Things I Want to Try: Ritual Ointment

I first got the idea for this when I was reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books by Laurell K. Hamilton. In the books, Anita Blake, who is a animator/necromancer, uses an ointment during her zombie raisings for focus and other things. Of course, I realized an ointment would be perfect for ritual use in the real world. It would help you focus, incorporate herbs that relate to your ritual or deity, and put your sense of smell into play which can be a very powerful tool in ritual. Also, you can incorporate your chakras into the mix with the placing of the ointment. Here is the information on the ointment, and the normal tools for doing a zombie raising(for fun), that Anita uses in the books, then we’ll discuss alternatives.

Standard raising kit

  • A sacrifice (Usually a chicken, sometimes a goat, or even the animators own blood)
  • A ceremonial knife (Any type, from hunting knife to machete – but not one used in just day-to-day life)
  • Ointment, each raiser has their own formula that they like, but most have similar ingredients
  • Salt

The ointment used is a blend of herbs and graveyard mold. To look at, it is a pale, off-white in colour with flecks of greenish light. It has a waxy and thick feel on the skin, but is quickly absorbed. The mixture usually includes varying amounts of:

  • Rosemary: for memory
  • Cinnamon: for preservation
  • Cloves: also for preservation
  • Sage: for wisdom
  • Thyme: to bind it all together”

For an alternative, I would suggest the simplest way to go would be using petroleum jelly and mix in whole, dry, or the essential oils of the herbs you want to incorporate. The herbs above have, of course, many other properties, some probably more a prevalent property of the herb than those listed above.

This is a great resource for herbal properties: http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Herbs/herbs2.html

If you want to look up the meanings and properties within a certain pantheon or for a certain deity, then I would check out a book on the specific pantheon.

Rosemary is a great choice for an ointment as well as Lavender. Both have many properties including protection and purification. Rosemary is on the left, though you usually will find only those top green parts, not the flowers. Lavender is on the right.

As for the graveyard mold, I wouldn’t use it, because it sounds toxic and gross. It also sounds like, from reading the books myself, that the above section on the ointment Anita Blake uses is incorrect. I believe I remember Anita saying in the books that she incorporates the graveyard mold into a petroleum jelly. Anita describes it looking like squished lightning bugs (that are still “lighting”, though dead, I presume from the sparkling comment she used) in the ointment. If you want something sparkling or glittery, I would suggest that exactly, glitter. It would look pretty cool.

Also, when it comes to the herbs, I would definitely keep in mind what you know you’re allergic to and watch for signs if you don’t know you’re allergic to something. Some herbs and flowers and known to simply irritate the skin and I’ve heard that glitter can irritate some people’s skin too.

Hope it helps, and if you try or have tried something like it, please comment and let me know what you thought. I’ll be posting my own pictures when I make mine.

Picture Source #1 (Anita Blake): http://section244.blogspot.com/2011/10/marvelous-non-marvels.html

Picture Sources #2 (Rosemary): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary

Picture Source #3 (Lavender): http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=127

Roses: Mullein; Verbascum thapsus

I took these pictures in my Grandfathers vegetable garden in Dayton, MD.

Mullein aka Verbascum thapsus has many nicknames including Cowboy’s Toilet Paper, Velvetback, Lady’s Foxglove, Hag’s Taper’s, Flannel Plant, Graveyard Dust, Old Man’s Fennel, and many more. It’s a traditional herbal medicine used for a variety of uses and just as traditional used in magic.

Magickal Properties: Courage, Protection, Health, Love, Divination, and Exorcism.

Magickal Uses: Used in a dream satchet to ward off nightmares, in amulet to keep wild animals and insects away from you when in the wilderness (like hiking or in the garden, etc), stems and downy leaves can be used as wicks if you make your own candles, to use in baths (whether in satchets or not) to bring you courage or even protection, etc. Also, in Celtic magic, mullein is a plant associated with Earth and Grain Dieties.

Medicinal Properties: Expectorant (A medication that helps bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea), Demulcent (An agent that forms a soothing, protective film when administered onto a mucous membrane surface), Anti-viral, Mild Diuretic, Relaxing Expectorant, Mild Laxative, Emollient (skin softeners), Vulnerary (A remedy used in healing or treating wounds. Any preparation, plant or drug used in the cure of wounds), and as a Mild Sedative.

Mullein Uses (Not just Medicinal): Analgesic (pain reliever), Anti-histaminic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-cancer, Antioxidant, Antiviral, Bacteriostatic (keeps bacteria from reproducing), Estrogenic, Fungicide, Hypnotic (induces sleep), Peticide.

There are many uses for mullein and I’ll put down some links.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbascum_thapsus

For Medicinal Uses:

Magickal Uses:

Website for both uses: http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Herbs/mno-herbs.html

Website I used for the definitions: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/hp.asp

Two other notes: Mullein is a very easy to grow plant, in fact some call it a weed. Mullein can also be found in the Vitamin Shoppe in capsules. LOL. You can buy them there at least for medicinal purposes though I can’t attest to how well they or of the medicinal uses work.

Vitamin Shoppe website: http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=SO-1178

Roses: Gardening

The first picture is of my little growing garden of wildflowers. I have no successful attempts at indoor pot gardening though the Ivy did last the longest. I planted the wildflowers earlier this spring in maybe April or March. So far, they’re just little green sprouts, but little green sprouts that fill me with joy.If they turn out well, how I could mess up wildflowers I don’t know, I want to move on to either outdoor box gardening next year or renting out a plot in the community garden nearby.

Gardening is a great way to get in touch with Mother Nature and for a million other things associated with Wicca and spirituality. It can help you really get in touch with the growing cycles and thus the cycles of the year and even more so, the Wicca calendar. Many of the Wiccan holidays are focused around the growing season. Gardening and Farming are rich in symbolism with prosperity, fertility, and growth whether in the mind, body, or spirit. Also, you can grow foods to eat and/or herbs whether to season with, turn into essential oils, add into candles, dry for incense, decorate, or a million other things. Gardening takes time and patience but so much can be gained from it.

I don’t have much room to grow anything, mostly because my mom’s irises take up most of the back yard and my neighborhood cut down our last garden in the front yard so it would be a waste of time doing anything there, and as I said, growing anything indoors has never succeeded. I highly encourage anyone who isn’t already gardening because of space or a black thumb record to try, step by step, to get into gardening. Indoor pots might work for you or you might need to set up a heat lamp maybe. If you have a backyard, boxes might work for you or starting small like me by planting wildflowers which might just be a fancy word for pretty weeds. Check to see if there are community gardens near you. Try though, because the reepings can easily out weigh the sowing.

To find a Community Garden near you visit: http://www.communitygarden.org/index.php

Second Picture Source: http://b-ek.tumblr.com/post/24322911014/want-more-like-this-click-here