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What is a Potion: a Spell in Liquid Form

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

A potion is any liquid intentionally prepared for its magical, healing or poisoning qualities.

A potion is basically a spell in liquid form and the term is also occasionally applied to alchemical elixirs and herbal healing tinctures and teas.

The word potion comes from the Latin potio meaning “drink”.


A potion is a magical or alchemical mixture often used in witchcraft and folklore.

It is typically a liquid containing various ingredients, such as herbs, minerals, or other mystical components, that is believed to have supernatural properties or effects when consumed or applied.

Potions are crafted with specific intentions in mind, and their purposes can range from healing and protection to love spells or divination.

The creation of potions often involves rituals, incantations, and precise instructions, and the choice of ingredients is significant, as each is associated with certain energies or qualities.

In many traditions of witchcraft, potions play a vital role in spellwork and magical practices.

Ingredients for Potions

The ingredients used in potions vary depending on their purpose or the intended recipient. Most potions are made from herbs, roots, and other types of plants, as well as powders, seeds, and liquids extracted from various sources. Some potions may even contain biological elements, such as hair, blood, or saliva.

While many potion ingredients can be easily found and are common in daily life, they possess special and powerful energies in the context of magic. However, certain potions may require more challenging ingredients, such as animal or non-animal body parts and otherworldly substances, or even necessitate the use of specific spells.

It is crucial for potion ingredients to be fresh and of high quality to effectively release their energy and manifest the desired effects.

Types of Potions

There are numerous types of potions, each designed for specific purposes. Some examples include love potions, sleeping potions, potions of courage, stun potions, potions to relieve suffering, potions to induce forgetfulness or remembrance, potions of purification, and potions to amplify psychic energy.

The Art of Potion Making

Not everyone can craft a magic potion successfully. It requires more than just having the right ingredients. The use of a cauldron, the magical skills of the wizard or witch, and especially the magic wand play significant roles in the preparation process. Above all else, the approach and intention of the potion maker are crucial in determining the potion’s efficacy.

The Potionist’s Tools – The Cauldron

A potionist, or potion maker, possesses a personal “Potionist’s Kit” that contains essential objects for proper potion preparation:

  1. Mortar and Pestle: Used for grinding ingredients.
  2. Silver Knife: Necessary in ingredient preparation, as silver does not compromise their properties.
  3. Scale: To measure ingredient doses accurately.
  4. Wand: Enchants and/or moves ingredients during specific stages of preparation; can also serve as a “ladle” to infuse additional magic.
  5. Glass or Crystal Vials: Ideal containers for potions, ensuring their preservation and color visibility.
  6. Cauldron: The magical container necessary for potion preparation.

The Cauldron often has a handle and rests on three legs, symbolizing the lunar phases – Crescent Moon, Waning Moon, and Full or New Moon. The material of the cauldron is significant; pewter cauldrons are recommended for beginners due to their shorter cooking and fermentation times, while brass cauldrons have average times.

Expert potionists can use copper cauldrons, which offer very high cooking and fermentation speeds.

The Lunar Influences on Potion Preparation

The phases of the moon play a significant role in potion making. Depending on the lunar phase, a potion’s success, effectiveness, and potential side effects can be influenced. Here’s how the moon’s phases affect potions:

  1. New Moon and Full Moon: Not recommended for healing potions as they may have no effect or cause unpleasant side effects. Instead, these phases are more suitable for crafting poisons or potions for disinfestation.
  2. Growing Moon: Potion preparation during this phase is not influenced by the moon’s energy and can be used for any type of potion without impacting its success or failure.
  3. Waning Moon: This phase is inclined towards the preparation of antidotes since it is opposite to the Full Moon. It is also recommended for crafting poisons. Potions requiring long fermentation times are better prepared during this phase as the fermentation process will be significantly reduced.

How to Make a Potion?

The process of creating a potion involves three main phases:

  1. Preparation of Ingredients: Depending on the potion, ingredients may need to be washed, cut, shredded, squeezed, or stewed to make them ready for use in the next stage.
  2. Preparation of the Potion: This stage involves combining the prepared ingredients in the cauldron and following the specific recipe, which may include fermentation, mixing, and cooking.
  3. Final Result: Each potion will have its unique color, texture, and possibly scent, which can determine its success or failure.

Types of Potions and Methods of Consumption

Once a potion is prepared and reaches its final form, it can take various shapes and forms for consumption. Some common types include:

  1. Dough: Has a semi-solid consistency and is usually applied to affected body parts rather than ingested.
  2. Infusion: Similar to herbal tea, prepared with delicate plant parts like flowers, petals, and leaves, and consumed after filtering.
  3. Decoction: Similar to infusion but made with hard plant parts like seeds, bark, and roots, requiring boiling to release active ingredients.
  4. Elixir: Usually in liquid form, it has a pleasant aroma and sweet taste due to flavorings added during preparation.

How Potions Work?

Potions can be experienced through various senses, each providing different insights into their effects:

  • Observation (Sight): Vapors from the potion can give an indication of its effects.
  • Listening (Hearing): Sounds produced by the potion may correlate with its desired effects.
  • Contact (Touch): Some potions are applied or spread on the body.
  • Inhalation (Smell): Fumes and vapors can give an idea of the potion’s effects.
  • Ingestion (Taste): The most common and effective method of consuming potions.


Potions serve as powerful tools to activate magical energy and manifest desires. Alongside proper preparation, setting strong intentions with a clear mind and focused vision is essential for success. Approaching potion making with positivity and openness further enhances their effectiveness. With respect for the lunar influences and the right approach, potions can be potent instruments in the practice of magic.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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