Making Ointments – The Shortening Method

Making Ointments

The Shortening Method
 
 
Gently heat four parts shortening over low heat until liquified. Watch that it doesn’t burn. Add one part dried herbal mixture, blend with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed, and continue heating until the shortening has extracted the scent. You should be able to smell it in the air.
 
Strain through cheesecloth into a heat-proof container, such as a canning jar. Add one-half teaspoon tincture of benzoin to each pint of ointment as a natural preservative. Store in a cool, dark place, such as the refrigerator. Ointments should last for weeks or months. Discard any that turn moldy, and lay in a fresh batch.

Making Ointments

Making Ointments 

 
Ointments are easily made. They consist simply of herbs or oils and a base. In the past, hog’s lard was the preferred base because it was readily available, but vegetable shortening or beeswax produces the best results. The base must be a greasy substance that melts over heat but is solid at room temperature. Some herbalists actually use dinosaur fat (i.e., Vaseline, which is prepared from petroleum)!
 
There are two basic ways to create magickal ointments, the shortening method and the beeswax method.

Witches’ Flying Potion: Through the Clouds

Basque witches also created flying ointments although, perhaps because Mari, Basque Queen of Witches, flies on a fire bolt, the associations of flying on broomsticks are lacking. Instead of brooms, incantations are needed: rub the ointment on the body while repeatedly chanting something like: “Above all the thorns, through all the clouds….”