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Oils and Oil Blends
by D. Sylvan of the Sibylline Order

Most essential oils have the same general magical applications as the herbs they came from. I won't go into them all, since they've been printed in just about every Pagan book. If you want to look more closely into using essential oils, I recommend Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham, and for more a more mainstream work on the subject try Valerie Worwood's The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.

When blending oils don't forget to visualize your goal; a lot of magic can go into the blend before you even use it in ritual. For magical purposes it's best not to blend oils while you're watching TV o r having a tense conversation with your mother on the phone; your attention will be diverted, and unwanted negative crap may get into the oil.

You can get into really complicated oil recipes with a zillion expensive ingredients, but there are a couple of rules of thumb that may simplify things for you.

If it smells sweet, like a fruit or flower, it's probably good for love or luck. If it smells spicy, it's probably good for sex, protection, or power. If it stinks like ass it's probably valerian.

Essential oils are very strong, always be careful about applying essential oils directly to the skin, as many are irritants. Also, allergy test your oils before using them. Finding out your are allergic to something after you've applied it or worse bathed in it is not a happy experience. Case in point - I was involved in a ritual where the high-priestess drew Goddess symbols on our foreheads with an unidentified oil - it turned out to be undiluted cinnamon. We all walked around for days with big red circles on our faces. Hey, it could have been worse...

Use any essential oil sparingly in baths. I recommend no more than five drops in a bath. Taking a bath with an oil is similar to ingesting an oil as your body absorbs the oil to a greater extent than if it were applied as a drop on a wrist. Be careful bathing with any oils especially if you are pregnant. These oils are not meant to be ingested. Do not drink these oils - they're probably nasty tasting anyway.

A basic stock of oils will work wonders for your magic, even if you only use them one at a time. My favorites are:

Lavender - good for love, luck, healing, anything nice. Don't let the flowery smell fool you; lavender packs a lot of wallop

Rose - especially good for love and Goddess energy

Lemon, Lime, Orange, any citrus - good for purification, Moon energy

Patchouli - earth energy, fertility and money and sex

Rosemary - good for anything, just like the herb, but it's a little more biting in fragrance so it tends to be better for things like banishing and protection

Sandalwood - as versatile as the wood, and great for any spiritual pursuit, Goddess or God energy

Black Pepper - spicy, kicks things up a notch; protects, banishes, purifies, and draws sex. Cinnamon has the same basic uses, but it's a more spiritual oil.

Mint - healing, love, general yumminess

Carnation - power, strength, it smells really good

With these you can make just about anything, and most of them have the advantage of being fairly inexpensive. Never buy oils from someone who gives them all the same price -- things like sandalwood and frankincense should be higher, and the citrus should be dirt cheap. Price differences are a good indicator of quality.

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