Witches use oils for a variety of things: anointing ourselves, candles or tools; or in an oil warmer for aroma and vibrations during a spell or meditation are just some of the applications. How does one decide which essential and base oils to use? I created one for the 2011 New Orleans Witches Ball and I’ll take you through my thought process to give you an idea of how to come up with your own mixtures.
Scientifically, we know that scent can easily trigger memories or emotions. If I smell Pine essential oil, I immediately remember a trip my family took to Itasca State Park when I was about ten. (This park is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi and the entire area is chock-full of huge pine trees. We’d driven north with the windows up & air conditioning on. When we arrived and rolled down the windows, the scent of Pine was almost overwhelming.) When I open a bottle of Ylang Ylang, my feelings could easily be written into an erotic novel. (‘Nuff said, there.) When creating an oil, you want the scent to trigger something.
The process: first, my husband and I did a word association. (He loves getting dragged into my magical life. Not.) What immediately came to mind when we thought of the city of New Orleans? Bear in mind neither of us have visited that lovely city so we relied on what we knew via books, the news and friends that live there. The words/other associations that came to mind were Mardi Gras, Mississippi river, levees, Bourbon Street, tropical, hot, sultry, sensuous, Voudou/Hoodoo, Swamp, Spanish Moss.
Then I did a little research. New Orleans was “born” (founded) on 7 May 1718. That makes her a Taurus.
So, I needed an oil that was amenable to a Taurus; brought to mind hot, sultry, sensuous nights; and since I equate Hoodoo with “rootworkers”, one of the oils needed to be of the root of a plant, rather than the aerial.
Once I decided on the image/emotion I wanted to invoke, I did a little more research – this time on oils. I ended up with a list of 22 essential oils and 4 base oils. (In magical applications, base oils also have their own essences.)
After an hour or two of experimentation, I ended up with two combinations. (Actually, six but only two that I really liked.) Normally I’d use one and keep the other for another time but since this was meant for a wider audience, I sent them on down to Cairelle at Witchy Living in New Orleans for her opinion. (She had a lot of customers do a sniff test, too.) I’m not going to tell you which one we decided on but that’s not the point of this post.
The point is, when you’re creating an oil for a specific purpose, don’t limit yourself to others’ recipes. Do some word association, then some research, then some experimentation. Come up with a combination that evokes the image or emotion in you that you need for your purpose.
What will you create today?