In part 1 of this series of articles on the Art of Conjuring Oils and Potions, I discussed the importance of becoming familiar with the Doctrine of Signatures as well as the magickal association of herbs so that compounding formulas makes magickal sense. I also reviewed the various types of carrier oils and the benefits for each, as well as the types of conjure oils and their purposes. In Part 2 of this series, I talked about how to compound oils and herbs and reviewed some of the safety issues regarding the properties of a variety of essential oils. Finally, some suggested ratios for essential oils to carrier oils were provided.
This article will provide you with some traditional New Orleans conjure oils recipes. The formulas may not be the same as a conjure oil by the same name found in another region of the country, nor may they be exactly the same as other New Orleans practitioners. They are based on authentic formulary as I learned them and recorded them from elder practitioners, and from consulting folkloric texts, pharmaceutical formulas, and studying characteristics of French perfumery which plays a large role in many of the New Orleans hoodoo formulas. They have been tweaked according to my personal understanding of the specific ingredients and according to the purpose of the particular oil.
Two of the biggest questions I get about creating magickal oils are: how much essential oil concentrate should be added to carrier oil? How much of the botannical ingredients should be added? There are no hard and fast rules. Conjuring oils and potions is like being a Creole cook, you use a little bit o’ dis and a little bit o’ dat until you get one tasty gumbo that does the trick (figuratively and literally). Formulas vary from rootworker to rootworker, and while the main ingredients may be the same for a ‘standard” formula such as Van Van, for example, one person may use more lemongrass while the next may go heavier on the vetivert. Both formulas contain similar ingredients but the exact formulas are proprietary and are not typically shared. Let your knowledge, intuition, and the Spirits be your guide.
For formulas that tend to get a lot of use, like Van Van or Fiery Wall of Protection for example, you may want to create a Mother bottle. This is a large bottle that holds the herbs and oils. You can transfer the oil into smaller dram bottles from the Mother oil, and allow some botanicals in the small bottle or strain the oil through cheescloth to keep the herbs from entering the smaller bottle. Just remember to top the Mother bottle off with more oil as you use it and remember to use the dried herbs as opposed to freshly picked, green herbs. Personally, I leave some of the herbs and roots in each bottle I make, as the old timers I knew and know don’t concern themselves with straining out the herbs. I was taught that a spiritual union occurs between the oils and the herbs; all of the ingredients combine to create one oil that is comprised of the many spirits of the little sisters (plants and herbs). As such, to remove the plant material would be to break the Spirit and magick you created and lessen the effectiveness of the oil or even render it ineffective. This is the school of thought from which I was taught. However, I am aware that other folks like to strain the herbs from their oils for their own reasons.Do what feels right to you.
Following are several classic New Orleans Voodoo hoodoo formulas. The specific ingredients are listed, but suggested ratios are not provided for all of them. Trust in your intuition and knowledge of the magickal properties of each ingredient to guide you as to the formula you need.
Altar Oil is one of the Holy Trinity of altar formulas (Altar, Holy Spirit, & Van Van) used by New Orleans practitioners when working for positive purposes such as healings and blessings. It is used to anoint candles for beginning and ending candle magic spells, and it is used to summon helpful spirits for assistance with the work to be done. Because the ingredients used in the formula are all highly positive energies, this oil should never be used to anoint a candle or other ritual objects for left handed purposes. This oil is ideal for blessing oneself or another, ritual objects, or anything that resides on the altar.
- 4 drops Frankincense
- 2 drops Myrrh
- 1 drop Cedar
Add the above essential oils to 2 ounces of pure olive oil to which a full dropper of vitamin E oil has been added.
Fiery Wall of Protection Oil
Fiery Wall of Protection is one of most popular formulas for psychic and spiritual defense and warfare in New Orleans Voodoo and hoodoo. It can be used to deal with every type of threat imaginable and works well with commanding, bend over and uncrossing products. In addition to being used as a means of defense, this formula can be used to help with legal, health and business problems. Its name is said to invoke the power and protection of Archangel Michael’s flaming sword.
If you are in need of protection from an evil perpetrator, anoint the doors and window of your home with this oil and dust the floors of your home with the powder. You can use the oil and powder to dress candles for candle spells as well. It can also be used in tandem with Enemy works as a means of protection from potential backlash or counterattack.
- Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch of Rue
- Sandalwood essential oil
- Pinch of angelica
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
- Blessed Salt*
- Ginger essential oil
- Bay Laurel Essential Oil
- Chunk of Dragon’s Blood resin
Add the above ingredients to 2 ounces of pure olive oil to which a dropper of vitamin E has been added.
*Ordinary table salt can be blessed by reciting the 23rd psalm over it.
Follow Me Boy
According to tradition, this recipe was created by Marie Laveaux. It is formulated specifically for women to get men to follow them around when money, love, sex, or protection are needed.
- Orris root
- Dried Catnip
- Licorice root
- Damiana leaf
- Jasmine flowers
- Rose absolute
- Night jasmine essential oil
- Piece of Queen Elizabeth root
- Flakes of alkanet (for coloring)
Mix everything in a base of sweet almond oil to which a full dropper of vitamin E oil has been added. Wear as a perfume.
Holy Spirit Oil
Another of the New Orleans Holy Trinity of Blessing oils, the others being Altar Oil and Van Van. As with Altar oil, Holy Spirit Oil is used for highly positive works with summoning helpful spirits. Holy Spirit Oil is designed for blessing oneself or another, ritual objects, or anything else that needs special blessings.
- Lily of the Valley
Combine the above ingredients in a base of pure olive oil from Israel. Add a little vitamin E to the bottle to keep from going rancid.
Join Together Drops
Get together with the one you desire with this traditional New Orleans oil.
- Night jasmine
- Adam and Eve root
Blend in carrier oil such as almond, olive, or grapeseed that has been fixed with vitamin E.
Van Van Oil
Van Van is a classic New Orleans conjure oil that can clear away negativity, changes bad luck to good, uncrosses crossed conditions, brings luck in love and business, and functions as a road opener to new opportunities. it is also used in a number of floor washes.
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Citronella essential oil
- Vetivert essential oil
- Palmarosa essential oil
- Lemon Verbena essential oil
- Gingergrass essential oil
Alvarado, D. (in press). The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook(revised edition). Red Wheel/Weiser Books: San Fransisco.
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