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Essential Oils: Modern Day Herbal Magick

Herbal magic is a powerful tool for witches and crafting your own essential oils is the perfect way to stock your witch’s apothecary.

Embracing Modern-Day Herbal Magic: The Power of Herbal Oils

A lot of old practices have morphed and changed, adapting new looks that may not be easily recognized as the practices that witches of old utilized. Herbal magic is a powerful tool for witches. The problem that many face is the lack of knowledge and source material that’s reliable or the lack of tools. Essential oils are easily found and easily acquired in the age we currently live in, where products are purchased at the click of a button on our phones. In addition to essential oils, let’s talk about infused oils and how they compare to and differ from essential oils.

Aromatic Alchemy: The Essence of Nature

Essential Oils vs. Infused Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile aromatic compounds extracted from various parts of plants, such as leaves, flowers, bark, or roots, primarily through steam distillation or cold pressing. These oils capture the essence of a plant’s scent and flavor, or its “essence,” offering potent therapeutic and aromatic properties. Due to their high concentration, essential oils are typically used in small quantities and often are required to be diluted with a carrier oil for topical application.

These types of oils play a crucial role in aromatherapy, where they are used for their potential health benefits, including reducing stress, boosting mood, and aiding in relaxation and sleep. Essential oils are also integral to various products like perfumes, natural remedies, and household cleaners, making them a staple in both traditional and alternative medicine practices.

Infused oils are aromatic, therapeutic oils created by steeping herbs, flowers, or other plant materials in a carrier oil, such as olive, almond, or coconut oil, over a period. This process allows the oil to absorb the flavors, aromas, and beneficial properties of the plants. The method can be done through cold infusion, where the mixture is left to sit over time, or through gentle heating to expedite the process.

Less concentrated than essential oils, infused oils are versatile and can be used more liberally in various applications, including cooking, skincare, massage, and aromatherapy. They offer a simple, cost-effective way to harness the natural benefits of plants and are easily crafted at home, making them a popular choice for DIY herbal enthusiasts and practitioners of natural wellness.

Crafting Your Own Oils

Essential Oils

Method of Preparation: Essential oils are extracted from plants primarily through steam distillation or cold pressing. These methods involve passing steam or pressure through plant materials to extract the volatile compounds.

Concentration: Essential oils are highly concentrated. A large amount of plant material is required to produce a small amount of essential oil. This concentration makes them extremely potent.

Usage: Due to their high concentration, essential oils are used in very small quantities. They are often required to be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to the skin or used in aromatherapy diffusers.

Properties: Essential oils capture the volatile aromatic compounds of a plant. These compounds are responsible for the plant’s fragrance and many of its therapeutic properties.

Cost and Accessibility: The process of extracting essential oils is complex and resource-intensive, making them relatively more expensive. They are also more commercially available than infused oils due to trendy popularity and marketing.

Infused Oils

Method of Preparation: Infused oils are made by soaking herbs in a particular type of oil (like olive, almond, or coconut oil, among a few others) over a period of time. This can be done either through a cold infusion method or by applying gentle heat.

Concentration: Infused oils are much less concentrated compared to essential oils. They extract the essence and flavor of the herbs but not in the same potent concentration as essential oils.

Usage: Infused oils can be used more liberally than essential oils. They are popular in cooking, skincare, and massage oils, as they carry the properties of the herbs but are not as concentrated.

Properties: While they capture the essence of the herbs, infused oils mainly contain the properties that are soluble in oil, which can be different from the aromatic compounds extracted in essential oils.

Cost and Accessibility: Infused oils can be easily made at home at a lower cost. They are more accessible for those who wish to create their own herbal products.

Making Infused Oils At Home

Creating essential oils at home is a rewarding process, though it’s important to note that true essential oils require distillation, which can be a complex and equipment-intensive process. However, you can create infused oils at home, which capture the essence and benefits of plants in a carrier oil. Here’s a simplified process for making infused oils, a great way to harness the properties of herbs and plants:

Materials Needed:

  • Fresh or dried herbs/plants of your choice (e.g., lavender, rosemary, mint)
  • A carrier oil (such as olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil)
  • A clean, dry glass jar with a lid
  • A double boiler or a similar setup
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Dark glass bottles for storage

Step By Step Process:

  1. Choose your herbs. Fresh herbs should be free of moisture to prevent mold. If using fresh herbs, let them wilt for a day to reduce water content.
  2. Crush or chop the herbs to increase the surface area.
  3. Place your herbs in the glass jar.
  4. Pour the carrier oil over the herbs until they are completely submerged. The ratio of herbs to oil depends on how strong you want the infusion to be. A general guideline is to have the jar be about 1/3 to 1/2 full of herbs.
  5. Seal the jar tightly.

Now you can stop here and leave your oil in a cool dark place for a few weeks to let the herbs steep in the oil, the longer the better, 6 weeks is usually an average time you’ll see in books and online. If you would like to try the gentle heat method, follow the steps below.

  1. Place the sealed jar in a double boiler (or a pot of water with a cloth at the bottom to cushion the jar).
  2. Heat the water to a gentle simmer. Let the jar sit in this warm bath for 2-5 hours. Ensure the water does not boil or evaporate completely.
  3. Check regularly to ensure the oil is not overheating.
  4. After heating, allow the jar to cool.
  5. Once cool, strain the oil using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a clean, dry bowl. Ensure all plant material is removed to prevent spoilage.

Whether you choose to the cool method or the gentle heat method, follow these next steps to finish your infused oil creation and storage.

  1. Transfer the strained oil into dark glass bottles to protect it from light.
  2. Label the bottles with the type of oil and the date of creation.
  3. Store the oil in a cool, dark place. Infused oils can typically last up to a year if stored properly.

Using Your Infused Oils

Use your homemade infused oils in the same way you would use essential oils – in aromatherapy diffusers, as a skin moisturizer, in homemade cleaning products, or for massage. Always do a patch test before applying any new oil to your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

The Magical Synergy of Oils

The magic of infused and essential oils lies in their versatility and potency. A single drop can unleash a powerful response, both physically and spiritually. Incorporating them into daily practice allows modern witches and spiritual beings to harness the energies of plants in a more concentrated and direct manner than traditional herbal preparations. As the world adapts to new technologies, so must we as witches.

Rituals and Spells

Essential oils and infused oils offer a convenient yet potent method to bring about change. Anointing candles with oil blends can enhance the intention of a spell, while diffusing specific oils during a ritual can help in creating a sacred space, attuned to the desired energies. The ease of blending oils allows for personalized concoctions, aligning perfectly with the eclectic nature of modern witchcraft.

Healing and Harmonizing

Beyond spells, these oils also offer holistic healing benefits. They align with the timeless belief that herbal magick’s power can heal the body and spirit. Aromatherapy taps into this aspect, providing a bridge between physical health and spiritual well-being.

Using herbal oils is also a way to deepen one’s connection with the Earth, especially if you go out to gather the herbs needed by hand. In a world where nature often feels distant, working with these oils serves as a reminder of the Earth’s gifts and our responsibility to protect and honor our natural environment.

The Modern Witch’s Apothecary: Herbal Essential Oils For Your Pantry

Five Common Essential Oils

Lavender Essential Oil:

Properties: Calming, soothing, and purifying.
Uses: Great for relaxation, healing spells, sleep magic, and purification rituals. Lavender is also used for promoting peace, love, and tranquility.

Peppermint Essential Oil:

Properties: Energizing, invigorating, and cleansing.
Uses: Useful for purification rituals, increasing mental clarity, and energy work. Peppermint is also believed to aid in communication and stimulate psychic abilities.

Rosemary Essential Oil:

Properties: Protective, cleansing, and invigorating.
Uses: Ideal for protection spells, memory enhancement, and mental clarity. Rosemary is also used in rituals for purification and healing.

Frankincense Essential Oil:

Properties: Spiritual, grounding, and protective.
Uses: Commonly used in meditation, spiritual rituals, and protection magic. Frankincense is known to enhance spiritual awareness and purification.

Sandalwood Essential Oil:

Properties: Grounding, calming, and spiritual.
Uses: Excellent for meditation, healing rituals, and consecration. Sandalwood is also used for protection and to promote spiritual awareness.

Five Common Infused Oils

Calendula Infused Oil:

Properties: Healing, soothing, and protective.
Uses: Ideal for spells and rituals focused on healing, protection, and psychic abilities. Calendula is known for its ability to soothe skin ailments and can also be used in rituals for comfort and joy.

Mugwort Infused Oil:

Properties: Psychic, protective, and dream-inducing.
Uses: Great for enhancing psychic abilities, protection, and inducing prophetic dreams. Mugwort is often used in divination and astral projection practices.

Rose Infused Oil:

Properties: Love, harmony, and beauty.
Uses: Perfect for love spells, enhancing beauty and confidence, and promoting harmony. Rose infused oil can be used in heart chakra work and to attract positive relationships.

Lavender Infused Oil:

Properties: Calming, healing, and purifying.
Uses: Useful in relaxation and sleep rituals, healing spells, and for purification. Lavender is also great for promoting peace and tranquility in spellwork and ritual baths.

Thyme Infused Oil:

Properties: Courage, healing, and purification.
Uses: Ideal for spells for courage, strength, and to ward off negativity. Thyme oil is also used in health and healing rituals and can purify a space when used in anointing or as a ritual oil.

Essential oils and infused oils are more than just a trend in natural wellness; they are a manifestation of herbal magic adapted for the modern age. They provide a tangible, accessible way to incorporate the power of plants into our daily practices, bridging the gap between the ancient and the modern, and allowing us to tap into the timeless magic that nature offers.