I love tea. Of course I do I’m British but it’s not just the standard builders tea (2 sugars please), it’s the act of making tea, the ritual of tea, the gift of making something for someone else so you can soothe them, listen and share a moment together or give yourself the same.
Need some peace after work, put the kettle on. A guest comes round, put the kettle on. Celebrations, put the kettle on. Sad, put the kettle on. Overwhelmed put the kettle on. Heartbroken, put the kettle on. lost your purse, put the kettle on. Your leg has fallen off, put the kettle on. To quote one of the best of films of my youth:
The entire British Empire was built on cups of tea. And if you think I’m going to war without one, you’re mistaken.Eddy- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
As I mentioned I don’t just mean a good mug of builders (English Breakfast Tea if you’re outside of the U.K), although it definately serves its purpose. In fact, a good sweet brew helps with shock; I also mean the use of herbs, berries and other ingredients to make a tisane.
These witchy brews are usually my first go to remedy to heal myself and loved one’s. I have now quite an extensive apothecary and some beautiful teapots.
Adding intention as you add ingredients and informing the brew of it’s purpose gives it extra power. You can do this as simply or as extravagantly as you wish, if rhyming couplets are your thing, go for it. Teas are magical potions, a form of folk magic that is used wherever there are, and for as long as there have been people.
A few tips here:
- ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN THOROUGH RESEARCH! not only is it a good way to familiarise yourself with a plant, some seemingly harmful ingredients can be dangerous certain situations. Take raspberry leaf and pregnant women for example: It is a common recommendation for later pregnancy as it strengthens the womb lining. It is not recommended in the early stages or delicate circumstances where an infant could be stressed.
- Everyone’s situations and needs are different. Some herbs interact badly with modern medicine St.Johns wort is known to affect the effectiveness of contraception. Some people have health issues you may not be aware of. Know yourself and who you are making it for.
- unlike a good builders tea, most herbs need a slightly cooled water not freshly boiled, boil the kettle but let it cool for 5 minutes first.
- Some herbs don’t react well with metal.
- Extra magic! When stirring your brew and setting your intention, stir it deosil (clockwise) to invoke something and widdershins (anticlockwise) to banish something.
- You want to let it steep for atleast 15 minutes, if you’re using a teapot the herbs will remain in it as you drink it meaning the second cup will be stronger. The longer you let a brew steep the stronger it will be in strength and in taste. You might want to keep some water back to dilute the last cup down if it’s bitter.
- Some herbs are better consumed in the morning and some at night. Again, do your own research.
When brewing up my tisanes, I consider a few factors. Firstly medicinal properties and magical properties. These two purposes are often closely linked through sympathetic magic. For example, Rosehips can be dried and used in tea, they are high in vitamin C so a good addition when fighting a cold, improving circulation, brightening skin and boosting immunity. They also represent beauty and love so are be used to boost self confidence and ease heartache.
Secondly, flavour. Most people who have had one of my brews will tell you I’m not bothered about making it taste pleasant. It usually comes with the warning “It tastes like arse, but it works”. That being said, everyone’s palate is different, I don’t like lemon balm all that much, others love it. Honey makes most things more palatable, spirits such as brandy (I’m more of a rum person) give it a kick as well as helping sleep and warming you up. You can also consider adding fruit and spices. lemon and cayenne pepper work nicely together and are sooooo good for you.
Once you start making tisanes you will quickly realise how adaptable they are to manifest your intentions. Each aspect of the process adds to the ritual and power if you focus it. You can even bless your tea tools for their purpose. The teapot is much like the cauldron, the spoon much like a wand, sugar or honey to sweeten, cayenne to spice things up, breathing in the smells and steams as you breath are the beginning of their affect on you. finish your brew with the confirmation ‘as I will it, so mote it be’
You can use teas to aid your meditations and add power to rituals as offerings or the spell itself invoking something or banishing something. Like all things in life, adding intention makes your desires clear to the universe, spirits, gods, ancestors, whomever you want to hear you.
Do you have any favourite recipes or remedies you use regularly? I have a cold fighting remedy, one for coughs, one to aid my psychic abilities, one to soothe my menstrual pains, one for sleep. OK I have lots.
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Blessings on your endeavours and peace out witches!
love Kate xxx