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How to Make Herbal and Aromatherapy Anointing Oils

I've written for many websites including being an editor at BellaOnline. I love sharing articles on many topics.

Lemon oil being made

Lemon oil being made

Learn to make and use magical oils.

Anointing oils are placed on different points of the body for the purpose of bringing us into the harmonious state of mind needed for magic and ritual. Certain scents are also believed to have specific effects such as increasing psychic vision. They can be purchased or you can easily make your own with simple ingredients.

You may use your favorite herbs, flowers, and essential oils to consecrate the oil for use in anointing or choose according to specific herbal correspondences such as lavender for purification and healing or mugwort for psychic ability. Below are two different techniques using herbs (herbal method) and essential oils (aromatherapy method). You will need a variety of glass jars of your choice. I prefer to use canning jars to make the oils and then transfer them into smaller cobalt blue, amber, or green glass jars for use and storage.

Table of 5 Magical Herbs

An example of a correspondence table. Source: Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham.

HerbMagical PropertiesPlanetary Correspondence


Protection, Exorcism



Prosperity, Meditation



Love, Healing



Love, Purification



Clairvoyance, Protection


Herbal Preparation Method

  1. Place fresh or dried herbs of choice in a glass jar almost to the rim. Cover with pure olive oil. Put the lid on and store for a week in a cool dark place. Strain with linen, very fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Discard used herbs or add them to your compost.
  2. Pour the oil in a jar filled with the same type of herbs and repeat this process as many times as you wish to get the desired strength. Add 10 percent wheat germ oil as a preservative (nearly 5 teaspoons for every 8 ounces). Store in dark glass.
  3. If the herbs are very dry, they might soak up the oil quickly. Check the jar once or twice during the week to see if you need to add extra oil.

Aromatherapy Preparation Method

While some may advocate the use of essential oils directly on the skin, I advise against this without research or professional aromatherapist advice as this may cause a reaction ranging from slight irritation to something much more severe. This is why you will need to mix a carrier (or base) oil to hold the essential oils. This carrier oil as well as the above herbal oil can serve double duty as massage oils.

If you intend to use it for this purpose, keep in mind that the amount of essential oils may need to be diluted depending on your preference and the strength of the essential oil you choose. This is a basic recipe for carrier oil that I used for years as a massage therapist:

  1. Combine equal parts sweet almond and grapeseed oils with 10 percent wheat germ oil as a preservative. You may substitute vitamin E oil for the wheat germ. This comes as an oil by itself or you can open a vitamin E capsule with a sterilized needle or scissors.
  2. For every 2 ounces of base oil add between 15-20 drops essential oil. Lavender, rosemary, frankincense, and myrrh are all popular oils to use. Herbal correspondences would also apply to essential oils.

Safety Issues and Variations

As I stated, care should be taken using any herbs or essential oils. While they may generally considered harmless, even something "all-natural" may cause an allergic reaction for some people.

Oils such as jojoba, avocado or hazelnut can be used as substitutes or along with the other base oils. I prefer grapeseed above others because it is generally inexpensive and very light in texture. Almond oil is another favorite that I used in my previous massage therapy practice. I found that it didn't cause skin irritation and had a suitable texture for the long strokes used in relaxation massage.

Benzoin tincture or essential oil may also be used as a preservative, although I have never tried it. I prefer to make smaller batches with wheat germ oil as the preservative, and I have never had a problem with the oils going off too quickly.


Anointing oils are tools often used in meditation and ritual.

Anointing oils are tools often used in meditation and ritual.

How to Use Your Oils

You may use your anointing oils by simply dabbing some on your forehead and wrists. A more elaborate blessing can be done by placing oil on each of the chakra points along with both the hands and feet while reciting a favorite prayer or chanting before meditation and ritual.

My Aromatherapy Faves

Aromatherapy is an art in itself. I suggest finding a good reference book. Some of my favorites are any titles by Shirley Price and The Essential Oils Book: Creating Personal Blends for Mind & Body by Colleen K. Dodt. For magical purposes, Scott Cunningham's Magical Aromatherapy is also a good resource. The video below is a rare one of Scott sharing his love of herbal magic.

Author Scott Cunningham Explains Herb Magic

© 2009 PatriciaJoy

Comments welcome. - Do you practice herbal magic?

GreenfireWiseWo on July 25, 2012:

Yes! Great lens - thank you.

RinchenChodron on September 18, 2010:

I'm not a pagan but I have friends who are. Thanks for the education on Abramelin Oil - I had never heard of it before, even though I distribute therapeutic essential oils for healing. Very interesting lens.

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