Other powers: your Magic Allies
For as long as can be recalled, oils have been perceived as precious and sacred. Many traditions have their own holy oils and unguents. In the Mediterranean region, it's olive, whereas in the tropics it may be coconut or palm. Oils serve as your vehicle for introducing herbal and aromatic substances into your body, whether via massage, bath oils or food.
In general, true oils, known as base or fixed oils, are extracted from seeds or fruits of plants, where their primary function is energy storage. Each oil has its own nature and possesses its own healing properties.
· Camellia seed oil is a Japanese beauty secret for fine skin.
· Castor oil has traditionally been used to stimulate hair growth.
Different plants share many colloquial names, for instance if you request “birthroot” or “graveyard dust,” you may receive any one of a number of plants. Each Latin classification, however, names one and only one species. A reputable vendor always supplies the Latin name so that you can be sure of what you are obtaining. For the sake of power and safety, rely upon these classifications. Latin classifications for the botanicals cited in this book may be found in the Appendix on page 265.
· Jojoba oil, technically not an oil but a plant wax, tones the bust.
· Rosehip seed oil reduces scars.
Cold-pressed oils are preferable; they retain as much of their own power as possible. If the label doesn't specify cold-pressed, then the oils have been extracted using heat or chemical solvents (this may be the only way to extract certain oils). At best, some of the healing, magical properties have been lost. At worst, you are applying toxins to your skin.
Avoid mineral oils, including what is commonly known as “baby oil.” These are derived from petroleum products and have no beneficial magical properties.