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My thoughts about Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, cooking, gardening, and anything else that catches my fancy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flying Ointment

Since the other day was the Full Moon, I couldn't resist conjuring up some flying ointment to be used on Samhain. Now, let me be clear here: I only use a NON TOXIC recipe. You won't find any Aconite or Henbane in mine, thanks. I probably wouldn't ever use such herbs, but definitely not now; I don't think my herbal skills are anywhere near where they need to be, and I don't feel safe working with the more dangerous plants.

Anyway, I used to recipe that I've found both in a book AND on the internet. The main ingredients are lard (I use the real thing, and not vegetable shortening) Mugwort, Cinquefoil, Vervain, Benzoin, Thistle, and ashes from the fireplace. It also called for Clove oil, but I didn't have any handy so I used a quarter teaspoon or so of the buds. I used my little glass pot and my neato gas stove; I stick to the concept that one shouldn't use metal utensils in working with herbs. Why not? That's what I've always been told, though I am not sure it's really something to worry about. Now, I definitely wouldn't use iron, though, which of course is said to be the enemy of magic.

How did it turn out? Honestly, I don't think I did a very good job. It's not very heavily scented, and I think the recipe I used calls for way too much lard. I suppose it will do, but next time I am going to use a different recipe, and take care to grind the herbs up as fine as possible. Here are some pics of the process.

Here is my "rough and dirty" Recipe Book (I don't use the term "book of shadows) and my lovely Willow wand, made for me by Karl Feret at Rare Earth Designs.

And here is my stove top, with everything ready to go.

The lard is melted, and the herbs are simmering.

The finished product, while still hot. When it cooled it lost almost all of its green colour.

And here's a shot of my altar, done up with my orange Samhain candles. Looking pretty bare right now; haven't set up my working tools yet for the holiday.

And there we go! Hopefully next time it'll work out better. I am going to be experimenting with different ointment bases, as well. Perhaps beeswax would have worked better.


  1. How did this one work for you? I've been trying to find a recipe that works nicely and the one I created a couple months ago put me to sleep (not sure how that happened...).

  2. I didn't care for it at all. The recipe I got was MUCH too diluted, and the ointment turned white as it dried, with very little scent. I'm going to be experimenting again soon, using a recipe I've got which will be partially raw herbs, and partially essential oils. I don't feel experienced about to play around with the heavy-duty stuff, so I stick to non-toxic herbs like Mugwort, Cinquefoil, and the like.

  3. Chris, in the future, maybe this would be of help to you: The universal ration between oil and lard/ beeswax when making an ointment is 1 ounce of beeswax to 8 ounces (one cup) of oil. Also, I would recommend using a much later of the aromatic herbs involved and including some essential oils (such as Mugwort EO and Vervail EO for added fragrance). Best of luck to you next time!

  4. Thanks! My later experiments proved much more effective. I think I just had a bad recipe that one time.