Oils (also anointing oils) : Perfumed and floral oils have played an important role in magical and religious rites throughout history. Their efficacy is based on the belief that odors and scents have the power to affect people and objects. In ancient Egypt, magical spells to assure the well-being of the dead called for the magician to anoint himself with certain oils.

The Catholic Church uses sacred oils in baptisms, confirmations and the ordination of priests. In contemporary Witchcraft, scented oils are used to perfume the air prior to rituals, to create a pleasing atmosphere for the gods, and scented and plain oils are used in anointing in Initiation, self-blessings, Wiccaning and magical spells. Oils also are common in folk magic and in the magical spells of Vodun and Santería.

The formula for oils depends upon their purpose. The oil itself should be pure and virgin; olive oil is ideal, but other vegetable oils are also used. The oils are mixed with various herbs, flowers, roots and essences. As the Witch works, she chants over them a ChArm related to the oils. The bottles or vials are left in the dark for several days to increase the potency of the oils.

Anointing oils are rubbed on various parts of the body, such as the palms, forehead, heart, genitals and chakras; are placed in shoes; and are rubbed onto ritual tools. They also are rubbed onto CAndles, which are then burned in spells and rites; and onto effigies and poppets.

Oils are made for numerous purposes, such as to attract love, money, protection and luck; to ward off negative influences, the Evil Eye and illness; to cast or break Curses; to bless, confuse and influence others; to enhance psychic powers and “dream true”; to gain success and win victory in legal disputes.

Examples of formulas are as follows: to attract health, mix two ounces of virgin oil with a single scent, either rose, gardenia, carnation, grated lemon peel or lemon flowers. A blessing oil for ritual tools and altar consists of two tablespoons of a mixture of two parts frankincense and one part benzoin gum, added to two ounces of oil.


  • Malbrough, Ray L. Charms, Spells & Formulas. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1987.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.