New Project

When you’re a wholesaler, you only get orders from retailers. When people are under stay at home orders, they don’t go to stores. The stores close. And their wholesale companies are also closed, because there’s no point in making a bunch of oils when there’s no one buying them.

My kids are doing “distance learning” through Chicago Public Schools and are pretty self-directed. They don’t need me hanging around looking over their shoulders and it’s not like I can help with math homework.

In the interests of not watching too much news and not mainlining Netflix and AcornTV, I decided to pull out all the lecture and research notes that I’ve collected over the last…..well. However many years. I started Quadrivium in 2013, I think, but started the background research for it in 2012.

I also pulled out the suggested rituals and uses for the oils that used to be on the original Quadrivium Supplies page, back when it was a retail website.

There’s a website where the suggested rituals live, now. And there’s essays going up (and down, and back up again) on the same site.

There’s a bunch of sites that talk about oils, and how to use them, but there’s not much on WHY. That was one of the targets of my research, so there’s an essay up right now on tables of correspondence, which are really important tools in oil work.

Ritual Oil Basics is up and running, but only the oil uses and rituals are static. At the moment, it’s running on a Quadrivium Supplies subsite (like this blog), but will eventually get it’s own URL.

Happy 2020

More like “happy pandemic, when social distancing means that I am willing to work with a Dreamhost tech support person to resurrect this blog from the ether.”
This is not at all how I’d expected to spend the spring of 2020.

But the blog has risen – possibly might have wanted to wait a week more for maximum effect – and another sub-site continuing rituals is being configured. Since retail stores are effectively shut down, I’m also effectively shut down. And now that I’ve untwisted the website from the various places it ended up, maybe I can put it all back together again.

Eclipse Oils

Quadrivium wasn’t going to let an eclipse of the sun go by without making some oils during the event.

NASAA Eclipse Photo

The oils in question are still being checked for scent and effectiveness. When they’re ready, customers will be able to purchase the oils at whatever Quadrivium retailers decide to carry them – there will be a list.

The oils are:
“Occlude” is an oil intended to conceal, made as the moon began to move in front of the sun. There’s all kinds of things we’d prefer to conceal. Maybe you’d like to not be noticed in a certain situation. Maybe you’d like for someone ELSE to not be noticed. There might be a personality trait that’s dooming your job search or your love life and you’d like to rein it in, or at least make it less dominant. Occlude is very flexible, in that it can be used on many different things, but very specific at the same time, because it only has one purpose.

“Reveal” rips off your rose colored glasses. Or black-colored, if you’re prone to pessimism. If you’re worried that you’re not seeing a situation or a person or a conversation as it truly is, you need to Reveal what’s really going on underneath. Reveal is intended to blast through illusions, both your own and those of others. It was created during the last minutes of the eclipse, when the sun was almost fully visible.

Other new oils are in the works and will be available around the end of the calendar year. Occlude and Reveal sales information will be posted here as soon as it’s available.

Recommended Essential Oil Brands

(One of the most infuriating things about having the blog down was that I’d just finished this huge post and couldn’t publish it. Here it is, at last.)

Google Analytics tells me what search terms bring people to my website. Far and away, the biggest term that leads people here is “essential oil scam.” Apparently, that blog entry I wrote on MLM scams involving essential oils is popular. Hint: the two companies I was talking about still exist, and are still roping people in with outlandish claims and even more outlandish prices.

But where to get essential oils if you don’t get them through the MLM market? As I’ve mentioned before, essential oils aren’t graded or tested, so if you lack your very own gas spectrometer, it can be hard to figure out what brands are of generally good quality.

First, the widely available oil companies. These are the companies that sell at the major natural food chain stores, at vitamin and natural health stores, new age shops, apothecaries, and the like. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just the companies I see a lot here in Chicago, whose oils I’ve used and found perfectly adequate for my (magical) needs. I do not participate in any affiliate marketing programs, nor have any of these companies ever sent me products for review or as a promotion.

Locally Available – most of these will contain an orifice reducer, which you’ll need to pop out if you’re using an eyedropper or pipette for oil measurement.

  • Aura Cacia – easy to find at Walgreens and Target, at least in the Midwest. Itsy bitsy 15ml bottles, but if you’re just starting out, very handy. Kind of pricey for 15ml, but you’re paying for the convenience of buying an essential oil at Target. As far as I can tell, perfectly acceptable oils.
  • Everyone Essential Oils – the basic oils (lavender, peppermint, etc.) in a .45oz bottle. 100% essential oils. Again, you’re going to pay for convenience, but not all that much. They sell blends of oils, but stick to the single-oil type for better control over your mixtures.
  • Nature’s Alchemy – I’ve only seen this one at the Vitamin Shoppe, but I’ve bought a few and found them to be decent quality. Not my first choice, but widely available.
  • Nature’s Truth – New to Walgreens, also available at Target. I don’t have much experience with this one. As far as I can tell, 100% pure essentials, not synthetic. Can’t speak to the quality, but easy to find. They sell blends like “Energy” and “Calming,” as well as roll-on bottles with a mix of sunflower seed oil and essential oil. Avoid those.
  • NOW Essential Oils – 1oz bottles, available pretty much everywhere, mostly in health food stores. Good quality, medium price point, easy to find. HOWEVER, their Jasmine oil is cut with fragrance oil. They say so in the ingredients, but not the brand to use for Jasmine.

Online Vendors – smaller bottles will have orifice reducers, which you’ll want to remove.

  • Camden-Grey – if you need more than 1oz and you prefer a very slick, professional experience, these are your people. Good product, but an extra step if you’re ordering more than 6oz or so. Camden-Grey ships in plastic bottles, because it’s cheaper. You’ll need to decant the oils after you get them, into glass containers. About 30% of my oils are from here, and all my carrier oils.
  • Edens Garden – easy to navigate page, reasonable prices, I’ve always found their oils to be good quality. They sell up to 100ml (just under 3.5oz) in some oils, 250ml (just under 8.5oz) in others.
  • Essential7 – they do use the “pure therapeutic grade” marketing twaddle, but they’re not an MLM and they deliver products of good quality at an excellent price, and they’re very pleasant to work with. Probably about 50% of my oils are from this company.
  • Mountain Rose Herbs – small company, relationships with their distillers, great quality. If I’m looking for a particularly delicate scent, this is where I go. Price reflects the care they take with the oils. If you’re buying in smaller amounts, a good choice. They also sell herbs.
  • Plant Therapy – available on Amazon, often with Prime Shipping. Very nice selection, solid quality assurance, and they’ve worked with essential oil guru Dr. Robert Tisserand to create a line of oils that are safe for use with kids (not that you’re slathering your offspring – or anyone else’s – with magical oils, but for diffusing and topical use of you buy into that). Good quality, decent value for the money, this is a good choice if you’re starting out and you have Amazon Prime and no local health food stores.

Of Note For Magicians
There will be oils that you’ll need that won’t be widely available, and best purchased from a magical oilmaker. When I need Galangal, for example, I can’t get that from bigger companies. I buy those oils from Harold Roth at Alchemy Works. He has a book coming out called “The Witching Herbs,” which I’ve already pre-ordered on Amazon. These oils are not cheap, but they’re worth it. He also sells herbs, seeds, resins and incense. Even the website is worth a thorough perusal, there’s lots of good information about oils and oil use there.

Suggestions? Comments? I’m happy to add to the list. Anyone touting the benefits of Young Living or DoTerra will be laughed right into the spam filter.

The Blog Is Back

If you were clicking on the blog link wondering WTF happened…..so was I, to be totally honest. There was something that happened with another domain I own, database users were changed as a precaution, a PHP thing had to be done and I had to wait until my web hosting service understood that I could not do this change for myself without breaking the whole site.
But! The blog is back, phew.
While it was dark, I did the Intro to Oils class on Facebook Live. Which has it’s limitations, but A) free and B) unlimited viewers. I am sorry if you don’t Facebook. Further classes will be on another platform.
In case you missed it, the class was in three parts, which all live on my Facebook Video Page. If you cannot access this, I’m working on getting the videos downloaded and putting them on the site, but Facebook does not make that easy. If it’s possible, I’ll do it an let you know.

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans. We are entering the holiday season, and I’m curating a list of vendors and products to post. As a wholesaler, I can’t offer sales, but a direct giveaway of some new-beginnings kinds of oils will be coming.

Registration Closed

Registration for the class is closed – a few people snuck in under the wire, so we’re at 34 people
I will be contacting those who registered closer to the date of the class to give some info and ask some more questions. If, at that point, someone tells me they’re no longer interested or can’t attend because of an impending apocalypse or something, registration will open up again and it’ll be announced here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Now all I have to do is figure out how not to break my – or anyone else’s – computer while running the class. Easy, right?

Class Updates

apothecaryjars2Last week, I opened registration for a free, online class in ritual oils.  Attendees would put up with technological errors for a free class.  It seemed like a pretty good idea – everybody gets something they want.  A few people might sign up so I could learn the tech.

21 people signed up in the first 48 hours and registrations are still arriving.  Apparently I should have been doing this before now.

I’ve taught short seminars and longer workshops at events.  I’ve rattled on for over an hour on multiple podcasts, radio shows, and even YouTube shows.  Yet I’m still convinced no one really wants to attend a class I’m teaching. There’s people that are better trained! Smarter! More magical!! More scientific! Taller!

But apparently people want to see if I can wedge Emmanuel Swedenborg, Philip K. Dick, Aleister Crowley, The Book of Exodus, The Golden Bough, twelve other esoteric references I haven’t thought of yet, a fire safety lecture and a guide to oil extraction and creation into an hour.

(I can’t, obviously.)

Anyway, almost all of those signed up have been kind enough to tell me what you want to know about oils, and while there were a few “….everything?” answers, most split right down the middle between looking for practical oil-making info, and looking for help doing magical work with oils.  Everyone who signed up for the class will get an email about this (that’s why I wanted an email addresses), but it’s being posted here as well:

The oil class will be in 2 parts.

7pm-7:45pm – The Practical: how oils are made, when they’re used, not used, mixed, not mixed, the difference between distilled, heat expressed and cold pressed oil, and how to ensure you’re making a magical oil and not  just a nice basil-infused olive oil for cooking. Batches vs. bottles, time, temperature, oxidation, expiration dates.  Probably a reminder on ways not to set yourself, ritual items, or house ablaze.

7:45-8:30 – Theory and Ritual: Why we use oils, when we use them, what we do when we use oils in magical and ritual practices. The various choices when making an oil, how to make your choice. Tables of correspondence (my faaaaaavorite oil topic, believe it or not) and the art of picking the correct scent/s.

This is just a general idea of what will be discussed.  Some of it might not fit in, some of it might be discussed in depth, but there’s a limit of 45 min per section.  While I’ll cover as much as I can without talking reallyreallyfast, YOUR topic might get skipped – if you don’t remember what’s important and ask via whatever means you’ll have for real-time questions.  Even then, I’m sorry to say, it might still get missed if we run out of time or it doesn’t fit within the planned topics – swerving from topic to topic for 90 minutes based only on questions might be possible, but it wouldn’t be coherent.

Due to the fact that people will be participating, and there’s only so many questions I can answer, we will be capping the class at 30 registrants. At the moment, you can still register here, but the form will stop accepting new registrations after we get to 30.

If what I’m talking about here doesn’t grab you and you’ve already registered, I am not going to be at all offended if you let me know this isn’t what you were looking for and un-register yourself.  This is ESPECIALLY aimed at the few of you who are advanced oil users in theory and practice, because I’ll be honest, you could probably teach this every bit as well as me.  I’ll add on a chat for the “this is how I do things, how do you do it?” crowd later in the month that will be restricted to a few people with a lot of experience.

It’s really exciting to see so many people interested in learning about oils, and thank you all for sharing what it is you want to learn about.