Special Oil No. 20

special oil no 20

This is a really simple, classic Conjure oil that I threw together yesterday. Special Oil No. 20 (sometimes called Wick Oil, Candle Oil, or Brown Oil) is patchouli and vanilla. In the old days it was made with patchouli leaves and vanilla pods, which is how it got its brown color; nowadays it’s more commonly made with essential oils and dyed brown.

Some rootworkers add this or that herb or root or maybe another oil; but in its simplest form it’s just the two essential oils, a carrier oil, and your prayers. I knew this had patchouli and vanilla in it, but thought there must be a 3rd ingredient that I couldn’t detect with my nose. Luckily a more experienced rootworker in my Facebook group clued me in. (I had also made the mistake of wandering into an old Yahoo! group that was clearly populated by fluffybunny Wiccan types, they kept insisting Special Oil No. 20 has at least one floral note.)

Vanilla is one of the most positive scents in Hoodoo, it encourages love–one of the simplest and most popular Hoodoo spells is to keep a vanilla pod in the family sugar bowl. And patchouli is one of the most versatile scents, used to draw both love and money and to break jinxes, so it’s almost always found in “multi-purpose” oils. Therefore, Special Oil No. 20 is appropriate for use in any positive or defensive workings. But not “left-handed”* work!

*One of the most striking differences between Hoodoo and Wicca is that Hoodoo has no equivalent to Wicca’s “Rule of Three”. Hoodoo is a belief system of poor and marginalized people who read the Bible if they read nothing else, and anger and revenge–or just needing to get people out of your life–definitely have a place in it.