Essentials for Shamans, Good Witches, and White Wizards

By Aubrey Marcus February 14, 2017

Art by Charles Frizzell If you’re lookin to get your Gandalf on, there are a few things that you should have up your wizard’s sleeve. And I realize that for those of us who saw Borat, it might be impossible to ever think of ‘wizard’s sleeve’ the same way. But focus! In my many experiences with plant medicines I have either personally used or been a part of ceremonies that include the following items. Whether they have inherent power, or are just really good at manipulating our own belief systems (which is a type of inherent power!), I think you might dig them as much as I do. So below are some of the essential tools for harnessing the forces of good:

Palo Santo

Palo Santo or “Saint wood” is a fragrant wood that is sacred in central and South American medicine traditions. Used for clearing negative energy, this wood when burned has one of the most pleasant and unique aromas on the planet. I have been burning Palo Santo at the start of my meditation and shamanic practices for many years now. My brain associates the smell alone with a calm theta state. I have a piece by my bath that I light when I am doing a long epsom soak, and I always travel with one that I burn when I go into a new hotel room. Whether it ‘clears’ negative energy or not, it makes the space feel sacred to me-- like my own little Aubrey den. Buy Palo Santo

Charcoal Brazier

No good wizard’s den is complete without a charcoal brazier. Essential for burning resins and herbs, the charcoal brazier is a centerpiece of many ceremonies. Buy Charcoal Brazier

Dragon’s Blood

One of the most powerful resins, dragon’s blood, is the resin from the plant Daemomorops Draco. This ancient incense still being used in India during ceremonies designed to remove negative energies and attract love. When added to other incenses it is said to increase their potency and power. Buy Dragon's Blood


Copal incense is the dried resin of the copal tree. It is Sacred to the Mayans and Aztecs of South and Central America. It is often added to love and purification incenses. I personally use either Copal or Dragon’s blood burned in the charcoal brazier as part of a smoke bath at the beginning of any ceremony. Buy Copal

Capsule Filling Machine

What you put in the capsules is up to you! There are a ton of really interesting herbs available and it is fun to put yourself in the laboratory and see what you can come up with. Just make sure the powder is blended well to maintain consistency, and keep an eye out for any potential interactions, particularly with plants that have MAOi properties. Buy Capsule Filling Machine

Mortar And Pestle

Turns big pieces of plants into little pieces of plants. Nothing much more to say there! Buy Mortar and Pestle

Nicotiana Rustica (Sacred Tobacco)

Nicotiana Rustica plays a key role in South American shamanism. Rolled into a ‘mapacho’ which looks like a big Joint, it is used to clear away negative spirits and as a sacred offering. Often referred to as a Chacaruna which loosely translates as ‘bridge entity’, many shamans and initiates utilize the Sacred Tobacco to open and close medicine work with other plants like Huachuma or Ayahuasca. It will give a mild buzz, similar to it’s western tobacco counterpart, but with many deeper layers of complexity. It is not uncommon for Ayahuasca drinkers to have ‘encounters’ with the spirit of this very powerful plant.


This is where the fun really begins. The world is full of a cornucopia of plants, and we live in a special time that allows us access to them with the click of a mouse. Do your research, be smart, and have some fun. Buy Herbals

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