A thread on a forum got me to thinking. The original poster was asking how people manage to incorporate magic into everyday life. We’re all busy … sometimes to the point of hectic; some days, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to shoehorn a spell in sideways. Even though I’m self-employed and an empty-nester, my schedule is quite full. (A lot of people seem to think ‘self’ means ‘un’ and I have all the time in the world to do things. Rrriiight.)
I did have to think. I’ve been at this awhile and there’s so much I do that’s incorporated into my routine. I ran everything through my brain & came up with one easy way I do a little magic every day: Soap! The melt-and-pour soap bases you can get at the craft store or online make it almost a snap. With the exception of however long it takes you to bathe each day, approximately ten (cumulative) minutes is all you need.
Step 1: Buy some melt-and-pour base. There are several available & most websites will describe the benefits of a particular type of base. Choose one that’s right for your skin & budget. The base type doesn’t matter in the magical end of things.
Step 2: Decide how many bars you want to make & what size. Most commercial bars are around 4 ounces. Some packaging will tell you how much to use; for others, you’ll need a scale – a measuring cup is handy, too. If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying a fancy mold, an empty (and clean) cream-cheese or similar container works well.
Step 3 (the start of your magic): Decide what you want this soap to accomplish (other than cleaning you, of course). Pick the herbs and/or essential oils you want to use. My ‘morning’ soap is Peppermint & Rosemary. Peppermint is good for health, Rosemary is good for protection & the scent combination is my ‘wake up & get your butt moving’ aroma. I have another one for calming & relaxing. (Herbs: Medicinal, Magical, Marvelous! has lists to help you choose.) Pick one or a combination with the appropriate properties and whose scent you or others won’t find offensive (Garlic probably isn’t a good choice, here ;)).
Step 4: If you want herbs in your soap, be sure to use dried; fresh has too much water content & will spoil. Grind them up – most will feel scratchy on your skin if you don’t (Lavender being one notable exception). You’ll want approximately two tablespoons per 4 ounce bar. If you want a little deodorant help, use one or two tablespoons of baking soda per bar; for softening, one or two tablespoons of powdered oatmeal. I use a goat’s milk base and only two tablespoons total of solids per 4 ounce bar. More than that, I end up with a gloppy mess in the shower.
Step 5: If you want to use essential oils, ensure what you’re using won’t make you sun-sensitive (Bergamot is famous for this) and have the bottles ready to hand. Bear in mind that as you add EOs to the soap base, they’re going to smell stronger while the soap is hot than when it cools. A maximum of 20 drops total per bar should be enough for a good aroma even after the soap has cooled.
Step 6: Once the soap has melted in the microwave (follow package instructions), add your herbs, oils & other stuff. Stir clockwise until everything is thoroughly blended, all the while infusing the mixture with your intent. Pour into your mold.
Step 7: Allow to cool, pop out of your mold and use! While you’re soaping yourself, reinforce that intent with a chant, or even just a focused thought.