar (dried seaweed) to a bottle of Florida Water. Keep the open bottle next to the bed while  you sleep.

Lavender Water

Lavender Water is thought to enhance the memory while stimulating psychic ability. Originally, Lavender Water was created by Hildegard of Bingen in the twelfth century through the steam distillation of lavender blossoms. Lavender hydrosol, the product of distillation is truly the appropriate choice for creating Lavender Water; however essential oil of lavender may be substituted in this formula, which is for external use only.

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • An easy, homemade Lavender Water can be made with distilled water, vodka and essential oil of lavender
  • Proportions: two cups of distilled water, two ounces of vodka and 18 drops of essential oil of lavender.
  • When worn on the body, Lavender Water is said to attract sexual interest from either gender while simultaneously sharpening the wits of the wearer.
  • Bathing the head with Lavender Water allegedly assists mastery of complex occult systems, such as the I-Ching or Tarot.

Holy Water

Holy Water can be any water that is held sacred, or which has special significance for the spell-caster. This may be water from a shrine dedicated to a deity, or water from a sacred spring. It may be church-blessed water or Jordan River Water.

In modern Wicca, Holy Water may be spring water with salt added. Some covens maintain unique recipes, which may include rosemary, thyme and vervain or other herbs. Crystals may be used to charge Holy Water. Holy Water may be water from the tap of a loved one, or even from your favorite restaurant.

Rain falling on a day held sacred to the spell-caster – Beltane, the Summer Solstice, Samhain, one's birthday – may be used as Holy Water. British folk tradition holds that rain falling on Ascension Day (Holy Tuesday) may be collected and used. Holy Water also may be created via astrological correspondence: waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are Holy and charged with extra magical power, as well. In Bali, Holy Waters include the water found within unripe coconuts and young bamboo, as well as ocean water.

In some traditions – Balinese, Church-blessed and Wicca for example – Holy Water must be consecrated and activated via sacred ritual. Yet other traditions consider the sacred, magical power of Holy Water to be such that no further ritual or consecration is necessary (and may in fact be interference). Holy Water is used for cleansing and purification, and for healing, exorcism and banishing spells

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • If the concept of Holy Water holds no meaning for you – if all water is the same – then substitute pure spring water whenever Holy Water is indicated in a spell.
  • Obtaining Holy Water may be as simple as gathering rainwater – ideally collected within a stone vessel – or adding sea salt to spring water.
  • To charge Holy Water, prepare yourself with a ritual bath containing lots of salts. Prepare the Holy Water either sky-clad, or wearing clean, white, natural fabrics (it need not be ritual clothing, but it must be fresh). Ladle water into a glass or crystal bowl, and place the bowl between two small white candles. Light a cone of frankincense or white sage incense and place it before the candles; then light the candles. Pass the bowl of water through the incense smoke. Visualize the reason you’re preparing the water and results it will bring. Set the bowl between the candles, and leave everything in place until the candles burn out. Bottle the water.
  • Use Holy Water for cleansing and purification in your bath, or sprinkled on your altar and in corners of your home.
  • Holy Water is thought to be capable of magically transmitting physical relief, especially for headaches and tension, so use it in compresses or massage oil for healing spells.
  • Use Holy Water to cleanse and empower tools, plants and crystals – they may be sprinkled or soaked, depending on the nature of the material.


Magical Oils

Magical oils are among the oldest forms of magical enchantment. They date back to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. Most of the formulas used today, however, derive from the magical renaissance that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among the New Orleans Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure traditions. Dramatic, evocative names became standard at this time as well.

Attraction Oil

With a mortar and pestle, grind grated lemon zest, lovage and vervain. Place the ground ingredients into a bottle containing a lodestone chip. Cover all with sweet almond oil. Add rose attar and your choice of essential oil of lemon petitgrain, lemon verbena, may chang or melissa.

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • Add the essential oils drop by drop until you achieve a scent that pleases you.

Black Cat Oil

This oil is used to break bad spells and hexes and to attract positive attention from the opposite sex. Blend with sweet almond oil the following: essential oil of clary sage (or dried crumbled sage or clary sage leaves), essential oil of bay laurel (or crushed bay leaves), essential oil of myrrh (or solid myrrh resin), some fine iron shot and a bit of steel wool.

The Smart Witch Recommends:

  • If you, a friend or loved one has a black cat, pick up a shed hair and add it to the mix.
  • If general protection is your goal, blend the ingredients into castor and jojoba oils.
  • If romance is your objective, then substitute sweet almond oil for the castor oil.
  • If your intent is to break a hex, use castor or mineral oil.

Come to Me Lover

This is the most sumptuous love-attracting oil. Blend into apricot kernel or sweet almond oil the following: jasmine absolute, rose attar, neroli, gardenia absolute and tuberose absolute.

The Smart Witch recommends:

  • The ingredients can be quite expensive, and it is not necessary that all of them be used. I would use at least the Jasmine absolute, rose attar and neroli.  Petitgrain can be substituted for Neroli.


Powders and Incense

Loose incense consists of dried, powdered ingredients. Ingredients described for powders may be combined with cornstarch, arrowroot powder or rice powder to create a dusting powder


This formula approximates the fragrance of ambergris. Blend ground powdered labdanum, benzoin and vanilla bean. Labdanum is a resin excreted from the leave of the rock-rose. It is said that labdanum from Crete has the closest resemblance to actual ambergris from sperm whales.

Black Salt

Not the black salt of Indian cuisine, magical black salt is made by blending salt with the scrapings from cast iron cookware. It is used mainly in protection spells.

Cascarilla Powder

Powdered eggshell (either white or brown) is the only ingredient in Cascarilla Powder. In Europe, once, eggshells had profound associations with witches. Witches were believed to have the ability to transform an emptied eggshell into a vehicle for travel through the air or water. To leave eggshells whole was to invite the witches’ use. So, to make sure they weren’t aiding the witches, many insisted on crushing emptied eggshells before disposing of them. As a magical ingredient, powdered eggshell can be used in numerous spells, both benevolent and otherwise.

  • White Cascarilla Powder: Clean the eggshells and let them dry. Crumble the pieces and using a mortar and pestle, grind into a fine powder.
  • Brown Cascarilla Powder: Clean the eggshells. Break the shells and arrange them on a baking sheet so that the pieces lie flat. In a low, slow oven, toast the pieces until they are brown. Grind the pieces to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.

      John William Waterhouse

Bide the Wiccan laws you must
   in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live and let live -
   fairly take and fairly give.
         - Lady Gwen Thompson
             The Wiccan Rede (first two couplets)
             published in Green Egg Magazine, 1975

Fresh Flower Waters

Various flower waters - most especially Rose Water - are used in a variety of spells. Certain spells specifically demand flower water, but these waters may also be substituted for regular water in other spells and formulas, particularly those for romantic or healing purposes, and in magical ink or incense formulas, or for spells that involve dissolving gum acacia or other gum resins.

Rose Water and Orange Blossom Water are frequent additions to Indian, Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, and so are easily and inexpensively purchased from specialized vendors. The quality of pre-packaged flower waters is erratic; however some are excellent. Fine hydrosols, once rare, are becoming more popular, and may be the finest source of true flower waters.

Flower Waters are easily made, providing one has sufficient fresh flowers. Depending on one's intent, it is wise to avoid florists' flowers because they tend to be laden with pesticides, which then may be concentrated in the flower water.

Rose Water
Remove the petals from a few fresh roses. Place them in a small pot and cover with approximately one quarter inch of spring water. Simmer gently until a visual change is observed: the petals will become limp and pallid. Strain and allow the liquid to cool. Refrigerate any Rose Water that is not used immediately.

Orange Blossom Water or Jasmine Water
Place petals within a mason jar. Cover with boiling water and allow to sit overnight. Strain out the botanical material. Refrigerate any Orange Blossom or Jasmine water that is not used immediately.

Glory Water
Glory Water is used in spells cast for success and good fortune. It's key ingredient is Orange Blossom Water, without which, it is not Glory Water. To make Glory Water, combine Orange Blossom Water (or neroli hydrosol), Frankincense resin (or essential oil of frankincense) and essential oil of Bergamot.

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