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Title: Anointing with Oils
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Autumn_Heather
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(Date Posted:01/13/2009 06:53 AM)
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Anointing with Oils


Oil plays an integral part of candle production from its basic stages to the mixtures of scents blended with the wax. Many religions including and starting with pagans believed in the powers and properties of oils. In candle magick, anointing with oils is an integral part of the process. While some authors stress that "dressing" a candle with oil isn't always necessary, they pretty much agree that anointing a candle with corresponding oil is indeed preferable. The action of "anointing" has long been a part of sacred religions and belief systems. As soon as processes were developed to process plants into essential oils by ancient civilizations, trade routes became established for the spices, incense, essential oils and cooking oils, such as olive, dates and palm. Most interesting yet is the sacredness of olive oil, which began cultivation in Greece around 2500 BC. "Liquid gold" are the words that Homer used to describe olive oil. It is here that wonderful pagan mythology and religion "blended" together. Athena and Poseidon had a contest over who would claim a Greek city that they both wanted as sanctuary. Poseidon gifted the city with a spring of saltwater, however Athena touched their hearts with the gift of an olive tree. Thus the city came to be known as Athens. Olive oil connected man to the gods. Not only did people eat foods with olive oil, they used it for lamp fuel. Within the trade routes of other Mediterranean countries, essential oils from other flowers and spices began to develop. The word perfume comes from the Latin "per", meaning through, and "fumum," meaning smoke, meaning not only oil based fragrance as we know it, but it also incense (the smoke). Incense and oils began to take their places of religious significance in China, and India as well. It seemed that every region began perfecting the art of plant essences and oils.

Anointing with oils became a ritual. Thousands of years before the time of Christ, the Egyptian and Chinese were learning the arts of extracting oils, resins and spice. The Egyptians used their herbal skills not only to prepare their dead, but to leave in the tombs, which were filled with precious oils for the afterlife. This knowledge was also used to heal the sick and to anoint leaders. Kings, priests, and prophets all were anointed with oils. Manuscripts from King Khufu records the use of herbs, oils and salves for religious purposes and healing around 2700 bc. Scientists later discovered that Ramesses II had his nose stuffed with peppercorns, although it was perhaps to retain it's distinctive shape during mummification, one would think that the art of preserving bodies, masking the odors of decomposition and ceremony/ritual was all involved with the Egyptian selection of herbs for both the deceased as well as the living. Even Cleopatra's love of fragrance rekindled the interest in it in Rome during the time of Julius Caesar. With the intermingling and trade between Mediterranean countries, all became familiar with the uses of oils. This tradition permeated all the religions and regions.

As with the Hebrews in the Old Testament, the New Testament makes plenty of mentions of anointing with oil. There are 188 references to oils in the Bible. The early Hebrews were possibly well acquainted with oil use during their contact with Babylon and Mesopotamia. The early dynasties of Egypt are referred to in the Bible with the stories of King David, Joseph, King Solomon, and Moses. It is with the introduction of Moses that anointing with oils becomes very specific. "Moreover, the Lord spoke unto Moses saying: Take thou also unto thee principal spices of pure myrrh...of sweet cinnamon...of sweet calamus...of cassia...and of olive...and thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil." Exodus 30:22-25. Sources point that Biblically, anointing with oil religiously started in 1446 BC during the 18th dynasty with Moses and the Exodus from Egypt.

When Christianity arrived, anointing with oil took on a new significance. The Hebrew word for Messiah is "anointed one" and when the Christ child was born, the Bible mentions that precious substances of frankincense and myrrh are brought to him by the wise men. Christ's feet are washed and anointed with oil of spikenard by Mary Magdalene at the Last Supper, and when his body is removed from the cross, it is wrapped in linen soaked with myrrh oil to be placed in the tomb. (Myrrh is purifying and prevented decomposition). During biblical times the known oils used to heal the sick were frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, rosemary, hyssop, cassia, cinnamon and spikenard. In translations of Greek and Hebrew, anointing oil means "The Holy Spirit poured out." After his conversion, the emperor Constantine bequeathed not only aromatic precious oils, but deeded into perpetuity the farms to produce them for the church all over the Byzantine empire.

With the establishment of papal authority, royal anointing became necessary for a king to claim his crown. In the ceremony of coronation, most essential was the anointing of the new king. This was why Joan of Arc fought to regain control of Rheims so that Charles VII could be crowned and anointed with holy oil. The first record of royal anointing was Visigothic Wamba (672). It is said that when Wamba knelt and oil was poured over his head, a vapor arose that was believed by the people present to have been a supernatural portent. We may believe that the royal anointing was part of the Divine Right of Kings included in scripture: I Peter 2:13: "Submit yourselves to every human institution for the sake of the Lord, whether to the sovereign as supreme, or to the governor as his deputy...even when they are perverse." Augustine pointed out, "Obey even an evil king as long as he counsels nothing directly against God, for his tyranny is sent as a punishment for the sins of the people." Although each kingdom had a specific ceremony for crowning and anointing the king, the anointing itself usually consisted of the oil being placed on the head, hands and shoulder blades.

What was the oil recipe that went into the anointing of Kings? Well, this would generally be the same oil that was used in baptisms, the oil of catechumens. There were specifically three types of holy oil: Oil of the Catechumens, the Sacred Chrism and the Oil of the Sick. Normally these oils are blessed by a bishop on Maundy Thursday, the day of the calendar year in which the Last Supper is celebrated. For the most part oil of catechumens is olive oil, blessed by a bishop to ward off evil and to bring strength and wisdom. Almost all European royalty was anointed with the oil of catechumens (also the same oil used for baptisms), except for the French Kings. From the coronation of Clovis in 496 to Louis XVI, the kings of France were anointed with an ampula containing the Sacred Chism. Chism was more of a balm than an oil, and was used for the consecrating of bishops, chalices and altars. It is said to be one of the most powerful of the oils in the church's arsenal. The same ingredients in the biblical reference to Moses are said to be in Sacred Chism--- principal spices of pure myrrh...of sweet cinnamon...of sweet calamus...of cassia...and of olive...Unfortunately, the ampula that anointed the French kings for centuries was destroyed in the French Revolution. What remained after the destruction of the ampula was rescued and used for Charles X in 1825.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the oil and spice trade flourished along the older routes that were known as far back as 1700 bc. With the discoveries of Marco Polo, and the Crusades, the trade in oils and spices surged. When the plague broke out and black death took it's toll, some thieves were caught robbing the dead. Their secret for avoiding the sickness? They were spice traders who had rubbed themselves down with essential oils to avoid being infected. As you can see, the tradition of using oils for religious, protective, or magickal purposes is an old and varied one. 

Annointed candles can be used for purposes both magickal and religious. On a spiritual level, what do we consider that anointing with oil will do? As with its use in all religions, it further connects us with the Divine. It links us spiritually, heals, and purifies us. Not only do we dress our candles with oils, we anoint ourselves with them in hopes of gaining a more spiritual contact with the gods.

When one glances at the attributes of an herbal or plant encyclopedia one sees not only the folklore-magickal notations but also some very alarmingly accurate information regarding its medicinal properties.No matter what your reason for using essential oils, whether it be for health care, aromatherapy, or to "dress" your candles and yourself with magical properties, our ancestors of centuries past left records, ascribing the "gender", zodiac, planetary elements of every herb known to them.

In ritual magick, we anoint a candle with specific corresponding oils to further bring about our will and intent to the purposes we have in mind. The first step is finding a quality candle in the corresponding color that fits the intent you have in mind. The first step is finding a quality candle in the corresponding color that fits the intent you have in mind. There are cheap candles everywhere. I am just as guilty as the next person of spotting something that looks like a good buy and being disappointed later at the results. Quite often, the cause of the problem is cheap wax and poor wicking materials. There is nothing more frustrating than have a candle sputter out halfway through the burning process and needing to get a knife to cut around the wick getting enough wax off to re-light the candle. Equally annoying is the candle that burns okay for awhile and suddenly the wall of the candle collapses leaking hot wax and burning the wick down in no time flat. There's an entire bag of wasted wax in my basement full of candles that have collapsed in the burning process, which leads me to an important point. Even the mammoth three wick candles that I normally use for altar lighting (these are usually 6 x 6 or larger) are not a good buy if half the candle is wasted during the burning process. You just end up with a heavy candle "carcass" to unload. In an ideal situation with a quality candle, properly anointed and focused on, should burn down and completely out with very little material remaining. Unfortunately, even with expensive candles this might not always be the case.

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Autumn_Heather
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RE:Anointing with Oils
(Date Posted:01/13/2009 06:53 AM)

Candle Anointing

Anoint your candle with the oil which you have chosen.

This is done by placing a little of the oil on your fingertips, grasp the candle at its midpoint with your left index finger and thumb, and use your right index finger and thumb to stroke oil onto the candle from the midpoint up to the top of the candle.

Next, grasp the candle at its midpoint with your right index finger and thumb, and use your left index finger and thumb to stroke oil on the candle from its midpoint down to the bottom of the candle, continue to do so in this fashion until the entire candle has been anointed.

Charging a Candle with Your Personal Energy

While ritually anointing your candle, visualize a pure white beam of light coming up from mother earth, entering your body through the soles of your feet and another beam of white light coming down from the universe and entering your body through the top of your head. Envision the energy of these beams of light flowing throughout your body and mingling together, finally concentrating in your hands, causing them to feel warm and to tingle. Now continue to stroke your candle until you feel the energy from your hands transfer to the candle. Your candle is now charged with your personal energy and magical intent.

Empowering

To empower a stone, place it in your right hand (your left hand if you are left handed) and place it against your “third eye” chakra (this is located on your forehead between your eyebrows). Now concentrate strongly on what power you want the stone to have (to help you quit smoking, to bring peace, to attract success, to draw love etc). You may wish to verbalize this such as “amethyst, I empower you with the ability to help me.......... (your intent), when you feel the stone has properly been empowered, it is ready for use in your magic

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