Grovedaughter Witchery

 "Outta My Way" Powder

Intent: To remove difficult obstacles caused by other people.


    Sumac Berries (sub: Vetiver)
    Galangal Root (sub: Cinnamon)
    White Oak Bark
    Black Sugar
    *Add Jalapeno Powder for extra punch


    Mortar & Pestle
    Mesh Strainer
    Collection Dish

IMPORTANT NOTE: There many species of Sumac growing in North America, and it's important to know the difference if you go out to harvest your berries from the wild.

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) or Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) are the ones you want. They have narrow leaves, upright cones of fuzzy red berries, and are relatively harmless. The fruit, which ripens from July through September (search in the fall for dried cones), is edible and can be used to make a pinkish, lemony-flavored drink, or ground to add spice to meat and vegetables.

Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is a mimic and is not true sumac. It has white berries, wider leaves, and causes an itchy and highly uncomfortable rash, and should be scrupulously avoided. Look for a reddish tinge on the stems and upper leaves. A general rule of thumb: if you see a plant whose leaves have an oily-looking sheen, DO NOT TOUCH IT. "Leaves that shine, no friend of mine." Better safe than sorry. If you think you've accidentally touched a poisonous plant, stop what you're doing and wash the affected area with soap and water IMMEDIATELY. You only have about ten minutes to wash off the urushiol oil that causes the reaction, so don't delay!


If you cannot obtain wild sumac (or just don't want to go tramping through the woods), the berries are available for purchase online, or you can substitute Vetiver.

Grind each ingredient separately for several minutes to produce fine powder. Sieve the material through the mesh strainer into the collection dish; this removes the larger ungrindable pieces and gives you cleaner powdered herb. (Pro-Tip: Putting a funnel under the strainer helps reduce lost material.)

For the White Oak Bark, Sassafras, and Galangal Root, retain the leftover large pieces that don’t make it through the strainer. You can use this for loose incense or charm bags later. Remember, witchlings: waste not, want not! (If you don’t have Galangal Root handy, plain cinnamon will suffice.)

Combine the component powders in the collection dish, mix well, and bottle immediately.

Sprinkle where you know the person who is the cause of your problem will be walking. Alternatively, you can write down a list of your grievances, the method by which you want to obstacle removed, and the ideal outcome, then add a few pinches of the powder and folder the paper into a tight packet (use tape on the edges). You can stick this in a jar or keep it tucked away or carry it in your pocket, whichever is more relevant to your situation.

[Photo Credits: Wikipedia (Staghorn Sumac), Hiking Tips for You (Poison Sumac & treatment tips), WebMD (Poison Sumac)]

Note: These recipes are the original creations of the witch known as Bree NicGarran. If you choose to post them elsewhere, please give credit.
Please note that these recipes are meant as curios and are not guaranteed to work for everyone, or to be substitutes for practical action.
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