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.
The Shortening Method
Gently heat four parts shortening over low heat until liquefied. 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.
The Beeswax Method
This process creates a more cosmetic ointment without a heavy, greasy feeling. It is best to prepare it with oils rather than herbs, as it is difficult to strain.
If possible, use unbleached beeswax. If not, use what you can find. Chip it with alarge, sharp knife so that you can pack it into a measuring cup. Place one-fourth cup or so of beeswax in the top of a double boiler(such as a coffee can set into a larger pot of water). Add about one-fourth cup olive, hazelnut, sesame or some other vegetable oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until the wax has melted into the oil.
Remove from the heat and let cool very slightly, until it has just begun to thicken. (This step is taken so that the hot wax won’t evaporate the oils.) Now add the mixed oils to the wax. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon and pour into a heat-proof container. Label and store in the usual way.