In the first of a series of practical ‘How to Posts’ I am going to show how to make magical oils – this is so incredibly simple and so magically powerful you’ll wonder why you ever considered buying them!
Many witches use herbs and plants in their work – either for magical healing purposes or for spell work. Whilst you can buy excellent quality oils from shops and other practitioners they lack a certain…. omph!
When you work with the plant spirit whilst it is growing, harvest it with honour and intention, and prepare the herb for use, it becomes much more magically powerful. And its so easy (and cheap!) to do that I really encourage everyone to at least give it a go.
I’m going to do a series of ‘how to’ articles with practical preparations you can try – and I’m starting with cold infused oils. Because its so incredibly easy, and can be used for so many different purposes. You can use it to dress candles, anoint tools or people in rituals, use instead of incense (just add a little to a water diffuser), as an offering, in a ritual bath or rubbed into the skin to change your magical awareness. As a healing product you can use it directly to treat skin complaints, add to baths, or as a base ingredient for some of the more complex preparations we will cover in future weeks such as lotions and cremes.
To prove how easy it is to make a cold oil, I had a go last night with a very helpful 3 year old. It took me less than 5 mins. It took way way longer to take the photos and clean up after said 3 year old made her own version!!
This is all I needed:
1) Flowers or Herb Material. You can gather your own from your garden or local area and use fresh or dried, or you can buy dried herb. Gathering your own is the best, as you can connect with the spirit of the plant and ask it to aid your work. You simply close your eyes and reach out in your mind – asking permission and saying a short prayer to the spirits. But bought herb also works very well.
I used Calendula (Marigold) as I use a lot of this oil – for dry skin, nappy creme, and for dressing Sun candles.
2) A jar with a close fitting lid. I use small jars from ikea. I tend to only make a small amount at a time so I can magically charge it to the exact use – but you can use a jar as big as you like! I sterilise my jars first by pouring in boiling water and leaving to stand for 5 mins.
3) Oil. I use a variety of carrier oils, but I particularly like Sweet Almond or Jojoba but you can use any running vegetable oil. Grapeseed is nice, but I find olive oil too heavy and scented.
4. A hessian bag / nut milk bag. When the oil is finished you will need to separate the oil and the plant material, a sieve works, but I like to use something I can squeeze every last bit from!
5. Something to store the oil in. You can use the same jar, but I like the little coloured bottles which are sold with droppers or pipettes so I can dispense it easily!
So the complicated bit – are you ready?
Put the flowers in the jar and cover them with the oil.
Now the bit where I fibbed a bit. It takes more then 5 mins, as you now need to fasten up the jar and leave it somewhere for a few days or weeks.
I’m going to be terribly imprecise about this – I’m not going to tell you where or for how long I’m afraid, because that depends on your purpose.
The first place my jar goes is on the Hearthstone – this is my magical working area. It stays there for at least 24 hours, and I petition the spirits to aid the magical purpose of the work. I do this by writing a very simple charm – a little poem if you like – telling them what I need and asking very politely for help. You can google example of these but it really is best if you write your own.
If this bit seems a bit overwhelming at first – the oil will still work without it! And it will still be more magically potent than one you buy.
Next I move it to a permanent infusing spot.
For my sun oil for candles (which I use for energy work and being generally uplifting) I like to sit them on a very sunny windowsill so the oil absorbs some of the sun’s energy each day too. I will usually leave it for 2 weeks. And it takes on a really nice yellow/orange colour. When I’m using it for nappy cream I like it stronger – to get more of the plant essence into it, so I leave it for a month or so.
I have also been know to use the oil twice for my nappy cream – I use the finished product in fresh herbs and just repeat the process. This makes it stronger again.
In the middle of summer it is warmer and needs less time than in winter – the heat helps the infusion process.
Its good to agitate the jar every day or so. Just a quick shake as you pass it is all it needs.
When the oil is finished you simple strain it through the bag or sieve. Make sure your hands are VERY clean for this bit and squeeze out every last drop! It gets messy squeezing the herb with a seize but its worth it to get all the good stuff out!
Then I bottle the oil and use it.
It doesn’t last forever – which is another reason for making it in small doses. You can add a few drops of essential oils to help expand its lifespan, but generally I wouldn’t keep it for longer than 1-2 months for any kind of use on the body, or up to 6 months as a candle oil.
See how easy it is? You don’t need any special equipment, and apart from waiting the whole process takes less than 10 mins.
Why not have a go this weekend?