Oil and Water

With a lot of the success and drawing oils – Crown of Success, Money Drawing, Love Drawing, Get A Job, etc. – I’ve talked about anointing a resume or other kind of paper with oil. Recently, I got an email from someone who wanted to be absolutely sure she didn’t leave an oil smudge on her paper, which was a perfectly legitimate concern, and asked me if Quadrivium Oils can be mixed into water.
Short answer: sure!
Long answer (oh, you knew it was coming): Turning a magical oil into a sprayable water while retaining the magical properties requires a few things, but it’s pretty easy to do. You do have to use up the water within a few weeks, however, if the solid matter in the oil is added to the water. Even dried herbs get moldy when they sit in water for two months.

glass spray bottles

What you need:

  • The solid herbal ingredients from the oil – you can get them out of the oil bottle by decanting the oil into another container and straining out the solid ingredients with cheesecloth. If you happen to know the solid ingredients, you can just use those without going to the trouble of straining your oil.
  • An eyedropper or pipette.
  • About eleven drops of oil per cup of spray you intend to make.
  • A good-sized pot with a lid.
  • Distilled water.
  • A glass bottle with a spray attachment.
  • Your stovetop.

First, separate the oil from the solid ingredients, as explained above. Measure out how much spray you’d like to make, and add that much distilled water to the pot. Put in the solid ingredients from the oil. When the water has started boiling, add nine or eleven drops of oil per cup of water. How much oil you add will determine the strength of the fragrance in the water – use a light hand and don’t dump the whole bottle of oil in, unless you’re making a vat of spray water. Allow this mixture to boil for about three to five minutes, then take it off the burner and cover it immediately. Allow the water to cool completely, while covered.
At this point, you can either strain out the solid ingredients from the water, or leave them in. My personal preference is to leave the solid ingredients in the water, as they’re an integral part of the mixture. As mentioned above, though, this means you have to use up the water/oil mix more quickly, as the solid herbs can get moldy.
Fill your glass bottle with the water and add in some of the solid herbs. Attach the spray top. Ta-da! You now have a scented water made from magical oil that you can use on….pretty much anything you like. It’s diluted enough that it won’t leave stains on paper or fabric, and can even be used as a room freshener. I like to use a Van Van water to spray on unscented dryer sheets before I put my family’s clothes in the dryer, and my kids insist that their room be sprayed with it before bed. According to them, it chases away nightmares and monsters. There’s lots of uses for these sprays. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making them, I’m happy to do it for you upon request.

Layering Oils

Before I got distracted by other things (there’s just something about companies touting therapeutic grade oils that makes me turn purple), I was going to post about using more than one oil at a time.

I’ve already discussed using Get A Job oil in a number of ways other than candle magick(over here, if you’ve forgotten about it), and mentioned that you don’t have to use just one oil at a time. Lots of oils are complementary – not just in purpose, but in scent as well. For example, Quadrivium’s Get A Job, Crown of Success, and Money Drawing are made from different formulas and have different herbs added to them, but some of the “base notes” of the scent are the same. This post does not deal with candle magick, since that’s a fairly obvious use for the oils and you can get more than one candle going at a time without causing problems.

The key to layering oils is to use tiny amounts. As mentioned before, some people are really sensitive to smell, or allergic to particular scents. It’s not just a matter of protecting your own nose, but being considerate to the people around you.

A fair amount of thought should got into your oil selection, whether you’re using one oil or more. When using more than one oil, the best way I’ve found to work is to pick one main oil, and one or two secondary oils. That will require you to decide what you’re trying to achieve, and look at the purposes of the oils you’re considering. Finding work – ANY work? You’ll want your main oil to be Get A Job. Looking for a particular KIND of work, one that suits you and where you can develop a career? Crown of Success might be a better option for a main oil. Money Drawing is almost always a good secondary oil to use for this purpose, since the purpose of a job is to get money, usually.

That said, back to finding work. Let’s say you’re about to sit down to check Monster.com or another website for job listings. Before you boot up the computer, put a drop (no, really, a drop) of Get A Job on your hands. Rub them together. Then do a drop of Money Drawing. Rub. Anoint the four corners of your screen with Crown of Success, and boot up your computer to start looking for work.

You got an interview! A drop of Get A Job on your belt, a smidge of Crown of Success on yourself (maybe around your hairline, if you’re not sensitive to it – I like the symbolism of anointing the crown of the head with Crown of Success), maybe a little Money Drawing oil on your socks, and you’re as well-prepared with magical oils as it gets.

Remember: tiny amounts of oil, inconspicuous places, and check ahead of time to be sure that your body chemistry works well with any oil you’re putting on your skin.

That Hoodoo I Don’t Do

I’ve had a number of people look at some of the names of my oils (Crown of Success, Kiss Me Quick, Money Drawing, etc.) and immediately assume that I practice hoodoo. For an excellent explanation of hoodoo, please visit Cat Yronwode’s Hoodoo In Theory and Practice – she’s the doyenne of hoodoo, at least online, and has published an extremely useful book on hoodoo plant correspondences. Which I have. And use, regularly. Still, Quadrivium Supplies does not produce hoodoo oils. I’m not trained in hoodoo practices and I’ve never formally studied it. That alone, I think, would disqualify the oils from being hoodoo oils.

That said, I’ve found hoodoo plant correspondences to be immensely useful, since they’re the only correspondences I’ve found that deal strictly with North American plants. I do put herbs and curios in my oil, because I’ve discovered that it adds a magical focus that a “plain” oil lacks. It’s also a way to include useful ingredients when an essential oil isn’t available, or would make the oil completely unaffordable.

I have used hoodoo oils in my magical work, and found them very effective. When I started making my own oils, I did my best to reproduce – in my own way – some of the oils I liked best. I could have called an oil Jinx Breaking, or Cleansing, but any practitioner who’s ever worked with hoodoo oils would take one sniff and say “hey, Van Van!” because of the distinctive scent. So Quadrivium Oils has Van Van, despite the fact that we aren’t technically hoodoo oil makers, because the owner likes the scent and uses it almost every day. Most of the other oil names – Money Drawing, Love Drawing, Drive Away, etc. – are named after what they do.

I’ve chosen to use these names because they’re pretty much instantly recognizable to anyone who’s investigated the use of oils in candle magic. They’re familiar, and they give a pretty good idea of what the oil is intended to do, just from the name alone. For a while, I named oils after what election they were created during, which seemed logical at the time. Let me tell you, Antares Banishing and Achalaich Reconciliation didn’t sell one bottle. No one knew what they were intended to do, or how to use them. When the names were changed to reflect what the oil did, rather than how/when it was made, people felt more comfortable using them.

Quadrivium Oils are made according to the lunar calendar, planetary days of the week, planetary hours of the day, and our Electional Oils are made according to Picatrix elections. The Picatrix is a…well, actually, just go over to the Wikipedia entry and read about it, because otherwise this blog post is going to be 5,000 words. Believe it or not, Quadrivium has a consulting astrologer who casts charts to determine the correct times to make these oils. The Electional oils are made when nine planets, the Sun, and the Moon are in certain pre-determined positions, and the time and date of the election depends upon the latitude and longitude of the practitioner. Those oils are ritually made at that time.

You can’t call the above anything but hermetic. Really. Oils made after consulting 12th century Arabic grimoires and using Chaldean astrology can’t be called anything else, as far as I’m concerned. Regardless of what’s in the oils themselves.

The recipes of Quadrivium Oils owe a great deal to hoodoo plant correspondences, but also to hermetic and Pagan tables of correspondence. A lot of experimentation went into the creation of these oils. Combine the various correspondences with the significant astrological component and you have ritual oils for magical practitioners, not hoodoo oils.

Why Oil Ingredients Matter

There’s a lot of cheap “ritual” oils being sold these days. I can go down to a new age shop and pick them up for, at most, $6 per 1/2oz. There’s no list of ingredients, no information about what the oil is other than what’s on the label. “X oil to be used for Y purpose.” People buy them, take them home, use them in candle magic or for other purposes, and generally seem pretty underwhelmed.

I know this because I did it myself. I used cheap, mass-produced “ritual oils” and I got no results whatsoever, if you don’t count an asthma attack every time I did candle magic with an oil. The reason, I concluded, was that magical oils don’t work.

Wrong.

Cheap, mass-produced oils don’t work. Why? Because the supernatural properties of magical oils are tied in to the plant ingredients – essential oils and solid herbs. When you buy a cheap oil, you’re getting chemical solvents, mineral oil, food dye, and synthetic fragrances.

The ingredients matter. The plants matter.

Magical oils should contain essential oils, a carrier oil, and possibly curios and herbs added as a focus. There shouldn’t be chemical solvents to stretch the oil further, or synthetic scents to make it “smell right.” Adding chemicals to magical oils is an excellent way to not get any results from your spellwork.

Know what you’re getting. There’s no governing body over oils, or requirements for labeling, so unless you have a list of ingredients on the bottle, you don’t know what’s in the oil.
The term “anointing oil” is meaningless – it’s oil meant for anointing, and could contain anything. “Ritual oil” and “magical oil” are similarly without any guarantee that you’re getting something other than a bottle full of chemicals. And those “essential oil blend” oils listed in catalogs? That just means that there’s an essential oil in it – the rest of it might be synthetic and solvents.

Know who you’re buying from. Buy from practitioners, if you can. It’s more expensive, because we use the real thing. Someone selling “sandalwood anointing oil” for $5.00 is selling a synthetic – sandalwood essential oil runs about $400 for 1/2 oz. Creative practitioners will find ways to keep the cost down, though, like using powdered sandalwood instead of essential oil, which is much more reasonably priced.

Natural oils do not smell like synthetics. They don’t feel like synthetics. And they certainly don’t have the shelf life of synthetics. They’re more expensive, they can be harder to use, and they have to be stored in a particular way.

Why would anyone go to all that trouble?

Because they work.