Essential Oils - Botanicals - Other powers: your Magic Allies

The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works - Judika Illes 2016

Essential Oils
Other powers: your Magic Allies

Essential oils are not true oils. They are volatile liquids extracted by various methods from fragrant botanical materials. Modern aromatherapy is the manipulation of essential oils for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Its roots stretch back to ancient China, Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Essential oils are perhaps the purest, most potent expression of a plant's power and play a profound role in rituals, potions and spells.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances with profound physical impact. Never take them internally without expert supervision. Even externally, they are to be used sparingly, drop by drop. This is one case where more is rarely better. When creating an enchanted bath or oil, essential oils are usually the last ingredient added so as to maximize the intensity of fragrance.


Many essential oils antidote homeopathics. Do not combine use; do not store them together.


Every essential oil has its own distinct personality and various therapeutic and ritual uses. A good aromatherapy encyclopedia will give you a sense of the scope of this healing art. A few oils, however, are especially beneficial for the art of Earth magic.

· Patchouli and Vetiver are both natives of Asia. Although they smell nothing alike, both are deep strong fragrances that evoke the scent of Earth. In their dried plant form, they are a component of many spells. Natural allies, they are often used together. As essential oils, both are unusual: brown, viscous, even oily, rather than the typical clear, watery fluid.

· Farther west, the scent of Myrrh was believed to embody the essence of the Earth Mother. Myrrh is a resin that seeps from thorny desert trees native to Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Yemen. It has a subtle, mysterious fragrance, quite unlike patchouli and vetiver. In addition to the essential oil, myrrh resin may be burned as incense.

Use any of these fragrances to align your energy with Earth's and provide a grounding influence for you. Choose whichever appeals to you most; vetiver and patchouli can also be harmonized and used together. Wear a drop as perfume (all have reputations as aphrodisiacs, although patchouli tends to evoke a love/hate response) or merely inhale the scent.


If you'd prefer to serve as the magical canvas yourself, add one or two drops of the essential oil to one teaspoon of sweet almond, apricot kernel or grapeseed oil. Gently massage onto your cleansed face before bedtime. In addition to aligning your energy with Earth's and influencing your dreams, each of the oils has a reputation for improving skin tone and quality. Patchouli has even been reputed to decrease or halt the spread of wrinkles. (See! You can learn to love the fragrance.)



Fragrance Oils

Aromatherapy's increasing popularity ensures that the rarest and most exotic blossoms are consistently available for our spells. However, certain fragrances are rarely found among essential oils, either because an essential oil cannot be produced or, more likely, because the cost is prohibitive. Instead synthetic reproductions, known as fragrance oils exist. (Also sometimes called “perfume oils.” Some perfume oils, however, are made from genuine material: ask before you buy.) Some are dead ringers for the original fragrance. Because no actual plant material is involved, the oil lacks the plant's true power. However, fine fragrance oils do have uses: aroma alone may serve to evoke a response from your brain. In general, fragrance oils are fine for dressing candles, but not for body or bath.



Pure Magic Fragrance Ritual

1. Cut a thin strip from a paper coffee filter.

2. Add 1 drop either myrrh, vetiver or patchouli oil to the paper and inhale the fragrance at 5-minute intervals.

3. Observe the changes in mood and pace that the oil draws from you.

· Physical Restrictions: Vetiver and myrrh should be avoided during pregnancy while patchouli is not beneficial for those with a history of eating disorders.