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: Lavender

Lavender, Lavandula species, (also known as Elf Leaf, Nard, Nardus, and Spike) is a well known herb and I just felt like refreshing some people’s memories and learn a bit myself.

Magickal Properties (alphabetical order): Cleansing, Exorcism, Happiness, Harmony, Healing, Love, Peace, and Purification. (According to Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway)

Magickal Uses: I will not write about the love spell uses because I believe them to test the boundaries (strongly and even break them in some cases) of manipulating another’s free will.

Lavender can be used in many ways, including in protection amulets against your spouse, in purification through smudging and baths and in purification rituals, in healing rituals and amulets and sachets, to promote peace and love and joy in, to induce sleep whether in  tea or incense or sachets, as an aphrodisiac for men, alleviate stress, bless ones home, and as a mood lifter (even said to lift depression though I have no testimonial myself).

Medicinal and other Benefits: “LAVENDER TEA ON ICEThe beneficial constituents of lavender include flavonoids, tannins, courmarines, and essential oil containing camphor, geraniol and linalool.

You can get fresh lavender from your local health food store like Whole Foods and even better can order tea from: http://www.harney.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=3962&category=38&secondary

Let the tea steep for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then strain, try adding a sweeter, lemon then pour over ice and just enjoy!

Tips!
Lavender tea may help ease insomnia.

Lavender tea may help calm nervousness and anxiety. It may also be used to alleviate stress and uplift flagging spirits.

Lavender tea may help treat an upset stomach, as well as flatulence and colic. It may also be used to treat stomach and bowel infections.

Lavender tea may help alleviate depressive and migraine headaches.

Lavender tea, when applied topically, may help alleviate colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis and similar problems in the respiratory system.

Lavender tea may help induce sweating and consequently reduce the body temperature during fever.” *

Gardening Notes: “It’s low maintenance and drought-tolerant, once established. It attracts bees and butterflies but is deer- and rabbit-resistant. It can be used in cosmetics, medicine, and cuisine. … Enjoy the fragrance of lavender year-round by drying this beloved herb. To preserve, hang small bunches upside down in a dark, dry room until the moisture has evaporated. … It thrives in hot, sunny locations with well-drained, alkaline soil.” To extend the season, combine several varieties. Hardy Lavandula angustifolia, or English lavender, blooms early and is adaptable to cooler, more humid areas. Hybrid varieties, such as ‘England’ and ‘Silver Frost’, enjoy a longer blooming season, as do Intermedia French hybrids, including L. x intermedia’Grosso’ and ‘Provence’, which also flower late and are especially treasured for their perfume. … Lavender needs well-drained soil to flourish. If your soil is heavy, amend it by adding one part sand and gravel to one part native soil, and plant in berms to further help with drainage. … When cutting lavender, clip where the foliage begins. In mid-spring, prune winter damage and cut back about a third of it to keep it from getting leggy. … Lavender does well in pots. Choose a well-draining potting soil recommended for containers. Fertilize organically every other week.

“The ideal time to harvest lavender is when one-third to one-half of the spike is in bloom.” —David Salman (http://www.highcountrygardens.com/)

COMPANION PLANTS

When planning what to grow with lavender, David recommends choosing plants with similar growing requirements. Some of his favorites include: Gaura: Pink and white cultivars of Gaura lindheimeri have wispy flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Penstemon: There are close to 300 species of penstemons. Choose some of the many colors available. ” **

Picture #1 Source and Source for Gardening Notes (**) : http://www.countryliving.com/outdoor/gardening/lavender-0908#slide-1

Picture #2 and Source for Medicinal and Other Benefits (*): http://www.facebook.com/pages/natural-living-forum/65950834522

For more Gardening Information: http://gardening.about.com/od/perennials/a/Lavender.htm

For more information in general on Lavender: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula