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Amp up your herbal magick with the same essential oils shamans, priests and druids have used for centuries. These oils extracted from plants, flowers, roots and herbs, can be used for many magickal purposes. These oils are powerful and you’ll want to learn how to charge oils for your magickal rituals.
The oils can evoke specific moods and energies, or bestow certain properties and traits onto ritual objects. In Wicca and other Neo-Pagan religions, they can also come in the form of custom, blended oils, resins and pastes.
In this article, we’ll take you through the process of creating your own ritual and magikcal oil blends, as well as describing the process of How to charge oils to enhance their powers and properties.
But first, here’s a brief history of oils in a magical context…
Oils, Magic and Ritual
When it comes to Western Occultism and Wicca, the history of herbs, oils and plants seems to begin with the Druids. The ancient Celtic ruling class was very fond of using Mistletoe and other plants to create oils, elixirs and potions:
“The ritual of oak and mistletoe is a Celtic religious ceremony, in which white-clad druids climbed a sacred oak, cut down the mistletoe growing on it, sacrificed two white bulls and used the mistletoe to make an elixir to cure infertility and the effects of poison. The ritual, known from a single passage in Pliny’s Natural History, has helped shape the image of the druid in the popular imagination.”Wikipedia
Across the other side of the world, Egyptian King Ramesses II’s mummified corpse has revealed traces of Chamomile Oil. We’ll never know the exact steps that Egyptian priests performed during the funeral rites of the pharaohs, but it seems likely that essential oils played an important role in the process.
As unlikely as it may sound, even early Christians used spells to anoint oils that were to be used for healing: One such example calls upon the angel Gabriel to bless a mixture of olive oil, honey and water.
From the ancient Greeks to Caribbean Voodoo priestesses, oils have always played a prominent role in magical ceremony, spells and rituals.
Let’s now take a look at the processes involved in the anointing process, and find out how to charge oils and blend them for maximum effect:
Wiccan Uses for Charged and Magickal Oils
The most widespread use of ritual oils in Wicca is during the process of anointing.
Charged ritual oil blends can be liberally applied to cherished amulets, talismans and rings, as well as being dabbed onto the body or splashed carefully onto altars.
There’s no right or wrong application for Wiccan anointing oils. They can be dropped anywhere about your person or around the home that you please!
Diluted Oils for Spiritual Washing
The idea behind the practice of Spiritual Washing is that by diluting ritually charged oils into water, one can wipe down surfaces around the home to alter the house’s energy and add a layer of protection to its occupants.
The idea of spiritual washing isn’t new. It’s a practice dating back to at least the Middle Ages, where oil infused water was usually used to scrub down doors and steps, in order to protect the threshold against evil spirits.
Oils for Candle Magick
Just as in the anointing process, ritual oils can be dabbed onto candles before lighting, to empower them with the characteristics of the oil. If you’re already making your own scented candles for spells and ceremonies, the regular shop-bought oils that you use during their creation can be blessed and charged to give the same effect.
When anointing a candle with oil, try using the following affirmation:
“I call on the power of the elements: earth, air, fire and wind. Bless this candle and prepare it for its coming ritual use, for the highest good of all concerned.”
Creating Custom Oil Blends
Creating your own oil blends is simple and fun. A basic ritual oil starts with a “carrier”. A carrier oil, as the name suggests, is any regular household oil that has been poured into a clean mason jar, and will form the majority of your ritual oil’s volume.
Olive oil is probably the most common (and historically correct) carrier oil, but any kind of decent quality vegetable oil will do the trick. Just make sure you find a decent sized mason jar with a strong, airtight seal to avoid any leaks.
Once you have your carrier oil ready, you can now add essential oils to it, or drop in herbs, spices, plants, flowers or even bark to give the mixture the properties you’re looking for.
Once you’re done, simply give the mixture a stir, and then seal the lid. That’s all there is to it!
A word on essential oils: Never use more than four drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil. These scented oils are extremely strong, dangerous if inhaled and can even burn the skin. Please see our disclaimers for more information.
Deciding Which Oils and Substances to Use
There have been entire books written on the properties and powers of herbs, spices and plants. We have a complete guide on individual herbs, but here are a few handy combinations to get you started:
- Wealth and Money: Cinnamon, Basil, Allspice, Ginger.
- Love: Coriander, Cardamom, Vanilla, Saffron.
- Peace & Tranquillity: Marjoram, Yarrow, Lemon Balm, Comfrey.
- Protection & Cleansing: Salt, Caraway, Peppermint, Rosemary, Garlic.
- Summoning and Conjuration: Sandalwood and Jasmine.
Still Stuck for Ideas? Here are Some Famous Examples of Ritual Oils:
Black Cat Oil
A traditional New Orleans Voodoo oil, Black Cat Oil is said to benefit tricksters, gamblers, loners and lovers of the night, bringing luck and charm to those who are anointed with it.
Black Cats are considered lucky in Afro Caribbean culture, and this complex , amber coloured oil is blended from Clary Sage, Myrrh, Bay leaves, Grains of Paradise and, rumour has it, ground cat bones!
This oil can shake off hexes and jinxes, as well as warding off bad luck and malicious spirits. Uncrossed oil can be used about the home or on the person, and is usually made with classic country garden plants like Verbena, Hyssop, Lavender and Rose.
Four Thieves Oil
The most famous oil of the bunch, Four Thieves Oil dates from the time of the Black Death. Rumour has it that four men used this powerful medicinal potion to rob the houses of the dead, without succumbing to the deadly bubonic plague.
Sometimes the blend is called “Four Thieves Vinegar” and is thought to have originally been made with aromatic herbs like Cloves, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary.
Some blends also add pungent garlic and pepper, in a nod to the original potion’s infection fighting reputation.
Four Thieves Oil is used for both protection and summoning, where its darker plague origins come to the fore.
The Final Piece of the Puzzle: How to Charge Oils
The final part of the oil blending process is learning how to charge oils with intent. When we talk about “charging” and “intent”, we are describing the mental (or energetic) process of “finalising” the creation of the oil and “giving it purpose” for its proposed use.
Unlike “held” items such as wands, or “worn” items like talismans and jewellery, the process of charging oils is relatively simple. That’s because:
- Oils are “carriers”. That’s to say that aside from the properties you imbued into them during creation, they’re fairly neutral substances that “soak up” their immediate surroundings.
- If your oil has a mundane history, you may not need to cleanse it. This is especially true if you have created the oil yourself.
- On occasion, oils do need to be cleansed before use. This can occur if they are not fair trade, if there was cruelty involved in their creation (e.g. child labour), or because they encountered a powerful negative energy in between harvest and your purchase. If you feel a strong negative energy coming from the oil, do a cleanse with some sage or incense to purify the oil.
Some Ways of Charging Oils
Because the process of how to charge oils involves leaving them to sit in a certain spot for a length of time, it’s easiest to think of the charging process as “elemental”. Simply pick a resting spot for your oil that has strong associations with an element of your choice:
Although not an element as such, the moon plays an important role in Wiccan belief and is associated with love, passion, fertility, death and rebirth. Leaving jars of oil in direct moonlight for several days produces the most powerful charging energy possible. Needless to say, a full moon is even more potent.
Burying jars of oil under earth for a period of time will imbue them with the corresponding elemental essence of earth. Take the jar to a secluded spot and dig a shallow hole. At noon, bury the jar of oil under a thin layer of soil and mark the perimeter with pebbles.
Finding a safe place to submerge a jar of oil can be tricky. For the element of water, you’re going to have to get creative. Storms and driving rain can be potent magickal focal points, as can secluded ponds and pools.
Finalising the Process
To really seal the deal, you can return periodically to the spot where the jar of oil is resting, and speak your chosen intention to it. After several days, or whenever you “feel” is the right time, take the oil back inside and store it, ready for its future use.
Now you’ve learned how to charge oils and how to create your own powerful blends, what will you use them for?
Whether you’re protecting a home from malicious spirits or blessing an altar for ceremonial use, oils are powerful tools for the practising Wiccan, and learning about their properties and uses is a side hobby all of its own!