You Should Read This

FireLyte (of the Inciting A Riot blog and podcast) wrote a painfully true essay about the overwhelming whiteness of American Paganism and magical publishing. Even the authors who write about ATRs, Santa Muerte, Brujería,  Santería, Hoodoo, Haitian Voodoo, and other traditions SPECIFIC TO BIPOC CULTURE are overwhelmingly white – despite the fact that some of them have taken on pseudonyms that sound vaguely Latinx or indigenous.

Read it on the blog:
Yes, This Is Our Paganism: Llewellyn, Weiser, & White Supremacy

Essential Oils STILL Not Medicine

The most popular entry on this blog remains the one I wrote on multi-level marketing of essential oils and the outlandish claims and insane price markups that these companies were peddling.
Anyway, if you’re interested in the topic, you know that the FDA formally reprimanded a number of MLM essential oil companies for making claims that their oils were medical treatments. Which, of course, they’re not. A lot of these MLM companies make (or have made in the past) claims about FDA certification, lab testing, purity standards, national certifications, oil grades, and other marketing inventions. I went poking around today to see if there was anything new that I hadn’t run across on the topic, and found a blog called “The Fraud Files” that’s run by a forensic accountant. She did an entry earlier this year on the essential-oils-as-medicine claims and does a fairly good takedown of the MLM company claims and insinuations.
You can read it here.
(as an aside, I really don’t want to hear from any more DoTerra or Young Living reps accusing me of being a shill for the FDA, or hating essential oils, or claiming that I hate holistic medicine, need Jesus in my heart, or that I’m basically a terrible person for thinking MLM essential oil companies are deeply offensive to anyone who’s in the essential oil/ritual oil business – I’ve got plenty of correspondence on the topic, I’ve even published some of the comments, but I’m tired of reading the crazy and you’re not changing my mind by ranting at me.)

DoTerra Chastised by FDA in Official Letter

It’s not without a certain amount of glee that I present a link to where the FDA tells DoTerra, among other things, to stop telling people that essential oils fix a variety of medical conditions.
Like eczema, asthma, migraines, diabetes, cancer, and recently, ebola.
No, really. EBOLA.
My first reaction was “OH NO THEY DID NOT” but there’s evidence and links and quotes and you can kind of hear the exasperation in the FDA’s letter. Kind of an “Seriously, we have to tell a multinational corporation to stop insisting distilled plant oils cure cancer and EBOLA?” tone.
You can read the letter on the FDA’s site.

(If you are involved in an essential oil MLM system, either DoTerra or any other, and you think that sending me hate mail or writing novel-length comments calling my expertise into question are going to convince me that these oils are special and perfect and made by sparkly fairies and/or vestel virgins, save it. I have a whole file of hate mail, and I publish only the really crazy comments.)

A Really Interesting Article

Normally I don’t link to non-oil related things, but The Death of Expertise over at The Federalist is a fascinating read. I was especially struck by this quote:
“People……no longer distinguish the phrase “you’re wrong” from the phrase “you’re stupid.” To disagree is to insult. To correct another is to be a hater. And to refuse to acknowledge alternative views, no matter how fantastic or inane, is to be closed-minded.”

Useful Book Review

Spiral Nature has reviewed the “Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook,” which is probably of interest to people working with oil and herbs.
As always, a solid and intelligent review. The reviewer had the same problems with this book that I have with a lot of books on the same topic:

The author claims her work is based on the ideas of Paracelsus, but the book lacks citations, a bibliography, or even suggested reading list. This is highly problematic as many of her attributions are not explained. Sometimes they are attributions that are more or less occult common knowledge, and other times the numbers, colours, herbs and their meanings vary from the common or traditional systems.

If you’re not reading Spiral Nature, you should be.