Okay. So you want to practice witchcraft. And the first thing you probably see is someone saying you need to have this weird herb you’ve never heard of and a stone that costs fifteen bucks online and what have you gotten yourself into? Good question. You know what another good question is? If that herb is poisonous. And if that stone dissolves in water.
A lot of spells call for certain herbs or stones. These are usually based on associations with certain planets or elements, or other times based on what their practical purposes are. Personally, I like going with either word association (what pops into your mind when I say ‘rose’?), practical uses (for herbs especially), or…just what they look like. Although I usually stick to the planetary and elemental associations for stones, herbs are a wild card. And, despite the fact that it seems like every spell calls for a pinch of lavender or rosemary, you really don’t need herbs or stones for doing spells at all.
One way to skirt around requirements of various herbs or stones is to use catch-all ingredients. For me, this is salt for herbs and clear quartz for stones. Salt and quartz can absorb properties of other stones or can be used as a stand-in for pretty much anything, and they’re very common and relatively inexpensive. I like to bring a clear quartz stone along with me when I go somewhere I might need a bit of magic.
If you’re going to go all the way and stock up from your local metaphysical shop or online seller, then there are some pretty common uses of herbs and stones that you can use to base your own spells off of:
Dressing: Used in conjunction with oil. In what is known as ‘dressing’ a candle, the spellcaster rubs the preferred oil onto the candle, then rolls it into the (probably ground) herb.
Satchets: Herbs and stones can be put in small bags, or satchets, and hung from certain places to great effect (I currently have one above my bed with lavender and jade to aid in sleeping).
Spell bottles: Similar to satchets, but usually done with several herbs, stones, and other materials. (Example: a bottle with chili pepper, broken glass, nails, and tiger’s eye to ward off something and protect you/your home.)
Essential oils, salves, perfumes, tinctures, and other mixtures: Not for the amateur, but if you have a lot of an herb, you can create oils or perfumes, salves or soaps, tinctures or teas. These can all be witchy in nature if you enchant them, or rely on an herb’s natural magical properties.