Saint Rita honey jar

Saint Rita honey jar

Honey jars are old school Hoodoo, used to sweeten up your life. Some workers claim they can only be used to sweeten specific people to you, but I’ve spoken with older workers that wouldn’t agree with that. And they don’t always have to have candles burned on top–if you’re trying to sweeten a person, then you “set a light on them”. If you’re keeping a honey jar to make your life sweet in general, then just keep it on your altar or other charged space and let it do its work.

Saint Rita is the matron saint of all women, but especially of abused women or women in difficult situations. (She was married at age 12–!!!–to an alcoholic who abused her.) She is associated with bees because as an infant, a cloud of bees was observed flying into and out of her open mouth as she slept, but caused her no harm. So what better saint to help me with a honey jar?

Saint Rita honey jar (back)

The back. This is a very small jar, just a couple of inches high. Inside are allspice berries, lavender, shredded angelica root, and a single dried rosebud. Roses, along with figs, are a traditional offering for Saint Rita. As she was dying, her cousin asked her if she could get her anything. Rita asked for roses; the cousin went out into the garden but didn’t expect to find anything because it was winter. She found a single rose and a single fig.

Saint Rita honey jar (top)

She is called “the Saint of the Impossible”, and like Saint Jude can be petitioned for success in lost causes.

loaded cowrie shell

Loaded cowrie shells are an idea I got from Rita’s Spiritual Goods. I actually bought one of hers, although I haven’t gotten it yet; in the meantime I wanted to make one of my own with a humpback cowrie I already had. I really like the idea, although I don’t know how traditional they are. I’ve been told they are, but I’ve only seen them in Rita’s shop and in another online store that I’m pretty sure got the idea from her. They feel traditional though, and of course cowrie shells are not uncommon in African-derived religions.

loaded cowrie shell top

Inside I put crushed pine incense, frankincense, blessed Dead Sea salt crystals, and dried orange peel. Those are all cleansing/protecting ingredients.

loaded cowrie shell bottom

The bottom is covered with blue linen from an old napkin, and I pressed the line of glue around the edge into dried pennyroyal, then dressed the shell with Blessed Oil. The smell of the stuff inside passes through the fabric, especially when you shake it up and get the juju flowing. The one I bought from Rita has healing ingredients, so I don’t feel like having two of them is going to be superfluous.

Blessing Oil

Blessing Oil

This is apparently one of those oils that has lots of different recipes, I’ve seen several and very few of them had more than one or two ingredients in common. The one commonality is that they seem like they’d all be very sweet-smelling.

In the end I wound up pulling elements from a few different recipes, so this is more or less a custom blend. It’s ylang ylang, lavender, orange, patchouli, and sandalwood oils in a base of sweet almond oil, with pinches of angelica root and agrimony.

Blessing Oil is an all-purpose oil for petitioning saints (some saints have their own personal oils, but in a pinch you can use this one for any saint); it can also be used in candle spells, in floor washes or baths, and as a personal scent.

The bottle is another $1.99 bottle from World Market.

Fiery Wall of Protection Oil

Fiery Wall of Protection Oil

This is the most complicated oil I’ve made yet. I used olive oil as the carrier, my gut told me that was the right choice (and anyway this isn’t an oil you would ever use as a personal fragrance–it’s got cayenne pepper in it, for one thing).

There are 3 basic categories ingredients that go into this oil: protective ingredients, ingredients to “heat up” the oil, and things that I think of as “booster” ingredients that add strength.

Protective ingredients:

  • Rue
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Angelica root
  • Bay leaf
  • Dragon’s Blood resin

“Hot” ingredients:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Ginger

“Boosters”:

  • Frankincense
  • Blessed salt

You can make your own blessed salt by praying the 23rd psalm over any type of salt. I happen to have a stash of Dead Sea salt crystals that an Etsy seller included as a freebie, so I used a couple of those. I’ve heard of rootworkers who prefer pink salt for this oil, because it’s the presence of iron oxide that makes it pink.

You can use this oil to dress candles, anoint your window and door frames, or as a component in left-handed works to protect yourself from counterattack.

Mason Jar Vigil Lamp

vigil light

Lamps have been used in magico-religious systems much longer than candles, although candles are a lot more common now. Lamps are good for long-term spells, and once you have the materials they’re actually more economical than candles. Plus they can be “loaded” with appropriate items.

This is a lamp for protection of the family, so I used a blue mason jar. The fuel is canola oil (olive oil would also be appropriate here), and the wick is a length of rolled cotton bandaging. Inside is a whole angelica root, a chunk of dragon’s blood resin, and a cat’s eye shell–all strong protective items. They were all dressed with Peaceful Home Oil (and I added a few drops of it to the fuel oil) and smudged with sandalwood incense before being placed in the jar. Under the lamp is a petition paper; a family photo would also work.

You can use these lamps for virtually any purpose, just fill them with items appropriate to the purpose and make sure you use the right color. Apparently some people leave theirs perpetually lit, but I am way too paranoid for that. I light it when the sun goes down and pinch it out when I go to bed. (NEVER blow out a lamp, or a candle unless the spell is over–and usually you’re supposed to let them burn out. Blowing a flame out signifies the spell is over.)

Peaceful Home Oil

Peaceful Home Oil

This one is not, as the kids say, canon. I started with a base of the traditional oil ingredients, but mine has a few extra.

The 3 traditional ingredients for Peaceful Home Oil are lavender, rosemary, and pennyroyal. I used essential oils for the rosemary and lavender, but a local essential oil company mildly freaked out on me when I inquired on their Facebook page if they carried pennyroyal essential oil. They were like NOOOOO THAT DAMAGES YOUR LUNGS IN EVEN SMALL AMOUNTS DO NOT USE IT IN AROMATHERAPY, which was weird because I thought even in aromatherapy they diluted the oils? Undiluted essential oils are overpowering at the very least, and a lot of them can be irritants or even harmful. Anyway, I was like uhhh chill, it would be diluted in a large amount of carrier, but thanks, I’ll just go elsewhere. Anyway, I decided to use it a dried herb instead of an oil.

To the rosemary and lavender oils I added sandalwood oil, which is associated in Hoodoo with happy homes and keeping out evil. And to the pennyroyal I added a pinch of shredded angelica root, which is a powerful guardian and healer; and a small piece of pyrite, because what do (adult) members of a household argue about more than money? The carrier I used was sweet almond oil.

Blue is the color in Hoodoo that corresponds with family matters and spiritual peace, so of course I decided to put it in the little blue bottle that I bought last month. It probably contained medicine of some sort originally. Like the bottle I used for the Uncrossing Oil, the original cork was long gone, so I whittled down a wine cork, then dripped melted sealing wax over the top. Keeping oils in dark glass bottles is practical too, because it keeps out light. Light will makes oils get rancid faster.

So this is my own personal recipe for a supercharged Peaceful Home Oil. It can be used for dressing candles, anointing objects used in Peaceful Home spells, added to floor washes or bathwater. Use it, share it, I would prefer you not sell it but realistically it’s not like I would know.

Uncrossing Oil

Uncrossing Oil

Going over some oil recipes last night, I realized I had all the herbal ingredients for Uncrossing Oil–a staple oil of rootworking–so I whipped some up old school, just dried herbs and olive oil. This isn’t a perfumey oil like XXX Algiers, and the herbal ingredients are all savory as opposed to flowery, so in this instance the olive oil smell doesn’t bother me.

Uncrossing Oil is bay, rue, and hyssop. Bay and rue are both protective herbs; hyssop is the most powerful cleansing herb there is in rootwork, due to its mention in the 51st Psalm: “Purge me with Hyssop; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow”. Hyssop is said to remove sin, many rootworkers will take an herbal bath of hyssop after performing not-so-nice work for themselves or clients. My guess is it’s in Uncrossing Oil because if someone is working against you, there’s an even chance you might have done something to deserve it.

As you can see, this is an old Listerine bottle–it only holds about 1.5 ounces, so it must have been a sample bottle or a travel-size. The lid was long gone, so I “carved” a cork out of a wine cork, then made it totally airtight by dripping melted sealing wax over the top.