Spell Ingredient Substitution
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In expanding spell knowledge, it can be frustrating to encounter unfamiliar ingredients, especially in old grimoires and texts that require herbs that are difficult to grow or purchase in the southern hemisphere. Over the weekend, for example, I looked into positive health spells, and repeatedly came across angelica root, which I had no hope of finding on a Sunday in a quiet town. This and many other magical plants are native to the far north and grow wild in countries like Russia and Finland. So unless we buy dried root or power root in preparation for spells (and believe me, I have plenty of jars of such ingredients too), we either have to delay the ritual or replace the ingredient.
A- SUBSTITUTING SPELL INGREDIENTS CAN BE POWERFUL MAGIC ON IT’S OWN
Being open to intuiting spell ingredients is an important factor in eclectic witchcraft and nature magic, among other forms of spellcasting rituals. Gathering the ingredients for a spell or ritual is an exercise in mindfulness in itself, as we meditate on our intentions while gathering each required representation of the spell's purpose. In doing so, rather than simply opening a cupboard and measuring ingredients, we will spend more time subconsciously considering what we want to accomplish, and in doing so we will be more focused when the time comes to perform the spell or ritual. By doing this, I find it auspicious to encounter the perfect substitute ingredient in nature, and I become more positive about my impending success.
B- THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SUBSTITUTING INGREDIENTS
Angelica root is also known as wild celery, and it is one of many sweet-smelling edible roots. Its etymological name comes from a Greek word meaning archangel, and it has a musky aroma. It is also used as a flavoring in liqueurs such as vermouth and in the distillation of gin.
When deciding which ingredients to replace, one must first consider its purpose in the spell. Is it symbolic of its color, its connection with the earth, or its indigestible qualities? Consider which factor is most important to the outcome you want to achieve, and substitute it as meaningfully as possible with what you have around you. Be inspired by your creativity to solve these problems. Light an intention spell candle (or ritually dress and charge one for this purpose) to provide inspiration for preparing the spell and not just for casting it itself, and consider the factors you are substituting before you set out to discover the new ingredient you will use.
C- WHEN YOU GATHER THE INGREDIENTS FOR A SPELL, REMEMBER:
- Use only bark and fallen tree branches
- Do not damage plants when collecting. Respect nature so that regrowth takes place
- There's no harm in thanking the factory for its contribution
- Use safety equipment such as gloves and shears, and be wary of plant sap
- If you are making a substitution in a tea, check that your substitution is safe for ingestion and these spells are one of the few areas where you cannot swap any ingredient for another