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.

Electional Oils

If you’ve ever purchased any oils from Quadrivium Supplies, you know that we have two categories of oils: regular and electional.  Electional oils are more expensive, because they’re ritually made at certain times determined by an astrologer.  That’s the definition we give on our site, but since there’s this blog here, how about a more extensive explanation?

Electional astrology is the branch of astrology which identifies the most astrologically auspicious moments, the best astral configuration, for something to be done.  It’s distinct from horary astrology, where an astrologer will try to determine the answer to a question based on when the question was asked.  Electional astrology looks to find the most favorable astrological configuration possible for an event being planned.  It’s traditionally been used to plan battles, but also to determine the best date for weddings and other important life events. For example, when I was given a choice of three dates for my youngest child to be delivered, her birthdate was selected using electional astrology – the Quadrivium Supplies astrologer looked at the astrological configurations for each day and time, and I chose the most optimal one.

The ritual part of our electional oils comes in with the use of the Picatrix, which is a 12th century Arabic manual of ritual and astrological magic.  It has been suggested that the Picatrix is a handbook of “talismanic magic.”  Jean Seznac, a historian and mythographer, said of the book “[the] Picatrix prescribes propitious times and places and the attitude and gestures of the suppliant; he also indicates what terms must be used in petitioning the stars.”  There are four books to the Picatrix, and it uses what is known as “Chaldean” astrology to determine the position of planets and stars for the creation of talismans for particular purposes.

The Quadrivium Supplies astrologer, who is trained in Renaissance astrology and has studied and used the Picatrix extensively, created charts showing a number of “Picatrix elections,” or times when the planets and stars were in a particular alignment that, according to the Picatrix, was favorable to the creation of a certain kind of talisman.  Instead of creating talismans at this time, I modified the ritual talisman creation and created oils.  For example, during an election involving the star Antares that was favorable to the creation of talismans that would separate things or pull them apart, I created our Banishing oil.  The oil contains yew bark, which is considered an Antares-related substance, and the ritual was performed at the moment ordained by the Picatrix, using the ritual appeal from the text.  During a conjunction that involved the planet Venus, our Reconciliation oil was created, using ingredients that correspond to that planet, along with oils that are traditional for use in love and peace.

Electional oils are magical in their ingredients, like all magical oils, but also in their method and time of creation.  There is a huge amount of preparation that takes place in the creation of an electional oil, and one can only be created during the predetermined alignments – some of these alignments only happen every ten years or more.

So…..why bother?  Why get up at 3am and perform a ritual from the 12th century to create an oil?

For the same reason that the non-electional Quadrivium Oils are made on certain days at certain times, using planetary days and hours from Chaldean astrology.  It results in a more powerful oil.

Your Oil, Your Practice, Your Rules

Ever since Quadrivium started selling online, we gave examples of how to use the oils that we make.  Try carving something into a candle, anoint it in this direction, burn it for three-five-seven nights, etc.  It always comes as a surprise to get emails and phone calls from customers telling us they want to use a certain oil, but they have the wrong color or kind of candle, they think they anointed the candle wrong, the taper took too long and burned out in eight days,not seven, or the petition just smoldered and never caught fire.

The underlying problem is always the same – I didn’t follow the “instructions” on the website, what do I do??

The examples of use for each oil were never intended as a manual for oil use.  The blurbs are examples, ways other people or the oil maker or someone who tested the oil found effective, suggestions in case someone wants to buy an oil but has no training in actually using an oil.  The examples of use are intended to be used as a broad guide to spark the user’s own ideas about what to do with the little amber bottle once it arrives.  It might be easier to follow the suggestions on the website, but oil use should be about what the practitioner needs, how the user feels the oil is best utilized.  There’s no wrong way to use an oil – the most effective method may depend on your personal situation, your focus, your intent.

(Unless your idea is drinking it.  That’s the wrong way to use an oil.)

Maybe you only have a reddish candle someone gave you at an office gift swap and no other candles.  Maybe you don’t have any candles, because they’re not allowed in your room/dorm/house.   The moon is waxing, not waning, but you really need to address the situation or make the petition.  You’re not able to burn a petition.  The candle can’t gutter out safely, it will have to be extinguished after the final night.  You don’t want to write a petition.  You don’t want to use the oil anywhere but on your altar.  Your belief system requires petitions be made in a certain way, contrary to what’s suggested on the web site.

These are all actual problems people have written or called about, and the answer is always the same:

Do it the way that works for YOU.

Oils are not supposed to be scary or intimidating.  They’re supposed to be reasonably easy to use, even for people new to the practice. Our suggestions for use are suggestions, not instructions.  Use the oil in the way that makes the most sense to YOU.  The suggestions on our site reflect the various traditions and training people have been through, as well as being influenced by certain belief  systems.  If something doesn’t work for you, doesn’t make sense to you, or you don’t have the necessary tools to do what we suggest, do something else.

Don’t be constrained or intimidated by the suggestions for oil use.  Experiment with oil use.  Try different things.  While we might be the experts in obsessive-compulsive oilmaking, you’re the expert on how the oil is used in your practice.  Don’t let our lack of imagination make you think that there’s limits on how these oils can be used.

(Except about the drinking thing – don’t do that.)


Exclusive Store Oils

Currently, the Quadrivium Supplies website carries our full line of 20 oils. Most of the physical stores that carry Quadrivium Oils also carry the same oils, some less than the full line. As of October, 2014, that will change.

Draconis Arcanum, in Nashville, TN will be exclusively carrying House and Home. This is an oil intended to deal with matters involving physical dwellings. Whether you’re buying, selling, renting, trying to rent, or trying to leave, House and Home will provide you with the boost you need. The owner of Draconis Arcanum was the first person to ever try House and Home, and can attest to it’s efficacy.

KC Conjure Shop, in Kansas City, MO, will be selling two exclusive oils. The first is an oil that was developed a number of years ago for a loved one who is a First Responder, one of the people who runs towards the terrible things happening, rather than running away with the rest of us. Serve and Protect has been changed and expanded, over the years, to serve as a protective oil for anyone who works to protect the public, especially in times of crisis. It has been used for deployed soldiers, police officers, EMTs, firefighters, and other workers.

The second oil that KC Conjure will be carrying is probably the most exciting. Since Quadrivium Supplies started selling oils, the number one request has always been for a psychic vision oil. Originally, there was no intention to produce one, but after enough requests (well, demands), we narrowed the formula down from nine versions to three versions to two.
The oil that KC Conjure will be offering is a vision oil that was made as the lunar eclipse ended on the night of the blood moon, when the light returned and illuminated what had been concealed.
The only issue with this oil currently is that it’s unnamed, but we’re accepting suggestions. If we use yours, you’ll get a free bottle of the oil.

At this time, the only way that these oils can be purchased is through the stores that carry them. Each of the stores does have a website where the oil/s can be ordered, if you’re not local to them. They will not be available through he Quadrivium Supplies website.

Keep an eye out. There are other oils in the works that will be offered exclusively through physical stores.

Abramelin Oil

Turns out we have enough Abramelin Oil left over to offer some to the general public. There are VERY limited quantities of this oil, which was made at the start of a full moon, in the Hour of the Sun, on the Day of the Sun, and matured for a full lunar month.

If you didn’t snag any during the pre-order and would like to pick some up, you can visit the website’s Limited Production page.

One difference you’ll notice on the page is that while we give a really boring (to anyone not an oilmaker or who’s not really interested in magical history or mistranslations) rundown on the various Abramelin recipes is that we aren’t providing suggestions for use.

Our belief: if you know enough about Abramelin Oil to want to buy some, you know what to do with it all ready.

Abramelin Oil

One of the first magical oils I ever encountered was Abramelin Oil – probably because I hung out with Thelemites. It was a sort of spicy-scented oil that was used for anointing things, and that was all I knew about it.
Eventually, of course, I learned a lot more about magical oils, and one of the choices I encountered when starting Quadrivium Supplies was whether or not to make Abramelin Oil.

My decision was no.

Mostly, the people who use Abramelin Oil make it themselves – as I explained to someone, if you’re in a situation where you need Abramelin Oil, you’ve probably got enough experience to make it yourself. Plus, traditional Abramelin Oil is made with an olive oil base, and no matter how much Vitamin E or Rosemary Oleorosin I put in olive oil, it starts to turn in about six months. It was just too different from the other oils I make, basically, so I elected not to carry that one.

A few weeks ago, a customer contacted me to ask that I make him two vials of Abramelin Oil, using the ingredients and proportions from the original manuscript of The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. If you’re not familiar with Abramelin Oil, there are several recipes for it. The one from the original manuscript, the Crowley variant, and the Mathers variant are the most popular ones. There’s also different ways of making the oil. Some people (like me) mix essential oils in an olive oil base, others macerate and steep herbs in the olive oil base, then decant the oil after a month for use.

Since I was already making a batch of Abramelin Oil, I told a few people that if they wanted some, they should let me know. The response was surprisingly positive. Positive enough that I started to worry that I was going to miss an order or two, or send someone the wrong thing (Hi, Christopher in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne! Sorry!). Mostly, Quadrivium Supplies is intended to be a wholesaler working with stores – the fact that you can order the product off the website is mostly due to my understanding that there’s places with either no stores, or stores I haven’t convinced to carry my line. Yet.
Happily, one of the stores I work with got really really really excited about the prospect of Abramelin Oil made by the obsessively detail-oriented.

I did not write their copy on the oil, by the way. They did that. You can pre-order Quadrivium Supplies Abramelin Oil via Good Luck! Conjure Shopw in Kansas City, through this link:

The oil should ship by March 1. I will be accepting orders until February 21. After that, you’ll be out of luck.

Work Not On The Website

As I was making two oils into a spray last night, I realized that I’d never publicized the fact that Quadrivium Supplies does custom work. We have our standard 20 oils, but if there’s something you need and can’t find, we can probably make it for you.
Here’s some custom work we’ve done recently:

  • Sage spray – for people with asthma who can’t use smudge sticks, or those who are in spaces where incense or smudging is prohibited, we make a spray that consists of essential oil of sage boiled in distilled water with a handful of solid sage. Then we filter our the solids and bottle the spray, which seems to work just as well as smudging for purifying a space.
  • Oil combination sprays – there are oils on our standard list that mix really well together, like Crown of Success and Fortune & Favor, and work very well as a spray for use on clothes, shoes, (possibly) yourself, even as a room spray or linen spray. That particular one has been nicknamed “Crown of Fortune,” since it’s been quite popular. We can turn any oil into a spray, and it doesn’t even cost all that much. The customer buys the oil, the creation of the spray takes about 1/4 of the bottle, we charge a nominal fee for the spray bottle and herbs used in the spray creation, and the customer receives whatever oil is left over and the spray.
  • Custom oils – maybe none of the 20 standard oils address what you need. If that’s the case, you can contact us and we’ll create something customized for your purpose. Barring some kind of astrological miracle, we cannot make custom electional oils, but we do use planetary hours and days when making custom oils, as well as the lunar calendar. If we have what we need on hand to make your oil (and our inventory is pretty extensive), you’ll be charged the regular price for a standard oil and a nominal fee for the research and time spent creating it. Most custom oils end up costing about $15. If we don’t have the ingredients you need, but you still want the custom oil, the cost of the ingredients will be added to the oil. Since we don’t normally use all that much of a given herb or essential oil, you’ll be given the option to receive the rest of the ingredient you purchased, if you’d like to have it.

Starting in February, there will be a page added to the site that will list consultation fees. You can always email us for help using the oils, but if your problem involves six emails and a telephone call, there has to be some kind of compensation for the time. But don’t worry – your emails of “HELP I HAVE OIL X AND HOW DO I DO Y WITH IT?!?!?” will still get answered for free.

Ritual Oil Reading List

Books on oils – good, bad, indifferent, but probably all worth reading if you’ve got the time and the cash to invest.

Making a reading list on this topic is very difficult, because there’s no one book I can point to and say “Here, you should read this, it’s absolutely accurate and will teach you all about making oils!” There’s been a fair number of books on oils published and while some of them are absolute bullshit from start to finish, some of them are fairly good with some gaping blind spots, some are pretty awful with some good information hidden inside, and some are publishing information available in other places, but written in a more coherent way and thus more useful.

And with all the books, it depends on your personal tradition – most of them are written with a particular table of correspondence in mind, and if that’s not YOUR table, it makes the book less useful. A lot of them (okay, the vast majority) are recipe books as well, and if you don’t use those recipes, the book is less useful. Not useless, though, as basic oilmaking instruction can stand alone, outside the correspondences. Some of it is just mechanics, after all – how to mix an oil, how to make a cold-pressed oil, how to use phases of the moon in oil making, etc.

With all of this in mind, here’s at least a beginning of an annotated book list for making magical oils. Eventually, the book list will go live on the Quadrivium Supplies website, but the list is going to start out with blog posts on the topic. Remember that these are books I have found personally useful, and that their appearance on this book list in no way constitutes an overall endorsement of the contents or author. The list is in no particular order.
(Wow, I’m a huge pain in the ass about book lists, aren’t I?)


    • The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, by Denise Alverado – my interest doesn’t lie with hoodoo, voodoo, or the spells presented in this book – just the section on oils. It’s clear, cogent, and provides detailed instructions for making a variety of oils. The table of correspondence that Alverado uses owes more to the tradition of New Orleans voodoo/hoodoo that she practices than it does to any traditional hermetic correspondences, but her explanations of how oils work and WHY they work is well worth reading. She also gives a fair number of recipes for beginners to try and if you’re nervous about starting from scratch and inventing your own oils, following recipes can be an excellent way to get people started in oilmaking.


    • The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick), by Scott Cunningham – I can hear many readers recoiling from here. I am not a fan of much of Cunningham’s work, popular though it may be. However, this book, along with Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, provides beginners with a very easy-to-follow and coherent explanation of what oils are, how they’re used, and how they’re made. His tables of correspondence are neo-Wiccan and I have used very few of his recipes – however, these are easily accessible books that provide a fairly good grounding in the concept of magical oil creation and use.


    • Magical Oil Recipes, by Lady Gianne – probably contains the best basic practical introduction to magical oilmaking in the three page introduction to what’s really more a pamphlet or a chapbook than a true “book.” The whole thing, recipes and all, is 43 pages and costs less than a dollar in the Kindle store. The author covers how and why to disinfect glass oil storage bottles, why oil storage bottles should be dark, what different carrier oils are and how they’re used, how and why oils are blended and to what effect, and the difference between an essential oil and a carrier oil. Her table of correspondence is short and to the point but provides no reference sources – as far as I can tell, it’s a mixture of neo-Wiccan and hermetic tables. If you’re a purist about your tables, this probably won’t thrill you, but frankly, I’d spend the .99 for the Kindle download (you can read it on your computer or your phone) and count it as money well spent even if I never tried any of the recipes.


    • Traditional Witches’ Formulary and Potion-making Guide: Recipes for Magical Oils, Powders and Other Potions, by Sophia diGregorio – Ms. diGregorio gives an overview of oilmaking that includes astrological and lunar timing, suggests substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients, and actually provides sources for many of the recipes that she gives. Some of the recipes are old enough to contain ingredients that are poisonous or otherwise dangerous, and the author gives suggestions for substitutions for these ingredients (I’m normally a big believer in sticking as close to original recipes as possible, but not if handling the plant in question is going to give me hives or if the resulting oil will make me ill if I get it on my skin). It’s considerably more substantial than the Gianne book – about 183 pages.

There’s more books on oilmaking to cover, but I’m going to leave it there for the moment. What are YOUR favorites? I’m always happy to hear from people who want to recommend (or warn against) a book they’ve read on the topic.

New Oil – Pay Up!

It’s taken a long time to develop this oil – probably the most-tested oil in our entire line. I’d make a version of it, have it tested, be not-quite-satisfied, and go through the whole process again. I’m lucky that customers of The Occult Bookstore, here in Chicago, were happy to be my guinea pigs and that store manager was so good about keeping track of who’d used the oil and asking them about their results.
This is the result – Pay Up! oil is designed to get what is owed to you. In most circumstances, it’s money. Court awards, back pay, child support, security deposits, alimony, student loans, any situation where a check/cash/deposit is supposed to arrive, but hasn’t. In other circumstances, something more intangible might be owed to you – credit for something you did, a recommendation, a promised introduction – and Pay Up! works for that, too.

This is a look at Pay Up!:

bottle of pay up

Like all Quadrivium Supplies products, Pay Up! comes in a plastic bag with a postcard-sized insert describing what the oil is, what it’s intended to be used for, and points out possible allergens in the oil. It also contains the URL of the website, where we go into a LOT more detail on how to use the oil.

full package of pay up

One of the important things about Quadrivium Oils is that we craft our oils with herbs, which remain in each bottle. Pay Up! is fairly unique among our oils, in that we were able to find tiny lodestones that fit into the 2-dram bottles. Can you find the lodestone in the picture?

image of the back of pay up bottle

It shouldn’t be too hard to spot, really. It’s not microscopic – it’s real lodestone, to pull things to you, to get what’s owed to you.

I hope Pay Up! works as well for you as it has for our testers.