Mmmm… I love all the flavors and scents of summer, don’t you? Here in the arid desert, just watering my rosemary, mint or creosote in the garden is a heady experience. And for this witch, the scent and flavor of lemons fairly screams summer. I love lemonade and lemon water. This summer I’m drinking gallons of Lemon & Cucumber Fresca. The cucumber adds an extra level of refreshment to lemonade that is nothing short of amazing.
So let’s start with this refreshing beverage recipe and then go from there. Of course, how many lemons and cucumbers you use will vary based on your personal preferences, But I start with: 4 large lemons and 1- 2 cucumbers to a half gallon of water. (We have the most delicious well water here in the desert. Just the right touch of minerals for taste and a healthy Ph.) I wash the lemons and cucumbers in a mild solution of GSE just in case they’re not as organic as they claim, not to mention the road dust and various yuk that can coat even the nicest natural produce during transportation. I juice the lemons by hand, mostly because I just love using this vintage ceramic juicer. The cukes go into the little Ninja. I’m not a huge fan of the bitterness that too much peel sometimes adds, so I usually peel the cucumbers, or half peel them if I’m wanting the tiny bits of dark green peel to look cool in the Fresca. Add your favorite sweetener to taste (I use stevia). And if you’re feeling frisky, garnish with a sprig of mint from the garden.
But why stop at lemonade? There are so many magickal uses for lemon! (And besides, citrus peel is a bitch to compost, am I right?) I’ve purchased various dried citrus peel from a number of reputable herb vendors, but it’s nothing like drying the peel yourself for magickal potency and scent. I prefer to dry slowly and naturally, but that’s not always possible, especially when there’s this much to dry. If you’re only drying one or two lemons, by all means slice up the peel (after removing the inner membrane) and spread them out on some parchment (or a paper bag) and cover them with cheesecloth. I don’t like to dry my plant matter in the sun, as it loses an awful lot of the essential oils to evaporation that way, but do what works for you. This go round I decided to use my electric dehydrator. (Electric Dehydrator Witchy tip: rotate your trays hourly to dry everything slowly and evenly and avoid over-browning.) When I saw all those waning crescent shapes circling one tray, I just had to fill another tray waxing crescents, then I started cutting full moons…
Of course as I saw the shapes, I began having glimpses of some of the witchcrafting I’ll be doing with these wonderful dried lemon peels. According to Cunningham’s Magickal Herbal, Lemon is of Water, the Moon and is, of course, feminine in nature. Do you feel that? I do, so deeply.
It’s magickal properties include purification, friendship, exorcism and longevity but are by no means limited to those. Lemon adds the power of the moon itself to your workings. It strengthens and enhances magickal powers, bringing clarity and fresh insights. Add the peels or lemon blossoms to sachets for love and friendship, offer lemonade to friends and lovers for lasting relationships, Make poppets and charms using whole lemons or stitch some dried peel into your sewn poppets and talismans.
Oh! And the Lemon Zest? I used up the last of my lovely lemon peels making lemon zest. It dries quickly and well and can be used magically as well as in the kitchen when a recipe calls for it. AllYum!
In Light and Shadow,
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