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: http://kcconjure.com/shop/special-oil-of-abremelin-by-quadrivium-supplies-preorder/

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.

Anointing Small Candles

Oils are used a lot in candle magick. In fact, that’s probably the #1 way people use Quadrivium Oils (it’s not the only way you can use them, but probably the most obvious). A question that comes up a lot is “what kind of candles should I use with a ritual oil?” The instructions given on the website generally deal with taper candles, since that’s what most people have available. There’s lots of other different kinds of candles, though, and all of them can be used with our oils.
This is a tealight:

tealight


They’re tiny little candles. How are you supposed to anoint something so small with ritual oil? Actually, it’s easy. You get one of these:
q-tip


And then you do this:
q-tip in bottle of oil


And then you do this:

appying oil to the tealight


For something that you’re trying to bring to you – luck, money, love, etc. – apply the oil in a clockwise direction. If you’re trying to get rid of something – a bad habit, a neighbor, emotional baggage – then you’d apply the oil in a counter-clockwise direction.


Your tealight will end up looking about like this:

oil on tealight

The key is not to put too much oil on. Just one rotation with the oil-dipped q-tip and you should have enough applied for your purposes. You’ve now anointed your candle with ritual oil – and if you stick to tealights, a 2 dram bottle is going to last a long time.


Another form of small candle that’s available in craft stores and other places is called a “party light,” for reasons I don’t understand. They’re little glass-encased candles that are taller and skinnier than tealights, and they look like this:

party light


The anointing process for party lights is the same for tealights. Get your q-tip, dip it in the oil (after you’ve shaken the oil a few times to be sure everything is evenly mixed), and apply either clockwise or counterclockwise around the wick:
applying oil to a party light


Again, you don’t want to apply too much oil – small candles are easy to overwhelm and the flame ends up going out because the wick gets drowned in a mixture of liquid wax and oil. One slow circle with the q-tip should be enough.


There’s a lot of benefits to using small candles. They’re easier to supervise, they cost less, they take less time to burn, they’re readily available, they don’t require candle holders, and they burn down pretty fast. If you want to do your working in one shot, you’re better off using a tealight or a party light than sitting and patiently waiting for a 7″ taper to burn down and gutter out. Your oil will last a lot longer, too.


If you’ve never used anything but taper candles to do candle magick, give the smaller candles a try. You might be pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to work with.

Preserving Magical Oils

In previous posts, I think I’ve addressed the fact that natural oils eventually go rancid. It happens to all of them – probably everyone has had the experience of opening a bottle of olive oil and making a face at the smell.

Natural oil products go “bad” because of oxidation, which occurs when light and air hit the oil. This is why Quadrivium recommends keeping your oils in dark glass bottles and storing them in a dark, cool place. Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant, is used in all of our oils to slow down the process. Nothing will stop an all-natural oil from eventually getting rancid, but using an anti-oxidant additive will make the oil last much longer.
The trick is to find out which kind of Vitamin E oil you have before you add it to an oil. There are two kinds of Vitamin E oil available, one natural and one synthetic. The synthetic oil (dl-tocopherol) has no anti-oxidant properties. Check the label before you buy Vitamin E oil to ensure that it says d-tocopherol, as this means it’s the natural form of the oil and has the anti-oxidant qualities needed.
It only takes a few drops of natural Vitamin E for the antioxidant qualities to work – usually the final product is about 0.04- 0.5% Vitamin E.

mason jar full of oil

Another option that some oilmakers use is benzoin, though Quadrivium does not use benzoin for some reasons that I’ll outline below. Benzoin (styrax benzoin) is a resin, which means it’s sticky and thick. It can’t be added to an oil in it’s natural form. There’s no real essential oil of benzoin, though there’s often products that claim to be essential oil of benzoin. Remember that there are no real rules in place in this regard, and that companies can claim that liquid benzoin is an essential oil when it’s not. In order for the benzoin to be liquid, it has to go through a chemical process often referred to as “solvent extraction.” This means the resin has been chemically processed, and will contain solvents to make it pourable and liquid. Odds are the people using the liquid benzoin have no idea what solvents or chemicals are in their liquid benzoin, which leads to the possibility of carcinogens, allergens, and other issues. In fact, benzoin itself can be an allergen, and there have been cases of people developing a sensitivity to benzoin after using so many products that have used it to prolong shelf life.

This is why Quadrivium does not use liquid benzoin as an anti-oxidant.

Benzoin resin can also be dried and made into a powder, which can be added to an oil, but that presents another set of problems. There is no way of knowing what is in the powder. The label may say it’s 100% benzoin resin, but unless the user has made the powder themselves, there’s no way of knowing which variety of benzoin is being used (there are several), if the powder is pure resin, if there are added chemicals, or how the powder was processed.
Since Quadrivium isn’t a chemical processing company, and we don’t have the means to test powders for purity, we’re not taking the risk with benzoin powder, either.

Grapefruit Seed Extract is another antioxidant that’s often mentioned when talking about natural preservatives, and it is indeed an antioxidant. However, it’s extracted with synthetic compounds, including methylparaben. It’s also something of a newcomer to the “natural preservative” family and while some people have found it effective, it doesn’t have the track records that benzoin and Vitamin E do.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) extract, also known as Rosemary Oleoresin Extract, is another powerful anti-oxidant that can be used in oils, though it’s much more common in soapmaking. Per the Camden-Grey essential oil site, which sells this product, an oleoresin is an extraction of a natural food or flavoring raw material using selected solvents to remove the vital components; the oleoresin will contain the essential oil and other important non-volatile components which enhance the flavor, act as fixative or contain other desirable properties. ROE is very strong and some people find it irritating to the skin; it’s also a very thick liquid. Most people disperse it in vegetable oil before adding it to their product. As with Vitamin E oil, it doesn’t take much ROE to work as an anti-oxidant – .1% to 1% in a finished product. ROE has a distinct herbal odor, but so little of it is used in the product that it’s not particularly noticeable.
While this is an excellent product, Quadrivium Supplies believes that every plant ingredient in an oil should have a meaning – and since ROE is extracted from rosemary, it retains the magical properties of rosemary, which aren’t appropriate for many of our oils.

If you want to keep your oils from going rancid, you have many options. We use all natural low d-alpha mixed tocopherols, also known as T-50 Vitamin E.

Making A Ritual Oil – Part II: Selecting Your Essential Oils

This is the second in a series, which starts with Making A Ritual Oil, Part I.

Since you’ve decided on both your purpose and your table of correspondence already, considered your emotional reactions to certain scents, and determined if you want a solid component to your oil, you’ll be able to select the oil ingredients without too much trouble.
I’m still going to talk about selecting and buying oils, though.

oil bottle

Find pure essential oils. At first, this will probably mean buying from the major essential oil companies that sell in health stores and organic food markets. The brands that these places carry, in my experience, are perfectly serviceable for magical oil-making. You’re restricted to commonly available oils, but when you’re starting to make ritual oils, you probably don’t really need to be tinkering with things that cost $30 for 5ml. There’s a retail mark-up, of course, and you do pay for the convenience, but there’s something to be said for ease of access and uniform oil quality. These are the commercial oils least likely to have synthetics added to boost the scent, or solvents added to “stretch” the oil. Look at the back of the label to check the ingredients. Much as it pains me to say it, your local metaphysical shop is not the best place to shop for pure essential oils. Most of them carry the major metaphysical oil “blends,” which are largely synthetic.

What you’re looking for is 100% essential oil – with a few exceptions. Some very reputable sellers sell a Sandalwood blend, since true Sandalwood (Santalum album, or sandalwood mysore) is endangered and thus extremely expensive. Expensive as in roughly $85 for 5ml, or 1/6 oz. Most people, even those of us who own oil companies, can’t afford true Sandalwood oil. Several major essential oil makers sell a Sandalwood blend that consists of a different strain of Sandalwood (normally Australian, Santalum spicatum) in a base oil. It’s a way of stretching the oil, and as long as the consumer is informed up front that they are purchasing an essential oil in a base, it’s an ethical practice. Some companies also sell Rose essential oil blends, for the same reason. Check the ingredient list on the back of the bottle, if it says it’s a blend – it should have the Latin name of the plant, and the name of the carrier oil. If there’s anything else, it’s probably synthetic additives and that’s not an oil you want.

A lot of people buy their essential oils online, but for people just starting out making oils, I recommend choosing your oils in person. If you can, that is, as I’m aware that some people live in areas that don’t have much in the way of shopping options. Try to avoid eBay and similar sites. They may have perfectly good essential oils available but at this stage, you’re not going to know the good sellers from the ones marketing synthetic scents as essential oils. If you really feel the need to use eBay or another site, ask the seller specifically if this a pure essential oil with no additives, even if the listing seems to indicate that it is. I once got what I thought was an excellent deal on bayberry essential oil, only to discover upon receiving it that it was entirely synthetic. The seller had gone to great lengths to avoid claiming in the listing that it was a pure essential oil, using catchphrases like “pure anoining oil” and “pure ritual oil.” It was my own fault – I didn’t ask enough questions.

Try to avoid the MLM brands. They tend to be massively overpriced.

Now you’ve chosen your oils, based on your table of correspondence and your own instincts. For a simple mix for beginners, I tend to recommend no more than three separate oils. If you feel the oil needs additional attributes, consider adding solid herbal ingredients rather than more essential oils. The scents of the oils can interact with one another in unexpected ways.

In the next part of this series, I’ll actually get around to talking about mixing a ritual oil.

Quick note on specially priced oils….

Call it a Father’s Day sale – or don’t, which ever you prefer. At any rate, the price on Peaceful Home oil and Lovers Home oil has gone down for a while. Speaking from my own experience, and having heard from happy Quadrivium customers on the topic, these oils smell terrific, work well, and provide an excellent magical boost to the stability of your household.