My Dear Natural Magicians,

I want to tell you about my sanitation protocols for the production of Natural Magick Shop potions.

First, while I was getting my degree in Biology at University of Texas in the early 80’s, my summer job for two years was in a cell biology lab at UTMB. I was trained up in sterile cell culture where 0% incidence of contamination of the cultures was expected, so as to not cause expensive wastes during lab procedures. At UT I also learned and was trained in other sterile and sanitary protocols in microbiology lab. Chemistry and Organic Chemistry lab also have stringent sanitation and cross-contamination regulations.

My production at Natural Magick does not need to be so aseptic, but it is well-informed by my lab and life science science background, and I’ve been doing this throughout my career as a potioneer.

My three sanitation products are soap (usually Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds), 91% rubbing alcohol and grain alcohol.

Before and many times during a potion session, I wash my hands thoroughly with the Sal Suds, which is super concentrated and leaves no scent residue. This is not just for your health. Ordinary, healthy skin bacteria would cause degradation of my herbs and essential oils and other raw materials. I can’t afford to ruin my backstock with microbial contamination.

Before any session, I wipe down my lab table working surface with rubbing alcohol, if it is not going to come in contact with the herbs and oils. It’s super cheap and I use lots.

If the work involves the herbs or candle wax coming directly into contact with the lab table or the big mirror I often work on, those surfaces are swabbed down with pure grain alcohol, which dries leaving no residue. It’s super expensive and I use lots.

In addition to protecting you and the raw materials, these protocols protect the magickal number in my products. For example, if there is Sandalwood powder on my hands from grinding the Blessing incense, and then some gets on the herbs in the Protection Mojo kits I make next, the magick number of ingredients has changed from five to six, and we can’t have that! I must wash my hands in between potions. So, this magickal ingredient protocol reinforces the sanitation overall of all the products from Natural Magick Shop.

My protocols are also to protect me, your humble potioneer. If I handle the Acacia flowers in the Success Mojo kits and then rub my eyes, I will for sure get an allergic itchy red eye reaction. The power of many of the herbs lies in the active ingredients, and I must avaoid overloading my system with so many biologically active ingredients! (Conversely, the microdoses I get from everything I attribute to improving my health overall; before I started doing this stuff I used to get sick all the time.) So I have to wash my hands after that and never touch my eyes while formulating! Over the course of a decades long career, I have occupational exposure risks much higher than the average Practitioner to essential oils. I come into contact with a lot of EOs while working. They unavoidably absorb into my skin, and then into the bloodstream and end up in my liver. Even worse if I forget and put a finger in my mouth with Eos, yechh!!! Essential oils are difficult for the liver to metabolize, and so they build up, causing risk for any number of maladies, including liver cancer. So I must wash my hands frequently, to avoid the amount of EOs building up in my liver.

Years ago, I developed a contact dermatitis sensitivity to Dragon’s Blood resin. When I grind incense, the dust inevitably gets deposited on my inner arms and legs, and Dragon’s Blood is especially irritating in such large quantities. The average Practitioner need not worry, but the potioneer with occupational exposure levels must wash up with soap and water after a session with it. I got over my sensitivity with DB a couple of months after implementing the wash-up protocol and have not had a problem since.

Again, my ordinary protocols to protect myself also serve the dual purpose of insuring that your potions are super clean.

Am I perfect? Hells, no. During the production periods of the Moon cycles, I often work very long hours, and it is not uncommon for me to pull all-nighters for day in a row to make all the potions. I may forget to close a bag or put the lid on a bottle and leave a drawer open. Touch my face and out of weariness forget to re-sanitize.  Also I have cats. They are not allowed on the lab tables, of course, but one, Dottie, is always super interested in the potioneering, and I appreciate the company of my Magick Kitty over the long lonely nights in the lab. The nature of the production is messy and cluttery, and I struggle to keep the lab tidy, even as the sanitation is excellent otherwise.

There are things that I struggle to control, especially at fairs and festivals when I set up vending the Natural Magick booth. Many people touch the packaging, and open and smell the bottles of oils. I now have my hand sanitizer (12 parts grain alcohol, 1 part coconut oil, and a dollop of Sal Suds to emulsify), and I implore people to sanitize their hands before touching my stuff (“Because you are really grateful if the person before you did!” – I can be VERY persuasive) but during a busy crush I can’t get full compliance. And sometimes people open and smell the magick oils; this is allowed and is one of the great pleasures of the biz. Sometime a customer will sniff something and accidentally touch their nose to the bottle.

I am now introducing the above standard lab sanitation protocols to my shipping and handling of orders. This is a new thing and it is now necessary. At the time of this writing, it has been ten days since the general public has had access to the packaged product (Witchfest, which was a doozy!), and as I understand, the CV-19 virus survives no more than 3 days on surfaces like my packaging. Obviously, I will not be vending at any fairs in the foreseeable future, so any product you get in the mail has only been handled by me using lab-protocol sanitations.

I believe that my science background and now upgraded sanitation make Natural Magick Shop potions the cleanest and healthiest as they can possibly be. Be safe and stay healthy everybody, and try to help out your neighbors and friends who are hard-hit by the economic impact of the closures. That would have been me, just one year ago. I am fairly optimistic about my own immediate well-being, being married now to somebody whose employment allows for social distancing. So I am asking y’all to help those who do not have a safety net like me. Love, Health and Blessings all around, my dear Natural Magicians.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published