This past week has been quite quiet after such a weekend of movement and stirring discussions. Most of my time was spent either in the garden or flipping through my ever growing collection of books. My red fox and some other bits arrived.. and my lovely Nelia, of course. Walking Bear had stopped in one day to help me work with hare and among other, brought me some wisteria he had collected from the graveyard. I used it to make my version of Florida Water. I make it in small batches and use it often but this time I wanted to make a larger batch to share with my girls in case of an upcoming graveyard trip.
There are many, many techniques and recipes to be found for Florida Water.. but I tend to just simplify to what is on hand.
Although there are a couple of ingredients I use almost always, I much prefer going out and gathering what calls to me. I like using whatever flowers, herbs, roots, and/or green I can in the season. I pack a glass jar with my plant material (dried or fresh) – this time I used the wisteria, some peony gifted from the Mistress of the Box’s garden, and some rose petals collected during a storm that night. If I don’t have rose petals, I usually add a couple of tablespoons of rosewater. Then I fill the packed jar about 3/4 of the way with alcohol (of the high proof drinking variety, usually vodka). It is basically a weak tincture, once the water is added, in which the alcohol gives a cooling effect and acts as a preservative. It is at this point that I add my essential oils. This time it was 17 drops of bergamot, 5 drops cedarwood, 3 drops lavender, and 3 drops patchouli. Along with the rose and the bergamot, patchouli is another always used.. it is my scent and I like to have something of me in the mix. I stir this up and sometimes stop here to leave it on the altar for a few days.. especially if I am charging it for a particular purpose. Otherwise, I generally top this with the water, stir again, and store in a cool dry place for a moon cycle.. once ready, I strain it into a small bottle to carry. The recommended is distilled water but I usually use spring or naturally collected. I have never had any issues with this but then, as I said, I make small batches. I am sure the high content of alcohol and the fact that I use it up fairly quickly helps. This time I used up what was left of my gifted jade pool water and some spring.
Florida Water is used in cleansing and protection, as a gift to call spirits, to scent offering water left for the dead and ancestors, among many other things. I use it mostly for cleansing. I wash my feet and hands with it sometimes when I enter a new graveyard or if I am undertaking a working there, ritually on my bones, or sprinkled on my person/tools. I also like to use it for scrying, adding a generous amount to the water. The fragrance, when inhaled, is said to be grounding and connecting. It is said to aid in the removal of unwanted thoughts and to calm excess energy. I have always found it to be so. Traditionally Florida water has a citrusy herbal scent with floral spicy undertones. I think using what calls helps with its use in divination. Mine is always more spicy floral but that is what makes it mine. This was how I worked during the waning to the new.. though not intentionally (my intentions on a more structured practice working out not so much), just intuitively it fell there and I realized it later.. how perfect.