How about two?
Two years ago, my friends J. and B. gave me a bunch of elderberries from their land. There wasn’t much, just enough to do two small bottles of tincture. On the advice of some friends more attuned to alchemical process, I chose not to perform the spagyric process of calcining the berries and then cohobating the alcohol and berry-ash. Several of my alchemical friends warned me that Elderberry has a lot of potentially poisonous constituents which it would be best not to refine and concentrate in a spagyric. It would be plenty potent without it, was their advice. And so I put my grain alcohol berries out under some bushes, and abandoned them after filtering them. Let the squirrels get drunk and have a wild elderberry-fueled night tonight.
B. raises bees to collect honey and beeswax. He doesn’t generally gift his honey to people, but he does trade. He also makes beer, wine and mead, which are things I’m trying to learn. He also has a blacksmithing shop in his back yard, and he’s interested in teaching those skills, as well, someday. J is no slouch herself; she makes various herbal preparations, and is learning weaving and leather working and other skills. There’s no way that I can make all the things myself. And there are overlaps and common interests that we share. These are people with whom I want to keep my relationships strong, and even deepen.
And so I make two. One for me and my household. And one for them and theirs. What is shared, is strengthened, in this work. It’s a tiny magic, really. But it’s also two years of attention and care paid to a product of their land, and returned to them in a different form, more charged and powerful than before.
Which brings up another point. Be patient. Your work doesn’t have to mature overnight. For me, this work involved setting up the intinction in September 2014, and then shaking the jar very gently every few days for a few minutes. Not all is accomplished in an instant. Most things are completed only with subtlety and gentleness and patience. Wait for the work to be accomplished.