Read an Excerpt
A Compendium of Oils, Unguents, Incense, Tinctures, and Comestibles
By Marilyn F. Daniel
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2002 Marilyn F. Daniel
All rights reserved.
Preparing for Ritual
In the overall scheme of the powers of the cosmos, both glimpsed and unknown, certain things are everlasting, immortal, and infinite. Magic is one of the ultimate cosmic powers, the union of mind, spirit, and physical being with the infinite cosmos. Magic is one with everything past, present, and future. It belongs to no particular culture, ethnic group, or tribe.
Magic, a simple word exuding the most ancient of emotions and thoughts, returns us to our ancient ancestors who lived and worshipped the natural cycles, powers, and energies that we share with the cosmos in the turning of the Wheel of the Year. The word witch, even today, has the ability to stir the most ancient of memories in the most skeptical of minds, and today it is the witch who celebrates the virtues of magic. This book is a reference book for all practitioners. Intermediate to advanced practitioners can move on to the next chapter while beginners need to study this section very carefully.
The casting of the circle is the most basic ritual to perform in preparing to do magic. These simple steps will lead you through the process.
1. Purification Bath: This is a simple task, and yet so very important for cleansing your body, spirit, mind, and psychic areas. Start by cleaning the tub with baking soda or a commercial cleanser. Next, run hot water into the tub and place ¼ cup of sea salt or circle bath (see page 95) into the tub and stir until the salt is dissolved.
In the tub, actually and physically force the negative energies out of your body and into the water through your hands to completely and totally destroy them. Now, visualize a blue-white light penetrating your body, spirit, mind, and psychic areas, bringing protection, purification, and an abundance of energy. Actually feel this energy entering through your crown-chakra point and engulfing you. This energy sustains and energizes you. You feel as if there is nothing you cannot accomplish! Submerge your entire body in the water and let it do its job of purification and protection, increasing your ability to cast perfect circles and spells, attuning you with deity and power. After this visualization is completed, get out of the tub, dry yourself, and enter into the sacred space of the altar room and the magic of the ancients!
2. Purifying Sacred Space: Walk around the areas that will become the magic circle carrying a bowl of sea salt and water (salt for the earth element, water for the water element) and an incense burner (for the fire and air elements). As you walk the path of the circle clockwise, say:
By water and earth, by fire and air, by spirit, be this circle bound and purified as we desire. So mote it be. Blessed be.
3. Next, the high priest or priestess, carrying a wand, sword, or athame, walks clockwise around the circle three times, visualizing the tip of the wand, or athame, or sword creating a circle of light and energy, projecting blue-white light from the tip to create the circle of energy. In your mind's eye, see the circle as geometrically perfect and say to yourself that it is so. Say:
I cast this circle to protect me/us from all negative and positive energies and forces on any level that may come to do me/us harm. I bear into this circle only the energies and forces that are correct and right for me/us and most correct for my/our work.
Walk the circle for the third time and say:
I create sacred space. So mote it be!
Repeat this as you walk around the circle.
4. Invoke and invite the energies of the elements, angels, spirits, dragons, gods, and animal powers to join you in your circle from the North and ask them to add their energies to your circle.
5. Invoke and invite the energies of the elements, angels, spirits, dragons, gods, and animal powers to join you in your circle from the East and ask them to add their energies to your circle.
6. Invoke and invite the energies of the elements, angels, spirits, dragons, gods, and animal powers to join you in your circle from the South and ask them to add their energies to your circle.
7. Invoke and invite the energies of the elements, angels, spirits, dragons, gods, and animal powers to join you in your circle from the West and ask them to add their energies to your circle.
8. Give the standard goddess invocation:
I invoke and call upon Thee O Mother Goddess, Creator of Life and Soul of the Infinite Universe. By candle flame and incense smoke do I invoke Thee to bless this rite and grant this spell. O Goddess, Queen of All Witches, I do open my heart and soul unto Thee. Blessed be. So mote it be.
9. Give the standard Horned God invocation:
I invoke and call upon Thee, O Great Horned God of Pagans, Lord of the Green Woodlands and Father of All Things Wild and Free. By candle flame and incense smoke I do invoke Thee to bless this rite and grant this spell. O Great Horned God of Peace and Love, I do open my heart and soul unto Thee. Blessed be. So mote it be.
10. Close with this invocation:
Goddess and God, give us the wisdom and understanding of our magical workings so that they will be for our good and for the good of many! Blessed be. So mote it be.
11. Now is the time for all magical spells and workings for the occasion. This is also the time when the drawing down of the Sun and the Moon takes place on special occasions, such as at the Full Moon or in a Full Moon rite. Earth the power by scattering salt around the circle and say:
This power is earthed. Blessed be. So mote it be.
12. Thank the goddesses and gods for their attention and ask them to come again at the appointed time.
13. Close the circle by holding the wand, athame, or sword out over the circumference of the circle. Beginning at magnetic North, walk once around the circle counterclockwise as you say:
I send this circle into the cosmos to do my/our bidding. The circle is undone but not broken. Blessed be. So mote it be.
Charging or Enchanting Components or Tools
Charging or enchanting components or tools programs each item with its specific duties and its vibrational level. This increases the power and effectiveness of each spell or ritual.
1. Light a candle or candles whose color is appropriate for the mixture or object you are charging (oils, tools, herbs, brews, tinctures, salves, ointments, foods, etc.). Refer to the list of colors and their representations in chapter 14, page 240, to determine the appropriate color.
2. Hold the container for the mixture or the object in your hands. Sense the nonaligned (nonspecific) energies it contains. Visualize the magical goal within yourself (power, love, energy, exorcism, protection, spirituality, etc.). Force this power and energy out of your body through your hands and into the object you want to charge. Build up your power, emotions, and intent regarding the mixture or object and say aloud the intention with which you want to charge it.
3. With this energy tingling in your hands, visualize the energy streaming into the mixture or object, perhaps as shimmering strands of blue-white or purplish-white light that pour from your palms and enter the oils, herbs, or tools. You should visualize this energy in accordance with the candles and their colors. Always go with your instincts; never go against them.
5. When you feel drained of energy, when you know that all the energy has left your body and entered the mixture or object, set it down and shake your hands vigorously for a few moments. This cuts off the flow of energy so you will not be completely drained.
Relax your body. Pinch out the candle flame or flames (or snuff them out) and save them for use in another empowering ritual of the same type. The empowerment or charging is completed.
All tools and components must be charged before any magical workings can be performed. The vibration levels in each item must be programmed to do their specific duties. Charging or enchanting all tools and components greatly improves the possibilities of your success in any ritual or magical workings you wish to accomplish.
In modern times, it has become quite popular to use true essential oils within the Craft for the magical working of spells, charms, amulets, and talismans. However, there are some industrious individuals who would rather make their own oils than buy them from a reputable source. For those individuals, a kind word of caution and warning. It is exceptionally difficult to ensure the quality of the oil you are extracting, because the method of extraction must be so precise that any deviation from it will cause the oil to be inferior in quality. Here are a few reasons.
It requires an enormous amount of fresh plant material to extract enough oil to fill even a dram bottle—in fact, hundreds of pounds of plant material. Also, the petals, leaves, or roots must be of the appropriate species. For example, the best rose oils are created from the "old world" varieties, which are rarely available in large quantities.
Often, the results of producing your own oils aren't worth the investment of time and money required. Most homemade oils certainly do not smell like the flowers or plants from which they were extracted. In fact, there are very few plant oils that can be extracted at home without serious problems. I recommend simply buying and blending high-quality oils for ritual use.
There are many companies that claim to sell essential oils. Be wary, however, of any oil that does not actually say "True Essential Oil" on the label. The only true essential oils are those that are extracted from plants of that particular genus and species, and not from some chemical formula. Many companies sell blended oils, compounds, or bouquets that reproduce a specific scent by mixing and blending various true essential oils. Never take it for granted that an oil is either true or essential. Always check it out.
It is always best to use only authentic oils in your magic. These contain the sum of all the plant's knowledge—past, present, and future—and all of its collective magical energies. These genuine oils are the most effective for your Craftwork.
The synthetic oils that I have worked with are effective but, compared to true essential oils, they are extremely weak. While it is true that synthetic oils are much cheaper, you use them up twice as fast as true essential oils. In fact, it often takes many drops of a synthetic oil to do the work of just one drop of a true essential oil. Although it is expensive to build up a good stock of genuine essential oils, this is necessary to create quality magical oils for your work in the Craft of the Old and Wise. I recommend you buy your essential oils from a reliable source, such as a local health food store that handles the real thing.
I know that some will continue to utilize synthetic oils, but, over the years, I have found that the results are, at best, less than desirable. Although it is my recommendation that you not use synthetics at all, it is up to each individual and the quality they want to achieve in their Craft. For those essences not available in essential oil form, bouquets can be used (see "Bouquets" on page 9).
There is no specific method for blending oils. Just remember when mixing the oils with a base to rotate the mixture in a clockwise direction, as when casting a circle.
1. Assemble the true essential oils (and/or bouquets) called for in the recipe.
2. In a clean, sterilized glass container, add to ? cup of any of the base oils in the following list. (I prefer the jojoba oil, simply because it is a liquid wax and will not go bad or turn rancid. Any of the other oils can go stale.) Alternatively, you can use any vegetable oil that has very little scent to it.
3. Use any standard dropper that will dispense one drop at a time. These are usually included with each bottle of true essential oils. Add the oils one at a time, starting with a base oil, then progressing to the next oil called for in the recipe. And remember: no recipe is set in stone. Experiment, and enjoy. This is part of your learning experience. Use the recipes in this book as guidelines, but never let your creativity be hampered by any restricting guidelines. You should, however, always err on the side of caution.
4. Always swirl the oils in a clockwise rotation within their container. Never stir. (This is true in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, swirl the contents counterclockwise. Always swirl with the gravitational pull of the planet when charging or mixing.
5. All true essential oils should be stored away from heat in a completely dark place. This helps to preserve their vibrational level. Label the oil and keep it for use in later recipes. Always remember to label your oils when you make them. I promise you that your memory will eventually fail you. Also, you need to be able to duplicate your formulas exactly, so be sure to document everything you do.
6. All oils should be stored away from heat, light, and moisture (not in the bathroom) in airtight containers. Opaque or dark-colored glass bottles work well. Always charge each oil for a specific magical goal or intention.
Charging or Enchanting Oils
Charging or enchanting an oil is done to program it with the specific duty or duties of its vibrational level in order to increase its power and effectiveness. When charging, always ask the goddess, god, elementals, dragons and angels, if you work with them, to lend their energies to the oil and further enhance its power.
1. Light a candle or candles of a color appropriate to the mixture: oils, herbs, tinctures, salves, ointments, foods, etc. (see chapter 14, page 240 for a list of color correspondences.)
2. Hold the vessel containing the mixture in your hands. Sense the non-aligned (nonspecific) energies it contains. Visualize the magical goal (power, love, energy, exorcism, protection, spirituality, etc.) within yourself and force this power and energy out of your body through your hands and into the oil. Build up your power, emotions, and intent regarding the mixture and say your intention aloud.
3. With this energy tingling in your hands, visualize it streaming into the mixture, perhaps as shimmering strands of purplish-white light that pour from your palms and enter the oils or herbs. You may wish to visualize this energy in accordance with the candles and their colors. State your magical intention in a firm voice and say:
I charge you_______(oil or herb) by the moon and sun to________. Blessed be. So mote it be.
4. When you feel drained of energy, when you know that the energy has left your body and entered the mixture, set the vessel down and shake your hands vigorously for a few moments. This cuts off the flow of energy so you will not be drained completely.
5. Relax your body. Pinch out the candle flame, or snuff it out, and save the candle for use in another empowering ritual of the same type. The empowerment or charging is completed.
Using Magical Oils
True essential oils are used in a variety of ways, from anointing candles, to anointing the human body for protection, to performing exorcisms. In fact, they can be used for all of the magical goals that are included in this book and for any you could ever possibly think of. The only restrictions are in the mind of the individual. Don't let your mind hold you back or restrict your magic. Use the full power of the ingenuity the Goddess has given you. Have fun with the Craft of the Old and the Wise.
A humble bath can be turned into a ritual simply by adding several drops of true essential oil or oils to the bath water, slipping into the tub with intention and visualization in your mind, and inhaling the fragrances of your magical goal and intention from the hot steam and aromas arising from your ritual bath. Remember always to visualize a specific magical goal while performing a ritual bath.
Quartz crystals and other stones can also be anointed with magical oils to boost and increase their energy and power during spells and rituals. These stones can then be placed in bags made of leather, velvet, or some natural fabric and carried, worn, or placed in mystic patterns to bring about specific magical goals. There are many other uses for oils that you will discover later in this chapter.
All oils to be used in ritual should be blessed by both Goddess and God. This empowers the oil with divine energy which in turn enhances and blesses you and your workings within the Craft of the Old and Wise.
Excerpted from Kitchen Witchery by Marilyn F. Daniel. Copyright © 2002 Marilyn F. Daniel. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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