Hestia Annointing Oil

Ever since I dedicated myself to Hestia, I’ve discovered that working with a goddess with such a low profile means I have had to create my own practices and rituals.  On the one hand, as a book-learned witch, this is a bit intimidating.  On the other hand, it offers me plenty of opportunities to be creative.

To that end, one of the customs I am working into my daily practice is the use of an anointing oil.  I use it not only for dressing candles, but in consecration of various items: the pots and pans I use, the crock pot, the fridge, the doorjamb of the front door.  The oil provides a conduit between myself and Hestia.  Through that conduit we speak and outline those parts of my home and my life I want in which I want her direct involvement.

To make the oil I filled a jar one third full of dried sage leaves.  As mentioned above, Hestia is a low-key goddess.  She’s not necessarily little known, but little written about.  Finding out what herbs are sacred to Hestia is difficult.  One source I found suggested that whatever culinary herbs one uses would be appropriate.  Rather than just throwing the contents of my spice rack in the jar, I chose an herb that I don’t often use in cooking, and which I have on hand dried and whole.

Anointing Oil Ingrediants
Am I making a dressing for salad or for altars? Why not both?

I filled the rest of the jar with olive oil.  Seeing how Hestia hails from the Greek pantheon this was an appropriate oil to use.

Once the oil was added, I capped the bottle, gave it a shake and consecrated it to Hestia.

Hestia Anointing Oil
I love how the sage just floats in the oil.

The oil was supposed to spend two weeks in my apothecary.  However, I ran into a problem a couple days into the process.  The apothecary is currently housed in the garage, which is unheated.  On day three, when I went out to give my oil its twice-daily shake I found the oil had been affected by the winter cold.  It wasn’t quite frozen, but it had definitely solidified. I moved the jar into the kitchen pantry and it soon returned to a more liquid state.

Hestia Anointing Oil
Ideally you’d use a cheesecloth to strain the herbs from the oil, but I have a ton muslin hanging around so that’s what I used.

Oils can be left for up to four weeks, as long as you shake them twice a day.  But I’m an impatient witch, so I let it sit for only two.  I strained the oil, composted the spent herbs, and put the oil to use.

Hestia Anointing Oil
The final oil. If I had let it set a few weeks longer it might have taken on a green tinge.

Of course, now that I have oil on hand for daily use, I am in talks with Hestia about what other herbs are appropriate for use when working with her.  It’s a conversation I believe will happen over and over, as I strengthen our relationship.  And it’s work that I’m looking forward to, something that I wouldn’t ever engage in if I stuck strictly to “book witchery”.

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roach (aka Raechel Henderson) is a dual class seamstress / shieldmaiden. She has sewn professionally since 2008. Over the years she has traveled around the Midwest region selling her handmade bags, skirts, coats and accessories at various events and conventions. Arachne hangs out in the window of her workshop reminding her to check the tension on the sewing machines. She writes about magic, creativity, living a life by one’s own life patterns, her family and books. Her first book, Sew Witchy, is due out December 2019 from Llewellyn.