What is a Magickal Anointing Oil?
Magickal anointing Oils, potions, and magical concoctions are found throughout literature and have been used for spiritual purposes since before recorded history. They have been used to anoint Kings and priests, to cleanse sacred objects, to ensure a pregnancy, and to heal wounds and broken hearts. You can use magical oils within witchcraft, hoodoo, or any other spiritual path & practice. When you blend oils with herbs, roots, and minerals for a spiritual or magickal purpose, you are basically mixing up magic in a bottle.
Combining the Magickal Use with Aromatherapy
In the Hoodoo tradition the creation of oils is used for anointing the body, candles, and objects to cleanse or bring about change. Learning the basics of aromatherapy and essential oils will give you a deeper understanding of the ingredients that go into making a spiritual oil. You will then know the magical use of each essential oil in a blend, but also the aromatherapeutic benefit and the physical reactions it causes to the mind and body. For example, geranium oil is typically used in love condition oils, but it also aids in skin problems.
Not surprisingly, these benefits often cross over from the practical to the magical side with little effort. Let’s take lavender, for example. Lavender is often associated with love spells and to bring about peace and a sense of calm. In aromatherapy, it is used for calming and for relaxation. In the chakra system, it is associated with the 7th chakra – the crown chakra where peace and a connection to the universe and God are experienced. In Hoodoo, it is not only used for love but also for creating floor washes that are intended to bring peace into the home. Many Voodoo recipes use lavender for peace, clarity, and psychic blessings. So, whether it is used in aromatherapy, witchcraft, the chakra system, or a folk magic service, the benefits are the same — to bring about a sense of peace and harmony.
Anointing Oils in the Bible
So, what is anointing? What does it mean to be anointed? The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are chrio, meaning “to smear or rub with oil” and, by association, “to consecrate for office or religious service”; and aleipho, which means “to anoint.” Biblically speaking, people were anointed with oil to imply God’s blessing or mark that person’s calling in life. One was anointed for a special purpose – to be a king, to be a prophet, etc. In Christian religions that use anointing oil, it is understood that the oil alone has no power. Anointing oils are made according to scriptural specifications, taken from the word of God. Therefore, only God can anoint someone for a religious purpose.
Probably the most well-known account of the use of an anointing oil is the biblical story of Samuel and David. Samuel was known as “the Prophet” and had anointed Saul as the first King of Israel. Before a campaign against the Philistines, Saul was waiting for Samuel to arrive and offer sacrifices to seek God’s favor. When Samuel didn’t appear as soon as he expected, Saul offered these sacrifices himself, assuming the privileges of a priest. When Samuel arrived, he informed Saul, “You have done a foolish thing,” using the Hebrew term ‘fool’ for people who act without regard for God. Samuel denounces Saul, telling him that his descendants will not rule in his place.
At a later date, Saul was given another assignment by God, to destroy the Amalekites. Saul, however, failed this second chance given to him by God by disobeying instructions. The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” The story continues with Saul evaluating each of the sons based on their appearance, contemplating which one would make a good king. However, God chose David, the youngest of the sons. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.
Anointing or Condition Oils in Hoodoo
In the Hoodoo tradition, anointing oils are mainly known as “condition oils,” as each one is formulated to tackle a particular condition (problem, a state of mind or body) that a person is experiencing. You will usually only find this term in Hoodoo and conjure practices where the oils are used to anoint the body, candles for rituals, and practical spell casting. While, historically, most practitioners of Hoodoo are Christian, the concept of where the power of the oil comes from is slightly different: It is the combination of the correct herbs, flowers, minerals, and curios that come together to create an oil that is capable of magical change. Many bless the oils after they are made or petition God, ancestors, or distinct Saints to bring forth their blessings to complete the process.
The primary benefits of using anointing oils, besides the physical ones such as relaxation and overall well-being (i.e., for use in aromatherapy), are:
- Protection from evil, accidents, negative things or people; brings about a feeling of safety
- Can be used to repel enemies or ward off evil spirits
- Can be used to protect a place or person at any time
- Can be used in spells and rituals to bring about manifestation of your desires
- Use it before praying to strengthen your connection with God/the Divine/Your Angels/Higher Self/Spirit Guides/Saints etc.
- Anoint candles or other tools used for spell work.
- To remove hexes or break spells that have been put on you or the home/business.
Anointing oils are made using essential oils, carrier oils, herbs and sometimes stones depending upon what is appropriate for each one. The blends can be customized to your needs, either by your own intuition or by asking God, your angels, saints, etc., which combination is best for you at this time. Each anointing oil has its own prayer to petition the divine powers to bless it so it will bring forth its desired effects when used by anyone who aligns themselves with its purpose.
Uses in Witchcraft and Pagan paths
In Witchcraft and some Pagan religions, oils are used not only in spell work but also a celebration. Some use different oils to mark the turning of the Wheel of the Year. In the Spring, flowers are most often used. Summer is a time of green leaves and fruits. In Autumn, the choices are usually spices and barks. Pure plant oils are considered to be a way to connect with the very nature they come from, bringing more power and connection to spells and magical workings.
You will notice that in many Pagan and witchcraft traditions, magic is spelled with a ‘k’ inserted to differentiate from what most consider to be stage magic. The magic they do is not separate or different than what anyone else can do magically. The tools (i.e., oils, herbs) are merely helpful catalysts to bring forth the power of intent more quickly and with greater effect.
Anointing oil can be made using pure plant essences or by using an infused carrier oil base which you make yourself at home easily. When choosing your herbs for each type of oil use ones that correspond to purpose (i.e., protection, money drawing etc.). For this type of spell work it’s ideal to keep all ingredients natural unless you know what you are doing in terms of magical herbalism; some concoctions that look harmless may end up causing harm if ingested internally or used topically on the body.
How to Make Your Own Anointing Oils
- Mix ingredients together in a dark glass bottle (i.e., brown or blue) with glass dropper if available. If you can’t find one, use cork or wooden stopper and keep the oil away from heat and direct sunlight. The darker the glass, the better, as light can damage some oils over time; this is why most pharmacies keep their medications in dark bottles only. You can also store your anointing oils in small tins that are made for perfumes but make sure they seal properly before using them to prevent leakage which can ruin anything it comes into contact with (counters, clothes etc.).
- If you are making an oil for protection, use protective herbs such as bay laurel, rosemary or angelica. Protective essential oils can also be added to the mix if preferred.
- If you are making an oil for wealth, use basil leaves, coriander seeds and/or cinnamon bark. The same goes for prosperity essential oils or extracts.
- Anoint candles with it before burning them during spell work for increased manifestation of your desires into physical form through sacred fire. They can also be used to dress an altar to ensure safety thereon after being consecrated with the intention that only positive, loving energies will manifest there so all who come in will feel its safety and peace therein.
As you can see, oils play many different roles in rituals and traditions across the world. Whether they are used to anoint a king or prophet, as condition oil for hoodoo spells, or part of magical workings with witchcraft-the power is derived from the unique ingredients that combine together to create them. The choice of which one (or more) may be right for your own tradition depends on why you want it and how you plan to use it.
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There are some good magical oils recipes over at Learn Religions in their Magical Oils 101 article.