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First published in Hex Enduction Quarterly, Issue #1 - Fall 2020. 11/2020

Herbal preparations are a great form of spell work because of the utility and application intrinsic to them. You create a substance with practical use and employ it in your everyday life - stitching your intentions into all the small places, weaving a web of your goals and values.

This spell is the making of an herbed vinegar for use when seasoning and dressing food. Why vinegar? Being a fermented food, it’s a general digestive tonic, full of probiotics and enzymes. It delivers herbal nourishment to the skin, respiratory system, and urinary tract, supporting mucous membrane secretions in each. It’s especially good at extracting minerals from plants, compounding its own generous mineral content. The acidity and sharp taste of vinegar cut through heaviness and catch our attention, its enzymes digest and transform, and its high mineral content fortifies and rebuilds. These are dark and challenging times and vinegar feels like a good match for them with its nourishing and potent brightness.

To Do Your Spell // Make Your Potion:

1. Identify your intentions - what do you want to transform and/or nourish? List a few practical steps toward this aim, make yourself a simple guide to follow. Consider setting intentions that can improve our internal and external worlds in tandem (dismantling white supremacy culture, for example) - these can yield beautiful results.

2. Fill a jar 1/3-1/2 full with dried plant material, or 1/2-3/4 full of fresh plant material. Pour in your choice of vinegar (ACV, rice, red wine, etc.) until the jar is full and cap tightly with a non-metal, non-rubber lid. (Vinegar can corrode these, spoiling your potion.) You can tailor the herb/s you use to match your intention, nutritional needs, or curate them for flavor. Try mild nutritional herbs, aromatic spices, or even fruits and berries - experiment freely! (For strongly flavored/scented herbs you may want to reduce the herb to vinegar ratio or infusion time.)

3. Shake your jar regularly and strain plant material out after 2-4 weeks. Now you have an infused vinegar for use in dressings, sauces, condiments, and marinades, and for seasoning cooked beans, leafy greens, soups, stews, rice and more. Often when I’m cooking and the dish needs just a bit of something to make it pop - a splash of herbed vinegar does the trick!

Make the potion, nourish your body and remember your intentions each time you use it.

© Chelcie Blackmun 2021